Not all camera bodies focus accurately.
Few maintain their mechanical accuracy over time (as they wear).
Not all have precise film to lens registration.
Few have really precise film flatness.
With a motor drive, the speed of film transport reduced film flatness,
and reduces sharpness.
You don't HAVE to buy the top-of-the-line cameras,
but you DO have to buy cameras with the right to return
if your example is a loser.
I seem to recall that ALPA manufactured a 35mm camera that pin registered the film. It had a reseau plate and a moving pressure plate. Talk about film registration and flatness.
& Contax offered a vacuum back in one of theirs(ST?)
Originally Posted by Samuel Hotton
This effect wears off after all your subjects consistently avoid the camera.
Originally Posted by Marco S.
I've found the that in extreme conditions like very cold weather the cheaper cameras shutters tend to SLOW down. So, IMHO the camera body does make a difference some of the time.
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All a camera body is, IMO, is a light-tight box with a metering device, a mount for the lens and a film advance mechanism. The metering device probably has most effect on your photos. The metering in the Olympus OM2n I owned years ago is probably the best I've ever experienced. That said, I used it A LOT and became very used to how it would react in given lighting conditions.
I feel lucky to be able to afford a few cameras. However, if I were on a really tight budget, I'd buy the cheapest body that would do what I wanted it to do (in terms of shutter speed range / metering) and then spend the most I could on lenses. In my experience, lenses make more of a difference to the photo than the body - and you'll probably keep them for longer than a body.
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)
Originally Posted by Paul Jenkin
There's measurements to start with:
The film gate needs to sit at the correct distance from the lens, within a few hundredths of a mm.
The lens mount and the film plane need to be absolutely parallel.
The lens to film distance needs to be exactly the same as the lens to focussing screen distance.
The film gate and focussing screen need to be aligned laterally.
Then there are the moving bits:
The mirror needs to return into the exact position (within those hundredths of a mm again) every single time it moves up and down again.
The shutter must work, be precise, and not bounce.
Diaphragm, mirror, and shutter need to be synchronized properly.
Film transport must be regular (frame spacing) and smooth (mechanical damage to the film).
The film (also a moving bit) must be put and kept in the same position exactly, again and again.
And the electronic or mechanical thingy (depending on the particular camera) that will be timing the exposure must work, and keep working.
You will want to see a large, bright and easy to focus viewfinder image too. So the optics of the viewing system must be up to scratch too.
Particularly important if the metering electronics also use the viewfinder optics.
I will have forgotten one or two things. And more can be said about the things i have mentioned.
But apart from that, no, a camera has very little effect on the quality of the images it produces...
Believe that, and you'll believe anything.
Well I've been buying lenses off the bay and getting some cameras thrown in, so far in 6 months have MTL3, two canon av1s, two canon T70s, OM10 and OM20, T90, FTb..........three P&S Nikon, Canon, and Minolta for £1 each from boot sales........and they all take excellent pics so it can't be that difficult to get it right.....whether you can see the difference in say a 5X7" print from a spot on manufactured body to a one that is very close (because it's worn or cheaply made) is debatable, as in theory there must be a difference.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
Everyone seems to be discussing technicalities here. What about ergonomics, feel, what you are comfortable with? I have had a couple of Canons (7E, 1V) and just never felt comfortable with them. On the other hand, all the Contaxes I have ever used (RTS III, Aria, G2, 645) sit very naturally in my hands and all the controls are exactly where I want them. Of course this is subjective, but I notice that I get significantly more keepers from cameras that feel right.
I think people have it right - image quality is less of an issue within the realm of relatively modern, relatively well-kept bodies. I guess it comes down to 'extras' (metering, flash sync, blah-blah), personal taste, and, at least as important in my view, ergonomics. It doesn't strictly effect image quality, but in an indirect way, if a camera is good in the hand and intuitive to change settings, you're more likely to get the shot you want...