What is a good value film camera?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by NHSN, May 19, 2022.

  1. Which is good value to you?

    Olympus Trip 35: €179 ($190)


    Nikon F-801 (N8008) + 35-70mm: €150 ($159)


    Olympus Mju II: €419 ($443)

    These are the current going rates from the reputable Finnish seller www.kamerastore.com.

    I have been monitoring these particular models and they are actually selling for these prices.

    What do you think - which would you buy?
    Or - what other model would be a good automatic film camera to buy these days?

    Trip 35.jpg

    Trip 35.jpg

    Trip 35.jpg
  2. Those 3 repetitions of the Trip 35 is beyond me. Must be at system error.
  3. I am not in the market, but a number of friends have inquired about recommendations for an entry level film camera, and I am a bit at a loss for what to point at.
    In a distant past I would have pointed at a Yashica T4 or Olympus Myu II - both of which I've had good personal experiences with, yet at €400+ for a 25 years old plastic P&S camera simply does not compute.
  4. Canon Elan 7 or Elan II. Modern AF SLRs with good AF performance, reliable meters, and uses currently available batteries. Mostly priced under $100 (with the Elan II lower than that). Uses any Canon EF lens ever made, without any function restrictions.
    Jochen likes this.
  5. If you hang out in photo.net and photrio.com classifieds, you will find way better value from fellow photographers. :)
  6. It depends hugely on what sort of experience you friends are looking for. I would always opt for an SLR as I enjoy the experience of using them, in terms of composing the image on a clear focusing screen versus using a poky and possibly inaccurate viewfinder. Some brands and models have acquired cult status like the very basic Pentax K1000, and have attracted high prices as a result. Some other excellent but less desired brands can be found quite cheaply, for example Chinon, Cosina, and Yashica. If I were going to recommend a camera, I would suggest an Olympus OM10 or OM20, and there are plenty of Olympus fit lenses on the auction site. But there are many more options, like the later Pentax MV and MG slr's, again with plentiful K-Mount lenses. If more automation and auto focus are wanted, the F801 would be a good choice.
  7. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire

    I certainly wouldn't buy a Trip now, with a selenium meter, and that funny square aperture. Several Olympus rangefinders roughly the same shape which you might get for the same money; but like John, I'd want an SLR.
    I wouldn't bother with AF; we did many things well in the past, but AF wasn't really one of them.
  8. While expensive the most used cameras in my collection is my FM2n. Part of a good system and all mechanical except the meter. Actually I have 3 of them.
  9. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    No kidding. Perhaps the "hipster" factor has pushed prices on some of these cult P&S cameras to unrealistic levels...but then maybe some buyers have more money than common sense.

    As far as SLR's go (not necessarily automatic), I would suggest any of the Cosina-made M42 or K-mount bodies (sold by Vivitar and under many other brands) over a Spotmatic or K1000. Perfectly good user cameras with reliable Copal shutters, and you can often find them for around $20-$30 with a lens attached. The Ricoh M42 & K-mount SLRs are also common and a good value.
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
  10. There are still reasonably priced plastic P&S camera with good lens, e.g. Pentax PC35AF or AF-M. I recently got one as a carry-everywhere and not-so-serious film camera, and it produces really good results. I would say on par with a Yashica T4 Super, which I used to own for a very long period of time.

    But in terms of general photography, I still prefer a small size SLR like Nikon FM2n (like James) or its siblings FE2 and FA. I'm too used to WYSIWYG and have not been using my rangefinder cameras as much.
  11. SCL


    Nikkormats can often be found on the big auction site for less than $50 USD with a good lens (I recently got one with a 50 micro Nikkor) for a tad less.
    Kent T and robert_bowring like this.
  12. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    I'd add the Praktica L-series to the list, too. Common (especially in Europe), many models made, inexpensive, and strong metal shutters.
    John Farrell likes this.
  13. Another vote for the Praktica L - the basic models are virtually unbreakable, and pleasant to shoot.

    Despite what you say, your prices sound like 'boutique' collector asking prices to me. Actually "sold prices" are frequently hslf that on eBay.
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
    Jochen and John Farrell like this.
  14. Among the 3 on your list, I'd pick the Nikon, although I am Canon leaning, in the DSLR realm. Film ain't no longer cheap and also isn't competitive anymore, so why go compact with a fixed lens, that maybe isn't your favorite focal length? I 'd put everybody on "something SLR you can buy batteries for" with a modest set of lenses, firmly(!) suggesting people should stick to a brand they can borrow for or go digital with, if that is (borrowed) God's will.
    I'd look for lens supplies. Is Minolta MD still unbeatable cheap?
    Something 35 & 85mm + kit zoom would be ideal, but 50, 135 + whatever might be cheaper.
    If AF is wanted, I 'd recommend EOS 500, with faint hope that lens upgrades will be affordable and might provide working IS.
    I 'd probably also take a chance to declutter...
    I will not recommend anything zone focused. I have close to zero AF P&S experience.
    Given a chance I 'd try to convince folks to bet on a manual camera + hand held meter.
  15. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire

    God lends you his lenses? What a nice guy!
  16. Seconding the Nikkormats! These workhorse cameras are a steal these days.

    If you keep watch, you can pick up a FTn body and a classic pre-AI Nikkor lens (50/2, 28/3.5,105/2.5, 43-86/3.5) in "Good" condition for a little over a hundred bucks from an outfit like UsedPhotoPro.

    I recently got a Nikkormat FTn - for $62 - and early Nikkor 135 (marked 13.5cm)/3.5 - for $36 - from these guys, and I'd say their "Good" rating is conservative, both are in solid working condition. (The Nikkormat's light meter worked well at first, then got jumpy - but that's not exactly surprising in a 50-year-old body!)
    robert_bowring likes this.
  17. Third choice for the Nikkormat. A good solid camera with plenty of good lenses available.
    Kent T likes this.
  18. I have an Olympus Mju2 , a very nice camera , but mine has light leaks which I cannot find.
  19. For a little more the Nikkormat FT3 offers both AI and non AI metering and uses a silver oxide or alkaline cell.
  20. None! If I have to buy one perhaps the lens although it's likely the worst Nikon zoom lens. I wouldn't even consider the MJU for $10 (unless I know I can turn around to sell it for $400) otherwise it's not worth $10 for me to keep. I would buy the trip 35 but only for like $20 or less. It's not a good camera. The F801 is worth the money but it's so boring for me to have. I can't resell it either nobody wants to buy it.

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