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Question - Best fully Manual 35mm SLR ever?

Michael Sample , Mar 01, 2008; 09:56 a.m.

This is likely going to be a controversial (or at the least, subjective) question, but:

- What is considered to be the best 35mm SLR which is fully manual? Some criteria may include (but are not limited to) ease of use, functionality, practicality, construction, versatility, etc.

The context of this question is not so much "What is YOUR favourite 35mm SLR" but rather, what is historically held to be the best manual 35mm.


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Paul Jones , Mar 01, 2008; 10:03 a.m.

Nikon F

Bob Sunley , Mar 01, 2008; 10:35 a.m.

I agree, but Paul, you do have to include the F2 as well. :)

James Dainis , Mar 01, 2008; 10:40 a.m.

It is still just a matter of opinon. Who is historically held to be the best boxer of all time? Aside from the standard settings for shutter speed, aperture, and ASA (ISO) I suppose it should also include DOF preview, mirror lock up and, of course, through the lens metering.

Clay L , Mar 01, 2008; 10:40 a.m.

I vote Nikon F2AS. /Clay

Lex Jenkins , Mar 01, 2008; 10:48 a.m.

Since I started out as a Canonite, I'd lean toward the F1.

But as I'm now a Nikonista, yeh, the F2.

And as a former Olympian, gotta love the OM-1N, improved just enough over the OM-1 to make it a classic.

Tossup between 'em.

Paul Jones , Mar 01, 2008; 10:49 a.m.

Well Bob, you have a point but Michael is only allowing one choice and that would be the F. The Granddaddy. The seminal force behind the SLR transition. The camera, from the gate, that set the standard for all that would follow. The camera that shoved rangefinders into the shadows. The camera of photographic history. Damn that F.

Arthur Plumpton , Mar 01, 2008; 10:51 a.m.

How about the OM-3 or 2 (Cannot remember which was manual)? Revolutionary in its small size and capabilities. Like Nikon, you had to choose your lenses carefully, not all of equal performance. For impact alone, the Pentax K-1000 can get some votes as a great learner's (student's) manual SLR camera that contribute a lot to the advancement of photography.

Lex Jenkins , Mar 01, 2008; 11:05 a.m.

The OM-3 was all manual and way overpriced for what you got. Beautiful thing, just too precious. The OM-2-series and OM-4's had great features, but weren't technically all manual, tho' some of the series could function without batteries.

Michael Ging , Mar 01, 2008; 11:16 a.m.

Nikon F2, the back that does not have to be taken off is the only thing that gives it a edge over the F.

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