I know this is a old arguement, and one that divides rangefinder and SLR users...
But what is YOUR favorite 35mm camera, and why?
I'll start - and I have 2 different ones ....for very different reasons..
Minolta SRT series.
My first "real" camera was a SRT100X. After many years I picked one up again, and fell in love with it again.
Yes, the viewfinder is dim, but the match needle works great, I can see all the viewifnder with glasses on, and all of the 5 or 6 different SR and SRT's models I own all work correctly. Plus I love the fact you can pick up lenses for them at bargain prices....
The second one - from the standpoint of a working photographer who used them professionally for over 10 years - is the Canon New F1.
- build quality - you can use them to whack a tent peg in if you can't find a hammer. You can use them in pouring rain and they stay working. And if you drop them they tend to dent things..
- they work with or without a battery. Sure, without a battery you only get 1/60th to 1/2000 & Bulb, but that covers most situations.
- they have an easy to use match needle system, plus offer built in Aperture priority (you can use aperture priority with a standard prism, but you can only see what shutter speed you are getting with a AE Prism). And if you add a power winder or motor drive you get shutter priority too..
- interchangable prisms, including the revolving speed finder. These are a bit odd to use - sort of like looking down a tunnel, but with glasses I could see the complete screen, with splenty to spare
- interchangable screens. Want to change metering pattern - change the screen. Maybe not as convenient as on a F4 or T90, but how often do you really change metering methods? Much handier was the ability to change to a grid screen (for copy work - to make sure you had everything set up square to your subject), or one of the special screens for use with slow lenses..
- Canon lenses. Yes - FD and New FD were breech mount, but once you got used to changing lenses you could easily do it one handed, and there were some great lenses. I was lucky enough to have owned a few of them ranging from a 14mm to a 500mm, and aside from the 500mm mirror and the 2 macro lenses they were all f2.8 or faster :-)
- built to last....I had some ex press bodies that looked like cr#p, lots of brass and dents, but they all worked as advertised...
So there you have mine...I'm curious to see what others think