What is your favorite collapsible daily carry user between these 3?
My current daily user in my winter coat pocket is a surprisingly good Konica Big Mini 302. Lightweight and an excellent lens.
Otherwise its my superlative Contax T2 or a Rollei 35.
As you've said yourself the IIIC is the most versatile and most expensive camera, you could get a Retina III with interchangeable lenses for less money and it would be just as versatile. Personally I would get an IIIa with a summar or summitar. Another advantage of the Leicas would be that you can use the lenses on your Leica M.
The Rollei is so small that it's difficult to find in my pocket, and it's neither easy nor ergonomic in use. My Retina is quite solid and leigtweight but it no way gives the pleasure to hold as my IIIg does and then it's not easy in use. I'm privileged to afford the Leica IIIg it is such a perfect tool to work with. I am looking for an Elmar 2.8 to replace my Elmar 3.5.
good luck with you photography, MSBARNES.
I have two pocket cameras - 35mm Voigtlander Vito II and 120 Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515. Both produce outstanding images - the only reason they are not my regular shooters is the viewfinders - the Vito II's is uncomfortably small and the Nettar 515's is just a double wire frame.
Consider a camera with controls laid out in a "traditional" manner. XA & Rollei are small but not what you could call traditional layout. IE advance lever and shutter speed dial on top.
an inexpensive Russian camera would do the trick.
Canon QL17 Olympus 35RD but the SS is around the lens. Olympus 35RC. The RC has a traditional layout but the aperture ring is tiny.
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The Rollei 35 is really much more of a pocket camera than a Barnack Leica. On the other hand, the rangefinder sure adds to the versatility of the Leicas, at least for me. A scale focus camera that is thicker than the Rollei but not much larger, and is much less expensive, is a Voigtlander Vito B. The Color Skopar lenses were very good, and unlike the optically more fragile 50s Leica lenses, their coatings and contrast characteristics are often still excellent.
Thanks for the many suggestions.
I'm just going to play around with a few until I find one that fits me right. Some cameras I love instantly and other cameras, not so much. I'm not 100% happy with my Retina but I much prefer it over my other P&S's. I'd rather guess focus and scale focus than have autoexposure and autofocus only.
Well, I want all-mechanical for a few reasons:
1. I don't always trust autoexposure and autofocus
2. I don't want to worry about batteries
3. Manual everything is always more fun
The Contax and Olympus cameras are too automatic for me.
The Japanse RF's are OK but they aren't as compact s the other three (I don't think...RC,maybe).
The German folders, I believe, are no more better than the Kodak Retina.
I've had 120 folders but I was too paranoid with bellow leaks, keeping the film flat, and was not impressed with the IQ (compared to my Rollei). My Retina feels more sturdy and the IQ is very good.
I'm going with a Rollei 35 next so I will shoot that in good light and my Retina in low-light. I'm more interestted in shooting in good light so I think that the Rollei will do, as long as I'm not into shooting wide apertures and close-up.
Thinking about it, a Leica IIIc + Collapsible lens JUST for this purpose is still too expensive. That is a camera I wouldn't take to the beach, the bar, and leave in my messenger bag without worrying.
Last edited by msbarnes; 12-03-2012 at 10:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I have a Leica IIIa and Summitar. It fits in my pocket. It wasn't too expensive.
If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.
Might be worth getting a Russian Elmar clone (either Industar 22 or Industar 50) for the M2 or M3. They're cheap and pretty solid performers as long as you get a good copy (that's the tricky part). I picked up my I-22 from Fedka.com for $39 shipped and he hand picked a nice one for me.
I often shoot it on my IIIc, as well. And I have a Rollei 35S, which is a blast to shoot, but I often really wish it had a rangefinder. I've gotten competent with scale focus, and I enjoy its quirky controls, but don't find it slows me down at all. Don't have any experience with the Kodak, but you'd be hard pressed to pick a bad option from the other two.
A user-grade-cosmetic-but-freshly-CLA'd Barnack is a fine thing indeed, if you enjoy slowing things down a bit and really focusing on getting back to basics. Youxin installed a Japanese-sourced beamsplitter in mine, and now it has higher contrast than my M body, which he also CLA'd. The only caveat is that, while it's quick and oh-so-easy to focus, having to focus and frame separately is neither quick nor precise. So, if you're looking for a super-fast and convenient street shooter, you'd be hard pressed to beat an XA.
All else being equal, if I could only choose either the IIIc or the Rollei 35S, I'd go with the Leica, but not as my only camera.
And not to be a jerk, but in my opinion, if you're looking for pocketability, anything other than a 50mm on a Barnack is kind of missing the point (to whoever said it earlier), due to the limited 50mm VF window. Shooting wide-angle and hyperfocaling is a great way to negate the annoying split VF/RF, but you will need an accessory finder.
If size, speed and convenience: XA
If pleasure of fondling: Barnack with collapsible 50 (I had an elmar 2.8 LTM but it was really surorisingly heavy, so I sold it and got the I-22)
If size and usually color film, with no need for quick shooting/accurate wide-open close-range focus: Rollei 35S/35SE
thanks for the advice spicy.
An I-22 is something that I would consider. Many avoid FSU bodies but the glass I hear is an excellent value. Especially those from Fedka. I might test one out. Leica IIIc + I-22 would be pocketable and not too costly.