Pocket size 35mm ??

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Gerry M, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Is there a pocket sized (normal pockets) 35mm, such as the XA, but with full manual controls? With an analog meter. No Rollei 35, too fiddly to use. Minox is AE.
     
  2. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    There are a lot of them if you don't mind that they are also fixed focus, 1 aperture and 1 shutter speed.
     
  3. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    If such a camera was made, I am looking for one with full range of aperture & shutter speeds. I have XA, XA2 and Leica CL. Would like something smaller than the CL, but still have manual control over exposure.
     
  4. Kav

    Kav Member

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    Maybe some kind of rangfinder with a pancake lens of some type? (Really specific, I know)

    I need to pull it out of storage to check the brand, but I have a tiny manual rangefinder.
     
  5. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Rollei 35 S or SE. No rangefinder, so it is guess-focus (scale focus), but you have a full range of aperture and shutter settings.

    The Minox GT-E is also very good, lighter than the Rollei, but only has aperture control. Shutter is automatic. In other words, it is aperture priority AE. It is also a guess-focus camera, as there is no rangefinder.

    Ah, but you have already ruled out the two most pocketable cameras above.

    Leica IIIf with collapsible lens. Heavy, bigger than either of the other two. Fits in a coat pocket. Has parallax corrected rangefinder focus. Put a Voightlander VC II meter on it if you want a meter.
     
  6. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The Olympus XA (not XA2, XA3 or XA4) with its uber-sharp f2.8 lens and inimitably friendly needle indicating shutter speed and of course that cute focusing lever. And it boasts +1.5 backlight control too. Love it!
    There are fancier, bigger names in small 35mm cameras. Get what smacks your fancy.
     
  7. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Kodak Retinas are nice. If you need a built in meter try the Retina IIIC or IIIc.
    Personally I like my Kodak Retina II and IIA, which don't have meters.

    Folded, these little cameras fit easily into a pocket.
     
  8. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    what paul gougiere said -- there were a very few that meet all your requirements, but they tend to be rather old and collectible and not really as good a users as you might hope -- really, in the ease of use department, the Rolleis were really better than most -- the earlier retinas would be my recommendation also, the ones without a rangefinder because it takes up too much room, find one of the earlier ones with a 3.5 schneider lens and the film counter that still works...(they often don't on later models, at least in my experience) --

    the IIIc is nice, but at this age the meters are not to be considered reliable.

    but on the retinas, on all but the final III-C (big C) which had a bright frame, those the viewfinder is iffy, nothing wrong, just small and not really accurate and hard to use -- really, viewfinder technology has made huge leaps which is another reason to look at a CL or XA.

    just use the ASA setting on the XA to balance the lens and shutter speeds to match what you want. Save urself a lot of hassle
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
  9. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    I've had most of the ones mentioned. Eyeglasses make a problem for the older, smaller VF's. As I said above, I have an XA, XA2 and CL. I was hoping for something a bit smaller than the CL, but still having its' controls.
     
  10. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    A Konica C35 is really small (and its many copies), has a surprisingly nice lens, vf/rf. Only negative is it it is a fully automatic exposure camera. Give it a try, you can compensate using ISO and the results are surprisingly good (exposure and the pictures it produces).
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Ricoh FF-1 35mm f2.8 color Rikenon lens. This camera has a builtin meter. The lens folds into the body making it easy to pocket.
     
  12. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Gerald,
    Do you have and use this model?
    Gerry
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    argus af
     
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  15. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Not as small as an XA or a Rollei 35, still very small and most of them with full manual control and decent range of shutter speeds and aperture:

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

    As an expensive and high-quality alternative, a Contax G2 with the 45/2 pancake lens.

    Or, as has been said, a Leica III with a collapsible lens.
     
  16. MikeTime

    MikeTime Member

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    Contax T2 or T3.
     
  17. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I have an Agfa Solinette that I'm quite fond of. It is pocketable because it is a folding camera with bellows. Fully manual but no rangefinder or meter.

    I have several Minox 35mm cameras. These are surely the ultimate in pocketable 35mm. Smaller and lighter than the Solinette. I know you have ruled them out as being AE, but some of the later ones have backlight buttons and exposure lock and all of them enable you to control the exposure by changing the film speed.

    IMHO the biggest drawback with the Minox is not the lack of shutter speed control, it is the cursed shutter fault, where dirty contacts, dust or weak batteries result in blank frames. For this reason, bargain Minox buys are often false economy and you need to splash out a lot of money to be sure of geting a late, well featured one in good working order. Mine are always a bit suspect - and of course it is always the once in a lifetime killer shot when they decide to play up.

    The Solinette was quite cheap, in nice condition and has been 100% dependable.
     
  18. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The Voigtlander Vito I, II and IIa might do the trick. No meter, however.

    In addition, nearly any German folding camera from the 1950s. Plus, the earliest Retinas are very compact, but of course lack meters.

    In terms of modern day cameras (those from the 1960s to present day), the choices are limited. If you don't like the Rollei 35, you have almost no other alternatives -- if you want manual control over shutter speed or aperture.

    Your best choice might be the Olympus 35 RC.

    I agree with Steve that buying a used Minox 35 is a big risk. My experience has been that six of the seven cameras that I bought had faulty shutters.

    As always, you will probably need to replace the light seals on any Japanese camera.
     
  19. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Contax T, but I think it's AE only.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I've had and used regularly a Minox 35G.T. that I bought second hand from the original owner about twenty seven years ago (at the time that it came out a now defunct magazine SLR Camera said they had to test it three times because the lens test was so good they didn't believe the results ) in that time it has functioned faultlessly all I have had to do is replace the battery. The 35mm f2.8 on Minatour lens on this camera is superb it would put the 35mm lenses of most major SLR manufacturers to shame, at the price that they can be bought for these days in good condition I.M.O are really worth a punt
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2012
  21. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    "pocket sized" it rather depends how big your pockets are, but I just acquired a Ricoh 500G and it's smaller than my hand, quite light, though quite deep with it's 40/2.8 Rikenon. Manual or AE.
     
  22. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    I will look into the Contax T2-3. Otherwise, it looks like I am on a wild goose chase. I was hoping that, maybe, I had overlooked something that fit my guidelines. Your suggestions say it's probably not going to happen. Thanks to all for your input.
    Gerry
     
  23. johnnyh

    johnnyh Member

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    Just my few pennyworth from my own experience, also mirroring many of the comments already made :wink:

    I know you've discounted the Rollei 35, but they (the original style versions) should be 'future-proof'; solid, operable entirely mechanically, it's your choice whether you use the internal match-needle exposure meter, an external meter, or sunny-whatever. No built-in rangefinder, but the depth-of-field should be enough for estimation unles you're into macro work. I reckon I would get used to the fiddly-ness of mine if I used it a lot, but I'm more into MF these days :wink: .

    Interested to learn about the Petri Color 35 - looks nice!

    I like the XA series (although the XA1 to me is like a worthy, re-usable, disposable camera if you see what I mean). For me it was a trade-off between my fumbling fingers knocking the focus lever when opening the XA clamshell, and remembering to alter if necessary the default zone focus setting of the XA2 or XA4 after opening. As has been mentioned earlier in the thread, the backlight compensation gives you some manual control. I ended up with the XA4 as I like a 28mm lens - I like to do townscape/landscape - and the depth of field is accommodating anyway.

    +1 to Minox electrical problems-never again!

    I once had an Olympus 35RC; it's of an older generation, noticeably bigger than the above, and still has 'electrics'.

    [ Representing the 'cheapo' fixed focus, 1 aperture and 1 shutter speed class, I have a Vivitar PN2011; totally mechanical, 28mm lens not having the performance of the Olympus Zuiko. I also have an Olympus Trip 505 with 28mm glass triplet and built-in flash; the motorised film drive is noisy.]

    In summary, the original poster is enquiring about the sort of 35mm camera that would also appeal most to me; unfortunately, by the time they became that small, the manufacturers mostly only offered automation of one sort or another :sad: .
     
  24. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    johnnyh,
    Great post. Your path and mine seem similar. I had a Rollei/Tessar and the images were superb. Just a bit too unconventional in use, for me. I may have to stick with the XA, and even tho the meter is a bit wonky the exposures are correct.
     
  25. MikeTime

    MikeTime Member

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    Good luck on finding a Contax T Gerry, aperture priority will do the trick for you. I had one for a couple of years. Amazing IQ and I could slip it into a trouser pocket!
     
  26. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I'd go for the Olympus 35RC. It has a meter for auto exposure, but doesn't depend on it and can be used fully manually. The lens is very sharp and has bags of contrast. The Petri Color 35 is an interesting camera but winding out the lens to take a shot can get tedious. I have a couple of Retinas which are very compact when folded, though a bit weighty.
    Steve