Coolest Rangefinder

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by demonboy, May 22, 2012.

  1. demonboy

    demonboy Member

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    Having now spent the last couple of weeks looking into (cheap) rangefinders I have an idea of what a good one is and what the not so good are. Now I'm interested to know what you think is the 'coolest' rangefinder. Can be cheap or expensive, I'm looking to do a little blog post on 'cool' cameras after discovering the Carl Zeiss Jena Werra 1. I've no idea if it performs well but I thought it was a bit of a design icon.

    What's the coolest rangefinder camera?
     
  2. sewarion

    sewarion Member

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  3. jumbosilverette

    jumbosilverette Member

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    In my opinion, Nikon S2
     
  4. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Unfortunately, in my experience, some of the coolest looking ones also have the worst ergonomics (such as the Werra).

    Leica LTM, it's various clones and Leica M definitely have an adavantage in sheer usability over most other classic ones (not talking about recent ZI or Bessas).

    But the Werra, Retina IIIS, a number of Voigtländers and other Retinas, the more advanced Braun Paxettes and the Soviet Leningrad definitely have a high "cool" content.
    In the LTM clone world, the Zorki 3 also looks great (and tends to be well-made as well).

    P.S, Arrrgh! Forgot the Contax and its clones... Though the ergonomics caveat applies strongly here as well...
     
  5. antmar

    antmar Member

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    I've owned and used almost any kind of RF camera so far, I could easily say that I love more (with no particular order):
    1. Iskra (I wear spectacles and it is still easy to frame and focus)
    2. Retina IIIC (The smallest camera with no compromises ever)
    3. Leicas M (M6 & CL)
    4. Yashica 35 CC (useful lens focal length and reliable automatic exposure)
    If I had to keep just one then I would keep them all, or maybe with a gun on my head the Iskra (it gives better image quality among the four).
     
  6. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Not sure of how to define cool but, if it realtes to enjoyable to use and a bit on the I like to show off side, then some of the Ikonta series from Zeiss and the Leica CL spring to mind but, if outside the range finders to zone focusing cameras then the Minox 35 ML and others form the company and for me the Voughtlander Vito. If other types of cameras, the Rolleiflex is the defintie one for me.
     
  7. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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  8. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Answering the same answer in two different forums, to two different questions: The New Mamiya 6 or 6MF. Coolest rangefinder made (in my oh so humble opinion...)
     
  9. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    Any of the koni-omega 's . :whistling:
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Cameras are just tools their prime function isn't to be "cool", and massage the owners image.
     
  11. Johnkpap

    Johnkpap Member

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    What about a Bessa R

    I have a silver one, they take all LTM (Leica Mount) lenses, Black / silver canon's look cool on it, so does any vintage leica glass

    They can be had for between $200 and $300 with out a lens.



    Johnkpap
     
  12. elekm

    elekm Member

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    For me, the ones that have the "cool" factor in that I find them interesting in how they work and the fact that they're great cameras are the Zeiss Ikon Tenax II, the Werra 3, the Ducati (Sogno) and the Konica II.

    But I'm also a fan of the lever-wind Retina IIa and the IIIC (Big C), as well Agfa Super Solinette, the Zeiss Ikon folding Contessa and Contina II, the Nettax and Super Nettel and the various Super Ikontas.

    My favorite camera is the Zeiss Ikon Contax IIa.
     
  13. Ironage

    Ironage Member

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    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Leica M2 or M3...a classic design for the ages
     
  16. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    6x9 or 6x7 Fuji rangefinder (also known as the Texas Leica)
     
  17. JerryWo

    JerryWo Member

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    I used a Rollei AFM 35 for a while (it belonged to somebody else) and thought it was the best 35mm camera I've ever used.

    I own Voightlanders, Nikons, and a QL17 to put my opinion in perspective.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Super-cool? Depends on whom you are trying to impress. For knowledgeable RF users with a sense of history, maybe I'd back Hensoldt Reporter; Ilford Witness; Combat Graphic 70mm; Linhof Press 70.

    To use... Well, that's a different matter.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  20. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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  21. toolbox

    toolbox Member

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    Konica III gets my vote...
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    [​IMG]
     
  22. demonboy

    demonboy Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. I asked the same question in the medium format forum so it's great to get some opinions on rangefinders too. I explained to the medium format crew that this might go towards a light-hearted blog post I'm writing but ultimately it's just a bit of fun and a way of learning about gear I've never heard of before. I'm certainly not asking for opinions on which I will be basing a purchase decision; I've already bought my rangefinders thanks to my previous couple of threads on APUG, and they were purchased based on their performance/price ratio, not their coolness. Though the fact they are rangefinders makes them cooler than most cameras anyway, no?

    Gotta thank you all for your time and suggestions, cheers.
     
  23. Someonenameddavid

    Someonenameddavid Member

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    Well....... the contax iia has a slightly shorter rangefinder base than the pre-war progenitor Contax ii/iii

    The Zeiss ikon Contessa has cool factor plus a 2.8 Tessar every bit as good as the Rollei 35s and it is a folding rangefinder with a meter.

    David
     
  24. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    leica M3 and the Olympus XA.
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  26. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Contax II, Nikon S and Leica III series are my personal favorites (though I only own a Leica III series)