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  1. #11
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I think they and wonder precision jewels made when cameras were wonderful precision instruments, but there are some fair warnings about them. They are great for 50mm and less convenient for anything else. If you wear glasses, they may not be the best choice for you. And they are really old so expect that you'll need it serviced before it is reliable. BTW, I started with a FED2 and now have a Canon P+M2 mostly because of the glasses issue. The good news is that if you buy one in decent condition (KEH?) and works, you can always resell it for what you bought it for.......pretty low risk. I'd say try it and either enjoy it the rest of your life or sell it and find something else you can be happy with.

  2. #12
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    I might give one a try. I'm happy with a 50mm and no meter.

    I had a Konica Auto S2 and Lynx 14 but i wasn't happy with the build.
    I had a Canon P but I found it too hard to focus (patch was near invisible).
    I have a Retina IIIc which I love but it isn't ready-to-shoot (folder).
    I have a Retina IIIs but it has a shutter problem. It's a bit slower to shoot b/c of the EV system and general ergonomics and harder to focus than my IIIc.

    Overall my favorite is the Retina IIIc, but like I said, it isn't ready to shoot.

    A Bessa would probably be a "better" user for the money because of it's viewfinder/rangefinder alone (I have no need for meters and automation) but I love solid metal cameras too much. I'm not sure if I'd be happy with an FSU b/c of quality control issues, so that leaves me with Nikon, Contax and Leica.

    Since I don't mind my squinty Retina IIIc viewfinder, I don't think that I would be bothered with a IIIf viewfinder...maybe the dual viewfinder/rangefinder but that is something that one can get used to.
    Last edited by msbarnes; 02-13-2012 at 09:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    My Canon P had a few advantages over the Leicas I usually used, but wasn't as durable. The 50mm f/1.4 it came with was a dog compared to a Summicron. Retinas aren't nearly as rugged as Leicas. I've never owned a 50mm f/2,8 Elmar, but one in a test of about 30 lenses of its day was one of the very best. The f/3.5 Elmar lagged behind Summicrons.

  4. #14
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    I have a Retina IIIs but it has a shutter problem. It's a bit slower to shoot b/c of the EV system and general ergonomics and harder to focus than my IIIc.

    Overall my favorite is the Retina IIIc, but like I said, it isn't ready to shoot.
    The Retina IIIS actually has a very good viewfinder and *should* be easy to focus.
    The shutter problems (if it's slow speeds sticking) can be at least partly cured with a well-placed drop or two of lighter fluid (partly because it isn't really a solution for a camera you plan to use a lot - a full CLA is better).
    Getting the top deck off the IIIS and cleaning the viewfinder is relatively easy (if you have some experience with that sort of thing) - unfortunately that's the only easy thing to clean on theat camera.

    About the Retina IIIc, just leave it open!
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  5. #15
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    The Retina IIIS actually has a very good viewfinder and *should* be easy to focus.
    The shutter problems (if it's slow speeds sticking) can be at least partly cured with a well-placed drop or two of lighter fluid (partly because it isn't really a solution for a camera you plan to use a lot - a full CLA is better).
    Getting the top deck off the IIIS and cleaning the viewfinder is relatively easy (if you have some experience with that sort of thing) - unfortunately that's the only easy thing to clean on theat camera.

    About the Retina IIIc, just leave it open!
    I think you're right. I'll have to read the above posts more carefully because they are very inciteful. I'm attracted to a Leica Barnack but I'm not sure if the prices on some of their lenses is justifiable (I'd rather put my money on M lenses). I feel that I'm probably better off sticking with the Retinas for their portability and saving up for an M.

    I'm convinced that Barnack's are good users, but my Retinas are by no means bad so I'll just leave my IIIc open, give my IIIs a CLA, and deal with the ergonomics.

  6. #16

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    They are fine cameras. Great to have. But for the price I would not buy one to use. I must appreciate it for more than just using it to pay the price that they are going for.

  7. #17
    fotch's Avatar
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    They are nice and and small, then it goes down hill from there. PITA to load. Best compromise? M3 JMHO
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    They are nice and and small, then it goes down hill from there. PITA to load. Best compromise? M3 JMHO
    down hill might be a better place., than uphill with M3 in case You are not wearing glasses, of course.
    Also, talking about user cameras, M3 costs more to repair than any Barnack and needs it more often.
    The cost of ownership for the M is higher.
    The experience of using Barnack is authentic.

  9. #19
    erikg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    I think you're right. I'll have to read the above posts more carefully because they are very inciteful.
    Normally I don't comment on spelling or grammar in posts, but this made me chuckle a little. I think you mean the above posts are full of insight, (and indeed they are) and not inciting readers to riot. Although we have had a few of those here from time to time!

    As to screwmounts I think they can be great users, especially if you shoot with a wide, say 25mm or wider. Get a nice big finder, or just go without, zone focus and have fun. Can be a very direct experience. Lots and lots of great LTM lenses in the world.

  10. #20

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    The fact the rangefinder patch is invisible has nothing to do with the camera design, just with a lack of maintenance. A fully functional screw mount Leica camera is a pleasure to use despite some oddities (film leader cut, bottom loading, rangefinder + viewfinder windows) even if I prefer the Contax for the Zeiss glass.

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