These rangefinder camera's a have caught my attention recently and was wondering if anyone knew of a affortable Camera that has good optics and good reputation for durabilty. I looked at Leica M2 .. that is a gorgous camera, but typically comes with a premium price tag. Any imputs?
Unless you go Russian, affordability is directly proportional to the size of your wallet. I find that most quality rangefinder cameras are too rich for my blood. The Kiev 4A that I borrowed some years ago had a good lens but like many Russian cameras buying can be a bit of a lottery.
Thats what I'm realizing.. Anyone else?
A good rangefinder that I've gotten good photos from is my Canonet. It doesn't have the mystique of the Leicas and other early RFs, but it's a good, honest camera you can find for a low price.
Screw mount Leicas. Not so expensive as M, and with great reputation and optics.
This one sold apparently within one day, but is a nice and affordable example of Russian RF:
I don't know what your budget is, but I love my Bronica RF645 camera. A beautiful rangefinder camera using 120 roll film and negative size 6x4.5. The Bronica lenses are excellent!! Maybe something to consider too.
See also: http://www.japancamerahunter.com/201...n-rangefinder/ and http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Bronica_RF645
If you're interested in rangefinders because of the compact size/weight and the amazing wideangles, consider the Contax G1.
It's an autofocus rangefinder, with aperture priority and good magnesium body.
The main attraction are the Zeiss lenses, which are stunning in performance.
And the best part is, the system can be had for cheap.
~450 for the body *and* a lens.
The lenses go for ~300$ for the usual ones (28mm, 45mm, 90mm, that last one a bit less).
Even extremes like the 21mm f/2.8 Biogon cost no more than 600-700$.
Just google it to see samples of the image quality.
If you're ok with the electronics, it's an amazing little camera, great value for money, and very suited for travel.
I think it would be best to define "affordable" at this point. What is the maximum you are willing to spend on a good quality camera and lens? How far are you willing go money-wise if the perfect camera became available? Over the years I determined that rangefinder cameras were best suited for snapshots when in my hands. So, I have never found myself spending more than a couple hundred dollars on a good rangefinder. I'm sure there are others that wouldn't touch a camera that cost less that several thousand. But, in my opinion Adrian hit it on the nail. Get that price narrowed down.
What feature must you have?
Originally Posted by ToddB
Has the rangefinder got to be coupled? Or are you prepared to find the range then adjust the focus?
Must you have interchangeable lenses? Or is sticking with one focal length acceptable to you?
Are you happy to use an old camera from the 1950's? Or must it be from the 1980's onwards?
Are you happy to carry a large camera to get the advantages of 120 film? Or must it fold away to a small size?
How much are you happy to spend?