Your first SLR...would you buy it again?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RichardJack, May 19, 2017.

  1. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    In my experience, there are experienced photographers who switched from film to digital and who do understand the basics of exposure, automation, and so on.

    However there are total newcomers to photography who, in the digital era, are presented with a plethora of settings and post-processing tweaks and they get lost. They don't realize the technical aspects of their photo are simply just these:

    Focus
    Aperture
    Shutter speed

    (Where ISO is fixed and composition is an artistic choice, not technical.)

    Actually, I think this confusion first started in the film era, when microprocessor-based cameras offered things like "portrait mode".
     
  2. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    I don't think that's the best way to view this. You didn't fail her if you explained exposure in a clear manner, which I'm sure you did. You didn't fail her; she failed the class because she neglected processing the information properly. Perhaps you should actually offer an exam that your students must take before they "graduate," where they demonstrate some level of proficiency.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Agree 100%. No amount of good teaching will overcome intellectual laziness.
     
  4. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Older cameras with variable settings often had dots on the barrel, which offered an average daylight exposure and focus point. No worse than a point and shoot, and with the opportunity to grow into it. Rather a good idea, I bet quite a lot of users never moved past the dots, and as they assumed photos could only taken in sunlight, got pretty good shots.
     
  5. elmartinj

    elmartinj Member

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    what's so bad about them?
     
  6. polka

    polka Member

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    Viewfinder groundglass 19x28mm. But the helios lens is fair : enough to be mounted on a Pentax spotmatic !

    Polka
     
  7. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    #1 Nikkormat FS; no way.
    #2 Oly OM-1; no way

    Now my film SLR of choice is the Nikon FG, the camera that the OM-1 was supposed to be but wasn't.
     
  8. Dennis-B

    Dennis-B Subscriber

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    My first new camera was a Pentax Spotmatic SP, with a 55mm f/1.8 lens. Under the same conditions, I'd repeat the decision in a heartbeat. After a bit of time elapsed, I went for a Nikkormat FT3. The allure of the 42mm screw mount lost its appeal; the Nikkor bayonet was much easier, especially when changing lenses on the run. For the era, though, both were superb cameras.
     
  9. elmartinj

    elmartinj Member

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    what was so bad about the OM-1?
     
  10. LifesShort

    LifesShort Member

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    I learned on a Pentax K-1000, but sold it after about 6 months when an uncle gave me a Nikon F. I always loved and missed the K-1000, so I bought one just like it a few weeks ago. Actually, I bought 2 of them and they both work just as well as I remember.
     
  11. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    I found it ergonomically poor. At the time I was a news photographer, and spent a lot of hours holding the camera in one hand and stretching out the flash with the other. The Oly just did not have enough on the right side of the camera to hold onto securely. Much later I briefly had an OM2n, which had a grip and a much better exposure system, and found that camera a lot more to my liking, but their effort to make as large of a screen view as possible--sorry, but for fast work, it's just too large.. But the other thing about the Oly was that the lenses were not structurally made for prime time. I had two of them fall apart on me, and when I saw why, it was like "who on earth would they have put it together like that?" No problem like that with both Nikon and Leica ( Leica has always been there for me. I made the Oly choice on focusing direction, and that was a bad decision.)
     
  12. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    The first SLR I owned was a Minolta SRT100X with a 45mm f2 Rokkor lens. Match needle manual exposure. Simple, robust, easy to load.

    Mine was stolen from a friend I loaned it to 25 years ago. I've bought another one to replace it. I still use it from time to time (I'm not a big 35mm user). It's a great camera.

    I've owned many 35mm SLR's over the years from many manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Contax, Pentax, Yashica, Minolta) both fully manual, auto exposure and auto focus. Some had their quirks (Contax 139 and Minolta Dynax 7 for example), but all were capable of great results.

    Would I buy one again? I have, and love it....

    As an aside I've owned/used a few Olympus cameras - OM 2, 1, OM 20 and Pen F 1/2 frames. The OM's are small for my hands, so I preferred to have a winder on them. I never had a problem with them mechanically, or the lenses (once I remembered the aperture scale was at the front of the lens). So sharp! Admittedly I was lucky enough to use a few of the more "interesting" lenses like the 350/2.8, 180/2, 35mm shift (the only shift lens that would shift in 2 axis), and the 90/2 macro......

    For me it was the motordrive I never got along with, having the shutter release button under the camera on the battery grip was strange...
     
  13. blockend

    blockend Member

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    It's a truism that as cameras became uglier they became easier to hold. Manual SLRs were mostly slippery and top heavy, and a strap of some kind was a necessity. Ergonomics as they are currently understood were practically non-existent. Compare one with a late AF 35mm entry level SLR which can be carried in the hand all day.
     
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  15. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Yep, that's why I preferred to install motor drives on my cameras that would take them, and just leave them on the camera -- for ergonomics as well as any other reason. I find that I still follow this practice. Canon F-1s, A-1, Nikon F2s, F3s, FEs and FMs, Pentax MX. Also, the Speed Grip for my Bronica ETRSi.
     
  16. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    And speaking of ergonomics, remember the old Exakta? It wouldn't be called an ergonomic masterpiece, more like a quirkanomic masterpiece, but it looked great, and it actually felt good in my hands.
     
  17. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    They work well for me. I used all four of my VX's last year and am currently using the Exakta 500 (on the left), which is smaller and has an instant-return mirror.

    IMAG6470-1-1-1.jpg
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Most modern cameras are awful for me, because I am left handed, and need to do most of the camera holding with my left hand.
    The OM bodies are perfect for me. My Canon EOS bodies are a struggle.
     
  19. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Those are some beautiful girls you have there.
     
  20. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Suggestion: start using handle-mount flashes, like a Metz 45 CT4. Even if you don't have it powered on, you've got a decent left-hand grip.
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A good suggestion, but it doesn't solve my situation.
    I actually use a Metz 60CT series flash from time to time, but mostly with medium format.
    I have very limited dexterity and strength in my right hand. With some cameras I can release a shutter, and I can usually wind film with my thumb and moving my right hand, but mostly I use the right hand to brace the camera.
    My left hand moves everywhere it is needed. The concentric to the lens shutter speed and aperture controls on the OM system are great, as is the generally short distance between the camera body and focus ring on the lens.
    In some situations, I cup the entire top plate and prism in my left palm and fingers, and support the camera in my right palm.
    For cameras like the C330 and RB67, I mount the 60CT flash outside the left hand trigger grip - the trigger is critical. I do have enough not-so-fine motor control in my right hand to focus the C330 or RB67 with my right hand, particular with the accessory large focus wheel adapter.
     
  22. filmamigo

    filmamigo Member

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    The first SLR I purchased was a Nikon F80. I liked the control layout and size. Build was a little plasticky, but most damningly it would continually scratch film. It went back for service after service and within two rolls of film the scratching would start again. I was so frustrated to have a camera I enjoyed but that I couldn't trust to make pictures with.

    At the time I bought the F80, I pined after an FM3a -- but the dealer didn't have any, and they were expensive.

    Years later, I bought an F100, and got to experience the *real* camera that the F80 was immitating. They were clearly siblings, but the F100 got all of the sturdy robustness and extra special professional goodness.

    And just to check if it was just my F80 that was the problem, I bought another when it was available cheap. Same problem -- scratching in the same spot as my first F80.
     
  23. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    My first SLR was a Minolta XG1 with a 1.7/50mm. After months of pealing flowerbulbs (a common summerjob in the part of Holland I grew up in) that was the Minolta model I could afford. My father owned a X700 with a selection of primes, so I could lend them of him.

    I now use a range of Contax SLR's, but I do think photography was never easier as with the XG1 and the 50mm.
     
  24. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    A 35mm Praktika from K-mart. No not the famous European brand, this was a cheap in house brand from K-mart and cost me all of $70.00 bucks. It was terrible mechanically but took Pentax screw mount lenses. I loved it and it was my start into this world.

    My Mother thought I was nuts, so much money when my Kodak Instamatic made fine pictures.
     
  25. blockend

    blockend Member

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    A common conception at the time, and not without merit. It goes back to box camera days when cameras were cheap and film was expensive. The idea stuck.
     
  26. Toyo

    Toyo Member

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    I did, actually.
    Canon FTb - still have it and still use it, and I bought a second copy.
    Great camera and so reliable
    Tom
     
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