My Zeiss Ikon Contessa LKE does not have the diaphragm and shutter linked and the meter display is visible in the viewfinder.
For street photography I would entirely ignore the possibility to check exposure in the viewfinder. Exposure is to be set beforehand. Maybe focusing is something that I would do in certain circumstances, rather than relying on zone focusing (which is never the same thing, as far as reaching proper focus is concerned).
If you use B&W you don't really need a light meter for street photography in daylight. If using one, I suggest an external light meter. You just check the two exposure values (in the sun and in the shade) and you keep mentally ready. You should set your camera for the most likely condition (let's say shade: EV12@100ISO, firstname.lastname@example.org e.g.) and keep mentally this value.
If the occasion arises in shade, you just raise the camera to your eyes, focus rapidly and take the picture.
If the occasion arises in the sun, you close the aperture ring let's say two stops, without looking at the camera while doing that. Then you raise the camera at your eyes, focus rapidly and take the picture.
B&W gives you ample room for exposure mistakes toward overexposure. So for street photography you could use a 400ISO exposing it at 200ISO and really do without a light meter.
Checking exposure in the viewfinder while "in action" will IMO spoil many "street photography" opportunities.
This is a very nice review of various compact RF cameras:
For street photography I would care about the easiness of use and the quality of the rangefinder.
I have a Canon Canonet 19 QLIII but I find focusing with it a bit clumsy. The focusing gear has a sort of "handle" instead of the usual knurled ring and I find it less comfortable to use, also the action is a bit "stiff" in my hands. A soft knurled ring is IMO the best option.
I also have a Voigtländer Vito CLR of the sixties. It belongs to a generation which is a bit bulkier than those like the Canonet, but it has very large and bright viewfinder which has "real" magnification (1:1) and can be used with both eyes open very naturally. The range-finder is quite nice as well. It probably is a better tool for street photography than my Canonet. The lens is a tad less sharp than the Canonet IMO.
Last edited by Diapositivo; 11-28-2012 at 04:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
thanks - the presence of a light meter is not essential, as I am comfortable using sunny 16 for most situations. However, I would prefer to shoot with the camera already zone focused at a set aperture and be able to adjust the shutter speed as I raise the camera to my eye, should something happen to change the exposure. That is the main drawback of the Minister D for me.
I'm not sure what your budget is but I had the Voigtlander Bessa R and really loved it. I started with a very cheap Canon 50mm but then later got the Color Skopar 35mm and it was much better. This kit is very inexpensive compared to the Leica rangefinders that it competes with but still not exactly cheap. It works in full manual mode but has a meter that displays in the VF and is very easy to use. It's also has a very sweet build, although nothing like the jewel-like build of the Leicas. You can see photos of it at my blog site "Chemical Cameras". The link is in my sig.
The Petri 7s has a couple meter, there is a needle in the viewfinder and on the top of the camera, so you can adjust the exposure while holding the camera to your eye, or when you're simply walking around before you even bring the camera up to take a shot. Unfortunately the selenium cell on many of these is no longer accurate, but a good one is good.
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I've got a Ricoh 500 for sale if you're interested! I don't know much about it so these guys could probably tell you more if it's suitable. PM me if you're interested.
There were several versions, mine is a 7s, mid sixtys. Shutter and aperture can be independently set (also has full automatic and aperture prefered), light meter is visible in the viewfinder. Rokor 45mm f/1.8 lens is well respected.
There's my 2 cents
that 7s sounds pretty much exactly what I am looking for - how much do they tend to go for?
Originally Posted by nwilkins
USD $10 - $150 on e-bay, but you likely will need to have a CLA on the cheaper ones.
Check out this group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/994592@N24/ Also, http://www.rokkorfiles.com/7SII.htm
The light meter is not TTL. The meter reads in exposure values (EV), then you look on the barrel to set the speed and f/stop using the EV index.
Stay in touch and I'd like to know what you decide on.
ah so the meter is not coupled to the manual controls. at least it still functions in manual though. seems like that is rare.
The nice thing about the Ricoh500G is that in manual mode the meter is coupled to the shutter speed, so as you change shutter speeds the meter points to the appropriate F stop in the viewfinder. If you want to expose at a particular aperture then you just move the shutter speed ring until the needle points to your chosen aperture.