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Your favorite budget rangefinder?
Old 08-09-2005   #1
bigdog
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Your favorite budget rangefinder?

I would like to hear what people think is the best/favorite fast fixed focal length rangefinder keeping the price/performance for camera competitive with that of Bessa R body with 35/2.5 C Lens ($399)

Anybody have experience with the Konica Hexar 35mm f/2.0, the Konica Auto S3 38mm f/1.8 or the YASHICA ELECTRO 35 CC 35mm f1.8?
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Old 08-09-2005   #2
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$399 is a budget rangefinder? I think $39.99 is more like it.. LOL

for around $40 you have nearly any FSU, most Minolta Hi-Matics, Yashica GSN, possibly a Canonet QL17 GIII, or my personal favorite, a Vivitar 35ES

I even got a Contax IIa with a Sonnar 50/1.5 for almost exactly half of your 'budget' range
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Old 08-09-2005   #3
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go for Konica Auto S2, nice viewfinder, nice lens except full size.
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Old 08-09-2005   #4
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I agree with Joe. I have an R but really love the under $50 GSN and QL17. I would love to get a Vivitar
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Old 08-09-2005   #5
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I love my Minolta A5! If I could only figure out where its leaking light at.
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Old 08-09-2005   #6
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favourite fixed lens rf with a great lens is the oly 35rc.
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Old 08-09-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
possibly a Canonet QL17 GIII
I might second the suggestion for the QL17 GIII. Nice little camera and very sharp semi-wide fixed lens. It's compact and easy to use. The only gripe I have about it is that it doesn't have a metered or match-needle manual mode, it's either auto or full manual.

My other suggestion, which probably won't get seconded here is the Mamiya Super Deluxe.
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Old 08-09-2005   #8
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GSN, baby, GSN!
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Old 08-09-2005   #9
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GSN with 1.7.... cheap, color coated ,metered. some times you can find them for $30.00 or $40.00 sometimes cheaper ..........
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Old 08-09-2005   #10
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In my stable I have the GIII QL17, HiMatic 7S, Oly SP, Yashica GS, Konica S2 and Oly XA. All _totaled_, they cost less than a Bessa R + 35/2.5 and match or exceed that combo.
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Old 08-09-2005   #11
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I have to agree with joe and say the OLY RC. Its the perfect size. Though I dont own one (yet), I have used it and its a lovely camera. Only problem that its is a bit hard to find these days.

Another good deal is the Fed 2 and the 22 Industar.
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Old 08-09-2005   #12
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My favorite is the Oly 35 SP. Among the items you mentioned in your budget, the Hexar AF.
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Old 08-09-2005   #13
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Kiev 4am with a Jupiter 8m. Even being the lowest end of the family, it's still a Contax at it's heart, a Sonnar for it's soul, and easily available for $30 - 40. No, it's not a fixed lens camera. But it has some really great glass available and handles sweetly.



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Old 08-09-2005   #14
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I have the Canonet and I have to say that the lens and the meter surprise me. The focal that I more like its the 40 mm. In Leica you dont see the lines. In this camera yes. Have a very good body and nice mechanism for charge the film. I think is one of the best photographic discover in my life. Very good quality for inexpensive price.
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Old 08-09-2005   #15
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Minolta Hi-Matic 9. Paid $5 for mine, new in the box.

Best Regards,

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Old 08-09-2005   #16
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I just developed the first roll of film I've put through one of my Canonets.. I'm amazed at the quality of the shots.. no, it's not quite Sonnar or Leica quality.. but it's damn good for a $40 camera.. and the ease of use is outstanding.. I can focus quicker with it than my Contax
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Old 08-09-2005   #17
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Minolta Unionmat (Japanese version of the Hi-Matic) with 45mm F2.8 Rokkor. Uses EV system exclusively and meter not working properly, but lens is amazing and RF works perfectly. I use an EV table downloaded from internet.
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Old 08-09-2005   #18
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Fast fixed lens? That sounds like a Yashica Lynx 14! Not small or light, but has a match-needle meter full manual control.
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Old 08-09-2005   #19
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Canon QL17 GIII the best.
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Old 08-09-2005   #20
Wayne R. Scott
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My choices:

1st Olympus RC
2nd Canon Ql-17 GIII
3rd Yashica GSN or GT
4th (not really a rangefinder) Rollei 35S
5th (This one blows away the others for quality) Ansco Speedex Special "R" 120 roll film.

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Old 08-09-2005   #21
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For those who like the oly RC, I agree. I also have excellent one I would sell. If interested, contact me directly. [Got an M2 and lens on way--hopefully!]\Johne


Two pics of RC in MY Gallery. FYI
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Old 08-09-2005   #22
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My Old School QL17, pre GIII.

I can't seem to get my hands on the latter version.
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Old 08-09-2005   #23
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I think the Minox 35GL. It's quiet, unintrusive, fits in my pocket. And it only cost me, well...it was well within my Ramen Noodles budget when I got it
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Old 08-09-2005   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
Minolta Hi-Matic 9. Paid $5 for mine, new in the box.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
I also vote for the Hi-Matic 9. Hi-Matics in general seem to be underrated compared to Canons, but if you can put up with the size difference the lens is amazing. When I had my first test roll from my Hi-Matic developed, the co-owner of my favorite lab just had to know what kind of camera I had used to take them.

I paid about $10 for mine off of E-B**. Mine did not come in its box, but was about as close to new as you could get, otherwise.

Richie
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Old 08-10-2005   #25
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I have a Canon QL 1.7 GIII, a Yashica GSN, a Minolta 7SII, and an Olympus XA. I've used the Oly the most. I just got the Canon & Yashica and have only fired them up. The Minolta has a nice lens but I've had limited experience with it. I like the Oly for its brilliant clamshell design and the soft shutter.
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Old 08-10-2005   #26
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I loved the lens on my Himatic 9
I loved the size and handling of the Konica Auto s3
I used the Canonet QL 17 GIII the most because it was the best all around package for me.
I never took to the GSN, honestly I didn't like it.

And,

I sold them all because the R was so much better a camera to use.
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Old 08-10-2005   #27
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Agfa Ambi Silette with 35, 50 and 90 mm ... the leaf shutter was also
working at lower speeds ... eBay 90 Euro from UK.

or Polaroid 600 coming with Pola magazin and 120 roll film magazin
(lens is a build in lens with 127 mm) for 150 Euro.

Not really low budget, but I love them :-).

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Old 08-10-2005   #28
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QL17 GIII I always have one with me and love them. Prices are all over the place on Ebay at the moments, but still good cheap ones about.
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Old 08-10-2005   #29
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Minolta Hi-Matic 7Sii is a very nice machine, also Olympus 35RC, Rollei B35, Yashica GSN or MG1 and just about any FSU combination - Zorki4 with jupiter 8 (cheap and very capable). The choice is vast and well within your budget.
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Old 08-10-2005   #30
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My favorite "all-around" fixed lens rangefinder camera is still the Canonet QL17 GIII. The short throw shutter release has most of the "trap-needle" cameras beaten. It does not have the sharpest lens, and is soft wide-open when compared with the Konica S2, Hi-Matic 9, and Hi-Matic E. The Minolta 7s-II is smaller, and has a sharper lens. But I do not like the viewfinder as much, it is just not as crisp and does not have auto-parallax compensation.

I have a Lynx 14e headed in, and had a Lynx 14 before. Sold the latter as the RF was dim, but it still sold in one hour on a BIN. These cameras are manual only, and have one of the softest shutter releases and shutters to be found. And it is an F1.4 lens that will give an 1960's SLR a run for its money.
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Old 08-10-2005   #31
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$399? You may be able to get about 10 RFs for that price. Here are my choices and why:
Konica Auto S2, Great lens, great viewfinder, heavy enough to allow very slow speeds.
Minolta Himatic 9/11, Great lens, very good viewfinder
Yashica GSN,GT, very good lens, Ok finder
At the camera show this weekend I saw on one table:
Oly RC, Vivitar 35es, Konica C35 for $25 to $40. All were rough looking and I did not have batteries to test them. They are all good performers too. If they had been in better shape I would have got them all probably.
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Old 08-10-2005   #32
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After recieving back from the lab a roll of colour film I shot in Kensington Market one morning, I was blown away. The camera was the QL17 GIII, non rangefinder people giggle when I pull this camera out, they stop when they see the pictures when the jaws drop.

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Old 08-10-2005   #33
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For a knock-about camera, I'd go with the Konica auto S2 or the GSN. I have or have had most of the fixed lens types mentioned here. They all take terrific shots, but lately I've been using the S2 as my daily carry. I find that the bigger cameras are much easier to hold steady at lower shutter speeds.
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Old 08-10-2005   #34
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Well, for $399 you can get a lot of fixed lens RFs!!!
My choices:
Mamiya Super Deluxe 1.5; paid $50 (I love that big lens) Fully manual, everything under control!
Kiev 4 (that wonderfull Contax feel!) paid $30 for it.
Canonet QL17 (old type); I paid $25
Yashica MG1; paid $15, not boxed but in mint condition (no battery of course!)
Beirette Electronic; paid $12 for a fully auto small black VF (not RF).
And still left $ 267 for film @ $5 ea. (53 pcs. of 36 exp. rolls) and $2 for the bus!

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Old 08-10-2005   #35
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Funny you mentioned the Beirette . . . I found (a mint) one of the vsn's and it's actually a good little camera. Sharp glass m/c lens and a smooth shutter. Reminds me of the old Pentax Pino I once had and loved. Better quality than that cardboard car the East Germans made!

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Old 08-10-2005   #36
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A yashica GSN. You can get one for much less than 399$. 1/10 of that, in fact. From me
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Old 08-10-2005   #37
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Canonet QL-17 and spend the rest on film. Mine has a cracking lens and I take the cam everywhere. Its got a really quiet shutter too.

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Old 08-10-2005   #38
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I guess a Zorki 1 (export model), 'cause it has just about every feature you could want, except for slow shutter speeds and flash sync, and it is tiny, and it takes LTM lenses, or excellent, cheap FSU LTM lenses. It feels heavy and robust, and built like a tank. I don't have a problem with separate RFDR and VFDR windows.
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Old 08-11-2005   #39
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An Iskra!

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Old 08-11-2005   #40
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I recently bought a little Chinon 35EE -- which is indistinguishable from the Konica C35 auto (http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/p...a_c35auto.html).

It's programmed exposure so there's no control, but the flashmatic system works well and the lens is really sharp and contrasty.

I was blown away by the crispness of the first few negs from it. It's also small enough to be pocketable.

I also really love my Fed-4 but it's about double the size and weight (the 35EE isn't much bigger than my Olympus XA-2).

I paid the UK equivalent of about $5 US for the 35EE, then had to spend another few pounds and about an hour of my time repairing the light seals which were in a bit of a state.

The Fed-4 arrived in as new condition for about $15 US (including postage! I bought it from a UK seller). Nearly 2 years and a lot of film later it's still in perfect working order.
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