Well, nice to see someone else recommending an Argus..typically a C3 can sell from $5 - $20, depending on the source. One that is properly functioning will amaze you with the results. Do a search on google for the Argus World Argosy and follow a C3 that has traversed North America and is now in France, I believe. Also, The C4 is a very capable camera...one that I have used quite a bit. However, the shutter noise will scare small children. The Canon QL 17 gets my nod as one of the best choices, though. Compact, silent, great optics, and generally inexpensive. Alas, if you find one, it will also need to have the foam light seals replaced.
I'll second that. I had one for 20 years until it wore out and must get round to looking for another. The shutter is virtually silent if you like candids and it had a nice quality 40mm f1.7 lens. (try: www.snaphoto.co.uk/Stock/Canon.html)
Originally Posted by bjorke
Ps, I ordered a light seal kit from Interslice last week. 3 days from order to it dropping through my letterbox here in the UK.
The kits are very good quality and the instructions are comprehensive. In fact when I mentioned I was re-sealing my Olympus OM10, he emailed me a word file purely on replacing OM10 seals.
A very good product being sold by a very professional and friendly person, at a knock down price! Total price including postage from the US to the UK was $6.80, thats about £3.60 at current rates.
I can't recommend this guy highly enough!
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Yashica GX. I've been using a Petri 7S for about a week now and really like it. The winder for the film is about 2x louder than the shutter!
This site: http://www.photoethnography.com/equipment.html has some great pictures and reviews of old rangefinders.
"I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." -- Alexis de Tocqueville
Rollei 35 cameras are great. No seals to go gummy on you. You need to adjust your ergonomics slightly, but no big deal. Very pocketable. Great Tessar or Sonnar lens. Not a rangefinder, however, but not a big deal.
The Retina IIS is an often overlooked camera. Nice fixed Xenar lens, and roughly the size of the folding Retinas but a bit easier to handhold.
The Olympus XA gets mentioned a lot, and another zone-focus camera is the Minox 35 series.
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what is the difference between Soonar nad Tessar lenses?
Tessar is usually a 3 element (AFAIK), is Sonnar a 4-5 element 40mm lens?
Mama took my APX away.....
The Tessar is a four-element lens - four elements in three groups.
The Sonnar is a bit more variable - there have been four- and five-element versions, and probably others as well. The F:2 and F:4 versions are of different design...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I picked up a Minolta Hi-Matic 7 at a market here in Sydney for $10 AUD. The seller had no idea if it worked. Basic operation seemed OK so I took it home, CLA'd it and it works great. Nice lens, quiet operation and if I drop it in the water or out of a moving car window, no big deal for $10 ;-)
Not the smallest RF though...
I'm certainly no student of lens design. On the Rollei 35, you just get an extra 1/2 stop of speed. From the results, I've not found a clear advantage of one lens over the other.
From what I've read, the Sonnar uses Rollei's HFT (High Fidelity Transfer) multicoating, while the Tessar doesn't (although it is a coated lens).
My two cents
Can anyone recommend any old, cheap 35mm RF's
I'd like to add my two cents on this topic...
It's been a while that I'm using Russian RF cameras such as Kiev, Fed and Zorki..
The first thing that I have to say is that I’m very happy about the results, the second is that.. finding a good Russian camera is quite difficult!
Lens optical quality is amazing for certain lenses, but it's less than fair for other ones..
So.. the main point is spending some time (and money..) trying to get a good camera; once you'll find it.. you won't be able to stop using it!
In case you want to start searching remember that the older the better.. so look for some camera made around 1955/65.
Just as example, all the pictures in the following folder (my 2004 vacations) are made with a Kiev 4A from 1959: