What is the largest and smallest 35 mm fullframe SLR?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by paul_p|11, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Hi -
    I wonder, what is the biggest, I mean largest 35 mm fullframe SLR ever produced?
    There is no such a big problem answering what is the smallest 35 SLR... The smallest 35 mm fullframe SLR ever built is most probably Pentax MX, or Pentax ME (which is slightly taller then MX, but is less by 5 mm width). There is of course smaller SLR, the child of ingenious Maitani Yoshihisa - Olympus Pen F, but it is for half-frame, not fullframe...
    So, the smallest is Pentax (MX or ME) I think... Others believe that the smallest is the famous Olympus OM-1n - it was the first of the smallest, that's for sure. But what about the largest?
    There is famous (and very expensive now and then) Zeiss Contaflex which is quite big, but this is TLR, not SLR. There are some weird Agfas, like Flexilette or Optima-Reflex, but they are TLR too...
    My suspicion fell on one of early Praktica cameras (Praktica IV for example), which in the aerly sixties were in the forefront. Later Praktica Nova also belongs to rather bigger cameras, but is it the one - the biggest?
    So, what is your suggestion in that matter? Do you know the larger (or mayby the smaller) cameras, other then these I mention? And do note please - I ask about SLR (Single Lens Reflex), for the full frame of 35 mm film.
    Thanks for your answers - and your time, if you write it. :) And Happy New Year!
  2. largest is the Nikon F4
  3. and the smallest is not the MX nor the OM-1, OM-2. At least the EXA I is smaller
  4. Nikon F4 ?
    with MB-21 battery - 169 x 134 x 77 mm
    with MB-20 battery - 169 x 118 x 77 mm
    Only Praktica I know about is the BMS - 138 x 87 x 49 mm
    Next estimate ...
  5. And if you throw an MB-23 on that sucka, it's even bigger. I've got one and I like it, as the ledge for gripping with your
    thumb is more prominent, making the camera easier for me to hold. But it takes a bit of fiddling to get it into the
    camera bag with that grip attached, as that is one big picture takin' machine.
  6. The last Nikon pro film offering, model F6 is a "moose". And is likely the largest / heaviest 35MM SLR ever built. But it won't fit this forum's definition as "classic". The Zeiss Contarex (Bullseye) weighs almost 4 lbs!
    The lightest is the OM1. It weighs in at a svelte 680 grams with a 50MM/F1.8 lens! A Pentax Spotmatic body alone weighs over 800 grams, or about 30oz. Most other 60's,70's & 80's 35MM SLR bodies weigh at least 900 grams (2 lbs). And many weigh close to 3 lbs!
  7. The Voigtländer Bessamatic is pretty big and unwieldy... and I guess the ZI Contarex is also in the "too big" league.
  8. I'm pretty sure an F5 on its own is larger than an F4 with a battery grip.
  9. largest is the Nikon F4​
    I would say F4 too. The first time I s aw one I couldn't believe that it only produced little postage stamp size images. They could have fitted 120 roll film in there!
  10. Thank you for the answers!
    To John Tran - I've Exa 1a and both Pentaxes (MX & ME), and Exa is the biggest of that trio. :)
    Here is my old photo... At the 'little end' there is Minolta 110 MKII (not for 35 mm), the next one is Olympus OM-10. Exa, as the biggest from that part of my colection is at the other end of the row...
    By the way - both of the Pentaxes (ME and MX) are smaller than Oly OM-10.
  11. Okay, here's some weight figures, obtained from various places on the Interwebs:
    Nikon F4 with MB-23 (body only) 1400 grams
    Nikon F5 (body only) 1210 grams
    Nikon F6 (body only) 975 grams
    Nikon F6 with MB-40 (body only?) 1157 grams
    Looks like we have a winner in the chunkiness category!
  12. IMHO the smallest 24x36 format film SLR is the Cosina built, Konica TCX with the 40mm f1.8 Hexanon.
  13. Well these two are close and I have a pic of them:
  14. Largest is Canon EOS-1n RS?
  15. There is no such a big problem answering what is the smallest 35 SLR...​
    You think? Heh, heh....
    What variables to use? Dimensions, volume, mass, with or without powerpacks? What if a powerpack is built in? Country of origin (the largest or smallest SLR in xxxx)?
    I'm sure it isn't the actual largest anywhere, but probably the DDR record for a 35mm SLR is the Pentacon Super.
  16. The Nikon MB-20, MB-21 or MB-23 are not motor drives (that's built into the body). One or the other must be on the camera for the F4 to work; they are merely battery holders. Thus, they should be included in the bulk/mass discussion.
  17. No can't count SLR with attached motor drive because if so something like the Canon F1 or Nikon F2 high speed would be biggest. Only count camera with minimum configuration that it can function. The F4 won't work without a battery pack for example so we can count that.
  18. The Contax AX is pretty big, but I don't have the specs. It was necessarily large because it autofocused by moving the entire film plane with a ceramic rod so any lens that fit the camera could autofocus. Anyone know how it compares in size?
  19. According to its manual -
    Contax AX is 162 x 123.5 (h) x 72 mm and the body w/ battery = 1080 gr.
  20. To all of you - many thanks to all your answers!
    To JDM von Weinberg - well, there is always someone who doesnt understand simple question... Looking at some of my cameras I havent any problem telling which one is smaller or greater. Of course one can always add some more variables: number of screws, the weight of used leather or diameter of control knob...
    Thanks God others answered as simply, as the question was.
    To Alan Johnson - thank you for the picture! I've got Oly OM10 and Praktica Super TL (smaller than Praktica IV from your picture). And that smaller Praktica is about 1.5 cm higher then Olympus OM10, looking from the bottom to top of the prism housing.
    I didnt know, that Oly OM20 is so much higher, to be - as you write - close to each other.
    And once more - dont hesitate to respond, if you know something else camera.
    Regards, Paul
  21. Just pulled out the Nikon F4, F5, and F3 for a comparison. The F5 is the largest, followed closely by the F4. The F3 is actually the tallest with the MD3 attached, but quite svelte without it. As for the smallest, I will be guided by others.
  22. Dang ... F5 at the mir.com site -
    Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 158 x 149 x 79mm (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.1 in.)
    Weight (without batteries): Approx. 1,210g (42.7 oz.)
    So, it's 10mm taller than the F4 (with MB-21) but 11mm narrower and 2 mm thicker ... tie or a win?
    I hate the internet :eek:(
  23. Actually one of the first "true" SLRs Zenit or Zenit-C are smallest ones. They just marginally bigger then Oly OM1 and Pentax MX.
  24. Yeh and rather bulky device is the mirror box attached to Leica to make it SLR-like camera. Would it count?
  25. Jim: I'd say the F5 is bigger, because the smallest box you could put it in would have a larger internal volume than the smallest box you could put the F4 in.
  26. The F5 certainly seems like a much larger monster in my memory. Especially when you compare it to the F4 without a motor drive. I always think of the Minolta XM when I think of big cameras, but it's tiny compared to those monster Nikons!
  27. Andrew -
    That really frosts my pumpkin ... :eek:) !
    F4s goes in the trash can and the RB67 comes out of the closet...
    (with the AC motor driven 250 exp. back someone gave me free to haul away)
    Now that's bulk, mate.
    Pictured below is the boat anchor, but not pictured is the additional 4" x 8" x 6" 'contol box that ran this mess. I put this in the back of my pick up truck every winter to boost my traction.
    Big Gear Jim (LOL)
  28. Maybe this camera is too weird to even be considered, but I thought the smallest in the 24x36mm format was the Compass camera made before WWII? I don't believe it used roll film however.
  29. The most pointlessly large and bulky SLR I own is the Mamiya DSX1000. From Butkus' manual, the dimensions w/f1.4 lens are: 151.5mm x 95mm, and 100.5mm thick (the manual doesn't give sizes w/o lens). Again with the f1.4 (an excellent lens, btw), it comes in at a whopping 960g.
    I have two early cameras with metered prisms that are taller (an Exakta VXIIb w/ 'cell' prism, and a Praktica IVf), but the Mamiya, as I said, is just pointlessly large. It dwarfs my Pentax Spotmatics.
  30. Jim, those Mamiyas are huge. I had an RZ67, and lucked out finding an appropriately sized padded Kodak camera bag for it (I think it was a camcorder bag). Great camera, but impractical for me, and I traded it to another forum member for a Hasselblad.
  31. Well, Compass wasnt an SLR camera... The same like ather small cameras: Tessina, Photavit, or French Elje.
    I was asking about SLR for 35 mm film, and 24 x 36 mm frame. :)
  32. The ME Super is a little smaller than the MX, and feels even smaller because its body on either side of the mirror box is not as thick. My ME Supers are definitely shorter than my MX's.
    To add to the fun, the largest SLR using 35mm film I've ever handled is the Bronica SQ-Ai with the 35mm back and action prism.
  33. well, there is always someone who doesnt understand simple question​
    Well, there are also those who think things are simple when they're not, as the diversity of answers shows very clearly. Why get insulting about it? :<
  34. Smallest full-frame SLR was the Pentax ME.

  35. No one heard of the Nikon EM?
  36. Well, yesterday I had some free time and took pictures comparing few models (Praktica Super TL, Exa, Zenit S, Pentax ME & MX). I've got no any larger or smaller 35 mm SLR, although have some larger and smaller SLR, but no for 35 mm.
    Hope, that these few photos help to evaluate the size of the different camera model.
  37. Have you all forgotten the behemoth (weight-wise at least) of the Contarex bullseye?
  38. Have you all forgotten the behemoth (weight-wise at least) of the Contarex bullseye?​
    I don't have a scale handy, but I don't think the Bullseye is significantly heavier than a Nikon F Photomic.
  39. The Dekon Dejur fitted with the 45mm Simlar lens could be a good candidate for smallest full frame SLR or at least one of the smallest. Got to locate the camera and measure it though. As far as I remember, it is smaller than the Oly.
  40. The old Kowa 35mm SLR cameras (such as the SETr, if I remember one of the model numbers correctly) were very small.
    I'm sure this has been mentioned already, but the Pen FT SLR camera was extremely small, but of course it was a half frame so it doesn't fit the title of the thread.
  41. I am not sure what the official findings will be but my two SLRs, the NikonF4 and the Pentax ME, are definitely in the running for the largest and smallest 35mm full frame.
  42. It isn't a "classic manual camera" but the Pentax *ist is one tiny SLR. No taller than an MX, but half an inch less wide, and much lighter. With AF and a built in flash, too!
  43. I've never placed it next to a Nikon F4; but a Topcon Super D was no midget.
  44. Apologies for entering the debate very late (just when it all seemed to be done and dusted), but there is a 35mm SLR that is smaller than the Pentax ME.
    It's 0.5mm shorter and a whole mm less wide than the ME.
    It's the 130mm x 82mm 1959 Topcon PR !!!!!
  45. The Kowa 35mm SLR cameras were pretty small. I wonder where they fall in the size hierarchy.

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