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  1. #21

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    I had the Summitar and found it to be an excellent lens.

    If I was looking for a compact camera, I might look in another direction. Leica isn't the only game in town. There are many other possibilities, from early folding Kodak Retinas to a folding Zeiss Ikon Contina II to an Edinex with a collapsible lens to the Olympus XA or the Ricoh FF-1 to a Rollei 35.

    This is not to say that a Leica isn't an excellent camera. But in today's world, there is no reason that you should limit yourself to one camera, one brand or even one format.

  2. #22

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    I owned an XA back in the 80s and found the operation a bit fiddly. I also bought a Retina for the reasons described a while ago, which hit many of the right spots (solid, small, full manual) but found the lens, which was totally clean, a mediocre performer, maybe I was unlucky. There are some nice late period compact cameras around, but they tend to have ageing electrical systems, plastic internal mechanisms and/or insufficient overrides. I never owned a Rollei 35 but recall the controls being less than handy, although I shall take another look.

  3. #23

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    I currently own and use a Rollei 35 (Tessar), a Retina I (010 w/Schneider Xenar), and a Voigtländer Vito (Skopar) - all small, pocketable fully manual cameras with 50/3.5 lenses. They each have their charms, I've been happy with the images they produce, and they are certainly easy to carry (the Voigtländer in particular is light and very well-designed for carrying in a pocket). They or similar cameras are a viable option if portability is the primary consideration. FWIW, I do not find the Rollei's ergonomics problematic, but some do.

    That said, I do not think they are a true substitute for an LTM setup. Lacking rangefinders and without interchangeable lenses, they are not as flexible. You might look for something in between like a folding RF (the Retinas offered a 50/2 Xenon that has a good reputation). It's simply a question of priorities.
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    http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/

  4. #24
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    I owned an XA back in the 80s and found the operation a bit fiddly. I also bought a Retina for the reasons described a while ago, which hit many of the right spots (solid, small, full manual) but found the lens, which was totally clean, a mediocre performer, maybe I was unlucky. There are some nice late period compact cameras around, but they tend to have ageing electrical systems, plastic internal mechanisms and/or insufficient overrides. I never owned a Rollei 35 but recall the controls being less than handy, although I shall take another look.
    If you found the XA fiddly you can forget the Rollei 35. I have the 35T and 35S and love them, terrific cameras and the lenses are phenomenal, but one thing they are is unique, and fiddly.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  5. #25
    Aristotle80's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, the single Russian made LTM lens I used seemed okay. Not stellar, but at least average. It was a 50mm f/2.8 Industar. It was cheap enough that I could roll the dice without worrying about getting burned. If it sucked I could put it in the display case next to the half frame P&S and Instamatics. Sometimes you get a good one, and sometimes you don't. Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. Just know what you're getting into. (This was the talk I should have heard from a certain foreign car dealer ten years ago! *cough MINI)

    If you want quality you can bank on and have the money to spend, by all means get the real McCoy. The build quality and results of my genuine Leica lens are really pleasing!
    I confess I'm a gear nut within my price range. ;)
    Nikon FM2n, FG, FG20, N2000, Nikkormat, Olympus Stylus Epic
    Minox 35EL, Voigtlander Bessa-L
    Yashica-D TLR 6x6, Seagull TLR 6x6
    Agfa Isolette 6x6, Welmy 6x6
    Kodak Tourist 6x9 Anaston lens
    http://www.wendelstout.com/

  6. #26
    Aristotle80's Avatar
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    Oh, on the Olympus XA, I LOVED mine while the light seals were good, but once they went bad I could NEVER fix the light leak. Tried four or five times, leaks every time. I've re-sealed half a dozen older cameras before without issue, but the XA really, really stumped me. If Olympus went to a removable back like the Minox then there never would have been a problem. Also, the XA dedicated flash isn't as useful as a hot shoe. A camera that merged the Olympus rangefinder, shutter, and exposure system with the Minox removable back and genuine hot shoe would be PERFECT.
    I confess I'm a gear nut within my price range. ;)
    Nikon FM2n, FG, FG20, N2000, Nikkormat, Olympus Stylus Epic
    Minox 35EL, Voigtlander Bessa-L
    Yashica-D TLR 6x6, Seagull TLR 6x6
    Agfa Isolette 6x6, Welmy 6x6
    Kodak Tourist 6x9 Anaston lens
    http://www.wendelstout.com/

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristotle80 View Post
    Just know what you're getting into. (This was the talk I should have heard from a certain foreign car dealer ten years ago! *cough MINI)
    You can't blame us guys for that any more. They're German too! (we refer to the MINI as the BMW Series 1)

  8. #28
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    You can't blame us guys for that any more. They're German too! (we refer to the MINI as the BMW Series 1)
    You mean series 0?

    http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicle.../overview.html
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  9. #29
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    I've got an Elmar...the aperture ring definitely counts as fiddly. I'd look to another collapsible lens if I was starting over. I shoot mainly Canon RF in 35mm and the Elmar doesn't seem to be made to any higher spec/build quality than the Canon gear from the era.

    The VF on the IVSB I had for a while was barely usable, but at least it didn't scratch glasses like the FED 3b I started my RF journey with. I've now got a Canon 7 and VT, and the 7 is worlds better in the VF department than the VT, which was much better than the IVSB. Neither of them are nearly as pocketable, of course.

  10. #30
    Aristotle80's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do love how the Mini drives, but gosh darned it's electrical system is possessed. My father had a 1969 Norton Commando motorcycle, a 1976 Jaguar, then a 1984 Jag, but he endorsed the buy anyway. He thought BMW might have exorcized the demons since the redesign. Still, it's like a femme fatale. You just know it's trouble, but you still want to take a ride.
    I confess I'm a gear nut within my price range. ;)
    Nikon FM2n, FG, FG20, N2000, Nikkormat, Olympus Stylus Epic
    Minox 35EL, Voigtlander Bessa-L
    Yashica-D TLR 6x6, Seagull TLR 6x6
    Agfa Isolette 6x6, Welmy 6x6
    Kodak Tourist 6x9 Anaston lens
    http://www.wendelstout.com/

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