Depends on how you feel about meters, I'd say if you're not bothered about having a meter, a M2, M3 or M4(-P) can be a perfect camera. If you want a meter, along with nicer, brighter viewfinders, and easier film loading, get a Bessa or a Zeiss Ikon.
Contax G2 is a beautiful camera, but it does not have range finder style focusing.
If you're also considering medium format rangefinders, the GF670 is stunning.
It's probably a very personal thing, but I finder I can focusing a range finder *far* faster than my SLR or TLR, but I expect it really varies from person to person.
Originally Posted by Les Sarile
Originally Posted by thegman
And if the OP wants to go MF. I second the GF670 suggestion! All the speed of a rangefinder on a MASSIVE film plane.
Comparing a fed5 to a Nikon FM2n is like comparing a blunt old axe to a surgeons scalpel. They will both do the job but the latter will be better.
My advice would be M2, but by far the most advantageous point about using a rangefinder are the frame finders in the viewfinder. These are a wonderful aid to composition, allowing you to see above, below and right to left of the subject. Also, unlike an SLR you do not lose sight of the subject at the moment you click the shutter. Less moving parts with no mirrors chucking up clouds of dust in front of the focal plane. If you make the switch, welcome to the simplistic world of rangefinders. Don't worry about a meter, as if you stick with one film/developer/enlarger, you will soon find you don't need one.
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I have used Nikon SLR's for years. Still have and love my FE and my original F, but I now use mostly my M3 with a 50 mm 'Cron and a Circa 1937 Leica 90 mm lens. Camera Heaven.
Originally Posted by philosomatographer
I'd love an M3 more than anything in the world photographically, haha. Too bad pretty much any Leica gear is out of possibility for me. I always seem to get lucky in that I either find a few neat things here and there at thrift stores (which sounds unlikely for Leica gear) or friends give me equipment (which also seems highly unlikely, heh).
Check out my website
Yashica T4, Yashica-D, Minolta X-700.
I agree with Les, The Rf's are good at certain things but an SLR will have it's own strengths.
Originally Posted by Les Sarile
Try focusing & shooting quickly with a Visoflex.
set the mirror, focus, set the lens to working aperture & shoot. Wanna race?
If you set a limit to uses there's really no comparison, it's apples and artichokes.
Using anything but a standard mount lens can be challenging if not difficult.
if you wanted a pro DSLR the choice is N or C...
if you need a pro rfdr there is also Leica.
The pick of the Canon rfdr is the Canon P the Nikon the S3 the Leica the M2 (or M4-2 if you can tolerate ugly) .
They all have the same shutter the Canon is stainless steel and noisier.
The Canon is cheaper and you have the option of the 60s lenses in single coating or the Cosina in multi.
In UK good P and slow 35mm SC or MC less than 500 GBP from dealer.
You load 400 ISO use ID68 for 650 prefocus at 7 foot /125 and 5.6 fast draw and fire like Gary Winogrand in their face.
Though Gary used a 28mm Canon on his M4 mostly.
Rangefinders are generally good between 28-90mm depending on the finder magnification and perspective. Outside that realm an SLR rules. I would not get rid of an FM2n just because one is "switching" to rangefinder. Unless you have a low mag wide based finder using wide angles on range finders sucks!
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.