What's your favourite 35mm camera or substitute?

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Nicole

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Hi everyone, well, I never thought I'd say this, but it's time to retire my Nikon F90X 35mm camera as I find the AE-L button just that too far away to get my thumb around. So I'm in the market for a camera with this wish list:
Most important requirements:
* Small for ladies
* Quiet shutter that doesn't 'CLANK' everytime you trip the shutter
* Very small and very sharp spotmeter in the viewfinder - as it's usually the only type of metering system I use. I do have a good hand-held meter as well if necessary.

I would love to know which cameras are your favourites and why?

Thank you for sharing.
Kind regards,
Nicole
 

Dave Parker

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Hi Nicole,

Are you looking to stay in the Nikon Line, If not, I gave my wife a Minolta Dynax 70 for Christmas and she loves it, although to small for my hands, it seems to fit hers quite nicely and performs like a winner, and most of all it is quite inexpensive, and there are a ton of good quality Minolta lenses around for very reasonable prices.

Dave
 

modafoto

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Nicole McGrade said:
Most important requirements:
* Small for ladies

I use Canon EOS Elan 7E. Not especially small, but the newer Canons are smaller (e.g. the thinner handgrip etc.).
Nicole McGrade said:
* Quiet shutter that doesn't 'CLANK' everytime you trip the shutter
My Elan 7E is one of the quietest in the world!
Nicole McGrade said:
* Very small and very sharp spotmeter in the viewfinder - as it's usually the only type of metering system I use. I do have a good hand-held meter as well if necessary.
Great metering on the Canons. Spot, Centre-weighted and multi-pattern metering (35 zones).

Nicole McGrade said:
I would love to know which cameras are your favourites and why?

Canon EOS Elan 7E and Canon EOS 3 (a beast) and Canon EOS 1 VHS.
 
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Nicole

Nicole

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Hi Dave, long time no see. :smile:

I do have some very good Nikon lenses that I don't really want to part with, unless the new whole system was superior to Nikons. In saying that, I'm not sure if Nikon actually has a smaller camera anyway! I do need to find something that works well for my style of work I guess.

Dave, if you can, please tell me more about your wife's camera.
Cheers
Nicole
 

Ole

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If it wasn't for that spotmeter, I'd recommend a Bessa-L. Small, light, takes any LTM lens, simple lightmeter.

Usually I bring an old folding MF camera with me - no metering at all, but "Gloomy 4" seems to work.
 

modafoto

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Nicole McGrade said:
In saying that, I'm not sure if Nikon actually has a smaller camera anyway!

Nikon F80 (N80) is my advice with a Nikon. I believe it to be smaller. I think Tony (TPPhotog) has one. Ask him for more details.
 

titrisol

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For me it has to be the Pentax Spotmatic.
I also have some Nikons, from which my favorite is the FE
But the good ol' spottie is the one I feel more happy using, small, solid, good light meter and outstanding lenses.

Sice you already have a Nikon, and a bunch of glass I'd look into those.
Otherwise consider a Pentax or a Minolta
 

modafoto

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titrisol said:
For me it has to be the Pentax Spotmatic.
...But the good ol' spottie is the one I feel more happy using, small, solid, good light meter and outstanding lenses.

A Spottie...ahhh....my first SLR. I loaned my father's and I use it sometimes because he is not shooting it so much (not that much into photography anymore, and he shoots mainly family stuff with his tiny digi).
 
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Nicole

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Titrisol - I love the size and age of the Pentax Spotmatic. Do you have any more info? Cheers, Nicole

titrisol said:
For me it has to be the Pentax Spotmatic.
But the good ol' spottie is the one I feel more happy using, small, solid, good light meter and outstanding lenses.
 

colrehogan

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modafoto said:
Canon EOS Elan 7E and Canon EOS 3 (a beast) and Canon EOS 1 VHS.
I got rid of all my Canon AF stuff years ago (Elan IIe (battery compartment design problem) and an EOS 3 (battery hog) and haven't regretted it for a second. Still have my original Canon FD kit though.

I have a Nikon FM3A and F5. As for what camera fits in your hand well, you are the one who has to decide that. Go to a camera shop and hold the ones you're interested in, if possible.
 

arigram

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Nicole I too have a Nikon F90X (it seems we are camera-mates!) which I have "retired" in favor of my Hasselblad and I also have a 38 year old Nikon F.
Maybe you should look for a Leica?
I can't think of any other system that has what you describe and has maybe better lenses than Nikon. I don't have one so I can't offer any more details.
 

modafoto

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colrehogan said:
I got rid of all my Canon AF stuff years ago (Elan IIe (battery compartment design problem) and an EOS 3 (battery hog) and haven't regretted it for a second. Still have my original Canon FD kit though.

I feel it is a matter of taste. I shot a few Nikons before deciding which to buy, but they didn't handle as well as the Canons to me...
 

BradS

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My favorite 35mm?

Pentax KX -- bought mine in 1978 and it is still my number one choice...although, the new FM3a is getting more and more attention.

Unfortunately, I don't think either one of these meet your stated requiremnts.
 

titrisol

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More info can be found online in places like:
http://www.pentax-manuals.com
http://www.aohc.it/index.htm
Dead Link Removed

From my experience... The Spottie was also my dad's camera, he bought it in Japan in the early 70s, with a 55/1.8, 200/4, 17/4 fisheye and close up accesories. I later added a couple of Vivitar zoom lenses and some russian Zenits.
When I learned to take pictures, he let me use his Zeiss Ikon Contessa first and then I was allowed to use the Spottie. I guess I learned how to use that camera real well, since I used it until I got to college and was able to buy a Nikon FE2 and a succesion of cameras ever since.
However I always go back to the Spottie. The size and feel of it is very comfortable to me, the controls are postioned where they should be. Drawbacks: the viewfinder could be brighter, you have to meter light stopping down the lens, and it lacks a hot shoe for flash. The metering is not spot but centerwighted meter me thinks.

I have acquired another one for not so much money and I'm happy with it, I'll have to send it for a CLA soon. I found Sekor and Asahi lenses disguised as Sears or JCPenney here so I can;t complain.

Now I'm saving my buck$$$ for a Pentax 645, which I think is a spotmatic in steroids.


Nicole McGrade said:
Titrisol - I love the size and age of the Pentax Spotmatic. Do you have any more info? Cheers, Nicole
 

FrankB

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Hi Nicole,

I'd second Morten's vote for the N80 (or the F80 as we Brits call it!). I've had one for over four years now and rate it very highly indeed. It is a bit smaller than the N90X and I find it handles really well. The ergonomics are bob on, for me. The best bet for yourself is to handle one and see what you think.

It's a little smaller too than the equivalent Canon. The Canon wins out on features like motorwind and mirror lockup but strangely loses out on spotmetering (the Canon has a partial meter), a cable release, selectable gridlines in the 'finder and (for me) ergonomics.

The possible fly in the ointment is that an N80 will not meter through non-AF lenses. Why Nikon chose to do this truly *stupid* thing with an otherwise brilliant camera you'll have to enquire from them but, if you have a lot of manual lenses and don't want to change them, then this is not the body for you (and I'd look carefully at other newish Nikon bodies for the same problem before parting with any cash, too!).

If you dislike the N80 (there's no accounting for taste! :smile: ) and can bear to part with your lenses then take a look at the Minolta Dynax 5. It's very small, has great features and Minolta do some good glass. Personally I don't find the ergonomics as intuitive as the N80 and the non-standard Dynax hotshoe may be an issue for you, but it is a very good camera.

Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me with any other questions you may have.

All the best,

Frank
 

bjorke

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If you are used to Nikon the Canon may throw you -- the focus turns in the opposite way! (Freaked me out when I switched many years ago)

The FD Canons were pretty swell and ergonomic. I still have one left (an AE-1)

Contax RTS is loud

but..... small + quiet? RANGEFINDER

Contax G remains my fave tho a wee bit louder than an M (hey, it's motorized)
 

Nick Zentena

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Except for the Nikon lens mount I think the Pentax *ist fits your requirements. It's seems too small to me. But if you want small it's small.
 

luvmydogs

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Hi Nicole,

I traded in my Nikon F5 (which was way too big for me) for a F6, and I love it. It fits very well in my (female) hands. Excellent build quality and super fast AF if you need AF.

Good luck choosing.
 

rduraoc

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Ok, I think I have a problem. I will, again (3rd time) recommend the Minolta Dynax 7. No, I'm not on comission from Minolta. As I've said in other threads, it is a brilliant camera, with a great quality/cost ratio, loaded with features that you can simply turn off if wished, great, bright viewfinder, very ergonomical. I own the camera for a short time, but I'm really pleased with it. It is suposed to have the fastest AF in the world. I can´t say that, because I have a slow Sigma lens, and to me it seems a bit slower then my old Pentax MZ-50. The downsides are: there is the rumour that Minolta is discontinuing it, because of their new DSLR; there are known compatibilty issues with third-party lenses, especially Sigma; and it is a bit noisy. But it can do 1/8000th of a second, so, we must expect some noise from the mirror. Just my two cents.
 

roteague

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modafoto said:
Nikon F80 (N80) is my advice with a Nikon. I believe it to be smaller. I think Tony (TPPhotog) has one. Ask him for more details.

I have one as well. I had it for a little over 4 years, traveled all over the world with it (including Australia), and has been a good camera. I really love the built in ground glass etching that you can turn on or off at will. The camera is small, although I added the optional battery pack so I could use it. I am probably going to buy another one when this one finally goes - it is still going even after I got it soaked in the surf a few weeks ago.
 

John Koehrer

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Nikon F80 for autofocus & FM3 for manual focus if you want to keep your current lens set. Canon tends to be more cutting edge for lens technology & pricing tends to be less than Nikon but their bodies tend to be rather large in comparison. Except for the "consumer" entry level cameras.
 

David Brown

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Nicole McGrade said:
I love the size and age of the Pentax Spotmatic.

Nicole,

I just finished responding to your MF query ... :smile:

I, too love Spotmatics; one was my first "pro" level camera from about 1970. I now have three, although I use my Minolta manual focus and really don't use the Pentaxs too much.

I do, however, recommend them in this context. Takumar lens are not only widely available, but cheap!

The hard part will be finding one that has a working meter, and then when you do, there are no batteries (this may be the biggest reason mine have fallen in favor of my Minoltas). There are battery substitutes, however, so this issue is not absolute.

And, of course, if you can do without a meter, then there is no problem.

Cheers,

David
 
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