35 mm used camera reviews, Leica, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Ricoh, Konica, Olympus

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35 mm used Camera Equipment and reviews

35 mm cameras have a long and illustrious history.
They were used heavily during World War 2 both by the military
and journalists.     In the Vietnam war, the legendary Nikon F series
recorded powerful images that influenced the war.   Now 35 mm is getting almost quaint
because of the increase in high quality, fast, digital cameras, many of which
are modeled after famous cameras by Nikon, Canon, Leica, Mamiya and others.
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Manual and semi-automatic 35mm camera reviews

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Nikkormat FTN

  -- about 30 years old. A heavy, rugged, all manual camera with a built in
basic light-meter.
Takes Nikon AI lenses, which are excellent.
It is ideal on the copy stand for old photo reproduction and close-up work. 
Displayed with a 135 mm f 2.8 lens, which is good for portraits.
I also have 28mm, 50mm, and 80 - 200 zoom lenses.
I sometimes use macro lenses, and a 2x extension tube.
This camera can be purchased on the used market for $75 to $100 without a lens.
I have seen it as low as $50, with a lens, at a thrift shop.  Look around. 
It has a self-timer and pc flash cable outlets, one for X and one for M.
Shutter speed from B to 1000.  Mirror lock-up feature.

pentax MG camera
Pentax MG

  An all-purpose aperture - priority camera.  No manual override.
Not by any means expensive,
it is easy to use, quite small, and reliable.   Many good lenses are available for it. 
Shown is a versatile 28 - 205mm zoom with a 1.4 macro feature.  
 Does not have flash cord jacks, but does have a flash mount. 
I also have a straight 50mm lens and a 135mm 2.8f.  It is almost worn out by now. 
The Pentax ME is very similar, but has more controls, including manual override.

Konica TC -- early auto-exposure camera
Konica TC

     One of the first Auto exposure cameras that was a top seller. 
Shutter priority or manual.
 Flash synch at 1/250, with both PC outlet and hot shoe.  Cloth shutter.  
Very easy to use and durable. 
Many good lenses are available.  This one has a 1.8 40mm. 
A great student or travel camera that delivers fine results. 

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Yashica TL-Electro

    Pentax Spotmatic.  Pentax K -1000  
Great student cameras.  All manual, speeds to 1000, plus B. 
The Yashica and Pentax cameras use 49mm screw lenses,
which can often be found very cheap on the used market. 
The better ones, such as those by Takumar, are excellent.  
Yashica flash synchs at 1/60, plus hot-shoe and PC jack. 
If you're travelling to an undeveloped country and don't want to take
an expensive camera, get one like these, then sell or trade it before returning. 
There are many similar cameras made from 1950's to 1970's that are good, too.
 

Olympus OM-10

   The Olympus OM-10 is a great little camera, very light-weight.  
It uses aperture priority, with an LED in the viewfinder to indicate shutter speed. 
 Self timer, speeds from 1 second to 1000, plus B.   You can get a manual adapter for this camera, allowing full manual control.   Easy to use, with a host of excellent lenses available. 
 

Also recommended:

Canon A-1 and AE-1 Program.   Nikon F-series.   Nikon FE --   etc.

Electronic 35mm
Very common today, and most are built very well.   Many lenses are available. 
Some have fairly complicated controls
and others requires dedicated flash for best results.  
Best to get one with manual over-ride to electronics.   
 Main problem with this type of camera is dependence on batteries. 
No battery, no picture.  Not good.  
The better ones have cast aluminum or titanium frames under the plastic. 
If the electronics fail, you are out of luck,
and it will be sudden, without warning.   I always have a manual camera available.
 

Nikon N-70
Nikon N70

 
-- very versatile and durable.   Same type of electronics as some of Nikon's top cameras, yet it doesn't cost a fortune.  Very light in weight, compared to the F series.  Can take older Nikon lenses as well as the new auto-focus ones.  I have a 28 - 80 general purpose auto-focus lens on it and a 70 - 210.  Autofocus is quite fast, and can take around 3 fps.  Useful camera for fast action,  slides, and portraits.  Its complex automatic matrix metering system is very effective.  All manual adjustments are available, too.  Manual, shutter or aperture priority, programmable, up to 3 frames per second.  Very versatile and accurate on-board flash.  No flash cord  or standard shutter release jack, unfortunately.   Many photo enthusiasts forget than some of the most famous master photographers built their reputation with cameras that were primitive by today's standards, with little or no internal metering for proper exposure. 

Olympus IS-1  -- early version
Olympus IS-1

     Self-contained autofocus(no manual focus over-ride) with excellent 35-135mm lens.  Can be set to Program, Aperture priority, or manual.  This is a very useful camera, and delivers good results, but it has a few negatives:  No PC outlet, and the hot-shoe requires a dedicated flash unit.  Awkward film loading, and goes through batteries faster than I would like.  Size is also cumbersome.  Autofocus is quite slow, too.   However, its lens and other features, such as adjustable built-in flash, manual exposure over-ride, and so on make it one I use often for web photos.  Newer versions of this camera have improvements, but I have not tried them. 

Also good:

Pentax models, Canon Rebel and EOS series. 
Top of the line is the Leica R-8 and similar models from Nikon, Minolta, Canon, etc. 

Nikon 8008
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Nikon F801

Nikon 8008, or F-801( European model)
This is a very popular camera, used as a backup by many professionals.  Very durable.  
A host of features, with a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second !  I use this camera for all my
pet photography.  
Although it's built for the auto-focus lenses, it takes all AI indexed Nikon lenses.
Shown with the Nikon Speedlight 25, wide angle TTL flash unit.

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Canon TX 

-- a basic but well-built camera for which you can buy many lenses
on the used market.   Great student camera. 
 Has an averaging meter with a match-needle. 

Ricoh 401 with flash
Ricoh 401

   This is a very unusual camera, because it has a dual view-finder,
 both waist-level and regular.  
 It is old, and uses screw-in lens that was once a standard.   It's a very hardy camera.
Built-in averaging meter, aperture and shutter priority, self-timer,
both X and M flash outlets.  
 Seen here with a Mamiya/Sekor F 2.8   28 mm lens and a Vivitar flash unit. 
This old camera can produce excellent results. 
The waist-level viewfinder is very handy on the copy stand
and for discrete photos, such as street photography
.  

Rangefinder 35mm

Leica M series or quality range-finders of classic vintage.  
 All old rangefinders from Leica, Nikon, and Canon,
and some others, are highly collectible. 
 Lenses may be hard to find and very expensive. 
Rangefinders are quiet and usually smaller than SLR's, making them unobtrusive. 
That's good for press photographers.  

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