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It's a difficult one to answer.
Probably the most reliable performer was the Pentax MZ5n, my last SLR. It's still around, but the pop-up flash doesn't pop up any more as it got damaged during the move here.
For some years I haunted the 'antique fairs' and picked up quite a few interesting cameras - not the expensive ones. My favourite to use of that lot was a Yashica Minster D (which for some reason has now stopped working) - very slick, even though I had to reset the rangefinder mechanism quite regularly.
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Does anybody remember the Olympus IS-1000 (and other cameras in that range? My father had one for a time. He had at one time owned an OM-1, which unfortunately he lost when it was stolen from him. The iS-1000 was a nicely built piece of kit, but not a patch on an OM. Also the AF was slow and uncertain compared with the leaders at the time, especially Minolta and Canon, and despite Olympus' conviction that non-interchangeable zoom lenses was the way to go in SLR design, I think most people felt that it was too limiting, potentially.
I still have one of these - and it's still going strong and still fully operational. The range was IS 1000, IS 2000 and IS 3000 I seem to remember.
Good to know. I've not seen any of sign of them for ages!
My uncle had the Oly IS-1000. But he didn't get on with it and went back to a Pentax SLR.
Quote: Good to know. I've not seen any of sign of them for ages!
They had a very low profile around the prism because Olympus designed a light path with an "M" profile which made it very streamlined.
I'm going to get it out and use it now you've jogged my thoughts on this old beauty.
Quote: I'm going to get it out and use it now you've jogged my thoughts on this old beauty.
Brilliant! I hope you enjoy it. Mind and post some of the results up here when you get around to it!
How could I forget - I also picked up a second-hand Pentax KX back in my Pentax days. Very similar to the legendary MX but bigger and heavier! A fine camera though. Sadly, I sold all of my Pentax gear when I bought my first AF SLR - the impressive Minolta Dynax 7000i.
Another thought which just occurred to me: does anybody remember the Olympus XA and XA2 compact cameras? Did anybody here own one?
Quote: Again, my memory may be wrong but I believe the next Dynax model aimed at the professional and semi-pro was the 9xi?
Indeed it was. And that was replaced by Minolta's final pro SLR the Dynax 9. I own both but the 9000 will always be my favourite.
Canon T90 and Yashicamat 124G. Still got them but all to rarely used nowadays.
Right now it's a Contax 159MM. Compact, light and simple with the aperture & shutter in the VF. I use it with Zeiss 25/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 & 85/1.4 lenses. I also enjoy my Olympus 35RD & DC rangefinders, the F.Zuiko 40/1.7 lens is fab.
Looking back, I learned a huge amount from owning a Pentax MX with a SMC M 50/1.4, my first proper SLR. I bought one recently for very little but need to do a bit of work to press it back into use.
I then moved up to a T90, which was and still is an incredible bit of kit. The DNA of Colani's design still persists in the top line Eos bodies even now. It shows the potential benefits of working with outside industrial designers that can bring new ideas to the form and interface of the camera. Compare it with the fussy, cluttered A-1 or the T80-like body Canon's in house team developed... I still have mine, along with the excellent FD 28-85/4 which is my all time favourite standard zoom.
The T90 was so good I never really saw the need to go to the eos range or any other AF camera, until digital. An TBH, in spite of shooting most of my stuff digitally now, I really hate all the Eoses i've used (including the Eos 3, which is a form if T90 AF) but there is no a better option as all DSLRs seem fussy and complex now.
Started life in 1965 in serious photography (earlier days were with box cameras) with a pentax S1a with a Super Takumar standard lens, followed on with some cheap or should I say inexpensive lenses Vivitar 35mm and 135mm the manufacturer of which eludes me now although it is still in the loft as it carries no value.
My favourite, to answer the question, is without doubt my Mamiya 645 with pentaprism housing and 4 lenses (very expensive, the 40mm in particular).
I was just discussing this subject with my father. He was saying that perhaps the best camera which he used in his work, i.e. not a camera he owned, but belonging to the company he worked for, was the Canon Epoca. That was a compact camera with a difference - basically a cylinder, held in much the same way as a camcorder, with a side grip and strap, and with the flash hinging out to the side with the lens cap. He said the handling was perfect for what he needed for work, being able to reach into almost anywhere to take photos without much trouble.
After my brief and unsuccessful adventure with the Kodak Brownie Vecta, and a much more enjoyable time with a Kodak Instamatic (I'm not sure which specific model), I "graduated" to an Ilford Sportsman (4th style). This was the camera with which my interest in photography got properly established, and was my main camera for many years. I was very fond of it, in many ways, although I remember that the serrated ring for changing the aperture was very stiff and made me think twice about whether I really wanted to wrestle with it and risk having my fingers chewed to bits.
There was also an Agfa Silette (1955 model) in the family too. I've no idea where these cameras came from - they certainly weren't bought new! - but they were my introduction to "proper" photography, i.e. more sophisticated metering than just the basic 'sunny/cloudy/etc' selector, and adjustable focus.
Canon Eos R/T my first Canon brilliant piece of gear still got it R/T mode superb
As a kid:
Kodak Brownie 127
Kodak Retina 2
Later in life:
Olympus OM 1N
Om1 a beauty, but the A1 would have to be the all-time favourite.
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