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Hi-end classic SLR with a 40. Pretty much unlimited budget. What are my options?
Old 5 Days Ago   #1
svinao
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Hi-end classic SLR with a 40. Pretty much unlimited budget. What are my options?

Hello, I'm a very long time lurker of the UnRF section, and this is my first post.

I have recently sold a lot of digital gear in a pursuit to go back to basics.

I really like experience of shooting with classic SLRs – my first camera was a Zenit, after I had various older consumer-grade cameras from Japan, but eventually I got tired of them very quickly – unreliable metering, problems with electronics, bodies dying on me – meters, shutter speed problems, underexposed rolls, you know the gist, Zenit's mechanics just jammed eventually and it was not worth salvaging.

So I went digital, and still have two cameras and a large collection of vintage manual SLR glass. Over the years I've realized my go-to focal length is 40-45mm. 50s feel quite good as well, but already start feeling too tight. 40 is where it's at for me.

So I've decided to treat myself and get myself a hi-end camera with a 40-45mm lens. I know hi-end means hi-budget, but I have the funds from recent sales and consider buying film cameras a good investment.

Anyway, I'm more familiar with certain brands and less familiar with others, so here's my list, the cameras I'm researching, please feel free to anything I might have missed.

Olympus om-3 ti with a 40/2 Zuiko – I like that it's small, I like it has aperture priority. Visually it's stunning, and that's very important to me, I want to enjoy it, if it's gonna be my only film camera.

Contax S2b with a 45 2.8 Sonnar – No aperture priority is kinda weird for such a price point, but it's all mechanical and has 1/4000th.

Some small premium Nikon body with a 45/2.8 nikon pancake. I am not very familiar with Nikon bodies at all, I think FM2N is close to Olympus and Contax, but would appreciate the suggestions.

Nikon body with a Voigtlander Ultron. I know Ultron has a cult-like following, but again, not sure which body to pair it with.

Pentax Limited 43/1.9 paired to some small pentax body. Again, I have no idea about Pentax bodies at all right now, I know LX is supposed to be great, so maybe that. Pentax also has a 40/2.8

Konica Hexanon 40/1,8 with some Konica body. I did not do any research on the bodies yet.

Essentially I am looking for a premium body with higher build quality/reliability then my old SLRs from 70s, somewhat of a classic feel, small is preferable, and a 40-45 lens I could attach to it to be my daily driver.

I would appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
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F2 Titan and the Ultron!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #3
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Om 3 ti or The Contax with 40mm Tessar lens. I think the Olympus is the better build camera but the Tessar is the better lens.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #4
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FM3a and Ultron. The ultimate Nikon manual camera and the Ultron is a gem. Forget the Nikon 45mm f2.8, like the Contax it's a Tessar and needs to be stopped down.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
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I would choose the Nikon FM3a and the Ultron.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6
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Yes, go with the Ultron...but there are several varieties with the same great optics; the latest will focus to 0.25m without a closeup lens and has electrical contacts if you want to use it on a digital body eventually: SL II S. It's not a pancake, although not large. Chrome nose or black:



The SL II N has the electrical contacts and is a 'pancake' that focuses to 0.45m (or 0.25m with the closeup lens.)



For a Nikon body, FM3a.

My close second in terms of lenses is the 45/2.8 Tessar in C/Y mount; for a hi-end Contax body, RTS II or RTS III? Although I prefer the smaller/lighter bodies, like the 159MM (same size as the little 139 but has 1/4000 instead of 1/1000.)

No experience with the other options you mentioned, but I'd skip the Nikkor 45mm lenses, the Tessar and the Ultron are far superior.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #7
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How about one of these?

Minolta XD7 by F4ronnie, on Flickr

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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
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I'm probably going to make a lot of enemies, but here are my very subjective personal impressions of your options:

Oly OM3ti: Only handled one, but compared to other SLRs I'm used to (Pentaxes, Nikons, Canons etc.) it didn't feel as robust and gives off a "thin" feeling, which is how I feel about Olympus SLRs in general. If you really prioritize weight this could be a good option.

Contax S2b: A really beautiful shell around the mechanics of a low end Cosina. Apparently can develop film advance problems.

Nikon FM2n: Nice choice, but if you're wanting the highest end and most fully featured compact Nikon then it has to be the FM3a. I love the FM/FE series, they're not too big and feel fantastic in hand.

Pentax LX: Cool but I hear (and I could be wrong) that they were designed for regular servicing. If you're considering the LX then it might also be worth looking at the MX, which I really like.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9
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Everything is pro grade after Zenit .
Don't know which junk you were buying from Japan. I have EOS300 and it just keeps on working for twenty years now. They have rechargeable batteries for it on eBay now.
Canon makes 40 2.8 EF.
I don't think older Olympus and Contax will lasts in real use.
I have three Nikon F mount bodies. F2, which I less impressed with. Nikkormat which is how Zenit must be made. And tiny EM, which is awesome camera for those who prefers results instead of owner of pro camera status.

If I would be after another SLR, I'll get FM3A and one of the 40mm lens available for this mount.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #10
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I'd think about your preferred shooting experience, and particularly whether autoexposure capabilities are important. Also the weight and size of the camera body. If weight and size are not limiting factors, and autoexposure is also not needed, Nikon F2's are extremely durable and by changing prisms you can have metering interfaces that are either lights or moving needles, which can be useful for different kinds of shooting. Also, there is an incredibly wide range and number of used lenses if you decide to go beyond 40mm.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svinao View Post
Nikon body with a Voigtlander Ultron. I know Ultron has a cult-like following, but again, not sure which body to pair it with.
I have both the Nikon FM3A & Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SLII for sale in the classifieds if you're interested.

If you're unfamiliar, the FM3A was arguably Nikon's last great mechanical SLR before they fully transitioned to autofocus / auto rewind camera bodies.

You can operate it as a fully mechanical camera with speeds up to 1/4000th, as well as aperture priority if that's your preferred way of shooting.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trianbampol View Post
I have both the Nikon FM3A & Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SLII for sale in the classifieds if you're interested.

If you're unfamiliar, the FM3A was arguably Nikon's last great mechanical SLR before they fully transitioned to autofocus / auto rewind camera bodies.

You can operate it as a fully mechanical camera with speeds up to 1/4000th, as well as aperture priority if that's your preferred way of shooting.
If I would have sufficient money for it, I'll get it right away! But my gear is sitting unsold.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #13
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A small package:
Quote:
Originally Posted by svinao View Post
Pentax Limited 43/1.9 paired to some small pentax body. Again, I have no idea about Pentax bodies at all right now, I know LX is supposed to be great, so maybe that. Pentax also has a 40/2.8
Can you get a clean LX? The 43mm 1.9 lens is top class.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #14
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If budget is no concern, buy what’s in the classifieds listed above! I personally don’t own the combo but I have the canon version of the 40mm Ultron and it’s just beautiful to use and the images are quite good. As for bodies...I LOVE my nikon F3 but my FM2n is much smaller, lighter, and operates to 1/4000 mechanically. Plus the Led metering is more like shooting an M6 than the F3 which is more difficult to see. . I have to imagine the FM3a would be EXACTLY what you are looking for. Good luck!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #15
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Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SL-II in Nikon mount... Aspherical Full-Frame AI-P and one of the compatible Nikon SLRs
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Old 5 Days Ago   #16
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I have my early Nikon F plain prism already, I'd pair it with the Ultron 40mm. If I didn't have this body, I'll look for a good, clean, late series FM2n or an F3 with hp finder.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #17
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Once had a OM2 with the Zuiko 40/2 and the Ultron SL I in OM mount (waited 3 full years on the 'bay for one). Both pretty good, Zuiko is lighter & smaller and the Ultron optically finer and much better built.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #18
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If you're gonna do it, do it right:



This is a very sweet set up, my other choice is the Leica R9 which I think is the best manual focus 35mm sir ever made (and I've gone through a lot..) but it is not available with a 40mm lens.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #19
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Works well with all sorts of lenses...




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Old 5 Days Ago   #20
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If you want a small, classic, daily camera for every day shots then the olympus would be my choice. Get a om2n and the 40mm to try and if you don't like the size and feel don't buy the om3ti.

The Nikon glass is better and the classic Nikons are super cool.

I've had a Nikon FM2 and various olympus OM's, the OM's I prefer but it's just me personally.

On a side note a Konica Hexar RF would be great, all automatic and then your lens options would open up. Obviously not a SLR.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #21
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A correction for the OP: the Olympus OM-3Ti does not have aperture priority. It is a fully manual camera, just like the OM-1. The OM-4T and OM-2 have aperture priority.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #22
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Pentax made a nice, neat 40mm f/2.8 lens but that was a long long time ago. It makes a neat package with any of the "super" K mount bodies.


Look here:- https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensrev...kake-Lens.html



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Old 5 Days Ago   #23
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It really depends on how you define hi-end and premium body. Is it just high price? Brand value based? Hi hype? Or just quality? Those do not necessarily correlate. Some cameras are very expensive because they are very rare, but it does not mean what they deliver is much better (or better at all) compared to much cheaper options. Some are expensive because of brand loyalty that creates values perception. If you are thinking of 40mm and this will be your only combo (no plans to add more lenses) then you have many choices in different systems. But do you have any requirements what those bodies have to deliver in terms of ergonomics, metering options, automation, max/min shutter speeds? Is appearance important? Too many unknowns to give an advice. You mentioned Konica 40/1.8. It’s a nice lens, you can try to find Autoreflex half/full frame camera. Very unique and truly classic.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBG View Post
If you want a small, classic, daily camera for every day shots then the olympus would be my choice. Get a om2n and the 40mm to try and if you don't like the size and feel don't buy the om3ti.

The Nikon glass is better and the classic Nikons are super cool.

I've had a Nikon FM2 and various olympus OM's, the OM's I prefer but it's just me personally.

On a side note a Konica Hexar RF would be great, all automatic and then your lens options would open up. Obviously not a SLR.
The Ultron in OM mount is a rare lens indeed, but awesome. Unless you really need a spot meter, I'd look for an OM1.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #25
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Pentax MX with SMC Pentax-FA 43/1.9 Ltd. by Colton Allen, on Flickr
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Old 5 Days Ago   #26
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My god! That! But only in that condition...
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Old 5 Days Ago   #27
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Another vote for the CV 40 Ultron. I use mine on my FM3a and F2:

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Old 5 Days Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trianbampol View Post
I have both the Nikon FM3A & Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SLII for sale in the classifieds if you're interested.
I would have bought that 40 if it were the later chipped version. Good luck with your sale!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #29
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A Konica Auto-Reflex T3 with a 40/1.8 is really hard to beat. Super low cost too, in comparison with other brands. And they are absolutely first rate cameras and lenses.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #30
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Quote:
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My god! That! But only in that condition...
I have a beautiful MX, but my Pentax-L lens is in LTM.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
My god! That! But only in that condition...
Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I have a beautiful MX, but my Pentax-L lens is in LTM.
That was probably the cleanest/nicest chrome MX I've ever run across
The k-mount 43/1.9 is an autofocus lens, but it handles quite nicely on the MX, the biggest downside being the narrow focus ring.
Raid, compared to the LTM version , the k-mount 43 Limited is a bargain. You should get one
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Old 5 Days Ago   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
FM3a and Ultron. The ultimate Nikon manual camera and the Ultron is a gem. Forget the Nikon 45mm f2.8, like the Contax it's a Tessar and needs to be stopped down.
Totally agree, but as FM3a's have skyrocketed in price, FM, FM2n, FE or FE2 will pair great with the CV 40mm, which is an awesome lens. Good ones can had on eBay for $300 or so.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #33
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What a beauty and a great pair!!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Totally agree, but as FM3a's have skyrocketed in price, FM, FM2n, FE or FE2 will pair great with the CV 40mm, which is an awesome lens. Good ones can had on eBay for $300 or so.
So true. I should have bought one two years ago but ummed and aahed a bit too long.

My day will come though!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #35
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Older CV Ultron

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Old 5 Days Ago   #36
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A newer Ultron

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Old 5 Days Ago   #37
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Quote:
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That was probably the cleanest/nicest chrome MX I've ever run across
The k-mount 43/1.9 is an autofocus lens, but it handles quite nicely on the MX, the biggest downside being the narrow focus ring.
Raid, compared to the LTM version , the k-mount 43 Limited is a bargain. You should get one
I have several Pentax camera bodies, so getting a 43mm 1.9 in M42 is a great idea!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #38
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There are many versions of the CV Ultron 40/2 (I count 5), but they all use same optics.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #39
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I really like my MX w/ 40 but no way this lump qualifies as "high end" as required by the OP! He's looking to dump cash into the economy folks! Not save pennies on on gear that still can make fantastic images!
Let's help him save the economy! Nothing under $750!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #40
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For completeness: the earliest version of the 40mm C/V Ultron was also offered in Pentax K mount.

And although it's probably not what you have in mind, since it's not compact and not manual-focus, I'll mention the Canon EOS-1, 1N or 1V, paired with the EF 40/2.8 pancake lens - biggish but rugged body, tiny lens. That EF 40 is a fine lens by any standard and a steal at its very low price.

If you are willing to put up with a less rugged body with a more plasticky feel, one of the Canon Elan bodies with the 40 would make a compact, inexpensive, but very capable camera. And one of the Rebel bodies with the 40 would feel ultra-cheap, but would be very small indeed.

EDIT: For context, I'll add that I also have the 40/2.8 Pentax-M with MX and LX bodies. The Pentax-M 40 on an MX makes for a delightfully small combination, but the Canon EF 40 is much superior optically.
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