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Nostalgia Nexus - early and pre-digital discussion Want to discuss the really early days of digital and even film - here is the place for you.

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Old 16th February 2017
greyhound greyhound is offline
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How not to choose a camera system.

I wonder if anyone has got it "wrong" as many times as me when choosing a camera system. My interest in photography started about 50 years ago when my father let me use his Kodak 620 folder as he had bought a new Regula rangefinder. Eventually I got to use the Regula too but I decided to buy my own camera - a Russian Cosmic 35 (2 down and three monthly payments of 1). Eventually in 1973 I decided to buy a quality SLR with money I had saved up and went for a Topcon Super DM with 50mm lens which was a bargain at 99 from Cameracraft in Green Lanes, London (usual price 250). I soon discovered that the reason it was cheap was because Topcon had decided to get out of camera production altogether. This was the first of a number of mistakes.

Years later and APS came along. Anyone who knows The Topcon Super DM can confirm that it weighs a ton so a lightweight modern camera system seemed just the job so I bought a Minolta Vectis S-1 with a range of lenses. We all know what happened to APS - digital came along and everyone abandoned it, so you can't even buy the film nowadays.

On the subject of digital, my choice of system was Olympus 4/3rds so I invested in an E1 and over the years added various lenses and cameras. Then Olympus decided to ditch the system for Micro 4/3rds. I was so disgusted I decided not to go down that route.

My choice of mirrorless system was Samsung. I loved the NX30 and eventually added the NX1, which was receiving rave reviews, and a rake of lenses. Then in short order Samsung pulled the plug and ditched camera production altogether so if anything goes wrong with my equipment it's a paperweight.

Now to be honest, over the years I've acquired loads of other cameras and lenses, to the extent that I could open my own shop with what I've accumulated but these were my main decisions and every one of them was a "wrong" one. Except - I'm not sure I was wrong at all. Apart from the Cosmic 35 which went the way of all things cheap and Russian, I still have all the systems. The Topcon is a wonderful camera which I have been enjoying using recently. I have acquired some out of date film and I'm just about to try the Vectis again. The Samsung outfit is amazingly good and I intend using it for as long as possible. I still have all my 4/3rds outfit and in fact have recently added to it by buying an E5 from Derek Wright on this forum. There is something about Olympus colours that the other companies can't emulate. I haven't had the chance to use it much but here are a couple of examples taken recently.

Balmacqueen and Well Boat by Elmer Duck, on Flickr

Gentle Sandy by Elmer Duck, on Flickr
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

I had all sorts of odds and ends but my first serious camera was a Minolta X-700 manual focus system. Lovely lenses (still in a cupboard with the body!) Whatever happened to Minolta?

I decided that I liked the idea of small systems so I bought a Contax G2 kit (film, AF, rangefinder). Superb kit but Contax no longer exists. Still in that cupboard...

I then bought an E-1 with some lenses. Superb camera, still used occasionally, lovely results within its limitations. I added an E-30 but never liked it and it's gone.

When the EM-5 came out, I bought one immediately with the 12-50 (a much underrated lens). Followed by an EM-1, EM-1 Mk ii and some pro lenses.

I really need to get some stuff on eBay (or here!)
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

Hi Steve. In recent years I've been buying up old film cameras and lenses mainly from Ebay and I've accumulated a fair amount of Minolta stuff. The X 700 is a fantastic camera and a delight to use but seems to be plagued by a problem with a capacitor which over the years stops working. Apparently it's not hard to fix but most people don't bother. Luckily my copy works fine. Minolta was sort of incorporated into Sony and some of the Sony lenses are just rebadged Minolta designs.

If you ever decide to sell the Contax G2 system you'll find a ready market for that. They still seem to make good money. I've thought about it once or twice but the price has put me off (up till now!).
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

The internet is full of rants about which camera system is best and there are legions of people who seem to swap from one to another fairly regularly. I've used a few myself, but I guess my main digital path has been Canon to Olympus u43. Since moving to mirrorless I've since dabbled with Fuji and Sony in limited ways, but when I look objectively, Olympus does all I really need.
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

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Originally Posted by greyhound View Post
I wonder if anyone has got it "wrong" as many times as me when choosing a camera system...

Eventually in 1973 I decided to buy a quality SLR with money I had saved up and went for a Topcon Super DM with 50mm lens which was a bargain at 99 from Cameracraft in Green Lanes, London (usual price 250)...

...so I bought a Minolta Vectis S-1 with a range of lenses. We all know what happened to APS - digital came along and everyone abandoned it, so you can't even buy the film nowadays.

?..my choice of system was Olympus 4/3rds so I invested in an E1 and over the years added various lenses and cameras. Then Olympus decided to ditch the system for Micro 4/3rds. I was so disgusted I decided not to go down that route.

My choice of mirrorless system was Samsung. I loved the NX30 and eventually added the NX1, which was receiving rave reviews, and a rake of lenses. Then in short order Samsung pulled the plug and ditched camera production altogether so if anything goes wrong with my equipment it's a paperweight.
Haven't recently bought a Nikon, by any chance?
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

Not recently and not in any numbers so they're safe for the moment.
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

After a Regula Sprinty BC (a curious device on which the aperture and shutter speed were set by a single ring) and the inevitable Zenit E I bought an OM-10 when they first came out. I'd lusted after an OM-2 but they were just too expensive and I settled on the Oly after looking at the Canon and Nikon equivalents, mostly because of the Manual Adapter facility. I have stuck with Oly ever since and never felt the urge to change.

Back in the day my parents' next door neighbour was the MD of a large photographic distributor and I remember him extolling the virtues of APS when it launched. I said I couldn't see the point of it, the format was smaller than 35mm and in any case digital would take over in a couple of years. OK, it took a bit longer than that but APS (deservedly in my view) disappeared along with Instamatics, 110, etc. into oblivion.

I was annoyed with Oly for ditching 4/3 but once the E-M5 came out I sold my E-620 kit and jumped ship. I kept my 12-60 and 50-200 SWD lenses though.
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhound View Post
Hi Steve. In recent years I've been buying up old film cameras and lenses mainly from Ebay and I've accumulated a fair amount of Minolta stuff. The X 700 is a fantastic camera and a delight to use but seems to be plagued by a problem with a capacitor which over the years stops working. Apparently it's not hard to fix but most people don't bother. Luckily my copy works fine. Minolta was sort of incorporated into Sony and some of the Sony lenses are just rebadged Minolta designs.

If you ever decide to sell the Contax G2 system you'll find a ready market for that. They still seem to make good money. I've thought about it once or twice but the price has put me off (up till now!).
I've heard about various electrical problems with the X-700. The lenses are all MD manual focus and mostly zooms. I have a 100mm macro that I intend trying on the OM-D.

Hmm, will have to have another look at the Contax stuff. It's doing nothing at the moment.
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

If I remember correctly there are two versions of the Minolta MD 100mm Macro lens - an f3.5 and an f4. Both are supposed to be good lenses with the F4 having a slight advantage. It'll be interesting to see how your's performs on a digital body.
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

I'm relieved to say my purchases have rarely proved to disappointing.
I did pick up a minolta AF lens shortly after getting an adapter for Sony/Minolta A mount. Unfortunately it turned out to be one of those vectris models - electronic control only for both aperture & focus & hardly any cameras that can talk to it most taking that unavailable APS film. Little to no chance of even a dumb adapter.
The one place my purchases do sometime fall down is in timing - within a week of buying something specific that I've been after for years, its price plummets.
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

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within a week of buying something specific that I've been after for years, its price plummets.
Yep, been there. Within a year of buying my OM-10 the price had halved and an OM-2 was barely more than I'd paid for my OM-10. Just to rub it in several of my friends bought those "half-price" OM-10s!
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Old 16th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

Compared to digital cameras, car depreciation seems to be exaggerated!

From my experience, chasing the technology curve tends to be one of the quickest ways to shed pounds!

All modern digital cameras are more than capable, changing systems or upgrading in the attempt to improve one's photography is like chasing a rainbow.
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Old 17th February 2017
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

Been there done that and more

Apart from my Fujica ST605N, I have inherited a few 35mm stuff of which are the Yashica, A Pentax P&S, a Contax rangefinder and Minolta. All good stuff that have nurtured me to my current Em1 mk1 & 2.
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Old 17th February 2017
Petanque Petanque is offline
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

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Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Compared to digital cameras, car depreciation seems to be exaggerated!

From my experience, chasing the technology curve tends to be one of the quickest ways to shed pounds!

All modern digital cameras are more than capable, changing systems or upgrading in the attempt to improve one's photography is like chasing a rainbow.
Absolutely spot on!
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Old 17th February 2017
Petrochemist Petrochemist is offline
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Re: How not to choose a camera system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Compared to digital cameras, car depreciation seems to be exaggerated!

From my experience, chasing the technology curve tends to be one of the quickest ways to shed pounds!

All modern digital cameras are more than capable, changing systems or upgrading in the attempt to improve one's photography is like chasing a rainbow.
Very true but in my cases the items where brought on the used market.
The camera bodies I guess were still related to new models, but the teleconverter was quite different. It was consistently 200-250 till I got one then almost immediately dropped to ~100. No new model was out and indeed AFAIK it's still the only TC available for Pentax that gives AF to manual lenses. It had been out of production for over 10 years when I got it.
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