Buying a used SLR (film)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ichiro, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. ichiro

    ichiro TPF Noob!

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    I am considering buying a used SLR, and it seems most reasonable now that it will be film (much cheaper I guess)

    A few questions:

    What tips or advice is there when buying from someone used?

    Is it better to buy a body or one with a lens, and do you need to be aware of compatible lenses if you are buying just the body

    What is a reasonable price for a used film SLR (body/ body +lense)

    What are some good models?

    thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First decide what camera you want to purchase used. Do your research to determine the weaknesses of that particular camera and what are some of the problems to look out. For example, Canon AE-1 and A-1 had an earlier production run that had shutter issues that start with a familiar "squeek" when tripped.

    Your risks are going to be a lot lower if you purchase the camera from a reputable dealer. On the other hand, reputable dealers are a business and sometimes the best deals are from individuals. I know a dealer that I trust and would not hesitate to drop them $20 to examine a camera I am considering purchase. If there is an issue with the camera, they can give me an estimate on how much it would take to have it repaired or CLA'd.

    Again, research will tell you what lenses are compatible with which bodies. A body or body+lens is not really a concern.. the concern is are you getting a deal that you will be happy with.


    Before we can make suggestions, we need to know what you are expecting out of a film SLR.

    Price range?

    Do you like advance features like modes or do you like old school manual everything?

    Autofocus? or manual focus?

    Does this camera need to share lenses with other cameras?


    I personally like 50-70s line of Pentax cameras depending on what features you prefer. More advanced cameras like Canon AE-1 and A-1 are also really nice. For more up to date Canon EOS cameras, I like Elan 7 and 1v.
     
  3. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

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    When buying any camera ( SLR or DSLR ) the question of Use & Budjet will always be a factor when Buying.

    I would just give one piece of advice, if you are looking to buy on a budjet now and Maybe upgrade later then I would advise purchasing a camera with lenses that fit both SLR & DSLR.

    If you intend to stick with film on a Lower budget the a lot of cameras that have upgraded their lens fittings / type etc are extremely cheap now.

    Also Film cameras will always need money input ( buying film & Processing ) where digital with a PC use will only cost for the development of the shots you want.

    Maybe go to your local shop, as most good retailers will have a range of second hand equipment, and feel which camera you like, as some appear quite bulky, as others can seem quite small...

    Cheers Steve
     
  4. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

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    Quote...

    I have to disagree with Steve a little on the film vs. digital cost issue. The one thing to add to the budget considerations (which I found out the hard way), is that if you get into it seriously or just shoot a lot of photos, digital also requires continuous money input. Sure you're inputting money less often than with film, but it's usually in higher amounts. This can be in computer upgrades, software, hard drives and optical storage (CD's and DVD's). That's all on top of paper and ink usage if you print your own photos.

    Those are still considerations if you want to scan your own film, but obviously not necessary with film as soon as with digital.





    The cost of printing a photo digital or negative is the same wherever you go, the cost of film and processing is additional, and most Digital cameras COME with enough software to do all the editing FOR POINT AND SHOOT as you need, and I got a 250 gig drive for PC for £40 ( $70 ), this will hold far too many shots, and a 4.3 gig DVD will hold loads too.

    My post was trying to ask where ichiro is heading, as Film will always be a COST in every way, where Digital can offer no additional costs as you can view all photo's without PC at local store and just print the ones you like, as the ones you dont like you will not want, so to pay for Film, Processing and developing to get ONE shot seem too expensive to a Beginner!!
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    sniff sniff.. I smell a film vs digital debate cookin...
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just to add my opinion to the cost issue:

    when shooting film, i ended up using expensive pro film (costly) Also developing has its costs ...

    Now I switched to digital, and I spend several hundreds of dollars per year less. So for three years shooting that would be the price of a lower end dSLR already.

    But nevertheless I would want to miss the experience of shooting film. And I still have my good old camera :)
     
  7. ichiro

    ichiro TPF Noob!

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    thanks for all your help!

    i looked in some classifieds (not dealers) and found 3 cameras at what i think are good prices

    nikon f 801 with a zoom lens for 150

    a yaschika (not sure of model) with a zoom lens, a 58 mmm, and a moderate telephoto for 125

    and a canon eos i think 70 model, body only for 30 bucks.


    does anyone know of these models, especially yashica, and are these farily good?
     
  8. Boltthrower

    Boltthrower TPF Noob!

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    Here is what i would do if it's going to cost you a few bucks but it's better than waiting till after you buy it before you find out

    See if the current owner will let you take a few pics with it first.
    most owners will not have a problem with that if they have nothing to hide
    this will save you from wasting your time with a camera that has a light leak. take the film in and have it processed at a cheap quick 1hour photo
    like walmart or something 3 or 4 prints will only cost you a few bucks

    before you purchase it make sure that the curtain isn't dented or damaged this can be done by opening the back of it. there are a few tests that can be done too. do some "dry" shots with the back open and make sure that the curtain is in sync with the mirror

    models manual auto that's for you to decide this is when google becomes your best friend
     
  9. cosmonaut

    cosmonaut No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The problem I have with film now isn't the cost, it's the quality of the scan. Department store scans are low res and grainy. Department stores tend to deal with the disposable camera crowd and quality isn't an issue. I feel that film could produce much better pictures than digital if the negatives were scanned right. so in the long run if you are going to get into serious photography digital is a much better idea. But I still use film and love it.
    Cosmo
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot both digital and film for different reasons. When I do shoot film, I submit my rolls for developing only which isn't all that expensive. Once developed, I either scan with a good scanner or print in a wet darkroom. I find the process quite fulfilling.

    I don't believe Yashica really made its mark (at least here in the US) so the availability of nice used equipment is going to be difficult. From the looks of it, you are looking from mid80s and earlier vintage. From that time, you can't go wrong with Pentax, Minolta, Canon, or Nikon. It was a time all 4 companies were aggressively working the market.

    I'm not aware of any Canon EOS 70... perhaps it is a EOS 700, 750, or elan 7.
     
  11. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    deffinatly agree with most of whats been said, but i thought i would
    give a list of cameras i looked at as i was just in the market for a SLR film body.


    I was buying with the intent of upgrading to digital in the
    future so i wanted a camera where my lenses would be compatible
    with any future digital camera i would get.

    I looked at
    Canon AE-1 (its a semi mechanical camera, AE-1 lenses do not work with the current digital Canons)
    Elan 7ne (Full lens compatibality with digital, Auto Focus, very nice camera, i liked it alot, but you cant shoot Black and White Infrared film with it. Not a big deal unless you shoot IR film... which i do)

    Pentax MX (Great fully mechanical camera, lenses are compatible with the digital cameras with some limited functionality)
    Pentax K1000 (same as above but this was more a student camera where as in the 70's the MX was marketed more toward the pro)

    Nikon FM/FM2 (great fully mechanical camera, quite a few lenses for this camera will also work with the Nikon digital line)
    Nikon F80 (auto focus camera, really nice, but again it didnt take IR film)

    I ended up going for the Nikon FM2n, but it was a tough call between all of those listed.
    i hope this gives you a place to start looking
     
  12. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

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    As for the question in hand and the budget that you are looking at then I feel we may have strayed from your objective, and Im sorry for that, if you can find a cheap way of getting in the club then do so.

    As said most people are upgrading to digital at the moment, so a film camera will always be a great deal, and as for lenses, Zoom / Wide Angle there is a great saying, we all have legs, walk closer or further away and thats a great zoom lens.

    I hope you have great fun in your Photography, as we on here sometimes forget that and ramble on with our thoughts....

    We all started somewhere and ASK ANYONE HERE and they will have started where you are now!!!!!

    Cheers

    Enjoy

    Steve
     

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