Nikon S2 vs Canon P viewfinder/rangefinder

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by puketronic, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My main concern is in the viewfinder--how do they compare? In terms of brightness/clarity and rangefinder patch contrast. I know that they are 1:1 so size is not an issue (and I do not wear glasses). My main concern is dealing with near invisible patches. It seems that most P's are faded, is this not true with Nikon? Nikon's seem to be more desireable than Canon's but I'm trying to figure out if it is just because it is Nikon or if the cameras are actually "better". It seems that some people prefer the Nikon RF's over the Leica M's but not many prefer Canon RF's over Leica M's.
     
  2. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    First you need to ignore web gossip.
    Then you need to inspect the camera you are going to buy.
    The S2 has a rotating shutter speed dial that some people cannot avoid snagging and ruining the best frame.
    The Nikons have a slow mount as slow as the Canon P LTM screw, for other then 5cm internal lenses.
    None of my M or Ps have a low contrast rangefinder patch, but you need to inspect cause many Ms do have low to no contrast, not seen a low contrast P yet, the M finder can be rebuilt by specialist specialist repair person, dont know of anyone who does Canon Ps... there may not be a market?
    Not seen a Nikon S2 or S3 with patch problems either.
    But the cheap rfdrs on ebay may all be faint subjective things you need to look at.
    Lotsa people dont like the Canon P rangefinder spot, they prefer the M style, but If you e.g. have been brought up on canonets then the P is second nature, so it is subjective.
    A canon P is easier to focus in poor light then a M2 about the same as a M3.
    Some people cannot abide the Nikon focus wheel, they grab the lens instead.
    The LTM lens choice is wider you can even get Nikon LTM lenses.

    My call would be is it is subjective choice an M. P or S2 in good condition, should have a rfdr that easy to use, go to big city inspect carefully in brick camera shop...

    Noel
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,220
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Rural NW Mis
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The Canon P I bought new in the early 1960s developed a sticky shutter several years ago. The Canon P bought used in 1968 for its fast lens still works. The rangefinder in both cameras are useable. That 50mm f/1.4 Canon lens is a dog compared to the slower Summicrons. I prefer a Leica M rangefinder/viewfinder to either Canon.
     
  4. summerbee

    summerbee Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    emh, don't mean to sound out of place, the fascination of this cameras is great to me as well, but moneywise isn't a bessa a much better camera for dayly use?
     
  5. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    a canon p is cheaper to buy and maintain than a bessa
     
  6. jimjm

    jimjm Subscriber

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had both the Canon P and a Nikon S3, and sold the Nikon as the RF patch was so hard to see it was a real pain to focus. I think the VF/RF just needed a good cleaning, so if you get a good copy of either camera you may not find much difference as far as useability is concerned. I kept the Canon as the VF is nice and clear and the RF patch is OK, but still not as good as a Leica M. If you like screw-mount bodies, the Canon is very smooth to operate and has a lot of nice features, especially for the price. The Nikons are a bit more expensive and a big advantage of the Canon is that you can use any LTM screw-mount lens. Nikon even made most of their rangefinder lenses in an LTM mount version. You often see the Canons with wrinkled shutter curtains, but that shouldn't be a concern as they made the curtains from a very thin metal and it shouldn't affect the operation of the shutter as long as there are no significant dents or holes.

    If you need service on any Canon screw-mount camera, Youxin Ye does a great job at a very fair price. I just had him replace the curtains and clean the finder on my Canon IVsb and it's now functioning like new.
     
  7. puketronic

    puketronic Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank you all.

    Well, the thing is, I read that the P's patches are mostly faded. I actually bought two P's from keh.com a long time ago and returned them because they were just too difficult to focus. I concluded that nothing can compete with an M so I dove in and I have no regrets. However, I am not looking for a lesser-expensive everyday carry. an M3 + 50mm f2.0 Summicron is great but too expensive for me to "throw" around.

    I figured that I'd go with something "classic" (Leica/Nikon/Canon) over a bessa because I do not need a lightmeter and I feel that the older cameras were just better built and more durable.

    So the choices seem to be a Leica LTM if I can deal with it's quirks, a Leica CL, Canon P, or Nikon S2. I concluded that the later three are more suitable so I'm just exploring these options. There are lenses that I would like to fit on all three that I think will be of sufficient quality (40mm f2 or 50mm f1.8/ f1.4 or 50mm f2/ f1.4) and not incredibly expensive. The P outfit would probably be the cheapiest
     
  8. summerbee

    summerbee Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm

    really??? that's not what i could see as i looked around. and a Bessa was built in the '90...
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Do not buy rangefinders by post they do not grade them for rangefinder contrast, but by dinks on chrome.

    The rangefinder of a P in shooter condition should be better then a M2 but maybe less capable then a M3 in poor light close run thing, the M2 and M3 range finders in perfrct condition. Or rather all my Canon P are (and VI is) between my M2 and M3s... Ive only even seen one Nikon SP with a poor rfdr. Note the Canon rangefinder patch is not like a Leica patch, you need to be happy with the difference.

    I prefer a P to a M2s in dull light, it is quicker, did the test surprised by result, M2 are 0.72x magnification.

    I only bought the Canons cause I decided insurance on the leicas was too high, to use them in risky street scenarios... (the reinsurance if you lose several M9s is astro, several of my pro friends have suffered) sold the Leica M lenses and went to CV LTM to further rationalize... kept the SC Canon lenses for their lower contrast, swap over between MC or SC at need. Loads pf people recognize the Leicas at a distance...

    Noel
     
  10. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I will rephrase that a Canon P body is cheaper....

    The Canon LTM lenses are/have acquiring(ed) cult status (>>$/£) and for a practical shooter you instead need a cosina/voightlander LTM lens, buy a kit sell the Canon lens on ebay.

    Last Canon 7 with Canon f/1.5 5cm in brick shop was £350 (mint, working and accurate meter)

    Since 2007 Canon 35mm f/2 have more then doubled in brick camera shops... Ex +++ 450 £, none of mine cost 200.

    Not often I make investments.

    Noel
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,220
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Rural NW Mis
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    And a Leica may be cheaper yet over several decades of use. The film run through my M4 cost much more than the camera body.
     
  12. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    One hour sou
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The framelines of the P's viewfinder are reflected, not projected like on the M-series Leica and the Canon 7/7s. Because of this, some viewfinders of the P have aged well, some haven't. Always look at through the viewfinder of a Canon P before buying.

    That being said, the P has almost a cult-like following. A simple but very high-quality 35mm rangefinder camera. The Canon 50/1.4 is a superb lens too. It's relegated my collapsible 50/2.0 Summicron to my closet.

    Jim B.
     
  13. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Any rangefinder that you intend to use in poor light needs to have an intact finder, try before you buy, Leica Ms and IIIC are the most frequently damaged by poor storage over time, Kiev, Contax II, Canons are the most tolerant, note YMMV.

    But try before you buy, (similarly some SLRs have damaged penta prism optics).

    CRR at Luton will refurb a Leica M finder to be better than new, Ive looked through one, but expensive unless you get the camera for free.

    http://www.angelfire.com/biz/Leica/page10.html


    Noel
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Sonnar

    Sonnar Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hi there.

    Finder of the Canon P is commonly brighter, less dimm than the Nikon S2 finders and the RF patch better to see.
    Plus you got the 35mm framelines.
    The Canon P is heavier and seems to be more sturdy than the S2.
    M39 lenses are more common and less expensive in same quality than Nikon S mount.
    A working Canon P with an attached meter isn't to beat as classic user RF camera. You want a TTL meter, take the modern follower, Bessa R (but take the black ones, they keep better when the color comes off in heavy use)
     
  16. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hi

    The Canon P is closer to the Nikon S3 or SP or F2.

    It has a metal shutter like a late SP, but you are unlikely to burn a fabric shutter unless you are careless, hands up...
    A non rotating speed dial like a S3, more critical limitation unless you have good finger control.
    Fast loading like a Nikon F2 (SLR), some people need this...

    Noel
     
  17. mrosenlof

    mrosenlof Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Both of these cameras would be old enough that the individual copies you may be looking at are going to determine which has a better viewfinder. I like the simplicity of the P and its "modern" features like a single shutter speed dial.

    The M-3 was a major leap forward in modern camera features. It basically convinced the Japanese makers, Nikon more than Canon at first, to build SLRs to compete. The M series Leicas had enough patent protection that other rangefinder manufacturers just couldn't compete.
     
  18. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Some are going to need strip and optics cleaned internally as they can mist from lube outgassing, Some are going to need 'resilvering' as thesplitter and front surface mirrors may be damaged from atmospheric contaminants.

    You need to pay for either....
    Canon made near Barnack copies until the Canon VI and P the 'near' copies did not sell in volume, Canon was a 'cottage industry'. The Canon P sold in volume 100k from 59 to 61, a P was a lot cheaper then a M2, cause Canon built it for production assembly, Leica remained a cottage manufacturer note the up market 'pro' VI did not sell as well as the P. Canon saw a market and went to simple popular cameras as well as 'prosumer' models, they became a giant supplier.
    The Nikon S3 and SP models were pro cameras and competed with M3 and M2, Leica were not able to make a popular SLR system to compete the Nikon F and follow on F2,... Leica were also not able to compete with Canon SLRs. Zeiss did not do so well either.
    Leica did not go to production assembly until the M4-2... they were lucky to survive.

    Noel
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,120
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Most of the viewfinders of of 35mm range-finder cameras that era were crap by modern standards.
     
  20. davela

    davela Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,773
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Pasadena
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If their respective conditions are reasonable, they are both good and very usable cameras. The P has a decent finder with more frame lines, but in my view the finder is not quite as "ergonomic" as on the S2. The S2 has only 50mm framing (requiring external finders with non-50mm lenses), but the S2 finder has more eye relief and is just very eye friendly. If one is changing lenses frequently, the P might be a better choice. The P is also a less expensive camera and probably a little newer than the S2. Nikon rangefinder mount lenses are fairly plentiful, but not quite as easy to find in all focal lengths as LTM lenses, although some of the Nikon fit lenses are a compelling reason in themselves to support a Nilkon RF mount body purchase!
     
  21. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    東京
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The Canon P and Nikon S2 are not similar cameras. The S2 is similar to the Canon L series, the Canon P is similar to the Nikon S3, the P and S3 both have similar frame lines in the viewfinder.

    I have repaired numerous examples of both cameras, and both are similar in quality. The advantage of the Nikon is that it can be wound, focused, and shot with one hand. The advantage od the P is that LTM lenses are more plentiful. That said, the Nikkor lenses are better made than Canon lenses. The lubricant in Canon lenses attacks the coating inside the lenses, first causing haze, and eventually ruining the coating.

    The S3 (if you can find one for a good price) is much better than the Canon P. The mechanics are more refined, and the S3 is a smooth operator. I have a couple of S3 cameras, and they are actually smoother and quieter than my Leica M3 or M4 cameras.
     
  22. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,194
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The glass in some of the Canon lenses will fog and then etch if you don't service I.e. clean it.
    You don't need to use a Canon lens a Nikon or Cosina lens will do just as well.
    The Cosina & Canon 5cm lenses are comparable with the Olympic Nikkor but easier to get.
    If you have an LTM lens it can be used on lots of cameras.
     
  23. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll chime in here... I have had Bessa, Leica CL, M3, Epson RD-1, and Canon P and l-3
    .... Epson Rd-1 finder was dandy.... but like the Bessa always getting knocked out of alignment. ... I got used to taking the "shoe" off and adjusting.
    The Leica CL shutter dragged a lot when cold. My M3 infuriates me with slow re-wind and loading.
    The canons I really like A LOT! they are easy to load and see through and I am not afraid of damaging them, because I can get another for under $200.
    Nikon Rangefinder... never touched one, they look nice except for that goofy lens mount that looks fragile,
    (it looks like getting tangled on a coat sleeve, or door jamb knock would take the lens off the camra)
    and limited lens selections compared to the LTM stuff.
    In the end I like carrying a rangefinder around, but enjoy using an SLR much more for the kind of work I do.

    I vote for the Canon P to use... the Nikon S2 to pose....
    Also "gandy" and I can back up those Canon shutters are pretty trouble free. Stay away from even looking at a Leica CL... it's seductive... but troublesome.
    ... and I agree with the age of these cameras camera to camera rangefinder issues/aging will be significant.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2013
  24. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,822
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The material and build quality in the older cameras is much better than the later ones. However, overall condition on any used camera has to be considered.
     
  25. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,442
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Somewhat off topic, but as I have owned both the P and 7S and Leica IIIG, and used M 2 and 4s, but not a Nikon, I would consider a
    7S or 7Z with working light meter. I liked the feel of the IIIG better than the 7S, but the 7S was for me just more functional, think M4 with screw mount lens. I had the standard Canon SM lens the 28mm, 35, 100 and 135 with a few other odd lens such as a Minlota 85mm. Perhaps not up to Leica standards, but good performers as well, and any Leica SM lens will work on a 7S.
     
  26. Red Robin

    Red Robin Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Wrinkle City
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Sounds like some "hard luck Harrys" out there! But then maybe I am only lucky, but the three "P"'s I purchaced on the web ALL have good patches. All are from a widely different part of the Canon P production runs. All work well with no issues. A rarely used working meter is kepted cased as if a meter is needed I reach for the Bessa R. All are an "easy"load but sometimes I like to slow things down and thats when I reach for the Canon III or my Canon IIF-the "PX camera" as the Dechert book discribes it. Having a bottom loader or two is, I think, a fun way to make a "walking" tour more "thoughtful". I use the Canon, Leica, Nikon, Minolta, and the less expencive Juipter lenses in LTM. Like them all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2013