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Thread: Camera options for an old film dog

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    Member hiker's Avatar
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    Camera options for an old film dog

    Hi there,

    I've been using film for 40+ years and my family want to buy me a digital camera but I am confused and frustrated with all the whizz bang options out there. My camera for 22 years has been a Leicaflex SL2 with a standard 50mm lens, a 35mm wide angle (seldom), and a 250mm telephoto - perfect for my enjoyment - travelled all aroun d the world and Aust with me ... etc etc!

    I'm looking a digital replacement - budget around A$1000 - my requirements are basic -
    1. Well built - I won't be replacing it
    2. Auto settings with easy manual override - not trying to juggle settings on a dimly lit LCD in bright sunlight
    3. Auto focus with easy manual override, preferably on the lens ring
    4. Depth of field preview
    5. External flash attachment
    6. reasonable zoom - say from 35mm - 300mm in old terms
    7. No fancy schmancy video, in camera effects, face recognition etc etc
    8. It should look like a camera - not a cigarette box with a circle of glass in the front!

    Yeah, I can hear the moans now, but thats why I'm asking!

    thanks anyway!

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    It may be best to go into a specialist camera shop and play! I say specialist because they will know what they are talking about and can give you all the info that you need and what you want in a camera. Then you can tell your family what you would like.

    Others may give you suggestions; sorry I can't as I am a visual hands-on person and don't know what is in the market nowadays. I purchases my Canon in January (present actually) but I knew I wanted a Canon (had one years ago and loved it) BUT I went in and played with the models to see what felt good and what they were like in real life.
    Monika
    Equipment: Canon 60D, Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens, Fancier FT-662A tripod, 18-55mm kit lens, 55-250mm kit lens, 30mm 1.4 Sigma lens, LR4, PS Elements
    Check out my Flickr photos ... http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmonny/
    ... and then you can like me on www.facebook.com/PhotoByMB or see my shop on http://www.redbubble.com/people/msmonny



  3. #3
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    thanks Ms Monny for your prompt reply - I have visited a few camera shops in Melbourne last week, but the outcome mirrored my frustrations - it seems to be out of the (a) sales ability or (b) expertise or (c) store philosophy or even (d) my budget to explore the options based on my criteria. The best response so far was the new Fuji 100, and that I really should be looking at a Leica M9 (not $$ helpful)
    thanks again

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    I can't speak for Canon, since I shoot Nikon, but depending on whether you want to stay with the same format (35mm) or are willing to drop down to crop sensor, then you could go for either the D7000 (the enthusiast weapon of choice for Nikon crop format these days I think) or the D90, which can be had for relatively cheap on eBay (less than $1000). Any crop body lower-end than the D7000/D90 I wouldn't recommend because they lack the screw drive, so you won't be able to use those older primes which have a screw drive AF. Maybe get a second-hand kit lens or the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G prime and you should be set for normal-range shooting. For other lenses on the cheap, maybe check out second-hand places to see what kinds of things they have.

    Obviously go ahead and have a play with the various bodies like Ms Monny said before you decide what you want.

    EDIT: That's if you are choosing to go the DSLR route
    Last edited by nightbringer; 09-05-2011 at 9:36am.

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    For that budget I think you can't go past the Pentax offerings - Kx or Kr.
    Particularly as their kit lenses seem to be held in slightly higher regard than Canon/Nikon kit lenses.

    The Nikon 'equivalents' don't suit you as well, I don't think. The d5100 has some video focus to it, for example. It also depends on whether you're willing to buy from overseas or not.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/wl/3F418108DE
    There are two K-r options from B&H, both with 18-55mm lens. One has a 50-200mm zoom, and the other has a 55-300mm zoom. (Remember to multiple by 1.5 to get your 35mm equivalent.)

    If you add them to your cart, the prices drop by $100 respectively - i.e. the first combination is $699 and the second is $799.

    If you buy other stuff as well though, make sure the total is under $1000 or you'll pay import duty when it arrives in Aus. It is worth doing separate orders if you need to.
    Panasonic GH2 --- Pana 7-14mm --- Pana 100-300mm --- Pana f1.7/20mm --- Panaleica f2.8/45mm macro --- Pana 14-45mm
    Canon G10 when I want to pocket it.

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    Doesn't matter which brand you buy. All DSLR have auto and manual. Only some of the point and shoot compacts do not offer this. With a DSLR you still get ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed adjustment ability, either in full manual or semi manual operation.

    All of them have wheels to adjust settings, the LCD is just used to show what setting you have dialed in.

    You should be able to pick something up for around $1000.00, however, at that budget, you are looking at entry level camera's and they tend to be smaller (cigarette box), than the semi-pro or pro level DSLR. Most are incorporating video these days, and you might just have to get one that has it, but that doesn't mean you ever have to use the feature anyway.

    Which brand you go with is up to you, all of the major players offer a model or two in your price range, and all can take brilliant photos in the right hands, so brand is ultimately about personal choice.

    Having your 40+ years of experience, should see you turn your hand to a digital SLR fairly quickly, as really it is just a box with the same settings (generally) that a film SLR has, with a few extras. I reckon you are going to find the editing part (if you haven't done it before) the hardest part of moving to digital. Learning to use photoshop or similar is a steep learning curve, compared to learning a DSLR, when you have years of film experience.

    Good luck with the choice.
    Last edited by ricktas; 09-05-2011 at 10:48am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Pentax k-x with kit lenses sounds as though it should suit your needs and budget.
    Mark

    Canon 70D w/Grip l Canon 60D w/Grip l EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM l EF 70-200 f4L IS USM l EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM l EF 100 f2.8 USM Macro l EF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM l EF 50 f1.8 II l Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM l 430 EX II Flash l Rode Stereo VideoMic l Manfrotto 055XPROB + 498RC2 Tripod l Benro MP-96 M8 Monopod l Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack l Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW Backpack l PS CS5 Extended l Lightroom 4.3

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    ahh the Leicaflex SL2 - fantastic camera, and sadly a hard act to follow with modern digital SLR cameras, if you were a Leica M shooter the Leica X1 or the Fuji X100 would be perfect. But sadly in the world of SLR cameras there isn't much that can compete with the construction of the classic Leica SLR cameras. Pentax comes the closest in terms of Lens and body construction IMO the FA and DA limited series lenses are built like the lenses from the times of yore and are optically superlative. Though pentax's lens line up is geared more towards photographers who are content to stick to prime lenses and pentax has little in the way of good zoom lenses, Nikon is a better choice for zoom lenses - but there is a catch: all sub $1000 DSLR cameras don't have 24X36mm sensors, they have sensors that are 23.6X15.7mm or 1.5 times smaller than 24X36mm film which is referred to as DX format. which makes your choice of lens a bit difficult, A Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens would suit your purposes well enough- though that lens has some drawbacks in terms of optical quality.
    Last edited by Othrelos; 09-05-2011 at 8:28pm.

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    have a look at the Panasonic lumix fz series.
    wide range of cameras with penty of built in options and good zoom
    cc and enjoy

    Photography is painting with light

    K1, Pentax 18-250mm zoom, Pentax 100mm macro, Sigma 50-500mm, Pentax 28-105mm
    Velbon Sherpa tripod Photoshop CS6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    Hi there,

    I've been using film for 40+ years and my family want to buy me a digital camera but I am confused and frustrated with all the whizz bang options out there. My camera for 22 years has been a Leicaflex SL2 with a standard 50mm lens, a 35mm wide angle (seldom), and a 250mm telephoto - perfect for my enjoyment - travelled all aroun d the world and Aust with me ... etc etc!

    I'm looking a digital replacement - budget around A$1000 - my requirements are basic -
    1. Well built - I won't be replacing it YES
    2. Auto settings with easy manual override - not trying to juggle settings on a dimly lit LCD in bright sunlight NO AUTO
    3. Auto focus with easy manual override, preferably on the lens ring NO AUTO on camera dial P, A, S & M.
    4. Depth of field preview YES
    5. External flash attachment YES
    6. reasonable zoom - say from 35mm - 300mm in old terms YES 18-200 & others
    7. No fancy schmancy video, in camera effects, face recognition etc etc NON of these
    8. It should look like a camera - not a cigarette box with a circle of glass in the front! Very SLR

    Yeah, I can hear the moans now, but thats why I'm asking!

    thanks anyway!
    Hi Hiker
    I have just bought my first DSLR, a Sigma SD15 about AU$1400. CR Kennedy, Aust Agent, site advertiser.
    It has all the attributes that you are looking for & you can have the Leica R mount adaptor to fit on Sigma SD15.
    http://www.leitax.com/leica-lens-for-sigma-cameras.html
    OR
    http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/products.html

    Best colours & pix quality, I can see it !
    I did purchase from Germany though.

    Cheers
    Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    ... My camera for 22 years has been a Leicaflex SL2 with a standard 50mm lens, a 35mm wide angle (seldom), and a 250mm telephoto - perfect for my enjoyment - travelled all aroun d the world and Aust with me ... etc etc!

    ...
    Are you aware that you can still use those Leica R lenses on Canon bodies with simple and inexpensive adapters, albeit with stop down metering? I use various Leica R lenses on Canon 40D (until recently) and 5D2 as I'd had the lenses already and some of them perform better than their Canon equivalents.

    Leica R 80/1.4 on a 5d2


    Leica R 24/2.8 on a Canon 40D


    Leica R 28/2.8 on a Canon 1ds2


    Leica R 35/1.4 on a Canon 40D


    Leica R 50/2.0 on a Canon 1ds2


    Leica R 180/2.0 on a Canon 1ds2


    More info about Leica R and Canon compatability can be found all over the net but PebblePlace.com is a well respected source for this, specifically;

    http://www.pebbleplace.com/Personal/Leica_db.html

    Almost all the Leica R lenses will work on crop bodies like the Canon 60D (or second hand 50D or 40D) so maybe this is worth considering instead of having to loose your lenses too. You could still pick up a 'kit' lens for the Canon which would make it nice and easy to use but you would then have the ability to also use your existing Leica lenses, with the appropriate adapter. I can help you with info about that if you want to go down that path.

    JJ

  12. #12
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    BIG thanks everybody!

    I'm looking at Pentax KR, Sigma, and Fuji options at present. To be able to use existing R lenses is a real positive!

    lots to think about

    regards to all .... will let you know!

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    It's decided -Nikon D7000 18-105 VR Lens Kit

    Yeah I know we blew the budget, but it feels right, excellent build quality, 16mps, good brand recognition in case of resale (unlikely)..... and I'll chip in some $$.
    thanks to all for the valuable input.... now to get some $$ on the Leica kit!
    cheers

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