ISO 35mm camera suggestion

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macandal

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I began as a digital SLR (Canon Rebel XTi) user, and even though I haven't given up on my digital, I am finding myself shooting more and more with my analog camera, an Olympus OM10, that belongs to my father. That and also the fact that I've just gotten my first LF camera, a Sinar F2, and wanting to learn lab techniques (processing, printing, not photoshop) have really made analog shooting a first choice for me. Anyway, that said, I want to buy an analog 35mm camera. The OM10 can be taken away from me at any time, so I need to have my own system. I love my Rebel DSLR, I think that's a great camera, so I was thinking going the Canon way for no other reason than my satisfaction with the digital camera I have. But before I buy one, why not ask those who know? What should I get? I know this is a loaded question, but I want a good camera that has great lenses. What should I get, where should I get it, and how much should I expect to pay? Thanks a lot.
 

Rick A

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There's nothing wrong with Olympus gear. If you already have experience with them, buy some for yourself. I think an OM-1 or 2 is a great place to start. The OM-G is an updated OM-10(IMO better). If you want the best spot-metering, OM-4, or 4T(if you can afford one, OM-3). Then you can share lenses with your dad. I really like the ergonomics of the Oly, especially the shutter speed at the base of the lens mount, so you never have to move your hand or look away from the view finder, you control speed and aperture with one hand. Zuiko lenses are among the finest in the world. Some folks around here often refer to them as legendary. I would stay away from any of the auto-focus model Olys though, IMO they fell short of the mark with them. You will be getting lots of suggestions from everybody else promoting their favorite brand, so do some homework, and try to make an informed decision.

Rick
 
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macandal

macandal

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There's nothing wrong with Olympus gear.
Oh, no, I didn't say there was anything wrong with it. It's just that I've been using the Canon and liked it. Perhaps I should have mentioned that I also liked the Olympus. Takes good pics.
If you want the best spot-metering, OM-4, or 4T(if you can afford one, OM-3).
If I can afford one get an OM-4, 4T or an OM-3?
You will be getting lots of suggestions from everybody else promoting their favorite brand, so do some homework, and try to make an informed decision.
Isn't that the truth? That's fine though.

Thanks Rick.
 

elekm

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Just call it film. That's what it's been called since the early 1900s, and it still works today. Plus, when you go into a store and ask for a roll of analog, you'll sound like a dork. (By the way, that was meant to be partly humorous).

If you like Canon, then look for a film EOS camera. There are scores of them on the second-hand market today.

You should know that Canon made a line of FD-mount cameras, and then later a line of EOS-mount cameras. The lenses aren't compatible with each other.

In addition to Canon and Olympus, there are also excellent cameras made by Pentax, Nikon, Minolta, Konica and others. The costliest cameras were made by the (non-communist) Europeans -- Leica, Alpa, Zeiss Ikon Contarex -- and the Yashica/Kyocera Contax.

In general, I think that you'll find that the costliest part of camera gear are the lenses, and generally the most expensive lenses will be those made by Carl Zeiss, Leica and lenses for the Alpa.
 
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You get a Canon, say, Elan 7 or 7e or II or EOS630. Well, the dials are the same and you will find your way around the camera quick enough to get into the fvd differences fairly quickly. If you like the Olympus, stay with it. Build and expand your own system as Rick says. Or jump into ANY number of systems out there. Pentax K's, Minolta X's or sr-'s, Nikon F's, Canon A's, you name it. Sky's the limit.
 

Dennis S

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You should know that Canon made a line of FD-mount cameras, and then later a line of EOS-mount cameras. The lenses aren't compatible with each other.
Adapters my friend. Shooting my Canon Elan IIe w/ FD lenses and it does quite well.
If you like one system it is good just stick with that one until you get to know your shooting style. Spreading out with a large collection of different type of cameras and lenses can thin your budget out too thinly. You have to remember that the camera is only one part of a LARGE collection of tools and chemicals & etc, etc,etc you will need.
 
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mopar_guy

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All film cameras, regardless of the format, do the same thing: record an image on the film. Most modern cameras have a "feature set" that makes the camera suitable for certain tasks. These feature sets will vary from make to make and model to model. Something often overlooked is not what camera a person should buy, but what lenses a person should buy. Because you are not married to any system at this point it may be better to ask what lenses that you NEED and then get a camera that will work with these lenses AND have the features that you want.
 
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Because you are not married to any system at this point it may be better to ask what lenses that you NEED and then get a camera that will work with these lenses AND have the features that you want.

A very systematic way to approach it. I second this suggestion. Evaluate your photography and go out from there. Well said.
 

removed-user-1

You don't mention which lens(es) you have for your digital Rebel, but assuming you have a digital-only lens, here is something to consider. The Canon EOS EF-S (digital) lenses can't be used on the EOS film cameras, but the EF lenses made for the 35mm cameras will work just fine on your digital SLR. So, one route to consider is almost any 35mm EOS Canon, and a 50mm f/1.8. This would give you one inexpensive, fast lens for use on both 35mm and digital Canons, and on the DSLR it would be a superb portrait lens.
 

removed-user-1

If you decide to get a Canon EOS 35mm, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 would be a great choice to pair with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens (which is digital-format only). You'd have a fast normal and fast short tele for the DSLR, and a fast normal for the 35mm. My wife has an EOS Rebel K2 (I shoot Nikon or Pentax for 35mm); it's a nice late-model 35mm camera which you can probably find at KEH for under $100; the 50mm f/1.8 shouldn't set you back much either. Any of the older Canons like the Elan II or the A2 are also available very inexpensively.
 
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I shoot older Minoltas and Rokkor glass with a MD mount three lug bayonet is sweet. Nikon has the reputation for SLR bodies/systems. And don't get started on rangefinders like Leica and whatnot. What do you shoot with?
 

Vonder

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I only have a Sigma 30mm f/1.4.

You won't be able to use that lens on a Canon film body. It *may* mount but the performance will be awful on the edges, with possibly heavy vingetting. Even w/o being able to use that lens, Canon EOS is a prefectly fine line of cameras and if you buy film-body lenses, they will work 100% on the digital Rebel.

But...

There are hundreds of bodies and systems to choose from. Your best bet is to go to a camera store that sells used gear and play around. These are not expensive items, and store folk will not typically want to spend time helping you select and buy one. If you go during a slow time, say Tuesday afternoon, when the stores are dead, you will have better service. Ask questions. If you're lucky someone in the store will have a clue about the used film gear. If that isn't the case, come back here to APUG and ask questions. There are more camera experts here than you will find in any store.
 

olleorama

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Who makes the best lenses?

Rodenstock and Schneider-Kreuznach, followed by Mamiya. :smile:

Seriously, for the 35mm cameras there is a huge respect for Carl Zeiss, which makes lenses for most brands (?) or at least Canon, Nikon and Contax. But most 'native' lenses are regarded as good IMHO, specially if you ask the owners. Ask a pentax user which lenses are best and they will probably answer 'pentax', ask a nikonian and they will answer 'Nikon' etc. Concerning AF lenses, the AF of the canon USM line is way superior to Nikons AF lenses, IMO, and I used to use the nikon system.

EDIT: Assumption, SLRs only. If RFs are on the menu the rules change a bit. Leitzs leica lenses wins hands down, and Voigtländer-Cosina aren't far behind, and depending on who you ask Zeiss Ikon is probably a top contender. I know very little about rangefinders et al. So probably someone else can discuss those. The essence of my post was that Carl Zeiss makes damn fine lenses, available for quite a few systems. And that canons USM lenses beats Nikons Af lenses when it comes to AF performance, although maybe not in lens quality.

But large and medium format lenses wins! :D
 
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Rick A

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Oh, no, I didn't say there was anything wrong with it. It's just that I've been using the Canon and liked it. Perhaps I should have mentioned that I also liked the Olympus. Takes good pics.
If I can afford one get an OM-4, 4T or an OM-3?
Isn't that the truth? That's fine though.

Thanks Rick.
If you have the budget, the OM-3. It, like the OM-1, is fully manual, with mechanical(non-electronic)shutter. The only thing batteries power is the meter, which has center weight, spot meter, multi spot w/averaging, spot w/shadow bias, and spot w/hilite bias. If the batteries go dead, you still shoot. These are scarce, and very pricy when you find one. I'm still kicking myself for not getting one when they were the same price as the OM-4(the salesman talked me into the 4) I thought I needed the auto exposure of the OM-4.

Rick
 

Rol_Lei Nut

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I'm too new to photography to pinpoint "what I want to do with photography". Who makes the best lenses?

Usually the "best" lens can only be found on a case by case basis
(and is also very much a question of personal needs and tastes).

Some manufacturers might be *on average* somewhat better than others, but that doesn't mean that all their lenses are better.

Also, it depends on what you mean by "best": There are many parameters involved in lens quality and some of them may or may not be important to you.
If shooting mainly action & sports, distortion may not be important but beinmg able to zoom is. Bokeh may or may not be important and and and...

There is also the question of signatures: To some completely unseeable, to other it gives some lenses a cult status.

Some (like myself) will swear by many Leica and Zeiss lenses (but also many other lovely lenses made by others are out there), while others will consider those ridiculously expensive and will (rightly?) argue that you can get 90% of the quality at a fraction of the cost elsewhere...
How much do you want to pay for a little more flare resistance? Or a little less distortion? Or that little extra quality at full aperture? Or even a very subtle pleasurable aspect of its signature?

No easy answers! ;-)
 

Hamster

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If you are new to phototgraphy to pinpoint what you are into. I highly suggest sticking with OM-1/2 as opposed to auto everything EOS camera. Every mistake that you make with the methodical approach need with OM gear (or other mechanical slr) will go into your "experience bank", you will find that within a short time you will have a strong grasp of the medium. Things you learn with the OM-1 will be usable with your LF gear too.
 

flash26c

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Above all, if you have "no direction" in your photography but wish to learn with 35mm, by all means get into a manufacture such as Nikon, Cannon, Olympus that offer a system. You may find Macro is what you like, or street photography, or landscape, etc. A system approach so you can add equipment as you need (want) it is a huge plus!!
 

FilmOnly

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Here is my input. It is based upon ten years or so of trail, error, and experimentation. I started as a point-and-shoot user, and quickly became an SLR user (and now am an SLR enthusiast). I began with Pentax K-mount gear, and have since tried/used/owned Minolta, Canon, and Nikon, pretty much in that order. All offer excellent systems. I chose my current stable of cameras based upon the manner in which I use a 35mm SLR camera. I have two Canon F-1Ns, two Nikon FEs, and a Nikon F3HP on the way. While some folks make their decisions based almost exclusively on lenses, I tend to identify other aspects and features as well. For example, I really like the viewfinders in the cameras I currently own. They are uncluttered and unobtrusive. They do not assualt me with information, and they provide good magnification, coverage, and brightness. Basically, I like to see "the whole picture," and these viewfinders permit me to do so.

I also do not like what I would call a "lightweight" camera. A number of folks here prize certain camera bodies because they are small and light. I am the opposite. I have found that a few extra ounces offer me better balance and handling (and with a motor or winder, a lower center-of-gravity). All of my cameras have either a motor or winder attached. All are "heavyweights."

I have also found that heavy, all-metal cameras offer superior ruggedness and durability. Further, I am one who does not mind admitting that I like old cameras, and old craftsmanship. Plastic cameras have never impressed me. Hence, I am an advocate of the "classic," well-made body and lens. With regard to the Nikon FE, I purposely chose that body because it is a virtually all-metal body that will accept just about every Nikon lens from 1959 and beyond. Thus, I could buy superbly built, all-metal lenses that offer great optics for next to nothing (i.e. Nikon pre-AI lenses). If you would like to own a variety of lenses--and not have to end up in the poor house--I would suggest taking these factors into consideration. I wish you well, and am sure you will receive plenty of good advice.

PS: I have not mentioned my thoughts in regard to the autofocus vs. manual focus debate. After trying AF, I went back to MF a few years ago. I prefer having the control of MF, especially in terms of depth-of-field. I also like the comparatively dirt-cheap prices of MF lenses. Further, the build quality of a $10 MF lens will rival that of any modern (plastic) AF lens.
 
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olleorama

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Further, the build quality of a $10 MF lens will rival that of any modern (plastic) AF lens.

This is simply not true. Try a Pro AF lens. Sure there are cheap plastic made AF lenses with terrible build quality. But there are also modern proffesional AF zoom monsters whos build quality will match any older lens. But, and a big but, not for $10. Dollar for dollar, the older MF gear will surely win, but not in absolute build quality. We may be nostalgic and like the feeling of the 'real' gear, but it has little to do with reality.
 

f1.4

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I think an important starting point for your decision could be that you work both with 35mm film and with digital cameras of the same format.

That could give you the possibility of using the same lenses both for film and digital. After all, lenses makes pictures. You only want to pay for good lenses once. In the film world, the camera mainly keeps the film in the dark. (Whether you then should go for Canon or Nikon is a contentious issue that I will avoid here. People get through life with both brands, - and with other brands as well.)

In my case the solution is Nikon D3 for digital. Started with a D70 and worked my way up. That made it a natural choice to move from other film-based cameras (mostly Leica) to Nikon F5 for film. Today you can buy the discontinued film-based top models, like the F5 (or similar Canon models) second hand for next to nothing. Old mid-range models like the F100 are even cheaper. In addition to having just one set of lenses that always behaves the same, the old high-end models for film have other advantages like advanced aperture priority automatic exposure, advanced autofocus and motorized film advance. Many of the features of today's digital cameras come from these top film models. You can turn it all off anytime and go manual if you so wish.
In this setting I would go for autofocus on all lenses. You can disable it at any time and go manual. With manual lenses you can not go the other way. When things happen fast you will enjoy the autofocus.

In any case. If you buy new lenses, buy them as expensive as you can afford. As an example, today the latest Nikkor aspheric nano-coat zoom lenses outperforms anything they have built before. They are expensive, but unless you are into super-wide angles or long teles you only need one lens for all work. Buying 4 or 5 prime lenses will cost the same. (Guess it is the same with the Canon USMs.)

Then of course there is a chance that you would say, no, I want to go through all the manual experiences that photographers before me have been through. Both for the sheer fun of doing it and to get a good foundation for my future photographic work. That would be just as recommendable as a start. At least for your soul. In that case I would look for a camera family at the end of its life but with good lenses. Depending on the money available, ranging from the (quite old) Pentax Spotmatics to the most recent discontinued series, the Leica R. (At least over here) the R prices dropped like stones recently.
 
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hugo8100

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I rather like Olympus and that's what I chose for myself. Though there's nothing wrong with sticking with Canon if that's what you like. I think when buying 20 year old hardware quite a bit of it comes down to personal preference and maybe a touch of brand loyalty. I can't speak to Nikon or Canon, but if you go with Olympus and you don't have much to spend I'd buy a OM-1 and your lenses first. Then later go for a OM-4T. Or OM-3.

For reference, I bought a near mint OM-2n, a Zuiko 28mm 3.5, a 35-105mm 3.5 and a 50mm 1.8 lens for $80 from a couple on craigslist. That was a pretty good price, but if you're patient and look out for deals you can build a system pretty cheaply.
 

FilmOnly

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With regard to lens build quality, I think there is more to it than "nostalgia." I paid $9.05 for my Minolta Rokkor-X 50/1.7, and it was easily of better build quality than any contemporary AF lens I have owned or used. This was the reality that I observed.
 

Nicholas Lindan

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It is a good idea to stick with a system that is compatible with the equipment you already have.

Canon film-system lenses will fit your Canon digital rebel. And some Canon digital lenses will work with some Canon film bodies.

Olympus lenses certainly will not fit your existing gear, unless you expect to inherit your father's Olympus in the next few months, or are able to use his large stable of lenses, there is little reason to continue with Olympus gear. To the best of my knowledge Olympus film lenses do not fit Olympus digital bodies and the Olympus film system is all manual focus, something to consider if you would like AF capability in your film work. Interestingly, it is possible to mount Olympus lenses on Canon bodies.

Olympus film technology hasn't really been updated in the last 20 years. Most bodies and lenses are 70's vintage, and although that doesn't matter for lenses, the electronics in the bodies are nearing the end of their life.

I think anyone getting into both film and digital, or who will be working in both camps some day, should stick with product families that allow interchangeability of lenses and accessories between the two technologies.

Compatibility-wise you will be much better off staying with Canon.
 
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