Film Body Recommendation???

Discussion in 'Film Cameras' started by wt21, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    I've been using my ME Super for film, but there are a few niggles. Wondering if someone has any recommendations in the moderately to cheaper priced space (edit: I mean something like $200-600 with lens), that can support the following needs:

    1. Quieter/quietish shutter (ME Super is really loud)
    2. EV adjustment, hopefully in less than full stops (ME Super is +/- 2 stops, but only in full stops) -- of course, this therefore assumes a light meter
    3. Really just looking for a fast normal lens. Prefer 50mm, but would work with 35-60mm range.
    4. Compact is good
    5. Fixed lens is OK

    I have two mid-level/lower PK lenses (50/2 and 135/2.5 and some Canon EOS lenses (50/1.4, for instance), but would be willing to try something else. Maybe a Bessa with a CV 40??

    Open for ideas.
  2. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    What's the budget?

    Because you can get a Minolta XD body in excellent+ condition with a 50m f1.7 lens on KEH most days for maybe $130 together. Right now their minolta bodies are scarce, but there's a black X700 from the early 80's in Ex+ shape for $62. I know the XD line had full stop EV comp up to +/- 2, not partials, but hell, it's a little slider... I kinda suspect that if you slid it halfway between the stops that's what you'd get.

    Oh and the rokkor glass is good and cheap. There's a 50mm f1.4 or two on there now for $60-something bucks. Killer lens.
  3. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestion. But is it a quiet shutter?

    Thanks for reminding me about Keh!

  4. The quietest cameras are always going to be ones w/ leaf shutter..

    If u are ok w/ fixed lens, my all time favorite rf is Contax T... Fits in your jean pockets about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

    Minolta CL or Bessa R w/ the cv 40 or the more compact Minolta 40f2 are good choices.

  5. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Minolta CL. That was the one I was trying to remember. I know they tend to a little more lower in price. I'll also check out the Contax.
  6. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Well, the world is truly your oyster. Sticking with the PK mount I would look for an LX, a much under-rated "system camera". For quietness in SLRs there is little to beat a Contax RX (my all-time favourite film SLR) or the gorgeous S2. Olympus? OM2 Spot Program or OM3ti. Nikon - FM2, FE2, FA, Or the one I have now, an FM3a. The SLR Rolleis are worth a look, as are the Yashicas which share the Contax bayonet mount. Leica SLRs are ridiculously cheap, now, but the glass isn't, sadly.

    Most 20-plus year old SLRs would benefit from a CLA, and often a new set of seals.

    Sent from another Galaxy
  7. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    As you're talking about exposure compensation, you presumably want aperture (or even shutter) priority and an electronic camera?

    That limits your options a bit. "moderate to cheaper" isn't a number unfortunetely, and what's cheap to me might not be cheap to you.

    No good considering a Bessa if you want a whispery shutter :smile: but otherwise it fits your bill very well. Or a Zeiss Ikon. The Ikon is out of production entirely, and Cosina have announced they are stopping making the "a" (aperture priority) version of the Bessa series. You can find the RxA and Ikon on the second hand market readily.

    Obviously an excellent fit would be an M7, but it's not of course in the "moderate" range

    There's multitudes of f/1.7-ish fixed lens rangefinders around (if that's what you consider fast), all with silent leaf shutters and 40mm-ish lenses. few have compensation unless you're willing to simply fiddle with the ISO. The problem with older fixed lens rfs is .. .they're getting old, they'll probably need new light seals, and the rf itself generally has a short base and may have a dim view & patch.

    For SLRs, there's plenty of OM2/OM4 bodies on the market, and you can pick up a 50/1.4 very cheaply.
    Nikon F2/FM2/etc are plentiful and cheap (especially in the You Ess Ay from KEH)

    Budget for a CLA with older bodies though.

    I use an R2A, and OM-1n, and when I use one for a while am always amazed how lovely the other one feels when I pick it up ...
  8. Forgot to mention Rollei 35S or T.

  9. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    wow by the time i finished writing my post 5 answers had appeared :rolleyes:
  10. A timely question. I've been discussing film and developing with a fellow Aussie on Pentaxforums, and am wondering which of the Pentax bodies would be best to get... I only have a couple of lenses which would work with, but often, the bodies come with lenses anyway. I know nearly nothing about Pentax bodies, at all. I still plan to resurrect my Minolta, and my Dad's Zeiss, now I know where I can get 120 film.
  11. Slightly different. Medium format folder like voigtlander Perkeo (scale focus) or zeiss super ikonta 3 or 4 both rf. Medium format that will fit in your back jean pocket. :D

  12. stratokaster

    stratokaster Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I'd say get a Nikon. Something like FA or FE. FA will also give you the best metering of any manual focus film camera.

    I have always disliked Nikon but after trying their hi-end film bodies I understand while in the pre-AF era they were reigning supreme. Their film cameras feel exquisite, much better than Canons/Pentaxes/Minoltas of the same vintage.

    This is just my opinion, so please don't shoot me if you love your Canon/Pentax/Minolta.
  13. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    The XDs have a pleasant little "shlack" shutter noise that's not whisper quiet, but also not alarmingly loud. Compared to my X100 it's loud, but it's not the loudest shutter style out there, either. I wanna say Seiko made those shutters for them...?

    Ok, fast forward here to 5:00. He reviews and shoots off an XD11. You can hear the shutter clearly. It's pretty derned quiet.

    (Also note the one he shows has a motor drive on the bottom... it's much smaller without it)
  14. arachide

    arachide Regular

    Feb 15, 2012
    I had an ME Super and didn't think the shutter was that loud, at least compared to a Nikon FM2n.

    I'd agree with KillRamsey that the XD shutter is pleasant. You can also pick up some nice Rokkor lenses for it for next to nothing.

    If you want quiet, consider going for a rangefinder. The Canonet QL17 is nice small and quiet camera. I also like the Yashica Electro, though it is bigger and the ergonomics of it drive me crazy sometime, but the lens on the front of it is a peach.
  15. Warren T.

    Warren T. Regular

    Apr 8, 2011
    San Francisco
    The Bessa rangefinders use focal plane shutters, so they are loud compared to similarly styled RF bodies with leaf shutters. A Konica Hexar AF is in your price range. In normal situations such as shooting in the street, it is virtually a silent camera and the fixed 35mm lens is superb. As others have recommended, a Canonet QL17 (fixed 45mm lens) would also be an excellent choice. Finally, there is the Yashica Lynx 14e with it's fixed 50mm f1.4 lens, but they are relatively rare and hard to find.

  16. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    There are so many competent film cameras out there, it is almost impossible to make a bad choice. The main aspects I would consider are type of camera (SLR, rangefinder, compact, medium format), level of automation, and lens mount.

    If money were no object, I would recommend a Leica M6 or M7. Quiet, compact, and an absolute pleasure to use. However, you cannot go wrong with almost any Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax, or any other established brand. Even something like a Yashica Electro 35, which can be bought for a pittance, is a terrific picture taker, albeit with the limitation of aperture priority automation only.

    You should also consider a medium format camera, just because the image quality in most cases is superior to that of 35mm. While a nice Rollei will cost some money, an older Rollei Automat (like mine) is not too expensive, is very quiet, and the image quality is superb.
  17. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    MF don't Really fit the compact criterion of course.

    Frankly it really doesn't matter which camera you choose. Handle a few and Pick one you like using. Then use it.

    Film cameras can be had so cheaply you could buy half a dozen or more with standard lenses and still spend less than on a digital.
  18. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    I have a full frame DSLR. Maybe MF for a film camera might be fun and different.

    How do you focus with a Rollei, though? Is there any kind of split prism/focusing help??

    hmmm... but is there an affordable MF with a light meter?
  19. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Depends on the screen installed. Mine had a Maxwell screen installed by a previous owner which has split image. You also use the magnifier to aid in focusing. My Hasselblad only has the plain groundglass, but focusing with the magnifier is not an issue.
  20. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Keep your eyes peeled for one of the Fuji G-series 6x45 rangefinders. Not super compact, but light and comfortable to use (much lighter than a TLR or MF SLR), with excellent metering.

    I have a GS645S, which is a little wider than a normal (60mm rather than 80mm, so roughly a ~40mm in "full frame" equivalence) and it is really superb. They seem to sell in the £250-£350 range. In the USA, probably the same in $

    Some of the older "normal" lens versions of the Fuji (with bellows) seem to have a bit of a reputation for unreliability, but generally the range is well thought of.