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What's a good 35mm SLR for a novice who wants to learn?

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
This is the thing, you need to pick underappreciated brands with good glass for them to really get the best value for money. Nikons are terrific but very well known.
 

discokermit

Well-Known Member
This is the thing, you need to pick underappreciated brands with good glass for them to really get the best value for money. Nikons are terrific but very well known.
that's the thing with yashica, massively overlooked, considering kyocera also made the well regarded contax. plus on the fx-d, the leatherette patches disintegrate pretty quickly, leaving it looking pretty shabby.
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
that's the thing with yashica, massively overlooked, considering kyocera also made the well regarded contax. plus on the fx-d, the leatherette patches disintegrate pretty quickly, leaving it looking pretty shabby.
The sharpest lens I have - apart from maybe the Jupiter-8 I have for the Zorki-4 - is on my Yashica GT. And that's a consumer rangefinder. It was way over-specced really, but good if you want to shoot at 1.7 in the dark.
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
I just dug out the Ricoh KR-10 body that I have, and put a Rikenon 50/2 lens on it (as per the ebay link I posted - no affiliation obviously and there are dozens for the same kit) and it's terrific.
 
I've had a Pentax K1000 since 1977. Dropped it down the himalayas once and it still worked. Very little to go wrong. Brilliant for learning the basics.

Actually I haven't used it for over 10 years but this summer got it out and battery still working. I now have digital Pentax but haven't found the old lenses any use on new camera.
 

Frumious B.

Well-Known Member
Look at this from camera-wiki:
While every brand has its adherents, optical testing has generally shown that Zeiss AE/MM lenses were among the sharpest ever made for a production 35mm SLR. Adapters to use Zeiss T* AE/MM lenses on other cameras, most notably Canon digital SLR's, have proved popular.
So you get your bargain C/Y body and Zeiss lenses, later on you get a Canon digital body, bob's your uncle.
 

Frumious B.

Well-Known Member
Been reading about the "Carl Zeiss Planar 1:0,7/50 mm...the fastest available photographic lens. This super-fast variant was only used by NASA for espionage tasks and by Stanley Kubrick to film scenes with just candle light." Here's a site with stills from those scenes - one of my fave films. It always struck me as having a unique look but I never thought about why or how http://www.marcocavina.com/omaggio_a_kubrick.htm
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
Thanks everyone. I'm starting to get excited. If I end up graduating to a digital SLR body will I able to use my 35mm lenses? I bet that's a really stupid question, innit?
you can on a pentax - I use an 80s bit of glass that was designed for film on my DSLR and everything like autofocus etc works fine. I use a manual 50mm prime too.

I think I bought it with a film body attached for about 30 or 40 quid. It's an 80's slab like wonder.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
There's loads to choose from - so long as it's got manual controls. I'd look at the likes of the Pentax K1000, Nikon FM/FM2n, Canon AE1 or my fave, Olympus OM1/OM2.
Absolutely. And if money is an issue, there are loads of "badge-engineered" manual SLRs around, stuff like the Centon K100 (built by the Chinese on the old Pentax K1000 production-line equipment) and a host of Vivitars, Chinons, Ricohs and Cosinas that all use the K-mount and the basic Pentax K1000 design.

In fact, I'll have a rummage through my ammo cases (full of cameras!), as I may have a Ricoh KR-10 (auto and manual K-mount slr) going spare.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Thanks everyone. I'm starting to get excited. If I end up graduating to a digital SLR body will I able to use my 35mm lenses? I bet that's a really stupid question, innit?
Right, Frumious B. I've just had a check through my boxes of cameras (yes, boxes!), and I've got a Ricoh KR-10 body in full working order (just put fresh batteries in it), gratis if you want it (all it will cost you is postage). PM me if you're interested. It takes K-mount lenses, so there's a whole host of reasonably priced 2nd-hand glass available for it, most of which will mount and work on pentax digital SLRs.
The manual for the KR-10 is available free online from various sources, if you want to see what I'm offering.
 
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ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
I used a Ricoh for years, with a range of lenses. I'd recommend it. But the best 35mm I ever had was a Nikon. I bought it second hand about fifteen years or more ago. It still works.
Most electro-mechanical cameras will last 40 or 50 years if you look after them. My 1962 Pentax Spotmatic F still shoots as smoothly as the day it was made!
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
In the Brixton Stn Rd market yesterday one of the vintage tat stalls had a Pentax ME with a huge lens, about 8" long. Can't remember what it was, I'd never heard of the mfr, but it was £30 all in. At those prices there must be a few freebies on freecycle etc.
The ME is nice, but it's aperture priority automatic only, no manual setting.
 

Greebo

'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back?
R.I.P.
Incidentally, if you're wondering why VP has cameras going spare, it's because his hands aren't often up to using them, but he enjoys collecting them on the off chance that he might use them.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
I like the sound of Nikon, just because it smacks of '70s war correspondents and all that. And I have a notion that way back when it was always Nikkor that had the widest range of unusual lenses.
Weirdly enough, it wasn't the Nikon F slrs that were most beloved of war photographers, despite what Dennis Hopper has draped around his neck in "Apocalypse Now", it was the Nikon S rangefinder cameras (Nikon's more robust take on the classic Contax III rangefinder camera).
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
This is the thing, you need to pick underappreciated brands with good glass for them to really get the best value for money. Nikons are terrific but very well known.
And Nikon glass holds its' value in a way no other manufacturer's lenses do. Now personally, I think that part of that is down to mystique, but at least some of it is due to them making very good lenses.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
that's the thing with yashica, massively overlooked, considering kyocera also made the well regarded contax. plus on the fx-d, the leatherette patches disintegrate pretty quickly, leaving it looking pretty shabby.
There used to be a camera place in York that imported leather (rather than leatherette) panel replacement kits for Yashicas all the way from the US, as it wasn't just the FX-D that had leatherette pox.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
I've had a Pentax K1000 since 1977. Dropped it down the himalayas once and it still worked. Very little to go wrong. Brilliant for learning the basics.

Actually I haven't used it for over 10 years but this summer got it out and battery still working. I now have digital Pentax but haven't found the old lenses any use on new camera.
I've still got my K1000. The meter is u/s (and Pentax UK haven't had the parts to repair K1000 meters for the last 10 years), but the rest of it still works fine.
The only prob with the K1000 is the sheer weight of them! :D
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Those Contax/Yashica jobs look amazing value.

I forgot to mention I wear specs....
Short or long-sighted? Either way, you can get corrective dioptre lenses and fit them to an eyepiece on your camera, up to about plus and minus 3.5 dioptres in half dioptre steps.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
The sharpest lens I have - apart from maybe the Jupiter-8 I have for the Zorki-4 - is on my Yashica GT. And that's a consumer rangefinder. It was way over-specced really, but good if you want to shoot at 1.7 in the dark.
The GT/GS/GTN/GSN range are fantastic cameras, the only prob being the battery. :(
 

Frumious B.

Well-Known Member
Right, Frumious B. I've just had a check through my boxes of cameras (yes, boxes!), and I've got a Ricoh KR-10 body in full working order (just put fresh batteries in it), gratis if you want it (all it will cost you is postage). PM me if you're interested. It takes K-mount lenses, so there's a whole host of reasonably priced 2nd-hand glass available for it, most of which will mount and work on pentax digital SLRs.
The manual for the KR-10 is available free online from various sources, if you want to see what I'm offering.
Cor, that would be brilliant, thank you! I'm going to leap off the sofa and go to Photofusion to give them the good news!
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Cor, that would be brilliant, thank you! I'm going to leap off the sofa and go to Photofusion to give them the good news!
No probs.
Postage would be £3 for 1st class, or £4.10 for 1st class signed for. If you PM me your address, I'll PM you my Paypal details, and Greebo can stick the camera in the post tomorrow. :)
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
You might want to try and find a Pentax M f1.7 50mm to go with that. They're about 30 quid in good condition second hand, but sometimes can be had for less on ebay. It's a great lens, one of my faves on my digital body. Fully manual so you'll learn a ton.

Here's a buy it now in great condition at 31 quid: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pentax-M-SMC-50mm-F1-7-lens-Pentax-K-fit-/161109235953?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item2582dbd8f1

Also, there's a 28mm SMC coming up in 4 hours with no bids on it. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMC-Pentax-M-1-2-8-28mm-lens-by-Asahi-optical-co-/181219020851?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item2a317ed033
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Nice one ViolentPanda What a gent :cool:
Not a gent, a pragmatist. I haven't used that particular camera since my parents' 45th anniversary, 7 years ago, so what better than to pass it on to someone who'll benefit from it, learn the noble art of photography properly on a fully manual camera, and not pick up all the bad habits? :D
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
You might want to try and find a Pentax M f1.7 50mm to go with that. They're about 30 quid in good condition second hand, but sometimes can be had for less on ebay. It's a great lens, one of my faves on my digital body. Fully manual so you'll learn a ton.

Here's a buy it now in great condition at 31 quid: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pentax-M-SMC-50mm-F1-7-lens-Pentax-K-fit-/161109235953?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item2582dbd8f1

Also, there's a 28mm SMC coming up in 4 hours with no bids on it. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMC-Pentax-M-1-2-8-28mm-lens-by-Asahi-optical-co-/181219020851?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item2a317ed033
T'other thing is, most photographic courses will recommend starting with a prime, generally a 50mm (because it's the closest to your actual visual field), before encouraging you to dabble in zooms (even though you're more likely to get a zoom as a "kit" lens nowadays, than a prime).
 

Crispy

The following psytrance is baṉned: All
...yes and no. You can usually get adaptors but they don't tend to be very good investments, you don't get autofocus or anything sophisticated
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_K-mount
With Pentax you do. The control motors in Pentax DSLRs are in the body and can drive the mechanisms in older lenses. I've got a K200 body and it drives Sparrow's dad's old lenses just fine (although you get a cropped portion of the original image size, as the sensor is smaller than 35mm)

EDIT: I am well late to post this information :D
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_K-mount
With Pentax you do. The control motors in Pentax DSLRs are in the body and can drive the mechanisms in older lenses. I've got a K200 body and it drives Sparrow's dad's old lenses just fine (although you get a cropped portion of the original image size, as the sensor is smaller than 35mm)

EDIT: I am well late to post this information :D
You're not going to get autofocus on most old K-mount lenses even with a Pentax body because, well, they're manual.
 

Crispy

The following psytrance is baṉned: All
K-AF2 mount, on the other hand...
I might be misremembering my success with this :D
 
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