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Favorite Underappreciated Under Priced Cameras?
Old 08-14-2016   #1
CameraQuest
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Favorite Underappreciated Under Priced Cameras?

Favorite Underappreciated Under Priced Cameras?

Many Times great camera bargains pass under the radar because they just don't get noticed.

You may of course post as many different bargain cameras as you like.

One under priced favorite of mine is the Canon T90. Strange, I know, for a Nikon / Leica guy to lead off with a Canon.

But it is one hell of a camera offering multiple metering modes, multiple combined spot meterings, sophticated flash, compact high speed motor, on on a FD mount 35mm film body easily capable of adapting M42, Exakta/Topcon or Nikon F lenses. Add to that legendary reliability. Not too bad, even for a Canon!

I bought my 2nd T90, a near Mint body with its fabulous 300TL flash for only $75.

Stephen
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Old 08-14-2016   #2
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I would add the AGFA Ambi Silette as THE RF camera system bargain. On German ebay they usually go for about 30€ with the brilliant 50mm solinar. The camera has a great finder with selectable frame lines for 35/50/90mm. Very underrated!
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Old 08-14-2016   #3
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Another Agfa for me, the Agfa Super Silette/Ansco Super a Memar with the incredible Solagon 50/2 lens. Simple, yet sublime.
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Old 08-14-2016   #4
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I'd add a Olympus XA. I had that camera four times, bought, sold, bought, sold.... I never paid more that about 30€, which is a steal for such a great camera.
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Old 08-14-2016   #5
p.giannakis
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Nikon F90x for me. A semi-pro camera for less than £50.
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Old 08-14-2016   #6
Santtu Määttänen
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I must name Nikon F5. It could last a lifetime for most people. Has all the modern bells and whistles (at least most one would realistically need) and is way cheaper then F6 and can be had for less then good condition F3 (which is over rated in my mind, I personally prefer F2 over F3 and if going more modern, F5 takes the crown). It's said to be too bulky but it's not any larger then modern dSLR pro bodies. Besides it handles the same so makes a nice second body for mixed format shooting.
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Old 08-14-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
Nikon F90x for me. A semi-pro camera for less than £50.
Add the nikon F80. I think both are overshadowed by the F100-F4. I got mine through some classifields with the 28-80 kit zoom which is fairly decent.

There's the DSLR experience similarity, may I say that many who shoot film appreciate a more distant way of shooting by the classic manual cameras.
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Old 08-14-2016   #8
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Smena 8M. Camera.
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Old 08-14-2016   #9
Roger Hicks
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Most Konica RF cameras, especially the III.

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Old 08-14-2016   #10
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Many Topcons, especially the RE Super.

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Old 08-14-2016   #11
Roger Hicks
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Pentax SV, if you can get one in good order. The shutters tend to slow down.

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Old 08-14-2016   #12
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KowaSIX until it breaks (I have one and it ain't broken yet). And other Kowas.

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Old 08-14-2016   #13
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Pentacon 6TL. Usually needs to be serviced before you try it, and thereafter to be wound on carefully (all the way to the end, don't let the lever fly back).

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R.
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Old 08-14-2016   #14
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Nikon FG. Great metering, especially for someone used to meterless Leicas, compact and well made, by current standards. Dirt cheap and reliable.
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Old 08-14-2016   #15
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Zorki-zorki (export Zorki 1) with Industar 22
For about 100 US$ (shipped) you can get one in excellent condition with CLA and replaced shutter.
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Old 08-14-2016   #16
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My choice is the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC. Great quirky camera!

With best regards,

Pfreddee(Stephen)
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Old 08-14-2016   #17
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Nikkormat FT-2. Last one before Nikon went AI. Built like a rock, uses a modern LR-44 battery, and you can use any old non-AI or later lens with it. Add a 50mm and a roll of Tri-X, and you are transported back to the 1970's.
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Old 08-14-2016   #18
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Minolta SRT's. Plentiful and hardly ever expensive. Rokkor lenses are outstanding across the board.
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Old 08-14-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
Nikkormat FT-2. Last one before Nikon went AI. Built like a rock, uses a modern LR-44 battery, and you can use any old non-AI or later lens with it. Add a 50mm and a roll of Tri-X, and you are transported back to the 1970's.
Not really underrated though; just underpriced. Anyone want to buy a couple? It's hardly worth the effort of selling 'em.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-14-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfreddee View Post
My choice is the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC. Great quirky camera!

With best regards,

Pfreddee(Stephen)
Dear Stephen,

Quirky. yes. Great, not so sure: see http://rogerandfrances.eu/photography/basics-1-camera

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-14-2016   #21
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Just came from a camera show/swap/flea market type event. I've always shot the OM system for a long time now and there were probably twenty or thirty OM-1 and 1n bodies there, none priced over $25! Several were from $12 to $15 and working according to my quick look. I was sad I didn't need any more bodies.
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Old 08-14-2016   #22
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I nearly voted for the Pentax Mx but at the end of the day you can pick up Minolta x-700 with a 50mm Rokkor for around £50 on the bay
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Old 08-14-2016   #23
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Yes, Roger, hard to even give away an FT-2. I always liked them, though, keeping a couple around even when I was shooting F's. If I remember correctly, Herbert Keppler was a fan of Nikkormats back in the day.
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Old 08-14-2016   #24
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Honestly in terms of rangefinders i would have to say the canon 7. Okay it isnt that cheap but honestly in terms of bang for buck it is amazing. Unfortunately it was competing against the leica m3 which was its downfall but it has more features than a leica m3 and has a 'normal' loading method.
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Old 08-14-2016   #25
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The orphaned Olympus Evolt system. I can understand why it didn't catch on but, really, what great lenses and camera features throughout the system. I've pretty much retired mine now but I still marvel at the photos I've done with those Zuikos. Camera bodies and lenses have been available for cheap but the supply may be drying up.
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Old 08-14-2016   #26
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Ilford's Black and White disposable camera.
The results should not be that good for $10 new.
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Old 08-14-2016   #27
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Konica C35

Nice, tiny and simple with a lovely lens, and it cost me $5...
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Old 08-14-2016   #28
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Another vote for Nikkormat. Get the model with features you like. They're all cheap.
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Old 08-14-2016   #29
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Yashica FX-2. It's pretty basic, like a Nikkormat, but you can shoot some Carl Zeiss glass with it!

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Old 08-14-2016   #30
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my vote, after about 7 years of casual use, goes to the Pentax 645n. These cameras are underappreciated and underpriced. You will be hard pressed to look through a better finder. Although the eyepoint is not stellar, everything else about this finder is. Want to actually evaluate depth of field and subject separation on the focusing screen? This is a functional SLR. Also, I think one would struggle to find a better arrangement of controls and functions. The lenses are top notch, and the dual portrait-landscape tripod mounting is super handy.

I give my SRT 101 the runner up. While I don't think these are particularly underappreciated, they are vastly undervalued. I paid a premium ¥10,000 for my pristine black paint body and feel like it was a bargain. Compare it to a popular camera like any of Nikons FM or FEs and you will find it head and shoulders above in terms of build and materials. A high watermark for Minolta.

Honorable mention goes to my Olympus Pen S sporting the Zuiko 3cm. In contrast to the SRT these cameras are not undervalued, as clean, good functioning copies still fetch a respectable price, but they are definitely underappreciated as functional shooters. 80 frames a roll with a no-nonsense, ultra compact form factor. The finder and brightlines are brilliant, and the short lens offers enough depth of field to not feel hindered by the lack of rangefinder focusing. Further, the half frames from this camera leave nothing to be desired in terms of image quality for the snap-shot style of shooting this camera excells at.
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Old 08-14-2016   #31
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Fujica ST605n. Small at 133w x 86h x 45d mm, 565g. Takes any and all M42 lenses and ordinary 1.55v SR44 silver cell batteries (2). With a 50mm lens they have 95% coverage of full frame at 0.96x magnification, so you can shoot them with both eyes open. Viewfinder shows analogue meter needle on right, shutter speed selected on left. Stop-down/meter switch is the chrome button under your index finger. Normally about $20 used. I take mine everywhere with a 50 Zebra Pancolar.
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Old 08-14-2016   #32
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Mamaya M645, nice inexpensive work horse of a medium format camera.
I picked up mine used about 8 years ago for $300.

Some of various Fuji-texas-Leica's have come down quite a bit in price, while plasticie, the lenses are stunningly good.
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Old 08-14-2016   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Stephen,

Quirky. yes. Great, not so sure: see http://rogerandfrances.eu/photography/basics-1-camera

Cheers,

R.
Your experience with the Zeiss 35mm SLR cameras accords with mine Roger. Zeiss seemed to unerringly make every wrong move they could possibly make to end up with a camera that had none of the advantages of an SLR. One good point: the Tessar lens on the one I have, when it will work, is really good. Zeiss missed the chance to make the pre-war Contax II into a good solid SLR, which is what Nikon did.
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Old 08-14-2016   #34
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My choice would be the Nikon F. Over 1 million made, tough as nails, huge selection of lenses, simple to fix. So, the Photomic doesn't work, just shoot sunny f16 instead - or if you are lucky, find one with the prism finder. Mint camera are pricey, good users are cheap.
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Old 08-14-2016   #35
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I wouldn't put it in the cheap class (I paid in the $250 range), but the BessaR that I bought from Stephan is my most under-appreciated camera. It has a good meter, synced to 125, a great viewfinder and rangefinder, small enough to take anywhere, uses LTM lenses and I have a Pentax extension tube and LTM to Pentax screw mount adapter that allow my to use my Pentax Super-Takumar 28mm f3.5 and a Zenitar 16mm with scale focus. I think I bought it in 2007 and have used it every month since then.

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Old 08-14-2016   #36
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PrakticaMat. Large at 152h x 100h x 48d mm, 690g. Takes PX625 1.35v battery. With a 50mm lens they have 94% coverage of full frame at 0.92x magnification. Bright viewfinder shows analogue meter needle on right. The stop-down/meter actuating system is switched by that big black button under your right index finger. This is the BEST M42 design ever as it takes no pressure to operate thanks to a very high leverage ratio. The camera's high mass is better for large lenses or slow exposures. Normally comes with an 1.8-50mm Oreston, occasionally a Pancolar or Tessar. I like using mine with 135 Sonnar and Orestor's plus a 4-300 Sonnar from the 1950's that also fits the Panflex system for a Contax RF.
Normally dried lube in shutter brgs. is main fault slowing shutter down. The film gate unscrews from open film chamber allowing direct access to shutter spindles for cleaning/relubing.
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Old 08-14-2016   #37
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The Pentax MZ-5/ZX-5. A dirt cheap (I paid $5) and capable KAF-2 mount SLR with Aperture, Shutter, Manual and Program modes. Takes 2x CR2 3V batteries. Very small and lightweight, similar to an OM1, but plasticky. Takes a huge range of manual or auto Pentax/Takumar lenses. Quiet. Shutter 30sec to 1/2000. The only problem is battery-dependency and the flash pop-up spring often breaks.

Edit: forgot about the ME Super, if you prefer a more traditional camera - better built and great vf.
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Old 08-15-2016   #38
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In medium format that has to be the Mamiya C330 for me. A TLR that has is solid, dependable, easy to load, can do everything from wide(ish) angle to short tele and macro.

In 24x36 my vote goes to the Praktica MTL-3. Very basic but very forgiving and with the M42 mount you have a choice of lenses that just covers anything.
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Old 08-15-2016   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe.
Smena 8M. Camera.
+1
- Cheap - under 10$
- times from B to 1/250s
- no battery, lightmeter or rangefinder
- very light
- Metal and glass lens
- not bad lens
- easy to operate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
Not really underrated though; just underpriced. Anyone want to buy a couple? It's hardly worth the effort of selling 'em.

Cheers,

R.
Really Nikkormats are so cheap? Unfortunately not here.

All the best
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Old 08-15-2016   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
my vote, after about 7 years of casual use, goes to the Pentax 645n. These cameras are underappreciated and underpriced. You will be hard pressed to look through a better finder. Although the eyepoint is not stellar, everything else about this finder is. Want to actually evaluate depth of field and subject separation on the focusing screen? This is a functional SLR. Also, I think one would struggle to find a better arrangement of controls and functions. The lenses are top notch, and the dual portrait-landscape tripod mounting is super handy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmtwit View Post
Mamaya M645, nice inexpensive work horse of a medium format camera.
I picked up mine used about 8 years ago for $300.

Some of various Fuji-texas-Leica's have come down quite a bit in price, while plasticie, the lenses are stunningly good.
645 SLR systems are quite cheap, except some modern iterations and the hyped Contax 645.
The Pentax 645 still didn't creep up heavily in price, back when Rockwell reviewed it (09?) and deemed it as the MF bargain of the time. Then there was the MF DSLR 645 which shares lenses but it seems that it has not affected that much.

I've seen Bronicas and Mamiyas 645 quite cheap.

The Fuji Texas Leicas are rather overlooked and older models (mkIII can be) can be found quite cheap. Large neg, low price. Unfairly compared to the Mamiya 7 and often getting a bad rap for the size (should compare to the Pentax 67) and clingy shutter sound. I'm seeing a lot of interest in the P67 series with the 105mm and I think prices are higher nowadays.
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