Selecting a manual camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Yeshue, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. Yeshue

    Yeshue Guest


    I want to purchase a fully manual SLR camera. What options do I have
    considering that I want purchase a NEW camera that is not too
    expensive? Are any manual cameras being manufactured by Nikon or
    Canon? From what I have read most of manual ones have been
    discontinued (Nikon FM series, Pentax K100 etc).

    Just to tell you all that I am an amateur and have worked with only
    Point and Shoot cameras before.

    please assist
    Yeshue, Jul 25, 2003
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  2. Yeshue

    MF06D Guest

    MF06D, Jul 25, 2003
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  3. Yeshue

    Duncan Ross Guest

    From: (Yeshue)
    Have a look at the Kiev 19M. It uses a Nikon F mount and every review I've seen
    suggests it's outstanding value for money. As usual with soviet and Ukrainian
    equipment ignore any advice from people that don't actually use it, especially
    Duncan Ross, Jul 25, 2003
  4. Yeshue

    Paul W. Ross Guest

    I just got a Pentax ZX-M for just this reason. It is "automatic," but
    you can over ride the automatic features for shutter speed and f stop,
    retaining the automatic wind/rewind and metering, as well as flash
    metering. It also has "manual" focus lenses, which are considerably
    less expensive.
    Paul W. Ross, Jul 25, 2003
  5. Yeshue

    Alan Browne Guest

    For a broad view go to and look at the manufacturers
    bodies there. Yes, there are a good variety of manual SLR's available.

    Alan Browne, Jul 25, 2003
  6. Yeshue

    Silver Guest

    What are your thoughts on the Olympus OM-system cameras?
    How do Zuiko lenses stand up against the pentax & nikons?
    I'm trying to get my hands on an OM-2n/sp but i'm not sure how
    well they stand up against the more expensive FM2 and such models.
    Silver, Jul 25, 2003
  7. Yeshue

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    Olympus has announced that they were halting production of the OM system,
    about a year ago. Depending upon your needs, that may have an impact on
    your decision. The availability of new stock, new parts, and factory
    service will wind down. If you are a professional, I think you'd want to
    stay with current gear.

    The lenses have excellent reputations.
    Jeremy, Jul 25, 2003
  8. Nikon still makes the FM series. It sort of merged with the FE series. It's
    called the FM3A. It does have aperture-priority auto exposure, but it also
    has full manual override (I guess that wouldn't make it "manual" enough for
    you, though) and the manual override operates independent of batteries.

    It's expensive, though. I think it's over $600 for a body-only.

    Larry R Harrison Jr, Jul 25, 2003
  9. Yeshue

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    If you're talking about manual-FOCUS cameras, there are still several to
    choose from. As far as exposure, I don't know of any match-needle models.

    The following manual focus cameras come to mind (some are really expensive)

    Kalimar KX7000 (Under $175)

    Contax RTS III

    Contax Aria

    Vivitar V3800N (Under $175)

    Phoenix SYP5000B

    Leica R9 ($2000+)

    Minolta X370S

    Nikon F3HP (Still available new)

    Nikon FM3a

    Nikon FM-10

    Pentax ZX-M

    Phoenix P1

    If you really want to get the experience of a fully manual camera, you
    should consider some of the classics of the past--Minolta SRT series, Pentax
    KM or K-1000, Canon A1. etc. A good CLA and you'll have a machine that will
    serve you long after the plastic-bodied stuff of today has broken. (I'm not
    talking about the Nikon or Leica stuff--but most entry-level cameras today
    have that plasticky feel that many of us despise).
    Jeremy, Jul 25, 2003
  10. Yeshue

    Mike Marty Guest

    Nikon FM3A is match-needle
    Mike Marty, Jul 25, 2003
  11. Yeshue

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    Doesn't the FM3a have aperture-priority exposure automation? I meant
    "match-needle' meaning no automatic exposure--sort of like the K1000.
    Jeremy, Jul 25, 2003
  12. Doesn't the FM3a have aperture-priority exposure automation? I meant
    If your criteria (or the original poster's {OP's}) criteria mandates
    that there cannot be any automatic mode of any type present, I suppose
    the FM3A would not meet your criteria. You'd want a used FM or FM2n.

    But if you are wanting a camera that basically goes back to the
    mid-late 70s (or very early 80s at the latest) before autofocus,
    autowind, autorewind, autoload, auto film speed setting, body-set
    aperture, multi-pattern (or matrix) metering, polycarbonate bodies,
    LED displays etc etc became standard faire on cameras, you've found
    what you're looking for. Consider:

    * You have to thread your film and load it manually and advance it to
    frame 1 (releasing the shutter 2-3 times) yourself

    * You have to advance the film after every shot (although there is an
    MD-12 motor drive available)

    * You have to focus manually

    * You set apertures on the lens itself

    * You rewind the film yourself (again, the optional MD-12 handles this
    too if I'm right)

    * It has the classic Nikon 60/40 (if I recall correctly)
    center-weighted metering. No on-board computer with 30,000 images
    linked to a matrix meter.

    * The body is all metal

    * It has an old-fashioned knurled shutter-speed dial, no digital

    * It has total manual override

    * It has the classic "match-needle" indication in viewfinder,
    including aperture read directly off the lens' aperture ring optically

    * Doesn't have auto exposure bracketing. You bracket using the needle
    and the aperture dial or shutter speed. In other words, YOU don't lean
    on automation to do it for you.

    * Shutter speeds of 1 sec - 1/4000 sec (and Bulb, too) available even
    if batteries fail

    Basically, for the original poster (OP) this camera is exactly what
    you're looking for. What more do you want?

    Okay, yeah, so it has aperture priority available. So what? The F5 has
    programmed exposure available if I recall correctly. Does that make
    the F5 an amateur camera? Or the F100, which also has programmed

    Who cares if aperture-priority is available as an option? It's totally
    overridable, and everything else mentioned is in the classic late 70s
    mold of a camera which doesn't do stupid stuff for you, with the
    exception of DX film-speed setting (totally overridable anyway). It is
    exactly the type of basic camera aimed specifically at those who don't
    want automation doing everything for them. It's just the thing.

    All you have to do is get over the fact that--oh my
    goodness!--aperture-priority is available as an option. Well gee, I
    guess the FM3A is not a "real" camera then. (stated sarcastically)

    Larry R Harrison Jr, Jul 25, 2003
  13. Yeshue

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    The FM3a is a fine optical instrument. If I were in the market for a new
    camera today, that would probably be my choice.

    BUT, the poster was asking about the availability of a "fully-manual"
    camera. I don't believe that there are any current equivalents of a K1000
    or an SRT 101/102 being manufactured, with the possible exception of those
    clunky and not-always-reliable Russian camera bodies. That is why I made a
    point of bringing up the shutter priority automation in the FM3a.

    If he really wants something all manual, he is probably going to have to
    settle for a used camera.
    Jeremy, Jul 25, 2003
  14. Yeshue

    ski Guest

    The Nikon FM10 might be what your looking for . It is a grey
    market camera here in the USA . Which means Nikon USA won't honor it's
    warranty since Nikon USA does not import it so buy it from a good
    dealer . Since you live in Belize you might be able to find one
    locally .
    If you want to buy online try they
    offer a 12 month warranty on grey market items . No I don't work for
    B&H . I just buy from them and consider them the most HONEST camera
    shop on the internet .

    ski, Jul 25, 2003
  15. A totally manual camera? Well - I use a Nikon Ftn from 1971. Still going
    strong. Then there's my Nikon F4 - shut off auto focus, auto aperture, auto
    everything and you have a motor drive manual camera. The best part - all
    the lenses work on both bodies. I use them both as manual cameras. In
    fact, just today I was using an old Nikon 35mm PC (shift lens) on my F4, and
    it works great.

    My sister in law has a Nikon F100 and an F2AS backup. Same story. We
    routinely swap lenses, and if we swap cameras, the controls are pretty much
    the same.

    I'm not advocating for Nikon - I think many cameras can have most, if not
    all, the auto features shut off.

    I personally think the best way to begin with SLRs is to use a totally
    manual camera with a thru-the-lens meter and a "prime" lens - one without
    zoom. I would probably pick 35mm rather than 50mm for myself, but others
    might perfer different focal lengths. In any case, stick with it for a year
    or two jut to learn the basics of photography. 30 years later, I'm still
    trying to learn the basics...

    I think you will find that has a great reputation as a vendor of
    used cameras. As a satisfied customer I'd suggest them. Don't be afraid to
    buy a camera just because it isn't current production - some of the best,
    strongest, and most versatile (and manual) cameras can be had cheap.
    Pieter Litchfield, Jul 26, 2003
  16. Yeshue

    Yeshue Guest

    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions, I've made up my mind.
    I like everything about FM3A; full manual override, battery less
    operation, all metal body...
    Having decided to get my hands on this camera I guess I'll have to
    wait and SAVE more (nearly twice my budget excluding lenses).
    I would also like to get some advice as to which lens should I
    purchase with this camera. I am interested in photographing a) Close
    ups of my family members b) Mountains.

    Thanks again
    Yeshue, Jul 29, 2003
  17. You can get it for $430 at the Camera Source:
    William Graham, Jul 29, 2003
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