Another vote for an Olympus XA (original version) or an Olympus RC. Nice, cheap camera, easy to use, easy to find on the used market. Another great one to hunt around for is a Kodak Retina IIa. It will be pushing the limits of your budget, but it makes for a great all-manual pocketable rangefinder.
I use a Yashica T4, but it isn't manual. Only rarely have I found I wished for manual feautures on it, though. The price of used ones has been falling, I haven't checked but they should be available in the $100 range. There are other choices in ye' olde pointe and shootes.
Originally Posted by Markok765
Many people like Olympus' XA and Stylus Epic - I have had one of each and I must be unlucky, they were both miserable cameras.
Classic glass includes the Canon Canonette G17 QLIII [or some such numbers] and the Olympus SP 35. The SP has a wonderful lens on it.
For the best picture quality for the buck try a medium format folder like a Zeiss Nettar or Agfa Isolette [bellows on the Agfas can be a problem, as can 'green gunk' syndrome]. I enjoy walking the dog in the park with one of these in my jacket pocket, they really satisfy.
Olympus XA, XA2, etc.
Minox 35/Kiev 35A
Retina II or IIa
Petri Color 35
(the Lomo LC-a and Cosina CX-2 should be on this list, but the Lomographers have bid them way out of any reasonable price range - really should sell mine)
Slightly larger, but still easy to carry all day:
Olympus 35 RC, RD, SP
FED 1 & 2, Zorki 1 & c, Kievs
Universal Mercury II (a truly cool camera)
Petri 1.9 or 2.8 (great ergonomics)
My current all day photography set up is:
A Pentax sp500
Pentax spotmeter V
Canon digital with 50mm lens
20 rolls of film, and some other stuff.
around 14 LB
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I use a Minox 35 GL which is small, light, quiet and has a very accurate meter. Should be very inexpensive. KEH had one recently for less than 100
In my opinion, there are only three cameras to consider since you want SMALL...
I prefer the XA because even though the rangefinder patch is small, it's still effective. You can use either the finder or you can zone focus it. The Rollei and Minox are limited to only zone focusing. The only downside to the XA is it's ASA range of 25-800. The Rollei is 25-1600...the Minox (depending on model) is up to 25-3200.
All the lenses are VERY good. In reality, the Rollei lens is no better than the excellent Minox and XA lenses.
One advantage the Rollei has is it's ability to take 30.5mm filters.
Vito II, another vote.
I have used one like that too. Used to put it in my briefcase when I traveled. Remarkably sharp and contrasty images with its coated "Tessar-like" f/3.5 Skopar lens. The camera does not have a rangefinder, but fast film can help increase the depth of field enough to offset its scale focusing.
Originally Posted by Kevin Roach
It folds up neatly. A cleaning made the finder crystal clear. However, the finder's "peephole" is difficult for glasses wearers who want to see the entire frame. I put some plastic electrical tape around the finder aperture so that it will not scratch my glasses. Just punched a 1/4th inch hole in the tape with a paper punch, stuck it on and trimmed with nail trimmer scissors. With a bit of effort, I can see the entire frame while composing.
Last edited by T42; 12-15-2006 at 02:14 AM. Click to view previous post history.
As with so much in photography, opinions vary on that point!
Originally Posted by celerystalksme
Quick note - the 35S and 35SE (and the commemorative Classic, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and whatever else they made one out of!) with the f2.8 Sonnar lens take 30.5mm filters, the 35, 35T and 35TE with the Tessar take 24mm. Not sure about the models with the Triotar.
Originally Posted by celerystalksme
The destination is important, but so is the journey
Maybe from left field, but my first camera was a Ricoh 500RF and I loved it. Small, solid, reliable, a reasonable (if a little soft) 40mm lens.
FYI, mine was the later (late 70's to early 80's) type, not the old model.
See here to see a photo of a 500RF:
A sweet little camera that you might find worth considering.
*Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
*Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
*A passion to capture God's awesome creation