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  1. #11

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    I never got too far into the Japanese fixed-lens rangefinder world, but it seemed like if you were willing to forgo the really fast lenses they got a lot cheaper. The Canonet 28 seemed like a good camera that was basically being given away, even when prices of the f/1.7 models were going kind of nuts a few years ago, and the other makers had similar sub-top-of-the-line models. Those might make a decent very cheap intro to the rangefinder gestalt.

    Some of them have no manual controls, though, and they were usually designed to use mercury batteries. My Minolta worked fine with a modern battery of slightly different voltage, so I guess it had some voltage compensation built in, but not all models did. The difference might be livable with print film.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #12

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    Getting into RFs

    Ya the Canonet 28 is great and a lot cheaper than the 17. But it is only automatic. (Frankly I shoot in automatic if it is supported and working. I just don't like buying old cameras with no manual as a backup)

  3. #13

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    3. Nikon S2.

  4. #14

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    If you can live with a folding front the Kodak Retina is nice and pocketable.

  5. #15
    PDH
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    I have both the Canon Q 1.7 and a Retina IIIC big. The standard lens for the Retina is a 2.0 or 2.8. I think there is was also a 1.9 so the Canon is a little faster. It takes some getting to use the controls on a Retina. The meter, if working, does not meter well in low light, and is not coupled so you need to transfer the setting to the interlocking EV control. The Canon's meter can be adjusted to work with a modern battery, and altough not a TTL the sensor it is set within the filter ring so you dont need to compensate for different filters. I use a polorizer a lot, I just watch the meter and know that the polorizer is at full effect when the exposure drops by 2 stops. The filter size is 48mm, not too hard to find. I use an old Pentex 28mm lens shade as I have not found the matched Canon lens shade. The Retina will take a S V push on filter and lens hood. Both are very quite, the Canon is easier to load than the Retina. The Canon has shutter speed perfered auto exposure so shooting in uneven lighting is a snap if you want to attend to the action without thinking about exposure. The Canon is much better with color than the Retina. There are only a few folks left who know how to work on a Retina Shutter. I take the Retina along when I am shooting 4X5 and MF as it folds and fits into my bag without taking too much room. I have had the Retina for a very long time and I am quite found of it. For the money you might look for a Retina IIIS, non folder, interchangable lens, but many of the quirks as the IIIC.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDH View Post
    I have both the Canon Q 1.7 and a Retina IIIC big.

    The Canon is much better with color than the Retina.

    There are only a few folks left who know how to work on a Retina Shutter.
    Me too.. experienced with both. But I would respectfully submit that there are many, including me, who would dispute these two statements. Every Retina I have used has ALWAYS been better with color than any fixed-lens Canon rangefinder. Yours must be a spectacular example if it is better than the Retina.

    The shutter on the Retina IIIc and C (as well as the IIc and C) is your run-of-the-mill Synchro Compur. Nothing special that any camera repair person can't deal with effectively. What is difficult for many are the interlocks in the body!

  7. #17
    PDH
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Me too.. experienced with both. But I would respectfully submit that there are many, including me, who would dispute these two statements. Every Retina I have used has ALWAYS been better with color than any fixed-lens Canon rangefinder. Yours must be a spectacular example if it is better than the Retina.

    The shutter on the Retina IIIc and C (as well as the IIc and C) is your run-of-the-mill Synchro Compur. Nothing special that any camera repair person can't deal with effectively. What is difficult for many are the interlocks in the body!
    I stand pat on the Canon 1.7 outperforming the Retina 2.0 color performance. I have owned my IIIC for over 40 years, was my first 35mm, sent it off for repairs several times and never found a local repair person outslide of LA in the 60s. Not just in the Phoenix Area but San Franscio in the 70s. Last time I sent to a retired Kodak repair tech who lived in Los Vegas, that was in the 90s. Matter of fact the other day found that the Retina s sticking at 1second and need to think about find someone who is willing to work in on, or maybe not depending on what it will run to clean and adjust.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDH View Post
    Matter of fact the other day found that the Retina s sticking at 1second and need to think about find someone who is willing to work in on, or maybe not depending on what it will run to clean and adjust.
    $85 to $135

  9. #19
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    Those fixed lens Oly RF's were very nice in the day. I used one for a 2 week trip in Japan in 1984. Loved the results.
    Akiva S.

    Nikkormat FTN, Nikon F, Nikon FE, Leica M3

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero/

    My Blog



  10. #20
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    A nice overview of compact fixed-lens range-finders of the seventies is here:

    http://www.cameraquest.com/com35s.htm

    they look all the same at first sight, but further inspection reveal important differences among them.
    Most of them would be good for your inexpensive category.
    Don't overlook the need of a serious cleaning, lubrication and adjustment for a second-hand camera of this age.
    Of this group I personally own a Canon Canonet 50/1.9 and I find the lens pretty good. The "quick load" mechanism is very well made.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

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