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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    What is your favorite collapsible daily carry user between these 3?

    I have an M2/M3 with rigid lenses. It's great when my intention is to go out to shoot, however I find it a bit too big/expensive/bulky for a daily carry. I would like something less expensive (incase it gets stolen/lost/damaged), more compact (so I can slip it into my bag), but still sturdy and with decent ergonomics.

    Kodak Retina:
    i have this camera. I don't mind the viewfinder. It is bearable but still useable. The ergonomics are a bit awkward. I don't mind the film advance location but the shutter/aperture linkage is annoying. The size is great but it never seems ready to shoot. I have to fold it out and look at the lens and work with the EV system whenever I want to adjust the exposure. I don't think a better folder exists.

    Leica IIIc/f
    I do not have thsi camera. I think I can bear the viewfinder. The ergonomics don't seem as fast as the M but I have direct access for the aperture which is good enough. The lenses that I would consider would probably be the Elmar 50mm f3.5 or Summitar 50mm f2.0. I think the prices are comparable (between the two lenses) but the former is more compact and the later is faster. I figured that the both lenses wouldn't be the best to use wide-open though. The advantage of the Leica over the Retina is mostly ergonomics. Both viewfinders aren't the greatest but both are good enough for my purpose I think.

    Rollei 35s/t
    If I'm going to get a Leica IIIc/f + Elmar then I feel that I might as well get a Rollei 35. The viewfinder is probably the best of the two other cameras and I do not think the scale-focusing would be that limiting IF I were happy with an f/4-f/8 lens. (scale focusing f2.8 seems uselses but there are some other advantages of the Sonnar...speed is not one of them).

    I don't want to own too many cameras so part of me wants the Retina for low light and Rollei 35 for good light. Or the Leica IIIc/f as a compromise. The cost is much more but the versatility is greater.

    My selection is primarily between these three because I really prefer older glass and lenses. I don't like the automation of the Olympus cameras (XA, epic) but I keep epics because they are almost disposable (I got both of mine for under $10).
    Last edited by msbarnes; 11-30-2012 at 08:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    I think the Contax T would be the way to go, if you have the money. As big as a pack of smokes, and with a killer lens. I'd like to get one at some point to keep in my pocket.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

  3. #3
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Actually nevermind this thread. I realized that this is like asking what the best fruit is. I can see excellent uses for either cameras.

  4. #4
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    Actually nevermind this thread. I realized that this is like asking what the best fruit is. I can see excellent uses for either cameras.
    You got it. Shoot em if you got em.

    I use the Sears Tower Type 3 (a Leica III clone) with the Elmar 50/3.5. I have the Leica IIIc as well but the Type 3 is just a bit smaller. I can slip the Type 3/Elmar combo into my shirt pocket and go anywhere. I carry a little yellow slip on filter in my pocket and a couple rolls of Arista Premium 400 and I'm good to go. But it does take some getting used to. The rangefinder/viewfinder combo is much smaller than the other options so that will take some practice for you to get accustomed to it. Believe me, it can be a bit frustrating at first. I do it just because I love the feel of using those old cameras but that isn't enough for most people.

    I use a Zeiss Ikon with the MS Optical 50/3.5 collapsible as well. It is almost as pocketable (a jacket or vest pocket is a better fit for this setup) but that monstrous, clear, ZI viewfinder makes it a whole lot easier for most people to work with. And having an in-camera meter doesn't hurt.

  5. #5

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    olympus xa.

  6. #6

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    I carry a couple of the cameras you mentioned, namely the Retina (in my case a IIIc), and a Leica IIF with a collapsible Summicron. The Leica II (or other Barnack cameras on my shelf) has always been my pocket camera, it is smooth, quiet, and the old lanthanum glass gives the photos a nice character. I recently picked up the Retina as it was being sold as a non-working parts camera. It took me 2 or 3 minutes to fix it, and I spent a day shooting it. I was amazed at the results, easily the best camera I have ever bought for the price. I have never tried a Rollei, so I can't offer an opinion on it.

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    I've had good photos from a Retina, but don't mind the extra bulk of a Leica M4 for the added features. For years a collapsing Summicron was my most often used lens; better than the Elmar f/3.5. Better yet in compact lenses is the Elmar f/2.8. It was one of the finest lenses I ever tested, but never owned.

  8. #8
    agfarapid's Avatar
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    Go with a IIIc with the 35mm Summaron. Have you considered a folder? How about a Zeiss Nettar with 75mm 4.5 Novar lens. Very compact, moderate aperture makes scale focusing pretty good, nice quality and tonality all for under $100.

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Voigtlander Perkeo II--6x6 folder, nice lens, more compact than many 35mm rangefinders.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    but if I MUST pick among those three it would be the leica...probably with the 2.8 elmar just because it is more compact that the summicron. but, if i get to take a leica, the m3 or m4 will go first.

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