Skip to comments.Vanity-PHOTOGRAPHY BUFFS - Freeper needs advice
Posted on 08/07/2005 4:03:11 PM PDT by 6ppc
My son has signed up for a photography class and I need to buy a 35mm SLR camera capable of manual operation.
My limited experience with 35mm photograph was a Pentax Spotmatic F I owned in the 70's and 80's. It was an excellent camera, but is no longer alive.
I want to buy him a good quality camera and have been shopping on Ebay, but really do not know enough about 35mm SLR cameras to know which ones are the best buys. I was hoping some freepers could clue me in on which of the following cameras are good/better/best etc.
Requirements include through the lens metering and ability to operate in manual mode. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Here are some examples of the brands and models I'm considering:
Canon EOS 650
Canon EOS A2E
Canon EOS Rebel
Olympus OM-2N MD
Minolta Maxxum 7000
Minolta Maxxum 450si
Minolta SRT MC-11
Minolta Maxxum 4
Minolta Maxxum 5
Find him a good used Spotmatic, he can't go wrong with that
and you'll find it will come back to you too.
I loved mine sure wish I had it back, stolen.
I just got a Fuji S5100 digital which is pretty nice,
even looks like an SLR, has spot metering and will do
a lot more than I understand.
Anything from the Canon EOS family will be more than he needs. I have used the EOS 10-S for a long time and have gotten some awsome pictures. If he plans to continue this hobby (occupation) it will be a worthwhile investment. Mine was from a used camera store 8+ years ago. If its just for the class, try and rent one from a used camera store or ebay one. Hope that helps.
If you keep bumping yourself, you'll go blind. That could really mess up the whole photography thing.
As I recall, most 35mm SLRs have a manual setting.
I loved that Spotmatic. The meter broke. I actually bought another one, then my son (the same one) dropped it and the meter quick working on it as well. That appears to be a problem area with that particular camera.
It has to be 35mm.
I've had a Nikon FM for 25 years and I love that thing. Remember there is no autofocus or auto exposure. I learned a lot about composing pictures with that camera.
Cute...unfortunately not an option.
I've got a Nikon FE2 (I think) w/ numerous lenses...want it?
Does the Nikon FM have through the lens metering?
Good film cameras are a dime a dozen these days. Any of the major brands will do just fine. Buy from a dealer and get a warantee. Look for a deal including two or three lenses.
Ebay is ok if you follow all the usual precautions on ebay. Many camera shops have ebay stores and will take the camera back if there are any problems but you won't save that much. A local dealer is better.
Don't give them the asking price. Take 20% off their asking and if they say no turn and head for the door. They'll probably call you back before your hand hits the door.
Also a camera repair shop can be a good place to pick up a camera. People abandon them because they don't want to pay the repair costs. If you stick with the top three or four brands you will have a better choice of lenses and accessories.
I might be interested...freepmail me if you are serious.
There are a lot of photography sites with ratings of cameras that you can find via Google which have real pros evaluating the cameras using lots of technical equaipment as well as practical use evaluations.
PCWorld and PCMag also have comparisons and rated cameras.
As nice as Freepers are, just reading the posts lets you know some of us have weird opinions at times.
I've used a Canon AE-1 for about 10 years and it works great. But that's not to say other newer models wouldn't be better.
Nikon is preferred by professionals. But, if you don't know if this is a long term investment or not, buying the least expensive may be a better purchase. Digital cameras are getting better and better and many professional photographers are using them, or wanting to. Part of the delay is the amount they already have invested in SLR cameras now. Also, you might go visit one of the camera stores and suffer the sales pitches on the various pro and con aspects if you have the time.
Repair shop is a good idea...I didn't think of that.
Canon A-1 with the S.C.C 1.4F lens. Great camera and built like a rock. Heavy but the build quality is there. Look for the metal mounts and not the plastic ones.
Dropped mine at O'Hare aiport about a year after I bought it. Still tested perfect by Canon 10 years later.
Also, the lens quality is outstanding according to none other than Carl Zeiss at the time. Best coming out of Japan.
The A-1 has many great features including fully automatic but non-focusing lenses.
An alternative would be the F-1 but they are a bit more expensive. Built like an Abrams though.
You pay the shipping and it is yours...very fast shutter speed, 1/4000 I believe, w. extension tubes and a nice zoom as well as a high quality 50mm lens, yours for the asking.
Mine has TTL (through the lens) metering using LED's match. I think the new ones have a meter-like match.
Ebay has some good deals with several lenses and accessories.
I used to sell camaras. The professionals usually had two Nikons, because one was always in the shop. I switched from Nikon to Olympus and never looked back.
If you don't want I will take it.
Attention Valerie, your 2 cents is requested.
NIKON N-80. Got it for my daughter a year ago, she's taken fantastic pics with it.
IF your son doesn't take to it, it will have great resale value. Get the standard lens and also a decent zoom, I think I got her a Vivitar lens? Yeah, it's expensive but they are excellent tools.
Actually just about any of those you listed would be ok. The Pentax K-1000 is considered the standard students camera and is good for that purpose if maybe a little over rated.
Any of the Olympus OM series are great tho lenses would not be as plentiful.
Any of the Canon cameras using the FD mount would be fine except the T-80.
Make sure you get a good clean one. You will probably need to replace the seals and mirror foam but this is an inexpensive job, in fact you can order the kits and do it your self.
Deal! Freepmail me with an address to send a check for the shipping and thanks!
Freepers are incredible and generous!
I personally buy all my photography equipment from a store in New York called B&H. I've found them to always have good service and usually a good price. I recently orders a DSLR and accessories from them for just under $2,000 so I definitely have faith in their service. This Link will take you to the page for 35mm SLR cameras.
You are one lucky dude as that is one of the really great ones.
> My son has signed up for a photography class and I need
> to buy a 35mm SLR camera capable of manual operation.
Does it have to be film? A used Canon EOS-300D (original
D-Rebel) would have some value well beyond the class.
Film, processing and printing costs are not cheap.
> My limited experience with 35mm photograph was a Pentax
> Spotmatic F I owned in the 70's and 80's. It was an
> excellent camera, but is no longer alive.
And the same is true of many of the 35mils you list (inop).
I'd suggest buying locally with return privs.
> I want to buy him a good quality camera and have been
> shopping on Ebay, ...
Also, many of those you list are collectibles. I sold
a Canon A-1 outfit last year, and the working stuff
did NOT go cheap on eBay. 3 of my 7 Canon-branded EF-mount
lenses had been ruined in storage helicoid grease failure
(and listed and sold that way, but not all sellers are
that honest - or even aware that the lens has a problem).
I would recommend a used Pentax K1000 from the list you provided.
Yes. He will be using black and white film and learning how to develop in a darkroom. I hope it will become a serious pursuit for him.
I also have a Nikon N70 that I bought with the 28 -70 zoom. I like it but it takes all the fun out of composing a picture. On the other hand it has a full manual setting with TTL and forces you to compose the picture yourself. When in auto I feel like I never know how the pic is going to come out because I am relying on the camera to compose the pic. Sometimes I throw it into manual and make my own pics.
I have a few OM-1/OM-2 bodies. I much prefer the Olympus to the Canon and Nikon for a variety of reasons, the compact size being a primary one.
Shutter speed is conveniently located at the front of the body, coaxial with the lens (vs. on the top of the body), and overall, a very convenient system to manipulate.
The biggest drawback, which is not much of one now, is that OM mount and Zuiko lenses in particular were expensive.
Between the OM-1 and OM-2, I prefer the OM-1 because the shutter is all manual. I sometimes shoot in cold weather, batteries lose juice when cold, and it's maddening to lose a shot because the battery-powered shutter won't fire.
JUMP ON THIS WITH BOTH FEET .... RIGHT NOW!!!
I sure am. I have an FA and an FM2n but wouldn't cry if someone gave me an FE2.
I've got an FM (circa 1980) and an N70. I have a few lenses and I love the FM, the N70 is basically like a point and shoot with some enhancements.
Canon EOS Rebel is great for beginners through serious photography. Has multiple settings. Can shoot auto or manual. Makes great pictures and is light weight.
Nikon is probably the most versatile 35mm, around, and will accept every accessory imaginable from motor drives to viewfinders to numerous lenses. Nikon was smart enough to not obsolete their previous cameras when they brought out a newer model, so there is a long time span - say 15 or more years - where many accessories, and all lenses will work.
Newer Nikons are even better, but probably pricy. If its just a "get acquainted" course that he may or may not continue with, just about any 35mm slr would probably do fine. Shoot, I've seen some pretty good photography with a Russian $29.95 slr!
I particlarly like the fact that they have only one large cross type sensor instead of the multi sensors which are so popular now.
The Cannon A-1 is an excellent manual as well as fully auto I have 2 n both have been working well for 20 years. I also know several pros that use them due to reliability and a large number of ad ons available. Can be found in pawn shops
You may already be aware of this site, but if not, it has reviews for many different cameras.
Film is dead ... it's a waste of time.