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  1. #21
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I am sure by the end of this thread just about every 35mm SLR made will be mentioned at least once.

    Here are my suggestions:

    Nikon F, F2, Nikkormat Ftn
    Canon F1, T90
    Pentax Spotmatic
    Olympus OM1
    Minolta XM, SRT 101
    Rollei SL2000
    and of course the SLR I started out with an Exakta with 50mm Zeiss f2 Tessar lens.
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  2. #22
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Nikon F

    All before led to it.
    All after, from it.

    Many good cameras, many interesting cameras. Many desirable.

    One classic.
    Me thinks you nailed it. Everything else is just personal preferences.

    Ken

  3. #23

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    To me, in this case, classic = that which has defined a class.

    So, the class being "35mm SLR cameras", I would have to say that, although it was not the first 35mm SLR, the classic 35mm SLR is the Nikon F and its accompanying system. No bout adoubt it!
    2F/2F

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  4. #24

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    .............Without a second thought... the Nikon F and F2

  5. #25
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I may be a cynic, but what camera is a classic depends if you're buying, or selling.
    That's the difference between a marsh and a swamp.

  6. #26
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    What 2F/2F and df cartwell said.

    'tis the F. The rest is personal preference.

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  7. #27

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    IMO...

    The classic professional system 35mm SLR: pre-AI Nikon
    The classic amateur 35mm SLRs: Nikkormats, Pentax Spotmatics, Pentax K-1000s, Minolta SRTs, non-professional Canon SLRs (such as FT in the '60s, and FTb in the '70s)
    The classic low-end automated electronic SLR for the masses: Canon AE-1

    The Canon F-1 professional system is my favorite of the lot (though it is perhaps tied with Nikon F and F2, out of sheer love for the Nikon F system), but I don't see how it would fall under the "classic" definition, without getting brand specific as to the category (such as "the classic Canon professional system SLR"). It came over ten years after the F, and basically copied it in every important way. Though I feel that it was an improvement over the F, and superior to the F2 in many ways, I just cannot call it classic.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Nikon F

    All before led to it.
    All after, from it.
    Good reasoning, though it would have led me to a different result - another vote for the Pentax Spotmatic (SPII, to be more specific).

    Everything came together - size, weight, durability, ergonomics, affordability, optics, specifications and, of course, marketing.

    So many are still in use today (though the youngest are 35 years old) and there's very little that can't be fixed on them - the camera equivalent of the jeep, DC3 Dakota, Sony TC105 tape recorder, etc.. Of course, there are other fine 35mm SLR cameras that would qualify as classics IMHO. The Nikon F, as above, & OM1 are obvious examples, though perhaps for different reasons. The list shouldn't be too long, though, and, for instance, however good the Pentax K1000 and MX might be they are, after all, only descendants of the Spotmatic.

    Steve

  9. #29
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    As others have stated....the Nikon F, the F2 as a user.....plus the Pentax Spotmatic must be in there as well.

  10. #30

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    "Value" and "desirability" change the equation a bit.

    In some ways, nearly any SLR from the 1960s and 1970s will be a classic, as well as the Exaktas from the 1940s. Also, the Contax/Pentacon models from the 1940s, as well as the Contaflex and perhaps the Icarex.

    There are uncommon models from France, including the Focaflex -- a sturdy, reliable camera, as well as odd-ball models, such as the Agfa Optima-Reflex -- a combination SLR/TLR.

    Then there is the Canon AE-1, which led the way to the plasticam revolution with its prolific use of plastic inside and out. They sold a ton of these.

    Some of the Rolleiflex SLRs are classic pieces of junk (sadly), because the Carl Zeiss lenses are outstanding.

    The Nikon F series still hold up well today, and the FM cameras are cult classics.

    The Pentax K1000 has become the ubiquitous first-time camera, drawing attention away from the other excellent K- and M-series bodies.

    The Minolta XD-11 was the first multi-mode SLR.

    Olympus was always happy to go its own way, with the Pen F and then the OM-1 and also was the first to abandon film, as I recall.

    This could gio on forever. As well, there are so many names that have dropped off the map: Kodak Retina, Petri, Topcon, etc.

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