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07/29/2010 09:06:26 AM · #1
Having lost my last 35mm camera (a Praktica B200 for what it's worth) in a freak building refurbishment accident about 18 months ago, I have recently started to develop a strange and unaccountable yearning to replace it - especially given that I should surely be able to find a rather nice (if older) film camera for a pretty reasonable price.

After a quick look around I have found a Nikon F3 up for £220 (approx $330?) - condition unknown but it is being sold through a major retailer's second hand list. Does that sounds like a reasonable price? Any good lens recommendations (probably for portrait / landscape work initially rather than needing a telephoto of any sort).

Still a whim at the moment, but who knows!
07/29/2010 09:20:47 AM · #2
I can recommend this company > ffordes photographic

I bought a used digital camera,a Canon 20D of them earlier this year, it was in excellent condition and came with a 6 month warranty.

They have a good selection of Canon 35mm slr's and you can use your non ef-s lenses

07/29/2010 09:26:58 AM · #3
I bought a Canon Elan for $20 from a Craigslist ad a while back. Even came with an EF compatible lens. I'm sure you must have something similar to Craigslist on that side of the pond. Lots of stuff is overvalued by the sellers, but also plenty of bargains to be had.
07/29/2010 09:40:30 AM · #4
If you're looking at Nikon, follow either the N8008 (more compact, semi-pro) or the F4 (bigger, pro) lineage here:
//www.bythom.com/lineage.htm

Don't get the F3; new lenses won't work at all on it. See this chart for more info on compatibility.

ETA eBay Buy It Now prices (unless otherwise noted) for ones that look to be in great condition. Yes, there are higher prices as well, but if you want to pay more, just buy the next one up. Also, the "next one up" is not always the better one, especially when it comes to lens compatibility (see aforementioned chart). Anyway, here are the prices:
F4 - $300-400 incl. MB-21
F5 - $400-500
F6 - $2370 new @ B&H

N8008s/F-801s - up to $100, incl. MF-21
N90s/F90s - up to $150, incl. either battery grip or data back
F100 - $200-300

Message edited by author 2010-07-29 10:19:43.
07/29/2010 10:32:32 AM · #5
Two bits of advice from me: Medium format and EBay
07/29/2010 10:36:27 AM · #6
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I bought a Canon Elan for $20 from a Craigslist ad a while back. Even came with an EF compatible lens. I'm sure you must have something similar to Craigslist on that side of the pond. Lots of stuff is overvalued by the sellers, but also plenty of bargains to be had.


Jeez, what do we ALWAYS get the same deals?

I bought an ELAN EOS 100(cool because I can use all of my lenses!) for $20 at a garage sale.

Great body, (even if it is lower end), works perfectly well.
07/29/2010 10:41:53 AM · #7
Originally posted by JayA:

Two bits of advice from me: Medium format and EBay


That's an interesting and good piece of advice, as long as you aren't put off by the cost of film and processing for MF. There is some really good MF equipment that can be had for very reasonable, and it produces wonderful images. A side benefit is that it is just really cool hardware :-)
07/29/2010 10:44:15 AM · #8
Originally posted by JayA:

Two bits of advice from me: Medium format and EBay


agreed. i did exactly that about 4 years ago.
I am the proud owner of a Hasselblad 500CM. best decision i ever made :)
07/29/2010 10:51:57 AM · #9
Originally posted by coryboehne:

Jeez, what do we ALWAYS get the same deals?

Probably because there are a lot of these Elans out there. I also found a Minolta Maxxum 70 recently for $2.50 at a Goodwill store.
' . substr('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2525/4118359429_c1571ed4dd_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2525/4118359429_c1571ed4dd_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
(Not my own pic)
07/29/2010 11:04:01 AM · #10
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by JayA:

Two bits of advice from me: Medium format and EBay


That's an interesting and good piece of advice, as long as you aren't put off by the cost of film and processing for MF. There is some really good MF equipment that can be had for very reasonable, and it produces wonderful images. A side benefit is that it is just really cool hardware :-)


Yup, I buy and sell a lot of cameras on eBay, my favourite being my mamiya rb67.I don't think medium format film is more expensive. If you are doing black and White work I recommend Ilford HP5 and you can do your iwn processing.
Of course when you move onto colour slide etc it can work out a bit more.
07/29/2010 01:25:10 PM · #11
Originally posted by JayA:

If you are doing black and White work I recommend Ilford HP5 and you can do your iwn processing.
Of course when you move onto colour slide etc it can work out a bit more.


Yup, I was thinking about color, but absolutely self-processed black & white is an awesome and economical alternative.
At some point in the future, I want to acquire some additional classic equipment and put up a little display in my office area at home. This thread really has gotten the juices flowing again, dammit!
07/29/2010 02:33:50 PM · #12
Between ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' JayA's questions about MF cameras in the past and this recent jazz, I, too, have been curious...
But beyond that...
There are TONS of quality film cameras on the auction sites for next to nothing. Both Canon and Nikon. Many of these people are folks who have inherited it from who knows where (parent likely) and have no interest, so they're selling not only the body but the lenses with it for a dirt cheap price.
07/29/2010 02:43:07 PM · #13
The F3 is one of the finest cameras ever built, although the specs are somewhat dated. The film advance is probably the smoothest ever. It's also a tank. I've dropped one over 25' on rock and it still worked flawlessly. It is also one of the best lowlight cameras. ALthough specs say slowest speed is 8 seconds (which is the slowest on manual), I've had spot-on exposures over 30 minutes long. One major down side is if you do much flash work the 1/80 speed is quite slow.
07/29/2010 06:46:39 PM · #14
The F3 is a tank of a camera. They can take a beating and still work perfectly. I had several.

AFAIK, they are not compatible with AF lenses, so, you'll have to buy used AI lenses and focus manually. Fortunately, there are tons of them out there and the good ones are really good.
07/29/2010 07:16:06 PM · #15
If you are going to use ebay to get a camera try searching things like "old Camera" and "joblot Camera" this way you can get quality cameras for next to nothing.
They are often listed as "For parts/not working" this is often because they dont understand what they have inherited.
Trust me there is hundreds of bargins to be made each week if you know what you are looking for.
07/29/2010 07:24:02 PM · #16
@' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Spork99 look at the prices I posted. Is it really worth paying a bit less for an F3 and getting a lot less out of it?

@' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' JayA that's beyond gambling. If it says "not working," unless it's $10 or you know how to repair it, you shouldn't buy it. There are a few exceptions, such as "AF not working" on an older AF lens... that may be caused by an idiot user not consulting compatibility charts first. Anyway... generally speaking, when people don't know how to work something, they'll say "untested" or "I don't know how to work it;" they won't say "not working" unless they're pretty sure they know at least "what they have inherited."

Message edited by author 2010-07-29 19:25:30.
07/29/2010 07:26:32 PM · #17
@' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' JayA that's beyond gambling. If it says "not working," unless it's $10 or you know how to repair it, you shouldn't buy it. There are a few exceptions, such as "AF not working" on an older AF lens... that may be caused by an idiot user not consulting compatibility charts first. Anyway... generally speaking, when people don't know how to work something, they'll say "untested" or "I don't know how to work it;" they won't say "not working" unless they're pretty sure they know at least "what they have inherited." [/quote]

Well I buy ALOT of cameras this way, and sell them all back on..

ETA: of course i wouldnt say pay hundreds or even $40 but $20 for a joblot or $7 for a camera is well worth the risk.

Message edited by author 2010-07-29 19:27:18.
07/29/2010 08:34:47 PM · #18
@' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' JayA An F3 won't be $20, and since ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' FrankRobinson was considering an F3, I'd say (to him) skip on the eBay gamble and go for the "normal" eBay auction. Also, generally speaking, you'll be able to buy camera stuff at about 20-30% less if you go for an auction rather than a Buy It Now listing... so if he goes for an F4, he may get it for as low as $200.

Message edited by author 2010-07-29 20:39:43.
07/29/2010 09:54:56 PM · #19
Originally posted by George:

@' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Spork99 look at the prices I posted. Is it really worth paying a bit less for an F3 and getting a lot less out of it?



It depends on what the OP is looking to get out of it.

If one was to get a newish condition F3, it'll take a Hell of a lot more use and abuse than any of the other cameras you listed. The F3 is a professional camera and it's built that way. The other cameras you listed?...not so much.

Why would someone buy a Canon 1D instead of a 40D? Because the 1D better suits their needs of course.
07/29/2010 10:05:44 PM · #20
The F5 is not professionally built? Anyway, here's a sub-$400 one on eBay: linky
07/29/2010 10:17:56 PM · #21
Originally posted by George:

The F5 is not professionally built? Anyway, here's a sub-$400 one on eBay: linky


I didn't say that, but the one you've linked to isn't in the UK either.

Yes, I know it says "Ships Worldwide", but there's still the UK's import tax to pay, which would be considerable.
07/30/2010 05:00:43 AM · #22
Just as I had started to manage to talk myself out of it, you guys get me worked up again! Cheers for all the advice. The self-processing may not be an option right now (first baby on the way!)but maybe for the future - I used to process my own BW film at 13 - I'm sure I can work it out again at 34... ;o)
07/30/2010 07:58:58 AM · #23
Originally posted by George:

@' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' JayA An F3 won't be $20, and since ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' FrankRobinson was considering an F3, I'd say (to him) skip on the eBay gamble and go for the "normal" eBay auction. Also, generally speaking, you'll be able to buy camera stuff at about 20-30% less if you go for an auction rather than a Buy It Now listing... so if he goes for an F4, he may get it for as low as $200.


You could if you looked hard enough. Last week I got a Polaroid sx70 mint for $8 sold a couple of days ago for $100.
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