Topcon RE-2 and 58mm 1.8 lens. Worth bothering with?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Roundabout, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Roundabout

    Roundabout Member

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    Hi.

    I have found my old Toocon RE-2 and 58mm 1:1.8 Topcor lens in a cupboard. It seems to be in working orde, despite not bring used for at least 20 years.

    Question is, is this a decent camera worth persevering with? If so, what other lenses are worth looking for? I generally shoot between 35 to 50mm on rangefinders. What kind of prices should I expect to pay?

    Also, are batteries still available for the meter?


    Thanks.
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The large and medium format Topcor/Topcon lenses are excellent performers. Right up there with the best Japanese lenses. I suspect the 35mm Topcor lenses are also great, but have never used them. Topcon made 35mm SLRs before both Nikon and Cannon.
    I'd use it if I had it. There is a Topcon web site out there somewhere listing the lenses etc.
     
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  3. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    My all time favourite 35mm camera!

    And the 35 is awesome!!

    Batteried are still available, but of course only runs the lightmeter..

    OTher lenses worth looking out for?

    All I'd say.. (58 F1.4 is great)
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Oh no, not worth bothering with at all.
    Nice guy I that I am, I'll get it out of your way at no charge. Just send it to me.:wink::D


    Seriously, get a CLA (clean, lube and adjust) done on it, and rediscover why those machines are still so highly respected.
     
  5. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    No mercuric oxide batteries are made any longer, worldwide!

    It is possible to get Wein air cells, which output 1.35v constant voltage, but which starts to expire -- even without use -- once the air seal is broken (like all hearing aid batteries). Another alternative is to get the MR-9 adapter http://www.criscam.com/mercury_battery_adapters.php which permits you to insert a silver oxide cell and which drops voltage to constant 1.35v.

    I have four Topcon Super D (RE Super) bodies and a D-1 (RE-2), and tested them all for function within the past couple of months by running B&W film thru them, and the shutter speeds are accurate on all of them (although the meter is not accurate on two Super D or the D-1).
     
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  6. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    I own a couple of Topcons--A DM Super and an RE Super (marketed in US under Topcon Super D. The model you have, the RE2 is the model without interchangeable finder and has the Copal vertical traveling metal shutter. It's certainly a keeper. Lenses do come up on Ebay occasionally and prices go all over the place but should be under $100 for the more common lenses. Try Essex camera in NJ for the CLA. For the batteries, the Wein-Cell zinc-air battery are replacements for the PX13 and 625 used for these older cameras and these are available though Freestyle or BH Photo.
     
  7. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    That 58/1.8 is a seriously sharp lens. The mount is physically interchangeable with the Exakta mount, but IIRC you don't get auto-aperture on Exakta lenses---you have to stop them down manually, or you can do what everyone else does, forget to stop them down at all and overexpose by 37 stops. :smile: In all seriousness, there are a lot of interesting and cheap lenses for the Exakta mount out there, and a Topcon makes a nice platform for experimenting with them.

    -NT
     
  8. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    right - but if you can get the original lenses as seen in the attachments, who want to search for others.. :wink:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Forget the lens---what is that giant thing glommed to the back of the camera? Some kind of rollfilm adapter? (But the image gate is still only 24x36, so what would be the point?)

    If I had a lens like that 300mm lurking in my house, I'd want a team of friendly little Exakta lenses to defend me from it in case it went rogue some night and came after me! :smile:

    -NT
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    250 exposure back. They've been made for many cameras including, in alphabetical order, Canons, Leicas and Nikons. The back holds a lot of perfectly normal 35 mm film.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    And Pentax MX and LX. And Minolta XK. And Olympus OM. I suppose Contax RTS, also. I think that's all.

    Nikon made a 750 exposure back, too. It takes a full 100 foot roll.
     
  12. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    indeed - about 8 meters of film - and also a big unhandy electric motor attached.
     
  13. Roundabout

    Roundabout Member

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    Thanks for all the comments everyone. I reckon I'll be keeping this one and running a role of film through it at some point soon.

    It's a heavy lump of metal though. I can't see myself carrying it around on a regular basis.
     
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  15. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Well, it's excellent for personal protection, too. Swing that sucker by its strap at a malefactor, and its combination of weight and sharp edges will dispatch the miscreant forthwith. :smile:
     
  16. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    Those things are built tough - and they leave quite a mark when dropped on one's foot. :surprised:
     
  17. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I kind of like the mechanical-age construction of the Topcon bodies; it inspires confidence, and feels like it might also damp mirror vibrations. You do have to be careful not to get sucked into the camera's gravity well, though.

    -NT
     
  18. Roundabout

    Roundabout Member

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    The only thing I did notice, is that that rewind lever is a bit wobbly (up and down). It is very smooth and seems to function well, but I'm wondering whether this is a potential problem?
     
  19. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Be careful when buying lens, Topcon made 2 lines of cameras, the RE 2 used the same lens mount as the Super D (a side note the Super D was used the Navy for a few years in the 70s) and a consumer level with leaf mount shutters, the lens are not interchangable.
     
  20. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    There are lenses for early Topcons like Topcon B 'Auto Topcor'
    There are lenses for the RE Super/Super D and RE-2/D-1 'RE Auto Topcor'
    There are lenses with leaf shutters for Auto 100/Unirex 'UV Topcor'
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The cure for that is to get an 8x10 view camera, and go hiking with it. After several long hikes with the 8x10, tripod, some filmholders, a lens or two, some other accessories, lunch, and etcetera, carrying that tiny featherweight 35mm won't bother you a bit.:smile::wink:

    The Topcons were/are great cameras and deserve more recognition than they get.
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    But why failed Topcon at the market, compared to Nikon and Canon?
    That the Canoflex failed is generally stated to be due some lacks in construction in connection with bad marketing of the US import-agent, thus enabling Nikon to get ahead.
     
  23. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    As I recall the Navy did not have good luck with Topcon, did not hold up well, the lens lineup was good but more limited than Nikon or Canon. This is rumor, Topcon used the Exakta mount with a small rear apatutre which made, making fast lens more expensive. When I was in the Air Force I attended a conferance with several Navy Photo mates, all they did was complain was Topcon. The story they told (dont know how stock to put in the story) was that Bessler was marketing Topcon and someone in procurment thought that Topcon was made in the US and there was a law in the 70s that gave US made product a peferance. By the late 70s the Navy had moved to the Canon F1, while the AF and Army stayed with Nikon. I also think that making several differnt mounts did not help.
     
  24. Roundabout

    Roundabout Member

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    Just to revive this thread to ask a question.

    Does anyone know if it's easy to clean the finder of a Topcon RE-2? There's some dust and stuff in there.
     
  25. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You mean 80 metres. :smile:
     
  26. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Like all cameras with fixed pentaprisms and focusing screens, you have to perhaps get at the focusing screen via the opening for the lens and/or get at the focusing screen and pentaprism through removal of the top plate. Best left to a repair technician. Best thing to do is to send it in for a CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust) and ensure that old lubricants have not gummed up and prevent things from operating smoothly, and ask that the focusing screen and the pentaprism surface which is adjacent to the focusing screen are cleaned during the CLA (which they usually do as part of the CLA, but explicit request would ensure this is done!).