Choice between 2 old cameras ... ?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MadisonWI, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I have fourtunately come to own two neat old cameras. One is a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super B, and the other is a Canon AE - 1. They are both in absolute perfect condition. My question is, which do you think I should use for everday photography, mostly outside? They seem to have very similar features. The only real differences that I can find are:
    1. The Canon has 1.8 as the largest aperture setting, the Zeiss has 2.8. I suppose this makes the Canon a little more versatile.
    2. The lens/optics width on the Canon are MUCH larger (is this JUST because of the larger aperture?) Does this effect image quality? (I am comparing 50mm lens on each).
    3. The Zeiss is MUCH sturdier and higher quality than the Canon (There is hardly a piece of plastic on the whole thing.)
    4. I have a functioning flash for the Canon, but not the Zeiss. This would come in handy occasionally I suppose.
    So, considering what you might know about either of these cameras, which should I carry around with me regularly? Thanks
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hello and welcome to TPF. As for the two choices above, keep in mind that the Canon AE1 only works when it has a battery in it. Please note my thoughts above (in red). However, it's a great SLR, one of the best made (entry to mid-level) and there are so many people very happy with it. Despite its shortcomings (i.e. it's necessary to have a good battery in order to operate it, it might develop the famous shutter squeak) I would still go with the Canon.

    I hope I didn't confuse you too much. ;)
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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  4. Dave_D

    Dave_D TPF Noob!

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    The Canon will be your most versatile all around camera as there is more available around second hand shops or ebay when it comes to lenses and other accesories. The Zeiss is a rock solid machine that will perform in almost any circumstances. I would keep them both, use the canon for the type of photography you shoot the most and use the Zeiss for experimenting with i.e. black & white or other then your usual film types.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Zeiss has a good lens too. Stop it down to f/5.6 and it's tack sharp

    I also prefer the bokeh of that zeiss lens to that of 50/1.8
     
  6. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the quality replies. I guess I'll just switch between the two and see how it goes.
    I do like them both. There is something cool though about holding a camera that is built like a tank. I actually have a set of lenses for the Zeiss too (35, 50, 115), also built to last a thousand years. What type of flash unit WOULD the Zeiss require, anyways, and where could I find one (ebay?). And, not to layer on the questions, but how long do the selenium cells usually last? I'm afraid its going to give out!
    Also, for the AE-1, would you reccomend buying only Canon's brand lens, or are the other compatible lenses usually of high quality? This AE came with a really crappy 135mm that was broken.
    Thanks again, I know that's a lot of questions but any replies would be helpful.
     
  7. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As I understand Selenium cells can live a long life if they're perfectly sealed. Here's a thread on this issue on Photo.net:

    Selenium_Cells

    Also, you'd be much better off with the Canon lenses than most of the other off brand makers. Stick with the Canon quality.
     
  8. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    The compur shutter will stick way before that.

    Any auto thyristor will do. It doesn't require a specific one.


    Today the third party stuff is good. Back in 70s different vivitars, opticons, tamrons were junk. (as compared to canon/nikon)
     

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