Is the title Rangefinder Forum code for Leica Forum?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Galah, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I get the feeling the the title of this forum should be "Leica Forum", since almost the only rangefinders being discussed here appear to be various Leica models.

    So, are there any other rangefinder owners out there; e.g. Minolta, Yashica, etc? (I have a Minolta 7s and a Yashica 35G), perhaps I'm just in the wrong neighbourhood?:smile:
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Not at all. I have a Fed, a Kodak Signet 35; and a Canonet QL17.

    Oh, yeah; and an M6, too.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Not at all. I've posted about other rangefinder cameras of various formats in the RF forum here.
     
  4. stealthman_1

    stealthman_1 Member

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    Bessa R3Mand a Nikon S2...keeps the Leica's company.:smile: Oops, almost forgot my Fisher-Price camera, the Fuji GW690II! Oops again! And a couple Argus C3s and a C33!
     
  5. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Hello,

    Part of the problem is that most "serious" 35mm rangefinders are either Leicas or cameras designed to take Leica lenses: Voightlanders, Canon, Soviet RFs, etc. Only three exceptions to the "Leica clones" come to mind - Contax, Nikon and the Minolta Super A.

    I only own one serious "non-Leica type" rangefinder and it is perhaps my favorite RF although not the most used: the Minolta Super A.

    I own and often laud the merits of my beloved Minolta Super A. It was originally designed to compete with the M3 - orginally designed with an M mount, actually (prototype was called the Minolta SKY - imagine what the RF world might be like if there had been third party lenses and bodies from day one... RF might not have gone the way of the buffalo...). Patent issues forced Minolta to come up with their own mount, which means the lenses it takes will only work on the Super A - and only Super A lenses will work on the camera.

    The camera is VERY well built - sturdier than the CL or CLE. It is essentially a Japanese version of the M3 and is built to similar, if not identical standards - as close as a Japanese camera is going to come to German specs, anyway. It has the same heavy "brassy" feel as the M3 when you hold it and shoot it. I like that, very much.

    I only have the 50mm, f/2 and 35mm, f/3.5 lenses for it. They are as good or better than the LTM Leica equivalents I have used, but not up to the standard of my Summicrons. The lenses do not have the same standard of quality finish as Summicrons either and don't seem up to the same buiding specs. My guess is that by the time the "additional" lenses were produced, Minolta knew it had a marketing disaster on its hands and didn't put the energy into it they did into the original body and lens set.

    The light meter for the Minolta Super A is MUCH better than the M3's meter - although not as cool looking. And there's not a "newer" battery operated version of the meter either.

    The Super A is not rare, but not something you see for sale every day either. When it does pop up on ebay, it either sells for nearly nothing, or if two people get in a bidding war can go for quite a bit. I haven't had much luck locating the 7 lenses Minolta designed for it. There were three 50mm models, a 35, 135 and a few others (would have to check a brochure at my house to be certain - and I'm halfway around the world from my house at the moment).

    Too bad Minolta didn't continue the series. They moved "down" the chain to decent, but lesser cameras such as the 7, 7s, 9 and 11. Bigger, less sturdy and with non-interchangeable lenses. The 7sII is the height of that series and I highly recommend it if you want a small, inexpensive (around $75-$100 before a CLA).

    But back to the original comment I made - the reason the group "mostly" discusses Leica is that with this exception and the Contax and Nikon bodies out there - pretty much everything else IS Leica or Leica-related.

    Jeff M
     
  6. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Oh yeah! Forgot about the Argus. "oops" as you put it. :wink:

    Probably a few others I neglected. Sorry about that in advance.
     
  7. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    I think there's quite a lot of coverage of fixed-lens RFs, which people like as carry-around cameras, and also MF RFs, like Fuji and Mamiya, and the little 35 mm Contaxes (G1, G2). Leica is of course the 800lb gorilla by virtue of having been in production continuously for over 80 years and having such a big system - the quality isn't too bad, etiher!
     
  8. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Leica is simply the dominant player in rangefinder cameras. Any an all are fair game, even medium format rangefinders.

    I love my set of Minolta CLEs as much as my Mamiya 7IIs and my Leica M6ttl cameras. So were are there, but I guess out making pictures instead of posting to the forum. Grin.
     
  9. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    I also use and love a Retina ll, just stick it in my pocket,going out the door....almost never without a camera.
     
  10. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    Oh yeah, and my 2x3 Century Graphic is a rangefinder too....
     
  11. Mattjcuk

    Mattjcuk Member

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    Hi,

    I use a Contax and a Mamiya 7ii and think they are really good, I did have to get use to the rangefinder system when I first started though!

    Thanks

    Matt
     
  12. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    THe Olympus XA, the Yashica GSN and Lynx 14.
     
  13. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    The idea was to have a safe closet
    where you could quietly write,
    " I really like using my Leica"
    without getting flamed.

    .
     
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  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    How about a "Semi First" Zone focus 645 folder?
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'd be willing to bet that for most people, if they have an inclination to start a thread about something like a Mamiya 7, or Koni-Omega, they will think first about the Medium Format camera forum, rather than the Rangefinder forum.

    So it might be true that "Rangefinder" is effectively code for "35mm Rangefinder", but I don't think it was intended to be.

    Matt
     
  17. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Galah;

    I don't think so. My rangefinders at this time consist of a Minolta Mi-Matic 9, a Yashica Lynx 1.4, and a Zorki 4K. But the Zorki will accept early Leitz LTM lenses. Is that why they let me participate in this forum also?

    There is a social forum under the "Groups" tab that is just for Leica. Is it possible that you might have wandered into their spaces?
     
  18. lns

    lns Member

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    I really like using my Leica, as the guy above writes. But my favorite Leica might be my Zeiss Ikon. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

    -Laura
     
  19. rpsawin

    rpsawin Member

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    Mamiya 711 along with Leicas.
     
  20. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

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    Many of us own several different rangefinders but the Leica is the longest running. (and the one people most often strive to obtain). As a dealer explained to me: You don't begin with a Leica you hope someday to use one.
     
  21. dmr

    dmr Member

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    I don't have a Leica. I have Canon and Mamiya RFs.

    I do admit, however, that when I talk rangefinders, I usually do so at That Other Place. :smile:
     
  22. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    You don't begin with a Leica you hope someday to use one.

    No. I bought a Leica brand new when I got out of high school (long before the Internet, all I knew about photography I had learned from, well, photographers.) I delivered newspapers, worked at a carwash, carried lumber, pitched hay. Black M4, 50 Summicron.

    Paid for college, paid for 34 years of mortal existence. Finally, I couldn't take it out to shoot because collectors would harass me to buy it. I bought Treasuries with what I got for sending my baby to Tokyo to live under a bell jar.

    No. Buy the Leica, use it, keep it for ever. Don't fart around.
     
  23. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I heartily recommend getting yourself a beater, the Leica equivalent of a 1968 rusted out pickup truck painted solid green with brush applied exterior house paint. One that has the vulcanite covering chipping off and some idiot's driver's license clumsily engraved right through the plating. I have an M2 like that; got the body for a MERE $400, it is great mechanically and NOBODY, but NOBODY ever tries to pry it off my body. I use it pretty much constantly, much more than anything else. I have a piece of rather nondescript brown salmon leather I'm going to cover it with, and believe me, it will never be polished! In fact, I just might dehance it with a grafitum.

    One reason Leica is so prevalent on this forum is that it tends to keep running longer than many other rf cameras. Because they are so costly, people tend not to part with them until they get hungry. I mean, just how many Yashica Minister users ARE there? How many Ansco Super Memars are still running? I probably have a dozen or so funky rf cameras I need to get rid of, but I'm going to hang on to my Leicas.

    To better satisfy the Original Question, I also have a graflex XL. I use it. Actually, I have four of them but one of them doesn't have a rangefinder - the superwide - and I don't use one of the rf bodies because I can see that one of the plastic cam followers (the system's Achilles Heel) is showing signs of giving up.
     
  24. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    This is pretty much my experience. I bought a new Leica in 1972, in my case an M2R because it was cheaper than the newfangled M4 that had the amazing innovation of a rewind crank instead of a knob, and have been using it ever since. I worked summers and while I was in school to buy it and don't regret a minute. I had it CLA'd a couple times and the thing just keeps working perfectly after I don't know how many rolls of film. I think it's finally broken in and feels like butter to use. I'll never part with it.

    Richard Wasserman



     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    MY RF is a Certo Dolly SuperSport circa 1935 folding 120 film camera. While it does have a Zeiss lens I would not consider at Leica.

    I will exchange it for a working Leica. :wink:

    I have not posted on the RF Forum.

    Steve
     
  26. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Wonderful. There are a lot of really good old ones out there. As far as I'm concerned, the "SLR" which most people in the world (APUG is not in the world) seem to think means simply "good camera" (and also that there are no good cameras that aren't SLR's) ... let me start over. Sentence got out of hand. The "SLR" was a special purpose camera design that, through extremely aggressive and very clever strategic marketing became almost exclusively used by just about everyone. For its original purpose, which was for taking pictures of flowers and dead bugs, it still can't be beat! :tongue: Well, I guess I have misused a few of those, too.