Camera purchase help: Canon vs Nikon vs Pentax Vs Olympus vs Minolta

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Anupam_nc

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I have a Yashica FX3 which suffers from severe light leak issues, but I’ve managed to take a few good photos out of that camera. That’s probably a fixable issue. I have an FX7, again by Yashica, I bought this one cause it is identical to an fx3, and this body has a working light meter. Shot one roll only to find light leak issues with this as well.
I have a 28mm f2.8 and a 50 f2 with me on the c/y mount.


I’ve been looking for a decent body for some time now, as I am planning to move away from the Yashica ecosystem mainly because of the expensive (although extremely capable) c/y mount lenses.

This is probably going to be ignore or get really heated but I’d like to know suggestions for the best camera maker. I have a few points I’d like to cover:

1. Cheap lenses: Very important as I am a hobbyist and not a pro, I am happy with the output from my Yashicas, apart from the light leak. Lens pricing range between $50 to $150 max.

2. Features are a nice to have. PASM modes, interesting focus modes like the ones in Contax Aria and RX systems but those cameras are extremely heavy.

3. Weight: The main reason to switch from the Yashica lens system is that, even the Contax cameras don’t look like a good option, because of weight and the lens pricing even in the second hand market.

I like the OM ecosystem, the lenses are cheap, bodies are light, and the shutter-on-lens mount is a nice touch. Any watch outs for the Olympus systems?

I am also looking at the Nikon fg and Canon A1, although the A1 is on a slightly expensive side.

Although the choice is subjective, I’d like to zero down on a camera based on the comments.


Thanks in advance for the help :smile:
 

ic-racer

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Id stay with the Yashicas. I think that is the only one on your list that made cheap lenses. (DSB Lens line)
 
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Nitroplait

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Learn to fix light leaks. Google it.

If you must change system, I'd recommend Nikon. They ruled the film era and there are plenty to choose from in all price ranges.
 

Two23

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Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of the four. I use a Nikon F3T (relatively expensive) with lenses 28/50/105mm and it's a nice easy to use and carry system. I suggest giving serious consideration to either one of the smaller Nikon cameras or the Olympus OM series if weight is a major factor. I've been considering buying an Olympus 2n and lenses 24/50/100mm myself (as if I need another camera LOL.)


Kent in SD
 

Joel_L

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I have some of everything on your list except Pentax ( just haven't picked one up yet ). I like them all. The only one with potential issues to watch out for are Olympus OM-1s and maybe OM-2s. There is a foam pad over the prism, this foam rots and eats through the prism coating. It is still usable but is visible in the viewfinder. I have three OM-1s and first thing I did was take the top off and remove the foam. One I had to find a new prism for.

I also have a Yashica FX3 - just put new seals on yours.

I think just get what ever interests you, they are all fine, just search for in in excellent shape. I do like the OMs for their size.
 
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Anupam_nc

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I have some of everything on your list except Pentax ( just haven't picked one up yet ). I like them all. The only one with potential issues to watch out for are Olympus OM-1s and maybe OM-2s. There is a foam pad over the prism, this foam rots and eats through the prism coating. It is still usable but is visible in the viewfinder. I have three OM-1s and first thing I did was take the top off and remove the foam. One I had to find a new prism for.

I also have a Yashica FX3 - just put new seals on yours.

I think just get what ever interests you, they are all fine, just search for in in excellent shape. I do like the OMs for their size.

I have heard about the foam pad issue. Thanks for confirming that. I’m ok with my fx7, the light leaks aren’t the main problem, lens availability is.

There’s one way to see it that if I dive into another system, i will be spending around 100-200 usd anyway, so I can instead buy another lens for my Yashica fx7 instead. That also makes sense I guess
 

momus

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M42 lenses tend to be inexpensive, but film camera lenses in general are selling at all time highs. The Canon FD lenses are also at the lower end of the price range, and you would have the A-1, AE-1, AE-1 Program, F1, FTb, etc as bodies that are known for being reliable.

But w/ any old camera, the devil is in the details. Make sure the seller takes a return if it isn't working as advertised.

The tiny Pentax SLR cameras have great lenses, but their prices are way up. Not the camera prices, the lenses. Still, they would do the job nicely. I have a $20 Pentax MV w/ a SMC 50 2 lens that takes beautiful photos. It has a light leak on the back's side hinge, but a strip of gaffer's tape on the outside has worked for over a year because I'm too lazy to put seals in the camera.
 

Nicholas Lindan

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Also figure that if you buy a used Nikon, Canon ... there is a good chance your 'new' camera will also need the light seals replaced. Google for "Yashica FX-3 light seals" for pre-cut kits. The 'fun' part is removing the goo that the old seals have turned into.

ebay has a feature that notifies you when something you seek comes up for auction. In the US Yashica lenses are reasonably common and they don't go for much $$$. Considering Yashica made the Zeiss Contax gear under contract there probably isn't much advantage in getting Zeiss glass.
 
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Anupam_nc

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M42 lenses tend to be inexpensive, but film camera lenses in general are selling at all time highs. The Canon FD lenses are also at the lower end of the price range, and you would have the A-1, AE-1, AE-1 Program, F1, FTb, etc as bodies that are known for being reliable.

But w/ any old camera, the devil is in the details. Make sure the seller takes a return if it isn't working as advertised.

The tiny Pentax SLR cameras have great lenses, but their prices are way up. Not the camera prices, the lenses. Still, they would do the job nicely. I have a $20 Pentax MV w/ a SMC 50 2 lens that takes beautiful photos. It has a light leak on the back's side hinge, but a strip of gaffer's tape on the outside has worked for over a year because I'm too lazy to put seals in the camera.

I was planning to try out the m42 lenses with a mount as well, that would help me own multiple bodies too by keeping the same lens set. Any disadvantage of choice?
 

ic-racer

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There aren't many lenses available for Yashica on the used market. Whatever is there is zeiss made and that’s expensive
There are over 1,300 listings under Yashica Lens here right now:
Screen Shot 2022-09-17 at 11.51.48 AM.png
 

Paul Howell

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In terms of inexpensive lens Minolta AF, lots of Minolta and 3rd party glass on the market, even basic primes like the 50mm 1.7, 28mm 2.8 and 135mm 2.8 are well within reason. If you want the all manual experience just set the camera to manual and turn off the AF. For the price of a Yashica MF body you can find a top of the line 800si, 7xi, or 9xi. It does get a little confusing with later Minolta, Konica Minolta, and Sony A mount bodies and lens. Towards the end Konica and Minolta merged and became Konica Minolta, which made the first generation of digital Konica Minolta cameras, the camera division was then sold to Sony who continued with the A mount lens. The first 5(?) generations of Minolta AF lens were screw mount, then Konica Minolta started to make micro motor driven AF lens, Sony only made micro motor lens. All Minolta, Konica Minolta and Sony A mount bodies have the gear to drive gear driven lens. So unless you have a Minolta 7 buy early lens. One of the reasons Minolta lens remain less expensive than other brands is that Sony has stopped production of all of it A mount bodies, only mirrorless bodies are being made the E mount, not compatible with A mount.

A fair disclaimer, I have a brace of Minolta bodies, MF and AF, I like the AF better, but if I had to do it all over again I would have gone with Canon EF, reason, Canon was out of the gate with micromotor lens, all full frame Canon EF lens will work on all Canon EOS film bodies. I think Minolta lens are bit cheaper, but Canon entry and mid level lens are not that much more.
 

Chan Tran

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If you're OK not to have PSAM (or SPAM) and no AF I would recommend a Nikon. Any of the FM series depending on your budget. Any of the FE series. Any of the F3 series. The F2 are great but if you need the meter the CdS version tends to go bad by now and the sillicon version are expensive.
If you need PSAM then I would have to recommend the F5, F100 or even F6 which the bodies are more expensive and the lenses are expensive too. Manual focus lenses work but not as well on these.
 
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Anupam_nc

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In terms of inexpensive lens Minolta AF, lots of Minolta and 3rd party glass on the market, even basic primes like the 50mm 1.7, 28mm 2.8 and 135mm 2.8 are well within reason. If you want the all manual experience just set the camera to manual and turn off the AF. For the price of a Yashica MF body you can find a top of the line 800si, 7xi, or 9xi. It does get a little confusing with later Minolta, Konica Minolta, and Sony A mount bodies and lens. Towards the end Konica and Minolta merged and became Konica Minolta, which made the first generation of digital Konica Minolta cameras, the camera division was then sold to Sony who continued with the A mount lens. The first 5(?) generations of Minolta AF lens were screw mount, then Konica Minolta started to make micro motor driven AF lens, Sony only made micro motor lens. All Minolta, Konica Minolta and Sony A mount bodies have the gear to drive gear driven lens. So unless you have a Minolta 7 buy early lens. One of the reasons Minolta lens remain less expensive than other brands is that Sony has stopped production of all of it A mount bodies, only mirrorless bodies are being made the E mount, not compatible with A mount.

A fair disclaimer, I have a brace of Minolta bodies, MF and AF, I like the AF better, but if I had to do it all over again I would have gone with Canon EF, reason, Canon was out of the gate with micromotor lens, all full frame Canon EF lens will work on all Canon EOS film bodies. I think Minolta lens are bit cheaper, but Canon entry and mid level lens are not that much more.

Do you have the maxxum 7000 by chance? How’s your experience with that camera?
 

spark

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Don’t be scared of replacing light seals. You go through some toothpicks and coffee stirrers as tools but it’s not hard. Yashica bodies were light and easy to carry, though sometimes pushed past the limits of reliable electronics for their time. (The Contax series is a big example of this).
Canon FD bodies are also plentiful and there are still repair services available. Top end Nikon stuff has gotten more expensive but there are plenty of AI lenses that fit them all. The lower range Nikons (N2000/F301, N8008) are pretty cheap in comparison.
 

BMbikerider

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If you are going down the 'elderly' camera route I would tend to shy away from bodies that incorporate electronics other than the meter. Spares even for the likes of the later Nikon/Canon/Minolta are as rare as rocking horse droppings. (they have not been readily available for the F3/FE/FE2 for quite a long time now

It all depends on your budget but I thought about this and gave a long hard look at Nikon F/F2, Canon F1, Minolta SRT range which are all mechanical and generally be repaired. My latest acquisition is a Nikon Nikormat FT3 which is between the older Nikormat range and the Nikon FM.
 

Paul Howell

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Do you have the maxxum 7000 by chance? How’s your experience with that camera?

I have one, really nice bright viewfinder, runs off AAA batteries, not the same build quality as the 9000, still pretty good, AF is not great, doable, but if put the camera manual doe and MF it is a good shooter. Mine has a bit of LED bleed, along with the 35 to 70 F4 and 70 to 200 F4 A mount lens a great travel kit. Not sure what they sell for in India, here the states still low price.
 

250swb

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I would normally say Nikon, but your idea for an FG isn't the best by a long way. If you can tweak your spec for another Nikon, maybe an FE or FE2, then I'd say definitely Nikon. And it's not about the camera itself compared with say a Canon A1, it's the breadth of the system it gets you into. A well chosen lens for an FE can also fit a Nikkormat, an F, F2, F3, well you get the point. All legendary cameras but sharing the F mount which even figures today with the Nikon F mount adapter for the Z series of digital cameras. The Nikon F lenses are as ubiquitous as Leica LTM or M lenses, they traverse decades of compatibility
 

film_man

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Canon EOS 300. £5.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. £80.

Done.
 
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From your list I would recommend Olympus. Small bodies and tiny lens. Most of the most useful focal lenghts can be have very cheap. Also there is a adaptall adapters for Tamron.

I would either get the OM1 or the OM4. OM2 is more prone to failures than those two and the OM3 is expensive.

Regards.
 

Huss

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My first recommendation is buy whatever I am selling.
My second recommendation is replace the light seals in your camera. Kits are under $20 and it just takes a little patience.
My third recommendation is buy whatever is in the best condition, all the cameras are good.
 

John Koehrer

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You mentioned weight being a concern so anything heavier than the camera you have will be heavier. That means NO Nikon F series, Canon, Minolta manual focus camera.

The Nikon fg fm and fe are the light Nikons and Minolta AF's are relatively light. Olympus are light but do have a problem with the foam eating the prism silvering. Pentax has a couple of small & light cameras, ME/MX/LX come to mind, lenses aren't out of line and again Most of the lenses are pretty light Some of the older one were compared to Leica and Nikon.
 

waynecrider

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Try a Nikon N80 or any of the Canon AF series at your price point. 50mm lenses such as a 50mm F1.8 are plentiful and cheap.
 

Sirius Glass

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Try a Nikon N80 or any of the Canon AF series at your price point. 50mm lenses such as a 50mm F1.8 are plentiful and cheap.

Also the Nikon N75 and the Nikon F100 are inexpensive.
 
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