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  1. #1
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    35mm Rangefinder suggestions

    I seem to be getting tired of hauling around a bulky SLR, and am now in the market for an decent rangefinder. I just need something reliable with a decent lens to take everyday photos when i'm out and about. I'd rather it have a coupled rangefinder, but will consider models with scale focusing. A meter with aperature priority is also desired, but not a must. Thank you for any suggestions you can provide!
    RL Foley

  2. #2

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    It sounds like you might like a Konica Auto S2. The lens is good, much better than the popular Canonet, and it meters in both manual and aperture-priority mode. It's not that much smaller than an SLR, tho.

  3. #3
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Keep this in mind--

    when I compared my Canonet to an OM-1, the difference in size was not very significant.

    That said, I love the Canonet.

    Matt

  4. #4
    rbarker's Avatar
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    If you haven't used a rangefinder before, be aware the "style" of shooting is quite different than with an SLR. Some folks don't make the switch easily.

    That said, there is obviously a wide range of options. Among the models currently being produced, I'd suggest looking at the Bessa-R models that use Leica-M mount lenses. The Voigtlander lenses, while not as fast as the equivalent Leica models, are quite good, and far more affordable.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  5. #5

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    If the angle of view of a 35mm lens suits what you wish to do and it is within your budget The Konica Hexar has received much enthusiastic response from its users. Although not as advanaced in its auto focus as the G2 a Contax G1 with a 45mm Planar might delight you if you find one within your budget. You would have both manual and auto focus available along with motor drive. Some rangefinder fans do not like the view finder. I have only handled the camera a little bit and find that I really like the viewfinder and this is from a person that also admires Leica. A Voigtlander Bessa RF camera with a collasible 50mm lens, or 35mm lens could also be a very fine choice. It would easily fit into a jacket pocket.

    Frankly, I am very biased. I beileve that In the long run working with manual exposure with one film will become so second nature that your ability to set your expose with out taking a reading will prove to be more reliable than what is provided by an auto-exposure system.

    Recommendation:

    I would consider getting a Russian Rangefinder camera in Leica screw mount thread and a Russian lens. There are very knowledgeable photographers in this forum that give them high praise. Start another thread specifically asking about these cameras. I believe you will get much feedback as to makes, models and lenses.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  6. #6
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    I would suggest an Olympus XA (rangefinder w/ ae) or a Minox 35GT (scale-focussing only on the 35GT) or an Olympus Stylus Epic (pretty much auto everything). This is from personal experience shooting and owning all 3.

    Ron, if you're interested in trying out one of these tiny 35mm models let me know and you can borrow it while I'm in Japan for the cost of one of your prints

    edit: all of these cameras have sharp lenses and will fit into a jeans' pocket!
    Last edited by Jeremy; 11-29-2005 at 12:45 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added some more info
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  7. #7
    Anupam Basu's Avatar
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    Here's what I have finally decided upon.

    1> Olympus XA - so I never have an excuse to leave home without a camera - A-priority only, though.

    2>Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII - use it without a battery in full manual mode at night only when the lighting gets tricky for their meters and many of these rangefinders don't go above ISO 800 or so. But this camera has a nifty EV reading feature which makes shooting at 1600 or more a breeze. But pretty much any camera that does manual along with A and has a fastish lens would do this job - Canonet, konica S2 etc

    3>Olympus RC (or maybe RD for a few grams and dollars more) - for when you need full manual AND lightweight

    If I had to choose just one to replace the SLR, it would be the XA, though.

    -A

  8. #8

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    Small and well built, with an excellent, 40mm f1.7 bright lens and cheap: the Olympus RD. You can easily get one for 50-75USD.

  9. #9

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    The xa is nice because it is so portable but it is almost TOO small. The finder is tiny and the focus lever has about a half inch of movement. I also notice a bit of vignetting on the xa. The corners are darker than the rest of the image. And I took a lot of accidental pictures. That electronic shutter button has a hair trigger. But it sure does fit nicely in your pocket.

    I actually liked the olympus rd or rc or ed or sp or whichever better. Seems to fit the hand better, but not the pocket.

  10. #10
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Canonet. They sold over a MILLION of those little things, they're close to disposable and they are GREAT little cameras! You can often buy two for the cost of a leica lens cap (or one for the cost of a single contax lens cap)

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

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