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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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We know the M2 is king but what Tom's opinion on SLR's?
Old 02-12-2011   #1
jmooney
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We know the M2 is king but what Tom's opinion on SLR's?

So we all know that the M2 is the king of cameras but sometimes an SLR is the tool at hand for various reasons. So Tom, what are your favorite SLR's? What lenses do you like?

I know that this is all hypothetical because there isn't anything Tom can't do with an M2 and Tri-X So consider this one of those conversations you have over a few pints with photobuddies.

Take care,

Jim
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Old 02-12-2011   #2
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While waiting for Tom to respond, maybe others can?

I have 2 Leica M2's and 2 Nikon F2's. I consider each the epitome of their camera type.
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Old 02-12-2011   #3
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Nikon F6 - possibly the best slr ever made.
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Old 02-12-2011   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
While waiting for Tom to respond, maybe others can?

I have 2 Leica M2's and 2 Nikon F2's. I consider both the epitome of their camera types.
That would be great to hear from others! I always trust the opinion of a person with an M2, they are obviously a smart person with impeccable taste in photo gear.
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Old 02-12-2011   #5
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Ef-toos anytime. My fling with the M2 was very very brief; my M3 only leaves the closet when I'm considering selling it.

Now, your turn to buy the pint...
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Old 02-12-2011   #6
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My guess is that Tom likes the SL2 with his one R lens the APO 100mm Macro.
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Old 02-12-2011   #7
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I believe Tom uses a Nikon F with bellow PB-5 and various lens....


Photo credit: Tuulikki, Tom's spouse
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Old 02-13-2011   #8
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I'm not Tom but you'll have to pry my OMs from my cold dead hands. Not for everyone with their shutter speed around the lens, but if you're shooting an OM2/4 Av mode, I find them great. The finder is the clincher for me.
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Old 02-13-2011   #9
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M's are great and M2's the greatest - but for somethings a SLR works better!
My stash of these are - at the moment. 6 Nikon F's that have various lenses attached to them. Usually used for Macro work.
55f3.5 Micro Nikkor, 105f4 Micro Nikkor, 200f4 Micro Nikkor and the bellows kit with a 135f4 Nikkor Bellows lens. I like the F's as they are simple, rugged and I can use my Nikon Rf cassettes in them.
I also have an old 28f3.5 F lens (chrome barrel), the 55f1.2 (not the Noct though) and a couple of 105f2.5's and a 200f4. Also the 58f1.4 Nokton and the 40f2 Ultron with the small Proxar lens for close-ups.
A Leicaflex SL Mot, black paint - though it is a bit brassy too. 60mm f2.8 Macro Elmarit and 180f3.4 Apo-Telyt.
Bessaflex (Cosina re-make of a Pentax Spotmatic - with a better meter). That one is used for adapting to a microscope or with a Takumar 50mm f4 macro.
Konica Auto-Reflex (full frame/1/2 frame capability) and the Konica 50f1.8 - though most of the time it is used with an adapter that allows me to put Nikon SLR lenses on it. Great for close-up and Macro too.
Only one F2 - strange looking as someone painted it hammertone gray. Good for long exposures as anything above 1/4 sec is non functioning. B and 1 sec works fine though.

There are also two ultra wides for the F's, a 12f5.6 Heliar and a 15f4.5 Heliar and, if I removed it from the S2 - I could put the 21f4 Nikkor on one too,

Two of the F's are designated parts cameras. They still work, but if I ever need parts for my S3's or SP's - they will be raided.

I used to shoot a lot with SLR' Nikon's for work. Mainly F2's and F3's. Great motordrives, good finders and the modular construction allows you to "build" the camera to a specific purpose. The 6x sportsfinder, heavy, but great for macro work. The prism finder as a walk-about body. The Photomic's that I have (2) are dead - so they only clutter up space - but in case one of the prisms in the regular finder dies - I can salvage one from a Photomic.
The good thing with the Nikon F's is that they are generally cheap and as they are mechanical, you can still get them fixed. In many ways, it is one of the best designs for a SLR ever.
The F2 was a slight improvement and the F3 was a great "work" camera - with the MD-4 motor on it.

Oh, then we have the two "pool" lenses. Terry, Chris and I have a 560f5.6 and a 400f5,6 set up with a televit focussing grip. I think I got that for about $400 some years ago. If I ever need a long reach - I can get those. Looks a bit like some kind of grenade launcher though!

SL2's are good, but I can get several F's for what one of those costs and the SL-Mot takes care of the few rolls I shoot with the 60f2.8 and the 180f3.4.
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Old 02-13-2011   #10
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Old 02-14-2011   #11
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Thanks Tom!

I've been eyeing up F3HP's lately. It's amazing how much camera you can get for so little money these days.
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Old 02-14-2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmooney View Post
Thanks Tom!

I've been eyeing up F3HP's lately. It's amazing how much camera you can get for so little money these days.
Absolutely true. The F3 might be the best buy around right now. I outfitted mine with Levant leather from Cameraleather and it looks even better.
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Old 02-14-2011   #13
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I agree with the F3HP - it is a good design and the fact that with the MD4 motor you run less chance of having the meter/AE dying on you as it draws power from the motor rather than from the batteries in the "head".
Only thing to watch for is the LCD screen in the viewfinder. This was fairly early LCD technology and they can fade or malfunction.
At the moment I dont have a F3, but I will probably pick one up at the next swap-meet (April 17). They work well with macro and bellows. The math for getting correct exposures with bellows in particular can be head-ache inducing. I usually just bracket like hell. Hmm, might be able to save up for a F3 on reduced film-cost!
The F3/MD4 is not as noisy as the F36 or MD-2 motors (and not as heavy either). Remember the "photo-ops" from the 60's. Politicians looking like gold-fish at feeding time. Mouth open and whatever they said drowned out by the clatter of F36's churning away!
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Old 03-05-2011   #14
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Nikons for me. I tried Canon EOS, Minolta, Leica R and Pentax.
The Nikons just work, just like the M-series does.

I have a treasured black paint F, that unfortunately is currently not functional.... (sniff)
It's such a simple camera, but I just loved picking it up and shooting with it. This is hands down my favorite SLR. It's just so elegant and straightforward. Nikon really broke the mold, when they made the F.

Currently, my two main SLR bodies are a black paint F2 with the plain prism and F3-P/MD-4. Both looked almost new when I got them. I love shooting with these cameras. The F3-P with it's extra sealing is great in adverse conditions.

I also have a Nikon FM, that needs to be checked. Very nice little camera. Sort of a Nikon F with a fixed prism and meter.
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Old 03-13-2011   #15
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I use a couple Spotmatic SLs, 6 OM-1/2 bodies, a couple of Contflex Supers and a Yashica FX-D. I have only one lens for the Yashica - a Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar.
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Old 03-14-2011   #16
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Old 03-14-2011   #17
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OMG.

I just realized I have more Nikon F's than Tom, even after selling one. I'm down to 8. Still have 11 F2's.
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Old 03-14-2011   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
OMG.

I just realized I have more Nikon F's than Tom, even after selling one. I'm down to 8. Still have 11 F2's.
Brian, I dont know what it is with Nikon's - they just multiply. I rarely "carry" them - mainly used for macro stuff. The F2's are great, but they lack the soul of the F. One advantage too with the F is that older lenses (non AI) are cheap and plentiful. But 11 F2's is a bit excessive - 8 F's is more normal - and there is a swapmeet coming up in April here in town and I tend to migrate to the dusty F's at these occasions - so 8 is not an impossibility!!!!
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Old 03-14-2011   #19
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I have more "normally" two F.
One of them is a Black 64x.
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Old 03-14-2011   #20
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I'm pretty happy with my Minolta Maxxum 9000.
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Old 03-15-2011   #21
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I'm pretty happy with my Minolta Maxxum 9000.
I just found this camera body in the attic. Do you have any lens recommendations for a one lens one camera type scenario? I am thinking about using it for travel.
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Old 03-15-2011   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migtex View Post
I believe Tom uses a Nikon F with bellow PB-5 and various lens....


Photo credit: Tuulikki, Tom's spouse

I see that the only thing SLR's do better than RFs is ....

Taking pictures of RF's
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Old 03-15-2011   #23
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Nikon F2, Plain Prism.
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Old 03-15-2011   #24
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I have two M2 cameras.
When it comes to SLR... my nod goes toward Pentax medium format. I just love it.
My impossible dream would be combining the size and handling of the M2 and the outstanding picture quality of the gargantuan SLR.
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Old 03-15-2011   #25
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One more for Nikon F. It was my older brother's F that brought me back to photography after the Minolta Maxxum drove me out ("What does it need me for?"). I dragged that old body out of the bottom of my Dad's closet when he died, bought a 50/1.4 and a roll of Tri-X and it was all over. Bought 3 more bodies, 5 lenses and a lot more Tri-X, and embarked on to the road that brought me eventually to the M3 (nirvana).
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Old 03-15-2011   #26
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M2? Poor man's M3.

My old Bronica ETRSi was a good camera, well designed with lots of idiot-proof interlocks (unlike a Hasselblad where you can have the body and the lens half-cocked...literally) but the Zenzanon lenses were highly variable. The 75mm was great, the 135mm OK, the 60mm lousy* and the 40mm expensive and merely OK. I sold it when Tamron killed Bronica; it didn't hang around on the market quite long enough to gain an affordable digital back.

*when I bought a Leica IIIa and Summar 50/2, the pictures were sharper. Honest.
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Old 03-15-2011   #27
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M3! Rich woman's M2.
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Old 03-20-2011   #28
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Quote:
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The F2's are great, but they lack the soul of the F.
There really is something to that. The F has that magic to it, that industrial designers really can't put their fingers on and separates a good design from an iconic one.

As I posted earlier I have a black Nikon F (that needs to be repaired).

Along the way I picked up a black F2.

Brilliant camera. Lots of subtle improvements over the original F. Ridiculously overbuilt. You really could hammer nails with this camera and keep on shooting. My service technician sent me some pics of the interior and it looks about as sturdy as a Miele washing machine.

BUT, the F2 just doesn't have that extra something that I love about the F and for the life of me I can't put my finger on what that is with absolute certainty. The F2 is my primary SLR and I really enjoy shooting it, but I just don't have the same love affair with it that I had with that black F.

I studied industrial design and I have a sneaking suspicion that it has something to do with the balance and proportions of the camera, which are pretty damn near perfect in the F.

I really need to get that F fixed or replaced...
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Old 03-20-2011   #29
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Unlike most(?) here I have never got on with Nikons, my M2 has to slum it with a Contax RTS and 137ma both owned and used since the mid 80's. I also own an EOS5 which I hate as I keep trying to 'chimp' the non-existant LCD screen.
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Old 03-20-2011   #30
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At the moment I have decided to shoot "through" my F's and F2's. mainly to check functions and shutter speeds. Every day I load a different F or f2 and shoot a roll with it. Yes, compared to a M or Nikon Rf they are big, clunky and noisy - but those F's are something else. Just loaded one, with a Photomic on it and by mistake turned on the meter - and, lo and behold - it is still working!!!! A first version 28f3.5 on it, change of screen (f3.5 is not that good for split image) and a roll of Arista 400 Premium - all set for tomorrow. Just finished a roll in an old, severely dented and brassed F with a prism on it and the Ultron 40mm f2.0.
Funny how people respond to the F's too - a M or even a Nikon RF they kind of ignore - but a battered F attracts even non-photographers"Oh, that is a film camera. I remember the Nikon F !" followed by that question being asked all the time now "Can you still get film for it?"
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Old 03-20-2011   #31
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You should try shooting an F100, no one believes you when you can't show them the screen at the back.
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Old 03-21-2011   #32
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Quote:
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M3! Rich woman's M2.


I actually have both, because I couldn't make up my mind. With stuff of this age, when you don't know how long ago the last CLA was, it's unfair to compare the feel and sound of them objectively. However, *my* M3 has a much quieter shutter than *my* M2. The M2 is in better cosmetic condition though. I am amazed how close the 35mm framelines are to the edge of the VF; did Leica really go on to cram 28mm framelines into a 0.72 VF? The M2 VF feels more like a 0.85 to me; it's not hugely different to the M3's.
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F's for me too...
Old 03-21-2011   #33
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F's for me too...

I love my Nikons...



They are a part of who I am as a photographer.
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Old 03-21-2011   #34
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Nice kit - but they are all so clean looking! I should do a family portrait of the F's and F2's - they look as if they had taken part in a demolition derby! Mind you, the complete set is something like 7 F's, 2 F2's and lenses from the 21f4, 28f3.5, 50's, three 105's (one micro nikkor 105), two 200f4's (one Macro) and I suspect that the total cost of getting them over the years is less than what a used MP would be - and I dont have to worry about them.
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Old 03-21-2011   #35
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They are not all this clean. There are more lurking over my shoulder in the cabinet & besides, it's all done with mirrors.
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Old 03-22-2011   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmooney View Post
So we all know that the M2 is the king of cameras but sometimes an SLR is the tool at hand for various reasons. So Tom, what are your favorite SLR's? What lenses do you like?

I know that this is all hypothetical because there isn't anything Tom can't do with an M2 and Tri-X So consider this one of those conversations you have over a few pints with photobuddies.

Take care,

Jim
We do????
I don't.
In fact, I don't know which camera is the "King of Cameras" or even if there is such a thing. I have my own thoughts on the subject but they're just my opinions.
So I'd appreciate if you didn't presume to speak on my behalf on such subjects and have the good manners to preface such sweeping pronouncements as this one with "In my opinion...."

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Old 03-22-2011   #37
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We do????
I dont.
In fact, I don't know which camera is the "King of Cameras" or even if there is such a thing. I have my own thoughts on the subject but they're just my opinions.
So I'd appreciate if you didn't presume to speak on my behalf on such subjects and have the good manners to preface such sweeping pronouncements as this one with "In my opinion...."
I don't think anybody spoke on your behalf, and I presume that the title meaning was that it is well known that for Tom, the M2 is the king of cameras.
I suggest not to be so aggressive over such a minor issue and what clearly looks like a misunderstanding. Everybody can have an opinion on what is the king of cameras...

Oh, and BTW, everybody KNOWS the M2 is the king of cameras!
(just kidding)
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Old 03-22-2011   #38
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Surprisingly few Canon lovers here...

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Old 03-25-2011   #39
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Oh, I do like it when someone else mentions an SL MOT but then, if Tom's got one and I've got one (still) then I reckon there are only another nine hundred and something to go...so they are hardly likely to be mentioned too often.

60mm Macro Elmarit? Fantastic.

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Not really...
Old 03-25-2011   #40
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Not really...

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Surprisingly few Canon lovers here...

I love the F-1, in fact it was my first "pro" camera & the EF too. My only regret in owning them is that I traded them and if I could find one as nice as this one I'd buy it!
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