I used a Rollei 35B for years as my only camera. hardly difficult to use. On smaller F stops the depth of field on the zone focus is wide enough to almost be P&S. certainly the inbuilt match-needle meter was good enough as well. I took 1000s of photos on mine. Just remember to turn it upside down when using the flash or people get strange shadow halos over their heads :laugh:
recent 35B image http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...mageuser=35532
I agree that the image quality from the Rollei 35T or S is top notch. No argument from me. I have owned in the past, and just not what I am looking for now. I've been the Minox route and reliability is a big issue. Maybe one of the Contax T models will come closest. I don't believe the others mentioned would fit the category of being truly pocketable. As I mentioned in my OP, size of an XA really fits my needs. I may need to settle on AE, but only with an analog meter readout and not LED's. As previously mentioned, this may not exist! Thanks to all for your input.
The folding Voitlanders are smaller than the Retinas and they fit easily in a pocket. They would be fine for print film where you don't need a meter. But I find an external meter too fiddly for 35mm, so they are not a first choice for slides.
The 35RC is a great camera, either on Auto or Manual. But with the lens and all, it would be a challenge to pocket. But I am really puzzled why you don't think the XA can be used in manual. With the built in meter, aperture and ASA settings, it is very easy to use any manual setting you could want.
Originally Posted by thuggins
I was hoping to go to a higher image quality. My XA does a good job, but not up to Rollie 35 or Minox lens quality. At least in my experience.
Ah here we are again answering the same questions. Maybe APUG should have a FAQ?
Honestly, you are getting into the area where a good digital camera will be much better than anything available in film for its class.
To make a camera pocketable with even a 35mm lens some compromises must be made. The XA uses a reverse-retro focus lens. The Rollei and minox use extendable lens barrels that make them less point and click and more prone to mechanical issues.
Other options are the small rangefinders.. Minolta 7Sii, Konica S3, Yashica CC, Olympus 35RC. Great for a coat pocket, easy controls, full manual option, excellent build and image quality. Too large for pants pockets.
Expensive point and shoots: Nikon 35ti, minolta TC, contax T, ricoh gr1.. these have varying degrees of manual control and are very expensive.
Auto point and shoots.. Olympus Stylus Epic, Yashica T4, etc. No manual controls but good spot metering. Excellent optics and lightweight.
My suggestion is the Olympus XA or the Olympus 35RC.
It does exist - it is Petri 35 color :)
Originally Posted by Gerry M
Olympus RC 35 could fit the bill