One versus Another

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Photoboy1980, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Photoboy1980

    Photoboy1980 TPF Noob!

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    Hi All.

    I'm new to TPF, and wanted to ask a question. I've been taking pics for several years now with my trusty Kodak Retina Reflex III camera and have been pretty happy with the results so far. But, is any one 35mm camera necessarily better than another brand? I know I am limited to about 5 or 6 lenses total with my camera body, and the top speed is 1/500, but it has worked so far for me. I'm guessing the anwer to this question may depend on what I am taking pictures of, etc. It seems like a lot of the photog's here are partial to Nikon and Canon (based on the posts I have been reading); but, I was just curious what some of you think. Maybe brand loyalty plays a part too? Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A film camera is basically a light tight box to hold the film. The lens is like an artist's paint brush while the camera is more like the easel.

    Of course, the camera is where most of the modern technology goes. That's where the automatic metering, auto focus, auto winding etc is.

    So while a different camera can give you more/different functionality. It's really the film and lens that are responsible for the quality of the image.

    Canon & Nikon are both very popular. Part of that is marketing, which has also lead to A LOT of brand loyalty among photographers and amateurs alike.

    So is one brand better than another...yes and no. But consider lenses as much or more than cameras. And look at specific lenses, because most companies make a range of lenses...some of them are gems but some are dogs.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All Retinas are fine cameras and I doubt you'd see a significant difference
    in image quality per se using another 35mm SLR unless you wish to use a
    wider, longer or faster lens than is available for your Retina Reflex or
    perhaps a zoom. Obviously you can't duplicate a scene shot with a 20mm
    lens with your current equipment, for example, or capture fast action like
    an auto-focus SLR can. But, then, you may not be interested in those
    things.

    You might also want to experiment with, say, a rangefinder camera or
    a medium format camera or even a large format camera to explore the
    advantages that those can provide. That all depends on the type of
    photography you enjoy.

    Camera brand preferences, however, are a highly subjective matter. I would
    take all those opinions with a grain of salt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  4. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have no doubt that the clear winner in the "very best camera" contest is absolutely, indisputably, without a doubt - The one you get the most out of; the one that feels good in your hands, that operates to your liking, that produces photos to your satisfaction, that makes you feel good and encourages you to keep shooting. ;-)
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Aside from the afore mentioned, the only reason I can see would be that when something eventually wears out it's going to be tough to get it repaired.

    You might look intothe usual suspects- Nikon, Canon, Pentax or even some of the eastern block cameras if you are looking for the 'cool' factor.

    You might even look into a TLR in 120 if you want a quick and large upgrade in your negative. Yashica MATs are good, Minolta Autocords have a following, Rollies of course, If you can find an old Ziess in good shape that would be worth a try (Ziess mads some great cameras).

    good luck
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The best 35mm film camera is clearly Nikon. Unless you prefer Canon, then the best is Canon. But if you really want a nice 35mm film camera, Pentax has what you're looking for. While,at the same time, Leica makes the world's finest 35mm rangefinder cameras. Currently,however, Cosina makes the Bessa series of affordable 35mm rangefinder camera bodies, and some darned good lenses too!

    If you are still using a Retina Reflex design that was made back when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, you'd probably be blown away by an old Nikon made say, during the Johnson Administration, or any Canon released during the two presdiential terms of Ronald Reagan. And if you were to step up to something truly modern, say a camera made during the second Clinton administration, you'd probably be speechless at the ease and convenience of the camera and the operation of its autofocusing lenses.

    Today, former top-line professional 35mm SLR bodies are available at prices roughly 10 cents on the dollar from their original selling prices. Some companies no longer make any 35mm cameras, and their lenses are "orphans", or almost-orphans, like Minolta MD or Olympus OM and Canon FD lenses, leading to fantastic bargains both on bodies and lenses of those three systems.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  7. den9

    den9 TPF Noob!

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  8. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sam Snead is quoted as responding to a question about the clubs he used with 'It's like goin' to the dance with the homliest girl in school, you gotta dance wit' who ya brung.'

    If you have been getting a charge from your Rolleicord for a long time, then stick with it. If you want a 35mm SLR to play with, get a cheap one from Fleabay. Pentax K1000 and Minolta XG1 come readily to mind as comparable alternatives to the historic and historically priced Canons and Nikons.
     
  9. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Yes, definitely. At the root level, cameras are "light tight boxes" that merely hold the film behind the lens, but they posses other attributes. Of importance are:
    1. mechanical reliability
    2. shutter accuracy and repeatability
    3. available set of lenses and their quality
    4. meter accuracy and reliability
    5. (digital only) sensor and image processor - 35mm film cameras, of course, all share the same film choices.

    Most such posts are written in defense of the writer's comfort with their own purchases more than the real qualities of the camera. Nikon and Canon are the current market leaders and have been for the last 3 decades, or so, meaning there are more Nikon and Canon users out there signing praise to their personal choices. On the other hand, Nikon and Canon are the market leaders for good reasons, they make good products that fit the users desires and needs.

    Your "antique" Kodak Retina Reflex III was one of the higher quality products in the early '60s. They were made in Kodak's German factory and were supplied with Schneider and Roedenstock (the latter in Europe only) lenses of very high quality (by the standards of the day and still very good by today's). If the limited array of lenses fits your needs and yours is still working well (they are a nightmare to repair) then there is no reason to "upgrade". In fact it would be extremely difficult (read: expensive) to find a 35mm camera that will produce noticeably better images.
     
  10. Photoboy1980

    Photoboy1980 TPF Noob!

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    I agree Dwig.. I love my Retina Reflex.. I had it CLA'd a couple years ago by a guy in Australia. It was an expensive repair indeed, but it was worth it. The camera seems to fit my needs well; I usually just take fun pics with it of friends/family, landscapes, etc. I think everyone praises their favorite or preferred camera choices. I'm really happy with the build quality of my camera... they definitely don't make them like this anymore!
     

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