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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 07-17-2018   #41
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Nikonos V.
Or a Nikon F2.
Or a Pentax Spotmatic.
Or a Canon F1.

But if I were going on a 'round-the-world boondocking trip where the possibility of anything was to come up: traveling on a river, rock climbing, rucking through desert, rucking through jungle, diving, swimming, rucking through a city, whatever, I would take a green Nikonos V with the 35mm f/2.5 lens, the 85mm lens and a few sets of spare batteries. Before setting off, I'd take out all the seals, clean the grooves then lube them up with silicone grease as the camera should be before diving. This camera can take anything. The means of focusing is something to get used to but that is easy once you get the hang of it. The 35mm lens is very good and an excellent do-all shooter. Really, if rain, river or seawater is going to be a factor, this is the best option.
Then again, a Nikon F2 can be dropped out of a C-130 traveling over 250mph, auger a foot into the desert floor, be dug out, dusted off and go on shooting.

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Old 07-17-2018   #42
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F2 all the way. Attach some tracks to that thing and invade Russia while you are at it.
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Old 07-17-2018   #43
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They came broken from the factory so you won't have to worry about your kid breaking it.
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Old 07-17-2018   #44
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After years of fettling with canons, Olympus, Pentax, Minolta's, contax, fujifilms, I've come to realise (the hard way) that that toughest film SLRs are the Nikon's.
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Old 07-17-2018   #45
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I really don't think there is a camera built that can stand up to continual abuse. Most of the manual metal mechanical monsters will probably handle it for awhile but there is a reason that pros carry back up cameras. Pros also take care of their equipment since without it they won't be making any money.



Backpacking children are rarely (read never) as careful. They may have every intention to be careful but they probably wont be as motivated as they should be. They will still be able to eat even if their camera dies.



Beach sand is particularly vicious and will tear up lenses and cameras alike, even the fabled Nikons. Beach sand will get into the back pack, the food, the clothes, various bodily orifices and the camera. Don't ask me how I know this...I just do.



The best options in my humble opinion are:
1) Totally weatherproof cameras. Unfortunately they are usually bulky and not very easy to use.

2) Very inexpensive cameras (and lenses) that can easily and quickly be replaced.
3) A smartphone with a topnotch warranty.
4) Disposable film cameras that will be used once and the sent to a lab for film development and prints.


If it were my kid I would try to have small caches of disposable cameras waiting for her/him along the route.
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Old 07-17-2018   #46
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There's a lot of SLR's that are bullet proof. All the Nikkormat models, the Canon F1, Canon FT QL and FT b, Pentax K1000, etc. If I had to pick one it would be a Nikkormat because not only can you shoot it w/ the great H 50 2 lens, it can also take Leica R lenses w/ a $20 adapter. Not too shabby, and the sound of the Nikkormat shutter is really neat.
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Old 07-17-2018   #47
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K1000, but be sure it's the original all-metal version. Even I could not destroy it!
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Old 07-17-2018   #48
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Canon EOS 1v is probably the toughest and best built that I’ve personally ever used. It makes the 6d feel like a toy.
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Old 07-17-2018   #49
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anybody follow the holga/diana path?
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Old 07-17-2018   #50
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Cameras I've actually owned and know to be tough: Nikkormat FTn and FE2. I did break the film advance on one of my FE2s, but that was the only problem I've ever had with it. I would have added the Nikon F except that a built-in meter was stipulated.
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Old 07-18-2018   #51
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Hi,


My vote's for a box of disposables or else few P&S's from charity shops.


A few cameras might survive everything but the real problem is getting to them once they've landed at the bottom of the cliff or been swept over the waterfall into the crocodile infested river...


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Old 07-18-2018   #52
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F2 all the way. Attach some tracks to that thing and invade Russia while you are at it.
Hahaha, excellent suggestion
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Old 07-18-2018   #53
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So far I've seen the Nikons mentioned most and I'm not surprised.

I really thought I had things sorted for daughter w/ regards to cameras. The Chinons I truly love and they are tough as nails so I figured that would be the end of it. But, thing is my daughter's ADD makes it hard for her to keep focused on the wellbeing of her stuff. Daily life often is a constant string of distractions, some days more than others. It's not just cameras that perish, also other equipment like mobile phones and laptops most notably, thank god no laptops are travelling with her currently...

Same time, she loves shooting film and gets real good results that make her happy. But the ADD in the end annihilates every camera so far

The Nikons sure are a good suggestion but recently have grown quite pricy in the Netherlands and EU. Thinking I sorted the camera situation, I sold off my bodies and now only have a few lenses left A fully functional body shouldn't be more than EUR 75 at the moment. I might try an older model Chinon (M42 lenses, I still have a busload of those) or a Spotmatic. The Prakticas are cheap but I have encountered many that cr4pped out over the years.

Getting her on the way with a back-up isn't very practical due to weight and size but I might pack up another camera as a back-up and send it off to wherever she'll be staying. Currently Mallorca mountains, later Croatia and after that Israel until the end of the year so that would have a post address I suppose. Gotta say I miss having her around but she's doing stuff that's important to her so I'll support!


Last but not least, thanks for all your replies!!
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Old 07-18-2018   #54
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FM3a get you the ruggedness and automation, with full mechanical operation in case batteries run out (which has never actually happened to me, and I shoot almost always in auto).

However I actually going the way of ColSebastianMoran for my travel kit on my next trip - the N75 (or N65) + remarkable 28-80G both weigh so little and produce incredible results. It's not flimsy either per se, but certainly no tank and not for hammering in nails or fending off assaults.
The only drawbacks that bother me are inability to set film ISO rating and no metering for vintage lenses.
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Old 07-18-2018   #55
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I'm thinking you're fighting a losing battle. If she doesn't destroy the camera, she'll probably leave it behind someplace while trekking the wilderness. Personally, I would have gone with a Nikon F or F2 but the best solution, in my opinion, is a film (or digital) point and shoot model that you can find cheap. Let her use it and beat the devil out of it, lose it or whatever and then just buy another cheap point and shoot. I have no brand suggestions, any of them should suffice.

By the way, in my time in news photography I've had a Nikon F crap out on me from hard use and I've broken three F2's, two of them unrepairable. The F3 and FM models didn't stand up to daily abuse at all. Even the toughest models can break under the right conditions. Sounds like the right conditions exist here.
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Old 07-18-2018   #56
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Maybe try to find a few fixed lens compact point and shoots. In this scenario, I think the Olympus XA is the best with other XA variants following close behind.
Get her a lot of Ziploc bags to keep the camera/s inside, protected from whatever may make its way into her pack. Also a few dozen feet of 550 cord to make handy lanyards for cameras and other gear. And a pair of medic shears.

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Old 07-18-2018   #57
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There is no such thing as a "built-like-a-tank" camera. Cameras are sensitive and delicate instruments.

They are only lucky owners who happened to abuse them, but not critically damage them.
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Old 07-18-2018   #58
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Professionals cared for their camera outfits!
It placed food on table, roof over their heads,
especially Photojournalist.
Newspaper were very different..
My choices, Pentax Spotmatic (usually no meter working) $10~25.
Nikomat-Nikkormat $15. Pentax K1000,meters usually work.
Nikon-F with 50mm Nikkor f2 $80. All Canadian Dollars.
Look at camera sales, i most major cities.
No camera is a tank, treat with care and enjoy.
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Old 07-18-2018   #59
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I hesitate to say this on the forum but would suggest a phone in a waterproof case, perhaps with an app that replicates camera controls. Alternatively, a ruggedized digital compact.

35mm film and careless users do not work well near water, sand, sun etc..
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Old 07-18-2018   #60
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I hesitate to say this on the forum but would suggest a phone in a waterproof case, perhaps with an app that replicates camera controls. Alternatively, a ruggedized digital compact.

35mm film and careless users do not work well near water, sand, sun etc..
VERY true!

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Old 07-18-2018   #61
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Another vote for Pentax MX . Solid, easy to use, mechanical
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Old 07-18-2018   #62
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Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Maybe try to find a few fixed lens compact point and shoots. In this scenario, I think the Olympus XA is the best with other XA variants following close behind.
Get her a lot of Ziploc bags to keep the camera/s inside, protected from whatever may make its way into her pack. Also a few dozen feet of 550 cord to make handy lanyards for cameras and other gear. And a pair of medic shears.

Phil Forrest
I have owned several different models from the OLY XA series and found their cheapest plain Jane model, the XA 1 is the most rugged and simple to use, perfect for an unobtrusive walk and shoot machine that can be carried in your pocket .

That model is a neat tiny point and shoot machine with a good lens and clam shell protection.
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Old 07-18-2018   #63
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Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
So far I've seen the Nikons mentioned most and I'm not surprised.

I really thought I had things sorted for daughter w/ regards to cameras. The Chinons I truly love and they are tough as nails so I figured that would be the end of it. But, thing is my daughter's ADD makes it hard for her to keep focused on the wellbeing of her stuff. Daily life often is a constant string of distractions, some days more than others. It's not just cameras that perish, also other equipment like mobile phones and laptops most notably, thank god no laptops are travelling with her currently...

Same time, she loves shooting film and gets real good results that make her happy. But the ADD in the end annihilates every camera so far

The Nikons sure are a good suggestion but recently have grown quite pricy in the Netherlands and EU. Thinking I sorted the camera situation, I sold off my bodies and now only have a few lenses left A fully functional body shouldn't be more than EUR 75 at the moment. I might try an older model Chinon (M42 lenses, I still have a busload of those) or a Spotmatic. The Prakticas are cheap but I have encountered many that cr4pped out over the years.

Getting her on the way with a back-up isn't very practical due to weight and size but I might pack up another camera as a back-up and send it off to wherever she'll be staying. Currently Mallorca mountains, later Croatia and after that Israel until the end of the year so that would have a post address I suppose. Gotta say I miss having her around but she's doing stuff that's important to her so I'll support!


Last but not least, thanks for all your replies!!
The additional information kind of changes the playing field. You have a tough problem to solve. When I read your first post I was tempted to recommend a Yashica TL Super. It was my first SLR, from about 1970 in Vietnam. I still have it. I have tried to take care of it and largely succeeded, but it was used a lot and accidents happen. It takes M42 lenses if you want to use yours. The Yashinon lenses are sharp, but not Yashikors. My meter finally gave out. I have a couple of Yashica Electro ITS. Those meters still work, but without a battery they are a door stop whereas the TL Super can still be used. A Fujica ST 801 is also fairly strong and uses M42 as well.

I have an Olympus XA. I like it. I am inclined to think it is not going to stand up to a lot of abuse. And it is not an SLR.

Besides a good condition and working TL Super (as with all used cameras, good luck), the two best suggestions (IMHO) I have seen here are the Spotmatic and the Minolta SR T, probably the 101. Most no longer remember, but there were a fair amount of pros who used them back in the 70's and early 80's.

If it can be other than an SLR (which is of course up to your daughter) some of the suggestions about P&S, especially RF P&S, sounded good. But as you probably know, RF doesn't like to be treated bad.

I wish you luck, and would be interested in what you finally choose.
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Old 07-18-2018   #64
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Question. Does she pay for her gear or do you buy it for her?

Mini-rant here, but when I was 10 and got my first camera, I treasured it.
I took it everywhere. Back packing, camping, cycling etc. Never broke anything.

Fast forward.. remembering how much I loved my first camera I bought my nephew a Fuji Instax. After one week it was literally in pieces. Kid didn't care, parents didn't care. Am I really that old that I am from a generation of people who took care of their stuff?

Rant mode off.
You just came from a time where things were not disposable. Now they are...

And I think economics come into play. I cherished things because they were hard for me or my family to obtain.
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Old 07-18-2018   #65
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You just came from a time where things were not disposable. Now they are...

And I think economics come into play. I cherished things because they were hard for me or my family to obtain.
This generation in USA and Canada... One of my ex-colleagues daughters was recycling cameras. One trip, one broken camera.
And what they all do with laptops...
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Old 07-18-2018   #66
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If backpacking is the norm, I wouldn't suggest an F4. Since they are inexpensive...an Pentax MX or Nikon FM certainly would do the job & can be easily or cheaply replaced...
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Old 07-18-2018   #67
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The Olympus XA is a RF and not designed for the rough and tough.


OTOH, the XA2 is good and dirt cheap and so is the XA1 but both have foibles...


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Old 07-18-2018   #68
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I'd go with the cheap P&S recommendation on this one. The Canon Sure Shot "Owl" I dismantled recently to make an aux VF out of was so full of plastic it'll probably just bounce if dropped from most reasonable distances. And it has such a bright, crisp and BIG viewfinder it made me sad to dismantle it without running some film through it first.
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Old 07-18-2018   #69
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I'd go with the cheap P&S recommendation on this one. The Canon Sure Shot "Owl" I dismantled recently to make an aux VF out of was so full of plastic it'll probably just bounce if dropped from most reasonable distances. And it has such a bright, crisp and BIG viewfinder it made me sad to dismantle it without running some film through it first.
The Owl is a great kid's camera. I've used one as a beach camera for years but I've never outright dropped it in the sand or water.
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Old 07-18-2018   #70
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I am reminded of this one too. I (think I) posted this in another thread here. (It may have been on one of those OTHER systems.)

The Mamiya 1000 DTL (below on the right) is one I've been playing with lately. It's all metal, heavy and rugged. It has a feel like you could hammer nails with it. It's very "Spotmatic-ish" in operation. The only kind of quirk that I took getting used to is that you don't pull the rewind crank out to open the back, you use a separate tab on the end, kind of like with the Mamiya RF.

The thing is, people are giving these away, literally! You just have to be in the right place at the right time. The one I ended up with is immaculate and pristine and so far performs well. All of the usual M42 type lenses work with it and those are available for one song and one dance, or maybe less!

Something like this would be more of a "real camera" than those semi-disposable P&S ones you've been talking about. This one feels like it could take some banging, but should one get damaged they are very easy to come by for almost nothing.

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Old 07-18-2018   #71
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. . . The only kind of quirk that I took getting used to is that you don't pull the rewind crank out to open the back, you use a separate tab on the end. . .
As God intended!

And as you say, you can be GIVEN these things.

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Old 07-18-2018   #72
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I'm thinking you're fighting a losing battle. If she doesn't destroy the camera, she'll probably leave it behind someplace while trekking the wilderness. Personally, I would have gone with a Nikon F or F2 but the best solution, in my opinion, is a film (or digital) point and shoot model that you can find cheap. Let her use it and beat the devil out of it, lose it or whatever and then just buy another cheap point and shoot. I have no brand suggestions, any of them should suffice.

By the way, in my time in news photography I've had a Nikon F crap out on me from hard use and I've broken three F2's, two of them unrepairable. The F3 and FM models didn't stand up to daily abuse at all. Even the toughest models can break under the right conditions. Sounds like the right conditions exist here.
I agree on the right conditions bit but she's not indifferent to her cameras and feels genuinely bad when one craps out. Forgetting to take it with her or simply just leave it behind isn't her at all.

Digital is no option, this art school graduate shoots film by choice
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Old 07-18-2018   #73
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75 $ can get you five Zenit Es with their excellent Helios lenses. She doesn't have to feel bad anymore
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Old 07-18-2018   #74
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@DMR, thanks for the tip on the Mamiya SLR, that's a good candidate too indeed!
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Old 07-18-2018   #75
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For backpacking, i'd get an FM2 or FE2. Small-ish, not so heavy, but are quality and fun to use. Ai lenses aren't that expensive too.
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Old 07-18-2018   #76
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As God intended!


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And as you say, you can be GIVEN these things.
It AMAZES me how much in the way of very good camera equipment is now free for the asking or free for the taking. Anymore it seems like thrift shops and yard sales are the expensive way to go, let alone That Auction Site.

Over the past few years I have turned down far more stuff than I have accepted. If the word gets out in your circles that you are into old cameras, you WILL get people offering them to you. Many will be true junk, like Instamatics and nondescript P&S and early quirky digitals and such. However, there are some that are in great shape and well worth taking, such as the Yashica model D and the Mamiya 1000 SLR.

You won't be able to be very choosy, but there are some great freebees out there if you are not too particular.

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@DMR, thanks for the tip on the Mamiya SLR, that's a good candidate too indeed!
Another one I just thought of, which I do not have, but I knew several who used them decades ago.

This is the Ricoh Singlex. We jokingly called this the "Poor Kid's Spotmatic" as it sold for a good amount less than the Spotmatic and performed about the same. IIRC it was larger and heavier than the Spotmatic, kinda like the Mamiya SLR. Think of a Spotmatic (or Mamiya) with the shutter speed dial on the front of the camera instead of the top.

My hunch is that these are available very cheaply and again, if it gets damaged, another is just around the corner.
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Old 07-18-2018   #77
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I’m a Nikon guy and I recommend the FM2N. If I were to take a 35mm SLR backpacking, that would be my choice. Extremely tough and reliable and also lightweight. You need to use the older lenses which is a plus - you want to be able to focus yourself and not rely on power to focus your lens. The older AIS lenses are pretty compact and bombproof.
I'm surprised we got this far into the thread before someone mentioned the FM2. Tough(er) than old boots, built like a tank and ready to go. Takes great pics too, which is a plus.
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Old 07-18-2018   #78
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The FM2 is a great camera, but it is not as robust as an F2 or F. From a practical point of view, the FE2 or FM2 are among the very best cameras.
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Old 07-18-2018   #79
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstep3 View Post
I'm surprised we got this far into the thread before someone mentioned the FM2. Tough(er) than old boots, built like a tank and ready to go. Takes great pics too, which is a plus.
I've got one. And it is a very very nice camera. But it is not built like a tank or tougher than old boots. Nikkormats, Fs etc are built sturdier.
But they all will break if you put your mind to it.
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Old 07-19-2018   #80
Ste_S
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For an SLR, another vote for a Nikkormat. They're cheap, mechanical and can also be used as a self defence aid.

Otherwise, I'd recommend an Olympus Trip 35. Cheap, compact and as long as the cell is still working not a lot can go wrong
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