(Pro Quality) 35MM P&S

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by DanielStone, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Hey all,

    i've just sold off some stuff to pay for this fall's classes, and I have set some aside for some new equipment. After looking at some of Terry Richardson's images, and most of them being shot on p&s cameras, until lately.

    I was wondering if any of you could recommend a real top-end 35mm p&s, could be rangefinder(such as the Olympus XA v1), or not, but being able to focus close is almost a must.

    If you have some rec's, my budget is up to ~$150 or so. Having a hot shoe is not a necessity, but if it has one, it would be great as well

    Thanks

    -Dan
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    The Yashica T4, the Rollei 35S or 35T would be the ones I would look at.
     
  3. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    also, if possible, could you please state as to the +'s and -'s of the ones that you recommend, or dont :smile:

    thanks

    -dan
     
  4. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Ken Rockwell really likes this one:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/l35af.htm

    No hot shoe, and no sync port though. I've seen them at thrift stores for $5-20. KEH probably has them as well, and maybe Adorama.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    IMO, the best way to get "pro quality" is to go with a low-end automated SLR. They are small, light, and simple, but can take SLR accessories.

    Canon AE-1 Program or Nikon equivalent (or whatever other brand) on program mode with a small lens such as the 50mm f/1.8 that will most likely come with the camera.

    If you don't want to focus, any AF SLR.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  6. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    One of the all time greats is the Canon AF35ML. It has a rippingly sharp 40mm f/1.9 lens with focus lock and a real he-man build. Includes a pop-up-only-if-you-ask-it flash so there is no chance of nasty flash accidents. Only downside is super low light focusing can be wonky. You could buy a bagful for $150 - they are one of the true sleepers in the P&S world.

    Hope this helps,
    Jon
     
  7. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    The Ricoh GR1 is a pretty cool camera. I picked up a GR1v (the most recent) for $300, so you might be able to find a GR1 or GR1s for your price. It's tiny, has exposure compensation, rough manual focus, and aperture priority. Oh, and a 28mm lens.

    For a lot cheaper, you can do a lot with an Olympus Stylus Epic. It's a fixed 35mm lens.
     
  8. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Actually I have one of those and they are rather excellent. Forgot all about it. Another smallish 35mm slr to consider are the Pentax M series. I think the one I have is an MV and came with a super sharp 40mm pancake lens.
     
  9. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Rollei AFM35 [aka Fuji Klasse S]. Easily the best light meter and the best control of flare of any compact I've used. I've taken shots with the sun actually in the frame and still had little or no flare. I've also used it at night and in very poor light with long exposures and it has metered perfectly. I'd put the quality of the images up against more or less any 35mm SLR (within reason). The AFM has HFT coating and an aspheric element. It's a camera that I could easily use as my main 35mm camera and not feel short-changed.

    There's a round-up of compacts here:

    http://shutterbug.com/equipmentreviews/35mm_cameras/0802sb_snob/


    Why people recommend the scale focusing Rollei 35s I have no idea. The inaccuracy of scale focus, particularly close up and/or wide-open trumps the alleged excellence of the lens, surely?

    I didn't like the Olympus XA at all, there's something about the 'signature' of the lens that I don't like. I sold mine after a while. However, I can see that it has a look to the shots that other people would like, my dislike for it was just personal taste. The Mju II (Stylus Epic) on the other hand, is excellent.

    I can't speak for how close any of these can focus, but I don't ever remember any problems with it. I do have a Ricoh (R10) which focuses very close indeed. The viewfinder on that -- and I assume the other Ricoh wide-angle compacts already mentioned above -- is fantastic for a compact, but I much prefer the quality of the photos from the Rollei AFM.
     
  10. cmo

    cmo Member

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    An Olympus mju II (alias Stylus Epic) can focus to 1.1 ft (parallax is corrected) with its very sharp 38mm lens, good AF, good metering, it is weather-sealed, idiot-sealed and very, very portable. When I saw it for the first time I thought it was made for film smaller than 35mm - it is just a little bigger than three 35mm film canisters and looks like a toy. Many pro photographers have used this tiny marvel.

    The downside: no manual controls, needs a battery, too tiny for people with gross motor skills.

    This camera is not manufactured any more, but there must be millions around, the mju series was built at very large quantities. Prices are somewhere between 1 and 70 bucks. Make sure you try the cameras before you buy them or buy from a trustworthy dealer.
     
  11. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    I have this one too, the metal version...and the lens is very good, in my test for sharpness it's just under an excellent SLR lens, and IIRC you can get tele and WA attachments for it.......paid £1 for mine.
     
  12. c.w.

    c.w. Member

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    Have you thought about getting something inexpensive just to try it out the whole compact idea? Something like the Kodak KV260?

    I use something like it a lot, (a Polaroid 232SL) it'll focus to about 2 feet. There's a lot of cameras that are pretty much the same thing - hyperfocal fixed 28mm f8 lens with 1/125 shutter. Part of the charm is that unlike more complicated cameras with AF, or complicated meter systems, or that preflash a few hundred times, the things just take the picture. The speed with which you can use one is fairly incredible. Especially at night where the shutter speed is just the flash duration, you can be moving the camera so quickly that people basically don't know what happened.
     
  13. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I'd go along with all of the above. My only reservation with the mjuII is that it opts to use the flash rather more readily than other P&Ss and that mine has a tendency to overexpose when shooting people with flash. The flash can, of course, be switched off manually but that rather goes against the Point and Shoot concept. Great lens.

    Steve
     
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  15. bwakel

    bwakel Subscriber

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    The Ricoh GR1v is by far the best compact I've used. In comparison with my Leica M6/Tri-Elmar set at 28mm the GR1V gives better colour reproduction on Provia 400X and is very nearly as sharp as the Tri-Elmar when both are used at f/8. The autofocus is pretty good, the viewfinder's rubbish but exposure compensation, manual focusing and decent flash options are all great. It's tiny even compared with an Olympus XA. You'll either love or loathe the 28mm lens' angle of view.

    I used an XA Mk I for a while but I found it horrible to hold and it suffered pretty strong vignetting. The lens didn't seem as sharp as reputation would suggest and certainly not up there with the GR1v.

    I also had a Contax TVS which produced good results but was clunky to hold and use and generally a bit slow.
     
  16. talkingfish

    talkingfish Member

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    The Fujifilm DL Super Mini is really small and the case is metal. I thought it was an aps camera when I first saw it - it's just slightly taller than a 35mm film tub. You can turn the flash off, it has focus lock (I think) and there's a zoom version as well as a wide angle. It also has that funny 'Panoramic' switch where the top and bottom are blacked off in the viewfinder and the frame (remember that?). It also has that date imprinting. And of course, drop-in-loading, which saves a whole five seconds!
    Jon
     
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  17. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    There are a good number of good quality P&S cameras, but I've to agree with 2F/2F that you can get good low end SLR like the Canon AE-1 or similar with a 50mm lense or a short zoom for that price.

    Jeff
     
  18. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've enjoyed the Hexar AF, which is capable of results rivaling most anything at any level. It focuses to about 20" but is a single focal length. As long as Konica is now part of the discussion, the Lexio series are surprising performers. I've been a Konica user over the years and my interest in them had me trying various things Konica or I might not have even tried these. A friend who runs an insurance adjusting company used the WR series Yashicas (before going digital) that were a nice surprise, too. His insurance company clients commented on the clarity and exposures of his agency's photography. My little shirt pocket P&S is a Leica Mini-III. The 800 speed films really make this little rig come alive and get the shutter speeds and apertures where they are at their best. I've got a number of special images that I wouldn't have had, simply because I had it with me. Anyway, these are some affordable ideas that I thought would be legitimate contenders.
     
  19. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    Another vote for the Olympus Mju-II. Spot metering is a valuable feature and the only downside is the flash has to be switched off each time you open the case as default setting is flash on. once you get used to that, it is an excellent and very sharp little camera.
     
  20. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    The EOS 850 makes a great P&S camera. It is small and absolutely feature-free and takes Canon EF lenses. No pop-up flash, no LCD, no viewfinder information. Predecessor to the Rebel line.
     
  21. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I have a couple of Nikon L35 AF cameras that I use.

    They are capable of producing pro-quality images but I would not say that they are of pro-quality construction.

    Here are my notes:

    PROS:
    Small size (70mm high x 130mm wide x 55mm deep)
    Lightweight (400 grams with batteries, film, and lens hood)
    Built-in flash useful but not powerful (f/4 at 1 meter for ISO 100 film)
    35mm focal length lens is very versatile
    High contrast lens that is good for B&W and low contrast lighting situations
    Auto film load is reliable
    Motorized film winder and re-winder are reliable
    Uses standard AA alkaline batteries
    Electronic flash sync at all shutter speeds
    Lens accepts 46mm filters
    Light meter sensor located on lens so that reading is done through filter
    Excellent for shooting landscapes
    Excellent as a loaner camera (I loan it to people to shoot wedding candids for me)

    CONS:
    No hot shoe or PC flash connection for external flash
    High contrast lens that is not good for flash and high contrast scenes
    Battery dependant
    No manual focus
    No manual exposure
    Only has a Program Auto Exposure mode
    Must manually hold down pop-up flash in order to take long exposures without flash
    Lens vignette
    Slow lens (f/2.8)
    Not good for close-ups because minimum auto focus is only .8 meters
    No auto parallax correction (manual correction only)
    No depth of field scale
    No cable release connection
    Off-center tripod connection on underside of body (not good for panoramic shots)
    Lens hood blocks one corner of the viewfinder
    Motorized film advance is strong enough to break film sprockets
    Must tape battery compartment door to prevent it from opening accidentally
    Auto focus is too slow for action shots
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Minolta X-700 or Nikon N-65 (F-65 outside of North America)

    Steve
     
  23. RedTownCats

    RedTownCats Member

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    If you a tempted by the suggestion of a small SLR you could look at the Nikon EM series:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/emfgfg20/index.htm

    I'd look at the FG, FG20, EM in that order -- the FG having the best functionality of the three. The FG is almost like having a Nikon FE2 in a slightly smaller and lighter package. Put a 50mm AIS or Series E 'pancake' lens on one at you'd have a nice package.

    Prices are gong up but you should still find one within your range.
     
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  24. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    The Stylus epic is awesome. I dislike that you have to turn off the flash every time you open the camera, and the loudness of it. I also don't like that the battery doesn't last too long, only around 30 rolls or so. I do really like having AF, and the spotmeter, as my XA doesn't have exp lock, and the RF isn't that good for really low light use.
     
  25. doomtroll

    doomtroll Member

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    For your budget I would recommend a Canon Canonet 28. Its cheaper then the QL17/19 but is still a fine little rangefinder for the money.
     
  26. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Konica AF.

    Why? The 35mm f/2.0 lens. A $400 camera with a $1,000 lens. Look up the Konica 35/2.0 UC-Hexanon lens. The P&S Konica AF has a near twin of that lens.