Awesome advise I never considered. I should be doing that anyway.
Thanks everyone else for the advice. I have a lot to think about and there's a lot of good advice and experience floating around.
Yashica Electro 35. Under $20.
All three of my latest Nikomat/Nikkormat bodies have been $30 or less, including shipping. Yes, they've all needed refoaming, and at least a couple need some meter work, but they are useable as is. Got two black Nikomat bodies (an FTn and an FT2), and a chrome Nikkormat FT3 that I just got off the 'bay. Needs to have the baseplate swapped with one that will let the battery cap come out without a torch.
APUG: F2AS x2, F, Nikomat FTn
Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 20/3.5 UD, 50/1.4 AI, 80-200/4.5 AI, 85/1.8 K, 300/4.5 ED AI
- My flickr stream
If you may need to use your camera as a self defense weapon, I recommend a Koni-Omega. Just advance the film once and from the sound of it your opponent will think you have chambered a round in your .45 Auto. They should leave you alone then, if not use it as a club.
I'd just use my Nikon equipment and get the job done with cameras that I know work and that I know how to work.
You bet, and when you're done clubbing them with it, it'll still work like it should.
Originally Posted by Wayne R. Scott
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I second the sound of the Koni-Omega; its usefulness as a weapon; and its servicibility after bashing the skull of some malefactor.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
I came across a Fujica 35-EE at a local flea market with case, flash, and a bunch of Kodachrome in the little aluminum containers. All was had for $10 (USD) The camera is built about as durable as a hockey puck. I was VERY surprised of the fine photographs it produced. To date it is the cheapest camera I own that takes excellent pictures!
RB67, ETR, ETRS, F4, F5, FM3a, A1, AE1,
Bronica-S, Mamiya-7, Yashica TLR, & many many Range finders
If you have a Contax you might consider a Yashica FX-3
Beware, though. I bought a knackered Spotmatic for a boat trip where it could easily have ended up in the Thames estuary. It didn't, but I've since grown to love the camera and would have to buy another trasher if circumstances demanded it!
Sleeper 35mm cameras
I have a number of Cosina-made Vivitar SLRs. They are V4000S and V4000 models. These have K mounts, are light and cost very little. There are any number of decent K mount lenses which don't cost to much to go with them.
Finding a capable and inexpensive film camera today is not that difficult. The issues you bring up about how the camera might be damaged or stolen are more troubling. It's one thing to have to take pictures in an environment which is cold or got or rainy or has rugged terrain. In these circumstances, assuming no downpours, I might use a cosmetically less attractive Nikkormat or Canon FTbN. The cameras work well but are not cometically perfact so a few more scratches wouldn't bother me. The fact that your camera might be stolen is another issue altogether. If you could know that this theft would involve only the camera then you could make a dollar calculation. If you could be harmed in the process of this theft then I have to wonder why you would want to go to this kind of place at all. I grew up in NY City and there are still areas in it which I wouldn't go to on a bet. There must be some interesting places you could go to take pictures which don't involve a high probability of violence. This part of your posting doesn't have to do with cameras or photography. It has to do with judgment.