Suggestions for new P&S

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mjs, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. mjs

    mjs Member

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    I'm going to do some research but there's no research like asking the experts, so here I am.

    I want a very small, very fast 35mm camera rugged enough to carry in my pocket day in and day out. A fixed focal length lens is fine (about 35mm would be dandy, maybe f.2.8 or faster,) and for what I want this camera for, I'm not overly concerned about controls. If I can control shutter, aperture, etc. that would be great but an 'all auto only' camera wouldn't necessarily be bad.

    What is important is that it be a fast camera -- I want to be able to pull it from my pocket, turn it on, a quick glance to compose and then take the picture. I want the camera to take less than 1 second to do whatever it wants to do between the time I press the shutter release and it fires the shutter -- preferably way less than one second.

    I thought about a cheap fixed-focus deal and that might be an option, I suppose, although most of them have rather crappy lenses and this isn't intended to be a 'crappy-camera' deal. And, they tend to be rather bulky.

    I've been using a cheap rangefinder (Yashica Electro,) for the past couple of years for this kind of thing and it's just not small enough to be pocketable -- it lives under the seat of my car, which is fine for when I'm in the car, but alas, most of the time I'm not in my car. I need something which fits an ordinary pocket. And has good auto-exposure. I don't intend to take time to meter, think about zones, etc. Just frame and shoot and get a reasonably exposed photograph with print film. I intend taking the film to local stores for print processing plus a CD.

    In past years I looked longingly at cameras such as the Stylus, but in the past shutter lag has always been the deal-killer for me. The cameras I've tried before have just been too slow. Is what I want a pipe-dream in the P&S, ultra-compact format?

    PS: I'm not rich. These days, I wonder whether I'm still middle-class or not. :smile:

    Thanks!

    Mike
     
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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Olympus Trip. I also use an Olympus Pen EE half frame, but I'm after a Pen F. Olympus are the small camera specialists :smile:

    Ian
     
  3. votrepear

    votrepear Member

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  4. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Sounds like an Olympus XA or XA2 might fit the bill also. The XA2 might be closer to the point and shoot you are looking for, very compact and pocketable.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  6. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Mike;

    One killer of a term in your inquiry is the use of the word "new."

    I do not think that any of the major camera manufacturers are making this kind of a camera any more. There is some validity to the complaint about the "digital revolution" and "the demise of film." Less film is being purchased now, so the manufacturers are making less. Several of my favorite films are no longer made. If the predictions for the mass market for film are going down, they are not going to be making very many new cameras. You are not going to find any regular film camera that is "shirt pocket" friendly.

    If you are willing to accept a used camera and have it checked and serviced, there are some you might find useful. Please note that the Yashica Electro 35 is already one of the smaller 35 mm film cameras out there. You have already had a suggestion for Olympus. Another you might consider based on small size is the little Rollei 35. Try it before you purchase; it does have some unusual placement for its controls.

    There might be one possible exception you might consider. While it was not a "full frame" 35 mm camera, I do not think that there is anything smaller than the Tessina. It certainly is a shirt-pocketable camera, but I am not sure how to rate its durability. I do not think it would enjoy being bounced around under the seat of the car. The company is still in business, although I do not know about the camera being in production currently. Then there is the point about it being made in Switzerland, a country known for their watch making capability. Their cameras were priced accordingly. (Always did want an Alpa.)

    I am sorry that there is not anything comonly available like the little popular digital cameras sold today.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Depending on your budget a Konica Hextar. Yashica also made a really nice point and shoot with a Ziess Lens. If not, really really cheap, not very fast, has a nice sharp lens a Vivitar clam shell point and shoot, I think its a 35mm 3.5, I see them around in thrift shops for under $10.00 My wife sold out to the dark side, but once in a while she pulls her's out when she wants better quaility. When she was a staff feature writer for a local paper (Mesa Tribune which is just about defunt Sunday was the last print edition) she covered the 1998 superbowl and several of the prints she took with that camera made the paper.
     
  8. rosey

    rosey Member

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    I have a nice little Nikon Lite Touch brand new in box. I also have one like new without box at a bit less. Let me know if interested. It has a 28mm lens, very sharp. Also, you might look at the Olumpus Stylus Epic. Also a nice camera. And I have a few absolutely mint Konica Big Mini models with 35mm lenses. I even have a new Konica A4, I think, still in box.
     
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  9. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I have a Rollei AFM35 which is amazing [the lens is great]. Very slight focus lag, though. Similar to the Stylus Epic [which is, I think, perfect for your needs if the focus lag isn't a problem]. The focus lag isn't a problem for me, it's so short. I need to check but I think my Ricoh R-series compact has quicker autofocus [but the picture quality isn't as high].

    The XA2 has no lag at all. Zone focusing though.

    I tend to think the focus lag/lens opening lag is less than focusing time or time to remove a lens cap on most older cameras, so I wouldn't stress about it.
     
  10. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Olympus XA, or the auto version of it, the Stylus epic.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Definitely not new, but not terribly expensive - a Kodak Retina IIa. Rangefinder focus, F2 50mm lens, compact, extremely rugged.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you can find one, a yashica T4. dont' get the date back ...
     
  13. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Focus lag is going to be a problem on all AF P&S cameras.

    I like the Yashica T4/T5 - f3.5 35mm Zeiss Tessar lens that is hard to beat - very sharp wide open which is impressive for a Tessar, exposure accurate enough for shooting Kodachrome. Prices on used ones have gotten rather high.

    The other camera I have is a Nikon 35Ti, f2.8 35mm 6-element lens, matrix metering, manual overrides, steam-punk meets Mies Van Der Rohe styling, wonderful build quality. Prices are often less than what a T4 will go for. Total lag from pushing the button to taking the picture isn't ultra short, but unlike other P&S's the lag after pre-focus to taking the picture is very short - so it works for portraits and such.

    The old Rollei 35 - the old glass and chrome one with the pull out Sonnar lens - would be a good choice. Scale focusing and match-needle light meter though.

    I have had an XA and a Stylus Epic and didn't care for them, probably bad samples of each - the XA had very poor resolution wide open [think box Brownie] and the Epic managed to focus sharply on something but it was never the thing I wanted it to focus on.
     
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  15. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    The olympus trip 35 offers auto exposure ASA 25-400 with manual one person, 2, 3, mountain focusing. The Nikon L35AF offers autofocus.

    I've used the trip and I love it. I'm looking for the nikon.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Rollei 35's are not going to be fast if you have to pull out the lens & set focus/speed & aperture. May as well get a Leica M or S camera.
     
  17. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    I've heard lovely things about the Nikon 28ti but they're pricey.
     
  18. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Don't laugh, but you might want to give a disposable camera a try. No shutter lag, cheap, and many of them actually take decent photos. Won't cost you much to give one a try either.

    Best,

    Michael
     
  19. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Contax T3. I don't know how much it runs in the used market these days, but in Japan you can get one in mint condition for 400-500 USD. I know it's a lot of money in a way, and especially to use it from now on it's kind of not worth the investment. But it's small, fast, and takes good pics. It's way better than other high-end P&S cameras I know of. I've been using this camera since when it came out in 2001.
     
  20. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    This is more about how you shoot rather than your camera, though.
     
  21. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Worth trying a Konica c35 auto to see if you like it, I've seen them go for as little as $5 on US ebay....no inbuilt flash and limited for slow and very fast shutter speeds......but the Hexanon lens is very good to excellent....it has a range finder, but with the 38mm f2.8 lens I just judge the distance and set the lens and let DOF cover.

    http://mattdentonphoto.com/cameras/konica_c35auto.html

    C35, 5X7" print scanned, 200 asa film....erm one day I'll set that horizon horizontal, but here's a pic:-

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Mike,
    I suspect a lot of us have been/are still going down this road, along with the quest for the 20mm - 500mm f1.8 zoom lens with excellent image quality across the range for under £25!
    I've tried a few and they all have drawbacks of some sort:
    Retina IIa - small and just about pocketable but very weighty for its size. You won't whip it out, unfold it, set the fiddly controls and take a picture in anything like the time a modern P & S takes to do its thing. On the plus side, no batteries to worry about (a BIG plus, IMHO).
    Konica Lexio 70W - Truly pocketable but does rely on battery. Considerable distortion at wide angle setting, but if it gets the flying saucer pic, who cares?
    Olympus mjuII (Stylus in USA?) - I have the model with the fixed focal length (35mm, I think) f2.8 lens, which is a cracker. Does rely on battery, but with no zoom the battery lasts for ages. (Lack of zoom also stops me from farting around too long and thereby missing opportunities!) Hard to see how a full frame 35mm camera could be made any smaller. Mine suffers from a light leak under the viewfinder, cured with a piece of black tape each time I load it.
    Olympus Trip - Bought this in superb condition for 50 pence a few months ago and only put a film in it last Sunday. These have a cult following. Auto exposure but no battery to let you down and a lot of good things said about the lens. Needs a bigger pocket than the mjuII and limited for low light applications.
    Pentax MV + 40mm pancake lens - OK, a coat pocket rather than a shirt pocket, but I took one on holiday with me (British summer, so I always had my coat on!) and found it surprisingly useful. Needs batteries for most functions, though a manual 1/100th is available if batteries die.

    All have their pros and cons and perhaps the ultimate "take everywhere" camera doesn't exist, but with prices as they are you can have great fun looking for it!

    Best wishes,

    Steve
     
  23. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I'll second the vote for Contax. I got a TVS over the summer and it's taken some great photos. It's heavy and I guess pocketable.
     
  24. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Just to reiterate, the Rollei AFM35 is the best compact I've used. You can preset manual focus distances, use program mode or aperture priority, it has a fast(ish) 38mm lens with an aspheric element and HFT multi-coating and it's built like a tank. Not as pocketable as the mjuII (Stylus Epic), though, but more 'handholdable' [the proportions are better and the lens doesn't move during exposure].
     
  25. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I used a Rollei Prego, with fixed focal length 38mm f/3.5 lens. Cuts a decent image. I have an Ollie Stylus Epic, fixed 2.8 lens which I bought as a back up.
     
  26. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Boy, this has gotten interesting! I tried a Retina IIc, I think it was; got it at an estate auction, thought how cool all the precise machining was and how neat it was to be battery independant, but while it was a rangefinder I'd still have to figure exposure and I don't want to have to do that. Contax, etc. are mostly far beyond my budget; I can spend in the neighborhood of $100 or so. Yeah, I know, it isn't much for a camera but short of eating into the money for film and processing, that's what I have to work with.

    I wasn't really expecting to get something new; I figure they may still make a few new P&S cameras in these dark days of digital but they're probably higher-end ones, looking for trendy buyers. I'm just an old fart who likes film; trendy isn't on my radar. So used is fine. I tried a couple of disposable cameras; as was said, the quality was surprisingly good. Not 'good', but better than I expected. I envision some B&W though, and haven't been able to find B&W disposables locally. The Yashica T4 is highly recommended but I can't find out anything about shutter lag. Ditto for the Stylus, especially the fixed 35mm lens model. Then there's the Nikon mentioned earlier. Any idea what a Nikon like that goes for?

    Mike