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  1. #21

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    Olympus XA is a good model, uses modern batteries but is aperture priority automatic. A 35 RC or 35 RD do full manual. But you will need to have the camera serviced (to fix the infamous sticky shutter) and re-calibrated for modern batteries. Minolta Hi-matic series had some good small cameras too. Remember that almost any 1970's or 80's Japanese camera will need new light seals.

  2. #22

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    The Canonet QL17-GIII is a superb camera but I'm an even bigger fan of the Olympus 35RC. It doesn't suffer from the oily shutter problem of the 35RD because its shutter assembly is different, and it's very compact. Do a little research on it and you'll see why it has such a devoted following.

  3. #23

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    Thanks very much, everyone, for the replies and suggestions. I've got some research to do, but thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  4. #24

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    I would handle a Barnack Leica (or copy, e.g. Canon) while you are making this decision. They are not that expensive, are very small for the amount of quality they pack, and give you many options for lenses. (I can name five great 50mms off the top of my head: Elmar f/3.5, Summar f/2.0, Summitar f/2.0, Summicron f/2.0, and Serenar f/1.8, none of which are pricey.) Usually a IIIa or IIIc with a Summar or Summitar in superb shape will go for under $300. I got my IIIc with Summitar for $225, and it was near pristine. If you don't need '1000 or the slow speeds, they are even cheaper. Get one with a lens. Lenses can go for stupid amounts without a body attached.

    If you don't want a camera that "good", I would consider a Rollei 35 if you can deal with scale/zone focusing. A Canonet is great too, though I think people usually ask too much for them. The Yashica Electro 35 is great, cheap as dirt, and weighs nothing, but is larger; definitely a more "normal-size" camera, and only offers full manual via tweaking of the ISO. In any case, you have no indication of what the [stepless] shutter speed is unless you set it on flash synch, which is '30 fixed, so I would say that this one is out. The XA has the same problem, if holding strictly to your requirement for a manual exposure camera (though at least the XA tells you the shutter speed).

    Then there is the Minox! heh heh. We have a gorgeous one in at work, with the case, box, instructions, and flash.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-19-2009 at 01:58 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  5. #25
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    For the cameras that take mercury batteries, google CRIS battery adapters. They are more expensive than the Schotkey diode approach, but they do work and are really easy to deal with. Based on your comments, I'd consider either the Olympus XA or the Olympus RC. As mentioned before, the XA takes modern batteries and is around the size of the Stylus. It has a fairly difficult to focus rangefinder. I consider mine a zone focus camera like the Rollei. The RC feels more like a "real" rangefinder camera and is smaller than the other 70's era rangefinder cameras. You will need to deal with the mercury battery situation, though. John Hermanson is a great repair person for the Olympus cameras if you ever need it. He does battery conversions as part of a CLA.

  6. #26
    GM Bennett's Avatar
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    I recently picked up an Olympus 35RC from another APUG member (thanks, Eric!) for cheap, and it's got a sharp little 5-element lens, and is very compact. Neat that a 1970 rangefinder still works so well. Sample home-processed roll photo attached of my usual new-to-me camera test model (my 4 year-old). If you're looking for a shutter-priority compact rangefinder, you could do a lot worse. Graham
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Jon---Oly-35RC.jpg  

  7. #27

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    The Olympus 35RC takes really sharp pictures! I just got my hands on an Olympus XA and I am loving it. Unbelievably sharp as well, I wish I had a picture to accompany my post but I am sure there are plenty online.

  8. #28
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Some XA stuff...



    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  9. #29
    Chaplain Jeff's Avatar
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    Hello,

    You don't mention price range (or I didn't see it), but I'm guessing you're looking for something inexpensive from the cameras mentioned.

    If not, the best option I can think of is the Leica CL. Great camera and of course, Leica glass.

    I would suggest some cameras that haven't been mentioned yet - which range from dirt cheap to about $100. I own at least one of each of these, they are all fully manual, and they're easy enough to use that my daughter has been shooting with them (taking GREAT photos, I might add) since she was 7.

    Minolta A - great little rangefinder

    Minolta A2 - an "improvement" on the A, faster glass

    Minolta Super A - originally designed to compete against the Leica M3 (the prototype, called the SKY, actually had an M mount). It has interchangeable lenses and is much more well-made than the other A's and most other RF's in this price range.

    Any of these will be cameras you can use for the rest of your life and if you break them, you're not out much. They'll probably need a good CLA to function at their best, but there are plenty of guys (and a few gals) who can do that for you rather inexpensively.

    Good luck and let us know what you choose.
    Jeff M


    M3, M5, CLE, Minolta XE7, Minolta Maxxum 9, Minolta Maxxum 9000, Nikon F3HP, etc., etc.

  10. #30

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    I couldn't believe I made it half way through the second page before finding a recommendation for a Barnack type Leica. I'll second 2F for one of those. I'll recommend that if you want to try one out on the really cheap, you can pick up a Zorki I with Industar-22 lens for well under $100. The Leica equivalent to that would be a II-B with 50mm f3.5 Elmar and will run you around $200 or more. They're so small that they can be jammed into a Levi jeans pocket (looks funny, it's uncomfortable, but it can be done).

    Dan

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