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  1. #11
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    As the FED cameras have been mentioned in the thread, you could always have a look at the russian rangefinders at www.fedka.com. I don't know if they pass under the monetary limit set, but ever since I bought a Kodak Retina 117 (non-rangefinder) I have been partial to the Retinas, like a Retina II for example.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  2. #12
    maarten m's Avatar
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    canonet G-III QL17

  3. #13

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    Ok i`ll chip with my experience of FSU. I have 4, all via E-bay. All work just fine. Zorki 4 is another good option with industar 61 lens. Kiev 4 is a fun quirky camera, a bit big and it takes some getting used to the ergonomics. Fed 4/5 are also quite bulky. Zorki 6 has a hinged back [ the others have fully removable back] and it also has a very wide rangefinder base. Fed 2 has wide base and is considered one of the best from FSU , however perhaps all the good ones are in use.There are so many variables with these cameras, for instance a pre 1964 zorki 4 will have engraved speed settings, post 64 they are embosed and wear. Earlier Jupiter 8 lens[1950`s] are better than later, post 74 Kiev is not well made- and so on.
    All of mine are the complete opposite to what people say are the optimum and i have not had a problem with any...though it is only a matter of time..:-) They are fun and do what they were made to do well, the lens are overall very good. My pick from this lot? probably Zorki 4 with ID 61.If you want an idea of what the models look like and more info

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=36060

    regards

  4. #14

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    You can get an auxillary rangefinder that mounts on the flash shoe or can be handheld and then set the distance scale on a nonrangefinder camera. You also may want to look at some of the older cameras such as Zeiss and Voigtlander that made some excellent folders, some with rangefinders, and fixed body. A Zeiss Ikonta folder with rangefinder can be had for not a lot in user condition, has an excellent lens and even with a cla can be in or near your price range. A benefit of the Zeiss is folded it can easily fit in your pocket and easiely a daily carrier. If willing to go for an aux rangerfinder which can be had for nect to nothing, it opens up the field quite a bit. Voightlanders with Color Skopar lenses are wonderful shooters, I have a Vito II and love it. The glass is top notch in every way.

  5. #15
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    A Canonet QL-17, Yashica Electro 35, Minolta Hi-Matic, or the like is what I would suggest. I also love my Retina IIa, though it is a bit more awkward to use (and you'll need to carry a meter with you or learn to shoot without one).
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  6. #16

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    Kiev 4, FED 3, Yashica Electro 35 and Super Ikonta folders = my favorites in this category.
    As to my experience with FEDs and similar, many lenses needed lubing, some RFs needed readjustment, that was pretty easy to do. Never had any other problem with them.

  7. #17
    Erik Petersson's Avatar
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    The mentioned cameras are all rather old. I would recommend you to handle it and try it out if possible before buying. These cameras can easily be out of order in one way or another.

    I am using a FED III myself and love it, but some people don't like soviet cameras as they are not always as smooth as other ones. I bought mine from http://okvintagecamera.com/ It was cheap and it worked out well.

  8. #18
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Kodak Retinas. Look for one with the coupled rangefinder. You should be able to get one for under $100. The Yashica Lynx 14e is a great camera with great optics, but that 50 f1.4 is a hog of a lens and makes the camera a lot bulkier. I don't know if you can find one for under $125 but the Olympus SP is a really nice fixed-lens rangefinder with a spot-metering option. They're not RARE, but they don't show up all that often so they do take a while to find.

  9. #19
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    My first rangefinder camera was an FED 4, with interchangable lenses. Cheap and the optics on my model gave sharp images, though not as good as I got from my old Contax G2.
    The Thing

    Portfolio

    Film Cameras currently used:
    Large/Stort-format: Ebony 45SU (field camera), Medium/Medlem-format: Mamiya 7, Hasselblad 503CW
    35mm/Små format: Nikon: F4, D800 (yes digital, I know)

  10. #20
    BryceEsquerre's Avatar
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    Minolta Hi-Matic G

    Any thoughts on this guy? I have a big gift card to amazon. Anyone ever used one?


    btw, you guys are so awesome it inspired me to subscribe and support the site.

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