Best 35mm Film Compact P&S - Recommendation

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by goonygoogoo, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    I'm in the market for a reasonably priced (<$500) film compact p&s camera that has manual controls for exposure, f/2.8 lens or better and fixed focal length. Age/vintage doesn't matter so much as long as I can get someone to service the camera if needed. Lens has to be tack sharp wide open. Thanks in advance for the recommendations.

    George
     
  2. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    This may not be the kind of thing you're looking for; but you should be able to get one around your price range, the lenses are sharp and I think you can still get them serviced. (But I'd look into the before buying one, if it's a concern.)
    Contax G series. They use Carl Zeiss T* lenses, have automatic or manual control for exposure, and the 45mm lens is f2.

    I'm sure others here will have suggestions perhaps better suited to the p&s description; I know there are fans here of the XA, but I have no experience with those.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The Oly Stylus Epics and Yashica T4 Supers were probably best of show in their day. Problem now, though, is getting a sick one fixed. I'd suggest looking at something like a Nikon FG with a 50/1.8 E lens. Plentiful, cheap, and way more flexible. The Contax G series, as mentioned above, is also nice but pricey.
     
  4. elekm

    elekm Member

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    There are hardly any modern-day P&S cameras with manual controls. That sort of goes against the idea of a point and shoot.

    The Rollei AFM 35/Fuji Klasse has aperture priority or program autoexposure. Same goes for the Contax TVS.

    And generally, a point and shoot isn't made to be serviced -- just replaced. And most point and shoots have very slow lenses.

    Perhaps, what you want is a compact 35mm camera from the 1970s or earlier. The Rollei 35 has all-manual exposure but is scale focus (guess).

    The Olympus 35 RC has trap-needle autoexposure or full manual exposure.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Manual exposure control on a P&S narrows the choice a lot. Maybe no camera can meet this requirement.

    Firstly I thought of the Minolta TC-1 but that's Aperture Priority not full manual and has a 3.5 lens.The Ricoh GR1 family has the 2.8 lens but again, they're Aperture Priority, as is the Nikon 35TI and the Hexar. There's a bunch of '70s rangefinders that have manual exposure and 2.8 lenses, but they're not point and shoots as they require manual focusing.
     
  6. softshock

    softshock Member

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    The Leica MiniLux has a 40mm 2,4 Summarit and I believe it also has some sort of manual mode.
     
  7. jacarape

    jacarape Member

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    I'd take a look at the various Rollei 35s.
     
  8. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I looked for something like this and the closest I can come to is the Nikon 28Ti and 35Ti.

    [​IMG]

    • The Epic is an inexpensive, pocketable, strictly P&S autofocus with a great 35mm f2.8 lens.
    • The Nikon 35Ti is a feature packed P&S autofocus, aperture priority, limited full manual mode and has a great 35mm f2.8 lens. The 28Ti is the 28mm version. It is shirt pocket size but heavy even though it is titanium. It was a very expensive camera when it was released and is still up there in price.
    • The Pentax MX is a full manual SLR and with a pancake lens is coat pocket size. The exceptional Pentax M lenses are much smaller then all others SLR lenses except for the Olympus OM. Eric at http://www.pentaxs.com/ can service anything Pentax.
    • The Olympus OM set the trend for small size and rugged. Like the MX, it's exceptional OM lenses are smaller then the others as well. The OM2, OM3 and OM4 are all the same size with additional features.
    You might also want to review CameraQuest's Compact RF 35's if you haven't already.
     
  9. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    Paul, thanks for the recommendation. How's the AF on the G series cameras? This certainly has appeal as I hear that 45mm lens is quite sharp.

    George
     
  10. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    Good point Mike. Maybe P&S is not what I really meant to write but small unobtrusive pocketable film camera.

    George
     
  11. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    Thanks Steve. I want AF ability for grabbing quick shots. I was thinking about the Hexar with the 35mm f/2.0 lens but got a recommendation to check out the Contax G series cams. Wish I could try these out before buying but will have to rely on recommendations.

    George
     
  12. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    Thanks for the reply Les. If the pictures are to scale, then I think the max size I'd want to go is the size of the Nikon 35ti. I've owned the Epic and OM-1 in the past so this puts in perspective.

    George
     
  13. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Ricoh GR1 series should be available for that price. It has program and aperture priority. No full manual mode. It does however have a spot meter mode, an exposure compensation dial, and a fixed focus mode that essentially turns of the AF for a fixed distance (you can set this too).

    It's also extremely small. It's roughly the size of the Epic but I feel like it is more compact.
     
  14. DamenS

    DamenS Member

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    Hi George,

    The Nikon 35ti and 28ti sound like the smallest cameras that offer what you are after (they don't have a full Manual mode, but they do have aperture priority and exposure compensation), they are "pocket sized" and reasonably rugged - not to mention the allure of Titanium and that glorious "analogue display" on top. I wouldn't say it is "tack sharp" wide open at f2.8, then again I don't think ANY lenses (maybe just a few exceptions) are "tack sharp") wide open. At f2.8 this lens is pretty darn sharp, but it is best at f5.6. I have a 35ti and am impressed. I also have a Konica Hexar AF, which is the other camera which may meet your criteria. It has an f2.0 lens (a very good lens too - like the Nikon), a full Manual mode and a "silent-mode", however it is a larger compact than the 35ti (not quite pocket sized, so I end up using my Nikon more) and it's maximum shutter speed is 1/250th versus the Nikon's 1/500th (both are Leaf Shutters). The Konica CAN take filters (unlike the Nikon), so you could use a ND filter in bright sunlight, and depending on what you want to use the camera for, having access to filters could be a huge deal !!

    Regards,

    Damen
     
  15. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    As I stated earlier, the 28Ti and 35Ti both have "limited full manual" mode in that you set aperture and shutter speed.

    [​IMG]

    You set the mode to T. You set the aperture as you want and shutter speed is limited to you pressing the shutter to open and then pressing again to close.

    BTW, both aperture and shutter speed determined are indicated in the analog display and in the viewfinder for the latter. This means you know the selections made and you can override. There is also exposure compensation and manual focus override too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2011
  16. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Have you considered a Leica screw mount camera? You can easily get one with a collapsible lens for under $500....

    Otherwise the XA Olympus and Ricoh GR1 series are both excellent - the GR1's have a built in flash. Both are aperture priority, with exposure overide..I've owned both, and both were fun to use and produced great results..

    I've always found manual exposure to be an afterthought on most P&S cameras - even the great Konica Hexar's were not the easiest to use in manual (but were supershap and had reliable AF - I used to have a Rodium one...)..

    Thats why if manual exposure is importand I'd look at an old Leica - fun to use, and very cool too..
     
  17. htimsdj

    htimsdj Advertiser Advertiser

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    I have an Olympus XA and it is really nice. It has aperture priority, and a +1.5 stops button. While it doesn't have auto-focus, it does have a rangefinder, which is quick to use.
     
  18. mabman

    mabman Member

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    The Canon Sure Shot Classic 120 is about the same size as the 35ti (although the flash pops out the side when turned on), and last I checked they tend to be a fair bit cheaper - not sure if you can get them fixed anymore but it's usually cheaper just to buy another one :smile: I haven't owned a 35ti, but the Canon is generally quite well regarded for picture quality, and has a large number of pre-programmed lighting scenarios for calculating proper exposure. Caveats: +/- 1.5 exposure comp., but no manual settings other than flash/red-eye reduction off or on. Also, the focus/zoom motor is a tad noisy - not noticable outside in a public place, but quite noticable in a quiet room.

    It's my go-to camera when I want something small and think I will need a few grab shots. It takes surprisingly nice head or head-and-shoulders portraits as well in either portrait or macro modes - the flash isn't usually garish.
     
  19. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    It's been a while since I shot with it - I bought it for my dad. But from what I recall, the AF was ok, not as fast as the latest batch of bodies and lenses. But fast enough for what my dad would use it for (he's 86). The Ziess T* lens is amazing! I recall being really surprised when I saw my test roll from the camera.
     
  20. mhanc

    mhanc Member

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    Have a look at the Rollei 35 - completely manual, all mechanical and the focus is set by estimation or external rangefinder. Superb results from this little gem.
     
  21. tokengirl

    tokengirl Member

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    Fuji Klasse W (28mm fixed lens) or Klasse S (38mm fixed lens). I have the Klasse W, never leave home without it.

    Aperture Priority or Full Auto exposure modes, has a nice EC dial on the front. Autofocus is quick and accurate, and it has a menu-based manual focus mode.

    I cannot find one single thing about this camera to complain about.
     
  22. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    Thanks to all for the recommendations. I think I've decided to go with a Contax G2 and a 45mm f/2 lens. Will let you know how it's working out in a little bit. Once again, thanks.

    George
     
  23. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Well there goes the first two considerations . . . ;-)

    Nonetheless, the Kyocera licensed Contax looks like an extraordinary system particularly the assessment that their 21mm is less distorted then an SLR's 21mm. I will have to check this system out myself.
     
  24. goonygoogoo

    goonygoogoo Member

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    Hahaha...that's fair. :D

    I just figure that I won't be happy with a camera without manual control so I'll pay a little more than my initial target price. Can't wait to see what you do with the 21mm when you get it.
     
  25. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I realise you've already made up your mind and coming to this thread late, but the Contax G isn't compact. They are the same size as a small SLR -- Olympus OM, Pentax ME, etc -- and noisier. That said, the image quality is great. I recently sold mind because I wasn't using it much, but I never had any problems with quality. The shots matched any other 35mm camera I've used, including Leicas.

    If it was me I'd either go with a Hexar AF: still quite large for a compact, but so great in other ways with the silent advance and a really high quality fast 35mm lens and it does have full manual control. Looking back at some old negs the Hexar negs jumped out at me as, I think, the most consistently high quality of any 35mm I have. Or the Rollei AFM35/Fuji Klasse which I find a super-reliable take-anywhere camera. The metering on mine is the best I've used on a compact, I think, and it's a surprisingly good lens. Aperture priority or program mode only, though, not full manual. I've taken just the AFM on trips before and not been disappointed when I came back. This paris trip was shot with just the AFM: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcg_photo/sets/72157612348971745/