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  1. #1
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Digital Photography Question

    Like a lot of people I own a smallish digital camera. It works fine for common usage. However, I've recently developed a stronger interest in photography and have been contemplating buying a more expensive 35mm digital camera with interchangable lenses, etc. My preliminary research indicates that one of these (Nikon, Canon, etc.) is going to cost between $500.00 and $1,000.00. OK, so then here comes the twist. From out of nowhere I am given a set of old school cameras. A Nikon F with three lenses (24mm, 35mm, and 135mm) and a Leica DRP with a 35mm lens, a f=9cm lens, set of filters, a torpedo finder and a set of flash accessories.

    Here's the question: If I sell off the cameras, can I use the old Nikon lenses on the new digital cameras? Or should I just sell off the lot and get the best digital camera I can afford?

    Will anyone even want to buy these cameras? Once they were top of the line (I think) now they're dinosaurs. I know that somewhere out there in the degreeinfo universe there are some photobugs who can help me.
    Last edited by Kizmet; 12-27-2010 at 01:37 PM.

  2. #2
    MISin08 is offline Registered User
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    You can probably use the Nikon lenses on a Nikon DSLR. I shoot Canon but IIRC Nikon uses the same lensmount from old to new. I would expect very little auto-anything features we take for granted today on the lenses. You can likely find a buyer (film has retro-cool cachet these days), though at today's prices there's a case to be made for keeping the Nikon kit to use.

    The Leica you should give to me, however...

    Phillip
    Last edited by MISin08; 12-27-2010 at 01:58 PM.

  3. #3
    MISin08 is offline Registered User
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    ...The Leica could be collectible (and Leica people can be fanatics btw) but need may service to get full value out of it, and you may or may not want to do that. Leicas are either the finest 35mm cameras ever made or overrated show poodles, and a hot forum topic to boot. What else does the camera say on it? You should see "Wetzlar" and possibly "IIc" or "IIIC" -- these would be models. It should have a serial number...this would tell us a lot.

    Phillip

  4. #4
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    The Leica looks almost exactly like this

    Google Image Result for http://www.comollo.com/images08/IMG_2419.jpg

    The lens is slightly different. All other features seem identical. I'm sure you're right, it probably needs to be serviced although I was told that it's completely functional. The camera is marked No. 298917 and the lens is No. 446869. All clearly marker Ernst Leitz Wetzlar.

  5. #5
    MISin08 is offline Registered User
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    Leica IIIA rangefinder from 1938 or so. The lens dates from the same period. This is a fully manual camera that uses 35mm film, focuses using a rangefinder coupled to the lens, and is quiet fast shooter, but takes getting used to if one is coming at it from experience with a modern digital camera. I see ending bids on ebay (eg. end user prices) ranging from $144 to $1000 depending on condition and what else is included. The camera can be functional yet benefit from a "CLA" (Clean Lube Adjust) especially if stored for a while, as the lubricants dry out, dust gets inside, etc. Lenses can get hazy from fungus. On the other hand if the gear was cared for and used, it might need nothing. If you have a camera store in your area that caters to hobbyists (telltale signs: long time in one location, lots of old cameras for sale, they may not sell digital) they should be able to make you a good deal. Alternatively KEH (keh.com) is reputable.

    The Nikon is a classic workhorse pro SLR made from 1980-88 and that's a useful set of lenses. Based on: 35 and 135mm were popular focal lengths in the 70s, I would guesstimate they predate the camera. I see ending bids in the 150-200 range for the body only. KEH again, or re-gifting if you know anyone else just starting out or keep it to use. I was given a similar Canon kit a few years ago and I love it. If you don't see yourself warming up to old cameras you may be able to get a good start on a new digital camera by selling them. I've been looking at the Canon G12, a nice middle step between the camera you started with and a DSLR, and still small and light.

    Phillip

  6. #6
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Thank you Phillip, you've been very helpful.

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