View Full Version : OT-Whats a good used SLR film camera to get?

08-30-2004, 10:58 PM
I want a nice SLR film camera for my train spotting hobby, I have been looking at Nikon and Canon, and new bodies look cheap enough, but like used machine tools, I want a deal with lots of acessories.
With all the praising on this board about Nikon products, I have been giving them a hard look.
I've been checking my classifieds, I see more canons for sale than Nikons, I just guess people like their Nikons too much to sell.

08-30-2004, 11:11 PM
I bought a Minolta SRT101 in 1967 overseas for about $50 , like the Energizer bunny, it's still tickin . . Takes great pics . . You should be able to pick up one chear with everybody using digital these days

08-30-2004, 11:14 PM
What's the matter Bill? Not ready to jump into digital?

Now that I'm there I can't imagine a good reason to go back.

Maybe there is some esoteric reason, but the convenience of digita out weights that by a large margin for me.

Shoot, sold my Nikon and lenses or I'd have given you a deal.

08-30-2004, 11:36 PM
BillH: I've got an older Nikon SLR and have always felt they were a notch above Canon but once you pass a certain price point, both are excellent cameras. You will be using it after 5 generations of digital cameras have bit the dust.

I have two digital cameras, Nikon and a small Kodak for kid use. Digital is great too but make sure the sun is shining, the batteries are charged (and you have extras), the temperature is high enough for the batteries to work, the memory card is empty, etc. etc. ... and don't drop it with the little zoom lens extended http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Along the way, someone forgot to tell the consumer that film had unlimited storage capacity, was self-archiving, high-megapixel resolution, MUCH higher dynamic range, MUCH higher overload capacity (skies, etc.). And, it doesn't depend on updating your operating system, computer, printer (and the fortune that ink costs).

But I still like digital too http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Paul Alciatore
08-31-2004, 12:00 AM
I had two Minoltas and they are still going strong. My daughter is using the SRT101 and I still have the old SR7. Lots of lenses made for them and on the used market.

I have also used the Pentax and it was very good. Screw thread lens mount instead of the bayonete style on the Minoltas. The Nikons, Canons, Leicas, and Olympus are/were all good brands and most of them had a lot of accessories. The Leicas were expensive and perhaps the accessories will somewhat scarce on the used market. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of them.

But you really should consider a digital camera in this day and age.

Paul A.

08-31-2004, 12:55 AM
Thanks guys, Believe me, I've been drooling over the Nikon and Canon digital SLR's, but spending 1000$ on one is just not going to happen.
Trains magazine is going to have a photo contest, top 2 prizes are nice Canon digital SLR's. I love my little 2 mega pixel A40, but theres some things I want to do that it's just not up to. I have a flat bed scanner, so getting them on the net is no problem and last I heard, even 6 or 8 mp don't even come close to film.
The requirements for the photo contest are more than my 2mp camera can handle.

08-31-2004, 12:55 AM
Well I've got a Nikon FM myself. All manual SLR camera. Only electronics in it is the light meter. Rugged and reliable. I've taken thousands of pictures on mine with no problem. I like my CNC milling machine more, but believe it's a close second!

Price: ~$300 Canadian w/o lens

That said... If you can get a digital! You'll find that film gets to be quiet expensive if you use your camera a lot. In my case it's taken awhile for even machining to catch up, cost wise.

[This message has been edited by retep (edited 08-31-2004).]

08-31-2004, 01:09 AM
In real life use 6 to 8 megapixels meets or exceeds film in quality. The price of digital SLRs is the only problem and that will soon vanish. Film is nearly dead. It is no longer used in astronomy or in news gathering at all.


"You will be using it after 5 generations of digital cameras have bit the dust."

Probably not. The last custom developing lab in town here closed this month. All that is left is two "One Hour" machines in supermarkets. Not someone I will trust to develop my Fuji Superia DIN 1600 Professional film. I'm seriously considering the Canon Digital Rebel. 600 to 800 pics on one battery charge and incredible low light performance. Have a look at these pics on their web site:


It makes my feeble attempts look pretty sad. I sold three computers today so that's a start http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Oh yeah, it takes all 50 of the lenses in the EF series including one that costs $111,111.00 http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 08-31-2004).]

Allan Waterfall
08-31-2004, 04:13 AM

I've got the Canon 300D or "Rebel" in the states.I think the price has dropped a lot since new,cost is about 2/3 now.

It really is a super entry level Dslr,but I think the Nikon D70 probably has the edge on it although dearer.A better lens I think.Both will take virtually noise free pics in the higher ISO range for poor lighting.

As Evan said,film is about dead.I don't think there are many professionals using film anymore.

The fact is a Dslr will cost more than a "point and shoot" digital,but is has better image quality and a choice of lenses.The cheapest Canon lens is the 50mm F1.8 prime and it really is good,on the 300D it is actually nearer to an 80mm lens.

Just don't think more Mgpx is better because it does not always follow.

As you probably realise any digital camera means you don't have any waiting,or money spent on photos that don't turn out right.

You'll always find plenty of bodies for sale because people tend to upgrade the bodies and keep their lenses.


08-31-2004, 08:04 AM
I won't get into the discussion about digital vs. film, but I'll second (or third) the nominations for Minolta's SRT 101. I have one purchased in 1971 and, really, it is a nicer and easier-to-use camera than the newer, high-end Nikons I have owned. The SRT 101 is built like a tank, and they can be had now for very little money. You have only to remember "focus", "aperature", and "speed" and your photos will always be good. My newer Nikon and my Olympus digital are automatic, but there are so many optional settings that getting everything right and solving the occasional problem are far more aggravating than operating the manual SRT 101. The old Minolta is built like a tank. The enamel finish on mine is beginning to rub through to the brass body. Kim Steiner

Alistair Hosie
08-31-2004, 08:18 AM
I have a Minolta 9000 set up with the usual extras very good camera especially if you can get the computer back.Alistair

08-31-2004, 08:22 AM
Minolta SRT101. I got mine in 1969. Over the years, as it became "obsolete," I picked a pretty complete set of lenses for it, cheap.
Still works great.

J Tiers
08-31-2004, 08:29 AM
Olympus OM-1 for simple, or OM-2 for more featured.

Both are still repaired by a guy in NY, and they are really nice cameras. I currently use an OM-1 for non-digital photos.

Simple, not a lot to go wrong.

08-31-2004, 08:43 AM
I like the old Nikon 8008 and 6006 camera's. Both are long out of production but the 6006 can be be bought on ebay with an external flash (a must have) for under $200. I still have a 20 year old 4004 which was the cheap version of the above, it still takes great pictures, but is a bit fussy when focusing.

If you get one and it still has the plastic latch, spend the $25 for the metal latch repair kit, also an e-bay item.

Here are the reviews for both cameras


08-31-2004, 08:51 AM
Another vote for the Olympus OM system. I had an OM-1 build in 1971 and a 1984 OM-2s took all the same lenses and could even switch back doors between the two. Used prices are pretty high though, in Toronto it's not uncommon to see a used OM-1 in good condition selling for more than when they were new.

08-31-2004, 08:55 AM
minolta x700 is a very nice non autofocus.

a Tamron (or similar) 28-200 zoom is more versatile than a swiss army knife.

together you have a very versatile $450 rig that you can use for anything.

you will love a 28-200 range zoom on whatever camera you get. they are about $250
carying and changing lenses is such a PITA.

08-31-2004, 09:16 AM
Evan: I agree with some of your statements and accept the fact that film will die ... some day.

As a reality check though, look at the total cost of producing, digitally, a printed image which even comes close to that of a $10 disposable camera http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

The low light performance, high speed performance, low noise performance and quality lens systems are not even a choice until you enter the realm of the latest Nikon or Canon offerings.

On top of that, add a decent computer with plenty of memory, imaging software and a printer to match. Then add batteries, bank charger(s), low temperature battery issues, etc. etc.

Memory card(s) full? You are screwed if you're on vacation and can't dump it somewhere. Remember that $4 roll of film that cost $15 at Niagara Falls or Disney? A $49 memory card will probably cost you $150 at those same destinations http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif If you don't dump to a PC (or other archive device), your shooting is over.


08-31-2004, 11:27 AM
Thats right, but that $4 buys you only 24 shots and the shot you want always happens while you are loading the film. You're never really sure that you've got the shot until weeks or months later when you clean that junk drawer out, and take them all to the developer. Then you learn that the exposure was all wrong.

My sister and family spent over a month in Germany. They took several hundred pictures and kept them all on two memory cards with plenty of room left when they got back to Utah. She had a cord that displayed the pictures on the TV. Works great! Also these cameras include the ability to do film clips with audio.

One of my brothers favorite pictures was taken with a digital camera at Sea World. He has a picture of the Orca Whale launching a trainer high into the air with all the water splashing around on the people. Excellent color and detail, and he caught the picture at exactly the right time. My camera can do this by taking a frame sequence of 5 or 10 high speed shots. To do this with an SLR you would need an auto winder, a fast auto winder.

I did enjoy my SLR camera and I'm glad I got a decent price for it when I sold it.

08-31-2004, 11:41 AM
I still have my 30 year old Mamiya SLR and still use it. I have a full set of lenses, filters and accessories, but I had to send the film I took at Mt. Kobau with my daughter to have it developed by someone that knows that the frames aren't all blank. I still haven't seen the results. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

We are on the turning point right now of digital wiping out film. In just a few years film will be an esoteric hobby item. 512MB memory cards are now selling here for $109 CAD. I picked up a 64MB USB keychain dongle a few days ago for $9.95 CAD. A consortium of Taiwanese companies just put forth a new memory card standard that will hold up to 2000 gigabytes. Battery life is no longer an issue with the new low noise CMOS sensors such as the one in the Canon Rebel, good for up to 800 pics on a charge. I have had no problems with my Nikon 4300 even at -20C, a temperature where film is likely to break when wound.

High quality prints of digital images on real photo paper are now available at Wallmart for 27 cents Canadian each, either walk-in with CD or send by e-mail. I looked at some my daughter has and they are excellent, as good as any consumer film prints.

70 percent of North American families already have a computer and you don't even need a computer to make use of a lot of the new digicams.

Film is toast.

08-31-2004, 11:59 AM
I have an old Minolta XG7 I inherited from my parents back in the late 1970s. It came with one wide angle 28mm - I think? lens and a standard apx 38mm lens. I have a decent flash with it. I never had any problems with it - but since I got a compact Pentax 35mm with telescoping zoom - I never use it anymore. If you were local to Northern NJ - I'd say make me an offer. I recall going to a pawn shop nearby - there were tons of SLRs on display - as long as you stick with a major brand and not the lowest end product line - I'm not sure it'll make that much of a difference. As for me, if the the compact 35 ever breaks, I'll probably go digital. I'm too cheap to be an early adaptor when it comes to technology. BTW - my biggest gripe with these SLRs is that I just don't feel like lugging around all the extra lenses, weight and size - and yes, I'll give up some picture quality to do so with a smaller camera that at least I'll have on my person.

Let us know on what you finally decide,
Tom B

08-31-2004, 12:18 PM
I ahve two Nikon FMs, they are still going strong after 25 years or more. I had them clean and checked out about 10 years ago.

I have a combination of Nikkor and Tokina Lenses for them. Plus auto winders and flashes

I also have a great digital camera from Olympus.


08-31-2004, 12:25 PM
Tom B, right now I am in South West CT, so that is a possibility. I've been looking up SRT 101's and your XG7. I definetly like the prices I am seeing.
I know that Digital is the future, however until the prices come down, I want a cheap SLR as a stop gap. Im looking to spend no more than 25$ with a 50mm lens or so.
An all brass body sounds very nice as well. Theres a pawn shop on way home from my school, I think I will stop there today and see what they have.

08-31-2004, 01:42 PM
I have the canon digital rebel as well. It was a tough nut to pay $1,000 for a camera, especially for a tightwad like me. But I must say, the flexibility of this digital slr has re-sparked my interest in photography big time.

The convenience of digital is outstanding, and the quality of the dslr's on par with film. Just keep in mind that the overall ownership costs associated with slr's/dslr's is mostly in the lens that you will no doubt collect. You may go through several camera bodies, but stick with your stock of quality lens. I just bought an "L" canon lens for my rebel. The quality of pictures from this thing is simply unbelievable, and the auto-focus is lightening fast.

Of course none of this answers your question. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif If I were looking for a stop gap answer before making the jump to a dslr camera body. I would look for a used package deal from a private party in one of the "big two" manufacturers, Canon or Nikon. Look for a deal that is heavy on lenses that will fit the dslr bodies. That way when you are ready to make the jump, you can sell the slr body for pennies on the dollar (or give it away), but still have your quality lenses to use on a dslr body.

When I bought my dslr, there were two guys who were trading in their entire slr set-ups for new dslrs. I overheard the value that was placed on the slr's., and it was not much.

It's all about quality lens...


08-31-2004, 01:56 PM
Turns out that all my good cameras from the mid-sixtes on have been Minoltas.....Got the SR-7 while I was in the Navy and used it for thousands of pics until the Maxxum 9000 came out.....By then I was more than ready for auto-focus and metering and all the bells and whistles that came with it.....I still have both and they are in great working order, and for some odd reason I have no desire to dispose of them, even tho I have aquired the Minolta DiMage Z-1 digital.....It was ~ $380 US at costco, and since then the Z-2 model is out, but haven't seen prices yet.....

The Maxxum series Minoltas were great cameras and seemed user-friendly to me.....I'm just a duffer when it comes to photography, so I probably didn't use more than 5-10 % of the cameras capabilities.....

All that said, I'm probably not going to be using film much anymore after my experiences with digital.....The ability to immediately check the shot you just took for quality is priceless.....If you like it keep it, if not, delete.....I have a 256 MB memory chip that lets me store 100's of pics.....


PS The Z-1 will focus closer tha 2", so machine and metalwork photos are a snap.....

[This message has been edited by Daminer (edited 08-31-2004).]

Lew Hartswick
08-31-2004, 05:43 PM
How about an Exakta varex ? One of the best
35 mm cameras made, at least one of the two
available in 1955. :-) Still working great.

08-31-2004, 06:06 PM
Here's a third vote for a Nikon FM

08-31-2004, 06:07 PM
I have an Exacta somewhere around. I also have a Argus C-3 which still takes incredibly good pictures.

I still would go with Nikons, they are solid. I had a Nikon FTN in Vietnam, only had the tighten up the screws on it once in 9 months. I think it was fying in the Hueys that loosen the screws.

08-31-2004, 06:55 PM
Geez, no canon ae-1's? Ive had mine for 15 years and bought it at a yard sale for 30 bucks. never done any thing but put film and batts. in it, and once in a while i find lenses for it for litle cash, i have 7 lenses for it and a motordrive, and still dont have $175 IN IT.

08-31-2004, 09:29 PM
Canon A-1, a great camera, I have two bodies.
Also a Canon EOS ELAN, but if the subject is not moving at a great speed, prefer to use the A-1's.
The AE-1 is a good lil' runner too.
Moving up to autofocus, the Canon Rebel is the best selling camera, the world over.

[This message has been edited by PSD KEN (edited 08-31-2004).]

08-31-2004, 09:51 PM
Well, I'm still using my Cannon A-1 with Databack and HS Motordrive. I keep my 35-105mm lens on it all the time. The rest of the lenses are in a box somewhere.

When they start making an affordable digital that doesn't look like a fluflie compact mirror case or a 1950's cigarette case with an eyeball on it, I may take another look. I need something I can hold on to and not be afraid of deleting the pictures I just took.

The old digitals eat batteries like candy. The new ones eat memory. I'll have to get a new(er) computer before I go digital. No USB here.

USB = Usual Stray Bits
USB2 = Square the problems

08-31-2004, 10:29 PM
Well, I tallied up the votes so far of recomendations, heavily recomended to get a digital, which I agree, but only if I had the money.

Argus C-3 1
Canon A1 2
Canon AE-1 2
Canon Eos Elan 1
Exackta 2
Minolta SR-7 1
Minolta SRT101 3
Minolta 700 1
Minolta 9000 2
Minolta XG7 1
Nikon 8008 1
Nikon 6006 1
Nikon FM 3
Olympus OM-1/2 2
Tamron 1

Canon Rebel(300D) 3
Nikon D70 1

Interesting to note the obvious, the top list is in no danger of getting obsolete, but the bottom list on the other hand... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

I definetly like the idea of a canon or Nikon with lenses that are compatible with the Digital SLR's they have.

08-31-2004, 11:27 PM
Another for Nikon FM

08-31-2004, 11:39 PM
Being a long fan of Nikon, I know the Fuji S-2 is built on the Nikon body and uses the auto focus Nikon lenses, but they is nothing like film. Digital can be erased instantly, we store our negative almost forever.

I went out and got an old Bessmer Enlarger today. It was free, needs a little cleaning up, some negative carriers, but it's a start for the art of silver photography.

Any one have darkroom equipment they want to unload?

Any one have film for a Minox B???


[This message has been edited by jfsmith (edited 08-31-2004).]

08-31-2004, 11:50 PM
I see your point, but for me, items like these generally do not become obsolete until they are incapable of performing the task for which they were purchased. However, you might want to get extra memory if you think you might need it, before that particular type becomes hard to find.

I have had many friends tell me how their computers are hopelessly obsolete. I ask them if it still does what they need it to do, without being painfully slow. After a few moments of thought, the answer is invariably, yes. As near as I can figure, the gee-whiz-bang computers exist mainly for gamers. My 8088 processor did an adequate job of word processing. My 486 got retired only after I couldn’t get software that I had to have, to run on that machine. I do enjoy new technology tremendously, but I try not to become a slave to it. This doesn’t always work though. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

My shop and home are full of obsolete equipment that fulfills my needs wonderfully. I have a 1943 mill, a 69 Z-28, an old SLR, a 2 year old digital, and much more that I wouldn’t do without. Just one persons experience. As they say, your mileage may vary.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to digress from your original post quite so much. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

09-01-2004, 12:00 AM
A decent used film camera will be going strong in 20 years.

Digital cameras are still basically *disposable* items, when they break it will cost less to buy a new one. Unless you're spending $1000+ but that is not what the OP asked about.

If you are taking photos of "real time" situations like passing trains ... sporting events etc. it is infuriating to miss a bunch of shots because your digital camera isn't ready for the shot. With a film camera if you can get the focus and exposure set up front there's nothing to go wrong.

Also about digital I second the observation that "megapixels" is not everything. Dynamic range is also an issue. As is a digital camera's ability to find focus quickly, recover to take the next shot ...

09-01-2004, 12:01 AM
Just remember we could be in the situation where Soylent Green is the main food stuff and you know what they are made from??

I am like you many of my tools that predate me. They have been replaced by more automated higher production machines. These much loved machines still work for me. If I make it with my hands, it has more meaning to me that that automated stuff or the slave labour made stuff from China.

Craftsmanship still has a place in the world, not always sure where some days.


09-01-2004, 01:08 AM
Pentax Spotmatic purchased in 1965, still going strong.

09-01-2004, 02:13 AM
"A decent used film camera will be going strong in 20 years"

Very unlikely. I bet you won't be able to buy film at any price by then. It will be hard to get in less than ten years, maybe five. I've been involved in the computer business one way or the other since 1963. When the big changes happen they happen fast. As an example, rotating media is due to die. That means hard drives with moving parts, floppy disks and CDs, DVDs etc. The pace of change is accelerating. You can already buy a solid state hard drive, no moving parts, that will plug right into your computer and replace the unreliable piece of junk you now have. It costs an arm and leg but that will change fast.

Digital photography will max out at around 15 megapixels as there is no reason to go higher. We are almost there and that is better than the best consumer film and even most professional films. They don't use much film for any professional applications these days. Even X-Rays are digital.

09-01-2004, 09:30 PM
KODAK stated they will produce film as long as there is a demand.
So buy lotsa film!

09-01-2004, 09:58 PM
Film still has many benefits over digital and I mentioned a number of them earlier ... and they go way beyond resolution alone. Unless you pay an arm and a leg (maybe a good way to get rid of the ones showing early arthur-itis http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif ) you are not going to get the "real" film speeds (800 and up), you're not going to be "pushing" the speed and when all is said and done, YOU are still the print shop with your investment in the latest printer (merely to replace the "disposable" broken one), a fortune in inks, smaller fortune in paper and still all of the archiving problems.

I would bet that MOST families have at least some image going back a minimum of 50 years or more (we have some over 100). Great grandpa is still quite readable with minimum bit errors !

We can hardly read video tape that is 20 years old, we've already battled with laser wavelengths and the response of recordable discs, format problems with all sorts of media, VHS, 8mm, HI-8, DVRs, etc. etc.

In all likelihood, unless a family has made good, clean, prints on archival quality paper with an inkjet that has archival ink properties, there ain't gonna be much left to look at in 15, 20, 25, 30 years. They are just not going to be knowledgable enough or have the foresight to transfer ENTIRE collections to the next new media FAD.

Computer people have beens spoiled by products which they expect to replace annually. There are millions of systems out there still running on Windows 95 because it gets the job done and they have not succumbed to the "upgrade" mentality that has built the industry to what it is. Unfortunately, this mentality has crept into every corner of daily life now.

Sorry for the length of this ... film will die but predictions of its death have so far been somewhat premature. It will be kept alive for a good long time by image professionals who appreciate what it brings to the table.


09-02-2004, 12:28 AM
As long as they are going to be selling disposable film camera's, theres going to be film.
Ok, looking at the prices of used camera's, It just doesn't make much sense to spend 50 to 75$ on an old manual camera, when you can buy a brand new Canon EOS K2 for 150$, and it takes the same lenses that the Digital Rebel uses. So perhaps I will just go that route, and what lenses I accumulate will go right onto the Digital Rebel or any future canon digital camera.

[This message has been edited by BillH (edited 09-02-2004).]

09-02-2004, 12:38 AM

You are right on most counts. Film will never go completely away but for nearly all purposes it will. I can already buy a 1 megapixel camera for $29 CAD, not much more than a disposable film camera with none of the hassle. The Rebel goes to ISO 1600. I still use film but the problems getting it developed this time around are making me think twice. The film I use now is Fuji Superia 1600 pro film. It cost me $12 per roll and I had to buy 10 rolls. It has to be kept in the freezer until used. If you try and put it through a one hour machine with astrophotos on it it will choke the machine as the frames will seem unexposed. If you do get it developed the automatic negative cutter will chop the negatives anywhere as it keys on the unexposed strip between frames. The printer will choke as it keys on the same strips. Custom labs are dying like flies and one hour photo consumer processing already has no advantage over digital. That leaves digital.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 09-02-2004).]

09-02-2004, 01:06 AM
I would get a Leica M2-R if I was going to get a used camera these days. Rugged, easy to use, and a really well crafted machine.


09-02-2004, 01:35 AM
In my younger years I had a darkroom and I remember reading about and going through the little extra effort and expense of making a few archive quality enlargements. Since I knew about this and have seen printer-made photos that faded in a single year, I wondered if there was archive quality ink for home printers so one could make long-lasting prints with the right paper. It this stuff out there?

That would be my biggest concern with digital. Otherwise, every few years you should copy a fresh backup of your most precious photos. I've already experienced the loss of a bunch of holiday pictures from a few years ago when the entire CD became inexplicably unreadable. This was shortly after my dad passed away and I was already feeling down. Digital has its downside.

As to the original question:
My film camera is an Olympus OM-2. I really like it, but it is definitely less common than Canon or Nikon, so if you want to add lots of attachments, I'd go for Canon to save money or Nikon for high quality - at least that's the way I remember it. I haven't pulled the Olympus out of the bag since I got my digital.

09-02-2004, 02:12 AM
Epson makes archival quality inks and paper.

They claim around 100 years in a frame and 200 years in a photo album.

If that link doesn't work the look for "picturemate" on their site.

The biggest cause of fading (after sun exposure) is atmospheric pollutants, especially ozone. Ozone in a city setting can make any print fade fast. Regular photographic prints are just as suceptible.

It's true that with digital format changes are a serious issue and what needs to be done in the industry is to put forth an intentional super long term standard for data storage, one that will be supported for centuries. Lotsa luck.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 09-02-2004).]

09-02-2004, 02:22 AM
As usual Evan comes through.

Thanks again. I'll check the url out.

Allan Waterfall
09-02-2004, 03:10 AM
Posted in wrong place,another senior moment.Some days my galloping senility is uncontrolable.


[This message has been edited by Allan Waterfall (edited 12-12-2004).]

09-02-2004, 08:36 AM
Evan: The digital specs are certainly becoming impressive and as the cost barrier comes down, film will become a specialty item or ... die.


[This message has been edited by nheng (edited 09-02-2004).]

09-02-2004, 08:58 AM
I use Epson paper for printing out my digital images. I have really found no better. I have been using Epson for paper for 5 or 6 years now, Evan you are right, this is great stuff.


12-11-2004, 07:11 PM
Hey Guys, hate to bring back an old thread, but for next semester I signed up for a photography class, and reading the course description, I need a fully manual 35mm camera.
Obviously all the ones previously mentioned would work, but if Im going to get one, I should atleast get one that I can use the lenses with the Digital rebel or what not.
It bugs me that the course description didnt say I could use any SLR camera, then I could of gotten a digital rebel and placed it under school purchase, lol.
Im going to check the descriptions of all of canons new film SLR camera's and see if they have completely manual modes.

12-11-2004, 07:31 PM
Fully manual Nikons, and Cannons would be my
choice. I remember the srt101s, lol. We're
showing our age.

The old Nikor lenses are one of the best
there is so I'd go with a Nikon FM.

Hell, I still have my enlarger and film
developing tanks from the early 70's. My
wife was wanting me to throw it away just
this afternoon!

12-11-2004, 08:08 PM
They've got a long way to go to convince me to go digital. I've got a cheap one, enough resolution for ebay photos and email, where the resolution of the camera outstrips the resolution of the monitor anyway, but for taking pictures on trips etc, I still think film is the way to go, and will be for the foreseeable future. For one thing, my FM3a Nikon doesn't need batteries to operate the camera, just to power the built in light meter, and the battery's smaller than a dime. Easy to carry a spare. If I run out of film, just stick in another roll and keep shooting. No extra memory sticks and a bunch of extra bulky battery packs required. I went down that auto zoom , autofocus road awhile back, and I won't go there again. A good all manual SLR camera will be working when any and or all of the auto everything cameras are in whiz bang camera heaven.

12-11-2004, 09:39 PM
Well, soon after I brought this topic back up, I told my dad I had to get a SLR for school, and he told me that he had one at his office he never used.
Well, so here it is, my old film SLR, a Minolta srT100, has a 105mm 1/2.8 1:1 macro lense, and a ring flash. The rear battery cover does not stay closed however. Im going to go look for a manual for this thing.

Michael Moore
12-11-2004, 09:56 PM
I finally pulled the battery out of my Canon AE1 (bought new about 1980) as with my Fuji 6900z I have no reason to use the film camera.

An SLR may have some advantages in low light situations that can confuse some digital cameras, but I figure they'll get that sorted out soon enough.

It's really nice to not have to wait until I finish a roll of film to see if I got any decent photos. Plus the digital is a lot lighter. Also, I no longer have to scan photos to put them on my website.

www.dpreview.com (http://www.dpreview.com) has very detailed reviews of digital cameras. They evaluate them as cameras, not PC accessories. A friend of mine who is both an EE (but not a Monarch) and a long time camera buff (he has a large format Mamiya he likes to use) was very impressed by the information in the dpreview reviews. He also thought my Fuji was pretty nice, with good optics as well as good digital features.

I think they may have come out with two models since I bought my camera and I suspect they have probably upped the features and dropped the price a bit.


12-11-2004, 10:09 PM
I was told that a 35 mm was like a 15 mega pixle, thats why the pros still use film.

all the pro's I know use film.

Dave Opincarne
12-11-2004, 10:47 PM
Speaking as a former pro, that's a big part of it, but not all. Even high end digitals have anoying shutter lag. Even a small lag can cause you to miss the "Critical Moment". The 15MP comparison is for 35mm film, 2 1/4 or large format have a geometricly larger pixel count. Most importantly, the latitude of film is much greater than digital, there is simply more tonal variation in a negative.

Think about this: the hot audio media is vinyl.

As for cameras, I'd recomend Nikon over Cannon only because they have always had a broder product line and so there is a better choice of lenses and there are more of them. My choices for non AF would be an F3hp(My 35 setup), The FE2 or FM2 if you'll be in cold weather. For AF bodies I like the N90 but the 8008 works too. Nikon lenses will interchange between all camera bodies, the newest lens will fit the oldest body. Can't do that with a cannon.

Leicas and Rollies aside as exeotics, Nikon is number on for 35mm SLRs. Cannons a close second but profesionaly speaking everyone else is an also ran. 90% of the pros were shooting Nikon unless there was a valid reason not to.

If you don't need an SLR I would say look at the Leica M series but they're expensive, even 50's and 60's vintage.


12-11-2004, 11:34 PM

[This message has been edited by bbfmetalworking (edited 12-11-2004).]

12-11-2004, 11:38 PM
I have a Pentax K-1000 and a Pentax P3N. The K-1000 is manual only, while the P3N can be switched between manual and automatic modes. Both are rugged cameras, take good pictures, and are available at very reasonable prices. Both use the same lens mount, and lenses can be had very reasonably in a wide variety of configurations. An interesting camera I picked up not long ago is the Rollei "Prego" 35mm, which is a point and shoot with a lot of cool features, such as 35-75mm zoom and an infra-red remote control that can activate the camera from up to 45 meters away. Whenever I get a roll of film developed, I always get a disc as well as prints. I do have a digital as well, a Sony CD350 Mavica, which is a lot of fun, but I still find I use the 35mms a lot more.

12-12-2004, 02:00 AM
My Nikon FM2 is fully manual and has a shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second which was a main feature of this particular model. Titanium shutter curtain blades made this speed possible. I have stopped a top fuel dragster traveling 270+ miles per hour dead in it's tracks with the 1/4000 shutter speed.


12-12-2004, 02:02 AM
Nice camera, I did some research on the one my dad gave me tonight, its max shutter speed is only 1/500th of a second. A tad slow, but it will serve its purpose

Dave Opincarne
12-12-2004, 12:58 PM
the FM2 is a full mechanichal and is a favorite backup camera. It is also the quintesential cold weather camera, doesn't kill batteries and the cold doesn't affect the shutter acuracy.

my choice



12-12-2004, 02:26 PM
A question concerning SLR lens and digital cameras.

I have a very nice selection of Minolta based manual lens with many of those being the Tamron brand with their Adaptall2 mount to allow conversion to other brands of SLR mounts.

So if one has a selection of SLR lens, will they work on the new digital SLRs?

I know this a somewhat vague question but considering the many lens mounts, manual/electronic interfaces, etc. and brands that is why I phrase it this way.

Perhaps one should buy the SLR and its lenses planning on using them later with a digital SLR as prices continue to drop.


Dave Opincarne
12-12-2004, 02:42 PM
Well you've answered a lot of your own question. As I said, Cannon manual lenses (F,EF, A-1, AE-1) won't work on the EOS line, Nikon mounts work for both. As for others it's going to be a case by case basis. That being said, it's still not a staight trade except in a few cases. Lenses designed for 35mm won't give the same magnification for digital sensors. The field of view is a function of the lens focal length and the size of the film (or sensor) onto which the image is projected. So a 50mm lens that produces a normal magnification for 35mm is a moderatly wide angle for a 645 negative, a wide angle for a 6x7 neg and a fish eye for a 4x5 but for the smaller digital it is a moderately long lens. So even if your lens does fit the camera it's not going to give you the same results.


12-12-2004, 06:18 PM
Re: resolution of photographic film vs. digital

Back in the day when I worked in a research lab, recalling from memory, the number of equivalent pixels in some of the 4x5 film we were using was somewhere around 500 gigapixels up to a terapixel for about a
1 micron grain size.

That's 500 billion to 1 trillion pixels. For 35mm, once again relying on my memory, for the same 1 micron grain size, it was somwhere around 800 megapixels. Way beyond what is available in today's run of the mill CCD's.

Of course the ultimate limitation is the resolution of the camera optics, but in our case we weren't using any glass optics. Just the same, I think it still shows that as far as the recording medium itself is concerned, CCD's have a long way to go before they reach film. CCD's do have other advantages over film, but resolution is not one of them.

In spite of the fact that we could record with both film and digital, even for those who preferred digital, when it came to recording that one-of-a-kind precious image, they would still shoot a film image too - just to be safe, and to have an archived image with maximum information.

12-12-2004, 07:11 PM
Good point about the focal lengths of lenses affecting the different sized "film" planes in different ways.

I would consider whether or not one can reuse their investment in SLR lenses from film to digital will have a bearing as to how much one would want to invest in a film based setup.

I have not been watching the recent digital SLR offerings since I consider the technology versus market pressure have yet to work their magic yet in terms of pricing and function that I would be happy with. Are the newer digital SLRs using lens electronics to focus the lens only or is there a trend to incorporate other functionality that locks you into the manufacturer's lens offerings only? Remember how manufacturers have used lens mounts to lock users into their offerings only.

One of the reasons I ask is that I personally have lenses ranging from 12.5 mm to 1000 mm, many that are not produced any longer. Add to that shooting through microscopes and telescopes I have available and one can understand my reluctance to purging my collection of quality glass. That reluctance is shared by the professional user community also. It is one thing to replace lenses for the new camera that are depreciated out but quite another when there are no lenses produced that offer the capability that you both need and have now.

I suspect that once digital SLRs become more common, you will see products offered to take advantage of the huge investment in lenses that most serious users will still have available.


Dave Opincarne
12-12-2004, 07:37 PM
I think it's a bit unfair to suggest that camera manufacturers are trying to lock you in with their mounts. The camera and lens are integral, and with advancments in camera features each manufacturer has put forth the design they feel will best impliment the cameras features with the lens. As I've mentioned, Nikon has made a comitment to keep all lenses and bodies interchangable, Cannon opted to eliminate any mechanichal interface with the EOS lenses and start over. You wouldn't complain about Ford engines not fitting in GM cars would you?

12-12-2004, 07:51 PM
With the SLR experts here, can someone say where to find foam gasket material suitable for a camera back? It crumbled to dust all at once a couple years ago, can't use the camera in direct sunlight now :-)

The camera brand is "ACCESS", it's a nice 35mm SLR made in Japan by one of the major makers, PK lens mount, sold through a "no-brand" discounter in 1983. Still comes in handy from time to time, even in the digital age. thanks, Bob

12-12-2004, 10:10 PM
Toolbert, guess what I did today? Yep, removing the gummy gooey stuff that used to be foam from the back of my camera, and the mirror shock bumper.
Here is one source.
here is a quick pdf of it.
And here is a quick tip I am going to try tommorow.
Walmart in the Arts and Craft section should have something called sticky back foamies, supposedly you can cut them to width with a straight edge and xacto knife, and they are self adhesive. This info is from a couple of years ago though.

12-12-2004, 11:39 PM

I personally like film; however, we use a lot of digital in our business. It is hard to go wrong with a Nikon.

Check out this website. They stand behind what they sell and it is well described. I have bought several items from them in the past with no problems.


Good Luck

Roger G

12-12-2004, 11:45 PM
I would actually recommend sending your camera out to get the light screens replaced. It will only cost about 50 bucks, and the technician will clean everything for you at the same time.

I have three canon's (A1, AE1 AE1-P) and a handful of Pentax. I've never had a Nikon.

Basically, you buy the canon for the body and the nikon for the lense...for the average person, it doesn't much matter. Most pros that I know use the Nikon though.

I wouldn't recommend purchasing an electronic SLR, it's simply not worth it. You can't get the same range of lenses for it (or at least, without spending mucho dinero).

I think it's funny that people are bringing up archival. Unless you pay a lot of money to have your images printed on top quality photo paper...they arne't going to last all that long either. The images you get at Walmart 1hr...well, give them 15 years and they'll be faded and yellow.


12-13-2004, 01:07 AM
My forensics teacher brought up that argument for archival reasons, he will only use film for police work.
Color fades, but doesnt Black and white last much longer? Has to do with the silver in the film?
My astronomy teacher still uses slides instead of power point. I asked him about it, his reasons were for the higher resolutions, and well.. He was too lazy to scan them into power point.
I love my digital camera for all the reasons to love a digital camera for.
Problem i have sending this camera out for repair is that it costs more than the camera is worth. On Ebay, old Minolta SRT100's dont command any high price, not like the Canons or nikons do.
IF I was to buy a new one, you can get a new Nikon manual FM10 for price of a used nikon off ebay.

[This message has been edited by BillH (edited 12-13-2004).]

12-13-2004, 03:02 AM
Great topic; most of the advice is comming from really young guys so I will suggest you look for a Contaflex 2 SLR with all Zeiss Ikon lenses and a book published to guide you on its use.
The lens quality is good for the early 1950s but cannot stand against the big Japanese manufacturers of the 70s and eighties.
The camera has no batteries and a pretty good built in light meter.A little disconcerting is that the shutter activates a swinging mirror on pressing the button;this mirror swings down and obstructs your view as you shoot.
Of course if you want to file your shots on the computer all you have to do is ,get the films developed;pick the good shots to put on the scanner and load them in.Thereafter its almost as good as digital-well almost.
My HP photosmart 320 digital does all that I want for a fraction of the cost.
Even basic 3 megapixel jobs are pretty cheap these days.I suggest you hunt for one in your local computer store.

12-13-2004, 07:41 PM
I also vote for the Nikon F-2 manual camera. I still use mine for document copying and develop the film myself for a fraction of the cost - about $0.45 per roll. I understood that 35mm film could easily store the equivalent of 80 megapixels per frame, and that 2-1/4 X 2-1/4 could easily store 160 megapixels per frame - black and white may be even better.

In addition to the other comments already made, I need copies of originals that are hard, if not impossible, to alter or fake. It is much more difficult to fake a picture printed from a negative than it is to alter or fake a digital image. There is still nothing close to the archival stability and storage capacity of good old black & white film, in my opinion. I think it will always be around, at least for art purposes. Digital quality stinks when compared to a good image from film. However, like Walmart, Harbor Freight, Target and other commercial icons of the day, people will forget the quality they have lost by abandoning film and wet chemistry. They will be so used to looking at digital images that they will not know any different.

Dave Opincarne
12-13-2004, 11:39 PM
While there are some exceptions, black and white retains the metalic silver in the image. Color images do not, and with the exception of kodachrome (hard to find anymore) and Ilford's dye transfer ($$$) the dyes used to produce the color use low energy bonds which are unstable and therefore unsuitable to archival standards. The named exceptions do not use dyes as part of the development process and therefore are able to use more durable high energy bonds. Black and white can be further prolonged with the use of fiber paper, selinium or sepia toning, or reprinted in platinum/paladium or carbon.


J Tiers
12-14-2004, 12:35 AM
Someone mentioned Leica, under "exotics".

Does anyone have a suggestion for a reliable repair service which is capable of servicing old Leicas?

In the family are a number of old Leicas, probably they are model III, although I am not looking at them now. They somewhat match the pics of model III that I found. (NOT "M3) These cameras were old in the 1950s.

Some have problems, shutter, of course, and it would be nice to get them working.

We have not made a search, but recommendations certainly help. Advertisements are cheap, old Leicas are not.

Leica themselves seemed somewhat uninterested when contacted, which was unusual for a german company, but of course it was the US branch. No doubt the "suits" had decided that older models were simply not to be discussed. Or someone was having a bad day.....

Any suggestions on repair services?

Dave Opincarne
12-14-2004, 12:38 AM
Don't know if they're still around but there used to be a place in Seattle called ASA-DIN that specialized in Leica.

Dave Opincarne
12-14-2004, 12:41 AM
ASA-DIN Camera-Projector Repairs
1305 NE 45th 214
Seattle, WA 98105 - 4523
(206) 632-6339

Your Old Dog
01-09-2005, 08:24 AM
I know this is a late post but what the hell.

If you're going into the photographic business then I'd by a real "super" film camera and find a 5th Avenue Lab to do your souping.

If, on the other hand, you just want a high quality camera to have at the ready when opportunity comes your way for pics I would go with the new Nikon D70 digital camera. If money is no object I'd get the Nikon 17-55DX f2.8 and a Nikon 70-200VR f2.8 and you'd be set. These are awesum optics.

I'm a professional photographer and I love the new digital stuff. Being able to shoot a picture and have it in an email to a client in minutes "after" having processed it thru Photoshop CS is truly great. You don't need a Hassey make great pics anylonger. Pay attention to Ebay and you'll see that prices for high end film cameras are plummeting. The hand writings on the wall, digital has a lot to offer.

all the shots on this website were taken with a Nikon D100 and the optics noted.
www.raysstuff.com (http://www.raysstuff.com)

take care, and good luck....

01-09-2005, 08:41 AM
This may be too little too late, but check pawn shops.

One freind scored a beauty Canon F-1 with motor drive and 1.2 lens for $200 here in Edmonton and it was perfect. You have to skulk around to find the deals though, but they do come by - few people want the "old" cameras now, digitals are hard to find in pawn shops cheap and in good shape here. I am still trying to score a portable Tektronics or (color) Fluke 200Mhz scope for $250 like another friend (no probes, but so what), but no luck so far. Some arseholes have all the luck... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

J Tiers
01-09-2005, 09:51 AM
As long as this got opened up again, a couple comments (and a thanks for the leica repair steer).

One: The folks who do our catalogs use digital, and have for years. I had for a while in my office a poster-size picture from their digital camera. The picture was about 3 x 5 FEET.

There was not much if any more "pixelizing" visible than is normal for the printing process, since this was a printed poster. So much for the debate on how many megapixels, etc......at least for a camera which at that time cost about $30,000.

That said, I still like the pictures from the "view" cameras. Along with the Leicas, there is also a wood-frame and bellows camera that takes film about 5 x 7 or so. Film goes in a frame with a sliding cover (dark slide?), and image is seen on a ground glass surface to focus.

That takes a picture that is amazing....if you have an enlarger that can handle the negative, you can blow it up to cover a wall without excessive grain.

Digitals might still not quite get there. And the focus issues with digital cameras are still significant in the consumer types.

But I do like the ability to do the lab stuff simply and easily, and see the results immediately. That aspect of digital is nice.

Example is the pic below. It was pretty much a black image with dots in it (as I expected) before some processing via the simple photo program. By diddling with things, I got the image effect I wanted, and could verify it quickly enough that I could have re-taken the pic.
With film, it would have been more difficult, and the chance of having an exposure that would have been unusable and not found until too late would have been significantly higher.

01-09-2005, 03:04 PM
I have a used Fujica ST705W, bought in 1975, and it was used then. This is a beautiful piece of art, but fully manual. Works on pentax mount lenses, which i havce four. My second camera is a Minolta X370 with a 80-210 lens, the 49mm lens, and the 29mm wide angle lens - if I remember correctly. It has manual and automatic features.

I have not been a fan of fully automatic cameras (not to be confused with digital) but this is because I learned photography on manual gear, and learned all the methods from a few real good pros (including a National G photographer in Yellowstone, though he did not know it, I listened real good). I still use my Fuji the most, it is probably 30 plus years old.

Digital is good for quite a bit as well. My third is a Sony digital - 1300 megapixel, which is old news by now, but hey, it works for me, and with software, as noted above, I can pull off things i never imagined with just "light and contrast" adjustments - much like I used to use in the darkroom when doing color shots. My darkroom is now defunct and sold, but I will be doing color filtering with my software - just like I did in the darkroom, very soon.

The choice is yours, but digital might be the best way to go, and there are digitals that have "lens attachments" as my sony has an attachment to use as a wide angle lens, and one to double the zoom.

I could go on for hours, but you might want to go digital, but also look into some old "photo journals" and realize that much of the old manual methods DO apply to digital photograhy including framing, depth of field, F stops, such on and so forth. many digitals have these options on them, buy one with great verastility. The software is now the darkroom. Though many think of it as a cheat, i did color darkroom for years, and have yet to see too much more on software in general enhancements that i could not do with my enlarger , a timer, and a few filters and some real good thought....

01-09-2005, 08:46 PM
Minolta SRT-102, I love it. Uncrichie...