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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post


    I also thought about the MF v. AF question, and think that in the end if I really need AF, then it's going to be in a situation I would need digi as well. I like simple mechanical cameras because they help me keep my stress level low. I know I waste a few seconds here and there because of manual settings, but again, the stakes are not that high.
    I suggested the F4 because it's a great MF body. The ability to stick AF lenses on it is just a bonus.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    I suggested the F4 because it's a great MF body. The ability to stick AF lenses on it is just a bonus.


    The F3 is better – if you don't want the bonus.

    In tricky lighting situations such as you might encounter photographing bands etc AF can be a real pain, hunting back and forth trying to lock on – manual is probably faster.

    Go with your instincts. If you're wrong you can always sell it again and recoup your outlay.



    Richard

  3. #13

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    Why is the F3 better?

  4. #14

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    I've done little in the way of freelance work thus far, but I'll ask it: why do you think it's necessary to switch to digital work? Perhaps if you were working regularly as a photographer or as a photojournalist, it would make sense, but I'm not convinced that at the very least for the occassional freelancer that film is a bad option. Those SMC Takumar lenses are pretty snappy lenses - I would hazard a guess that they're probably better than lower end DSLR equipment. I'd suggest that you round out your lens set with an 85mm for portraits (a beautiful lens, and they can be had for as little as $150), and a new 28mm. If you start working regularly, digital may make sense, but film with the right lenses is just as high, or even higher quality than digital (keep in mind that digital has a worse dynamic range), and a fraction of the cost.

  5. #15
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spotmaticfanatic View Post
    I've done little in the way of freelance work thus far, but I'll ask it: why do you think it's necessary to switch to digital work? Perhaps if you were working regularly as a photographer or as a photojournalist, it would make sense, but I'm not convinced that at the very least for the occassional freelancer that film is a bad option. Those SMC Takumar lenses are pretty snappy lenses - I would hazard a guess that they're probably better than lower end DSLR equipment. I'd suggest that you round out your lens set with an 85mm for portraits (a beautiful lens, and they can be had for as little as $150), and a new 28mm. If you start working regularly, digital may make sense, but film with the right lenses is just as high, or even higher quality than digital (keep in mind that digital has a worse dynamic range), and a fraction of the cost.
    Woh, wait a minute buddy. I said that digital is unavoidable if you're doing gun for hire type of jobs, but I didn't say that I was moving digital, so don't annoy me with the whole d v. a debate. Nor did I say that digital was the only game in town.

    As for Takumar lenses, don't worry, I know how good they are. But have you ever had that sinking feeling when focussing them sometimes unscrews them as well? And I've never seen a 85mm for 150$, never.
    Using film since before it was hip.


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  6. #16
    Trond's Avatar
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    If I were you, I would just stick with the Spotmatic, and just get a replacement lens. Spotmatics and M42 lenses are plentyful on the used market and usually don't cost much either. It's quite cheap to get a Spotmatic serviced as well.

    A Spotmatic has drawbacks, as you know, such as dim a viewfinder, slow flash sync speed, etc, but the cameras are very well built and reliable (apart from the light meter). Most of the lenses are quite good too. For a 35mm I would suggest the 2.0, an extremely nice lens. A fast short tele lens is more difficult to find, but you do have the Jupiter-9 lenses, which can be good. I own a Fujinon-T 105mm 2.8. A good and compact lens, and I didn't pay much for it.

    Trond

  7. #17

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    I would say Nikon FM, the original one, does the same job as the Spotmatic does, and it's a good camera (my all-time favorite) to have if you get into Nikon. You can use the same flash unit you've been using on a FM.

    But if you want more capability than that, then your choices will be FM2 (of various kinds), F90, F100, and F4, F5, etc. I would avoid F3 because the accessories including the special hotshoe are hard to find.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    Why is the F3 better?


    Probably for the same reason you like the F4 so much.

    Keeping in mind that opinions are like other parts of the anatomy.
    Personal preference
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #19

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    The F3 outsold the F4 and was discontinued after the F4 was gone. Someone apparently thought the F4 was not a "replacement" for an F3.

    A "good condition" user F3 goes for $200-$225, a really nice one (cosmetically) for $300. They also use auto lenses. They're built like tanks. What exactly is wrong with an auto flash like the Vivitar 283?

    Get an F3HP and some good MF lenses.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    I would gain:

    * Bayonet mount, slightly faster lenses (35 and 105)
    * 1/250 flash sync => ability to do fill flash
    * Reliability, ease of repair, available parts
    * Motor drive option
    * Less gear on my shelf
    I'm with Trond. M42 cameras are cheap. I'd buy a few more bodies- carry two and you've got another lens handy faster than you would with a bayonet, plus different film if you like. Spotmatics are about the most reliable cameras there are- pretty easy to repair (and cheap to break while learning to repair)- and parts... well, you've got those extra three or four bodies cluttering up your shelves...

    The 35/2 and an 85/fast aren't all that expensive. A little cheaper than Nikon equivalents actually, I think. I saw on ebay a motor drive for a spotmatic once. I believe it was only compatible with a small number of bodies though. Late SP F perhaps? I think it went for ~US$200.

    And frankly, Nikons may be better pro cameras, but old Pentaxs are much prettier.

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