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For personal work, I use a 30 year old F2 with a non-meter prism. It's so tough I could probably hammer nails in with it! Best thing is that all my Nikon lenses will fit, from the most ancient to the newest AFS.
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For me the D300, it can produce excellent images.
D3 with 28-70mm 2.8 and D300 with 70 - 200mm 2.8 - best of both worlds - true 28mm on the full frame body and 350mm equivalent on the cropped sensor body. Sorted! But then that's just me with my PJ head on - no time for lens changes.
But film has soul and digital don't!
Nikon F2 with 50mm £1.4 circa £350, 1,080 developed and printed 10x8, £780 or D300 £1,000 50mm f1.4 lens £279, 2GB Sandisk CF card £23 ... do you want a camera or prints?
My F4S..............totally reliable after nearly 20 years service !
It's also great as a door stop !!!
riprap, you should including the film and dev cost because you'll need prints however you originate the image.
Some of us shoot for the result rather than minimum cost!
film and dev costs inc; can't be for the minimum costs otherwise i'd have suggested something like a £60 F50!
I nominate two:
can't argue with any of those, although a colleague would swear that his S3 2000 is the best cam ever made!
Theoretically the Nikon D700.
Practically whatever is in your hands.
Interesting, couple of nominations for the D700 there rather than D3/D3x. I guess it wins on value for money!
The D700 is certainly - technically - the best camera I've owned. Can't fault it. So versatile too, pro quality without the bulk. But I do have a soft spot for the FE/FM series. Had an FE, used an FE2 for a while, currently have an FM3a. When I was burgled and had my FE & D200 stolen, I was more upset about the FE! I replaced the D200 but it's just electronics, not the 30 years of history the FE had.
Are they the best? Don't know, I've never even used a professional 'F' film body.
I think you'll all find that THIS is the best Nikon
Unless you want the frame rate of the D3 I can't see why anyone would opt for the D3 over the D700 as its essentially the same beast, apart from the 95% viewfinder (still got live view at 100%) slightly slower focusing (i think) and the forementioned frame rate.
For me a non pro the D300 has a lot going for it - just ordered my second after my "accident". Still the most import feature in any camera is your eye and your index finger (Ok cable release ).
The chief advantage of the D3 over the D700 for me is the dual slot capability meaning sleep filled nights for wedding photographers zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Grrrrrr @ Nikon for not putting sensor cleaning in the D3.
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