i've always wanted to try a RF camera but never had the opportunities to try one. so i'm searching a cheap RF camera for making my first step into this world. what models can i looking for or do you recommend?
M7 (Leica). At the end a cheap camera if you want to sell it later The same for the M lenses. Unless you want to buy it new
Are you wanting interchangeable lenses or fixed lens? What is your budget? A fixed lens system will be less expensive and there are probably more available to you. The Canon canonnet QL 17GIII is a compact unit that is very popular then you have the Konica Auto S2 that is larger but fun to shoot as well as the venerable Yashica G series that are plentiful. All of these have excellent lenses and can be had for less than $50 but most often will need to be CLA'd.
The Voightlander Bessa R cameras are probably the least expensive interchangeable lens cameras but will run into the $100+ category. The nice thing about these cameras is that you can get Russian lenses that will work. Speaking of Russian, there are a plethora of RF cameras from the 50-60's being offered on the bay but you will want to do a little research on those and find the sellers that will stand behind them as you take a chance with them not working. I have yet to to own one of these but I hear that if you are lucky you can usually get a good one at a decent price.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
A tested, cleaned up Russian body can approach the cost of a Bessa R, particularly if you have to buy more than one tested, cleaned up body to find a useable one. Heck, round trip shipping with the eastern sellers exchanging a body can do the same thing.
They're good users if you can find a good one. They aren't the stunning deals they use to be though when shipping costs were cheap.
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www.fedka.com if you want FSU RF's and Lenses. Also the Canonent 19/17 is one of the nicest I have tried. It is the only camera I can hand hold at 1/8th second with acceptable results. Nice lens too, good for color and BW. Plus the simplicity of not having to worry about what lens to get is nice.
many thanks for the replies: i can start a more thorough search using your impressions.
a fixed lens will be fine as i have in mind a 50 - 80€ camera. the bessa series is quite interesting but it's a step too long for me now.
canonet and minolta seems a more affordable choice , the only draw back would be the battery.
Yashica Electro 35 GSN. Great lens. As I remember, its meter system accomodates a wide range of voltages so contemporary batteries work.
The Canonet does not need a battery to operate in full manual mode. The meter works only when using the A mode, and that is the mode that needs batteries to work (based from my past Canonet 19).
First and foremost, look for something working and in good condition. There are tons of options out there, very few significantly better than others. Virtually all of these cameras with good reputations take excellent photos.
This is the set of considerations I'd throw evaluated against:
1) Does it work fully?
2) Do the ergonomics work well for you? (camera size, finder, etc)?
3) Does it meet your needs (automatic/manual/both, lens speed and focal length, meter, etc)
4) What is available in your area that you can get your hands on before making a purchase?