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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Fair enough. My point is simply that older is not axiomatically better. I've got low-mileage FE, F3, F90x and F100 bodies I trust that were bought as NOS or from original owners.
    Great... but I'll go one step further than you do. Anyone who buys old stuff and then gets cheap about having it overhauled is foolish, even if it is NOS or from original owner. Old stuff is still old and needs to be maintained if one wants reliability.

  2. #42

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    If cost was not a consideration, I would suggest an M series. To most, these things look like toys; folks generally ignore you when you are out shooting, irrespective of where you are. However, since cost is an important consideration, an additional vote here for a Nikon FM/FM2/FE/FE2 with either a 28mm or 35mm Nikkor. And again, opt for a chrome body if possible. A final word: Comportment. Dress down when shooting on the street: blue jeans, old sneakers, shirts/sweaters/jackets sans labels, no sunglasses (i.e. look to "blend in," not make a fashion statement). Be aware of your surroundings and DO NOT SHOW FEAR (pigs, crooks, thieves, junkies and other assorted members of the underclass can smell fear and will act accordingly...). Happy shooting!

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Give it a rest. Mechanical cameras aren't immune to breaking, jamming, and otherwise failing suddenly. If I want reliability for a project, I won't be asking to borrow an elderly SRT 101 or Spotmatic for fear that something 40-50 years younger and electronic just might possibly fail. I also won't be losing any sleep over a possibility that remote.

    No camera is totally immune to breaking or jamming, but on the balance of probabilities, I'd back my 40 year old Nikon F, or my slightly "younger" FM2n's against the latest electronic stuff anytime.

    A further point. some years ago whilst covering a violent demonstration that turned into a full scale riot, it became necessary to defend myself. My all metal Nikon FM2 with MD12 motordrive attached, made rather a mess of the attacking rioter's face with just one swing, yet still continued working afterwards....a testament to the solidity of Nikon engineering in the 1970's-80's........If I found myself in the same situation again, I wouldn't feel half so confident that the current crop of complicated electronic wonders would come through a similar situation completely unscathed.

  4. #44

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    I second the notion for dressing inconspicuously. My usual wardrobe is a ball cap, sunglasses (I have to wear them, outside), untucked, low-key solid or flannel shirt over a t-shirt, khaki cargo pants, and comfortable hiking shoes...basic clothing in my neck of the woods. I wear a black jacket with a very small logo when it gets cold. I am noticed the least with a smaller or silver camera...the Nikon F is basically unnoticed, and the Rollei 35 is invisible. However, due to another important aspect - MOVEMENT - I can carry my big Pentax with little notice. Movement can't be underestimated...if you stand around looking like you're doing something out-of-the-norm (which you are, when photographing) then people will notice you. Blend with the crowd; find your image in advance, compose as you approach, and trip the shutter as quickly as possible with as little fuss as possible. Then move away. Do this properly, and you're a ghost.

  5. #45

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    find and use a yashica T4
    you will be using a p/s camera
    but it will be worth the $,
    fit in your pocket, has good optics
    has a good built in meter and flash
    and has a viewer so you can look down, instead
    of through the lens ... i wish ours still worked ...

  6. #46
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    No camera is totally immune to breaking or jamming, but on the balance of probabilities, I'd back my 40 year old Nikon F, or my slightly "younger" FM2n's against the latest electronic stuff anytime.

    A further point. some years ago whilst covering a violent demonstration that turned into a full scale riot, it became necessary to defend myself. My all metal Nikon FM2 with MD12 motordrive attached, made rather a mess of the attacking rioter's face with just one swing, yet still continued working afterwards....a testament to the solidity of Nikon engineering in the 1970's-80's........If I found myself in the same situation again, I wouldn't feel half so confident that the current crop of complicated electronic wonders would come through a similar situation completely unscathed.
    Cheer up. If you'd been packing an F3+MD4, you'd probably still be in the slammer. The F4 and F5 weren't exactly petite.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Cheer up. If you'd been packing an F3+MD4, you'd probably still be in the slammer. The F4 and F5 weren't exactly petite.

    Probably, but if I'd had the rather flimsy AF 35mm f2 attached to a D300, instead of the older all metal manual 35mm lens + FM2 & drive, I doubt it would have survived.

  8. #48

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    I apologise for not replying sooner, but my internet was out for most of the day! Plus the website kept telling me I had to wait 20 seconds before I could post again

    Thanks for the suggestions and tips!

    This project is just getting some establishing shots from various places for a short documentary (strictly personal) I'm doing, which focuses on crime ... hence my paranoia. I live in the Caribbean, so I'm not really able to rent or borrow any gear.

    As I mentioned, probably nothing would happen, but I just rather not attract any unnecessary attention, and people do get robbed often for cellphones and cameras. Ultimately, my strategy is to just be straight up with my intentions if confronted, and not hide the fact that I'm trying to take photos. But, I'm also not particularly interested in taking photos of individuals, just wider scenes showing how people make a living, the condition of public infrastructure, that kind of stuff (but, I still want to be able to take each image as quickly as possible). I will exercise all the necessary precautions before going out to shoot so thanks for all the advice in that regards!

    Also, I'm not pro-digital or pro-film ... I like them both, and I use them both (not so much film and darkroom but I want to get more into it).

    One question: All the cameras being recommended seem to have pretty basic meters compared to modern SLR cameras (the Minolta XD-11 seems barely ok from reading the user manual), such as a led turning green, or disappearing +/- signs, or needles (!). I know the idea is to zero your meter off something close to 18% grey in the same lighting condition as your subject, but when using my dslr, I typically look at the scene and use my spot meter to meter off skin tones (when doing a portrait) or a highlight I don't want clipped (under most normal contrast lighting situations), and use the exposure bar to set my exposure to say -3 for black with detail or +3 for white with detail. Given that these film slr cameras don't tell you how much you are over/underexposed by (for 18% grey), is it fair to assume that I can't use this approach, or am I missing something?

    For me, it seems like the fastest way of working, and based on what I normally shoot, I've never really had any issues and its served me well. I don't claim to be an exposure guru, so any advice (please no flame wars!) would be nice, and ultimately, good exposures and good focus are my primary concern as we all know that film is rather expensive, especially if you have to import it yourself!

  9. #49
    John Austin's Avatar
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    Just get a Kalashnikon

    This violence stuff has gone on too long on this thread - The best advice was to look so invisible as to be harmless, to which I add fast feet and faster thinking - Someone may already have said this, but the thread is getting boring with everyone pushing their own favourite camera - I won't go down this track except to say there are a lot of cheap cameras out there so pick something you feel comfortable with

    Forget your Kalashnikon thread - (I love my old Nikon Fs, but I now use them with care, they are old)



    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    Probably, but if I'd had the rather flimsy AF 35mm f2 attached to a D300, instead of the older all metal manual 35mm lens + FM2 & drive, I doubt it would have survived.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by laroygreen View Post
    One question: All the cameras being recommended seem to have pretty basic meters compared to modern SLR cameras (the Minolta XD-11 seems barely ok from reading the user manual), such as a led turning green, or disappearing +/- signs, or needles (!). I know the idea is to zero your meter off something close to 18% grey in the same lighting condition as your subject, but when using my dslr, I typically look at the scene and use my spot meter to meter off skin tones (when doing a portrait) or a highlight I don't want clipped (under most normal contrast lighting situations), and use the exposure bar to set my exposure to say -3 for black with detail or +3 for white with detail. Given that these film slr cameras don't tell you how much you are over/underexposed by (for 18% grey), is it fair to assume that I can't use this approach, or am I missing something?

    For me, it seems like the fastest way of working, and based on what I normally shoot, I've never really had any issues and its served me well. I don't claim to be an exposure guru, so any advice (please no flame wars!) would be nice, and ultimately, good exposures and good focus are my primary concern as we all know that film is rather expensive, especially if you have to import it yourself!
    If you prefer spot metering then the Olympus OM-2s and OM-4 have it.

    If you use negative film, most of them have so much latitude you will be hard pressed to clip it even if you try. B&W film the same if not even more. Slide film more like digital in latitude. However, keep in mind that Steve McCurry shot the Afghan Girl photo on Kodachrome (narrow latitude slide) using only an averaging meter in an FM2. Rest assured people have been properly exposing narrow latitude slide film since the 50's so it can be done without much technical assistance.

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