Some advice for a 35mm film camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bla, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    It's been a while since I've visited this forum, but its good to see that the community is still great.

    I've recently run into a little conundrum with my existing 35mm film camera. I own a Sigma SA9 SLR, with what appears to be a pretty crappy 25-105mm f/3.8-5.6 kit lens. I don't have any problems with the body, it's great to hold and feels very solid, and any features I need are there.

    However, I feel that the lens I have might be slightly limited (let me know if it isn't, it would be great). What's more, the tripod screw insert of the camera recently broke on me while I was fastening it to my tripod and fell out...sucks...:grumpy: And without an insert to attach the tripod to, I can't even take interior pictures with my zoom lens.

    I'm a student on a fairly tight budget, so I can't really afford to look into the dSLR market now; and even if I could, I'm nostalgic about the 35mm films anyway.

    So now I'm looking for a good film SLR body at around 200$, and I plan to buy a 50mm/1.4 or 1.8 lens for a little extra. However, I think I will get a digital camera in the future, and seeing the dominance of Nikon and Canon, I'm compelled to narrow my future choices to these two companies.

    Any advice on which 35mm film SLR is considered to be excellent? Or are they all pretty much level in performance? Anything would be extremely helpful.

    Also, if anyone has any advice on lenses or on how to repair the screw insert hole at the bottom of the camera, your advice would be very welcome!

    Thanks!
     
  2. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    pentax MX or LX are great cameras and you can find really good glass for them.
    The body will run you 150-200 USD no days on E-bay.
    You can find a pentax MX with a 1.7 50mm lens for about 175
     
  3. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

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    $200.00 gives you a pretty good range of options. Nikon FE, Canon AE-1 etc. You will probably find one with a 50mm and something else for less than that.
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just remember if you get an old manual focus Nikon and pu t more modern 50mm 1.8 or whatever on it you can still use that lens on a future dslr you purchase not so with others.
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Go to Keh.com. There are tons of great 35mm bodies well within that price range. You can buy your 50mm from them too, and have them shipped together. I'm a Canon shooter, so I could easily recommend this: http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductDetail.aspx

    You just need to decide which company you want to invest in.
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Nikon and Canon do dominate the market, but this doesn't compel you to do anything. By limiting yourself to two choices you could be missing out on some great stuff, often at very good prices.

    If you want a modern autofocus, auto-everything camera, some suggestions...
    A Minolta Dynax 5 is a very well equipped SLR (great metering, 3fps, shutter speeds to 1/4000, everything customisable) that can be had for very little money, as can the excellent 50mm primes for it (a Dynax 7 would be even better), and when you decide to go digital you will be able to move onto the Sony DSLR system which uses the same lens mount.
    If going with Nikon, you could try to find an N80/F80 within your budget. You might have to wait a while to find one with a lens for that price, but if you do it would be well worth it. The F80 is a great camera.
    For Canon, I can't really comment on the relative merits of the various EOS cameras except to say that the EOS 33 is very quiet and has mirror lock-up, and generally felt much better to me than the 300-series ones I played with.

    If on the other hand you'd conside an older manual-focus camera, here are some more ideas...
    Nikon FM2n - wonderful camera; 1/250 flash sync, fully manual... and it just looks so nice :)
    Nikon F3 - Great camera. Could probably survive the destruction of the planet and keep working.
    Olympus OM series - Take Olympus Zuiko lenses - not only very good, but now very affordable and will work with new Olympus DSLRs with an adapter.
    Pentax LX - Weather sealing, fully manual, nice.
    Pentax MX - Lightweight, affordable, fully manual.
    I haven't mentioned manual-focus Canon or Minolta SLRs because their manual-focus lenses can't be used on their new digital SLRs (unlike Nikon or Pentax). If that's not a problem then there are lots of wonderful Canon FD or Minolta manual lenses, and cameras including the Canon A or T series and the Minolta SRT and XD series.
     
  7. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    Hi, sorry about your camera...the greatest place to find a deal on most any kind of camera is eBay! If you don't subscribe to eBay, you can still search as a guest...best of luck!
     
  8. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for your feedback.

    As of now, I haven't yet decided whether to get a completely manual camera or one with auto-features. I usually go manual, but I do enjoy some of the perks more automated cameras have.

    However, I did some research on the cameras suggested, and it seems that Nikon has discontinued most of its film cameras. I had heard something about this, but didn't realize that they had cut it down to a professional camera (F6) and a not so spectacular beginner's camera (FM10).

    What I'm wondering now is whether there are any significant disadvantages to discontinued cameras, and whether more automatic film SLRs have great capabilities than an older manual model.

    Also, do anyone know about the quality of the Canon film SLR models? T2, K2, ELAN 7NE (EOS 30V/33V in Europe). I guess the bottom line is, I'm willing to pay a little more for a camera that will last me longer and will be of superior quality.

    Anything is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  9. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    Even though I have been an Olympus user for over 25 years, the true workhorse seems to be the Nikon! With regard to automation, I believe its better to have some controll over your camera. I am just breaking in to DSLR and it scares the hell out me! Once again, go to eBay...Good Luck!
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    And the FM10 is actually a Cosina with the Nikon name on it... but Nikon is not unusual with regard to discontinuing film cameras. Canon are the only company whose website lists more than 1 or 2 current film SLRs. Since everybody's gone digital the people who now buy film SLRs simply get the older ones which have dropped massively in price... so I guess there's no incentive for anyone to develop or produce new film SLRs. Having said that...

    Disadvantages to buying discontinued cameras? No, IMO none that aren't totally outweighed by the fact that you'll be getting a camera for a tiny fraction of what it cost when it was the latest thing. Now, do automatic film SLRs have greater capabilities? Yes and no. Yes, they often have much more advanced metering, custom functions, greater range of shutter speed, and of course autofocus... and also no, some don't have depth of field preview and other features, and although you can focus manually with modern cameras that's not what they're designed for, so the focussing screens are often not great for manual focus.
     
  11. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Canon makes great equipment. I linked you to a great camera already. The 7NE is also a good one. A camera is a light tight box. You are paying for the technology in the metering, and autofocus, and custom functions. I still recommend www.keh.com vs ebay. I have bought things from Ebay and had luck, but you can get burned, especially by people selling photographic equipment that don't know enough about it to rate it properly.
     
  12. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone,

    I guess I'm going to narrow down my choices to the Canon EOS Elan 7N (EOS 33V) or the Nikon N80. I like that the N80 has spot metering, but I don't know if the EOS metering measures up. Anyone with suggestions would be very welcome. Or maybe also the Pentax MX?


    I can't seem to access the link you gave me, if I use Firefox it just keeps on telling me to allow cookies, even though they are allowed. And if I use IE, then the website comes up, but the pictures don't show and the links don't work.
     

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