If you do get the excellent Canon GIII 17 be aware of one thing that is very important. Cock the shutter and, as you are looking at the front of the lens, turn the aperture ring back and forth. If the aperture opens and closes WITHOUT hesitation you are OK. But if the tiniest bit of oil is on those blades you are in for trouble. This camera is especially vulnerable to this aperture blade hang-up, so beware.
I have taken apart several and it is impossible for me to service one without destroying the GIII 17 electronic capability because the wires are amazingly close together and without any 'leg room', so I have to cut them in order to get the shutter/lens mechanism separated from the body. That means this: when I am finished there is NO meter and NO X sync, although the aperture now is excellent and the glass elements are pristine. It thus becomes a stellar 'available light' machine.
The Olympus XA has a major limiting factor: there is no manual exposure provision, although a somewhat 'workaround' can be obtained with film speed and backlight provisions. Also, that shutter button is prone to 'delay' and that delay is not necessarily caused by dirt or debris. It seems, at times, to be a 'computer chip' problem that has never been satisfactorily explained to me.
The Olumpus RC or RD gets my immediate approval. Those are great cameras with few problems. But watch for fungus on that front element. In fact, I would advise ALWAYS putting a clean skylight filter on ANY RF lens, primarily because it cannot be easily removed from the body, (unless you are talking about Canon 7 or such).
But like all mechanical things, test, even without film. Be sure to put on Bulb setting with open aperture and, with opened back. fire at a well lit area to see how clear that glass REALLY is from BOTH the front and rear. You would even be advised to use a maginfying glass to closely inspect from both the front and rear while that lens is fired on bulb. (You might not like what you see but at that critical level, some dust problem can be largely ignored.)
elekm: I think that by 'beater' he means one that has been well used, thus cheap. But, today, one can find surprising buys from even 'low mileage' cameras. Look, search, try, don't get frustrated. - David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 01-24-2014 at 09:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.