My Olympus OM-4. "The most sophisticated exposure meter they ever built a camera around!"
Ed Sukach, FFP.
If you can stand the size go the the Nikon F100, if not the N80 is a nice piece.
Though i'm in love with the F6
"The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." ~Ansel Adams
Another vote for the Contax G2. I sold my Nikon N80 and a heap of lenses after buying the G2, on the grounds that a 35 mm is for travelling light. For travelling heavy I prefer my 645 or 5x4 (and perhaps a llama to carry it !)
I kept my FE2 and all of the bits and pieces that go with it...but only because there are some things that an SLR is just better at. Macro work being the most obvious example (and I love to do macro work....). But I haven't actually taken the FE2 out of the house since I got the G...all of my macro work lately has been in the "studio" (i.e., in my attic), using either the FE2 or an LF camera.
Originally Posted by Pete H
I wonder if the FE2 misses the great outdoors.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
I'm not sure what you mean. There are 5 five Spot meters corresponding to the AF sensors.
Originally Posted by waynecrider
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I was referring to the FTBn which has centerweighted metering.
Originally Posted by roteague
Sorry, I misunderstood your post. I have an old Nikon F2, which I haven't used in years but just can't seem to part with. I pulled it out the other day and found the shutter is frozen. So, I'm not sure what to do with it - fix it, or make it a paperweight. It's not about the cost, more about the sentiment.
Originally Posted by waynecrider
I like all my 35s but although I haven't used it in a long time, I just had my Contax RTS II CLA'd and Wow, that is a great camera. All the features that I want in a camera (except for interchangable viewfinders) and none that I don't. Aesthetically, it is gorgeous, body sculpted by the Porschia design group who apparently didn't know or care about normal 35mm camera design conventions and put the controls all bass ackwards but it sure is beautiful. IMHO they could have stopped "improving" on SLRs at that point. After that, plastic bodies, Autofocus, super multimode program fuzzy logic matrix auto exposure, LCD screens and the extinction of thumb levers took over. Mine has a motordrive and a 12 AA cell battery pack that allows it to do double duty as a ship's anchor in a pinch.
The dream camera for an old goat.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
I vote for the Nikon FM3A. Just a great camera. Works without batteries (not in auto mode, clearly), is light and a joy to use with the MD-12. You can't go wrong there and all the buttons are in the right spot. I don't think it has AE-lock but you can create your own with manual setting once you know what you want (or you can get at it through exposure compensation). Not as elegant as AE-Lock.
The other suggestion is just a good old fashion Nikon F2. They really don't built it like that anymore. The FM3A is a modern version but even that is not of the same build quality. I got a used F2-AS (DP12) and its great. If you use a meter separately, you can ditch the heavy DP-12 and put the DE-1 prism on top and its even lights.
Either of these will serve you well with proper care for the next 20+ years.
Let me know what you decide. I loved your question.
Nicole, I am shooting with Canon EOS 3 and EOS 500n.
But, if I had enough money, I would love to buy Leica, and especially Leica M6 or M7. Small, quiet, optics is great, and metering is enough for b/w negatives. And as you said you have handheld meter, it is not an issue.
I personally use older than me Konica Auto S2 rangefinder, and hope to collect money for Leica M...
Other rangefinders: Voightlaender Bessa R2, and if you have money Konica RF or Contax G1 or G2. Last two are automated rangefinders, Konica can use Leica M lenses, and Contax use Carz Zeiss...
Of course, if you are more for SLR and auto focus or autoexposure, then... I am shooting Canon, so I know only those cameras. Maybe something like EOS 30 or 33, Or even EOS 300 if money is issue?
If you are for SLR, but can live without autofocus, what about Contax Aria? Small (compared with EOS3), well built (as I heard), Carl Zeiss optics... In Germany it can be bought for 400 EURO... without lenses of course.
Olympus OM1, OM2, OM4... Zuiko lenses are great, I tried one
And good old Nikon F2 and something like that is seriously to think about...
OK, now I am of no help at all