Thanks guys, and apologies for not returning sooner. In practice I think it's going to boil down to what my local camera shop has at the point where I have some spare cash over the next month or so. The guesses on my budget were about right though - £50-£100 ideally though if there'd been a huge consensus on £150 getting me something outstanding I would've stretched to it!
I'd give some serious thought to getting a camera from the well-known auction site. In my experience prices are hugely lower than from UK camera shops. Obviously you don't get much in the way of redress if something goes wrong, though.
FWIW, I've never had a camera arrive non-working although I have had a couple with bad light seals (easy to replace) or misaligned rangefinders (also easy to fix).
I'm with mcgrattan. Ebay something. They are so cheap.. I have had two bad cameras out of about 50 to 60 camera/lens transactions. One was a Zeiss range finder that was sheer junk. He took it back. The other was on some 2 1/4 point and shoots from Great Britain. Guy threw the three camera in a paper/fiber sack and shipped them across the big pond. He eventually refunded my money when I sent him photos of what was left of the cameras.
My recommendation is either a Zorki 2 or 3 with the aforementioned 85mm lens or, daring as it sounds... a 2 1/4 TLR. Either get a fixed lens Yashica or... A Mamiya C series with a 135 or longer lens. As Borat would say.... Naaahse.
You should be able to pick one of them up in good shape of the Bay for 100 pounds. You would be amazed what I bought a Mamiya RB67 SLR for with three backs, 90mm lens, handle grip, case, etc... It wasn't more than 150 L , I can tell you that.
tim in san jose
Last edited by k_jupiter; 04-07-2007 at 12:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: miss spelling
The 85mm is the best protrait lens that I have used. Next is the quality of the glass (manufacturer) and then affordability. The lens is not much longer than a 50mm. It works well with one person. The 50mm is better for two people and the 35mm for three. That's a rule of thumb I read somewhere.
The Nikkor 105/2.5 is an excellent lens. It is very sharp and useful for portraits and many landscapes. An older nikkormat ftn or Nikon F2 should easily be found to to support it.
That 105/2.5 is perhaps the best lens I have ever used. I only have 2 lens for my FM2. The 105 and a 35/2.5. In 16 years, haven't felt the need for anything else. (Of course, there are thirty five other cameras in multitudes of formats that take up the slack) But, when I know I need the shot, the Nikon is still the one.