Add your "Best" camera to the list

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Joseph Meehan, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Over the years I have seen a number of outstanding cameras. I am not
    talking bout the most advanced, or best made, rather I am talking about
    those cameras that have done an outstanding job of fitting the needs of the
    public, both pro/advanced and Aunt Fran.

    I'll start off with a few:

    Graflex 4x5: (acturally several models) Good solid camera for it's
    time. I still have one.

    Yashica Mat 124: Not the quality of the Rolli, but close enough. It
    filled the needs of many users very well for a very low price. I still have

    Kodak Instamatic: Put a camera into the hands of everyone. Did not do a
    bad job of filling the needs of those who bought them. Made photography
    easy for anyone. They were also almost indestructible. (Flash extender
    needed to eliminate red-eye)

    Yashica Electro 35: I don't know why, but they were cheap, reliable and
    everyone who had one got great photos. I sold hundreds of them

    Nikon F: A classic

    Argus C-3: Another classic

    Minolta SRT 101: A very good SLR for a good price.

    How about adding your choices.
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 11, 2004
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  2. Kodak DCS-520/Canon D2000: Digital SLR, before everything was D10/D70. Only
    2 million pixels, build on the great EOS 1N. Does a fantastic job, I still
    use mine. Loving it...

    Venlig hilsen/best regards

    René Ernst Nielsen

    +45 66122111
    +45 28722962
    René Ernst Nielsen, Jul 11, 2004
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  3. Joseph Meehan

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    I've never seen a camera that equals the Elans in the consumer price range.
    Aunt Fran can use it, I can use it and anyone else can use it. Best camera
    ever designed.
    I do own about 5 C3s and a C4 -- they are not great by any means, but
    about the cheapest thing on the market to put 35mm film through. Aunt Fran
    would be USC to use one though.
    The Nikon F was a serious camera for photo journalism - Aunt Fran woul
    be screwed. By the time I got into photography the Pentax Spotmatic and the
    Nikkotmats were on the market - both a considerable improvement over the
    clunky F for most of us.
    I loved my Instamatic, but never put another roll of film through it
    after I got the Spotmatic.
    I found the Graflex to be a beast - hated it.
    Never had a Yashica TLR, but I did own one (brand forgotten) Never cared
    for the way the things worked. Every wedding photographer I knew had scads
    of the things though, so they were obviously useful - just not to me.
    Tony Spadaro, Jul 11, 2004
  4. Joseph Meehan

    Colyn Guest

    A few of my favorites which I still use are the Leica screwmount and M
    series, Minolta XD-11, ,XE-7, SRT's, Zeiss Contessa, Agfa Karat, Diax,
    and Retina IIIC..

    Colyn Goodson

    email hidden
    Colyn, Jul 11, 2004
  5. Nikon FE , everything you'll ever need from a SLR camera (except digital, of
    Neven Andrilovic, Jul 11, 2004
  6. They WERE great in their time. Cheap and bullet proof. That is why
    there are so many still around. They just kept going and going. They could
    make very good photos. However, they were far from the easiest camera to
    I agree it was not an Aunt Fran camera.
    I should have had that one on my list. I only used one a few times, but
    it also was a best of its type
    Yea. I agree. I had one until it was stolen. If you ever see and ftn
    model with my name engraved on the bottom, I would like it back. I got mine
    direct from Nikon as a NSA (Nikon Salesmen of America) member and that's why
    the name is on the bottom.
    It was a beast, but it did a lot of professional work and meet the needs
    of a number of amateur of the time. Having perspective and plane of focus
    control made it a work horse. If you used it a lot, you would find ways of
    taming the beast.
    I used mine for a number of weddings. It was just at the time weddings
    were changing over from 4x5 to 6x6.
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 11, 2004
  7. Joseph Meehan

    TP Guest


    Of those I have owned and used, here is my list.

    I agree with three of your choices:

    Yashicamat 124G
    Yashica Electro 35 GSN
    Nikon F

    Plus I would add, listed by brands, in alphabetical order:

    Canon GIII QL 17
    Canon T90

    Contax T3

    Nikon FE2
    Nikon F4E
    Nikon F100

    Olympus OM-1
    Olympus OM-2
    Olympus Mju-II (Stylus Epic)
    Olympus E-10P
    Olympus E-1

    Pentax LX
    Pentax MX
    Pentax Super A

    I have other favourites that I don't believe fit your brief, solely
    because of their high cost, but they are great cameras:

    Leica M4-P
    Leica M6
    Leica M7

    Hasselblad 500CM
    Hasselblad 503CX
    TP, Jul 11, 2004
  8. Joseph Meehan

    Jay Bala Guest

    Amongst the best this may seam insignificant, still let me add the Yashica T4
    super or T5.

    Jay Bala.
    Jay Bala, Jul 11, 2004
  9. Joseph Meehan

    Sabineellen Guest

    Olympus OM-1
    Olympus RC
    Olympus XA
    Sabineellen, Jul 11, 2004
  10. Joseph Meehan

    TP Guest

    They certainly fit the requirement of "those cameras that have done an
    outstanding job of fitting the needs of the public, both pro/advanced
    and Aunt Fran", because they satisfied the demand from members of the
    public who valued the Carl Zeiss brand name on the lens.
    TP, Jul 11, 2004
  11. I had one of those for a while, and I wouldn't disagree with you.

    Leica M3.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 12, 2004
  12. William Graham, Jul 12, 2004
  13. Joseph Meehan

    Roger Guest


    Of the ones that have been on my active shelf:

    "Outstanding Cameras" that I have sold and regretted:

    Nikon 8008 - should have kept it for the metering, strobe control and
    used it as a MF backup. In AF (P-Mode), Aunt Fran could have dealt
    with this.

    Nikon FM2n (everything I needed in a basic camera and the LED metering
    was a tremendous low-light aid - I would choose the FM2n over the FE2
    for this reason). Probably not for Aunt Fran.

    Nikon F3 - reasonably price now on the used market to be available to
    the "public". A great studio and out-and-about 35mm with all the
    professional options. IMO the only weakness is TTL strobe and
    especially daylight fill flash. With a small chart in the film holder
    (i.e. a daylight/shade/cloudy/roomlight chart w/ f-stop), Aunt Fran
    also used this one in a carry mode in auto AE.

    "Outstanding Cameras" - meets the needs of the public

    Minolta 7sII - basic 1970s rangefinder - tremendous lens, small size.
    I still have this and it has taken a lot of pictures. Doesn't get much
    use now. Aunt Fran did use this one too.

    "Outstanding Cameras" - frivolous?

    Contax T3 - this is simply the best camera for me in the carry
    everywhere category. Simply great optics, excellent control and
    pocketability. This is my replacement for the 7sII. In auto mode, Aunt
    Fran uses this one as long as I remind her not to get her bent pinky
    over the flash.

    "Outstanding Cameras" - meets the needs of the public.

    I know several people who are avid users of single-use cameras (dry
    and wet). Some have albums of remarkable photographs. Some strictly
    record events others tell stories. Some use these cameras in
    conjunction with scrap booking hobbies and turn the results into
    artistic records that speak volumes beyond a photo-only album packed
    with pictures from the best of cameras. I try to learn as much as I
    can from the story telling abilities of these people. Their effort is
    in the "art" of presentation, not the "art" of the picture. It's been
    a great trip.

    "Outstanding Cameras" - meets the needs of the public

    Any of the myriad of 35mm P&S cameras with fixed focal length or zoom
    lenses in the 115mm or less range. I'm partial to the Olympus Stylus
    Epic and the Pentax 115 QZ. It took a while for the cameras to mature,
    but now the control layout and control symbols are easy enough for
    most to understand, even Aunt Fran.

    Roger, Jul 12, 2004
  14. Joseph Meehan

    TP Guest


    Aunt Fran's bent pinky notwithstanding, I agree with every word!

    I am never without my Contax T3, even when I am carrying a load of
    other gear. In the T3, Contax have answered every single criticism I
    had of the flawed T2, and the T3 is a superb working tool.

    I just wish there was a digital "equivalent". Unfortunately, digital
    point and shoot cameras don't seem to approach this standard, thanks
    to their very small sensors and high noise levels. I have even tried
    the Leica Digilux 2 and that just doesn't measure up.

    I really need Nikon D70 image quality in a compact p+s and it just
    doesn't seem to be available.
    TP, Jul 12, 2004
  15. Canon EOS 1N

    I've owned several bodies in the EOS line and I think the 1N remains
    head-and-shoulders above the rest. Simplicity is what sets this
    camera apart from other offerings from Canon. There is a retro feel
    for how one accomplishes certain things like setting exposure
    compensation. The on/off switch has only three positions (off, on, on
    with beep). There are no "idiot modes". It is easier to disable
    automatic features on the 1N than it is on any other EOS I've used
    (650, Elan 7/33, 10D). The AF is reasonably fast even by today's
    standards. The 1N lacks E-TTL and the 45 AF points of its successor,
    but for me that is part of the allure. It seems like Canon had a very
    good idea with the simplicity built-in to the 1N but then failed to
    follow through with this concept in future consumer-grade offerings.
    I have an Elan 7 that meters perfectly with and without flash on every
    frame, but I prefer the 1N as it yields some control and
    responsibility/choice to the photographer.

    street shooter, Jul 12, 2004
  16. Joseph Meehan

    Bouser Guest

    Pentax 645 NII: possibly the most logical control system for a fully auto
    SLR. Nice set of lenses, excellent metering, great handling, and reasonably

    Hasselblad XPan II: yes, it's limited, but what it does, it does incredibly
    well, and the XPan II and three lenses make a beautiful travel camera.

    Nikon F100: because I said so.

    Canon AE1: first mass-market SLR.

    Leica MP: the first camera that may outlast the supply of film for it, since
    Leica's promised to suport it for 30 years. That aside, it's a jewel of a
    Bouser, Jul 12, 2004
  17. Joseph Meehan

    Dallas Guest

    Oh my! This certainly is a turn-around from TP on the subject of DSLR's!!!

    I remember a couple of years ago you were very outspoken on how shit
    DSLR's are and that they would remain shit until they approached
    resolutions of about 24MP.
    Dallas, Jul 12, 2004
  18. Joseph Meehan

    Dallas Guest

    The camera I have the most admiration for is the Nikon F2.

    It's the second professional Nikon body I have had, the other being an F5
    and I think that it's just bloody marvellous.

    Other really nice cameras are the Canon A-1, F-1N and EOS 30 (I have all
    three). I find it hard to get rid of cameras I really enjoy owning.

    The Canon F-1 would be used a lot more if I could find good lenses for it.
    At the moment I only have a 50mm f/1.8 and a 28mm f/2.8.

    If I am out happy snapping and if I wanted to let Auntie Fatslob take a
    shot, I take along the Canon A-1.
    Dallas, Jul 12, 2004
  19. Nikon FM and all it's followers (FM2/n, FM3a, FE, FE2, FA), Olympus Stylus
    Epic/Mju II, Hasselblad 500C or CM, Canon D30 and it's followers (D60, 10D,
    300D), Leica M3 and followers (M4, M4-2, M4-P, M6, M6TTL, M7, MP, arguably
    the M5). Why? Because they are all instantly recognised for quality. The
    Nikons are probably amongst the most requested SLRs on the used market; the
    Olympus compact has more followers than I think any other at the moment; the
    500C/CM is the entry-level for anyone who wishes the 'Blad name, 6x6cm neg
    and a reasonable price (compared to the 503s and 2000-series); the Canons
    are amongst the most requested DSLRs and have been for several years- as it
    is, Canon lenses on the used market in the UK have evaporated whilst other
    brand lenses have been flogged en masse; and almost everyone at some point
    in the past has yearned for a Leica M- they have been the standard for young
    aspiring photographers for decades.
    Martin Francis, Jul 12, 2004
  20. Minolta Maxxum 9. Probably the most intuitive 35mm pro level AF SLR ever
    made. A shame it doesn't have the Maxxum 7s' AF system!

    Mike Lipphardt, Jul 12, 2004
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