The Canonet, as mentioned above, is a very capable little shooter. I would guess the lens is as good as it gets in that type camera; although the Olympus 35s have a reputation for good glass. Ditto for the Konica Auto S2. They all have the advantage(?) of built-in metering.
I lucked out with a decent Fed2 with the Industar 61-l lens, which is very sharp. The rf magnification lever does not work; otherwise it is pristine; plus it has a neat red-leatherette covering! With shipping from Ukraine it cost me about 35 bucks.
The advantage of a FSU RF with interchangeable lenses is that it is the beginning of a system; whereas the Canons and Ollies are dead-end streets-- as good as they are--for about the same investment initially.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Thanks everyone. I now use SLRs (2 canons,2 minoltas,1 OM-1) and would like to try a small and lightweight fixed lens if I can find one on the cheap.
Non metered would be fine as they probably will be off anyway.
My OM-1 with a 50mm is usuallly my roaming around choice because it is the lightest of the group, tho still larger then I like.
All of your input tells me I need to look and listen awhile longer, I have a lot to learn yet. Thanks again....
Okay, if you're looking for something smaller than the OM-1, that definitely could be your biggest constraint. The OM cameras are small - smaller than many fixed lens rangefinders.
A bunch of people on flickr post shots of their camera collections. That could be a good place to get a reference point for differences between cameras. Here is a good example page with an OM-2 and pair of rangefinders (Lynx 14 and Canonet 17 GIII):
You're definitely looking for something on the compact side of rangefinders. I'll revise my earlier suggestion - an Olympus 35RC may be a better fit if you want a somewhat traditional form factor. I've only shot one roll with minute but was pretty happy with it.
Another camera to check out is the Olympus XA. I am still on the fence with it myself. Its a great camera given the size and is about as portable as a rangefinder is going to be but its still a bit big in a pocket and the image quality doesn't quite match some cameras only marginally larger.
Last edited by Brian Legge; 06-25-2010 at 10:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
If you want inexpensive, get something Japanese. Be prepared to replace the foam seals and to have the camera serviced. All of these cameras are at least 30 years old, and at the least you're going to have to replace the foam seals.
If you can, buy a camera that's already been serviced. You'll pay more, but at least you should get a camera that works properly.
One further suggestion.
If weight is your major concern, an Olympus OM-10 or, preferably, an OM-20 (OM-G) body is a fair bit lighter (80 gm) than your OM-1. Combined with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, the package is quite small and light (600 gm), and both are quite inexpensive.
With the 40mm f/2.0, it is even smaller and lighter, but a lot more expensive!
Interestingly enough, the Canonet GIII-17 weighs 620 gm - 20 gm more than an OM-20 with the 50mm f/1.8 lens.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
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here is the comparison between sonnar and Industar 61LD
Originally Posted by paulie
I have one of those. I like it a lot, but it's not easy to focus and flares easily. It certainly is small, light, and cheap and has a pretty sharp lens, but I am often annoyed by the small dim rangefinder spot. But then again, for the prices I see these go for, you might as well get it if you see one. Also, it's great for use with flash because of the lens shutter and full manual option.
Ricoh 500GX might be better. Great lens. Double exposure and surely the smallest of them all.
The Ricoh 500GX is excellent, but it's slightly bigger than the camera that's my all time favourite, the Olympus 35RC. The difference, however, is measured only in a millimetre or two, and of utterly no significance in choosing between them. The Rikenon lens is a little smasher, but it's matched by the Zuiko on the 35RC, though which you'd prefer could be down to a coin toss. My coin fell on the side of the 35RC, but I wouldn't argue with someone whose coin landed on the 500G/X side. The Ricoh has the advantage of an extra slow speed, having 1/8 to the Oly's 1/15. The only difference between the 500G and the 500GX is that the GX has a little lever that will cock the shutter without winding the film, and it's sure not a reason to pass on a 500G whilst waiting for a GX to show. One of the things I like about the Oly is that the shutter speed dial is on the top plate, which is where it should be for a camera with a shutter priority autoexposure mode.
Both of them use naughty batteries, and in neither case do they work anything except the meter, so it's no loss not to have a battery.
For looks, whilst the Ricoh at first sight has a 'boxy' look, the lines have soft contours and it's very pleasing on the eye -- moreso, I think, than the 35RC. On the negative side, replacing the light seals on the Ricoh is rather more of a job than on the Oly. The first thought that goes through your mind when you pick up either of these is, 'I want to take pictures with this!' They really are that inviting.
I've never been put off by the fact that they're fixed lenses. If I need interchangeable lenses, I reach for the Bessa R3A ; I had thought of buying a Leica once, but I didn't want to settle for second best. (There, that should have the Leicans swallowing their tongues in apoplectic rage...)
Very interesting. So often, comparisons are meaningless when viewed on my laptop monitor - these aren't. I assume it was an "apples to apples" test.
Originally Posted by vedmak
Were lens hoods used? If not, I'd love to see a comparison when lens hoods are used.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer