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Which Fixed Lens Camera has a Great Lens?
Old 03-07-2006   #1
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Which Fixed Lens Camera has a Great Lens?

I suggest that we collectively put together a list of cameras with photos for those cameras we believe to have excellent lenses. Who wants to start?
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Old 03-07-2006   #2
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Raid, this will touch off a serious round of GAS for all of those who followed you into the great March Buy-Out.

I'll wait until next month to put up the picture of my Mint Konica S2 with the Sharpest lens of any Fixed-Lens RF. You can get these for ~$30.

But it is March.
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Old 03-07-2006   #3
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Those which I have some experience with:

* Canon Canonet G-III QL-17
* Minolta Hi-Matic 7S (and 9)
* Yashica GSN/GT/G
* Yashica Lynx 14 (but it will flare heavily)
* Olympus SP/RD/RC/35-S II/XA
* Agfa Karat IV/36 (Solagon & Xenon & Xenar lenses)
* Fujica ML/Compact Deluxe
* Ricoh Five-One-Nine
* Petri Racer

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Old 03-07-2006   #4
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Are we that weak?! By the way, I got one of these Konica II cameras with a Hexanon 50/2.8 lens. It's a very nice camera.
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Old 03-07-2006   #5
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from personal experience:

Minolta high matic 7 and 7s
Zeiss ikon Contessa 35
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Old 03-07-2006   #6
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IMHO The Konica S2 beats the Olys and Canons. No experience of Minolta.

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Old 03-07-2006   #7
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I've used the Yashica GSN and the Canon Canonet G-III. Both have great lenses.
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Old 03-07-2006   #8
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I've had Canonets, Yashicas and Minoltas. The Minolta 7s lens was better than the Yashica (45/1.7 version) and Canon GIII lenses, in my opinion. Heard nothing but good things about the Konica's, but can't compare them myself.
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Old 03-07-2006   #9
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Is there a difference between the Konica S2 and the Konica II ?
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Old 03-07-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Coxon
IMHO The Konica S2 beats the Olys and Canons. No experience of Minolta.

Kim
If I had to rank them on sharpness/contrast, IMHO, the Minolta would win, just barely, over the Konica. And for whatever reason, it has been my experience that the Minoltas are often found in working/immaculate condition - the Konica's almost always seem to arrive broken/dirty. Just my experience, YMMV.

I would also put the Ricoh Five-One-Nine over the Konica, but again, a real squeaker. The Ricoh is a real unsung hero. Oddly-made but easy to use, the trigger-wind and the double-focusing tabs make using it a breeze. Loading is less enjoyable, but not as bad as a er, ahem, certain bottom-loader.

If I had to also figure in convenience, the Olympus RD wins in a walk for having nearly that good of a lens and being much smaller.

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Old 03-07-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid amin
Is there a difference between the Konica S2 and the Konica II ?
Yes indeed. The Auto S2 is more like the Minolta Hi-Matics in build. The III's are a bit more odd, with lever cocking (I do not know know the II, but would suspect it is an earlier III?). Here's a write up:

http://www.dantestella.com/technical/koni3.html

Here's the Auto S2:

http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/p...ca_autos2.html

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Old 03-07-2006   #12
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I hadn't seen this thread, just started another one praising the Konica S2. I was amazed with the photos, superb Hexanon lens. I like it better than the Canonet QL19 but have not tried the Minolta to compare. I will post a colour photo I took the other day later.
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Old 03-07-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid amin
I suggest that we collectively put together a list of cameras with photos for those cameras we believe to have excellent lenses. Who wants to start?
I would second the QL17 GIII and also nominate the Mamiya Super Deluxe as both having fast and sharp lenses.
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Old 03-07-2006   #14
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Here's a link of a colour photo with the Konica. The lens is wide open, I like the result very much.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...7&limit=recent

PS Does anybody know hot to attach a thumbnail at the end of the post?
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Old 03-07-2006   #15
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Old 03-07-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmr
I would second the QL17 GIII and also nominate the Mamiya Super Deluxe as both having fast and sharp lenses.
I had forgotten about my Super Deluxe, you're right. But I only have the f1.5 lens, there are a couple others on the same body, all called 'Super Deluxe'.

I would also nominate the Super Deluxe as 'most like a brick'.

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Old 03-07-2006   #17
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Konica Hexar AF has a superb lens.

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Old 03-07-2006   #18
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My Konica S3 is at least as sharp as my nikkor gear and has neutral/good out of focus areas. I heard/read good things about the konica III and I bought me one. It is in the mail. The konica S2 is about as sharp, but in the expense of the out of focus areas. The S3 is about half the weightsize of the S2 and the III, but it needs battery (mercury kind) for any aperture other than wide open, and, has no speeds below 1/8".
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Old 03-07-2006   #19
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My vote is with the Yashica Electro GSN. Here's two from pics from mine. I haven't had a chance to use a Hexar though.
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Old 03-07-2006   #20
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Well, the problem here is, where does one start? There are many fixed-lens compacts that rate at least a "pretty good" ranking in terms of lens quality. Separating those from "fantastic" might take some doing, and we won't all agree on what makes that shortlist.

My experience with past cameras: Yashica 5000E Lynx (not bad); Yashica Electro 35 GT (better); Canonet QL17 GIII (great, but y'all know this already); Konica S2 (ditto); Olympus XA (darn good); Konica Hexar autofocus (well...what else is there to say? Magic!)

Present – and only – fixed-lens 35 is a Konica Auto S3, which I've wanted for a long time. All I'll say is that it was more than worth the wait.


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Old 03-07-2006   #21
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A bit OT, which fixed lens RF has the widest lens?
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Old 03-07-2006   #22
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I have two fixed lens RF's, Yashica GS and Canonet QL17 G-III. While I greatly prefer the size and build of the Canonet, the Yashica lens is undeniably sharper to my eyes.
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Old 03-07-2006   #23
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I love my Vivitar 35ES - sharp, small, black, cool.
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Old 03-07-2006   #24
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If you're talking fixed-lens RFs, I doubt you'll see anything much beyond 35mm in focal length, give or take a few mm. Back in the day – even now, to an extent – it cost a good deal to go from a reasonably fast 38-45mm optic to, say, 28mm (even a somewhat slower one), and most of these cameras, even the really good ones, were built with a given price point in mind, so something had to give. A decent compromise, IMO.


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Old 03-07-2006   #25
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The 38/2.8 Sonnar T* on the Contax T should qualify as a great lens.
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Old 03-07-2006   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid amin
I suggest that we collectively put together a list of cameras with photos for those cameras we believe to have excellent lenses. Who wants to start?

o.k., I'll start...one of my favorites is the Yashica T-4...I have two...they each have the 35mm/3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens and take great pictures...They also fit in a breast pocket or the glove compartment, so I generally take one along on trips, just in case...regards...bob
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Old 03-07-2006   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amateriat
If you're talking fixed-lens RFs, I doubt you'll see anything much beyond 35mm in focal length, give or take a few mm. Back in the day – even now, to an extent – it cost a good deal to go from a reasonably fast 38-45mm optic to, say, 28mm (even a somewhat slower one), and most of these cameras, even the really good ones, were built with a given price point in mind, so something had to give. A decent compromise, IMO.


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35mm is wide enough for me, but it seems most are in the 40-50mm range (or am I just not looking hard enough).

Here's what I'd like: a fixed lens RF with a reasonably sharp ~35mm lens that is fully manual. Does this camera exist? The QL17 GIII is close, but its lens is a bit long for my taste.
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Old 03-07-2006   #28
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I just realized that I was not specific enough in the title for this thread. Are folding cameras allowed or are we talking about non-folding 35mm cameras? If so, then ...

My list of my own cameras with excellent fixed lenses are as follows:

1. Hexar Silver with the amazing 35mm/2 lens. If you don't have one , wait until next moth to get one.

2. Konica II with the sharp Hexanon 50/2.8 lens.

3. Minox GT with the very good 35mm lens

4. Fuji Natura with the very wide and very fast 24mm/1.9 lens .... (still being tested, but I have seen posted results)

5. Canon P&S with the 2.8 lens. Very sharp.

6. Leica Mini 3. Excellent lens on a plastic camera body.

7. Olympus Stylus with its excellent exposure programs and sharp lens.

I'm sure there are more cameras somewhere in the house ....
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Old 03-07-2006   #29
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Do we "allow" P&S cameras as "rangefinder" cameras here? Maybe I should have been more clear about the scope of the thread. Still, I find all replies useful and interesting.
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Old 03-07-2006   #30
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Exclamation

FS VERY CHEAP: If anyone is so enamored of them, I have two fixed lens cameras you can have as parts only ... A Konica C-35 and a Mamiya U...Each has most of the parts...Neither works and neither sold on Ebay...Both are yours for $10 usd {free shipping to US address} via PayPal...regards, bob
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Old 03-07-2006   #31
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i don't really know if they fit in your categories, but ricoh's GR (1,1s,1v,10 not to mention this gr21) have really nice and wide lens.

btw, if someone got a cheap GRxx or maybe a R1 to sell, do say so =)
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Old 03-07-2006   #32
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My experiences with the Minox 35 GT and the Minox 35 GT-E are very positive. Great lens in a small camera. I almost never leave home without a camera, and the Minox makes it possible.
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Old 03-07-2006   #33
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I did some testing a while back with a Canonet GIII, Yashica GSN, Minolta HM 11, Konica s2. For sharpness the Konica, Minolta and GSN were very sharp, the Canonet a notch behind...
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Old 03-07-2006   #34
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I'll submit a plug for the Linhof 220 which I believe has the best lens of any fixed lens RF.
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Old 03-07-2006   #35
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If you like half frame, many of the Olympus Pens and the Canon Demis have great lenses.
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Old 03-07-2006   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
35mm is wide enough for me, but it seems most are in the 40-50mm range (or am I just not looking hard enough).

Here's what I'd like: a fixed lens RF with a reasonably sharp ~35mm lens that is fully manual. Does this camera exist? The QL17 GIII is close, but its lens is a bit long for my taste.

Kyle, I'd say your best bet is the Yashica 35cc. 35mm f1.8 or 1.9 fixed-lens. I have the camera, and the lens is pretty sweet, and overall it's a beautiful machine. It's aperture-priority AE, not fully manual, but you can control the exposure by adjusting the ISO setting, which works perfectly well.
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Old 03-07-2006   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honu-Hugger
I'll submit a plug for the Linhof 220 which I believe has the best lens of any fixed lens RF.
Now that was obscure! I had to go look for it, never heard of it before. And interesting it was, too. Only 2,000 of them ever made? Pistol-grip vertical format 120/220? And a rangefinder as well? Cool.

If we're going to MF, then I'd submit the Fujica G670/G690 in the later fixed-lens (EBC coated) variety. I only have the older Fujica G690 with the interchangeable lens, but it's a monster.

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Old 03-07-2006   #38
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One that I forgot, but my fathers swears by it is the Leica Minilux.
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Old 03-07-2006   #39
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For wide, the XA-4 has 28/3.5, zone focus, so not a true RF, and no fully manual exposure mode.

The C-35 and its variants (Vivitar, etc.) have a 38mm f/2.8 lenses, which are quite nice, but exposure on the Konica is program mode only, so not really flexible. But it is way better than it has a "right" to be.

Oh, and the XA 35/2.8, as mentioned, is great, and the aperture preferred exposure mode works well for me. And it has that Zuiko glow...

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Old 03-07-2006   #40
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Circa 1958 - Olympus 35 Wide. A fixed-lens rangefinder, 35mmf3.5, Zuiko lens, and fully manual. Best I could come up with fora manual wide.

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