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  1. #1

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    Rangefinder Recommendation

    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for a rangefinder for street photography and I don't have a large budget.

    I have inherited a Yashica Minister D but I am pretty disappointed trying to use it quickly on the street, partly because the meter is a bit of a pain (it is not visible in the viewfinder), but mostly because of how the exposure works. I would like to be able to walk around at a given aperture, zone focused ahead of time, and adjust my shutter speed on the fly to get correct exposure. The Minister D seems designed to prevent this since changing the EV ring alters the aperture while retaining the current shutter speed. So to adjust for exposure you need to move the EV ring, then move the coupled shutter speed/aperture combination back to the aperture you want. It is very cumbersome and not the way I would like to operate.

    I am wondering if you guys could suggest some relatively inexpensive alternatives? Ideally I want a fixed lens rangefinder with full manual exposure and a meter displayed in the viewfinder. I believe a Ricoh 500G fits the bill - anything else I should look for? It does not have to be super compact like a Ricoh.

    Alternatively, is there some way to uncouple the aperture and shutter speed rings on a Minister D?

  2. #2
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    Any of the Olympus 35 series are nice cameras. I used a 35SP as my main rangefinder for 3 years before buying a Leica M2 this year, and I still love the 35SP. It has a fantastic lens (42/1.7), two metering modes (spot and average) and full manual control in addition to a unique program auto mode. It's a great little camera.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  3. #3
    PDH
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    The Canon QL 1.7 has both auto and manual, only the F stops show in the iewfinder, takes 48mm filters, lens is sharp.

  4. #4
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Olympus 35 RC.

  5. #5

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    I keep coming back to my Olympus XA for street photography. Rugged, very small, and takes sharp pictures (although it will vignette slightly at its largest aperture). It's an aperture-priority automatic, which sets it apart from some of the older rangefinders which tend to be shutter-priority. It doesn't have full manual but I've found the meter hard to fool. If the camera has a weak spot, it's the view finder. I find the meter and focus patch a bit hard to see, but I wear glasses which doesn't help matters. To me they are small issues since I tend pre-meter and range focus when street shooting. Good luck with your search.

    -Jim

  6. #6

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    I recently bought a second Olympus XA for £25, including flash and a case. For that money I don't think you'll get better image quality or some degree of manual control. Despite the lack of manual override, you can change the ISO setting if you want to depart from the suggested settings

  7. #7
    photo_griz's Avatar
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    Any of the Olympus rangefinders. I have them all and love the results. Olympus really made some fine lenses in the 60's and 70's for their small rangefinders. I'm particularly fond of the 35 RC. You give up one stop on lens speed but is still plenty fast (2.8). For that you get a smaller and simpler camera. The quality of image is first rate. When I shot Lieca, I couldn't see any advantage are superiority in the Leica images. (One reason I sold my M3 and accompanying lenses). I take that back. The Oly'a do not handle flare well. The RC also has an shutter priority meter, which many fans preferable for street photography, is super fast and easy to load, and a consistently get 38 exposures per roll. ISO setting upto 800 should be able to pick one up for$50 or less. I got mine for $5 from the local camera shop.

    If you want fast and auto and awesome the Nikon F100 is a dream when coupled with the 35mm f1.4.
    "Crap, why didn't I take more pictures"
    Me

  8. #8

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    thanks very much for the suggestions everyone. it looks like maybe there is no fixed lens RF (beside the Ricoh) with a meter that works fully in manual mode, eh? Not a huge concern as I can just use sunny 16.

  9. #9
    dehk's Avatar
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    Get a Yashica Lynx 5000E or 14E. Those rings are not coupled.
    I been using a Lynx 5000(non E) with the ring that's coupled lately with no problem, different style I guess.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  10. #10
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwilkins View Post
    it looks like maybe there is no fixed lens RF (beside the Ricoh) with a meter that works fully in manual mode, eh?
    Olympus 35 RC does

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