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Thread: What is the best?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    What is the best?

    What is the best lens and/or camera you had for the technology of the day?

    No so much the most expensive but what worked for you. What did you have affinity for and just worked?

    For me my Contax T3 (circa 2001) is probably the winner, I want to say the GR but the T3 was small for a 35mm, went literally everywhere with me, it took my most favorite image that I ever made (subject for another day), and every time I looked at an image from it I was near emotional about the rendering of that Sonnar lens. Beautiful bokeh when it surfaced.

    I had a high rate of keepers with that camera/lens.



    What is your best?

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    No doubt about it my IQ180
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    Re: What is the best?

    I've had the privilege to own lots of great gear. I'll always have a soft spot though for the Nikon F3HP and the 300 f4.5 IF-ED. That was a great lens. You'd never say it had natural colour rendition but it did a beautiful job and you always wanted to see more of it.

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    Senior Member Lucille's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Sony Rx1.
    the HepKitty

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
    Sony Rx1.
    I thought you may say that one Lucille. Thanks for not disappointing.
    I intend to get either a RX1 or RX1r and see if that can pip the Contax.

    I can't afford/justify the RX2 right now. I am sure the RX1 will be a lot of camera.
    I am trawling though and drooling over the RX1 images thread on FM.
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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    What is your best?
    Nikon FTn with the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 lens. Loved that camera.
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    Re: What is the best?

    I'd struggle to decide between the Ricoh GR and Pentax 645Z. Both have left me wanting nothing more.

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    Re: What is the best?

    Contax T3 and Deardorff V8, thats all I need for the rest of my life.

    Yogi

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    Super Duper
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    Re: What is the best?

    Personally, I'd like to see a bit more as to "why?" a certain personal preference was deemed best for someone.

    Like others I've had the privilege of owning/using a number of wonderful tools over the past 40 years. Selecting which is best is a little like choosing which of my children is favored over the others

    The camera that probably had the most creative impact on my personal work was the Leica Rangefinder ... with the original M6 being the favorite (even over my previous M4 because it added an in-camera meter). The rangefinder freed me of the distractions of a SLR, and promoted more concentration on "content" over what a image may look like.

    Without a doubt, it was the various versions of the M35/1.4 lens that was, and remains, the most favored optic.

    Today, the Leica M Monochrome and M35/1.4 ASPH continues that relationship, and is my current "best for me" gear choice (if forced to choose).

    - Marc
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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    I don't understand why all the comments about the Contax T3 Now my Contax T was a fantastic camera, small, beautiful lens, somewhat pocket-able. However I must say my recent experience with the RX1 might be leading me to claim that as the one. Small (not really pocket-able but...) very sharp lens. Photos have great 3D pop and micro contrast.

    Jim
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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I don't understand why all the comments about the Contax T3 Now my Contax T was a fantastic camera, small, beautiful lens, somewhat pocket-able. However I must say my recent experience with the RX1 might be leading me to claim that as the one. Small (not really pocket-able but...) very sharp lens. Photos have great 3D pop and micro contrast.

    Jim

    Jim,
    it was more about how good the camera was at the time, compared to other devices you used put in the context of "at the time"
    There is not really a right answer more just a bit of banter and about the affinity you had for a instument.
    I had a T2 earlier but somehow the T3 got used more, I admit that may just be because of circumstance.

    Like you I think the RX1 may be a tool that will pip the T3 for me. I am hunting either a RX1 or RX1r down and will give it a good go.

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Tim,

    I was only kidding about the quality of the T3. I am sure it was a great camera. I fell in love with the original Contax T I purchased long ago and kept for a very long time as my go to camera for a lot of things.

    The Rx1 is quite good as many here can attest to. I recently bought mine used and I am very impressed with its quality.

    Jim
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    There are three, actually:

    The OM-1, which was my main camera for thirty years. Can't be bad then. It's simplicity, the diminutive size, relative ease of use (as long as I could see that black, little needle on the left in the viewfinder). A sweet camera.

    The F6, which I own, but use far too little due to time constraints. If it had been digital, it would probably have been my only camera.

    The Contax N-1, that I chose to buy over the F6 back in 2004, but pulled back last minute when I realised that there was no way getting around digital. In many ways, the N-1 was the ultimate SLR for its time, with the right feature set, excellent ergonomics and fantastic looks. It was a sad day when Kyocera pulled out of photography and shelved the N-series.

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Leica M8 would be a biggie for me! At the time, there was nothing else so small with so large a sensor: The Sigma DP-series cameras, Micro 4/3rds, Sony NEX, all at least a couple of years in the future. Oh boy talk about beta-quality: The infrared contamination, the odd sensor lines, awful auto white balance (greatly improved by later firmware update), factory-installed sensor dust and so on. But it was real, and I think nothing short of smoke + flames could've pried it from my grasp.

    In the days of film, the Fujifilm GA645zi would be another milestone: Maybe the most advanced medium format film camera ever yet with the lens retracted, it was also easy to stow.

    Today, I think the Ricoh GR still deserves mention not just as the smallest and lightest APS-C camera, but also the thinnest.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Best at the time? Definitely my Canon A5 digital compact, purchased in November 1998. XGA resolution, it came with an 8 MB CF card (which I still have), I added two 24 MB cards to the kit. Great little travel companion, not much else like it on the market at the time.

    F5, of course.

    Large format... nothing there was ever cutting edge, was it? Just incremental improvements.

    Oh, and my Burzynski ball head. It's great for scaring off little children.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    For me it was:

    Contax G2 - AF in a rangefinder with parallax corrected viewfinder and those oh so nice lenses, even the bulbous 16mm and the pseudo zoom.

    Ricoh GR1v & GR21 - game changers at the time. Snap mode was like having a Leica version of a Kodak box camera with super quality. No focus required since it was hyper focal in that mode. Laterally point & shoot.

    Canon EOS-3 - almost perfect film DSLR until I got my F6.

    Hasselblad Xpan II - the only true panoramic 35mm rangefinder camera in my book plus you can shot regular frames too with the auto reframing in the body. I've had 2x Xpans and still have my full Xpan II 30,45,90 outfit!

    Mamiya 7II - for me the best MF rangefinder I ever owned with its superb lenses. Had three, and I'll probably get another at some time.

    Nikon D1 - my first digital system and why I left Canon. I didn't like the D30 so did a system change. Horrible IR contamination but I still have some 16x20 prints from those 2.74mp sensors.

    Kodak DCS645M & Mamiya AFD - hated to leave my Mamiya 645 Pro and manual focus lenses but my first grown up medium format system. All 16mp bucket sized pixels in a 4K X 4K crop. Again, I still have nice prints from that camera and in fact my largest ever print for a friend was from it (40" X 40") and looks superb on canvas.

    And then there's the new stuff ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: What is the best?

    XPan11 set on pano mode loaded with some Kodachrome or TriX - most natural how I see the word viewpoint - by far and away the greatest keeper ratio I've ever been able to accomplish with any camera system.
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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    The Plaubel Makinas, I've bought and sold them many times. I also really loved the Nikon F2AS with the whole mechanical aperture set up.

    Joel

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post

    Mamiya 7II - for me the best MF rangefinder I ever owned with its superb lenses. Had three, and I'll probably get another at some time.
    I regretted not getting the Mamiya 6 with the three lenses.
    I've seen that kit pack away into a small space.

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    Re: What is the best?

    Back in the '60's I had a Contax III. Also a Nikon F and a Hassleblad 500 C and a Cambo. In the '80's I had a Bronica (a workhorse and never jammed) In this century Nikon d700 and a d800E and the Fuji XT1. But I believe that there would have been lots of alternatives that would have served me just as well.

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