Your loves, hates, and indifferences [Archive] - Glock Talk


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06-04-2009, 21:05
This forum has been a bit quiet recently. To liven it up, I propose that folks list the cameras they have owned sorted by perceived quality, with brief explanation. If for no other reason, it might be entertaining to see how our opinions differed from those of review sites and "common wisdom".

Here is my list, grades are from A-F ("A" being "Excellent"), relative to the time the cameras were in use.

Group A:

* Praktica PLC3

East German equivalent of Pentax K1000. Simple, reliable, consistent. Good viewfinder. Split prism surrounded by microprism and nice ground glass made it easy to focus manually.

* Canon AE-1

The best consumer-grade Canon film camera ever made. Never malfunctioned in all the years I owned it. Smooth cycle and operation. Simple but accurate light measurement.

* Olympus 3040Z

So early in the digital camera age and so far ahead of its time. Beatiful construction, features still not present on compacts today, even remote control was standard. Bright lens helped produce silky smooth pictures at low ISO. The only thing Olympus 3040Z lacked was articulated LCD.

Group B:

* Korelle K

Half-frame film camera from the 1930s. Nice lens (Zeiss Tessar f/2.8), chronometer-grade mechanism. With minimal maintenance never malfunctioned in 40+ years.

* Start 66

Simple and reliable twin-lens reflex. Decent lens. Good image quality for such an inexpensive camera. Built to withstand serious abuse.

* Canon FTb

Consumer-grade version of Canon F1. A little rougher in execution than AE-1, but very reliable. Cloth shutter. All mechanical, all manual.

* Canon A610

Member of the best line of Canon compacts (A95-A610), unfortunately now abandoned. With 5 Mp, less bulk, and articulated LCD still matched the image quality of my Canon G10.

Group C:

* Hitachi MPEG1

Revolutionary in its day - and also ridiculously overpriced ($2500). Could store thousands of pictures on a microdrive. Image quality was mediocre due to overly aggressive compression that could not be changed.

* Nikon D200

I know I will be shot for this, but D200 never spoke to me. For all its bulk and weight, it seemed like noise above ISO 400 was excessive, and the anti-aliasing filter was way too heavy-handed.

* Canon G10

Cut the number of megapixels in half, build a decent hood for the LCD (how come Hitachi MPEG could have it but Canon can't figure it out years later?) or make it articulated, and cut down a little on the bulk (make it wider but shave some thickness), and it could be a great camera. G10 has lots of good info displayed on the LCD, too bad you can't see it in bright light.

Group D:

* Praktica MTL3

Sub-par execution. Electronic display in the viewfinder had insufficient granularity and poor reliability.

* Nikon FG

Small, consumer-grade Nikon. Took nice pictures, but horrible ergonomics (top wheel protruded just enough to be constantly changed by mistake when carrying the camera) doomed it for me.

* Canon SD1000

Great form factor, good ergonomics, good controls for such a tiny camera. Too bad the focus tends to wander around. It should default to hyperfocal infinity, but who knows where it goes when it can't obtain a lock, and it happens a lot. Unfortunately, it then obliterates all details in out-of-focus areas with heavy-handed noise reduction, even at the base ISO.

Great for shooting from relatively close distance in good ambient light. Otherwise, set focus to infinity manually. Too bad you can't make it a default.

Group F:

* Zenith E

Rust bucket. Nice idea with lousy execution. Some of the interior metals belonged on gardening tools, not in precision instruments. Right spool was angled from birth causing uneven film tension during winding.

06-05-2009, 07:13
What is this 'film' thing you speak of?

06-05-2009, 11:34
Hehehe... Yeah, old days, one does not even notice how quickly they go by. Remember this ( I hated inserting 135 film into spools... 120 was soooo much better. :cool:

BTW, notice how terminology has changed since those days? 135 was small frame, 120 was medium frame, cut film (4x5 & 8x10) was large frame. Now suddenly the puny one, 135, is considered "full frame". Heh. ;)

06-05-2009, 11:45
I never had a problem getting film on spools.

06-05-2009, 11:54
I never had a problem getting film on spools.
Well, you probably dried them after washing, duh... :rofl:

06-05-2009, 12:52
Actually, I learned more from the old Argus 35mm (circa 1950) I found in my grandpa's closet. Manual everything. Even had to cock the lens in addition to the shutter. Had to buy film with precious junior-high student's wages. Since it wasn't an SLR, I had to get really good at eyeballing light and distance before setting aperature, shutter speed and focal distance.

Loved it then. It was all I had. You couldn't pay me to use it today. Well, you could. But the results would suck.

06-05-2009, 22:22
I have an Argus C3 that I adore. I use it some now and get good results with it. It's not as sharp as others but it has personality and character of it's own.

For the last few months, I have used my Elan waaaaaaaaaay more than my XT. I am also very well pleased with it. I bought it because as much as I love my AE-1, my good glass is all EOS mount and I wanted to use it with film.

My AE-1 is what made me fall in love with film. :hearts:

I love my XT but there is such a magic to film that digital just doesn't have. On the other hand, digital is instant gratification. And no canisters :rofl:

06-05-2009, 22:31
I love my XT but there is such a magic to film that digital just doesn't have.
I think the magic would return if manufacturers started making basic digital cameras again, like Thom Hogan's long proposed digital Nikon FM. You could substitute your favorite model here, Olympus OM1, Canon AE-1, Pentax LX, etc.

06-06-2009, 19:35
I think the magic would return if manufacturers started making basic digital cameras again, like Thom Hogan's long proposed digital Nikon FM. You could substitute your favorite model here, Olympus OM1, Canon AE-1, Pentax LX, etc.

That would be awesome! Talk about the best of both worlds.

06-06-2009, 20:42
I started out in 1984 with a used AE-1. Great camera! In 1988 I moved to the Minolta X700s and stayed there for 8 years. When I got to Vegas in 1999 I was shooting with a Canon EO3 and a 630. My medium format camera was a Fuji 6x7, man that was sweet camera! Perfect for slides. I moved to digital in 2000 and now shoot with a Canon 1DM2. Easily the best camera I've ever used. It has also made me the most money. buy far!

Next is a 1DsM3, as soon as business picks up......

06-06-2009, 20:48
I bought someone's collection of old film cameras a couple years ago. My intent was to use them as decorations in a home theater. I have no idea what all I have....other than the two boxes weigh around 75 pounds....
Lets see,,,Brownies galore, here's a Vivatar auto/thryster 292, an Ansco Shur-Flash camera unit??? And a Bell and Howell movie film camera that hasn't seen the day of light since Kennedy's first 100 days. Tons more....should be fun to explore....

06-06-2009, 21:11
Tons more....should be fun to explore....
Well, if you happen to find a 1935 Kochmann Korelle K with a Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens there, let me know. I would like to buy it for sentimental reasons (first camera I ever used).

06-23-2009, 02:10
What is this 'film' thing you speak of?

Blasphemer. :tongueout:

06-23-2009, 02:13
I long for a Nikon F, made on the month and year of my birth. Alas, after nearly five years, no luck so far.

One day, a Linhof will be mine as well.