The Olympus 35 RC is a very nice little camera. I just sold one last month. The little Konica C35 and C35 Automatic also might be contenders.
Keep in mind that almost any Japanese camera made since the 1970s will need to have new foam seals. Not a big job, but in general you shouldn't expect the camera to be in A1 condition out of the box.
RL: You didn't specify whether you are thinking of a fixed lens or interchangeable lens system. And size/weight may be considerations.
I second Mike's recommendation to the RC and C35; I have one of each, and they're both very capable. I also have the Olympus XA and Olympus 35SP. Some comparison shots are in my gallery on RFF at http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...y.php?cat=5295
(I didn't include the XA in the series.) I also have some recent SP shots at http://www.flickr.com/photos/97373293@N00/sets/1406642/
If you have sufficient budget and want to go with interchangeable lenses, then a Leica or the new Zeiss Ikon are top choices. Mike has a great site where he is posting his experience with the new ZI, at http://www.elekm.net/zeiss_ikon/
get yourself a Yashica electro 35. They are cheap as chips with an excellent 45mm f1.7 lens
Hmmm... really? How so? Which Canonet? I love these off-hand statements of superiority - obviously, Coke is better than Pepsi, but other than that...
Originally Posted by psvensson
The only real short-coming of a Canonet QL17 is the meter/battery issue and the shutter prority only automation. I have yet to see any grounds to question the quality of the lens, especially by a margin of "much better".
I also have a 19, and frankly, not much to complain about the optics in that one either. And I have looked at the pics side-by-side with others produced by some top-notch lenses in a similar focal lengths (40- 50mm).
Well, I am off to scratch my head in confusion
Get one that works. On older stuff I would venture to say that condition is probably more important than brand, within reason. Minolta, Cannon, Konica, and others all made some great stuff, but they are long in the tooth.
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I've never used rangefinders much, so disregard my comments if you like
I have an old FED-2 which has a very precise rangefinder. Since they can be picked up for a very low price - and in any finish you'd like and a few I wouldn't - they are worth it just to play with. There are three drawbacks: 1) Weight. Think T-34... 2) No lightmeter, but "sunny 16" works fine. 3) Some long Leitz lenses can only be dismounted with the aid of a finger from the inside, as I discovered when I tried a Hektor 135mm on mine.
So I have another one, with the opposite drawbacks: Bessa-L. No rangefinder, but very small and light. Specially made for very wide lenses, where DoF is great enough to make a rangefinder somewhat redundant. Has a (good) lightmeter, but also works very well without batteries (important to me, to use on oil rigs without all the paperwork pertaining to non-Ex equipment).
Scale focusing and guess exposures is a matter of practice, and after a while you won't even miss what you don't have.
I learned photography with a Welta Welti, a folding 35mm camera which is even more compact. No lightmeter, small viewfinder, no rangefinder, but a very nice Tessar 5cm f:2.8 capable of top performance.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I have a Konica Hexar Silver and absolutely love it, but I'm not sure it's the right camera for you. It's virtues are a brilliant lens (but non-interchangable and 35mm), autofocus (with a manual mode that leaves much to be desired), an advanced shutter-priority system that I wish more cameras would employ, and a "stealth mode" for sneaky picture taking.
It's not really a point-n-shoot, more of a hybrid between a rangefinder and a PnS.
But it's a bit heavy and doesn't fit in the pocket well.
The camera goes for between 200$ US, and 400$ US, usually.
It's the best street camera I've found, but not sure I'd want it for my primary light-box.
I have used dozens of range finders from Rollei35/Knoica Hexar/Retina/Canotte/VitessaN/BessaL/LeicaM6 etc... all the way up to folding 120 such as SuperIkontas/Bessa/Voightlander. I currently own a Fufi GA645Zi as well.
But my all time favorite range finder is the Contax TVS III - Why ?
- Fits in my pocket and is there when I need it
- Zoom lens, not a long range but a zoom nevertheless
- Very sharp lens,
- Several Exposure Modes
- Fits in my pocket
- several flash modes for built in flash
- nice shutter release
- closes up upon itself so you can easily put it in your pocket
- easy to handle
- solid construction
- fantastic lens coatings
- big exposure compensation dial
- fast accurate auto focus
- tripod socket
- did I mention fit in my pocket ?
I could go on but you get the message. I carry this camera every day when I go out for a walk at lunch and other wise it sits in my brief case ready to go. I even carry it when I'm doing large format so I can fool around a bit.
BEST rangefinder out there... NO SUCH BEAST
BUT it just may be the best all around range finder out there, and it fits in your pocket!
Seriously of all the cameras that I have owned and used (many hundreds) it is the one most likely to be at hand, and that says a lot. No good having a better camera at home in the closet.
Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
I have a Yashica Electro G and it is nice, but I have never warmed up to it. For one thing, it is bigger and heavier than an Olympus OM1 or a Pentax MX. For another, it is Aperture Priority only and doesn't even tell you what shutter speed you are using. Also, there are battery issues that will cost a few dollars more to solve. That said, the optics are very good and they are super cheap. I think I got mine for about $10 plus shipping.
I am actually replacing mine with a Pentax MX, for the reasons outlined above. I am likely to keep it just for fun since it is so cheap, however. If you like using an SLR, I recommend looking at an Olympus OM1 or 2 or a Pentax MX. With a 50mm or 35mm lens, either one is extremely small and light and works very well. You will then still have the option of multiple lenses and the like when you want to carry them.
Never heard that expression before - love it!
Originally Posted by markbb