Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

35mm Film camera recommendation for a student
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: 35mm Film camera recommendation for a student Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I've recently signed up for a photography course which teaches, among other things, the basics of analog photography and development of B&W films. Participation requires owning proper gear though.

I have a collection of film era lenses which I'd love to try on something other than my digital Pentax. I hope you can help me find something that would best suit my needs:

1. Must-haves
- ability to take Pentax K mount and/or M42 screwmount lenses (could be with an adapter, but retaining infinity focus, so no Nikons for example)
- ability to work without batteries, at least partially (for example, with shutter speed restrictions)
- at least 1/1000s minimum shutter speed
- general reliability and good chance that the in-built light meter will work properly
- at least 90% coverage, reasonably bright viewfinder
- (for M42 bodies) takes S-M-C Takumar lenses with no problems
- manual exposure mode
- up to 150$ for a minty one

2. Nice-to-haves
- silicon photocell light meter
- spot metering
- split image focusing screen
- metal shutter
- readily available batteries
- (for bodies with M42 adapter) stop down metering with adapter pushing the auto pin

3. Don't-cares
- semi automatic modes (aperture priority etc.)
- autofocus
- mirror lock-up
- flash sync speeds (don't plan to use this with a speedlight)
- accessories (motor winders, interchangeable viewfinders, etc.)

I'd appreciate any help.

Cheers!


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had one but from what I've read, I think the Pentax K1000 fits your requirements almost to the letter.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miran wrote:
I've never had one but from what I've read, I think the Pentax K1000 fits your requirements almost to the letter.


I don't know much about the other Pentax bodies but as a camera the K1000 is pretty average, not very well made and is fairly overpriced now with respect to other bodies.

OP, I wouldn't buy something without a silicon lightmeter as most CdS cells are dead, or without complete exposure latitude. Most newer bodies should have a mechanical sync speed at 1/100 - 1/125 so you can use all of the standard focal lengths sharply. There are 'modern' Pentax bodies that are still largely mechanical with all the other bells and whistles too but they're some of the most expensive SLR's you can buy now, Pentax LX - but maybe you can get one under $150 by bid.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently I've read a little about Fujica M42 cameras. They seem to have good reputation, and I'm leaning towards getting ST 801, with its 1/2000s shutter, split image focusing screen and silicon light meter. However, I have read that S-M-C Takumars may jam in its mount. Can anyone here confirm this? If that's not the case, this camera might become my number one priority.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BarneyL wrote:
Recently I've read a little about Fujica M42 cameras. They seem to have good reputation, and I'm leaning towards getting ST 801, with its 1/2000s shutter, split image focusing screen and silicon light meter. However, I have read that S-M-C Takumars may jam in its mount. Can anyone here confirm this? If that's not the case, this camera might become my number one priority.


I have both the ST801 and a lot of M42 Takumars. Just tried a ST 50mm/F1.4 on the Fujica and everything operates as it should also when the lens' aperture mode is set to auto. There is no incompatibility issue whatsoever.
BTW, the ST801 is indeed a very nice camera. The only downside is that you don't see the chosen aperture in the view finder.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pentax MX?


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: 35mm Film camera recommendation for a student Reply with quote

BarneyL wrote:
Hello everyone,

I've recently signed up for a photography course which teaches, among other things, the basics of analog photography and development of B&W films. Participation requires owning proper gear though.

I have a collection of film era lenses which I'd love to try on something other than my digital Pentax. I hope you can help me find something that would best suit my needs:

1. Must-haves
- ability to take Pentax K mount and/or M42 screwmount lenses (could be with an adapter, but retaining infinity focus, so no Nikons for example)
- ability to work without batteries, at least partially (for example, with shutter speed restrictions)
- at least 1/1000s minimum shutter speed
- general reliability and good chance that the in-built light meter will work properly
- at least 90% coverage, reasonably bright viewfinder
- (for M42 bodies) takes S-M-C Takumar lenses with no problems
- manual exposure mode
- up to 150$ for a minty one

2. Nice-to-haves
- silicon photocell light meter
- spot metering
- split image focusing screen
- metal shutter
- readily available batteries
- (for bodies with M42 adapter) stop down metering with adapter pushing the auto pin

3. Don't-cares
- semi automatic modes (aperture priority etc.)
- autofocus
- mirror lock-up
- flash sync speeds (don't plan to use this with a speedlight)
- accessories (motor winders, interchangeable viewfinders, etc.)

I'd appreciate any help.

Cheers!


Whats the beef with batteries? LR44's are readily available and cheap. You can grab a pack of 10 for under 5.00 on eBay. Many older film cameras operate on these batteries so i'm not sure why your needs are specific to operating without batteries, when batteries are available and dirt cheap. To each his own, but it makes no sense to me.

Fujica ST's would fit your bill. ST801 and ST705, both are great cameras.
Chinon CM4s and CM5 are all mechanical but no metering without LR44 batteries. A hand held meter works like a charm

The 705w is my preferred St camera.


Chinon CM4s PK mount.



http://wkoopmans.ca/notebook/?p=9303


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
Pentax MX?


First thing that crossed my mind as well! I also very much liked the Revueflex 5005 and Mamiya DSX1000b.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pentax MX?


First thing that crossed my mind as well! I also very much liked the Revueflex 5005 and Mamiya DSX1000b.


Another vote for the MX - it was/is a lovely camera (when I owned it).

I'd also echo the wide availability of LR44 batteries as a solution to widening your search. Was there a specific reason to have a battery-less camera?


PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

Thank you for all the recommendations. Recently I've stumbled upon a pretty good eBay listing for a camera that does not fulfill all my initial requirements (it does not operate without batteries at all), but I decided to go for it anyway - namely Pentax Super A. It came with Pentax-A 50/1.4 included, for around 150 EUR total. Immaculate condition.

However, I wouldn't mind a second, native M42 body. My initial requirement for "possible battery-less operation" came from the fact I live in a part of the world where winters can get rough, but I guess I exaggerated. I think silicon lightmeter camera with LR44 or any other readily available batteries required will do.

Currently looking for Fujicas, but so far no dice. Wouldn't mind the Bessaflex, but this things are almost impossible to get for a reasonable price.

I also heard that there are some other-mount cameras that have special adapters which can push the stop-down pin on M42 lenses, making the body behave like native screwmount body. I think these were some Mamiyas (NC1000s?) and Rolleiflexes (SL35E). Does anyone have experience with them?


PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Super A is far from my first choice, but if it gets you where you need to be, so be it.

When I look for a camera that is to be used in a student setting, what I look for is a camera that is easy to use in manual mode. Because that is the mode you're gonna be shooting in almost all the time. And to me the Super A is not particularly comfortable -- to me -- in manual mode.

Given your requirements, you would have been much better off with either an MX or a K2 (SPD photo cells), or a KX as a trusty stand-in (CDS cells). All three of these cameras are a delight to use in manual mode.

As for M42, if you wish to have a reliable meter, you're probably better off with one of the more recent Fujicas or some such. The Spotmatics I own have meters that still work -- sort of -- but I wouldn't want to attest to their accuracy.