Decent film camera?

Started Jan 5, 2013 | Questions thread
Erik Magnuson
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Re: Decent film camera?
In reply to skpman, Jan 8, 2013

skpman wrote:

Pocketable:Olympus MJU 11 or XA

The MjuII is nice but as a "cult" camera tends to command a significant price premium. For a much less expensive alternative,  consider the Nikon Lite*Touch AF600 with it's 28mm f/3.5 lens.

The XA can be tough to focus if you are not familiar with split image focussing (the focus patch on old XA's is notoriously dim.)   The scale focus XA2/XA3 would be easier to start with and cost much less.

Olympus OM2

Get at least an OM2n - the pre-N OM2s are less reliable w.r.t. the electronics.   The Minolta x570/x700 is another great bargain aperture-priority choice particularly since MD lenses are more easily found.

Autofocus SLR:

Nikon FM2

As pointed out, the FM2 is not autofocus and the FE2 is the aperture-priority version you would want.

A Nikon auto-focus body like the N90s/F90x are themselves quite nice and in your budget but the lenses are not.    Same applies to the Canon EOS bodies - bodies are cheap but the lenses are still too useful to have gone down much in price.

I plan to get a 35mm or 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 lens and use the film mainly for portraiture.

35mm f/2 and faster manual focus lenses command a premium because they are popular to adapt for mirrorless.  The lens alone will blow your budget and 35mm is considered too wide for most head-and-shoulders type portraiture - it's best for full body or shots with a lot of environment included.

50mm f/1.4 will likely exceed your budget for anything but Minolta MD/MC, Canon FD, or sometimes Olympus OM mount.   You might be able to find an FE2 + 50mm f/1.8 Series E lens in your price range -- with some luck -- but more likely would be the older FE (1/1000 max and 1/125 sync.)

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Erik

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