Try a Rollei 35, or Olympus 35RC. They are fun, and small. and Manual.
[ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]
manual focus SLR : Fujica ST 701 or 705: great glass, robust and cheap also loads of cheap screw mount lens fit it so you can experiment with different focal lengths to your hearts content. Pentax spotmatic is similar.
Problem with the old Olympus RC and Canonets is they take now defunct 1.3v Mercury cells for the built-in meter. I hear they can be adjusted to take Alkalines but I'm not sure. Will the EE/AE cameras work without a battery like an old SLR that only used it for the meter? Again, I'm not sure.
There are easy to obtain and inexpensive adapters available to convert current silver oxide or hearing aid batteries for use in the Olympus RC and Canonet cameras. There are lots of links here on APUG about just that subject.
Originally Posted by hpulley
If the cameras suit you, the battery issue is easy to solve.
I've got two cameras and one hand meter that originally were designed for mercury batteries, and with a few mouse clicks, a few $ sent via PayPal and a few days wait, they are all working with easily found and reasonably priced batteries.
Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Wein makes a 1.35v Zinc-air battery. Works great and they're cheap. I just bought a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 which uses them.
Originally Posted by hpulley
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I still have Mercury cells for my old cameras (bought a big box when they were going off the market, still good) so I haven't had to resort to the alternatives yet, just thought I'd give fair warning to the OP that the old '70s cameras usually expect the 1.3v Mercury cells.
Or even ignore. If all you need the battery for is the meter, get an external meter that takes a more modern battery.
Originally Posted by MattKing
Also, cameras are so cheap now, you don't have to decide between a rangefinder and an SLR: get both. Yashica, Canon, Olympus, Konica--a range of good older cameras can be had, hard to go too far wrong.
Buy a new fuji point and shoot camera. They are 17 dollars and excellent at mid distance to infinity.
The important thing is to manage the composition and right or middle placed viewfinder point and shoot cameras are excellent.
Zenit is excellent and very cheap and beat the japanese cameras.
Camera must move with your head and so the eyes. Hand is not important , head is important.
Keep away from big viewfinder cameras , its like viewing a film from plasma and makes difficult to get the proportions , the whole thing.
If you want to stick with an SLR but more compact I like (and own) the Pentax ME Super. With the aforementioned "pancake 40" 40mm lens it makes a pretty small package, but unfortunately like a lot of Pentax lenses (due to backwards-compatibility) the Pentax-M pancake 40's price keeps going up, so I don't currently own the lens personally. I find the Pentax 28/2.8 and the 50/1.7 are compact enough for me for walking around, although it doesn't fit in a pocket this way. You can use the camera manually or in aperture-priority mode.
The only issues with the ME Super that I see are:
- it needs batteries to operate, even if you want to manually select the shutter speed (without batteries it always fires at 1/125), and it uses a couple of buttons on the top deck to select the shutter speed, which can be a bit fiddly if you're trying to do it quickly, have fat fingers, or if you're shooting outside in the cold
- because of its small size, if you want to use a longer, heavier lens you may run into balance issues
If you want to move to a rangefinder, the Olympus 35 series is likely the most compact fixed-lens variety, which can be used manually or automatically. If you want to get into removable-lens Leica M or compatible lenses, the CL/CLe I believe are the most compact cameras. Similarly in screw-mount, a FED-2 or screw-mount Leica with collapsible 50mm lens are also fairly compact, and are entirely manual.
i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.
- phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds
The smallest real rangefinder is an Olympus XA, selectable aperture priority mode, up to 800 iso. Clam shell design means no lens cap. It's so small it fits in a pants pocket. Everything else is jacket pocketable at best. Terrific 6 element, 35mm, 2.8 lens. Uses modern batteries, not mercury. I got one on ebay for $35 with the flash.