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salish
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PostFri Dec 28, 2001 11:24 am 
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I know this subject has been beaten to death on the old TT board, but I would like to revisit the subject of backpacking cameras. I brought this up today on the Climbers board, too.  I've been in the market for a year or so but still haven't made up my mind on which model(s) to buy. I am thinking I would like to have a nice little P&S for backpacking, and perhaps an SLR for other purposes. My search for the perfect camera has evolved like this: a year ago a coworker showed me his Rollei 35 camera with the Tessar lens and swore by it. I came to find out that a lot of climbers have used this camera. This camera is way too cool for words. In my search for one locally I spoke with a couple of camera guys who said the Rollei was a really fine camera for it's day, but thinks the Olympus XA (with the Rangefinder) is a better camera for my purposes. Light, and a great lens. They are really pretty reasonable on eBay, too. Interestingly, both of these camera guys feel these older Olympus XA's are better than the new Olympus P&S's. Then I found out about the Yashica T4 with the Car Zeiss Tessar lens. This camera has been discontinued by Yashica, but you can still find them. Pricewise, they appear to be somewhere between used Olympus XA's and Rollei 35's. Based on what I've read they may be the ultimate lightweight backpacking camera (because of the lens/aperture). I would really appreciate hearing other peoples thoughts on these cameras.

SLR's: I would like to start playing around with SLRs. I have in my possession at this time a mint condition 1992 vintage Nikon N6006 SLR. This camera is an auto focus, motor drive camera. A buddy who owns this camera never uses it and loaned it to me some time ago. I know it takes pretty good pics. I have to admit, the dials/settings/etc, are not as user friendly as the more modern Canon EOS cameras I've seen.  I don't have the instruction booklet and everything is kind of confusing to me. Anyway, this friend would probably be willing to sell this camera to me for a song. I'm just wondering if I would be better off getting a newer (and lighter by way of polymer frame) Canon EOS "type" camera - one that's a little easier to use. OR……go with an original Pentax K1000 and really learn photography. I know a lot of this involves personal preferences, but I would value other peoples opinions on these cameras.

Thanks,
Salish

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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McPilchuck
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PostFri Dec 28, 2001 5:16 pm 
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Cameras:

Every person who owns a camera has their favorites, but as for me I seek a product that will have little grain distortion when the photo has been enlarged . . . for that bill, the larger the negative the better. My preference is the 2 1/4" neg in 120 film using a Rolleiflex camera. However, I do use a "sweet" 35mm SLR Contax much of the time, especially for closeup work with 55mm Gemko adapters. If I had my choice though, I'd opt for a Hasselblad or perhaps the super model 7 Mamiya for all around work, however both are quite an expense.  As far as weight goes, it matters litlle to me, it's like taking along a jug of wine for those overnight evening sunsets, soemthing you just have to take along...

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in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
www.alpinequest.com
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SteveF
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PostFri Dec 28, 2001 6:47 pm 
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Sounds like you will be using film instead of a digital camera. One of the smallest new cameras I've seen, with a good lens, is the Olympus Stylus Epic (<$100). It's 6 oz with film and battery, and has a 35/2.8 lens. My gripes about the camera mostly about an all-automatic camera. In many conditions it exposes properly and focuses well. But a manual override would sure be nice! The XA has some override capability but not quite enough... now if they made a K1000 that was 6 oz I'd be first in line! I also have a K1000 and it's a good camera but awful heavy -- and doesn't get used. The Epic fits in my shorts pocket and gets used a lot. There are some photos on this web page if you want to see some samples of Fuji 100 speed slides from this year.

Olympus also makes zoom Stylus cameras of similar size/weight, but the lenses are slower and possibly not as sharp, if that matters.

Somebody send me a Leica rangefinder for free please?
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polarbear
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PostFri Dec 28, 2001 8:40 pm 
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Salish,  I have an N6006 camera with the manual.  If you are interested I could possibly copy off some relevant sections of the manual and get them to you.  Let me know.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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salish
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PostSat Dec 29, 2001 9:16 am 
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Gee thanks, Polarbear, that's damned nice of you, but I'll just wait until I can get the booklet from the owner. I even see the complete manuals popping up on eBay. Appreciate your offer, though. By the way, what do you think of the N6006?

McPilchuck & SteveF: thanks for your very helpful advice.

Salish

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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polarbear
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PostSat Dec 29, 2001 9:41 am 
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I like the N6006, though it's really the only camera I've used.  It's a bit heavier than the newer Nikons and doesn't divide the metering area up into as many segements but still does a good job.  I use the program mode quite a bit, so I have to credit any good pictures I take to the camera and not myself  wink.gif  I don't believe you can take multiple exposures with it but I don't think I'd use that feature much anyhow.

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...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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McPilchuck
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PostSat Dec 29, 2001 7:37 pm 
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I just added this link to my site about these cameras, the line is extremely versatile with many adaptations. Here it is for anyones info: http://www.contaxcameras.com

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in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
www.alpinequest.com
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Dec 30, 2001 10:24 am 
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Comon PIL, those babies are BIG bucks.  Granted they are nice, but you could pick up a full or close to full set up of medium format for the price of a Contax 35mm.  These days you cant go wrong with either Nikon, or Cannon.  They have (in my opinion) the absolute best optics going.  I chose Cannon.  I think Cannon are a little less money, and I love their auto focus lens mechanism.  It's way fast and way quiet.
I know Contax use Carl Zeiss lenses, which are probably the best in the world, but they are also why those babies are so expensive...

biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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#19
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PostSun Dec 30, 2001 11:28 am 
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I know this doesn't respond directly to the question Salish asked.  And I know I responded the same way the last time this came up.  But for me, after filling shoe boxes and albums with prints and slides - video has reawakended my interest in "photographing" the outdoors.  It's very challenging making it enjoyable to view due to timing, lighting and movement problems.  But it sure gives the "feel" of being there.
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Jonathan
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PostMon Dec 31, 2001 12:53 am 
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I have the Yashica T4 super and I love it and would not trade it for anything while backpacking.  I did not know anything about this camera when I went looking much like you are now and did my homework, and stuck to my basic needs.  I wanted something simple that took great pictures and was light weight.  The Yashica is less than 8oz with battery and film and is sealed with little o-rings to keep out dust, dirt, and moisture.  My last camera got dunked and does not work properly, so the water resistants is nice.  The only thing I did not get with this camera that I wanted was standard sized batteries, like AA, but it takes the easy to find 3 volt 123 camera battery and since it is lithium it is very light anyway.  I have been using it for two years and the battery indicator is now showing that it needs to be replaced, that pretty good in my book.  The only other draw back is that you can't zoom but from what I understand this type of feature is what degrades the picture quality in most point & shoots.  I have gotten used to just taking what I'm given and in most of my pictures I want as much as I can get, so it works for me.  I wanted to start taking slides when I bought it and the lens made it an easy choice for me.  I have taken some really great shots with this little guy.  I have to hunt it down when I need it because the wife keeps using it over her very expensive camera only because the T4 seems to take better pictures.  If this camera broke or got lost I would not even look at anything else I would buy another one at any cost.

I live in Bothell and bought mine at Kenmore Cameras they have a web site and it shows they have some refurbished ones for $139 much less than what I paid for it.  I may have to get another one, you know just for the wife so she will leave mine alone.

http://www.kcamera.com/
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salish
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PostMon Dec 31, 2001 7:28 am 
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Thanks to all of you for your very informative replies. I think I'll wait and see if I want to purchase this N6006 from my buddy. In the meantime I'll have to make up my mind whether to buy a Olympus XA or Yashica T4. You have all been a great help.
Salish

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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McPilchuck
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PostMon Dec 31, 2001 3:20 pm 
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Backpacker Joe,
You are probably right in saying "big bucks" but the Contax is hard to beat for that money. Cannon is good, too. The one Contax I have has so many adaptations it's incredable, though I haven't bought too many of the additions for it.  To auto focus...call me old fashion but I don't like auto focus.  to me, it takes the fun out of creating a picture like a piece of artwork.  Also, I don't like a camera telling me what the F-stop should be or what shutter opening is correct.  Half the thrill is the experience of the learn...fooling around with things trying different approaches often times creates magnificent pictures, something the "everything auto avenue" lacks in my opinion.

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in the granite high-wild alpine land . . .
www.alpinequest.com
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Newt
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PostMon Dec 31, 2001 5:43 pm 
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I have a K1000 also and think it be a-ok. Of course I'm a Pentax dude all the way. I have 5 different models and have used them since waaaaay back in the 60's with no trouble and have aquired an assortment of lenses along the way.

As far as enlargements go, you can't beat a large format camera but the choice of film can and will make a difference. Also a top quality lens is important whether mfg. or 3rd party. Don't forget that photo processors can make a difference also.

I also use a digital Panasonic SD5000 that has shot around 2500 photos in the last 6 mo. Large images, adjustable with zooms and takes a $7 LS120 floppy that can download via USB.
Someday I may get some images posted like you other folks with such nice!!!! sites.

Hippy New Year to all.
NN smile.gif

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It's pretty safe to say that if we take all of man kinds accumulated knowledge, we still don't know everything. So, I hope you understand why I don't believe you know everything. But then again, maybe you do.
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