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  1. #1

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    Most compact rangefinder?

    Hey guys,

    I'll be traveling to Brazil this summer with my church to assist in a medical mission trip. We will be staying in San Paulo. I've been told by locals and read on the internet that it is a fairly dangerous location. Theft, murder, and other crimes are common.

    Because of this, I am looking for a very compact 35mm camera. I'll list some criteria that I feel that is important, but not necessary. If you could please point me to a camera that fits the bill, I would greatly appreciate it.

    - Compact. Preferably pocket sized. For the most part, range finders have extruding lenses correct? Is a "normal" 35mm camera a better choice?
    - Built in metering.
    - Cheap! Just in case it is stolen, I don't want to be too heart broken

    Well, I guess that's about it. I'm not familiar with rangefinders, other than the fact that they are compact and quiet. Is this a good choice to take with me, or is a regular 35mm camera a better choice?

    Thanks,

    Jason

    BTW, I've been considering a toy Lomo/Holga too and perhaps a small digital point and shoot.

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Olympus XA. Extremely compact and ingeniously designed- a true pocket 35mm camera. If you get a good copy, capable of professional-level work. Personally I would avoid the latter ones, and go for the original XA. And at ~$50, you won't mind if you drop it down a hole.

    Otherwise you might look at the yashicas. But for travel I think the XA is tops. You could throw it at an assailant.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #3
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    I have a little Rollie 35s, it is about the size of a pack of cigs. It is a good camera, has a metre, but requires special batteries, and I can't tell you if it is cheap or not. I assume by 'regular 35mm' you mean SLR. I prefer an RF over an SLR for travel, but we are all different.

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  4. #4
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  5. #5

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    Hahaha thanks Keith. I'll be looking for one as soon as I hit the reply button.

    Thanks for the link JD. Cheap is what I'm aiming for right now, but I'll take a look at the Rollei 35 as well. Half the size of a pack of cigarettes... That is TINY!

  6. #6

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    Keith, what do you think about the Olympus XA 2's? There is a lot of 3 on eBay right now at a fairly low price.

    Edit: Just read a link about the XA 2 and it seems that the XA is far superior. Will have to stick with the XA model as you recommended!

  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I also have an XA2, but I prefer the XA. I prefer a manual rangefinder. Also, the XA's lens is a bit faster, which is sometimes important.

    Some shots from my XA are here and here.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8

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    Beautiful shots Keith. The more I read about the XA, the more I wonder why I've never heard of it before. It seems like a fantastic, compact camera.

    Edit: BTW, is there any reason to have these camera's CLA'd? And is there a reputable person/store that will?

  9. #9
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Nah, I'd say there's no reason to CLA an XA, the camera should cost $100 at most. I have heard that there are some bad copies but mine cost $50 and was in great shape, I just cleaned it with a lenspen and was ready to go.

    My only gripe with the XA is that they stopped making it a long time ago
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  10. #10

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    Guess I'm being overly paranoid

    I'm currently a top bidder on a XA on eBay. The owner said that the seals (?) have been replaced... I'm hoping he did a good job on it :X . He's Aussie and if I win, I'll be paying a pretty penny for it (close the $70 USD)!

    I'm planning on picking up another and possibly a third for my trip. It'd be nice to have 3 different types of film (ISO 100, 400 (for flash), and 800 for indoors)

    Thanks for your help Keith!

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