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View Poll Results: Which 35mm combo would you choose ?
Contax G1 + 28 + 45 45 19.23%
Leica R4S + Elmarit 28 + Summicron 50 15 6.41%
Nikon F3 + 28 AIS + 50 1.4 AIS 146 62.39%
Contax RTSII + 28 Dist + 50 Planar 1.7 28 11.97%
Voters: 234. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-17-2015   #41
leicapixie
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Regarding the opinion Nikon lenses are only good at certain f-stops, ???
I recently purchase Steve McCurry large books.
All large prints, all Nikon.
Stunning sharpness.
The choice of most pros, as is Canon.
The Canon EOS system would blend nicely with a Canon film SLR.
I know not in your selection..
Portraits and no classic portrait lens..
The Nikkor 105mm f2.5 is a serious lens.
I have used Nikon since 1971.
I still use my "F"'s.

The most important part of selection is "how a camera and system" fit you.
The size, weight, handling and of course focusing.

I love my Leica-M because of all of the above.
Tired, fatigued, hours of work, the RF has a BIG place.

Ya gotta try them out, whichever..
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Old 03-17-2015   #42
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Not trying to provoke or something, but what would speak (apart from the weight) against some of the "less in" and thus less expensuve 645 SLRs like Bronica or Mamiya or even Bronifa RF645? Would certainly give you IQ advantage over any of the 35mm cameras mentioned. Just trying to think out of a box filled with great cameras
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Old 03-18-2015   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
Personally, I think more than the body, you should be looking for the best lenses. I can only comment on Contax. I had a Contax 139Q that I worked pretty hard until it died on me. I can't attribute that to any Contac unreliability as it was right after a house fire and house fires wreak havoc on electronics. But the 50mm f/1.4 is a superb lens. I currently have a Contax 167mt, which actually seems to fit my hands better than the 139Q, and isn't as heavy as one might suspect with its motor drive. But if you decide to go for a lens line, your next problem will be ensuring you get one that is still good. My two Contax 50mm lenses have held up well. But so have all my Fujinon lenses.

I am surprised that you would want to use 35mm for portraiture, especially since you only want 28mm and 50mm. I know you can use any lens for anything, but some are pretty well acknowledged to work better for different things. Above suggestions for a longer lens for portraiture are at least worth considering imho. I would also wonder why you would not want a MF for both landscapes and portraits. What do you use now?

But that said, I have used 35mm cameras for everything you can imagine at different times myself. Not knowing your style or clients, I have to guess you know very well what you are doing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matus View Post
Not trying to provoke or something, but what would speak (apart from the weight) against some of the "less in" and thus less expensuve 645 SLRs like Bronica or Mamiya or even Bronifa RF645? Would certainly give you IQ advantage over any of the 35mm cameras mentioned. Just trying to think out of a box filled with great cameras
Thanks for the tips, but I got portraiture covered with the Pentax 645N and Pentax 67.

I need the 35mm setup just for documentary work and some environmental portraits.
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Old 03-18-2015   #44
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I voted for the RTS prior to realizing that you listed the II and not III. Reading on my phone and old eyes on this end.
I believe that the RTSIII vacuum system, large bright viewfinder and the Zeiss lenses give the edge to this setup. This camera is built like a brick but is a joy to use. I sent mine back to Japan for CLA and for little money it returned to me like new. They even replaced a fully functioning lcd screen. Do not get the Aria. I own 5 Contax SLRs and the Aria is my most troublesome one and not the same quality as other Contax models. The Contax G system is great, but not for your use. My G2 system is wonderful, but the RTS is so much more flexible. Again, the RTSIII really does hold the film flatter.
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Old 03-18-2015   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleearth View Post
Thanks for the tips, but I got portraiture covered with the Pentax 645N and Pentax 67.

I need the 35mm setup just for documentary work and some environmental portraits.
I see. In that case I would probably go with Contax SLR (I would choose Aria though) and Zeiss lenses. Contax G2 is a jewel but I would probably not get one for portraits as I would like to see the DOF I am getting and frame more exactly.

EDIT: Apparently I can not read 3 lines in one piece. Sorry. For environmental portraiture the G2 should be fine I guess.
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Old 03-18-2015   #46
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F3 is hands down a much better camera than the F2.
F2 is not quite as reliable as you may think, and as a mechanical camera, its not really good. Just take the F3 and the F2 to really cold places and you will see. The F2 shutters will jam, and the F3 will keep on working. Quite counter intuitive, but tried and true.
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Old 03-26-2015   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleearth View Post
I need the 35mm setup just for documentary work and some environmental portraits.
Chicago photographer Chuck Jines primarily uses a 28mm Nikon lens on a 35mm Nikon SLR for urban environmental portraits and social documentary work.

Check out his galleries at: http://www.chuckjines.com/galleries/


https://flic.kr/p/nGdyQA
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Old 03-31-2015   #48
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I just got back from a week long trip to Costa Rica. Every time I thought about bringing my M3 and 50 1.4 asph, I cringed at the notion of something happening to a setup that would take 4K to replace, salt spray, theft, etc.

So I shelved the idea of the M3/50 and decided to bring my FM3A with a 28/2, 50/1.8 & 105/2.5 in AIS. To make it more of an interesting trip by adding a second film option, I pulled an F3HP into active duty. I ordered a set of black Griptac covering for each body and got it applied to both of them before the trip.

With Tmax 400 pushed to 800 in the F3 and HIE in the FM3A, I set out for Costa Rica. I managed to get my film hand checked the entire time, not one scan, hard to believe but happy. In short, this kit just rocked, would have ran about 1/4 the cost of the M3/50 to replace and overall, far more capable. Other than the loud shutters, using the Nikon's made me wonder why I even bother with Leica at all.
The F3 is one of the best Nikon bargains out there, tied with the F100 and a few other bodies. The only downside is that unlike the FM3A ( my fave ) you are down to 1/80th of a second if the batteries go but it is very good on batteries so that is not a big issue. As far as my lens selection goes, it’s pretty much where I want to be at with Nikon manual glass after decades of using it, the 28/2 is beautiful and focuses very close, has close range correction. The tiny 50mm 1.8 is hard to beat at less than $100 and the 105mm 2.5 might just represent the biggest bargain in lenses for any format, it is flat out legendary, perfectly sharp wide open. My 2-pence...

Attached are a few shots, patterns in the sand with the 50mm, Howler monkey with the 105mm & wild horse selfie with the 105mm.
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Old 10-12-2015   #49
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Nikon (insert your favorite manual film body of choice)
28/2 AI
50/1.2 AI-S

Nothing at all wrong with either those lenses at large apertures either. I have great shots with each at all aperatures. And yes, you should add a 105/2.5 AI or AI-S to the kit. I prefer the curved aperture blades of the AI, but the hood of the AI-S. I ended up keeping the AI-S to keep my kit small, but you can't go wrong with either one.

Great kit, and a fun complement to any MF or Leica M system.
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Old 10-12-2015   #50
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Red face

Well, for durability and not having to worry about dropping a Leica (expensive replacement value), both Sherry and I have Nikon F's as a disposable camera. However, I have been using a Leica R6.2 with 28/50/135 lens for the last couple years.

I would say Nikon but my heart says Leica R.
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Old 10-13-2015   #51
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My film SLR system is Nikon now, with F plain prism and F6 bodies. The F3 was my favorite until I got the F6. In 28 and 50mm, I love the Nikkor 28/2 AI and Nikkor 50/1.2 AI-S. Superb quality and imaging with both of them.

Easy transit to a Digital body too .. The D750 works brilliantly with both the same lenses.

My emotional favorite, though, is a Leicaflex SL with Elmarit-R 19/2.8 v1, Summilux-R 50/1.4, and Summicron-R 90/2. That's just about the perfect film SLR body in my hands, and I can't say enough for the beauty its lenses produce.

Of course, an M system is no slouch either. You'll want an M4-P or later for 28mm frame lines, preferably with .58x viewfinder or an accessory optical finder if you wear glasses.

G
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Old 08-27-2016   #52
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Contax G lenses in 28mm biogion and 45mm planar are seriously superb. A 50mm nikkor isn't even on the same planet as that contax 45mm. Likewise the 28mm biogon is just stupidly good. I would be basing my decision of this personally.

Otherwise, the nikon f3 is a wonderful camera.
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Old 08-28-2016   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
Contax G lenses in 28mm biogion and 45mm planar are seriously superb. A 50mm nikkor isn't even on the same planet as that contax 45mm. Likewise the 28mm biogon is just stupidly good. I would be basing my decision of this personally.

Otherwise, the nikon f3 is a wonderful camera.
Thread nearly a year old.
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Old 08-29-2016   #54
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Voted F3, but i'd recommend the following lenses:
24/2.8 AIS (amazing for landscape)
50/1.2 AIS (amazing for portraits)
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Old 08-30-2016   #55
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Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
my heart says Leica R.
ditto, definitely
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Old 11-06-2016   #56
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I prefer something more humble. How about a Canon FT, with a range of FL and FD lenses.
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Old 11-06-2016   #57
Robert Lai
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F3 is hands down a much better camera than the F2.
F2 is not quite as reliable as you may think, and as a mechanical camera, its not really good. Just take the F3 and the F2 to really cold places and you will see. The F2 shutters will jam, and the F3 will keep on working. Quite counter intuitive, but tried and true.
Having owned an F3 for 28 years (brief hiatus when I sold my old F3, but I have another one now), as well as a shorter experience with and F and a couple of F2, I have to dispute this statement.

I've tried shooting the F3 in Canada and in Upstate NY during winter, and it is not a good experience. The battery will fail with freezing weather, and then you're stuck to the limited 1/80 mechanical speed. Nikon did make a battery chamber with a long cable for this situation. You keep the battery chamber in your inside pocket to keep it warm, and the cable feeds power to the camera. But, c'mon! The only way to make an F3 work reliably in the cold is to use the MD-4 motor, and then use the NiCd battery pack. Then you're good until about -20C when the NiCd gives out. The shutter on the F3 is very reliable in its own right.

Now, my F and F2 have been overhauled by Sover Wong, and they can perform in any weather. Don't evaluate a 40 year old camera with 40 year old dried grease and oil and say that the shutter is no good in the cold. Properly serviced, and with modern synthetic oils, these shutters work great anytime. The F2 shutter requires that you don't keep it wound overnight. The manual warns you against it. They may lose their accuracy if you do. Sover adjusts F2 shutters to within 1/4 stop accuracy. He gives you a spreadsheet with your exact shutter speeds for your camera before and after servicing. A mechanical shutter that can be adjusted to such tight tolerances and maintain it, has to be a good design.
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Old 11-06-2016   #58
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The FT requires stop down metering. I suggest moving up to the FTb or F1. Canon FD lenses are fantastic, and inexpensive as they are "orphaned". I picked up the 50 1.2 L, 85 1.2L FD lenses from a fellow RFFer (Timmyjoe) here, and they are really fantastic.
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Old 11-06-2016   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
The FT requires stop down metering. I suggest moving up to the FTb or F1. Canon FD lenses are fantastic, and inexpensive as they are "orphaned". I picked up the 50 1.2 L, 85 1.2L FD lenses from a fellow RFFer (Timmyjoe) here, and they are really fantastic.
I don't mind stop down metering.
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Old 11-06-2016   #60
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I also vote Nikon- ZF glass from Zeiss is available and the bodies are more reliable than anything from Kyocera
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Old 11-06-2016   #61
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These bodies are all kind of old these days, if reliable is a priority I'd say have three bodies and the lenses. The G is pretty noisy for portraiture. I guess I'd say the Nikon, but none of these bodies would be near my first choice. FM3A?

I agree with Godfrey, the 28/2 is the choice for Nikon 28mm. The 1.2 or an early 1.4 would be a great fit for portraits.
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Old 11-06-2016   #62
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Curiously, no Canon. The F1 series are great cameras. I have an EF. Built like a tank.
From Wikipedia: "The EF was built as an electronic version of Canon's top-of-the line F-1 camera. Because of this, the EF shares the F-1's rugged construction and tough metal body. Unlike the F-1, the EF does not support any motor drive for film transport. Neither does it provide any interchangeable viewfinder."
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Old 11-10-2016   #63
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I don't have personal experience or a horse in this race, but I chose the F3. The G is great and the lenses are supposedly amazing, but I think the F3 would be what I go for for the reliability issues.

My Personal choice for a small two-lens system like this, would be a Pentax LX with the SMC or SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2 and 50/1.4 or 1.2. If you want something smaller and a bit more special, you can combine an LX with the much svelter and sharper FA 31mm 1.8 Limited and 43mm 1.9 limited lenses. The FA's and their auto aperture and AF are wasted on an LX, but if you want an AF or Digital body as a compliment they'd support it.
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Old 11-10-2016   #64
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I started this thread.
End up buying a Spotmatic with a 28mm and a 55mm. Invested the rest of the money on a 645.
I'm still shooting the Spotmatic, viewfinder is a bit dim and the 55mm is nothing special, but it's very reliable.
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Old 11-11-2016   #65
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Quote:
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I started this thread.
End up buying a Spotmatic with a 28mm and a 55mm. Invested the rest of the money on a 645.
I'm still shooting the Spotmatic, viewfinder is a bit dim and the 55mm is nothing special, but it's very reliable.
That's quite a bit off the mark, but a fine setup.

I would consider dumping the 55 for the superb and inexpensive 8-element Super-Takumar or SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4, if you really aren't happy with it.
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Old 11-16-2016   #66
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The R4S is a wonderful camera (one of the best SLR ever built IMHO), but unfortunately the electronics is rather unreliable and there are no spare parts to repair it.

I'd say go with the F3 and the AI-S lenses, which are fantastic. I'd actually go with an FM2, but that's just me. Just don't expect a soft shutter as on a Leica M or even R, but more of a loud metallic CLONK that will people turn their heads in your direction.

If I'd go back to film SLRs, I'd actually get an Olympus OM-1, an all-mechanical, lightweight and small SLR -- one of the most iconic SLRs ever built.

Edit: just realized that the OP already made up his mind
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Old 11-16-2016   #67
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My personal experience with f2 and larger aperture lenses is that the largest aperture is not really the sharpest setting. I generally find the Bokeh is great, but you don't get sharp until the second, and sometimes the third aperture.

That may be OK, but I am often surprised when the largest aperture below 50mm focal length lenses is the sharpest on the lens.

However, one can always throw money at the problem for a solutions --- big bucks and very caring selection, with personal trial... never without.
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Old 11-16-2016   #68
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If you're shooing portraits w/ a 35mm camera, especially if you're shooting head shots, you really need a 90 lens or thereabouts due to distortions w/ a 50 lens when used close up. A 105-135 is even better for older folks (makes the nose look smaller).
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Old 11-20-2016   #69
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Seems to me like odd choices of systems. Me, i'd take a Leica M with a 35 & 50 or 28 & 50 anytime. The Zeiss glass is great but i was never sold on the autofocus bodies....or their longterm reliability
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Old 01-03-2017   #70
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Contax G1 or G2 for their wonderful lens
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