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  1. #1
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Suggestions for First Rangefinder

    Hello,

    Thinking about buying my first rangefinder. Since I've never owned one, I'm not even sure which cameras to even consider at this point. Leica's seem to be the most available as well as the most expensive, and the glass for Leica's are lets say separate the haves from the have nots.

    Being a Minola X-700 owner and user, I recently came across a short article on the Minolta Hi-matic 7SII rangefinder, but I'm not sure if these cameras are even available on the used market. The 7SII would be a perfect choice - I think

    I'm aware of the parallex issue with these cameras, but thought it would be an excellent street photography tool.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    dehk's Avatar
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    It all depends on how much money you have and how much of that you want to spend.

    In fact you can still find the Hi-matic used.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  3. #3

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    For staters, I'd recommend something like the HiMatic 7sII. It would be a good starter camera to get your feet wet. Wait on getting a body with interchangeable lenses until you decide if RF's are right for you.

    If you can't find the HiMatic, I'd recommend the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII or the Yashica Electro 35.

  4. #4
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Yeah -- I zeroed in on the Minolta Hi-matic 7SII right away since the article I read mentioned it came with a 40mm lens. Which according to some photographers like Sally Mann, 40mm seems to be just about right.

  5. #5
    dehk's Avatar
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    I actually own a couple Petri Rangefinders, and I quite like them, especially my Petri 1.9, and they are not really expensive.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  6. #6
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Since we're on the subject, any thoughts comments on the Voigtlander Bessa R series rangefinders ?

  7. #7
    dehk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    Since we're on the subject, any thoughts comments on the Voigtlander Bessa R series rangefinders ?
    I do not own one personally but from what I heard they are fantastic.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    Hello,

    I'm aware of the parallex issue with these cameras, but thought it would be an excellent street photography tool.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Any working fixed-lens RF with some kind of manual settings would probably apply very well to street photo. If you shoot from the hip and such you don't even need a RF as you're going to use hyperfocal distance or zone focusing. This opens up a whole range of other small 35mm cameras. I would recommend something really cheap but with a good lens. An Olympus from the XA family comes to mind (only one family member is actually a RF, the original XA), or a Petri 7, 7S, 7SII, or the smaller Petri 35E (not a RF). Chinon 35EE or its GAF sibling... As a Minolta user, also look for the Hi-Matif E and F models, they're a lot smaller than the older Hi-Matics (I don't own a 7sII but I understand it seems to be a nice camera, not so easy to get cheap though).

    In that category I was only disappointed by the Rollei XF35 (couldn't find one with a correctly adjusted RF), despite the good reputation of its lens.

    All of these little guys tend to come with a lens ranging from 28mm to 45mm at the extremes. Usually closer to 35mm or 40mm which is excellent for street work IMHO.

  9. #9
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    I know this is maybe little extreme - but here it goes anyhow: If you can wait - go for Leica. On the end you will finish there probably . I had bunch of rangefinders: zorki 4, fed, kiev, argus c3, himatic, yasica lynx, and many many more. If I went for Leica at first place - on the end it would be much cheaper. And if you don't like it = you see that rangefinder is not for you - you can sell Leica easily, while other stuff not so easy.

  10. #10

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    I love my Argus C3, and it seems to have produced some very vintage shots.

    Richard

    PS. Although I do prefer the unrpofessionalist look and vibe, and my own personal style to be conveyed in framing, etc. That being said, the Argus C3 is my first rangefinder and in somewhat poor of shape.

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