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Best Vintage Camera!?
Old 03-30-2008   #1
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Best Vintage Camera!?

What, in Your opinion, is the best vintage camera for under $200.00?
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Old 03-30-2008   #2
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Depends on what kindof camera do you want? You could buy a lot of different 'vintage' 35mm SLRs for under $200 that are top quality cameras. The Nikon F, Olympus OM-1, Pentax Spotmatic, Minolta SRT-101...those are all 1960-1970's era SLRs that were built so well that they're still widely used and very reliable today. All of them have excellent lens systems too, and all of the more common lenses in each of those systems are available in large numbers at good prices.

If you are asking Rangefinders, I don't know. Most good rangefinder cameras cost a lot more than that, even if old and beat up...because they're collectors items to a greater degree than any of the SLRs I mentioned. I bought a nearly new looking SRT-101 on Ebay last summer for $30, and a user-grade but functionally perfect Spotmatic for $25. An OM-1 in good condition can be had for $100, and a Nikon F for $125 in nice but not collectors condition.
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Old 03-30-2008   #3
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Rolleiflex TLR. Definitely.
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Old 04-14-2008   #4
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Crown Graphic...if you can find one under $200.00.
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Old 04-14-2008   #5
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a Kiev II rangefinder camera with a J-8 lens.
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Old 04-14-2008   #6
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kodak signet 35>>>$50

voigtlander vito b>>>$50(technically, this isn't really a rangefinder)
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Old 04-14-2008   #7
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For price and performance for under $200, I agree with a Kiev and J8 combination. Other than that there are a whole host of SLR's as has already been pointed out. You need to have one eye on the future for additional lenses. In terms of value for money the FSU RF's are hard to beat.
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Old 04-14-2008   #8
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Zeiss Ikonta with Novar triplet lens, and with no rangefinder.
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Old 04-14-2008   #9
BillP
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Define "vintage", in your terms, please.

Regards,

Bill
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Old 04-15-2008   #10
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Old 04-15-2008   #11
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All good cameras mentioned above. Readers of the thread might also want to get the last two issues of Popular Photography & Imaging, a USA publication that may or may not be sold in other countries. They have had two installments of the top 20 cameras. I don't even know of all of them, but do most.

Due to my love of Fujicas, I would put the ST 901 in the mix. They and their lenses aren't easy to find. I am guessing partly due to not as many being made, and partly as once used, nobody wants to part with them; cameras or glass.

Still I can't argue with those already mentioned.
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Old 04-15-2008   #12
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Leica III with a Canon 50/1.8. That was the last combo that I picked up at a Photorama show for under $200.

You never know what bargains you come across at a camera show.
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Old 07-01-2008   #13
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A few years ago, a local camera store gave me (as in free) a Ricoh TLS-401 with a 50mm lens. The previous owner didn't need it any more as he had 'graduated' to a digital thingy, and the camera store didn't want it either. Next day I bought a used wide angle lens for $ 15.00 at another shop. Shot a test roll with it and everything seemed fine. The following week I shot a job with it for a regional magazine here in Maryland. I made $ 500.00 on the job and got three shots published in the magazine.

So the Ricoh TLS-401 gets my vote!
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Old 07-01-2008   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
All good cameras mentioned above. Readers of the thread might also want to get the last two issues of Popular Photography & Imaging, a USA publication that may or may not be sold in other countries. They have had two installments of the top 20 cameras. I don't even know of all of them, but do most.

Due to my love of Fujicas, I would put the ST 901 in the mix. They and their lenses aren't easy to find. I am guessing partly due to not as many being made, and partly as once used, nobody wants to part with them; cameras or glass.

Still I can't argue with those already mentioned.

Some things never change I see ...

Let's not forget the OM-1 or Om-2 ... my Om-2 was $50.00 with a 50mm Zuiko off eBay and it's been a gem of a camera!
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Old 07-26-2008   #15
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this one... bought for 72$

as you can see it travelled around the world... 1932 Super Ikonta "for china"...

still perfecty usable, pocket size folding RF

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Nikon F3
Old 07-26-2008   #16
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Nikon F3

The only one good enough to go to the moon (in it's time).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloomfieldboy View Post
What, in Your opinion, is the best vintage camera for under $200.00?
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Old 07-26-2008   #17
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Rolleiflex TLR. Definitely.
It is very difficult to find a working Rolleiflex for $200 [but I have]
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Old 07-26-2008   #18
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Wow - a big question!. The best camera I have bought for less than $200 would be a Voigtlander Vitessa T with a 35mm Skoparet Lens (The one in my avatar although there it is wearing the 100mm dynaret)
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Old 07-26-2008   #19
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Kodak Retina IIC,great camera and glass,much bigger viewfinder than the IIc.........Robin
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Old 07-26-2008   #20
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How about a Yashica Mat 124G? Or a Yashica 35 Electro CC with the 35/1.8?
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Old 07-26-2008   #21
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Another vote for the Rolleiflex (T) / Rolleicord. And the OM 1 as a runner up.
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Say What?
Old 07-26-2008   #22
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Say What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
Nikon F3 The only one good enough to go to the moon (in it's time).

The last moon landing was in 1972. The Nikon F3 didn't come out until 1980. If I'm not mistaken, most of the pictures on the moon were taken with Hasselblads.
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Old 07-26-2008   #23
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The best camera I have that cost me less than $200 is the Yashica GSN.

Nick Trop and Ken Rockwell both think it's a great camera...



Now, I also like my Leica CL, Canon P and my Canon A-1 SLR, but they all cost me more than $200, although I think one can now get an A-1 for less than $200.
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Old 09-04-2008   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Thirsty View Post
The last moon landing was in 1972. The Nikon F3 didn't come out until 1980. If I'm not mistaken, most of the pictures on the moon were taken with Hasselblads.
That had me wondering as well, Apollo 15 left their Blad's on the moon, brought home a bunch of stupid rocks. Probably the same for 16 and 17. I met the Apollo 17 Geologist, and forgot to ask about the camera.

Story was they stripped out everything they could to cut weight. First one they just picked up at a shop, I understand Hasselblad got involved later and they were using 70mm backs.

Nikon did make some cameras for space, but I think the classic moon photos were shot with Hassy's.

I also remember someone losing one in orbit, Hasselblad offered a reward for its return. ;-)

Retina 1a's are terrific bargains, and yes there is a camera show Sunday in Richfield, near Cleveland. Saw a beautiful black Miranda SLR for $20 at the last show.

Regards, John
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Old 09-04-2008   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
So the Ricoh TLS-401 gets my vote!
The TLS-401 is a nice camera, but its dual mode pentamirror finder is the weak point. I prefer its predecessor, the Ricoh Singlex TLS, the Ricoh version of the Nikkorex -- vastly improved technically -- available both in Nikon F and M42 mount. A heavy beast which was a great camera with a fast Copal square shutter. So great in fact that the design was later licensed to Cosina, which used and reused it until the contemporary Bessa series. So, yes, the Ricoh Singlex TLS can be considered as a prehistoric SLR Bessa .

In MF, i vote for the pre WWII Voigtländer Bessa RF.

In LF, maybe an old Pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic.

Cheers!

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Old 09-04-2008   #26
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Minolta Autocord (TLR) ... sub-$100 if you're careful on eBay!
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Old 09-05-2008   #27
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I did some checking, and while they had Hasselblads, beginning with Apollo 15 Nasa had Nikon FTN's. They later used F3's I believe, and there was a special F4 made for a digital back that made 1Mb images I believe on the Shuttle. Both Nikon and Hasselblad used the connection for ads.

Regards, John
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Old 09-05-2008   #28
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Old 09-05-2008   #29
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Quote:
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Story was they stripped out everything they could to cut weight. First one they just picked up at a shop, I understand Hasselblad got involved later and they were using 70mm backs.
And later on they used some Olympus OM's as well. Something to be said for the small size and minimal bulk of that system... Nice glass and relatively low prices unless you get into the fast and wide or big glass.
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Old 09-05-2008   #30
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Quote:
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The last moon landing was in 1972. The Nikon F3 didn't come out until 1980. If I'm not mistaken, most of the pictures on the moon were taken with Hasselblads.
Waist finders are the only choice when wearing this.....
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Old 09-05-2008   #31
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I would have to say an OM-1 or OM-2, a Nikon F, or F2. The former models can be puchased in excellent condition for $200. The later Models can be obtained in good user condition for that price. OM lenses are excellent and much cheaper than Nikon. Many Nikon leneses are Leica quality, so the are more expensive.
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Old 09-05-2008   #32
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F3 prototypes appeared in 1974. Here's a link to the '80s NASA F3 system for the shuttle (or 250), some of these were lost in space as well:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography..._250/index.htm
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Old 09-05-2008   #33
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My present best 'vintage' camera for <$200 are the Konica Autoreflex SLRs 1st model and T3n, and some classic lenses.

Also in the mix are Canon FTb, A1, Contax II, GTN, 14ic, Canon VT De Luxe. All good equipment and standard RFF fare.
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Old 09-05-2008   #34
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Here's another vote for the Minolta Autocord (mine is the meter-less "export model"), as well as the Canon FT/FTb, EF and F1 family in total. FL and FD glass can be outstanding, especially the FD 'L' lenses.

There are so many great vintage rangefinder cameras available today I think a smart shopper can find one tailored to his/her particular needs without much trouble.

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Nasa Nikons
Old 09-05-2008   #35
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Nasa Nikons

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Waist finders are the only choice when wearing this.....
I saw the NASA photo of the black FTN, and though it had the big finder, I could see no linkage for the 55mm lens, though it is generally always a sunny day on the moon.

The shot you posted seems to be a wide angle view as well?

I would think a sports finder might work?

Probably more than $200, but all kinds of Nikons, N90s, can be had with a zoom for under $100, I think I found a F100 in that range.

Petri and Ricoh fixed lens RF's in good working order are often $10-$20 on tables, and if not working, may be put on the "free" table.

And the dial set roll film cameras always seem to work, I found a cheap Bantam and even some 828 roll film on line.

As it is back to school time, Campus Camera sold out of every mechanical camera and was expecting a new shipment in this week.

The week the K1000 is king.

Regards, John
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Old 09-06-2008   #36
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Olympus OM1n's... there's some real bargains out there, if you have a look.
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Old 09-06-2008   #37
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Did we suddenly turn into reflex camera forum?
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Nope... I vote for a steadfast rangefinder....
Old 09-06-2008   #38
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Nope... I vote for a steadfast rangefinder....

Quote:
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Did we suddenly turn into reflex camera forum?
The magnificent Argus C4 (The FLR model - Fixed Lens Rangefinder).

Available in great numbers endlessly on eBay for $10-20. Mostly bulletproof, with a great lens and wonderful image quality. Usually come with a nice leather everready case for that price. Every one I have owned has had a bright viewfinder with a great rangefinder patch, easy to focus (Bofus?)

You haven't truly experienced photography until you have held an Argus C4 with those nice round ends in your mitts.
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Old 09-06-2008   #39
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Did we suddenly turn into reflex camera forum?
Nope - but some top of the line film SLRs are ridiculously inexpensive these days.

Last month - I almost forked out a whopping 50 bucks for a minty Nikon FE2 with two dead batteries and an AIS 50/1.8 at a yard sale. It was tempting.

If I had not just bought a well worn Leica M2 and Summicron for a little over 10 times of what the Nikon with Nikkor was being sold for, there would be an FE2 in my bottom drawer today.
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Old 11-26-2008   #40
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Prices are so arbitrary these days. I've bought cameras for well
under $200 that could have easily sold for more.

If you look you can find decent 4x5 cameras in that range. I even
bought an 8x10 B&J camera recently with lens in decent condition
for $80 at a swap meet. The seller thought it was an enlarger.
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