Pondering New RF: Help me check my math(s)….

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by zsas, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Here is the low down, I am pretty much a diehard RF guy. I just love them. I have three Olympus XA cameras, they have a fixed f2.8, 35mm lens. One XA always has 50 loaded in it, another 400 and the third color. My other RF is a Yashica Linx 14E has a fixed lens f1.4 with a 45mm lens that is usually my indoor low light camera that takes 400 often at 800. That thing is also a joy, works fine w/o batteries, all manual, the light meter is the only thing that the batteries control. I also have a non-RF, a Mamiya 1000s 645 with an 80mm lens (equivalent in 35mm to a standard 50mm lens).

    So all my lenses are really 35-50mm, not much variety as they are all at max w/i 15mm of eachother, but all quite beautiful lenses and cameras in their own right. So I think I would like a wider lens, like 28mm or even as low as 21mm (but that might be too much). I either need to get a 45mm lens for the 645 (which is really a 28mm lens) or a new RF body/lens. Decisions, decisions, right? I can get the 45mm for the Mamiya for bargain basement pricing ($200 or less on Keh or elsewhere) or the Mamiya 35mm (which is akin to a 21mm in 35) for $300ish, or I need a whole new RF kit. I think, after doing a ton of research here, there, and everywhere, I am gravitating towards a specific RF camera/lens combo. But I don’t want to disclose my findings, I would like to see what others propose to see if we get to the same N. I do a lot of family/street photography. I have a budget of $1000US. Sorry don’t even suggest a custom MP and sparkling new 28mm Summicron; as much as I agree that would be a great kit, just not going to happen. Just doing research, seeing what my options are. Portability are key to me and why the 645 seems off the table to me. I know, some may say, step back, if you move back enough with that XA, you can get that 28mm frame. I know that. My legs can move mountains per se...Thanks in advance for any thoughts…
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    OM-1 and 24mm. Use mirror lockup and pretend it's a rangefinder.
     
  3. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Maybe a Voigtländer Bessa?
    If you want to use very wide lenses you can go for a Bessa L and a lens with a separate viewfinder.
    Even if you want a body with viewfinder and a lens you should be able to do that within your budget.
     
  4. thegman

    thegman Member

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    $1000 in the UK might get you a battered M2 + 1 old lens, maybe an M3. Not sure about prices in the US, but could be worth a look. You don't get a meter and these are old cameras though. If the Leica script does not appeal, then a Bessa offers great value. Maybe sell some stuff and get a Zeiss Ikon?
     
  5. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Thanks all for the comments. Down to two as my finalists, Bessa and Contax G2 with respective 28's. Might go the Contax route due to already having a fully manual RF.....
    Leica no matter what I do doesn't seems to have a body at $500ish, unless I get a M1 (there's one locally on Craig's for $400ish). Not really into zone focus though so I think the Leica line is off the table....

    Still crunching the numbers...(and saving up).....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2012
  6. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    If you can get down to an effective 21mm with whatever camera, would be my pick. I am not familiar with the Mamiya, but $300 to get 21mm on a larger neg, that sounds like a steal. I would imagine paying that much for the viewfinder.

    I have a G2 with the 21mm, and it has been bolted on there since the day I bought it.
     
  7. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

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    I faced the same dilemma you are describing a few years back and decided, after a lot of the same research I'm sure you've gone through, to use my SLR for getting out of the fixed-lens-rangfinder box. Not just for wide-angle, but for portrait-length and telephoto options - also for having more options for ASA, shutter speeds, exposure comp and all the other goodies that a nice SLR provides.

    I still love, and use frequently, my rangefinders but made the decision not to get into the GAS for M-mount and other collectible lens lines. Not enough bang-for-the buck for as infrequently as I use, say, a 21mm lens. At the price point you mention, you're only scratching the surface of what a versatile interchangeable-lens rangefinder kit is going to cost you eventually, if you're anything like me...
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Of course Leica is off table , you can buy one contax and one bessa for Leica 24 mm .
     
  9. segedi

    segedi Member

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    A used Bessa R4A and CV 25mm might serve your needs.
     
  10. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    A Leica IIIf or IIc with any of the Leica, Voigtlander, Industar, Canon, etc. wide angle LTM lenses. It should be easily possible under $1000. And any lenses you get can be updated with an adapter to M mount if you get an M2 or similar later.

    Steve
     
  11. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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    Bear in mind the M1 does not have a rangefinder. It was meant for scientific use.
     
  12. MattPC

    MattPC Member

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    outside the square

    I have been thinking along similar lines though at 35mm equivalent.

    Why not try a cheap 35mm camera with an ok lens before spending your $$$? eg, a Yashica 230AF with the 28mm prime will run under $100 inc battery and you see if you like the auto experience as well. That will get you comfortable with the 28 (which is really a lot wider than I thought it was going to be. I can't quite get my head around it which leads me back to my 35)
    Or, perhaps a Fuji GA645WI plus $500 worth of film/chems/paper?

    Maybe it doesn't really matter? Both your listed options are good after all.

    MattPC
     
  13. MattPC

    MattPC Member

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    Google FUJIFILM KLASSE W

    New, and Fuji never made a bad lens...
     
  14. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    If you haven't made the purchase yet, my two cents is why not save a whole lot of cash and get the lens for the 645. That way you can play with that camera (I love the negatives a whole bunch more than any of my 35mm rangefinder or SLR stuff) for awhile and experience that system for awhile.

    I understand it sounds like your having a very serious rangefinder gas attack (mine is fortunately controlled through medication for now), but I will repeat that I understand your love for the rangefinders, but I can almost guarrantee that you will start really appreciating your 645 if you use it more. That big, big negative is wonderful to work with, but I do love the pictures I can get out of my Lynx.......

    Final thought, now that I have an operable rangefinder press camera......I really, REALLY want to step up to a 4x5.......perhaps you money will be better served by building it up for one of the larger format rangefinders......afterall, I think you can tell that everyone on this site has pretty much gone from 35mm whatever to a larger and larger format camera.

    Good luck in your very hard decision.....been there, well about four days ago!!!

    Bob E.