Inexpensive rangefinder with larger viewfinder / for crappy eyes

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by st3ve, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    Sold the Leica II both for monetary reasons and because my eyes simply aren't good enough for the tiny VF/RF windows on the back of it.

    What are some RF models that have a relatively large viewfinder for a reasonable cost? Fixed lens is fine.
     
  2. altair

    altair Member

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    I would vote for the Konica Auto S2. Not sure how much better the VF is over the Leica II though.
     
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  3. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    If you're willing to take a chance on a Soviet camera, the viewfinder on the Zorki 4 (and possibly other Zorki models) gives a life-size view and has diopter adjustment.
     
  4. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Voigtlander R3a has a 1:1 view. I guess it all depends on what you call inexpensive.
     
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  5. takef586

    takef586 Member

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    If you wear glasses, then the best solution is the Zeiss Ikon, next the Bessas - which model will depend on which FL you use the most: R4 for 28mm, R2 for 35mm, R3 for 75mm and (just barely) 50mm.
     
  6. Ryan!

    Ryan! Member

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    The diopter adjustment on the Zorki 4 is pretty nice. Bright viewfinder, too.
     
  7. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    How could you go wrong with a Koni Omega?

    Mike
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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  9. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    Hey! I resemble that remark!

    Seriously though, I wouldn't say my eyes are *bad*, I'm just used to the larger SLR viewfinders as opposed to the smaller rangefinder windows. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
     
  10. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Yashica fixed lens rangefinders have very good viewfinders. The best of the bunch is Yashica Electro 35 GX which is as good as a Leica with a Summicron IMO. You can find them for $50-100.

    The oddball camera with a great, large viewfinder is Retina IIS.
     
  11. mr rusty

    mr rusty Member

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    Or even the IIIs, which gets you interchangeable lenses. I have one, and apart from being heavy its a really great camera. Bit quirky. Mine is actually in NZ at the mo being CLAd by Chris Sherlock after the "string" broke.

    Check it out http://www.cameraquest.com/ret3s.htm
     
  12. argentic

    argentic Member

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    Canonet 1.7 GIII
     
  13. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    For sheer viewfinder visibility, it is hard to beat the bright-line finders on Voigtlander Vitomatic cameras from the 1950s and early 1960s. Some models had rangefinders and meters. I have a scale focus model with a meter that is still quite accurate. The cameras are pretty heavy for their size, partly because the viewfinder design incorporates a big chunk of glass. The Color Skopar lenses are great.
     
  14. 6x9

    6x9 Member

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    I vote Zeiss Ikon. It is probably the best modern 35mm RF out there for cost and features.
    Larger then life viewfinder. Perfect frameline choices. Slim. AE. And great loading style (I always get 38 or 39 shots on my rolls)
     
  15. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Every fixed lens rangefinder from the 60s and 70s I've tried has had a significantly larger finder than the one on the Leica iiic. Most have been on a relatively similar band when it comes to size.
     
  16. Jojje

    Jojje Member

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    My vote for Vitomatic! Whole frame can be easily seen even with glasses on. And very cheap. I take better pictures with it than with my Pentaxes.
     
  17. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Minolta Hi-Matic 7s get's my vote. Great VF, super sharp lens and you can go manual or AE.
     
  18. totalmotard

    totalmotard Member

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    I concur about autofocus. I bought a nicely cla'd Olympus 35 SP for like $170 and only about 1/3 of my shots were in focus. I just couldn't see good enough even though the viewfinder had been cleaned and it's plenty bright. Maybe I just need more practice.

    I picked up a Canon Sure Shot Tele for $3 at a thrift store and it makes nice pictures that are in focus. It's got a nice 40mm 2.8 lens on it that turns into a 70mm 4.9 lens with a toggle switch. It's noisy and plasticky and not near as nice to hold and shoot with as the Oly, but I get some nice pictures from it.
     
  19. russelri

    russelri Member

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    The Konica Hexar AF is pretty cheap, and the fixed 35mm f/2 lens challenges the summicron for a fraction of the price. It's also got a large and bright viewfinder.