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Was there ever a "Best" 35mm Film SLR? ... if so, what was it, in your opinion?
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Jan 23, 2018 11:36:15   #

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Jan 23, 2018 11:39:30   #
amfoto1 wrote:
My favorite for many years was a Konica T3"N".... No B.S. Just a straightforward and utterly bulletproof camera with the most essential features and "buttery smooth" manual operation. Great lenses, too.

Then I fell in love with Canon E0S-3.

I've been very tempted to buy one to use with my Konica lenses (which are great). My problem is in Costa Rica getting the developing chemicals is very hard and I haven't yet found a lab that will process film.

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Jan 23, 2018 11:53:50   #
Fleckjohn65 wrote:
Canon F1 and Ftb

I agree, John. My first camera was a Canon EF, but I followed this up with an F1. The F1 was a well made and solid camera - IMHO - for the time. (Mid 1970's)

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Jan 23, 2018 11:58:13   #
For me it was the Canon F1 (top of the line for Canon 35mm film cameras at the time). . I used this when I was covering the Sandinistas vs Contra War in Nicaragua back in 1987. Its ruggedness and durability in horrible jungle warfare conditions was outstanding. Meter was spot on. Worked while caked in mud or in a jungle downpour. Helped our team win many awards (including being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize) for the images and story we brought back, which led to the actual ending of the war, saving lives on both sides. It holds a special place in my heart.

I keep a working Canon F1 in my collection alongside all my digital gear.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:01:08   #
burkphoto (a regular here)
rikhar wrote:
I had a Besler-Topcon. Has anyone even heard of them

Yes. Official government issue to many army photographers in Vietnam war. Most also used Leicas or Nikons.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:01:29   #
Rich T.
As a kid, I used tip money from my paper route to buy an Argus C-3. It was fine for the time and a 12 year old learning photography, but other makes quickly surpassed it's capabilities. It was a range finder camera, had no metering system, and really no system of interchangeable lenses. At a PX in Viet Nam, I bought a Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL and used it for several years. I was satisfied with it but moved on to a Rolleiflex SL 35M soon after they came out. Rollei had such a great name and promised to develop a whole system for it's 35mm line, but they never really delivered on that promise. The camera also had reliability issues. I had to have it repaired 3 or 4 times. While working as a river guide in Grand Canyon in the late 70's, we took the head editors of National Geographic on an 18 day trip. They all had Olympus cameras. After playing with theirs, I was sold. Olympus used Zeiss lenses, and was pretty much the smallest 35mm SLR on the market. For someone like me who spent lots of time carrying camera gear deep into the backcountry, the size and weight of the OM system made it perfect for me. On top of that, the quality of the camera, lenses, and subsequently the photos, was excellent. I started with the OM-1, moved on to the OM-2, OM-2n, OM-4, and OM-4T as each new generation came out, always being pleased with Olympus's ingenuity, quality, and advancements. I'm fairly sure they invented the concept of TTL flashes, although they called it OTF (off the film). I would still be using Olympus, except that when they made the move to digital, none of their old film lenses worked with their digital bodies. That upset me and I subsequently moved on to Canon when they came out with a reasonably priced full frame digital, the 5D. However, I really miss the compactness and portability of my old Olympus system.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:07:56   #
Olympus OM-1 for Astrophotography work. Minolta SRT-101, Yashica Electro-35, Mamiya Sekor 1000DTL were all great cameras and very easy to use.Canon Rebel 2000 is/was fun to use too. Used to develop and print my own stuff at the Base Hobby Shop whenever I could. Towards the end with no dark room available I would just get the negatives and print them myself. HUZZAH !!! LONG LIVE DIGITAL!!!

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Jan 23, 2018 12:37:09   #
About 8 years ago a friend gave me his old K1000 and last year I passed it on to another friend who was interested in learning photography. She Loves it! A very dependable and easy to use camera, but without all the computerized helps in exposure “fixes” in difficult lighting. Excellent to learn on.
But my favorite? The one I was using at the time. :-) When I was about ten, my Father bought me a Yashica J, a rangefinder without a lightmeter built in. Only used slides, Kodachrome II for years! Beautiful results when I didn’t “know better” and overrode the handheld light meter.
Next Excellent camera, inherited Exakta VXIIa only camera of mid 50’s with interchangeable view finders and a builtin cutter to slice the film and make it possible to take a few shots and develope the film before taking remaining shots, to check exposures or to load a different type of film midroll.
I’ve had many cameras since and liked most, but not all. My wife bought an inexpensive Canon TX with a unique lens mount for 35 mm cameras - Mamiya RB & RZ camera lenses also use this type of mount - but changed it so when I went to buy a new lens for her camera, no longer made and no adapters. Then Canon changed lens mounts again for autofocus. So I bought Nikon and never wanted a Canon since!
Also bought an RZ, excelent camera, just the necesities, no extra “features” to get in the way.
Have a 4x5 that I Love the results from, but getting lazy and mostly use my Nikon digital or just my phone if not out to take pictures. I still love film, but having to mail film to get transparencies developed is Expensive, still...

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Jan 23, 2018 12:40:41   #
John Ford
I retired as a Senior Photographer with Lockheed Martin and we used strictly Nikon cameras for slide work and Hasselbladd cameras and calumet 4X5 and 8X10 for film negatives.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:44:14   #
I had one of those too. Really nice camera. Also had a Pentax LX. Well-built.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:49:37   #
[TVquote=Chris T]This one's open ... you can include any manufacturer - past or present. Just trying to get an accurate assessment from everybody who's used them (or, still is ....)[/quote]

Nikon Photomic Ftn and F2AS. They were the workhorses of 35mm film pros in the 60's, 70's, & 80's. My F2as is 40 years old and still works like the day I bought it in Ginza Tokyo. Shot it all over the world for 30 years. Not one failure - ever. Switched to DSLR in 2005. It Will always stay in my collection.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:51:16   #
rook2c4 (a regular here)
No, there never was a best. Each SLR has its own character. Some are easier to operate, some have more features, some are lighter, etc. Although some SLR cameras are perhaps better than others, the perfect SLR does not exist.

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Jan 23, 2018 12:52:43   #
burkphoto wrote:
Yes. Official government issue to many army photographers in Vietnam war. Most also used Leicas or Nikons.

Yes, that is what I was told when I bought the camera, it was my first "real" camera before that it was just Brownie instamatic or some such That camera is what sparked my interest in photography and I did turn out some fairly decent photos in my opinion. Alas.then along came marriage and children etc and the camera went on a shelf to be forgotten until I saw that question But I digress, I'm sorry for that , I will go to the proper section to introduce myself and tell about myself and why I'm here Thank you for your patience.

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Jan 23, 2018 13:00:19   #
Karl Shuffler
Stick with question of, Best 35mm. SLR film camera. Film, your choice. Name brand, and model regardless is no more than a dark box with controlls for shutter. Keep this in mind, because there is no other diffrrence in what has been mentioned thusfar.Because of Branding lies the difference yet not mentioned, the optics. Film will be the same, a dark box is a dark box. However, this is untrue when optics is considered. The only difference in the completion needed for the tool needed for a serious photo. The difference, a class recognized world over during the heyday of film was Carl Zeiss optics. The main reason later I chose Hasselblad as my medium format system. As for camera of choice ... Contax RTSIII.. A camera of magnitude, built like a tank, solid, bold, and comfortable regardless of its massive size and weight, because the results said it all. To let it be known, with proper adapters, c/y mount Zeiss optics can be used with Canon DSLR's of today.

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Jan 23, 2018 13:08:50   #
My vote is for the Canon F1.

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