Making the move to a rangefinder.

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

  1. sunsesame

    sunsesame Member

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    I've decided to switch to a compact film rangefinder from the 70's. I think it's definitely better having one of these cameras around with you all the time, rather than sighing about my chunky and heavy slr being in a camera bag at home.
    I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there, i've read quite a few threads about this but can't quite find the information I need.

    My specifications would be:
    - Under $250 (This is my first rangefinder so I would like to start off cheap!)
    - Aperture priority and manual over ride
    - 1.8 (or 2 if impossible)
    - 35-50mm lens
    - High IS0.. preferably 1600. (I like to push 400ASA film two stops). All I can seem to find is a top of 1000?
    - Low shutter speeds
    - Light-weight and small!

    I've heard about the Yashica Electro 35CC (Aperture priority/1.8/35mm) however I think it can only go to 500 ASA?

    I think my main problem is finding rangefinders with Aperture priority..
    I would really appreciate your help.. I'm lost in a sea of cameras!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2012
  2. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Hi sunsesame,

    I did all of my research on Yashica Electro 35s here: http://www.yashica-guy.com/ You should find pretty much everything you want to know about them there and, of course, there are many people here who use them who can answer anything you might not be able to find.
    I have an Electro 35 GSN - I'm almost certain that all of the Electro 35s were aperture priority, although it's been a while since I did my rangefinder hunting, so don't quote me on that :smile: Finding an aperture priority camera isn't hard, it's finding one with full manual control that I had trouble with. Mine doesn't have that and you are right in that it tops out at 1000 ISO and 1/500th is its fastest speed and will meter down to 30 seconds, with bulb also. From the look of it, your CC's lowest metered speed is 15 seconds and the maximum ISO is 500.
     
  3. janrzm

    janrzm Member

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    I am going to have to suggest the Yashica Electro 35 GSN, I have a spare one, its mint just needs new light seals. This was the rangefinder I started with, it ticks most of your boxes. Not sure I'd describe it as small, although it depends what your comparing it to. There is a bit more info on my website, link below.

    Cheers

    Jason
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Get a Canon range finder, V, Vt, 7, P, or Bessa R. Find a 50mm 1.8 screw mount lens (russian maybe until you get some more cash), and you are good to go.
     
  5. sunsesame

    sunsesame Member

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    Thanks so much,

    Looks like if im going to go with a Yashica.. a GSN is the way to go!
     
  6. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    If you do get one, let me know and I'll post you the batteries you need. I ordered a pack of ten of them (overkill, but cheap!) and I'll happily send four of them your way... it'll be 2020 before I get through that many on my own! :smile:
     
  7. sunsesame

    sunsesame Member

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    Thanks Molli, that would be great. I'll let you know if i do! What type of batteries does the Yashica camera take?

    I see you are in Victoria! Just out of curiosity.. did you buy your range finder in Australia? It's hard to find sellers in Sydney!
     
  8. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    I was afraid you'd ask where I got mine simply because I got something akin to extreme mates' rates. For a whopping big $25 I got the whole kit: Yashica Electro GSN in mint condition, the tele converter and wide angle adapter (not worth spending money on, by the way), the Auto-Up (close up lens with finder), ever ready case and a hard cover case to carry it all in. Oh, and the manual. I bought it from a local antique dealer on the Mornington Peninsula (55kms south east of Melbourne). I haven't seen another GSN there before or since (this was two years ago) but he has had Ministers in there, if I recall correctly. I don't know anything about them to recommend that model one way or the other.
    I won't be going out there any time soon (flat broke here), but I'll make a trip in a few weeks time and take a look for you and ask Jack (the store owner) to keep an eye out for one for you. I know what it's like to find what you're looking for but not be able to get your hands on it soon enough, so I realise three weeks is quite a delay! Sorry! I think he can be contacted by phone, if you'd like to give him a call. I'll go and look up their website's address and get back to you with more information.
    As for the batteries, they used mercury batteries originally, but they'll happily accept a 4LR44 6V battery. Yashica Guy (at that first link I sent you) sells an adapter because these batteries don't come even close to fitting (narrower and shorter than the original), however, I simply wrapped a screw up in some aluminium foil and that works perfectly to ensure a contact at both ends.
    I'll be back with that phone number for you.
     
  9. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Okay, this is a link to a list of dealers (it's located in an old packing shed, one of about fifty little shops under the one roof):

    http://www.tyabbpackinghouseantiques.com.au/Tyabb_Packing_House_Antiques/Dealers.html Jack's Cameras is listed about two thirds of the way down the page, and here's the phone number: 03 5977 4414 You need to ask to speak to Jack Ross. They're open Thursday to Sunday and all public holidays except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
    Good Luck!
     
  10. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    As Jason says, the Electros aren't small. I used to have one and couldn't get on with the size/weight or ergonomics. A compact SLR - Pentax ME/MX, or Olympys OM, for example - is smaller. Lots of people swear by them, though. A lot of the more compact 70s rangefinders are shutter priority or program mode only, unfortunately.

    Have you seen: http://www.cameraquest.com/com35s.htm
     
  11. sunsesame

    sunsesame Member

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    Yes this is the main problem I had. Other rangefinders may be smaller, however they do not have aperture priority. The Yashica does pretty much meet all my needs, and I'm willing to sacrifice a bit more bulk for that. Currently I have a 5D and a FM2, so hopefully it won't be as bulky and heavy as those!

    And yes, I did take a look at cameraquest. It is really fantastic!
     
  12. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    I was just looking through some of my shots taken with the GSN and, I have to say, between the leaf shutter and the heft of it, I find it much easier to hand hold at slower shutter speeds than I do my Canon SLR. The GSN weighs around 750 grammes, if that's of any help in making your decision.
     
  13. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Bigger than an FM2 with a compact 50 I'd have thought. They really aren't at all small.
     
  14. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I recommend the Olympus XA. It only goes up to ASA 800, but it's an RF, has a 35mm lens, is aperture-priority and is VERY small. It's also quiet (except for the film advance) and has a phenomenal lens - there was a thread here recently about how good this little camera is.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2012
  15. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    I don't think the Yashica Electro 35GSN is that small compared to the FM2 plus 50/1.8 pair, either. The last version of the Electro35 series, the model GX is much smaller than the FM2, though. But people say it's rather rare in some countries. The GX is about the same size as the CC, its iso can go up to 800, and it's got 1/500s of fastest shutter speed. There's only one model among the Electro35 series which iso setting can go up to 1600, that is the Electro 35GL, but as it was a Japanese domestic model when released, it's even rarer than the GX.
     
  16. geoffdodd

    geoffdodd Member

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    I'm waiting for my Yashica Electro GSN in the mail any day now. I did a bunch of research and had similar needs for a rangefinder. The GSN really fits the bill. As for the mercury battery replacement, there is a good video on youtube - just search Yashica GSN battery replacement. I, too have heard they are 'big' for a rangefinder but so it goes. I'm not willing to pay for a Leica or Zeiss Ikon (yet!)
     
  17. EdGallop

    EdGallop Member

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    I'm sure you won't regret it... I really like mine!

    Ed