For $1000, I'd say: buy one of each. One "manual p&s", like Smena 8M or whatever, one AF p&s, like Oly mju II, one AE rangefinder, like Minolta Hi-Matic or Oly XA, one leica-like, like Zorki S, One classic SLR like Nikon F3, one modern with AF, like EOS 300, one TLR like Rolleicord, one MF SLR like Pentacon Six, one folder like Bessa or Isolette, one of old box cameras, one Graflex if it still fits the budget, one half-frame camera, like Agat 18k or Oly Pen. Something old, something new, something decent, something crude, something borrowed, something blue. Just... Experience it. Why restrict yourself? Take care for these cameras, have fun, if you don't feel it - sell it afterwards, buy yourself a roll of film or fund yet another adventure. This is what I've done, it just took me some years, and it was worth it.
If you want to make gallery-sized prints, medium format might be the better choice.
Last edited by elekm; 12-20-2013 at 11:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: editing my own reply to shorten it
A Leica is truly a great camera and I am sure you will enjoy it if you buy one. But if you are interested in producing big prints you should at least consider medium format. The 6x6 Rolleiflex is a great option and for the money will be very hard to beat. I would strongly suggest a good overhaul which will give you a camera that will work hard for you for a very long time.
I find the Rolleiflex a very fun camera to use, and I love the big negs. I also own a Leica IIIc from 1942. It fits in a shirt pocket and I have built up to four lenses for it (all vintage 1940s.) When I shoot film, I do it because I want a totally different look from digital. Thus, I only buy older cameras. If I were making prints bigger than 8x10, that's where the Rolleiflex begins to really shine!
Kent in SD
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I would very carefully consider bypassing 35mm and go for medium format: bigger image (400% bigger, actually), superior image quality and more of an opportunity to learn grass-roots photographic skill by making the decisions of exposure yourself rather than have a camera do it for you. I used 35mm for 33 years and now hardly use it at all, such is the sock-it-to-'em allure of a MF transparency lit up on the lightbox as opposed to a postage-stamped sized negative. And MF can be quite cheap to get into now while most high-end 35mm cameras are a good earner for the shops, but not such a good choice for those uncertain what they are going to do.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
One surely distinguishes fine art by fine grain. This is old school pre-digital MF/LF approach and I can't see why not to go LF, cause it's cheaper, more capable and just so better in quality, than, let's say, a TLR like Rolleicord. Certainly LF will learn you more, Paul. And we're in post-digital world already, with, for example, lomography showing middle finger (or MF, for short) to this kind of evaluation of image quality.
The negative format and aesthetic consequences of it, like graininess of a final image, are same creative factors as any other. The fact is people sometimes want it, sometimes not. There are many more factors. Composition, point of view, subject, light, tonal values, sharpness/softness, use or absence of color... Similarities between one photo and some other photo made earlier (or a painting, movie, book). Quotes, or the lack of it. Following certain guidelines of a genre or a reason behind ignoring it. Big, big world of aesthetics.
To make expressing things easier it's good to know and to try to overcome creative limitations, but by no means it's print format. You order it - you have it as you've ordered. Look at 100x160 cm McCurry's prints from 35mm slides - is it less of an art? is the grain disgusting? 35mm film makes hard for anyone to understand something? People turn away from his exhibitions? Sure, the image is not perfect, but it's not always about perfect, detailed, clear, well-defined image. Not for all of us.
One needs to know various tools - cameras and lenses play a minor role here TBH, but it's one of the very few things one can buy, hence the hype made by people possessing big wallets, being possessed by little minds - nothing personal to anyone posting before me, just a general conclusion - folks have forgotten what photography is. I have nothing against collectors, I think it's a great, wise hobby, just... the subject was not "what camera to start collecting with"
The only way I see through the mess most of guys are making is to experience some things for real. 1000 USD is not a limiting factor here, but more of an opportunity. It's money, that teach people anything though. To learn one needs to collect data. As it grows, the collection becomes information, knowledge and finally wisdom.
If you can sell cameras, not only purchase, I'd say just have fun. Take a year, each week shoot a roll with a different type or model. I bet the memories of cameras will fade, and you'll be left with the weather, with who you've met, where you've been, with the adventure you've got and with some great photos taken and some not so great. That's life, that's what I like doing. If you ask yourself how to make more great photos, for one person the answer will be "keep diciplined", for another "know life better", for someone else "more hemp" or "more naked girls" (or hell, boys), if that's allowed to write here.
The F5 is a great camera, and the Nikon system allows a huge range of lens choices. You might consider an F100 too, it is essentially a lighter version of the F5.
Of the general choices that you put forward the biggest reason that I would choose the Nikon system is for autofocus (my eyes are getting old). Both cameras have a lot of great automation built in, whether you use those features or not is up to you for any given shot but it sure handy to have there when you need it.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Congrats - a medium format for a song!
Originally Posted by PaulDK
Just a few things: 1. Check the bellows for cracking. They dry out over time. There are several patch solutions available if it is cracked. 2. If possible, have a camera repair tech go through it - at least have the shutter speed checked. 3. Use a tripod whenever possible. It's a fairly slow camera.
I have an Ansco Speedex (Agfa) which is very similar to your new Nettar. Focusing is a guess - so infinity is best. Perfect for landscapes. Run a test roll and make notes.
Thanks. Though I have a problem with a stuck shutter cocking lever as I've mentioned on the medium format page. But if I can't get it fixed, no harm done. A great display item on my shelf :-)
Originally Posted by AstroZon