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What is the best classic manual slr to get?

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by kang, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Manofolympus

    Manofolympus Well-Known Member

    Yes, it does to me as well-I have put down a number of cameras cause the wind on felt gritty-I suppose its some vague worry about the rest of the mechanics-the wind-on being the only bit you can feel from the outside!
  2. B_Cal

    B_Cal Active Member

    For me it's another vote for the Olympus OM1n if you are looking for a classic steam driven camera - I had a pair of them until recently - sold one when I went digital and cannot part with the other.

    When I went digial I became a Nikon user.

    That said I when I now use a film camera it's a Nikon F100 which in time I think will become a classic as it very much represents the zenith of film camera evolution, but can be operated in pure manual mode.

  3. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    It's funny how many older SLR win-on levers get like that. Contrast with, say, an M3 of fifty years vintage. Many of those have a better feel than most modern cameras, including some Leicas. :)
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yup - the M3 is unbeatable for smoothness, although plenty of other cameras get close. But I'm not talking so much about grittiness, which can happen to almost all cameras, but something that feels more design-related and that can best be defined as a lack of refinement, rather than a positive feel of anything. It doesn't effect thefunctioning, just reduces my confidence a little, and it's something I've noticed on new cameras as well as old. As an example at the opposite end of the price scale, I'll use Praktica. Now the L series Prakticas were as rough and ready as they come in many ways, but the wind-on is generally very smooth indeed. Many of the earlier bayonet-mount ones are nearly as smooth, but the BX20 is pretty awful - and I've owned enough examples of each of these from new, as well as used, to be confident that that's the way they are.

    The other thing that has a disproportionate effect on my enjoyment of a camera is the shutter sound - not so much the volume, as the quality of it. And worse still, in terms of my eccentricity, specifically the sound it makes at 1/15 second. A decent leaf shutter almost always wins this battle, but there are lots of others I like - yes, the Leica shutter, that in the Pentax MX and the Spotmatic one, even the Praktica L shutter, and quite a lot of others. In contrast, cameras with a Copal Square type shutter don't have the same aural attraction to me. Taking the two things together, it's amazing I ever used my Pentacon 6TL, with the worst wind-on of all, and it's "zonk-thuuuudddddd" shutter. :D
  5. With six mechanical manual Nikons I should really wave the Nikon flag, but ......

    Have a look at the Minoltas - particularly the XD7 - it is beautifully made, has the best viewfinder I have ever looked through, a smooth as silk wind on lever, is almost as compact as the OM series and has multi mode metering.

    OH yes, the clincher - they are a lot cheaper than the Nikons of comparable age.

  6. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member


    • FM2 ......."Kershlapp"?
      MX ............."Chickk"?
      Leica SL2 ......... "Ch-likkkKK"?
      Rolleiflex ......... "Tuk"?
      Mamiya 1000s ..........."ShuuunKkklapppp"?
      Leica IIIf .......... " Shik "?

    Surely we need an ISO standard for all these. :rolleyes:
  7. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    And when you take a photo, the camera stops the lens down and then does a 2nd. meter reading just before the mirror goes up, thus getting the info from which it can compensate the shutter speed if there's an error in the stop down mechanism.

    Neat! Supposed to work with the MD range of lenses, and not guaranteed with the earlier MC range where the mechanism may bounce a little.
  8. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Zenit B ........"KER-LUNKKK"? :)
  9. Manofolympus

    Manofolympus Well-Known Member

    There must be a database already for all the compact cameras that make an slr shutter and mirror noise when the picture is taken. Some even follow it up with a motordrive noise!
  10. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member

    I guess so. Some people really do need to get out more ......
  11. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

  12. eyedeebee

    eyedeebee Well-Known Member

    I've used a F3 for a few years and apart from it's weight sometimes, it's hard to fault - Nikkor lenses are generally great.
    After recently getting into mountaineering, I began taking an OM10 due to it's size and weight advantages. Last week I bought an OM2n after trying one out in a local shop. Again the size and weight are a major advantage, but what really sold it to me was the viewfinder - absolutely brilliant!! My digital cameras are struggling for any real time at the moment!
  13. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    FM2N. The N is a prefix on the serial number. Its relevance is that an issue with the flash synchronisation had been fixed. Its a pity that one cannot use modern'G' lenses with it.
  14. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    Another Minolta to consider is the XE-1, the wind on is the best I have felt on (it must be admitted limited range of) manual cameras. Mmmm must put a roll of film through mine, just to remind myself how nice it feels to use. :D
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    To use an FM2n. For a real classic an F2.
    I own the former but don't buy cameras to put in a display case.

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