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.