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  1. #1
    blankk's Avatar
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    Good 35mm SLR with metering (gift for friend)? Any suggestions?

    Hey guys, I'm looking to buy my girlfriend a decent 35mm SLR with metering as a gift. I unfortunately don't know where to start - I got all tangled up looking for a medium format TLR or something but then realized she'd probably need metering. Any ideas? I want to spend about $120 on everything or less.

  2. #2
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Hard to suggest a camera as a gift. What do you think she would like?
    1. metal or plastic?
    2. AF or MF?
    3. compact or medium (cant expect too many women like oversized cameras)
    4. auto-everyhting exposure or semi-auto?

  3. #3

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    If you want an MF, I suggest the Nikon FE, I love mine and they can be found for relatively cheap on eBay, craigslist, etc. with a 50mm lens (which is also great!). If you want a little step up in certain features, go for the FE2. Google the 2 cameras and check out the differences. But I would highly reccomend the FE. And I like Kodak T-Max 400 for my B&W film.
    Nikon D40
    Nikon FE
    Nikon Coolpix L4
    Holga 120N

  4. #4

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    Auto metering film cameras and all going cheap:-
    Nikon EM is a nice simple camera.
    Canon AE1 or AVI are nice..... Check for no "shutter squeek".
    Canon T70 (my favourite cheap camera)... auto wind on, and you can select the option of over-ride i.e. if you get the exposure wrong the camera will correct.
    I have all of these except AE1 in my collection, and get excellent results..of course with older cameras check seals around the camera door etc are ok.

    I Forgot, the OM20 is a nice cheap camera..don't get the OM10.

    The AV1, T70 and OM20 above (with lenses)........ I bought from £10-£20
    Last edited by Excalibur2; 04-23-2009 at 04:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    flashgumby's Avatar
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    Buying someone a camera is a *very* difficult thing to do, unless you know exactly what they like and don't like in a camera. I can't think of a more difficult thing to do - it's a very personal choice and one that has to be right.

    Having said that, we need whatever info you can give us...

    What's her experience - a complete newbie? experienced and looking to upgrade?
    Does she want something light and easy to carry, or something more robust?
    What does the budget need to include - body and one lens? a couple of lenses and a flash?
    Does she know you're getting it for her? If so, you might want to get her thoughts before risking a wrong choice.

    My first thoughts would be something like:
    Minolta Dynax (Maxxum) 5 - a great small, light SLR, accurate metering, very good AF, should fit the budget easily.
    Minolta X-500 or similar - if she wants manual focus, you can get great lenses at reasonable prices.

    Good luck.
    Regards,
    Gordon
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

  6. #6

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    ***Buying someone a camera is a *very* difficult thing to do, unless you know exactly what they like and don't like in a camera. I can't think of a more difficult thing to do - it's a very personal choice and one that has to be right.***

    True, but if something is so cheap e.g. MTL3 with meyer lens for £5, you can give it to a charity shop if you don't like a film SLR camera or prefer a film P&S or decide you would rather go digital.
    I'm picking up Canon and Nikon P&S (new about £180) for 50p and £1 at boot sales..now if I was him, would give his girlfriend a P&S Nikon L35AD (if he can get one dirt cheap) and if she likes film, then go from there.

  7. #7
    flashgumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    ... now if I was him, would give his girlfriend a P&S Nikon L35AD (if he can get one dirt cheap) and if she likes film, then go from there.
    And if she doesn't like film, there's plenty of other women

    Anyway, while I agree that if the price is right it would be good to pick up a cheap MTL3 or L35AD, if it's an unsuitable gift there might be 'relationship consequences' that sour the great bargain :o

    Gordon
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

  8. #8

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    I would second the suggestion of the Nikon EM. They're cheaply found and the results are very satisfying. My girlfriend used it once and she really enjoyed the simplicity of it. Aperture priority is simple enough to use to get great results. Even with my "keep the needle above 60" instructions to her, her pictures turned out pretty good.

  9. #9
    Chaplain Jeff's Avatar
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    Hello,

    What do you shoot? And do you want her to have the same system?

    If you get her the same system she can use all your lenses and gear.
    That can be a good or a bad thing depending on you and your gear. ;-)

    If you go the Nikon route, I'd get her an FM. Totally manual with a great meter. Few parts or electronics to go out.

    Personally, I'd get her a Minolta XG-SE or a Minolta XG-1. For the budget you mention, you can get one AND the CLA that any of these vintage cameras are going to need to work properly.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
    Jeff M


    M3, M5, CLE, Minolta XE7, Minolta Maxxum 9, Minolta Maxxum 9000, Nikon F3HP, etc., etc.

  10. #10
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    If you are looking to go new, I would say your only option is the Nikon FM10
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

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