Manual film camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by theblackcrusaders, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. theblackcrusaders

    theblackcrusaders Member

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    I currently use a 35 mm Holga and a SLR. I like the simplicity of the Holga but am looking for a camera that has a little more feature wise but is smaller than a SLR. I'm looking for something with an aperture ring. If anyone could give me ideas that would be great.
     
  2. zk-cessnaguy

    zk-cessnaguy Member

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    What sort of SLR do you use? A modern auto focus one or an older manual focus one?
    A fixed lens rangefinder like a Canonet QL 17 GIII or Minolta Hi-Matic 7s II might be what you want. Excellent optics, small size and control over shutter speed and aperture.
    Alternatively, if you are using a large modern SLR, then maybe something small like an OM Olympus might be an idea?
     
  3. MikePenn

    MikePenn Member

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    I really like the Olympus OM-1.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Olympus cameras are full featured and small, as are some of the later Minoltas (electronic ones such as the X-700). The Canon AE-1P is pretty good too, and small and light, not to mention dirt cheap.
     
  5. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Well, you'll be surprised just how small (film) SLRs can be. :smile: (For example, the Pentax MX, with a 40mm pancake lens, will certainly fit into a (trouser or jacket) pocket easily.

    Check out the M-series Pentaxes and the OM-series Olympus. There are, also, some pretty small Canons and Nikons.

    As far as features and flexibility go, you simply cannot beat 35mm (film) SLRs: they have the most extensive potential of aplication to any aspect of (film) photography: all other (film) "types" have serious built in design handicaps which limit the extent of their usefulness.
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Voigtlander Bessa series rangefinder cameras are pretty great cameras. They have a Leica M lens mount so there are lots of lenses out there that are compatible. You can buy them new and second-hand. There are fully-manual versions and ones with aperture-priority automatic.
     
  7. stevco

    stevco Member

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    Minolta 7sII / Canon QL-17 III are one of the most best small compact rangefinder cameras, and there are bunch of them around, so It wouldn't be much hard to get one.
    First, it's good to try any camera with rangefinder focusing system, if you are not introduced to it, because it's different from SLR, which might be important to you.
     
  8. MikePenn

    MikePenn Member

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    http://www.cameraquest.com/com35s.htm
     
  9. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Depending on your needs, keep away from rangefinders: they are nowhere near as flexible as slrs :smile:

    I know many tout them for "street photography", and that is about their extent of usefulness.

    They suck at everything else :sad:.

    I know, I have several. :tongue:
     
  10. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Galah, I don't usually flame, but honestly, what the @+!@@! are you talking about? I wish the OP the best of luck finding the best 35mm camera and he's found the right place to get advice. That being said, every format has pluses and minuses. I wish everyone the good fortune of sticking with film long enough to enjoy and curse each of them. And remember, it's almost never the camera that sucks, but rather the user. OP, you'll get great advice here. Steveco's recommendations are a very good start.


    Leo
     
  11. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Try a Rollei 35, or Olympus 35RC. They are fun, and small. and Manual.
     
  12. Simplicius

    Simplicius Member

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    manual focus SLR : Fujica ST 701 or 705: great glass, robust and cheap also loads of cheap screw mount lens fit it so you can experiment with different focal lengths to your hearts content. Pentax spotmatic is similar.
     
  13. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Problem with the old Olympus RC and Canonets is they take now defunct 1.3v Mercury cells for the built-in meter. I hear they can be adjusted to take Alkalines but I'm not sure. Will the EE/AE cameras work without a battery like an old SLR that only used it for the meter? Again, I'm not sure.
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There are easy to obtain and inexpensive adapters available to convert current silver oxide or hearing aid batteries for use in the Olympus RC and Canonet cameras. There are lots of links here on APUG about just that subject.

    If the cameras suit you, the battery issue is easy to solve.

    I've got two cameras and one hand meter that originally were designed for mercury batteries, and with a few mouse clicks, a few $ sent via PayPal and a few days wait, they are all working with easily found and reasonably priced batteries.
     
  16. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Wein makes a 1.35v Zinc-air battery. Works great and they're cheap. I just bought a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 which uses them.
     
  17. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I still have Mercury cells for my old cameras (bought a big box when they were going off the market, still good) so I haven't had to resort to the alternatives yet, just thought I'd give fair warning to the OP that the old '70s cameras usually expect the 1.3v Mercury cells.
     
  18. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Or even ignore. If all you need the battery for is the meter, get an external meter that takes a more modern battery.

    Also, cameras are so cheap now, you don't have to decide between a rangefinder and an SLR: get both. Yashica, Canon, Olympus, Konica--a range of good older cameras can be had, hard to go too far wrong.
     
  19. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Buy a new fuji point and shoot camera. They are 17 dollars and excellent at mid distance to infinity.
    The important thing is to manage the composition and right or middle placed viewfinder point and shoot cameras are excellent.
    Zenit is excellent and very cheap and beat the japanese cameras.
    Camera must move with your head and so the eyes. Hand is not important , head is important.
    Keep away from big viewfinder cameras , its like viewing a film from plasma and makes difficult to get the proportions , the whole thing.

    Umut
     
  20. mabman

    mabman Member

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    If you want to stick with an SLR but more compact I like (and own) the Pentax ME Super. With the aforementioned "pancake 40" 40mm lens it makes a pretty small package, but unfortunately like a lot of Pentax lenses (due to backwards-compatibility) the Pentax-M pancake 40's price keeps going up, so I don't currently own the lens personally. I find the Pentax 28/2.8 and the 50/1.7 are compact enough for me for walking around, although it doesn't fit in a pocket this way. You can use the camera manually or in aperture-priority mode.

    The only issues with the ME Super that I see are:
    - it needs batteries to operate, even if you want to manually select the shutter speed (without batteries it always fires at 1/125), and it uses a couple of buttons on the top deck to select the shutter speed, which can be a bit fiddly if you're trying to do it quickly, have fat fingers, or if you're shooting outside in the cold
    - because of its small size, if you want to use a longer, heavier lens you may run into balance issues

    If you want to move to a rangefinder, the Olympus 35 series is likely the most compact fixed-lens variety, which can be used manually or automatically. If you want to get into removable-lens Leica M or compatible lenses, the CL/CLe I believe are the most compact cameras. Similarly in screw-mount, a FED-2 or screw-mount Leica with collapsible 50mm lens are also fairly compact, and are entirely manual.
     
  21. totalmotard

    totalmotard Member

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    The smallest real rangefinder is an Olympus XA, selectable aperture priority mode, up to 800 iso. Clam shell design means no lens cap. It's so small it fits in a pants pocket. Everything else is jacket pocketable at best. Terrific 6 element, 35mm, 2.8 lens. Uses modern batteries, not mercury. I got one on ebay for $35 with the flash.
     
  22. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    well, zenit does not beat japanese cameras, maybe in price...

    olimpus mju
    minox gt
     
  23. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Regarding the battery issue with the 35RC, I just use a modern 1.5v battery and then adjust the ASA dial to compensate. Typically 2/3 stop extra.
     
  24. mabman

    mabman Member

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    You're right on the XA's size. I have had a couple of them as well. While the size is convenient, I had one just stop functioning on a vacation (rangefinder somehow broke/became uncoupled and the meter stopped working - I had it in my carry-on or with me the whole time and it wasn't dropped as far as I know). Also, the rangefinder patch is rather small (necessary for the size) and that can be difficult to use in low-light/indoor situations.

    So far the Oly 35RC hasn't broken on me at random, and it has a decently visible rangefinder in most lighting conditions, so I tend to rank it higher.

    My experience with the XA may not be typical re: reliability, but it has soured me on the XA relative to other rangefinders. YMMV, of course.
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Do yourself a favor and go pick up an Olympus just to see how small and full featured they are. They are plenty small, and sacrifice no SLR features to be that small. IMHO, there is no reason to sacrifice the advantages of an SLR just because you want a camera that is not too big. What you gain in size (or lack thereof) with a rangefinder, you lose in other ways. Do not get me wrong. I love using rangefinders in the right applications. However, if SLRs are what you need to shoot what you need to shoot, then rangefinders simply will not do. Seeing what the lens sees is not a feature to be easily brushed aside in favor of something more trivial, such as a minor difference in size.
     
  26. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I like the Olympus too. I have 12. I'd recommend the OM-1 for a beginner. The Zuiko f/1.8 will drop your socks.