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In a moment of idleness and boredom, and trying to decide the best way to get rid of an embarrassing amount of camera gear which I have collecting dust in the loft, I started remembering how good some of those cameras were/are. And that got me wondering which one or ones I would rate as my favourites. I know, it's entirely subjective and somewhat pointless, but I thought I'd share it with the ePHOTOzine membership. Maybe it will develop (excuse the unintentional pun) into another thread where we can all wallow shamelessly in nostalgia.
It's a difficult choice. But here's the way I feel about it - today, at least.
- Pentax ME Super
I 'graduated' to this camera from my first-ever SLR - a Pracktica MTL3. I loved the way it handled, small and nestling comfortably into the hands. The feel and sound of fine mechanical engineering. If I were to go out and buy a pre-AF 35mm SLR today, the Pentax is the one I'd buy without hesitation, probably with a Pentax 50mm prime to go with it.
- Minolta Dynax 7
A difficult choice. The Dynax 7000i was my first AF SLR, and it was a classic in its own way. The Dynax 700si was brilliant - it tamed the excesses of the Dynax 7xi (which I never owned) and was a very good camera. The Dynax 7 though refined things even further, and added a rear screen to provide information. This was my last 35mm SLR, and yes I still have it somewhere, along with the 700si and a few lenses!
How about you? Which camera(s) did you feel were the ideal tool for your photography at the time?
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I only ever had a Pentax K1000, which I loved in a neglective fashion.
A friend of mine had the ME Super, which to me, looked awesome at the time..... not that I used the descriptive term 'awesome' at the time
I cut my teeth on my dads Canon A1 which i used from 1996 to around 2002. Although it had the infamous Canon "squeak" (my dad originally bought it in the late 70s) it served me well in that time. I don't really have anything else to compare it to except a Nikon f401 which my dad bought to replace the Canon. IMO the Canon was better, certainly more intuitive and better built. Again, good glass was as essential then as it is today. I got quite "attached" to the Canon and bought some more Canon glass for it.
Good camera which only recently got sold.
Minolta 9000. Fan-bloody-tastic camera. Everything you could want from a 35mm camera and nothing besides. No crap, no gimmicks, just quality. Perfectly designed and incredibly easy to use.
My favourite manual focus camera has to be the Pentax ME super with the 50mm prime. It lasted for a very long time and if I had to buy a manual film camera today it would be one of these. Autofocus would be the Pentax MZ7 for me.
Over a year ago I was reminded that I've got a lot of film gear that I never use and what's the point of keeping it?
I had to agree really so 35 (yes 35!) film cameras and a selection of lenses went on Ebay and I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I got for some of them.
They were all Pentax or Pentax lens fitting with the exception of an Olympus Trip and a Zorki 4K. All accumulated over several decades.
I did however keep some of the lenses. I'd like to think that the people who bought them would use them for the purpose intended as I tended to occasionally clean them and put them back into boxes. I do however feel that I should have kept one of my three ME super's and the mint condition MZ7 but never mind.
My Contax 139. Beautiful to look at, beautiful to hold and beautiful to use. No contest. None of my subsequent Canons, although great pieces of equipment (film and digital), have never given me the pleasure to use that the 139 did.
Leica M4. No frills, no meter, no AF, no modes, just the best lenses you can get and if you want to talk about the mechanical beauty....
My M3 comes close, but the M4 viewfinder is better.
For everyday, Nikon FM2, and before that Olympus OM4. Prime lenses of course.
For a different challenge, my MPP Mk 8, large format camera.
OM 10, my first slr, Fm2n, OM2 SP and OM4, I still use an old Trip, 35SP and a compact MJU11
i cannot believe no one has mentioned my first professional camera the Canon T90.
Single handedly it changed the way SLR cameras look and handle, previously no other manufacturer had thought about the ergonomics of its cameras.
Treated myself to a Leica M7 last year when I gave up the old day job, I just love this camera, small(ish), quiet, no bloody buttons on the back to get in the way of my chubby fat fingers Just wished I'd gone to Leica rangefinder sooner! Still a big fan of Nikon F's original F and the even nicer F2, even though I mostly use Canon DSLR's for the business.
Canon A-1.... my first ever SLR. As I own a couple of Canon FD lenses (which I occasionally use on my Olympus OM-D), I sometimes look at eBay and wonder whether I should get one - they average around £75.
But then I think to myself, would I actually bother to buy film for it and get the film processed/printed. Jury's out on that one! I think I need a bit of a "push"!
For me it's my Yashica FXD had it since the early 80's the shine's come off the body but the Contax glass that I have to go with it is outstanding other kit came & went but the FXD is still with me and gets as much use as the Canon 20D that I now have & use
Superb bit of kit (still have it together with my Dynax 7000i). Solid and beautifully made.
Aged 20 a Canon FP. Totally manual, not even a light meter. I had/have a Weston Master V for metering. Then came a Canon A1 followed by the T90, which I agree, changed everything in terms of ergonomics. I have since moved over to Nikon since going digital, but my heart is really with the FP. You could hammer nails with it.
Most of my film stuff was shot on 6x7cm, but my favourite camera was the Nikon F4. Beautifully made, all the controls fell perfectly to hand and it just 'felt right'. You could change any settings without taking the camera from your eye. And the metering was nearly always bang on.
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