Looking for a film SLR...

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by JJP, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. JJP

    JJP TPF Noob!

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    I'm starting a national diploma 2 year course in photography next september, and what do you know, my film SLR has packed up. I've been meaning to get a new one for a while, and now that this one is broken i've got a good reason to hehe.

    I will be using this camera for a very wide range of photos, most things you can think of (well not any weird stuff hehe:lol:)

    I would also like it to be compatable with many things, I love to accessorise hehe (e.g, lenses, flashes, etc etc) but sold my lenses, seeing as they were getting on a bit and I was never too fond of them hehe, so i'm ready to start fresh! I've had cameras in the past where I couldn't use a great deal with them and it did my nut in!
    I was just wondering if anybody had any good suggestions as which camera I should buy?

    I can spend around £300 ($550ish) I am prepared to go slightly above this budget, and would like at least one lense included in this price range.

    Thankyou for any help, it's greatly appreciated. ;-)
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    oh, gosh....prepare for the onslaught of suggestions.... :lol:

    You're lucky, there are SO many great SLR's out there.

    I'm on the Pentax team, myself. My MZ-S can be fully manual, or as automatic as I want to make it (not often). Pentax also makes great glass. :thumbup: Huge variety. I've not priced one lately, but surely the cost has come way down.

    Next! :lol:
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you already have lenses ["I love to accessorise . . ."], it would make sense to get a compatable body.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'm also a user and fan of Pentax. Unfortunately the MZ-S has not yet come down to your budget (if it had I would definitely have one!). If you're doing a course you might be better off with second-hand manual focus camera and lenses, in which case the options from Pentax include the MX, KX, K1000 (usually overpriced because it's so often recommended to film students), P30 (the P30t or P30n is good and sells for way less than the older cameras) or MZ-M (their latest manual focus camera, but not as well-built as many older ones). Any of these are good cameras, one big advantage of them being that they're cheap so you still have lots of money to spend on good lenses, film etc.

    Minolta also made good manual focus cameras (and great lenses); options here include the SRT or XD ranges. However there seem to be less lenses available for these cameras than for the Pentaxes.

    If on the other hand you're happy to spend all your budget or more on a camera and possibly one lens, you might want to look at older Nikons, for example an F3 variant, an FM2N or FM3A. Obviously Canon make very good stuff too but I know nothing about their manual focus cameras so I'll leave that to someone who does. With either Nikon or Canon you'll never have trouble finding a lens or accessory.

    Finally Olympus, AFAIK the Olympus OM system has quite limited availability of lenses compared to the other brands, and often seems to cost more, but a few people believe it's worth it, and Zuiko lenses are certainly impressive. Consider the OM3Ti, OM4Ti or OM2000. Finding older Olympus SLRs in good condition is not always easy, especially because of the design of the hotshoe.

    I've only really mentioned manual-focus or mechanical cameras with full user control over aperture and shutter speed, since IMO that's the best for learning photography. If you're interested in autofocus and new SLRs then there's obviously a lot more options. I also haven't really mentioned lenses yet, though the lenses are really more important than the cameras they're attached to.


    Edit:
    Woops, I missed that. Although re-reading your post, you did mention that you sold your lenses and that you were never very happy with them. What lenses were they, and what was it about them that you didn't like? That might help us narrow down suitable options.
     
  5. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    You could get a real nice Canon Elan 7 or Nikon N90 or even maybe F100 used. Lots of options. Try some out and pick what feels good to you.
     
  6. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I missed that, too. Sorry.
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    When I first closed my studio I sold all my 35mm slrs (pentax). Unfortunately I didn't die on schedule, so I decided to get another on just in case I did a family member's wedding. I bought a minolta 700 and a ton of prime lense and even a winder for I think about a total of 350 bucks. It was used but not very used.

    I don't use it much but I have it if I ever want to shoot anything for real. The test shots I made with it and the assortment of lenses seemed to be just peachy keen.
     
  8. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    I just got a Nikon F80 used, and I love it! It has basically all the features of the "pro" Nikon bodies, and it takes great pictures. It has all kinds of accessories (grips, threaded cable release, flashes, etc) and takes a pretty wide range of lenses (basically any Nikon AF lens). I ordered all my goodies from KEH.com - f80 body, nikkor 50mm f1.8D lens, nikkor 35-80mm f4-5.6D lens, cable release, polarizer, uv filter all for about $375US (excluding shipping). If your budget is $550, you could get some decent lenses with it, or other goodies. I'd recommend it to just about anyone, unless you're planning to take it white-water rafting or something (I've heard the weather sealing isn't quite up to pro standards). Also, Nikon says you can't use IR film b/c the film advance uses an IR sensor, but I've read on a couple of forums that IR usually turns out ok.

    That's my .02 for recommendations
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Building a system from scratch on your budget, I too would recommend K-mount prime lenses with either a Pentax MX or ME super. If you want to go a bit more grassroots, you can go with a nice K1000 which will have a matched needle meter instead. You should have enough left over for other accessories as well.

    For autofocus, I like an older Elan or Elan II with a 50mm f1.8 and a medium zoom. Elan 7 is going to be a bit more expensive but a good used one will be a lot of bang for your buck.
     
  10. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    A Nikon F4s is probably the best film body ever made IMHO.

    LWW
     
  11. chakalakasp

    chakalakasp TPF Noob!

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    The Canon EOS-3 is a pro-body camera and can be had used for quite cheap on Ebay. This camera used to sell for $1000 new and up until about 2 years ago cost at least $600 used. You can pick them up within your budget now -- heck, you can probably get the 7fps powerdrive attachment and still be in-budget. The pro-body is also weathersealed.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    honestly... I would think that the EOS 3 and Nikon F4s are two examples of over-kill for a student camera. $500-600 on a camera body only is still expensive in my book. Both good choices if you are willing to spend the cash. I'm thinking under $200 for a camera body given a $550 budget.
     

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