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  1. #1

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    Looking to add 35mm my bag, but not sure which...

    Hello All! Im currently a MF (Blad) and LF (press style) shooter, and I develope and process all my own work. Im somewhat interested in buying a 35mm film system that would allow me to be a little more portable, and be able to add some faster glass. Being that Im saving up for a Contax645 system, Im not wanting to spend a ton of money (really $400 or less) for a body and lens combo, but Im wanting something of reasonable high quality. I understand that this is asking alot, but I know at least in the MF side, there are several VERY nice rigs that can be easily found for less than $400. I dont have a pref for AF or AE, though both would be nice. My biggest preferance is very sharp and contrasty glass and if its non AF, then a clear bright viewfinder..

    Are there any systems out there that I should look for?

    Thanks for all your help! Ive just switched to all analog, and Ive learned so much from this site!

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    You just opened yourself up to a barrage of peoples "my favorite" so I might as well toss my hat(suggestion)in. Olympus OM-1, 2, 3, or OM-4. Do not look at the double digit or letter versions, and especially run from an OM-2000. The single digit OMs are pro quality and durable as heck. The OM-1 and 3 models are totally mechanical and only utilise batteries for the meter. The even numbered OMs rely on batteries to operate everything. The OM-3 and 4 have what has to be the best built in spot meter of any brand, look for a T or Ti at the end of the model designation for the latest, and most reliable model. The best part is the smallish size of the bodies, and lenses with optics second to none.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  3. #3
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    I will go with Mr. Rick recommendations, though OM-3(Ti) is rather rare and expensive you will find the rest of the line so beautiful and affordable. My personal favorite is OM-1n with 85mm or 100mm Zuiko glass. Since you are shooting with LF, I presume you own a very good spot meter already.

    So, all mechanical and good glass will do. My 2c...
    Last edited by baachitraka; 10-20-2011 at 09:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Agfa Isolette III: Amazingly simple, yet it produces outstanding negatives.
    Holga 120GFN: EV 11 or EV 12.

  4. #4
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    Hello All! Im currently a MF (Blad) and LF (press style) shooter, and I develope and process all my own work. Im somewhat interested in buying a 35mm film system that would allow me to be a little more portable, and be able to add some faster glass. Being that Im saving up for a Contax645 system, Im not wanting to spend a ton of money (really $400 or less) for a body and lens combo, but Im wanting something of reasonable high quality. I understand that this is asking alot, but I know at least in the MF side, there are several VERY nice rigs that can be easily found for less than $400. I dont have a pref for AF or AE, though both would be nice. My biggest preferance is very sharp and contrasty glass and if its non AF, then a clear bright viewfinder..

    Are there any systems out there that I should look for?

    Thanks for all your help! Ive just switched to all analog, and Ive learned so much from this site!
    The late model Nikon AF bodies are worth a look: N90s(cheap); F100(not much more). Bright viewfinders, MF/AF lens compatibility, spot/CW/matrix metering,AA battery-powered. Stick a 50/1.8 AFD lens on either and you're well under budget.

    Unless they're exceedingly low-mileage, I'd steer away from F3s or older--F and F2 bodies are really long in the tooth now and many won't live up to repeated claims of near-immortality. The point is owning a dependable working camera, not a semi-functional holy relic.

  5. #5
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    You just opened yourself up to a barrage of peoples "my favorite"
    True ... so here is another one:

    Nikon F3 + micro nikkor 55mm/f3.5

    cheers,

  6. #6

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    Rick is right about get ready for the flood of answers. I am sitting here though, actually giving this some great thought. First opinion......don't waste your time on 35mm, get your money into your 645 system and be done with it. You will probably come to be greatly dissappointed by the small little negative compared to what you are normally used to.

    Then, I was going to give you the standard Nikon FM, FE, or FA answer but even these cameras are certainly commanding good amount of money these days. So my recommendation really goes out there....N75, N80 or N90. That basically represents the cheapest consumer AF camera to slightly higher cost models. You would get AF and all the bells and whistles and the large choice of manual and AF lenses (don't use G type lenses though). I think I got a new in the box N75 about a year ago for $75. Get yourself a 50mm f1.8 or f1.4 (manual or AF) lens and you would have nice camera. The autofocus will spoil you though......well, maybe not, since you are not exactly doing "action" with your Hassy or you LF equipment, you won't care about it if you are taking pictures of your "normal" non moving objects, but the AF will certainly allow you to start playing around with areas you haven't probably played with....stuff like street photography and the like. Just be clear, 35mm is no substitute for MF or LF photography.

    Love to know what you decide to go with.

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  7. #7
    MDR
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    One of the older Canon manual bodies cheap bodies superfast cheap lenses and some of them quiet small. As a Nikon Shooter I have to say get a Nikkormat ft3 or EL2 indestructable bodies and access to one of the largest lens selections. Canon's fast lenses are cheaper though and just as sharp as Nikon lenses.

    Dominik

  8. #8

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    Thanks everyone for your inputs so far!

    one quick note about the 645 referance. I have a Bronica ETRSI as well for the 634 side, in fact I have just about every format..minus 35mm. Just nothing really portable, and I cant afford a Mamiya 6/7 or anything like that.. so I was looking for something that would be great quality, and allow me fore than 12-15 frames.... and F1.2/ F 1.4 .. Now, if the quality is going to be just a huge let down compared to a 645... then I might need to rethink it...

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    For $400 you should be able to assemble a 'dream' 35mm system.

    For about $175 I got this older long-lasting mechanical/manual focus stuff:
    2 Yashica FX3 bodies
    2 Yashica FX3 Super 2000 bodies
    2 Yashica 28mm f2.8 ML (7 and 8 element)
    1 Yashica 28-80 ML
    1 Yashica 24mm f2.8 ML
    1 Yashica 35mm f2.8 ML
    1 Yashica 50mm f1.4 ML
    1 Yashica 50mm f1.7 ML
    1 Yashica 50mm f2.0 ML

    In another buying spree for $400 I got all late/current electronic auto focus stuff like new:
    Nikon F100
    Nikon F75 & battery grip
    SB28 speedlight
    Nikkor 35mm f2.0 AF & hood
    Nikkor 50mm f1.8 AF & hood
    Nikkor 28-80 AF

  10. #10

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    i was looking for the thread to link to / reference but i can't find it ...
    i believe it was vpwphoto who made a great suggestion in another thread a while ago ...
    ( maybe it was someone else sorry in advance if i misquote whoever it was )
    it had to do with buying a FSU body and leica glass ...
    whoever it was who suggested this, it was a great idea ...

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