My question is whether or not you plan on actually using the cameras or having them in a "collection"? My OM kit is actually in professional use.
As to the OM cameras being too small? Possible for some people, but by the time you add a motor-drive, 35-80 F2.8 zoom, and the T45 flash, smallness is no longer a factor. However, for hiking, an OM body with a 35mm F2.8 lens is about the size and weight of what we call "pocket cameras" today.
The smallness has more to do with my big fat fingers and the small controls on the camera. I have lots of trouble with a Pentax ME as the buttons are too small for my fat fingers. I have found some of the Olympus OM's to be like that too.... I worked retail selling cameras in the early 80's so I have had the chance to use many of them as loaners so I really think you should by a camera for ergonomics. You should be able to handle a camera comfortably and it should fit your hands well.
Originally Posted by Ken N
I've played with just about everything, but the OM-1 is close to perfection for me. Whether is is good for you will depend on what is important to you. Do you want all manual or some automation? Does a small camera feel best to you or do you like something more substantial? Everything you list is a pro level camera and they all have more than enough lenses and accessories available. Here is my rationale for the OM1...it is manual so no electronics to fail/go obsolete, it is the physically smallest system (49mm filters!), the controls for the shutter and aperture are both at the lens/lens mount, and they have a good selection of lenses in the range I want. Honestly, I'd just buy and try. If you don't bond with the camera, resell it and try again.....or better yet buy from someone like KEH and take advantage of the return privilege!
Good morning, Paul Jenkin;
Under Nikon and notable cameras, I suggest the Nikon F2, Nikon's last hand assembled camera. And it continues to work when the battery dies (in the light meter). It does meet your period criterion of the 1970's.
Under ergonomics and larger hands, I also fall into that category. For a camera that "just fits my hand," I have found the Minolta X-700 with the MD-1 Motor Drive to be the best of all of the cameras I possess when in my hands. Please note that for me, it was not just the Minolta X-700. It all came together when I added the MD-1 Motor Drive to the X-700. Then it all "clicked."
Go out and try some cameras. When you find "the right one," it will be obvious to you. It will just fit. You will know it when it happens. But, do not limit yourself to just a specific group of cameras. You may be surprised by what just feels right when you find it. Since the 1970's, almost all of the manufacturers have made glass that will provide very good quality when printing your negatives.
Last edited by Ralph Javins; 12-06-2008 at 11:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Add a sentence for clarity.
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."
Thanks to everyone who's responded so far. Lots of great, positive advice and some interesting potential additions - Minolta and Contax to name but a couple. I must confess that I did previously own Olympus OM1n and OM2n cameras and, albeit briefly, had use of a Nikon F3. However, that was a long time ago. Whilst my memory of them is very positive (and I do intend to use what I buy regularly) I want it to be a collection of the 'best' not just the 'flagship' models - though one tends to go with the other.
I'm gravitating towards the Pentax LX as (a) I've never owned a Pentax and (b) I like the idea of a camera that works mechanically if the batteries die - though does it work on all shutter speeds? The chap in the shop actually mentioned this and suggested it was only from 1/125 towards the faster shutter speeds. The only consideration is the sports finder. As a spectacles user, this gives a great view but is it possible to get hold of the standard prism as a separate purchase? Are there any advantages or drawbacks in having only the sports finder?
The other camera I like the look of is the Canon F1 / F1n. I used to own an A1 (awesome amount of plastic going on there) and a T90 (radical-looking camera with multi-spot averaging) and I really liked FD lenses (very light but very sharp). However, I will never forget the feeling of solidness when I held an F1n with the AE head at a camera shop just after it was launched. Sadly, though, it was so expensive that it was a 'dream' purchase and never a reality.
Thanks again and hope to hear more about the LX (etc) before making my mind up.
Regards to one and all. Paul.
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)
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If you want the best, i'd choose one not on your list: The Olympus OM-4Ti. A 1980's classic, I have two of them and my girlfriend has one. The metering is incredible...multi spot metering. The body is the same size as the OM-1 !!
All of the cameras you mentioned are great. I have used an F3 and Canon F1N. The problem with them is I like Spot Metering. The F3 doesn't offer it. The F1N can with a special focusing screen, but to switch between centerweight and spot requires changing the focus screen! What a pain. I have small hands so the OM fits me nice.
I don't think you can just stick a camera on a scale to look at weight. It's more about balance.
My F4 and my ETRSI are about the same weight if you listen to the scale. The F4 is much nicer to hand hold unless I put the grip on the ETRSI. Which of course adds even more weight to that camera.
Pick up the camera with your most used lens on it. Does it feel right?
OTOH you can get used to almost anything.
No doubt, the LX is among the best 35 mm film SLR's you can find now-day's, not to mention the very good lenses.
For more information see these webpages :
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
What lenses do you already have? That would play a factor in my decision were I making it for myself.
I own an F3HP and like it very much - although it has never been my favorite camera. Despite its reputation, my experience with it has not been that it's as sturdy as those who praise it claim. I have had to have two repairs done - one on the circuit board - due to damage done through normal use. Put an MD-4 on it (get one for pennies these days) and it feels like a hammer and shoots like a dream.
Were I making this choice and were getting a Nikon, especially for manual focus, I would seriously consider the F4 in any of it's configurations. My favorite Nikon body - MF or AF.
I had a buddy who swore by the two variations of the F1/F1n. I don't know much about them, but he loved them and took wonderful photos with the Canon MF glass.
My grandfather shot with with an OM-1n and my uncles (his sons) still shoot the OM-2n. Zuiko glass is great stuff - and pretty cheap these days from what I see on ebay. The cameras were always too small for my liking, but they are all (were) big men like me and they liked them just fine. A matter of taste I suppose.
I know practically nothing about the Pentax and won't comment on it.
My guess is that any of these cameras will bring great pleasure and the glass associated with them will create wonderful images.
Good luck and let us know what you decided.
M3, M5, CLE, Minolta XE7, Minolta Maxxum 9, Minolta Maxxum 9000, Nikon F3HP, etc., etc.
I'm currently all Nikon when it comes to SLR (F100 film and D300 Digital). I use a 24/f2.8, 50mm/f1.8 and 85mm/f1.8 on the F100 and I want to (eventually) get a similar set up for whichever camera(s) I eventually get.
I've owned an F5 but it was too heavy for my liking - especially travelling any distance round town or fell walking. The F100 isn't too far removed from the F5 but it's a hell of a lot more portable. The F4 is another nice piece of kit but I'm trying to get away from AF and want something that will offer manual settings (+ perhaps Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority). As you say, Zuiko glass is very inexpensive at the moment but, as I've previously owned an OM1n and OM2n, I'm tempted to go for something 'different'. The Pentax LX looks a likely candidate at present. I like the sports finder and also the option to use mechanically above 1/125th if the battery fails. Pentax glass - although not as plentiful as some - appears to have a good reputation.
It'll be the new year before I decide one way or t'other and much will depend on having a few bob left over after Christmas.
All the best, Paul.
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)