My 35mm kit is too big!!
Or should I say, now I've got an RB67 for my 'serious' work and don't think I'll be doing airshows on 35mm in future, I don't feel I need big 35mm gear now. I guess that means the purpose of my 35mm gear has changed, so I'm hoping for suggestions for a much smaller, much lighter kit.
I currently use a Nikon F5 and 20-35 f/2.8, 80-200 f/2.8 and a 300mm f/4
All my gear is big and heavy. I want a smaller and lighter kit and am happy to go manual focus. I am considering everything from Nikon manual focus to Canon FD, Olympus OM, even Contax G2. I like the Nikon F3 but the Nikon MF lenses seem quite expensive. The FD and OM seem nice, and especially lenses like the 85 1.2L but that's not exactly small and light.
I am a little worried about repairs, but I suppose if I stick to the mechanical bodies I should be ok, right?
Any suggestions? I know I'm being vague, but about all I know is small and light is what I want...
The problem may not be the brand but the model. All Pro Nikons are a hunk of metal, F5 included. There are smaller and lighter Nikon SLRs.
A few months ago I bought the smallest camera bag that would hold one body, one spare lens and four rolls of film, because I was tired of carrying a full Billingham.
I now carry a manual or auto camera (depending on mood and subject), a 50mm F1.4 and a 24mm or 28mm spare. If I need lighter a Nikon F60 with a zoom suffices on the shoulder and lighter still, a 35mm AF compact.
It's not just the body but the lenses that are huge. The Olympus 100mm f/2.8 for instance, only 48mm long, tiny little thing! That's what I'm talking about! I take my 80-200 somewhere and I stick out like a complete dork :-)
Ah, gotcha. The only zoom I use with any regularity is the Nikon 28 - 80 because it's plastic (i.e. light), sharp (for a kit lens) and I can fit it in a pocket. The other five (or is it six?) lie in their bag awaiting their fate.
Originally Posted by Chris Nielsen
Not a huge zoom fan myself, the small ones show a dim viewfinder, the bright ones need regular visits to an osteopath. Small prime lenses are the way to go. A Pentax MX/ME with a pancake 45mm (?) must be about as small as 35mm SLRs go.
If you've been happy with your Nikon, I'd get an FM2n. These are manual-only mechanical cameras and very reliable. Alternatively, you could go for an FM3a which will offer aperture priority & manual and can still be used in the event of battery failure (using it manually). Both these bodies are smaller and a little lighter than your F5. I've used FM2's for years and have never had any problems with them.
Originally Posted by Chris Nielsen
As for Olympus, both the OM1 and OM2 are very highly regarded cameras which are both reliable and quite compact in size, and just like the two Nikons above, are manual focussing.
With regards to lenses, well I shoot landscapes and architecture pretty much all the time and use prime lenses rather than zooms. I guess this will come down to personal choice, but I'd rather carry two or three prime wide-angles rather than a zoom lens. Both Nikon and Olympus Zuiko lenses are nice and compact if you do opt for prime lenses and I've never found the weight to be of a problem personally.
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The FM series and the OM series are both as Carl points out about the same size and weight.
However using both I do find the Nikon lens are a little heavier, then again an 85mm f1.4 is a big chunk of glass. The Olympus 85mm range is much more compact and a beautiful little performer.
Stack of 35mm stuff, some 120 stuff and lots of other junk to make it work
Keep it simple. ~ Alfred Eisenstaedt
Or go rangefinder....
While they have their advantages and limits, lighter and especially smaller is what you get!
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
I use the OM system and as others have said the 85mm f2 and 100mm f2.8 are relatively light and great lenses. That being said, there are times when I want something long and fast as was the case recently when I was using the Tamron SP 400mm f4. Sure it was on a tripod. Many of the shots were close at f4 and this is what was needed to produce the results desired. My point being that regardless of the body you are using the lens lens part of the equation is dictated by the desired results. Obviously something lighter would be called for if this were an all day hike, however on this project I was on a 2+ hour shoot at or near sunset and everything was within about 100 yards of my car. Bill Barber
Does it have to be all at once? If it was my kit, I would replace the huge F5 with a small, light N80 (got one two months ago for $25 in like-new condition, fabulous camera). Then look for smaller versions of the lenses you use with some regularity.
Alternatively, Minolta made some really nice manual focus cameras, the XD-11 being among the best. The lenses are excellent, and small-ish, and cheap. Very cheap. Nobody-wants-them cheap.
Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
followed by the Soiling of the Pants, and the Burying of the Idiots.
A good, smallish M42 body - Fujica ST605 or Pentax Spotmatic - will open the door to a whole world of inexpensive M42 mount lenses. I usually run a Pentax SP1000 with a Super Takumar 55/2 or Meyer-Optik Oreston 50/1.8 aboard. The Oreston cost me $20, and came with a camera attached. A good Pentax-brand M42 normal costs between $40 for a Tak 55/2 and $75-$125 for a 50/1.4. Lots o' options out there. Search "M42 lens" on ebay. A sound Spotmatic will cost $25-$40. A super-fine CLA with new light seals and mirror bumper will cost $73. You would then have an as-new mechanical camera for a little over $100 that should last, oh, 45 years or so before another CLA ...