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Cameras you wished you'd purchased new?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Cameras you wished you'd purchased new? Reply with quote


Contax RTS III
Nikon F4s

I own neither but if I could buy them new today, I'd run out and buy both.
These are the two cameras I have truly ridiculous regrets never owning.

The Nikon F4s was the first professional Nikon I ever held with a 80-200 f2.8 (single ring) lens attached. It was brought in by a Nikon rep to where I worked. Remember that day like it was yesterday. I took it outside, fired some frames, it's the day that made me commit to the Nikon system.
At that point in time the F4 was getting old and I didn't need to buy a system "right now" so I opted to wait for the F4 replacement. Nikon took longer than expected to release the successor (F5) so I ended up with the Nikon F90x as my first Nikon camera. This was effectively the Nikon pro camera for a period during that F4 to F5 gap. The F4 was still available but for pro use, the tech just became too old so the F90x was number one in the Nikon line. I later also did get the F5 upon release.

The Contax RTS III and Contax system is what I intended to buy into prior to the rep bringing in the F4. I was brought into the photography world using Leica gear. (Not owned by myself)
That's what I used but I was never a fan. I looked at the Contax system and also got to hold and have a play with the RTS III. Remember that day like it was yesterday too!

Back then I was building a career. I looked at system cost and at that time there was still plenty of debate if autofocus would rule the world over manual focus or not. I could see the future becoming autofocus and the Contax system cost would be extreme. The day the Nikon rep brought in the F4 and I had the opportunity to have a good hold and play, made me decide Nikon would be the more sensible long term option. As excited as I was that day, I still recall that I was equally shattered my Contax RTS III dreams were over.

I loved both those cameras and I am absolutely devastated I never actually owned either. I would even buy a used one today if I could find one that is truly mint and in perfect working order. No success so far so I guess this is one MAJOR regret I will carry with me till the end of time. lol

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't let regrets overwhelm me. I'd look for clean used examples and buy them. They're out there. I bought a very clean Nikon F4s, just to have one because of its historical importance. Its AF truly sucks compared to modern cameras, but that's kinda beside the point.

My first camera system was Canon FD. I bought an AE-1, followed by an A-1. Not too long after I bought the A-1, I realized I was moving in the wrong direction. So, to reverse this trend, I went back to the basics. My first new old Canon was an FT-b, the camera that really taught me photography. I followed up maybe a year later when I bought an old beater F-1. Man, I loved that camera. Bought another just to have a spare. So, those two -- the FTb and the original F-1 are cameras I wished I could have bought new. The reason why I bought an original F-1 and not the new model was because the old one has mirror lock-up, whereas the new one does not. MLU is also why I bought my first FTb. It wasn't until many years later that I bought my first New F-1. A helluva camera, I like it a lot. But I still think that Canon blew it by not including MLU.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Pentax LX. I started with a new ME Super and wore it out. That was replaced with a second hand MX. I used that until it was stolen. A few years later I discovered Ebay and internet fora and fell down the slippery slope of GAS. One of my purchases was an LX. I've used it a great deal since, but it makes me wish I could have afforded one earlier.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:

My first camera system was Canon FD. I bought an AE-1, followed by an A-1. Not too long after I bought the A-1, I realized I was moving in the wrong direction. So, to reverse this trend, I went back to the basics.

I did virtually the same, went from AE1-P to A1, and back again. I still have the AE1-P I bought used back in the 70's to replace the A1.

I stuck with Canon and went AF with a EOS600, still on my shelf, but in doing so I missed out on the only camera I lusted after and have never owned - the Canon T90.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My cameras are usually brought used when they are at least 5 years old.
I don't think I'd ever have wanted to pay the extra for having them new, but some I might have liked to get a little earlier than I did.
More significant around one third of the cameras I did actually buy new, I subsequently felt I shouldn't have bothered with at all.
All of these where less than £25 so the expense wasn't to drastic, but combining the cost of them all would now probably allow a used Go-pro type camera to be purchased that might actually do what I was planning on trying.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember Reids with Dallmeyer lenses being sold at government surplus stores for about £50 in 1971. I wish I'd bought one.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:

I stuck with Canon and went AF with a EOS600, still on my shelf, but in doing so I missed out on the only camera I lusted after and have never owned - the Canon T90.

I did similarly. My first AF was a first generation Rebel that I wore out. Replaced it with an Elan IIe, which I've owned for probably 15 years or so. Finally, about 5 years ago, I bought my first and only T90. It's a helluva camera. Mine doesn't get much use, since, if I'm shooting film with an FD Canon, I'm still reaching for an F-1 or FTb first, usually the F-1.

But you gotta love the T-90 for what it represents. It was the first camera with that new (for the late 80s) "slippery" look that all manufacturers have since adopted as an essential element of their styling.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why to regret ...? Just get a nice used sample of each one, and enjoy them ...!

Starting around 2005 I purchased nearly all the professional SLRs I had been interested in ... they now are simply too cheap to resist Wink

Canon: Canon R, Canon F-1 and New F-1, T90, EOS 1, and a few more
Mamiya: 645 1000s and 645 Pro TL
Minolta: SR-1, SR-2, SR-3, SR-7, SR-T, XE, XM, XD, 9000, 9xi, Dynax 9, ...
Nikon: F, F2, F3, F4, F5, ...
Pentax: LX, MX, ME, ...
Yashica Zeiss: Contax RTS, RTS II (but no RTS III yet!)
Leica: Leicaflex, Lecaflex SL, R3, R4, R5, ...

All the cameras mentioned above probably did cost me < CHF (EUR/USD) 3000.-- (with exception of the Minolta 9000 / 9xi / Dynax 9 which I bought new).


PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of all the cameras that have passed through my hands, I *think* only two were bought brand new:

A Nikon FE, and a Bronica Sq-A.

I got the FE after after two negative experiences in a row with the parent cameras.
Both the Nikkormat EL, and Nikon EL-W suffered from the same bad shutter resistor.
I have no regrets over the FE. It proved to be a fairly robust and capable performer.
It's electronics have proven to be fairly long lived, in at least a few examples.
The FE I have today is not the same one I sold off for living expenses.
It is, by it's serial number, one of the last FE's to come off the line.
It's printed circuitry is a bit physically stronger than the later FE-2.
The swinging needle display is well ingrained to my eye.
I'm at home with a single glance through the viewfinder.

The Bronica, I'm still a bit ambivalent on.
Bought as a work camera, it performed quite admirably.
The Seikosha shutters in the 2 lenses I had with it were utterly dependable.
It was a fair amount of kit to boot as well, with a couple of extra 120 backs, a speed-grip and two lenses.
I was by that time running around with two camera bags, and could have actually used three.
I think if I would have bought a Nikon F-2 in it's stead, I'd still be carrying it today.
That's the only camera that I can think of, that I really should have bought new.
What a love affair. I have today a chrome F-2 body in mint condition, and a black one in heavily used condition.
If I ever win a lottery, the black F-2 will go to Sover Wong for a rebuild.
Everything on the camera works, and works well. By the noise it makes, it could use a cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment.
Shutter speeds still appear to be right on the nose, despite all the clatter.

I am considering another DSLR at present. It too, will not be bought new- just a matter of plain economics...
2nd hand, in good condition, has generally served me well over the years.