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  1. #1

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    Digital to Film! Which small SLR?

    So, I've been 100% digital for about 2 1/2 years now (Canon 5D). I love it. No complaints. In fact, it continually impresses me except for one thing....street photography. The look of my earliest work blows away anything I can do here in NYC with the 5D (everything is super-contrasty so I always get clipped highlights or shadows - even on cloudy days).

    In the past I had a really great Contax system which I sorely regret selling. It was an RTS II. I miss it! But...I've been considering the Olympus cameras. The early OM's are VERY small (almost Leica small) and so are their lenses. Contax bodies were a bit bulky. Compared to my 5D, the OM-1 and OM-2 are almost 1/2 the size!

    Any suggestions? Rangefinders are out. I could just never get comfortable with them despite their many advantages. I did love the super-sharp images I got with the Zeiss lenses so I'm a bit confused as always!

  2. #2
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    The 5D is rather large in terms of SLRs and whiel you could go with the OMs (great lenses and cameras) you could also pick up a Canon Elan 7 and use your current arsenal of lenses. The 7 is one of the quietest SLRs I've ever had the pleasure of using though still a bit larger than the OM series. Pentax also made a number of smaller sized SLRs and go for pennies on the dollar, though their lens prices have started creeping back up as you can mount and use them on their digital camera, too.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  3. #3

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    New at about $200 the Cannon Rebel is small and would be good for street phot.

  4. #4
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Well as you say there is the OM system, the OM-1 is particularly suited. But have you considered a rangefinder? Smaller than an SLR and quieter.

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys. I hate to be a nitpick but one of the things I loved about the RTS II was it had 96% or 97% viewfinder coverage. I know...I know...but I loved seeing almost everything in the frame. The way I shoot, it matters. Also, my current EOS lenses (non-L) feel like toys and they're still kind of bulky. I also want something really basic and really sturdy. The Elan 7 is a great idea. I will check that out though.

  6. #6
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K View Post
    Well as you say there is the OM system, the OM-1 is particularly suited. But have you considered a rangefinder? Smaller than an SLR and quieter.
    and use hyperfocal settings to get the maximum depth of field.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  7. #7

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    Rangefinders certainly did it for many a great street photographer. I do like being able to shoot at slow shutter speeds. Unfortunately, I really dislike using them for numerous reasons. I REALLY wish I did like them or I'd be shooting with a Voigtlander outfit right now.

  8. #8
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    I know you said SLR, and no rangefinders. Have you considered a Rolleiflex TLR? It's an entirely different direction but one you might well consider. It is a superb street photography camera. The lens is fast, and on the wide side of normal; you compose on a big screen that shows exactly what the negative will get; waist- to chest-level is a good height for street work; the shutter is dead quiet; by facing away from your subject and turning the camera at an angle, you can photograph people without them being aware a camera is pointed at them.

    Have a look at the work of Robert Doisneau or Willy Ronis -- both did fantastic street work with Rolleiflexes.

    Sanders McNew
    Last edited by Rolleiflexible; 07-25-2007 at 11:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Ach just get over it and get a rangefinder or tlr for street stuff

    For slrs, I am impressed by the Nikon fm3a. That is a superbly crafted and durable instrument, and it's quite compact. And it only just went out of production so new ones are probably still available. The VF coverage isn't spectacular but once you get the camera in your hands, you won't care. Anyway with a Nikon then you can buy yourself Zeiss ZF lenses if you want.... Canon won't allow Zeiss to make lenses in their mount, so Nikon is probably the best way to go if that is your intention.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  10. #10
    Jersey Vic's Avatar
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    I love my Minolta x700..almost as small and maybe lighter than an Olympus.
    I've had mine since '84, no problems even after 2 hard drops, dead on metering (they make very good meters), 3 exposure settings (including manual) and superb relatively unfought-over glass. I bought a NOS 50 1.4 for $50 2 years back.
    My #1 camera if I can only bring one and I have everything (RTS I, Nikon F2, Leica rf, Rolleicord, etc )
    2nd choice: The Contax Aria is tiny, tiny tiny and has alot of neat features and decent glass I hear.
    Holga: if it was any more analog, you'd need a chisel.

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