11-29-2013, 09:10 AM
#1
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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Yesterday I got out my very old Olympus 35 mm camera (model FTL). I had bought a roll of BW and was going to shoot some Thanksgiving photos.

And the shutter stuck! Dang it!

So, now I'm thinking about buying a decent 35mm film camera with a zoom lens suitable for people photos. And I'm looking for recommendations and ideas of what to look for as well as where. I'm concerned that eBay may not be the best venue.

I just want to shoot some BW images of family and have real negatives and silver prints.

All help appreciated.

Thanks

MaxP

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 11-29-2013, 10:43 AM
#2
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(11-29-2013, 09:10 AM)MaxP Wrote: Yesterday I got out my very old Olympus 35 mm camera (model FTL). I had bought a roll of BW and was going to shoot some Thanksgiving photos.

And the shutter stuck! Dang it!

So, now I'm thinking about buying a decent 35mm film camera with a zoom lens suitable for people photos. And I'm looking for recommendations and ideas of what to look for as well as where. I'm concerned that eBay may not be the best venue.

I just want to shoot some BW images of family and have real negatives and silver prints.

All help appreciated.

Thanks

MaxP

My friend ! You are in luck !

You can purchase film cameras for a song. Even the top of the line models are inexpensive if you watch closely.

Especially if you are not already married to a particular brand.

You need to decide if you want autofocus or if you prefer manual.

I prefer a fully manual film camera myself but the ones with electronic shutters are ok too as long as the batteries required are not an issue.

Some of the fully manual cameras had built in meters but you have to make sure that the batteries available to you today allow them to function properly. There are work arounds for these issues but you need to research it for a specific camera.


I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest finding a Pentax SF-1 or SF-10. Bundled with the Pentax F 35-70 autofocus lens.

It takes a lithium battery that is still produced and the lens is an outstanding performer for a kit lens.
They are built like tanks and are easily sourced together if you keep an eye out.

The Minoltas from the same era are great as well but you have to make sure the LCD screens are not bleeding.

If you want to go farther back in time and go all manual then most any screw mount camera will work nicely. I use mostly Pentax because we have a great gentleman in Tennessee who repairs them for a reasonable cost. But there are many options available.

Let me know if I can help with sourcing anything.

Oh ! And don't throw the FTL in the bin ! What lens or lenses do you have ? They are an M42 variant and can be fairly valuable to this day. The camera value I simply wouldn't know anything about but OLD M42 glass can have some real value or be worthless depending on the lens.

I don't recall a zoom lens produced for the FTL line that would allow the TTL metering that the FTL Prime lenses allowed. But other M42 zooms could be used without the through the lens metering.

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 12-01-2013, 05:54 PM
#3
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I am not sure what kind of price range you are looking for, but I would assume "affordable". Biggrin

Nikon actually still makes two film cameras. The high priced and insanely specced F6, but also a budget conscious FM10. It's a nice camera with everything you would need. It does have auto focus, but manual focus lenses also work dandy of course. Tons of accessories available. Retail is $320, but check the bay. You can find like new ones with a 35-70 or so zoom lens (yes not a lot of zoom in that one I know) for a couple hundred.

There are currently two up with no reserve at under $50 with a lens. Both due to expire Monday. I cannot post links to live auctions .... but just go to the bay and search Nikon FM10 ...... Obviously new is always an option and most camera houses like Adroma and B&H stock the FM10.

I do not know much about Canon cameras as a Nikon guy, but I am pretty sure they no longer make any film SLRs.

Good luck in your search.

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 12-01-2013, 11:01 PM
#4
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Max, I think old cameras by any of the major brands would be good, depending on the condition of the camera. I am heavily invested in old Minoltas with manual focus and manual exposure.

I wear glasses and I have found that not all SLRs are eyeglass-friendly. My older Minolta SR-T bodies are better in this regard, though my X-570 with an electronic shutter and greater magnification in the finder is also allright. I once checked over a Nikon FM2 and found, however, that I couldn't see the whole finder with glasses on. It would be best if you could handle the camera and see how it works for you.

If you don't wear glasses, kindly disregard this post. Cool

- Murray

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 12-02-2013, 03:23 AM
#5
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If you like old school, you may want to look for a Nikon FE body - I have one and would sell it for love nor money.

Build like a tank, almost no breakable parts, and when the batteries do run out after a few years you can use it as a fully mechanical camera until you get a new set.

Lenses are easy to get hold of as well, and you can even use the F-mount lenses they make today - the camera will simply ignore the fancy auto-fokus and stabilisation functions and run them as 'mere' manual lenses (goes the other way too; I can use my 30+ year old f-mount lenses on my almost new D7000)

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