Recommend me a camera!

I really enjoy taking pictures. I’m not great at it, but I think that my old cheap camera is no longer good enough to serve me well. I was wondering what brands or specific cameras are good ones. I don’t need or want one that can be used with a computer (don’t have one). I’d like something that can zoom in and out well, can take decent pictures at night, and is reasonably priced - under 100 bucks, preferably. But I’m open to any suggestions as to what to look for or avoid or even which camera I might be interested in.

You’re not going to get a good camera for under a hundred bucks. Your basic 35mm SLR starts at around $150, and that usually does not include a lens.

If you decide to go that route, I think the best thing you can get is a simple Nikon or Canon 35mm camera, with a 50mm lens. You may want to look on eBay for a used one, or B&H which has pretty good prices.

think older . I bought one of these in the early 70’s for around $125.00 I think. Sometimes I see them on Ebay for maybe 25 or so, often cheaper. Mine still works like original, and an economy 35 slr (Cannon Rebel for example) is no match for the pictures I can take with it. I will point out that this one was made when cameras were made of metal and it is like carrying a small brick around.

That’s really what I hoped for - I love the older cameras because you can buy the different lenses and have the different capabilities that come with them. It’s almost like having 5 or so different cameras. The problem is - I’m worried about the availability of parts and lenses. I’ll search a few pawn shops, I guess. Thanks!

The camera I recommended doesn’t have interchangeable lens.
I recommend a Minolta SRT for a great, older 35 slr.

I get this question on backpacking forums alot, and my answer there applies here as well, Ive posted this here before, I think, and on numerous disc golf forums too.

ijm incorporated has a Pentax K-1000 new, in the box for $195. It comes with a 24mm wide-angle lens and some B&W film. You’d have to get a zoom lens, but Kalimar makes decent zooms for a low price.

The guy at ijm repaired by Beaulieu 5008.S (which reminds me, I need to pay him!), and I know that he prefers to be contacted by telephone.

I know that the K-1000 does not have a zoom lens and that it’s twice what you want to pay, but it’s a great little camera. A former co-worker had one, and he swore by it. The cool thing is that it’s totally manual with no auto settings. This means that you can actually learn about exposures with it, and that if the battery dies you can still take pictures. (The battery is for the matchstick light meter. If the battery dies then you just use your handheld light meter, if you have one, to get the exposure settings.)

Err, you can buy different lenses for any decent SLR. Last year, I splurged on a “Happy Birthday to Me” gift, and bought myself a Nikon n65, with a very basic zoom lens, case, and a couple of filters. I’m not even a hobby photographer, but in fully automatic mode, the thing takes amazing photos with only a teentsy bit of compositional help on my part.
I think it depends on how much you know about photography, and how much you want to learn. If you really enjoy the process of taking a photograph, and want to do it manually, then an older SLR might be for you. I’m not sure when automatic cameras came about. Mine functions either as a manual camera or fully automatic, which is how I use it. Essentially, a glorified point and shoot with a much better lens and zoom capability. However, I have the freedom to take manual photographs if I want, if I ever decide to learn real photography, which is a distinct probablity one of these days.

Film? or Digital?

Figure out just what you are going to use it for first.

My circa 1935 (first or second model) Retina 35 mm was picked up at a dutch auction about 1955 or sofor $10. It required some minor repairs that made it almost like new operational wise. A bit of cosmetic wear, nothing functional. It has had mnay many rolls of 20 and 36 exp. run through it. Most of the B&&W processed at home. Color at photo services.

I’m considering a Nikon Dimage Z1 for a digital to replace a Sony F?
Just to have something to put images in email and sometime posting.

“Beware of the Cog”

Anyone know anything about the Nikon 150 35mm zoom? It’s supposed to be pretty small and lightweight and runs about $150 with the tripod and case in Herrington’s catalog. I’ve been thinking about it myself.

I swear I read this thread title as “Recommend me a camel!”

Sorry, nothing useful to add.

Older, mechanical SLRs may be heavy but they are cheap, repairable, and faithful. Often their basic 50mm lens is quite good too. The Pentax K-1000 was about the last mechanical SLR offered I believe. It is very good and parts are widely available. I have an ancient Minolta SRT with a buncha lenses. Great camera but too heavy for me to shlep around now, especially with two little kids that never stop moving. Nikkormat is also great. Canon A-1 is wonderful, a friend still uses hers.

Your stated requirements are a little out of synch with your request. Zooming is a lens function and as said above, any decent SLR can be outfitted with a good zoom lens apart from the original camera and its fixed focal length lens.

Decent night shots are more dependent upon the correct application of both flash and film speed. On older non-automatics, that function lies on the knowledge of you the photographer.

Pawn shops are usually way too expensive. Put an ad in the paper two days after Christmas and I am sure you will get lots of calls. Most folks, like me, are ditching all their old good photo gear for digital stuff.

I love the K-1000. I’ve owned mine for almost 20 years now and dragged it through swamps, jungles, deserts, as well as some damn-cold snowy sorts of places. The poor old thing needs some cosmetic repairs now but is still going great. My photos are not all that great (strictly amateur here) but when I occasionally get a good one, I took it.
Tonight I’m going to use it with a flash for some stop-action photographs of things like balloons bursting, glass shattering, and anything else I can think of that makes a noise and happens fast.



Testy: If I was employed, I’d buy the one in the link I posted. I don’t need it, since I have an Olympus OM-1; but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the K-1000, and it would be neat to have.