Rangefinder and 50mm Lens Recommendation
This topic is kind of like beating a dead horse, but for the sake of getting my hit in and not stealing other members posts (or their own hits).......
Coming from a DSLR, I've been using a Minolta X-700 with 50mm lens exclusively for about eight months now. In that time I have started processing my own film (HP5+, DD-X), and selling off my very seldom used digital gear piece by piece. Once I get rid of the DSLR body that will do it.
I have been using the X-700 in manual mode, and have replaced the batteries twice. I replace them even though I don't reference the meter as the shutter requires it. Learning to expose based on the the sunny-16 rule, manually focusing, and processing my film has been a sort of liberation for me. I get much more satisfaction out of my photography by this process, and wish to continue with it long-term - mostly street and documentary related.
So, I'd now like to look for a rangefinder to have something quieter, a camera that allows me to actually see the moment of exposure, slightly smaller than the X-700, and not requiring any sort of battery - totally mechanical, which would be handy for my occasional backpacking outings. I like the field of view with the 50mm lens, and would like to stick with it. My budget is rather limited, but I think I could swing $500-ish give or take a small bit. I need something that will be a good shooter, reliable, and not just a display piece.
I've been looking at the newer model QL-17, the QL-17 GIII, and a couple of others. I think these are battery dependent though, and most don't have the 50mm lens. Ideally I'd have the funds for a Leica M3 and 50mm, but I'm short on that by a ways. I thought about a Mamiya C220 or Rolleiflex TLR for medium format work, but I feel I should probably take care of the rangefinder issue first.
Any recommendations or thoughts?
EDIT: I wear eyeglasses, so a good viewfinder is even more important. I tried an old Canon RF the other day, and had troubles seeing the entire frame.