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Thread: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

  1. #1

    Default Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Wanting to revisit the 'good old days' of film I had a film point and shoot, but never a film SLR.. all of my SLRs are the digital variety. I'd like to play occasionally so am considering a cheap film SLR.

    It's either going to be something from Canon or Nikon, probably an old FD mount Canon. I want Av aperture priority, and a f/2.8 28mm lens (very bored by the 50mm 'standard' lens - much prefer a 28mm). Manual everythingelse is fine with me, as long as it has the split screen/microprism (which I think the majority do anyway).

    What would you recommend, and why? Thanks in advance for suggestions

  2. #2
    Senior Member felixcat8888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Canon Ae-1, AE-1 Program or Nikon FM10 or FE2

    Have not seen them on shelves though. Can try the B&S or TCW in Peninsula Shopping Centre

  3. #3

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Nikon FM2 is my all time favorite... GOOD CAM !!!

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    get nikon if you have non DX lenses, they can still be used on old f-mount SLRs

  5. #5

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Thanks guys, keep it coming.

    I was looking at an old Canon A-1 on Ebay since the FD lenses are so cheap. (AE-1 has no Av mode) My current SLR lenses are EF which unfortunately won't fit anything else, so in that sense I am 'free' to choose. Was looking at a Contax RTS II this morning because the lenses can be shared with current Canon DSLRs (via adapters) but the price of the body is stunning

    The FM2 seems to be another popular one, I'll check that out
    Last edited by sloth; 17th July 2007 at 02:15 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Thanks guys, keep it coming.

    I was looking at an old Canon A-1 on Ebay since the FD lenses are so cheap. (AE-1 has no Av mode) My current SLR lenses are EF which unfortunately won't fit anything else, so in that sense I am 'free' to choose. Was looking at a Contax RTS II this morning because the lenses can be shared with current Canon DSLRs (via adapters) but the price of the body is stunning

    The FM2 seems to be another popular one, I'll check that out
    Just wondering.. What system are you using now?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    Just wondering.. What system are you using now?
    Canon EOS/EF

    It can take most other systems' lenses via an adapter, and still give you metering in Av mode. Unfortunately it can't take its own ancestor's FD system lenses.

    Got my A-1 on ebay last night....very happy! Not out of 'brand loyalty', since I could consider anything else because I don't need it to work with my current gear, rather because the FD system is 'dead' so the equipment is going very cheap. The Nikon FM2 was a close second but the 28mm lenses are a lot more expensive since they are still in demand.
    Last edited by sloth; 18th July 2007 at 10:00 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Canon EOS/EF

    It can take most other systems' lenses via an adapter, and still give you metering in Av mode. Unfortunately it can't take its own ancestor's FD system lenses.

    Got my A-1 on ebay last night....very happy! Not out of 'brand loyalty', since I could consider anything else because I don't need it to work with my current gear, rather because the FD system is 'dead' so the equipment is going very cheap. The Nikon FM2 was a close second but the 28mm lenses are a lot more expensive since they are still in demand.
    Not keen on the EOS film bodies? At least you can still use your EF lenses. Unless of course you want an excuse to own another system. I have a friend who is still stuck with the NewF1 and a host of FD lenses. Anyway, you're right about the price thing. Don't think the prices of Nikkor lenses would drop so quickly. Still it is ironical that the EF mount cannot accomodate FD lenses but everything else..
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 18th July 2007 at 10:08 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    Not keen on the EOS film bodies? At least you can still use your EF lenses. Unless of course you want an excuse to own another system. I have a friend who is still stuck with the NewF1 and a host of FD lenses. Anyway, you're right about the price thing. Don't think the prices of Nikkor lenses would drop so quickly. Still it is ironical that the EF mount cannot accomodate FD lenses but everything else..
    Oh, I did look at an Elan 7 - that's a very nice EOS film camera. It's very similar to the rest of the EOS gear I own though, and I would end up shooting the same way, with autofocus, zoom lens and everything

    For someone who wants to simply get into film that would be the best way, to buy something that works with your current system. You're right, I wanted to experience something different. I nearly went medium format. Also, one other advantage of the old manual-focus-only cameras: modern AF cameras use a semi-silvered mirror, which allows 33-40% of the light coming through the lens to pass through the AF system, so you only see 60%++ of the light. The old cameras had a 100% silver mirror so all the light is reflected up into the prism which makes for a brighter prism. I love big bright viewfinders

  10. #10

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Oh, I did look at an Elan 7 - that's a very nice EOS film camera. It's very similar to the rest of the EOS gear I own though, and I would end up shooting the same way, with autofocus, zoom lens and everything

    For someone who wants to simply get into film that would be the best way, to buy something that works with your current system. You're right, I wanted to experience something different. I nearly went medium format. Also, one other advantage of the old manual-focus-only cameras: modern AF cameras use a semi-silvered mirror, which allows 33-40% of the light coming through the lens to pass through the AF system, so you only see 60%++ of the light. The old cameras had a 100% silver mirror so all the light is reflected up into the prism which makes for a brighter prism. I love big bright viewfinders
    However, it might be interesting to know that the older focusing screens are not as bright as today's, even with the 100% silvered mirror (not so with those models which meters through the mirror before AF sensors were put there) the viewfinder are not as bright also. But the split image is definitely a great aid to focus with. Still after using both, I would prefer to concentrate on the image rather than the equipment. It's been a long while since my FM2 last saw light.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    That is a good point. Oh well, luckily my investment isn't very big, and I have all the nice EF IS USM XYZ ABCD gear if I want it

  12. #12

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    why not a rangefinder then?
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by radedward View Post
    why not a rangefinder then?
    Any recommendations? Leica's a bit too rich for my wallet

  14. #14

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Any recommendations? Leica's a bit too rich for my wallet

    Voightlander Bessas are cheaper than a Leica
    There's a local dealer, chiif
    http://www.chiifcameras.com/content/view/40/57/

    some bessa bodies do appear in BnS from time to time but a bit more rare

    another option if you want to explore a more alternative side of film photography would be a Lomo LCA.
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    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by radedward View Post
    Voightlander Bessas are cheaper than a Leica
    There's a local dealer, chiif
    http://www.chiifcameras.com/content/view/40/57/

    some bessa bodies do appear in BnS from time to time but a bit more rare

    another option if you want to explore a more alternative side of film photography would be a Lomo LCA.
    been thinking that this Anthony's Collection over at Peninsula Plaza was the only dealer.

    He has a nice showroom on the 2nd flr once, pity it closed down and moved upstairs to 7th floor. a little bit smaller and no more window shopping glass for display. he should hv those Voightlander stuff on display inside.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by radedward View Post
    another option if you want to explore a more alternative side of film photography would be a Lomo LCA.
    I might actually go that way in a while... the alternative photography forum here is beginning to grow on me.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Not sure if you want to consider Yashica, Minolta and Olympus or you must stick to C or N?
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  18. #18

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    For cheap SLR systems, I recommend Pentax, Minolta or Canon FD. All three are discontinued and accessories for each are cheap. Olympus OM, Canon and Nikon have a cult following and their accessories and lenses are more expensive as a result. You do get more choice though. I can get a Minolta X-700 with a power winder and two lenses for a Nikon FE2 body only. All other makes of SLRs don't have as good a range of accessories or is too poor a quality to be considered.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Willing to consider others, as stated many posts ago, I'm a Canon EOS shooter but have no particular loyalty when it comes to film since the EOS lenses don't mount on anything else. So clean slate it is...

    Thanks Alternative, you made some very good points. I'll definitely check out those systems. Think some of the Pentax lenses can be adapted to digital, too

  20. #20

    Default Re: Considering an old film camera to play with... which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Willing to consider others, as stated many posts ago, I'm a Canon EOS shooter but have no particular loyalty when it comes to film since the EOS lenses don't mount on anything else. So clean slate it is...

    Thanks Alternative, you made some very good points. I'll definitely check out those systems. Think some of the Pentax lenses can be adapted to digital, too
    Not some, ALL K mount lenses.

    Makes the fabled Nikon F mount not so fabled after all...

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