Good starter RangeFinder with a budget.
Title says it all. Other than that, I've had experience with 35mm since high school (4-5 yrs ago)
What's your budget?
for the under $100 range you could get any number of fixed lens 70's era rangefinders from the likes of olympus or canon, such as a canon ql17, or olympus 35 RC/SD/RP.
For a little more, like $200-$300 you could get something like a Bessa-R with a soviet lens.
What are the pros and cons for fixed lens RF other than no interchangeable lenses.
Pro - Being limited to one lens makes you slow down and focus on the symmetry between you and the subject and use you body position to compensate. Fixed lenses can focus to about 3 feet min to infinity. Usually cheaper (Yashica, Canon, Olympus, etc)
Cons - Non fixed tend to be more expensive (Leica, Bessa, Zeiss) save for the Russian Leica clones
Magic question for you is what is your budget?
Welcome to Apug btw
Hi and thank you!
My budget is around the $100 and I'm pulling more towards the Canon ql17.
May I ask you a question about RF? Whats the main difference from RF and SLRs? Easier, harder to shoot? May I know your take on RF? Thanks!
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Small, lightweight, and simple. They viewfinder can be more illuminating of the whole scene than an SLR.
Originally Posted by ardeepapa
They take a bit of practice to master the zone system and the patch alignment. RF's are considerably less flexible than an SLR, but they are quick and easy to use.
I second the list above with my comments. A Yashica GSN is also good, if on the large side. I very much like the Olympus and Canon 35mm series. Ihave the Oly 35 RC/2.8 and it is so small and light it goes anywhere, with the slight drawback of a slower lens. The Yashica 35 GSN/1.7 is big but is dead simple to operate and has fantastic glass. The Canon QL17 is a very nice, solid RF with very good glass. Only knock on it is it does not meter in full manual mode.
All of these can be found for less than $100, and there are very good places for a CLA for all 3 brands. Others will chime in with other brands and recommendations.
Some advice: don't begin with cheap junk because it may turn you off quickly; similar to drinking cheap wine and smoking cheap cigars.
Around $100 will get you a Yashica Electro 35 GSN, maybe a Canon GIII 1.7, or a Konica Auto S2. All three have decent lenses and rangefinders.
Around $300 will move you into the bottom of the interchangeable RF cameras, like the Bessa R and the Canon P or Canon 7 with a decent normal lens (not a Leica optic, though). Probably the best bang for the buck is the Bessa R or R2 with a Canon 50mm lens. I would advise avoiding Soviet bodies, as they are notoriously unreliable.
Starting at around $500 you can find some Leicas, like the IIIc or IIIf with an inexpensive Leica 50mm Elmar. The best thing about Leicas is that if you find out they are not your cup of tea, you can easily sell them and not get hurt financially.
But be careful, Leicas can be addictive!
Best of luck.
Thanks for the info. Now I need to do more research on each of the listed RF and find the right one for me. Appreciate all the comments!
Originally Posted by Aristophanes
That's the problem, money. I'm a full-time student with a on-call job meaning I don't work everyday/week, only when they need me, meaning little if not no income at all. But as of right now I'm just interested in educating myself of RF. But thank you for the list of RF and the price ranges!
Originally Posted by Karl K
A Canonet QL-17 GIII is a great value. It is readily available - though might have gummy light seals that you can fix yourself. It's manual mode or shutter speed priority - automatic aperture is easy to use. Shutter is fully mechanical all the time. The Quick Load feature makes it easy to reload. And the short stroke focus is easy to lock-in with, and has parallax correction framelines.
I didn't find the lens to be amazing, but it was good enough. The main reason I like it: The camera as a whole performed very well for me - giving me a "high yield" of good pictures.