Compact 35mm slr with AF?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Gerry M, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    I'm looking for a compact 35mm, full frame slr with auto focus. Comparable to OM-? bodies. Was there anything like this ever made? My vision is making it very difficult to use manual focus. I have an F100, but would like something considerably smaller. N80 seems too large. Rangefinder's won't work for me either. I've tried Bessa R2 & R2a. Not interested in P&S or Hexar AF. Any input is appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Gerry
     
  2. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Pentax MZ-S or *ist were the smallest I have tried.

    Minolta/Dynax 7 s another I found very small.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The entry-level Nikon AF bodies like the F55 were smallish and very light. Giveaway-priced now. Worth a look?
     
  4. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Gerry;

    An alternate method to consider might be finding a Vivitar or Tamron Auto Focusing lens with a Nikon Mount to go onto one of your existing cameras. If you prefer another camera instead of the F100, the Tamron Adaptall-2 mounts will allow the Tamron Type 47A to go onto about 20 or so different camera mounts. The Ponder and Best guys had Vivitar lenses made for most cameras from the 1960s to the 1980s. The Vivitar AF lenses are not common, but they are out there. I have about 4 different Vivitar AF versions. No, they are not as fast at focusing as the modern DSLR AF lenses in low light, but if you can give them a little more time, they will get there.

    I agree that this idea may not be for a small and lighter camera, but you will be using a camera you already have, you already know and are familiar with using, and the greater mass does help with holding the camera still when you take the photograph.

    With one of my Minolta X-700 cameras set in "P" or Program mode, and the Tamron Type 47A zoom lens and an MD-1 Motor Drive on it, it is a really neat P&S 35mm film camera.

    Yes, having eyes that have developed an excessive accumulation of years does make AF capability much more attractive.
     
  5. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Nikon N75. Small, light, uses most modern features. Controls are a bit unique, but not bad, can get used to them. This isn't a professional build camera, but it seems sturdy enough and isn't all that old.

    I like mine when I want light auto-focus.
     
  6. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 5. About as small as you can make an AF SLR (too small for me to hold properly), plus it has all the modern features like wireless high-speed-sync flash and supports SSM/HSM lenses.

    (A 7 is not small! It's twice the size of a 5)
     
  8. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Thanks to all for your input. I'm wondering if there is/was a higher end, compact AF body. ??? Maybe have to forgo the slr and consider a Contax G2?
     
  9. DaveO

    DaveO Member

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    If you could forgo the AF, the Rollei 35S with Sonnar lens was one of the smallest film cameras. It is a focus that is an estimate though.

    DaveO
     
  10. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    My Pentax PZ-20/Z-20 is only slightly larger than an ME Super. The ME Super was one of the smaller non-AF Pentax SLRs, as I recall. Next to the ME Super, the K-1000 and the LX were huge. The PZ-20/Z-20 is an AF SLR.
     
  11. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Minolta MAXXUM 5. Its actually packed with features. I wish its in black though, one day I might paint mine.
     
  12. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    DaveO,
    Just sold my Rollei 35. Want/need AF.
     
  13. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Another vote for the Maxxum 5 - should be able to get one cheap too
     
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  15. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I bought my wife a Minolta Maxxum auto-everything camera in the late 1990s. It had tremendous shutter lag and missed the focus more than half the time. I don't remember the model but I think it was 450 or 550... (we sold it a few years later since she was so disappointed she neglected to use it)

    It was compact enough (certainly not OM1 size but fair enough).

    If I were looking I would want something that focuses better than that Minolta.
     
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    AF on the 5 is excellent, though the in-body motor is not the gruntiest so it's slow with huge lenses (like my 100-300 f/4) attached. It's not in Dynax 7/9 or Nikon F6 territory but you don't have to carry 10 pounds of magnesium and a small nuclear reactor to power it either.

    Asserting that Minolta AF is all crap because the base-model thing you bought was, is specious. Nikon AF must be crap too because my old FT really can't hack it!
     
  17. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    Another vote for the Nikon N55. Pair it up with a 50mm f/1.8 and you're golden.
     
  18. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Oops. Thats right. I forgot a prime #.
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The Contax may do it for you unless you use long lenses. With it's autofocus you're using the viewfinder only for composition, same as the Nikon.
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    N75
     
  21. blockend

    blockend Member

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    The OP may be chasing rainbows. I wouldn't describe any of the cameras listed as compact (can't speak for the Pentax, haven't measured one). Many are light, especially with a 50mm instead of a kit zoom but compact? Certainly not OM1 style.
     
  22. OldBodyOldSoul

    OldBodyOldSoul Member

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    I agree, there is nothing I know of that checks all the boxes Gerry described in his posts. Small non-AF-SLR sized AF SLR would be so popular that nobody would ever have to ask if there was a camera like that. Remove the SLR requirement and you get cameras like Contax G2 or Hexar. Remove the size requirement and you get all the Nxx/Maxxum/other options or Gerry's F100.
    There are some digital options that satisfy some of Gerry's requirements, but he came here for answers so it's a moot point.
     
  23. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Contax G2 = 139 x 80 x 45mm (no lens)

    Pentax *ist = 122 x 84 x 63.5mm (no lens)

    OM-1 = 136 x 83 x 81mm (w/50mm f/1.8 lens)

    Minolta Maxxum 5 = 127 x 87 x 60.5mm (no lens)

    The Pentax is AF and has a built-in flash and deeper flange distance for the mirror. The overall volume dimension comparison is very close.

    Of course SLR lenses are larger. They are also available in AF and have greater versatility, especially zooms.

    The Minolta Maxxum 5 is right there as well and probably easier to find. Other brands too.

    If you want AF that means SLR which means you need to sacrifice the concept of compactness to get the necessary mirror box and prism space.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  24. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I owned the Maxxum 5000 and 7000 for a bit. The camera is hefty--I swear one could drive nails with it. The AF is OK at best, it seems to focus slowly and in low light, there's no hope. On the other hand, the standard 50mm is astoundingly good.
     
  25. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    OK, it looks like I am going to have to admit that this is a witch hunt. The closest match to my wants is a Contax G2. I don't think I want to go that way. May have to drift away from analog to fill this need. Thanks to all for your input.
    Gerry
     
  26. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    You can get a relatively compact and really inexpensive AF film camera. I have used a Pentax MZ-6 ($20) and a Pentax DA 40/2.8 lens using Portra 400 @ ISO 800 and the whole package is pretty small because it's a pancake lens. The digital lens has a FF image circle with no discernible vignetting and works on AF film bodies and is smaller than most RF lenses. Consumer SLR's from the 1990's to 2004 were smallish and cheap and have very good AF.