Wow elekm, thanks for all of the info!
I'm not exactly sure what the difference is between cameras that are made in different countries. Most of the cameras I own are Japanese made. I'm not sure why that is!
Without the country as a factor, I'm just looking for something compact, affordable, and something that will produce images like my Canon A-1 does. The real reason I'm looking into a "real" rangefinder, is that the viewfinder on the Olympus XA is quite terrible.
I'm going to toss my hat in with the Soviet made rangefinder Kiev 4 series.
They're fairly faithful copies of the Pre-war Contax cameras. Arguably the Contax was a much better designed camera than contemporary Leica models. If you get a Kiev 3 or 4 in good working order with the 1.8 Helios lens they can be surprisingly good picture takers. And they can be had for 40-70 bucks at auction sites. If you drop it or lose it, no big deal. And of course they use the Contax lenses and accessories if you choose to buy more.
Your A-1 doesn't produce image quality, your lenses do. If you are looking for image quality comparable with those from multi coated Canon FDs and a camera with good "real" finder, I doubt that 200USD is enough.
You may need a M-mount camera, Leica M, Cosina Bessa, Konica Hexar RF, etc and some top class lenses.
The Retina would be a great choice. I have a IIc and the lens is great and it's so compact. No meter though.
Some of the soviet cameras (I have 4 soviet rangefinders) are great picture takers -- I'd match the images I've had from an Industar 61L/D lens with anything -- but the viewfinders tend to be quite poor in comparison to some others I've used.
Konica SIII is hard to beat for a good, reasonably fast lens (47/1.9) AND a good viewfinder (parallax compensated brightline). The meter even works on mine!
Most old RF cameras have finders that range from poor to lousy, and that includes screw Leicas (pre IIIg), Kievs, Zorkiis and Retinas: most are squinty, and the IIIC always seems to me to have more brightline than image area. I own or have owned all the cameras listed above so this ain't hearsay: the ones I still own are asterisked. I can't remember if late Contaxes have brightlines but I don't think so. Given that the poor VF on your Olympus is a reason for changing, I'd definitely think twice about some of the recommendations given by others.
When it comes to lenses, yes, the Konica and the best Retina lenses will stand comparison with whatever you've been using, but most FSU lenses won't. And again, I've owned 'em.
On the other hand, the way you've been buying kit lately, I'd suggest thinking hard about which is better: one or two really good cameras, or lots of indifferent ones. With the beneft of over 40 years' hindsight, I'd go for the former. A second-hand Leica M-series or a new Voigtlander is a lot of money but it's also a far more versatile camera than any of the others recommended above, by me or anyone else.
Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com, where you'll find some ideas for saving money)
Last edited by Roger Hicks; 06-28-2007 at 05:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Where's this money saving section on your website?
Originally Posted by Donald Boyd
In 'Photo School' there's a free module called 'Saving Money' (it would have to be free, really...) It's about where you can save money, and where it's unwise to try to do so. Then there's are a free module called 'Hints and Tips' -- some to save money, some to make life easier -- and another free module called 'How Many Cameras Do You Need', which might also prove useful to the OP.
I can't seem to post direct links. Several people have tried to explain how, but the box at the top only ever says 'Homepage for Roger and Frances' without all the dashes-and-dashes that most sites have.
My own view is that as there's so much free stuff there, and as I normally only mention the free stuff when I reply to people, it's not a great hardship for them to look for it. But apparently some have complained that I'm 'promoting a commercial site', to which the only reply I can make is that I wish it were earning me lots of money.
Like this: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photo...ps%20save.html
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
You are right, whatever page you are on, it only shows the main address at the top. Have a word with your website administrator to see if this can be changed.
In the meantime, if you go to the page you want and click the right mouse button, you can then select 'properties'. This will show you the full page name which can be highlighted and copied to paste into a post like I did above.
Last edited by Steve Smith; 06-28-2007 at 07:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Can't disagree with anyone's recommendations, but for a few years I was officially not doing any photography, and during this time the only camera I owned was a Konica C35 (I think the first model, it had a metal body, rangefinder focusing and no built-in flash). I found the perfomance more than acceptable.
Ah! Clicking 'Properties' may be the missing link. I was told 'just right click on the address' but that didn't do anything -- presumably the person who told me assumed (entirely incorrectly) that I knew what you have just told me.
I'll try again...
A moment later: if I put the cursor over the address and right-click, I get 'cut', 'copy' or 'delete' (actually I get them in French, but the principle is the same).
Any further ideas?