I think the Leica SLR wasn't mentioned because the title of this thread asked about smaller SLRs. That sort of rules out the Leica and definitely the Zeiss Ikon Contarex cameras.
The Kyocera Contax range included some smaller SLRs, including the above mentioned 139Q and I think the S2 and possibly the others.
The Zeiss Ikon/Voigtlander Icarex 35 is a smaller SLR and came with either a bayonet or 42mm thread lens mount. The bayonet is a breech-lock type system. These cameras seem to be well built, have a focal plane shutter, and instant return mirror and CdS metering systems.
The first Zeiss Ikon Contaflex is a small SLR but is a fixed-lens camera and lacks an instant-return mirror. Aside from that, it's an excellent camera.
The Pentax MX, which I've mentioned before, sometimes feels a bit too tiny to me. My main quibble is that the shutter speed dial is too tightly sprung and can't be rotated easily with your index finger.
Last edited by elekm; 10-23-2008 at 02:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: minor changes
The Vivitar you mentioned is mostly plastic. If you don't mind this kind of lightweight camera then a V4000 or V4000S is also nice. I have four of these. They go for $25 or less on eBay and have very good meters. The Minolta X-700 is a hybrid of metal and plastic construction. It's heavier than a Vivitar V4000S but lighter than a Nikkormat FT3. The X-700 has a very bright finder, interchangeable screens, TTL flash metering, manual/aperture priority/program modes, a depth of field preview button and a PC socket. I have two of these. One has a grid screen and the other a plain matter screen. Without a battery the X-700 is a paperweight but with a battery it's very nice. A Nikkormat FT2 or Canon FTb/FTbN are nice. These both have mirror lock-up but the lock-up feature is easier to use on the Canons. The Canons also have the QL feature.