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  1. #1

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    Nikon S2 vs Canon P viewfinder/rangefinder

    My main concern is in the viewfinder--how do they compare? In terms of brightness/clarity and rangefinder patch contrast. I know that they are 1:1 so size is not an issue (and I do not wear glasses). My main concern is dealing with near invisible patches. It seems that most P's are faded, is this not true with Nikon? Nikon's seem to be more desireable than Canon's but I'm trying to figure out if it is just because it is Nikon or if the cameras are actually "better". It seems that some people prefer the Nikon RF's over the Leica M's but not many prefer Canon RF's over Leica M's.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
    It seems that some people prefer the Nikon RF's over the Leica M's but not many prefer Canon RF's over Leica M's.
    First you need to ignore web gossip.
    Then you need to inspect the camera you are going to buy.
    The S2 has a rotating shutter speed dial that some people cannot avoid snagging and ruining the best frame.
    The Nikons have a slow mount as slow as the Canon P LTM screw, for other then 5cm internal lenses.
    None of my M or Ps have a low contrast rangefinder patch, but you need to inspect cause many Ms do have low to no contrast, not seen a low contrast P yet, the M finder can be rebuilt by specialist specialist repair person, dont know of anyone who does Canon Ps... there may not be a market?
    Not seen a Nikon S2 or S3 with patch problems either.
    But the cheap rfdrs on ebay may all be faint subjective things you need to look at.
    Lotsa people dont like the Canon P rangefinder spot, they prefer the M style, but If you e.g. have been brought up on canonets then the P is second nature, so it is subjective.
    A canon P is easier to focus in poor light then a M2 about the same as a M3.
    Some people cannot abide the Nikon focus wheel, they grab the lens instead.
    The LTM lens choice is wider you can even get Nikon LTM lenses.

    My call would be is it is subjective choice an M. P or S2 in good condition, should have a rfdr that easy to use, go to big city inspect carefully in brick camera shop...

    Noel

  3. #3
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    The Canon P I bought new in the early 1960s developed a sticky shutter several years ago. The Canon P bought used in 1968 for its fast lens still works. The rangefinder in both cameras are useable. That 50mm f/1.4 Canon lens is a dog compared to the slower Summicrons. I prefer a Leica M rangefinder/viewfinder to either Canon.

  4. #4

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    emh, don't mean to sound out of place, the fascination of this cameras is great to me as well, but moneywise isn't a bessa a much better camera for dayly use?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerbee View Post
    emh, don't mean to sound out of place, the fascination of this cameras is great to me as well, but moneywise isn't a bessa a much better camera for dayly use?
    a canon p is cheaper to buy and maintain than a bessa

  6. #6
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    I've had both the Canon P and a Nikon S3, and sold the Nikon as the RF patch was so hard to see it was a real pain to focus. I think the VF/RF just needed a good cleaning, so if you get a good copy of either camera you may not find much difference as far as useability is concerned. I kept the Canon as the VF is nice and clear and the RF patch is OK, but still not as good as a Leica M. If you like screw-mount bodies, the Canon is very smooth to operate and has a lot of nice features, especially for the price. The Nikons are a bit more expensive and a big advantage of the Canon is that you can use any LTM screw-mount lens. Nikon even made most of their rangefinder lenses in an LTM mount version. You often see the Canons with wrinkled shutter curtains, but that shouldn't be a concern as they made the curtains from a very thin metal and it shouldn't affect the operation of the shutter as long as there are no significant dents or holes.

    If you need service on any Canon screw-mount camera, Youxin Ye does a great job at a very fair price. I just had him replace the curtains and clean the finder on my Canon IVsb and it's now functioning like new.

  7. #7

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    Thank you all.

    Well, the thing is, I read that the P's patches are mostly faded. I actually bought two P's from keh.com a long time ago and returned them because they were just too difficult to focus. I concluded that nothing can compete with an M so I dove in and I have no regrets. However, I am not looking for a lesser-expensive everyday carry. an M3 + 50mm f2.0 Summicron is great but too expensive for me to "throw" around.

    I figured that I'd go with something "classic" (Leica/Nikon/Canon) over a bessa because I do not need a lightmeter and I feel that the older cameras were just better built and more durable.

    So the choices seem to be a Leica LTM if I can deal with it's quirks, a Leica CL, Canon P, or Nikon S2. I concluded that the later three are more suitable so I'm just exploring these options. There are lenses that I would like to fit on all three that I think will be of sufficient quality (40mm f2 or 50mm f1.8/ f1.4 or 50mm f2/ f1.4) and not incredibly expensive. The P outfit would probably be the cheapiest

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
    a canon p is cheaper to buy and maintain than a bessa

    really??? that's not what i could see as i looked around. and a Bessa was built in the '90...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
    Thank you all.

    Well, the thing is, I read that the P's patches are mostly faded. I actually bought two P's from keh.com a long time ago and returned them because they were just too difficult to focus. I concluded that nothing can compete with an M so I dove in and I have no regrets
    Do not buy rangefinders by post they do not grade them for rangefinder contrast, but by dinks on chrome.

    The rangefinder of a P in shooter condition should be better then a M2 but maybe less capable then a M3 in poor light close run thing, the M2 and M3 range finders in perfrct condition. Or rather all my Canon P are (and VI is) between my M2 and M3s... Ive only even seen one Nikon SP with a poor rfdr. Note the Canon rangefinder patch is not like a Leica patch, you need to be happy with the difference.

    I prefer a P to a M2s in dull light, it is quicker, did the test surprised by result, M2 are 0.72x magnification.

    I only bought the Canons cause I decided insurance on the leicas was too high, to use them in risky street scenarios... (the reinsurance if you lose several M9s is astro, several of my pro friends have suffered) sold the Leica M lenses and went to CV LTM to further rationalize... kept the SC Canon lenses for their lower contrast, swap over between MC or SC at need. Loads pf people recognize the Leicas at a distance...

    Noel

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
    a Canon p is cheaper to buy and maintain than a bessa
    I will rephrase that a Canon P body is cheaper....

    The Canon LTM lenses are/have acquiring(ed) cult status (>>$/£) and for a practical shooter you instead need a cosina/voightlander LTM lens, buy a kit sell the Canon lens on ebay.

    Last Canon 7 with Canon f/1.5 5cm in brick shop was £350 (mint, working and accurate meter)

    Since 2007 Canon 35mm f/2 have more then doubled in brick camera shops... Ex +++ 450 £, none of mine cost 200.

    Not often I make investments.

    Noel

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