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10 Classic Cameras Every Photographer Should Try by Michael Ernest Sweet

image via Shutterfinger

There is an argument to be made that photography is not about the camera. This is a valid argument in many respects. However, it can also be argued that a particular camera leaves a distinct fingerprint on the photographs it produces. That is, not all cameras make the same "kind" of photographs. Likewise, not all photographers make the same kind of photographs with the same cameras. There are many variables in the production of a photograph. For our purposes here, I only ask you to recognize the camera as one of these variables. Given this fact, it seems reasonable that any photographer would naturally want to experiment with different equipment - different cameras. You never know, one of these cameras might just become your new best friend.
Here's 10 classic cameras that I suggest every photographer should have some hands-on experience with at some point in their photographic career. From film to digital, from 35mm to medium format, these cameras all provide a distinct user experience leading to the production of characteristically unique photographs.
1) The Nikon FM2N - The FM2 was introduced in 1982 and the N version followed in 1984. This camera is perhaps the most legendary 35mm all-manual film camera in existence. It's rugged, it's versatile, and it's absolutely dependable. The FM2N will work in nearly any weather and has an almost endless line of lenses from Nikon and other makers. If you really want to learn photography, the old fashioned 35mm way, this is the ultimate set-up. Perfect for students and professionals alike. For nearly two decades this camera was slung around the neck of nearly every photojournalist on earth. They are becoming rare now, especially in good shape, but they can still be had easily on ebay. Prices range from $50 for a beat up model to over $600 for a new one.
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