Getting a new film system, User experience and opinions needed.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by AustinDudley, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Hello all,

    First of all please give your experience and opinion on the cameras youve used below, then after feel free to spread the hate for my having started another one of these unseenly bits informational vomit that so pollutes our forums.

    I shoot street, photojournalism at uppity dinner parties that demand a quieter camera, product(clothing) perhaps even call it fashion. Architecture, think art not for industrial purposes. And portraits. I grew up in a theater so many of my pictures lean toward the cinematic. I love shooting at night, think brassai but no where near the beauty or mastery. With the product shots i do up close work so i fear that as much as i would love it, probably no leica M.

    I have glasses. This has been the bane of my camera shooting life. I love wearing my glasses, contacts or not for me. Its why i only shoot 50mm on my canon P because i cant even close to see the 35 lines.

    I dont often shoot over 50mm unless i have to and usually never ever over 100mm. pls no autofocus modern bodies f100 f4 etc. Im one of those horribly annoying people that like the feel of manual film advancement.

    These are the camers im looking at and the lenses i have extensively looked at for the style I would like.( as much so as looking at photos on flickr can confer.)

    The lenses that give the "style" that i like.

    summicrons, elmarits, summilux's

    35 1.4 contax zeiss 28 hollywood

    hasselblads 80 planar

    Rolleiflex 2.8 planar and xenotar

    Most of these Im thinking in terms of black and white, a few of the leicas and all of the zeiss's colors are superb to my eyes.

    Now for the camera bodies with lenses im thinkin of.

    Nikon f2 fm2a f3t/pHP with 35 1.4 ais or zeiss zf and whatever is the better 28mm and perhaps whatever 50 has the best character, perhaps zeiss again? I know i can google the specs of the above bodies but i want to know of user experiences of one against another, for instance my friend will only use f2 bodies. I have no idea why.

    canon F1new, because its damned beautiful. 35/2 thorium concave, 50 1.2 or around. perhaps 85 1.2 On david hancocks youtube video he fires the shutter of an F1 and olumpus om 10, the f1new seems very quiet

    Olympus om2n/3/4 28/2 although i dont like the look as much as some of the above lenses but it fills a tiny bit. 50 1.2 or macro 85 or 90

    contax s2/139 28 hollywood but i prefer the look of the 35 1.4 even though i wouldnt think they are differently formulated?

    Hasselblad 500/1/3 c/cm/cw/cx with 80 coated planar. perhaps maybe the 120

    Rolleiflex 2.8 planar or xenotar. I seems as if the planar is clearer and crispy sharp, the colors are typical zeiss amazing. But the xenotar seems to have its own allure, like nikons portrait defocus lens. sharp contrasty and soft at the same time? I think i prefer to planar but i dont want to over look the xenotar because as i said it has its own allure.

    Leicaflex sl2. with whatever 28 35 or 50 i can afford. seems like probably elmarits for the first two or summi for the 50. I like these lenses b&w and color renditions.

    Thank you guys so much for your opinions and tactile experiences.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Dont forget to leave your hatemail.;)
  2. I have used Nikon F2 and F3. They are as good as any camera you can get. For street photography I use the Nikon 35mm and 28mm. Again they are as good as you can get. I have a Rolleiflex 2.8E with the Schneider Xenotar. It is just as good and some people say better than the Zeiss Planar. It is an incredible lens. You seem to have a fondness for Zeiss lenses. If you feel the need to spend the extra money for Zeiss lenses go ahead. Of course they are really good lenses but the results will not be any better.
  3. uppity dinner parties (Rollei, Leica, Hassy)
    quieter camera (Rollei, Leica)
    fashion (Any, though MF for great enlargements)
    art (Rollei, Hassy, maybe Leica)
    portraits (Any, MF for enlargements)
    cinematic (Rollei, Hassy)
    I have glasses (Rollei, Hassy)

    Answer = Rolleiflex.

    The Hassy is known to be a bit loud, drawing extra attention at your quiet dinner parties. I don't own one, but that's the reputation I hear. I might be corrected on the point.
    The Leica is not as glasses friendly. I have the M3 and it works for me with a 50mm Summicron, but I am a slow worker and move my head around to make sure I've framed correctly.
    I own the FM2n, F3HP and several other 35mm SLRs. They are not quiet at all. The results are great with a good chunk of glass up front. But not as superlative as MF.
    I own the Rollei and Leica M3, and they are quiet and quieter.

    The downside of the Rollei is that you will be bait for everyone who wants to talk about your beautiful equipment, and you'll have trouble getting a candid shot off. On the flip side, everyone wants to be the subject of a Rollei. You will be positively swarmed. Hummmmmm.......

    The Rollei 3.5 Xenotar gives results that are positively 3D. See below.

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  4. The Copal-Leitz shutter used in the Minolta XE series as well as the Leica R3 is one of the quietest SLR shutters produced. The XE uses Minolta MC and MD glass and works in aperture priority or metered manual mode. The R3 is a bit more expensive, but the Leica lenses are a lot more expensive. But, if you really need a quiet shutter you will need a rangefinder camera.,
  5. I have pretty extensive experience with Rolleiflexes, Canon F-1s(both versions) and a moderate amount of experience with the Nikon F2.

    As the 35mm SLRs go, of the 3 I'd rank the original F-1 as the quietest followed by the F2 and then the New F-1. None are super loud, and we're probably splitting hairs on that. They also all have a different sort of sound-the F2 is more of a "click" to my ear while the New F-1 is more of a gentle "clunk." The original F-1 is somewhere between the two. As SLRs go, all of them are fairly quiet and also have a nice refined sound. The latter is hard to explain without hearing/handling them in person but you definitely know that you're holding a solid piece of equipment.

    I've never owned a Hasselblad, but have used them and at current count have four different systems(645, 6x6, and 6x7). The most Hasselblad like of the ones I own is the Bronica SQ-A. I commented earlier today that the leaf shutter Bronicas and my Mamiya RB67 are quieter than some low end DSLRs, but they're still not exactly quiet.

    Of all the ones mentioned, though, I think the Rolleiflex definitely gets the not for being quiet. You get a few subtle "clunks" when loading film as the automatic "feeler" engages, but beyond that the shutter releases with a barely audible "click." The only exception to that would be when you're at low enough shutter speeds to engage the slow speed escapement and it "buzzes" but you likely won't be hand-holding at those speeds. Film advance and shutter cocking(both done with the advance crank, although in opposite directions) are smooth as glass and dead silent. My Rolleiflexes are quieter than my Leica, although again they have a very different sound.
  6. Hello all,

    Thank you for the replies.

    I have a canon P and a baby rolleiflex, they are both quiet enough for what i do, the baby is annoying with its 127 film and i dont feel like hand winding 35 for it.

    Im mostly aimed at one of the two rollies in 2.8 since the dinner parties are usually lower lit. I know the rolleiflexs can be shot steadily enough at lower enough shutter speeds to get the parties snapped up. Even tho I have read there is no difference in the planars vs xenotars. The pictures i have looked at make the planars look 3d sharp and have better color on portra where the xenotars usually look a little less saturated. I do keep in mind, however, that looking on flickr and the web in general, that there are infinite things that can effect the end result.for instance I love the exacting look of this picture, taken by a unspecified rollei 2.8

    The Reader

    this is from a planar:


    this is from a xenotar.

    Rolleiflex 2.8D

    Im truly at a loss of which to get.

    If i do end up gettting a 35 as well, I might go with the f2, because it has an exceedingly simple elegant beauty, not far of course from the OM's
  7. I have a fairly broad collection of premium cameras (1914 to 1983,) shoot at night a lot, and love Brassai. (I even own and use a Voigtlander Bergheil with Heliar lens like he used.) I own a Rolleiflex (mine is 1954) and over all it's the easiest 120 camera to use. I really like it for street and night. I also have a 1983 Nikon F3T and three lenses, including the Nikon 50mm f1.2 AiS. I think the F3T is the best SLR ever made. It's a joy to use, looks really classy, and I consistently get good results from it. I can personally recommend both of these for you. I think a Hassleblad might be too big, too conspicuous, and noisy for some of the things you want to do. I don't think one camera will be the best way to go for you. The Nikon will offer more lens choices and thus more versatility, but if going for only one camera it would probably be the Rolleiflex because: (1) bigger neg (2) quiet (3) WLF is great for street (4) very reliable (5) excellent lens. Most of the more desirable films available in 35mm are also available in 120. I love Ilford FP4 for general use, Acros for night (low reciprocity failure.) I also own & use a Leica IIIc from 1942, but I'm thinking that having to take a meter reading will interfere with your work flow. Very small, inconspicuous, and quiet though!

    Kent in SD

  8. I like the leica barnacks but with glasses it wasnt easy to see through the exquisitely magnified rangefinder. I personally think the f3hp is a bit ugly, it definitely didnt have the gusto of the delorean ;D But its functionality is indisputable.

    I believe ill probably get one of the rolleis, not sure whether planar or xenotar. Then ill probably go for nikon or olympus. nikon has more lenses sure, but the olympus bodies are indisputably lovely.
  9. Hello Austin
    I have the Hassy 500c and it is the loudest, the mirror is the main thing but it is my go to for night photograph, I have the Rollei an Automat 3.5 and it is the quietest sometimes I don't hear it at all. And I have the F1, mine is the middle one? with the 85 1.2 it takes fantastic photos but it is big and heavy.
    Here is the F1 with the 85 1.2
    Canon 85 2.jpg
  10. And a night shot with the Hassy

    Downtown LA
    Hasselblad Delta 100 downtown LA.jpg
    James Bryant likes this.
  11. Its hard to tell from that angle, but based on the size of the shutter button "cup" it looks like you have the revised F-1, also known as the F-1n. This is sort of the second model, but it's fundamentally the original with some revisions. All accessories including winders, finders, and focusing screens are interchangeable between the two. I find the revised model more comfortable to use with its wide plastic tipped advance lever that-more importantly-has a wider offset but both are nice handling cameras.

    The New F-1(often abbreviated F-1N, although I've quit using that designation) is a totally different model with no parts interchangeability between the original and a different feature set.

    Feature, technology, and age wise, the original F-1 is analogous to the F2 and the New F-1 to the F3.

    The original F-1 integrates the CdS meter into the body(via a semi-silvered patch on the focusing screen, so be sure you use a circular polarizer!) as opposed to it being separate as in the F2. It does give the F-1 cleaner lines than a metered F2, IMO, since you don't have the "stack" on top of the shutter speed dial. On the other hand, you need a steady 1.35V to the metering cell and you can't take advantage of the super-sensitive silicon cells that are in the F2AS and F2S. On the other hand, though, the metering read-out is VERY different on the F-1, and I much prefer the "match needle" Canon approach to the "center the needle" or "light the middle LED" Nikon approach.

    The New F-1 and F3 both give you aperture priority AE, although on the F-1 you need the chunkier AE finder FN to see what shutter speed the camera is picking. The New F-1 also gives you shutter priority with either a power winder or motor drive installed. You get a hot shoe on the standard and AE finders(no attachments over the rewind crank) with the New F-1. Also, in manual mode I once again prefer its match needle system to the little LCD on the F3. You can change the metering pattern on the New F-1, although doing so requires changing the focusing screen(CW Average is the only option on the F3). In addition, in manual and shutter priority mode the New F-1 has an illuminator for the metering window that-when turned on-turns on with a half press of the shutter button and stays on for several seconds. The F3 does have a built in illuminator for the LCD and ADR window, but it's not that bright and IMO is quite awkward to use. If you like the safety net of being able to work without batteries, the F-1 is much more functional than the F3, with the former providing all speeds 1/90 and faster with the battery removed and the latter only offering 1/90. On the other hand, the New F-1 film advance is rough and gritty, while the F3 advance is probably the finest ever put into a 35mm SLR.
  12. Hello Ben
    Here is the top of the camera and I do believe it is the F1n
    Canon 85.jpg
  13. As a user of manual film-transport Nikon FM, FM2, F3, and FA as well as Leica R4, R-E and R5, I don't consider any of them "quiet" (the Leicas and the F3 about at the same noise level but different sound).
    Also used Leica M5 and M6, quieter than any DSLR but at least for me definitely preferable to any 35mm SLR in a quiet environment (though they aren't all that quiet either). For medium format, I only have experience with Rolleiflex SL66 and SL66E, both rather the opposite of quiet too I'm afraid.

    To each its own.
  14. I will stick to Pentax for 35mm SLR stuff. - Others might be better but not necessarily in my hands. - No clue what great manual glass is (still) floating around.
    Leica R didn't knock my socks off as bodies but the 100mm macro Elmarit is a dream lens and I guess there are more I am simply not aware of. - I'm into Leica M but yes, its contacts or guide dog for me. The RF focusing seems to work for me, I nail sharpness with 50mm at f2, which rarely happened when I shot SLRs.

    What about Yashica / Contax for you? - Zeiss glass... - I am not familiar with their body line up. The RTS is a big modern beast.

    I shot an F2. -IDK, at the end of the day they are all just cameras. If you are winding manually, I see no significant difference between one manual body or another. Sometimes TTL flash was nice to have. other times I noticed that I prefer 2 needles to match or 5 LEDs or one LED per shutter speed over the simple traffic light light meters.
  15. I've never seen any consensus as to what "match needle" means, but the Canons have a two needle system that I've always referred to as "match needle." Basically, they have a round needle that moves with the aperture setting and then a fine needle that moves in response to the shutter speed, ISO, and light level. You're supposed to center the fine needle in the round one, although the round needle is 1 stop wide so it's easy to see 1/2 stop over or under. On the New F-1, the scale is actually graduated according to apertures, with the round needle looping around the set aperture and the fine needle pointing to the aperture the meter THINKS you should use. There again, it's really easy to set exposure compensation with that.

    In working with Nikons, I've been known to refer to their meters as a "center the needle" system. I prefer the information that I get from the Canon type meter.
  16. The hassy is loud. I use both the Nikon FM2n and F6. The F6 is much quieter.
  17. I have a f2 on the way at the moment.

    Should I go with the zeiss zf 35 1.4 or a Nikon mount leica r summicron 35. I like the rendition of both and imagine they are about the same price.

    I have to say, after looking at a friends prints yesterday, whom shoots with voightlander color skopar lenses only, I quite like the rendition of them. The b&w tones are wonderful and the colors, atleast from what I've seen, seem to have a dark zeissiness to them. I might forgo the rollei for now and get a second body, a color skopar 21, zeiss or Leica 35 and maybe nikkor55 or elmarit 60 macro.

    As for a rollei, is C the best to get? I don't want the meter and would like to upgrade the screen. Perhaps E is after C and also without a meter?

    What do you guys think?

    Thank you all, again, so much.
  18. Unless you're just itching to burn money, my personal inclination would be to grab the Nikkor AI or AI-s equivalent.

    If you find them lacking, go for the substantially more expensive Zeiss or Leitz lenses. Honestly, though, Nikkor lenses-especially in simple to design focal lengths like 35mm and 50mm-never leave me wanting more. When a stop or two from wide open, I only start seeing the limits of most good Nikkor primes on Provia or Ektar with a 10x loupe or with my D800. Later AI and AI-s lenses have excellent coatings, and there again on simple primes they tend to give very good contrast. To me, comparing color rendition is nonsense on anything other than slide film which I assume you won't be shooting.

    I wouldn't split hairs over the difference between a C and an E-I'd go for the overall better condition and least expensive one. Rick Oleson, who used to post here frequently, sells modern bright split-image screens. I bought one for a Rolleicord from him several years ago, and I've been quite happy with it.
  19. I'll also add that if you have a Photomic finder(not an F2A or F2AS) and want metering, I'm not sure that there's any way to even attach a metering fork to the Zeiss lenses.

    Unless it's been removed, a ~$400 Nikkor 35mm 1.4 AI or AI-s will have the metering fork that's needed for most of the popular F2 finders.
  20. The only problem with the nikkor, is that it doesn thave any special character or rendition that strikes my eye, that I see. But with that said, I like the works of photogs like Chuck Jines, and hes uses nikkon primes, so perhaps you are right and I should start with nikon primes, for now.

    Im still on the wall about it, again, thank you for the input.
    bradleycloven likes this.

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