Need advice on choosing a rangefinder.

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by kbrede, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    I'm interested in trying a rangefinder. I've never used one but I'm attracted to the quiet leaf shutter for street shooting. I don't live in a huge city, and shoot in an area that's maybe 5 square blocks, so I usually shoot from the hip and use a 28mm on my Pentax ME Super. I use the auto exposure mode (sets shutter speed) when I do this and dial in the focus distance on the lens.

    I'm going on vacation soon and I don't have tons of time to research. I thought maybe someone here might have a suggestion or two. It could be a fixed lens. I do want quality IQ. My price range somewhere around $200.00 for a fully CLAed one lens kit. Less of course is always better. :smile:

    Thanks,
     
  2. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Canon QL 17. Great lens; so quiet you'll sometimes wonder if it's working.
     
  3. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I'll second a Canonet QL17 III superb cameras.
     
  4. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Yes, the canonet is amazing, get the latest version. :smile:
     
  5. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Are you ok going towards a more less wide lens? Generally most fixed lens RFs have between 35-50mm lenses, is that OK? Finding a fixed 28mm might be tough, you ok w that?
     
  6. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    You need one of these Canonets. Apparently they are totes awesome and what all the cool kids are carrying.
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    See if you can borrow a RF from a friend and try it out. RF's and SLR's are different. For example, when using an SLR you must antiicipate your shots whereas with a RF this is not necessary. Another consideration is that the selection of focal lengths available is much smaller for RF's. I like both but when switching you must reaclimate your eye.
     
  8. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    But more seriously, look also at Konicas--they made a series of well-built fixed-lens rangefinders with excellent lenses that can be had fairly cheaply these days.
     
  9. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Since I mostly shoot from the hip, and zone focus, the 28mm gives me a nice fudge factor. The closer to 28mm, the better but 35mm would probably work. I'm sure I could get use to 50mm, but I don't have a lot of time to practice before my trip. I also didn't mean to imply fixed lens. I'm open to about anything. I do know that some of the 28mm lenses get pretty bulky and heavy, which isn't ideal, but there's always compromises. :smile:
    Thanks,
     
  10. spark

    spark Member

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    Between Canon, Konica, Yashica and Olympus there are definite ergonomic differences; handle a few of them and see what you like. Canon QL 19's are quite a bit less costly than 17's, and almost as good. Also check out the Olympus 35RD and RC series. Even though most you find cheap will need CLA to fix the sticky leaf shutters, they are wonderful picture takers and very quiet. The RD has a 40/1.7 lens that is sharp and fast. There are some nice Petri rangefinders available too, but they were built to a price and may not be worth fixing.
     
  11. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    It looks like this camera doesn't have a DOF scale on the lens. That would make zone focusing difficult.
     
  12. zsas

    zsas Member

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    How about the Olympus XA? KEH sells them (I think only on their eBay store) for $100'ish. It is only AP but the lens is 35?

    There are not many 35mm or wider lens RF's out there at your price point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2012
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    True, it's not a stiff "stay where you put it" kind of focus.

    I find the single bar short-throw focus lever becomes intuitive, I was able to focus as fast as I could bring the camera up to my eye. (Maybe a little hyperbole, but it's fastest of rangefinders I've used).
     
  14. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Buy a Leica copy from APUG and a Soviet lens. It will cost around 200 but what a camera ! I used original Barnacks and the good Soviet ones mechanism and winding knobs , focus works velvetly smooth.
    Buy a real camera not japanese tourist cameras.
     
  15. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    What's a "Leica copy?" APUG sells cameras, or do you mean from the classifieds? I couldn't find anything on Barracks, is that a camera?
    Thanks,
     
  16. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Olympus 35 SP. They're the higher-end siblings to the RD and RC. The lens is absolutely phenomenal, and they offer both spot, and centerweighted metering. The lens is a 7 element 42/1.7, and, in my opinion, blows the living hell out of those dinky little Canonets. There's also a program automation setting, and they weigh next to nothing.

    As for your zone focusing concern, I just wrote "12.2ft" in sharpie on some tape and put it on the back of the camera. That's hyperfocal at 16, and nets you a very usable range of distances. And there is a distance scale on the lens, too.
     
  17. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    NO QUESTION, for that price an Olympus XA !

    NO QUESTION, for that price an Olympus XA, ( ONLY an XA ! ).

    Very sharp 35 mm f 2.8 lens, aperture priority, manual adjust ISO,
    Hyperfocal focusing at f 5.6 & 8 ft, leaf shutter, so flash at any shutter speed,
    POCKETABLE, ( without flash ), get the A-16 2 AA battery flash. What's not to like.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Another Glll suggestion from the middle of the country.
    The XA doesn't have a very impressive rangefinder compared to the Larger cameras. It is also completely battery dependent.

    Barnack was the designer of the original Leica. Very compact bodies and thread mount lenses. 1st model wasn't interchangeable
    Leica copies can be Russian(FED), Japanese(Tower,Canon,Nicca+more) Russian lenses can be hit or miss
     
  19. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    He means a Zorki or a FED.and yes he means the classifieds - APUG does not sell.
    These cameras can be a great choice if you research AND download a manual.However, the XA[and other japanese tourist cameras:laugh:] have more `point and shootability'or are a bit more user friendly to start with.
    The FED 2 is an excellent choice as is the zorki 4/4k,though the Zorki 6 is perhaps the lessor known but better camera.Lens are very good- jupiter 12 35mm/jupiter 8 50mm/industar 61 LD.
    As with any old camera there are pros and cons with state of operation.You could be lucky as i was and get all perfectly working examples or you could be unlucky and get a paperweight.So anything you buy should have a CLA.Even this is no guarantee.
     
  20. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    In My Opinion, the Olympus XA also fits the O.P.'s description perfectly !

    The Olympus XA fits this description perfectly ! It has the quiet leaf shutter that the O.P. asked for.

    The Olympus XA also fits this description perfectly uses the auto exposure mode
    ( sets shutter speed ).

    Besides having a good rangefinder focusing system, it also has an easy to operate
    hyperfocal focusing system. This acts as a form of A.F.

    Again, the Olympus XA also fits this description perfectly !


    Finally, in my opinion, this does not fit the requirements that the O.P. laid down as I've attempted
    to point out. If he wants an interchangeable LTM camera, he should just buy a Voigtlander Bessa R, or T.

    But this would be out of the O.P.'s price range.
     
  21. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Many rangefinders - certainly my Soviet-era Zorki IV fits this description - have rather noisy curtain shutters, as noisy as a mirror-flopping SLR. Conversely, the Kodak Retinas have a wonderfully quiet leaf shutter, but are harder to find in good operating order and modest price.

    -Joe
     
  22. moto-uno

    moto-uno Subscriber

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    Although they're not exactly what was asked for the Minolta hi-matic e with it's 40mm lens
    or the Yashica Electo 35 with it's 45mm lens allow some fine rangefinder photography,the Minolta
    especially is so small and quiet and that Rokkor lens is no slouch. Hope this adds to the angst
    of choices.Regards,Peter
     
  23. xxloverxx

    xxloverxx Member

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    I had a Canonet shutter jam last week. Watch out for that. I love the Ricoh 500G (40 2.8). Just bought a ZF, which is the same without the RF. Just watch that the foam hasn't disintegrated.
     
  24. Dismayed

    Dismayed Member

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    The Olympus Trip 35 would be perfect. The OP wants zone focus - that's all that it does. Nice lens, and inexpensive, too.
     
  25. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I am using Barnack Leicas - one 1A , two IIF , one IIIC , one Leica Mini Zoom plus Leicaflex SL with Elmar , Vario Elmar , Summitar and Summicron and after all I bought a Leica II copy FED1 and this is the camera I want to suggest. It comes from ebay , 30 day guarantee , % 99 Positive Feedback and online registered postal office barcode all costs 62 dollars including postage. Camera is clean like a newly washed baby and all mechanics are smooth and may be camera body works smoother and buttery feel than Leicas.

    There are and can be zillions of reasons why Barnack camera increases your performance , may be cold , manly look and skin , may be center of gravity , may be thickness of the body , may be all ship porthole like apparatus but I love the Leica and FED cameras. Its feels I am serious and take me serious saying.
    In addition , small viewfinder is a marvel and Its the best viewfinder I used past 30 years. Smaller the what you see , easier to compose without dealing the details. And the optics are AMAZING , it takes amazing things only a Leica owner and a great eye can understand.

    I will use Leica optics on the FED1 , I will buy a Summar this summer for 150 dollars from KEH and mission accomplished.

    Follow me ,

    Umut