I love my F5 but am disappointed that I will have to sell it. It is just to heavy for my sore joints these days.
As am I. You'll never really know until you use one; as I pointed out anent the Kiev. But, do some due diligence first!
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
So long as you buy one at a realistic price, it's like free tuition. When I got my 8x10 - a Deardorff - I had no opportunity to see or handle one but I did have access to a 4x5 Special which led me to believe the V8 was for me. It was and is.
The pile of broken Nikon N2000s I got off ebay- Something with a Nikon mount, with full manual controls, small (unlike the later AF Nikons), has a real focusing screen- what more could I want? Took me 3 dead ones to get to a working one... Also, the N2020's AF is a novelty "it can focus by itself, coool! Okay, lets get back to work..." ::turns AF off::
Also, the dead N8008 I got (I just can't win...)
I agree with the comments about Rolleiflex SLR products (SL66 stories)
My dad picked up a pair of SL35Es NOS in the 90s - both DOA
SL35s eat their winding system
SLXs are just unreliable
But their lenses are soooooo nice
Olympus OM. I had a OM1. Yes it is small, light, looks cool and I like the shutter ring. I had a 50/1.8 which was sharp but bland, a 135/3.5 that was sharp but just as bland in rendering, a 35/2 that was unusable wide open and a 28/2 that flared real bad and wasn't even sharp (probably was a dud). The only lens I actually liked was a 35/2.8. But the dark standard focus screen didn't make it nice to use. I also had a OM-4Ti. Never felt right.
So I swapped both for a FM2n. Which I then sold for a EOS 3. Which looks, weight an sounds like a pig but is actually really ergonomic and fast to use. Doesn't look as cool as FM2n with a Zeiss 50 though.
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Some surprising responses here - such as the M3 and F4, which are two of my favorites. I held off on getting an F4 for so long (because it was an AF camera and all my cameras were MF). Then, on a total lark, I discovered how much fun a Rebel G was. So, that changed everything. I love the controls on the F4: the last Nikon pro body to have all of its settings done entirely by manual knobs and switches. Until the Df, it was also the body best capable of using all the lens types, from NAI to the latest AF-S and G (with some caveats).
None of what I have has been a disappointment. But, before my first serious camera, I came across a ... I hate calling it a camera... I came across a *thing*. I absolutely hate and loathe it. If you were to give me one, I'd throw it in a dumpster - a dumpster far from my house because I don't want it near me. What is it? It's a horrible, monstrous, concoction called...
Argus C-3 <shudder>.
It feels worse than a brick, it's physically painful to focus, and its "viewfinder" is an insult to photographers.
Nikon: F, F2 x3, F2S x2, F3/T x2, F4S x2, FM, FM3a, D700
Canon: AE-1P, RebelG x2, Elan 7NE, QL17GIII, Canonet 28
Leica: M3 x2, M6 x2
Exakta: VX x3
Hasselblad: 500C/M, 501C, SWC, 553ELX
Mamiya: RB67 Pro S x2
Fuji: GW690III, X-Pro1
Polaroid: SX-70, SLR 690, Image 1200
Other: Pentax SP500, Ricoh GR1, Voigtländer Bessamatic, Minolta Maxxum 7, Graflex Pacemaker 4x5
Lenses: way too many to list
No matter what the camera someone doesn't like it and conversely just about all cameras have their fans.
I don't know anyone into Argus C-3's though.
This is going to be surprising like Theo's post but... my answer is the Nikon F3. All this hype and everything. Used it for a while. Then I got a "new" one and suddenly the shutter started to have issues at 1/2000 of a second... right where I'm shooting O_o. Nearly destroyed a wedding. Thankfully I was shooting a few other cameras that day.
I've since sworn off the Nikon F3 and am looking to sell them! (I have 2). The Nikon F4 has been a tank but it's mainly a back-up for now.
I used a Leica 3f for several years beginning around 1960. Hard to load, two tiny pin-sized holes to squint through to focus and compose, a 50mm f 2 lens Leitz lens that was fuzzy. I had a 90mm Elmar for it that was very nice, though. I got rid of the thing and got my hands on an M2R which is light years ahead of the 3f. I consider the 3f a toy camera.
I used a Leica iiif from 1953 until it got bashed in ten years later, and loved it. Its original 50mm f/3,5 Elmar wasn't as satisfying as a Minolta 50mm f/2.8 and faster Nikon lenses. However, the compact size was valuable, even though it made a tiny viewfinder necessary. The bottom film loading was no great problem until film makers shortened the tongue on the film leader. Even then, there was a simple work-around for that. The iiif was the culmination of compact focal plane rf cameras. It was like a surgeon's scalpel compared to the machete-like M series. The versatile viewfinder/rangefinder and faster film loading of the Leica M series sacrificed the really pocketable size of the earlier models. As for Leica's 50mm f/2 lenses, they accounted for maybe half of my photographs over several decades. They served quite well. Occasionally an inferior 50mm f/1.4 Canon lens was necessary for indoor sports. Longer and shorter Leica lenses also never let me down.