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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 05-27-2014   #41
shimokita
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Nikon FM3A...
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Old 05-27-2014   #42
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Leica for RF, Nikon for SLR. It's only my opinion.
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Old 05-27-2014   #43
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I just bought an FG and I have to agree. FG with the 50mm Series E is a compact and light combination. The only lighter SLR combo I can think of is perhaps the Canon T60 with a 50mm f/1.8. A Rebel G with 50mm would be pretty featherweight as well and adds autofocus.

However, light and compact isn't everything. The Pentax ME Super and Olympus OM series are nicer feeling cameras to shoot because of those large viewfinders.
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Old 05-27-2014   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
With Respect Godfrey. I believe quite firmly street photography was much more interesting in the earlier part of this century...prior to the existence of af do all slr's and PS cameras.
Had AF existed in the 40's-60's in a readily available form.... we would see some great works from those cameras.
That's my view. Maybe the view of others.
I love mechanical cameras but, I think the romantic aesthetic comes from a coincidence rather than a reality. Old technology cameras don't make more nostalgic photos IMO
You're welcome to your opinion. I'll state mine too.

Street photography is all about seeing situations, interactions, and timing, not speed. It's about responsiveness with respect to the equipment. Nothing focuses as responsively as a manual lens set to cover the appropriate DoF for the subject matter ... It doesn't have to do anything at all, so is always ready. Street and situational photography from the equipment point of view is a matter of responsiveness supporting a photographer's timing rather than automation being fast enough to enable picture taking.

Good street photographers generally have one chance, one moment, for a given situation. They don't need a bazillion shots or change distance radically from shot to shot; they need to focus on the subject matter in the zone and keep their eyes open, not fixed to the back of a camera watching focus, meters, histograms, et al. Also, ultimate sharpness is not the issue in such photography. Expression—timing— takes precedence.

I never buy antique gear to do street photography. I buy modern, simple, fast gear. Any gear works best for this purpose when you turn off the focus automation, because focus automation causes lags and mis-fires no matter how fast it is. Street photography means setting a focus zone and working within it to me.

That's my opinion; it's based on my experience. Looking at/making the kinds of photos that I find compelling from other photographers, they all fit this model.

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Old 05-27-2014   #45
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I agree. an analogy with a word processing program:if you write a casually billions of billions of words, never write a poetry. if you write a few words with the brain and the heart, may be you reach the result.
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Old 05-27-2014   #46
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I re-read the OP and realized what you asking is really what older compact slr would be reliable - as your previous choices exhibit age issues. That's a real consideration - we all have favorite cameras, whether for functional or nostalgic reasons, but almost any camera that's been around 20-40 years will have some issues. There a a few good technicians out there that can extend the useful life of these another generation, fortunately.

The all-mechanical slr's would seem to get the nod for reliability - but in my experience nearly any make needs CLA at this point, at least - same for those with electronics - and some of those can have reliability issues with their circuitry. Your OM meter issues are common, but the all mech shutter keeps going. Not so, it seems, for the FG. I love the smaller Nikons but have found their shutters often need work at this point - even the FMs and FEs. The FG is a bit smaller and made of more plastic than the former. Same for Pentax - beautiful little machines that like to gum up sitting on a shelf.

In my experience the great $20-$50 Ebay finds out there usually need another $100 or so to put back in like-new functional order - still a bargain.

Here's a realization I had recently - I used to always choose camera that had motor winders, and kept them attached all the time - fast forward 30 years - I hate them and love the silky thumb-wind lever. Somebody mentioned an F3 - none smoother, and you can leave that big motor grinder at home. They are giving them away, in my opinion. My last one looked like it had been run over by a truck but happily kept shooting.
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Old 05-27-2014   #47
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I suggest to pick based on camera size and lens, Stephen.

As an example, I have two cameras like this: Nikon FM to use with Nikkor 50/1.8 or 28/2.8 AIs (both amazing lenses), or one of my OM2 for use with 50/1.2 or 28/2 (for their speed, these lenses are quite small). Most OM-1 bodies have a wonky meter these days. Still, perfectly usable without and the late Zuiko 50/1.8 is cheap and no slouch. And the OM1 is more silent than the FM. Only saying this because the FM literally turns heads when it "clonks".

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Old 05-27-2014   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Surely it would be very hard to go past a good OM-2 ... better metering would be hard to find and the viewfinder has few equals. My faultless OM-2 with 50mm f1.8 Zuiko cost me the grand sum of fifty dollars.
+1. I for a long time shot with an OM-2n and loved it. It's small, wonderful to use, and you can get tons of good glass cheap. And the viewfinder is terrific. Had I not sold my soul to Leica somewhere along the way, that would still be my go-to rig.
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Old 05-27-2014   #49
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Your cost to purchase the camera should not be your primary criteria for a repair or no repair. In fact, you could probably end up with an absolutely awesome camera that will last for a lifetime, for a very low price, even when you include the additional price to service. I don't personally use them but Nikon has an excellent reputation as a very reliable camera and some of the lenses are almost as good as their Pentax counterparts.

However, if all you want is to try out a different camera then take your pick. They are all very good cameras from that era. Pick up several different ones and try them out. Or go visit some local pawnshops and handle the merchandise.

I personally consider my Pentax K1000, Pentax Spotmatic and Minolta SRT102 to be extremely reliable. Of course the Spottie and the Minolta both used mercury batteries that are no longer available. But that is easily addressed by purchasing the correct adaptor from CRIS.
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Old 05-27-2014   #50
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Look for something in Nikon or Olympus, since you already have the systems -- the FM/FM2 or the OM series are obvious choices given build quality and small size.

If small size is what counts, you could also look at the Pentax MX or LX -- sturdy, hardy cameras with wonderful lenses and amazingly small body sizes.
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Old 05-27-2014   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
My FG is the best camera I've ever had, bang for buck, and I carry it more than anything else I have, so I bought a couple more on Ebay. When one goes, I'll move on to the next. For $45, you can't go wrong, and it's cheaper to buy a new one than get an old one fixed.
An excellent camera, but I never recommend it only because it lacks a depth of field preview, which I feel is an essential feature that every SLR should have.
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Old 05-27-2014   #52
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I have a Nikkormat I bought in 1972.

Works great, still!

Only has TTL metering.

f stop and shutter set up by photographer.

Bought the Nikkormat rather than Nikon F as I liked the size and wasn't interested in changing prisms.
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Old 05-27-2014   #53
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The Nikon FM2n would be my choice:
http://www.shootingfilm.net/2013/10/...lm-camera.html

These cameras are light, strong, sturdy, reliable and a joy to use. An FM2n with a 50/1.4 or 35/2 manual focus Nikkor would be hard to beat for a go everywhere SLR.
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Old 05-27-2014   #54
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Talking

SRT101.........built like a tank and equally heavy; no plastic. Owned mine since 1974. Been CLAed once and has outlived four pastic bodied automated digital wonders!
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Old 05-27-2014   #55
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My favorite carry around is a well used and well loved Nikon FE. It just gets out of the way and lets you take pictures.
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Old 05-27-2014   #56
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K1000 or om10
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Old 05-27-2014   #57
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If small and light is a requirement, a leading contender is the Contax Aria (a late Kyocera model). It weighs 460g vs 490g for the FG. The Aria has a plastic exterior, but feels solid as brick. The Tessar 45/2.8 pancake makes a tiny package but one with all the exposure modes: P, Av, Tv, full manual. This is my main film SLR, usually paired with a P50/1.4 or D28/2.8.

Used prices are quite reasonable, but not $27.
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Old 05-27-2014   #58
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Sorry I need a F2 or a M2 or I feel like I am just wasting my time...
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Old 05-27-2014   #59
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Quote:
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Sorry I need a F2 or a M2 or I feel like I am just wasting my time...
No biggie, more nice cameras for the rest of us
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Old 05-27-2014   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico View Post
If small and light is a requirement, a leading contender is the Contax Aria (a late Kyocera model). It weighs 460g vs 490g for the FG. The Aria has a plastic exterior, but feels solid as brick. The Tessar 45/2.8 pancake makes a tiny package but one with all the exposure modes: P, Av, Tv, full manual. This is my main film SLR, usually paired with a P50/1.4 or D28/2.8.

Used prices are quite reasonable, but not $27.
Aria is a wonderful body, but way more than $27.

If you liked your FG, and I like mine, suggest you just get another one.
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Old 05-28-2014   #61
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Minolta X300 is 490g and you can get that one easily for less then $27,-. :-D
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Old 05-28-2014   #62
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Ditto on the wee Pentax variants. The 50mm 1.4 is outstanding. Super bright viewfinder, easy controls. I love mine
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Old 05-31-2014   #63
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Things to consider:
A camera that's working and has been recently serviced;
Can still be serviced;
Or, not be a big waste of money if it stops working and can't be fixed;
Fits your favourite lens/es;
The lens/es adapt to your digital body if you own one;
Has the features you need;
Or, doesn't have features you don't need;
Is enjoyable to use/makes you want to use it;
Light/compact enough to encourage you to carry it everywhere.

Personally, I chose the lens first and the camera second.
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Nikon FM-10
Old 05-31-2014   #64
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Nikon FM-10

I got rid of my Nikon F3 with MD4 as it was just too big and bulky, especially after using my Leica IIIF. Probably the body alone without the motor drive would have been fine, but I was in an equipment selling phase of my life at the time.

I did enjoy the FG while I had it. My shutter then started to taper, and the repair shop said it wasn't worth the effort to fix that shutter.

I have not tried the FE or FM series.

I do have the F and F2 also. They are big, but entirely reliable. But, I don't use them often due to their bigness and weight. I just haven't wanted to sell them yet.

If you want a light weight new "Nikon", there is the FM-10 that Cosina makes for them. All manual, and the batteries power the meter only. I looked at one back in 2006, and the price was about $150 then, if I recall. Now I find that they make you buy a zoom lens along with the body. It has self timer (which locks up the mirror when it runs), and depth of field preview.
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Old 05-31-2014   #65
David Hughes
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Hmmm, why not decide which of the two outfits to keep; meaning Nikon or Olympus?

Then sell the redundant one and improve the other by getting it repaired and buying a back-up body. There's lots of cheap back up bodies, the OM10 to back up the OM1 etc, etc.

Just my 2d worth.

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Old 05-31-2014   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbsinto View Post
An excellent camera, but I never recommend it only because it lacks a depth of field preview, which I feel is an essential feature that every SLR should have.
Actually, it sort of does: press the lens release and back the lens off in the mount a couple of mm and the lens stops down. However, I never trust visual DOF in the finder, so consequently it's not an issue for me, anyway.
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Old 05-31-2014   #67
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I just got a Nikon N80 back from a friend. I loaned it to him years ago and had pretty much forgotten about it. Well, after playing with it these past couple days I am actually really impressed with it. Sure, its not a full metal body, and it doesn't meter with older manual glass. But, it is very light, comfortable and works very well with all my Nikon AF glass. The metering is great, it has a built in flash and it is able to lock AF focus in near darkness. This kind of amazed me. I had always had the AF illumination light turned on, but yesterday I turned it off and I am pretty much unable to stump the AF in very low light. I mean, its a camera from the 90's and its autofocus works much better than my brand new cameras! Oh yeah, its also probably about $30 on the used market.
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Old 05-31-2014   #68
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I bought an FM2n in black from KEH for $125. I'm trying to stay ahead of my shaky hands, and at 1/4000 sec I can shoot tri-x at 5.6 in sunlight. Great camera.
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Old 05-31-2014   #69
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Quote:
I just got a Nikon N80 back from a friend. I loaned it to him years ago and had pretty much forgotten about it. Well, after playing with it these past couple days I am actually really impressed with it. Sure, its not a full metal body, and it doesn't meter with older manual glass. But, it is very light, comfortable and works very well with all my Nikon AF glass. The metering is great, it has a built in flash and it is able to lock AF focus in near darkness. This kind of amazed me. I had always had the AF illumination light turned on, but yesterday I turned it off and I am pretty much unable to stump the AF in very low light. I mean, its a camera from the 90's and its autofocus works much better than my brand new cameras! Oh yeah, its also probably about $30 on the used market.
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I have to agree with this. Great little camera. As I get older, auto focus is becoming an important thing to have on a camera for me
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Old 05-31-2014   #70
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Start with the lens, and then think about the camera. In terms of body alone, for a MF photography, all factors included, it's very difficult to beat a Nikon F3, but it is very easy to beat Nikkor lenses.
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Old 05-31-2014   #71
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Definitely a Pentax MX ( with 50mm. F/1.7 )

My carry-around, SLR for years now— often in a Domke F6 bag with two-chimney insert.
The smaller end compartment holding a Nikon S2 Rangefinder, and the larger, a Pentax MX.

Either both Black & White, or color neg in one. Options, options, options.
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Old 05-31-2014   #72
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Pentax KM or KX. If serviced by Eric Hendrickson though 40 years old it will work like brand new.

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Old 05-31-2014   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
+1

I have to agree with this. Great little camera. As I get older, auto focus is becoming an important thing to have on a camera for me

Me too. My most likely carry camera if a SLR is a Nikon N70. It can use
my manual focus lenses with focus confirmation.
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Old 05-31-2014   #74
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+1

I have to agree with this. Great little camera. As I get older, auto focus is becoming an important thing to have on a camera for me
You know, it makes me want to try out a newer Nikon DSLR like a D610 or 800e just to see if the autofocus is still "on par". What is interesting, I had a Nikon D3 for a work camera for a couple years and I swear it was not as good as the N80 as far as getting a positive AF lock in near darkness....
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Old 05-31-2014   #75
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My favorite carry around is a well used and well loved Nikon FE. It just gets out of the way and lets you take pictures.
agree agree agree
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Old 05-31-2014   #76
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How about Pentax Super Program and DA 40mm f2.8 Limited?
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Old 06-01-2014   #77
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Ah, yeah, the N70 / F70. Probably my most-used film camera (at least in terms of the # of frames shot) even though I don't feel "connected" to it the way I do with the manual-focus Minoltas. I agree, the single-point AF is remarkably accurate and works well in low light (it's rated to EV -1 which is better than the Canon 7D!). The VF is pretty nice for an AF camera. The 3.8fps built-in motor and quite powerful pop-up flash (GN 14m @ ISO 100!) make it a very handy combination, and the batteries last for ages. I went through a stage where I was taking a lot of "record" shots of stuff I was building, stuff I was doing at work, etc., and this thing never let me down. Why they left off the DOF preview I'll never know. The interface sure got a lot of bad press at the time but it's a lot like a DSLR (press a button, turn a wheel, rinse & repeat).

Plus, they are unbelievably cheap nowadays...
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Old 06-01-2014   #78
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My dailies are a Nikon F and F2 both with meter less prisms, one with a 35 and the other a 50. Works for me
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Old 06-14-2014   #79
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Surprised no one mentioned a Leica SLR. I have a R6.2 and love the totally mechanical experience. It is the same size as an M and gives you access to some great Leica R lenses which are pretty cheap these days.

Have Leica M9 and M2 and R6.2. The R6.2 does not see much use but I am thinking of taking it to Europe for 90 days and leaving the M's at home.
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Old 06-14-2014   #80
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@ktmrider, that may be because most of the previously mentioned cameras can be had much cheaper with comparable quality. IMO
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