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  1. #21

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    By the time autofocus was a common feature in compact, fixed lens 35mm cameras manual control was usually not available anymore. All these cameras were dependent on their batteries/electronics to operate, something to consider for a everyday camera. Perhaps a look back in time would be in order, to the early/mid 1970's? This era produced a crop of small(ish) 35mm fixed lens RF's, some with fast optics. My opinion for the most desirable would be the Olympus SPn with a 42mm f1.7 lens. Downside with this camera is price, clean operating examples seem to go for $300 and up. A more compact alternative is the Olympus 35RC with a 42mm f2.8 lens and fewer features. A good one can be had for less than $100. Not to be stuck on the Olympus brand another camera to consider is the Canon QL17 GIII with a 40mm f1.7 lens and moving frame lines to help compensate for parallax between viewfinder and lens. Canon made a boatload of this model but.... you will have to be able to check the camera over carefully to make sure it works right. Actually, that advice would apply equally to any older camera you intend to buy. These camera's mentioned all use the discontinued PX13 or PX625 mercury battery, however I have both the 35RC and QL17 and have had no problems using the #675 zink air batteries in either. The batteries last 3+ months and in 12 or 24 packs from a Walgreens are only about 75 cents each. One more bug with older cameras, they almost always need to have the light sealing foam replaced. Not a hard job, but it can be tedious. I speak from experience.

  2. #22
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Contax T2 if manual focus not that important (still there just not quite a real manual focus) or Leica CL with 40 Summicron if AF can be sacrificed.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
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  3. #23

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    Some of the cameras people are suggesting are pretty large. The Contax G2 and some of the others are the size of a moderate sized SLR with lens.

    There's several very compact SLRs [Pentax MX/ME, Olympus OMs, the smaller NIkons, etc] but I wouldn't describe those as pocketable, tbh. Excellent cameras, mind.

  4. #24
    PDH
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    Although I am not a 1/2 frame fan, I do have a Olympus Pen F, if you are thinking about prints up to 5X7 or 8X10 with slow film and dont mind sending your color off for development a Pen F can be good choice. Alternative is Cannon Rangerfinder with a collapsable 50 mm. In the short zoom range a late model point and shoot, drit cheap, I picked up a Pentex IQ zoom for $4.00, for weather resitance a Minolta Weather matic with a 35mm and 80 mm is also worth considering.

  5. #25
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    In 35mm the Contax T2 is a great little camera but from what I recall does not allow manual focus but it may be close to what you are looking for. I do remember the lens as being a wonderful little thing that provided excellent images.

    There are several fully automatic 35mm point and shoot style cameras, and some of them were very good, but I cannot think of any that combined auto and manual features in the way you describe.

    I use two everyday companion cameras. I have trouble making up my mind. Both are completely manual so they do not really fit your criteria. However, if you decide to consider manual cameras they are really good options. One is the Ansco Super Memar, which is entirely manual and does not even have a built in light meter. The second is an Agfa Super Isolette which is a wonderful little 6x6 medium format folding camera, but it is also entirely manual without any meter as well.

    Good luck, someone may come up with a more suitable option for you.

  6. #26

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    May I suggest a Pentax MZ-6 with today's "pancake" SMC Pentax DA 40/2.8 lens? It's a pretty slim combo, absolutely no compromises on IQ whatsoever.

  7. #27
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    In 35mm the Contax T2 is a great little camera but from what I recall does not allow manual focus....

    Yes, the Contax T2 does have manual focus.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  8. #28
    PDH
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    Konica Hextar 35 F 2, manual override for both auto focus and exposure. Manual focus would be zone. Used around $500.

  9. #29
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    Yashica FX-3 or Contax 139Q with a Tessar 45 pancake lens.

    No zoom, though ... and not as small as the T's or G's or the Olympus XA.

  10. #30

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    About 10 years ago I had a Contax TVS (don't remember wich number, but probably II), loved that camera. I do not remember everything about it, but I think it had manual zoom (with filter mount), very good lens, aperture priority, EV+- and "manual" focus. It was built like a tank and quite small.

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