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Fixed Lens 35mm RF This forum is dedicated to the numerous and popular fixed lens rangefinders, including but not limited to the Canon Canonets, Konica III and S series, Minoltas, Ricohs, Vivitars, and so many others. Note fixed lens Olympus , Yashicas, Argus and Retina have separate forums.

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Status Report on your Fixed Lens Rangefinder Collection?
Old 09-20-2019   #1
Smaug
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Question Status Report on your Fixed Lens Rangefinder Collection?

I thought it might be fun to (virtually) peek into one anothers' collections and see/hear about the direction they're going to head.

I'll start.
  • Yashica Electro 35 GS - This was my grandpa's, he gave it to me in the early 90s. it still works great, I think this is a function of it having been exercised regularly. It has a dented filter ring, which I thought of gentling trying to bend out, but I hesitate to hammer on it, even with a bamboo skewer as the part that hits the ring. The lens/camera junction just seems too fragile, and there are a lot of delicate mechanics inside the lens assembly. I have a light seal kit for it; I just need to get around to it. Or maybe I'll treat it to a full CLA, while Mark Hama is still at it. I need to get some kind of a hood on it, somehow.
  • Yashica Electro 35 GSN - I took a gamble on this one (and lost) at a thrift store for $10. When I put a battery in with the adapter, it only shoots at 1/500s, ever. Needs the POD fixed. I may save this one for tinkering with.
  • Yashica Electro 35 CC - I paid a pretty penny for this from Japan, as it is in perfect cosmetic condition. it still needed a CLA. Nevertheless, I love the 35/1.8 lens and the size of it, so I sent it out to Mark Hama the other day. Can't wait to get a clean bill of health on this little guy
  • Rollei 35 (Tessar, Singapore) - I bought this maybe 6 years ago. It needs a CLA, as the aperture dial won't go all the way in either direction; everything else is fine. This is probably my favorite camera to shoot, so it is worth investing a bit of money into.
  • Rollei B 35 (Triotar, Germany) - I bought this one as it is the model my grandpa had from the 70s. I'm delighted with the lens, even though it is a bit soft off-center. I like the fact that the front panel is clean; it is a great-looking camera. Only a C 35 would look better, but they're rare. The selenium meter is 50/50, and it is missing a screw (1 of 2) holding the top plate on. The screw hole is stripped. Despite that, it works great with an external meter. I'm deciding on whether to keep this one or sell it on down the line. (with full disclosure, of course.)

Others - I think I'm done buying fixed lens rangefinders and scale focus cameras. Next up is to re-seal my OM1N and maybe buy an OM 35/2.8 for my OM1N and get some film through that old guy.

I need a re-seal kit for the Canon FTb I just got for my daughter. Then, it'll be ready to rock. She's got an FD 50/1.8 and 135/3.5, as well as an off-brand 28/2.8 for it. She just needs to grow into it a bit, so it isn't such a tank around her little neck. (she's 7)

Lastly, having sold off my Panasonic 20/1.7 for my Olympus E-M10 III, I need to free up some money to get the 17/1.8 for it. That'll be for when I don't feel like messing with film or for low light. (where film is not realistic, these days)
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Old 09-20-2019   #2
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Nice collection!

Mine is rather slim these days,

:Minolta Hi-Matic FP - Cool little black RF I’ve used on and off over the years. Less so now.
:Minolta Hi-Matic F - My test bed camera for silly ideas. At one point it was very close to being motorized. I still have all the bits. Maybe someday I’ll finish it.
:Ricoh 500ST + SP Winder - Cured my itch for a compact with a motor. Loud as heck. Scale focus on this body but I’ve always kept an eye at thrift shops for a RF model 500.
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Old 09-20-2019   #3
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Petri 7s: Bought this because I had a similar model in 1963. Lots of good features on it.
Konica 35C: Great camera except for only having auto exposure.
Olympus 35RC: The one I use the most, but still have a love/hate relation with it.

A little about the 7s: http://www.photoethnography.com/Clas...s/Petri7s.html
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Old 09-20-2019   #4
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My Holga is fine, doing 35mm sprockets at the moment and wrestling with a light leak, but its fine.
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Old 09-20-2019   #5
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-A "new" Canonet 28, good lens, really nice for outdoor photography but limited in low light situations. I find the automatic exposure very accurate but also very frustrating.


-A Konica III, great piece of sturdy and heavy metal. It looks beautiful, is compact enough and is a pleasure to handle. Full manual control, f2.0 lens, and the double stroke lever on the front of the camera was the good surprise IMO.


I did hesitate between that one and the earlier Konica (I) but the separate film advance and shutter cocking made me more reluctant.



At the moment I'm curious about the Ricoh 300 but can't find a lot about it.


I'd also like to try the hi-matic 9, though it seems to be a big camera.
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Old 09-20-2019   #6
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So I was at a yard sale and bought a MIB Yashica lynx 5000....
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Old 09-21-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someonenameddavid View Post
So I was at a yard sale and bought a MIB Yashica lynx 5000....
Ooooooh, man .... why did I ever let mine go in the Great Digital-Onset Film Purge?

OTH, my cousin just gave me a pristine Oly 35SP ... with working meter.

Pardon me; I gotta go look for a Lynx... or a black GTN... or a ...
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Old 09-21-2019   #8
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currently, Olympus XA2, XA4, Minox 35ML, Rollei 35, must take the XA4 to new York in november
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Old 09-21-2019   #9
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Vivitar 35ES, Canon QL17 GIII, Konica C35v, Olympus 35RC, Olympus XA, Yashica Lynx 14, rollei 35 tessar and the triplet


All gone now; really liked the lenses on the Vivitar and Konica. The Canon was a bit of a disappointment lens-wise. Used the XA the most even though the viewfinder was basically useless. Good fun, all around!
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Old 09-21-2019   #10
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Using the strict definition rather than a scale focus viewfinder camera, just the one, an Olympus 35RD, which has been tested but as of yet the film is now in another camera to test that.
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Old 09-21-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man/machine View Post

At the moment I'm curious about the Ricoh 300 but can't find a lot about it.

I have one after my father. With the original box, case and receipt!
It need a CLA which I may dare trying one day.. But as you say, not much information about that camera.

It was my fathers only 35mm camera when I was a kid. His other camera was a medium format Flexaret. As much as photography meant to him, he really deserved something better, both for 35 and 120 format. And he could have afforded a Rollei-cord/flex and a better rangefinder than the Ricoh 300. But he was rather frugal.
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Old 09-21-2019   #12
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Ricoh 500GX: The meter gave out a month or so ago, but I'll still be using it as I have a metrophot 3 that works. Now has HP5+ in.

Agfa Super Silette with Solinar: Good, still in the middle of a roll XP2 super. Stopped all photo activity over the summer due to the heatwave (too hot to walk anywhere for long, and when it wasn;t too hot it was too wet.

Agfa Super Solinette, later version: Works well and has XP2 Super in.

Ansco Super regent, later version: Could have a slight, occasional problem with frame spacing, which showed up in a roll of XP 2 Super, now has a roll of Lomo 400 color in. Maybe I hadn't loaded the first film properly and we'll see what the 2nd film does.
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Old 09-21-2019   #13
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Over the last 35 years I've added quite a few rangefinders to my camera collection.

They are all in working order and I use all of them.

Leica M3 DS ST PV - currently in use now
Leica M3 SS ST PV
Leica M6
Leica M6 TTL
Leica III (1934)
Leica IIIf RD ST

Fuji GW690III

Retina IIa - two of these; I find the ergonomics awkward

Canonet 28
Canon QL17 GIII - fun, accurate exposure

Olympus XA - amazingly sharp, accurate exposure
Olympus 35 RC

Minolta 7sII

Nikon S2

Contax IIIa - "color dial", meter works, 1/1250 works

Pacemaker Speed Graphic - focus is accurate

Lynx 14E - total fun

I think that's all of them.
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Old 09-21-2019   #14
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Nice exercise. I hadn't thought about singling out the fixed lens RF cameras.
All of mine have made good pictures for me, but the Retina Xenons can't be beat.

Kodak Bantam RF
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina IIa
Kodak Signet 35
Minolta Hi-Matic 7s
Minolta AL-S
Olympus 35RC
Olympus XA
Ricoh 500
Samoca-35 Super
Yashica Lynx 5000E
Yashica Lynx-14
Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35
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Old 09-21-2019   #15
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3 chrome Olympus 35SP and one nice black Olympus 35SP. Love the rendering of the lenses.
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Old 09-21-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man/machine View Post
-At the moment I'm curious about the Ricoh 300 but can't find a lot about it.

Came in four versions, good lens, decent shutter, well built, plenty of them out there. I like them.


PF


https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=115186
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Old 09-21-2019   #17
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Let's see, Agfa/Ansco, Kodak, Kalimar, Iloca, Yashica, Konica, Canon, Fujica, Ricoh, Olympus, Minolta, Wirgin, and maybe a couple more brands I don't remember.


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Old 09-22-2019   #18
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Gamma Perla little sturdy italian rangefinder from the fifties. 1:1 viewfinder, very clear rangefinder, 2.8 Schneider Radiogon sharp lens.
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My Fixes Lens #5's
Old 09-22-2019   #19
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My Fixes Lens #5's

Konica I Cs
Konica III
Rollei 35 (Tessar) (honorary rangefinder)
Voigtlander Vittessa
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Old 09-22-2019   #20
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I haven't used such cameras for the past few years. I have several cameras with fixed lens.

Extremely good lenses on these cameras:
Konica I
Konica II
Konica III
Konica IIIM

Minox GT (and similar models)

Olympus XA

I may have additional cameras with fixed lens.

Olympus PEN S
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Old 09-22-2019   #21
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My 6x7cm and 6x9 cm fixed Fuji rangefinders (also known as the Texas Leicas) are my personal favorites. My 6x7 (center) has a fixed normal lens. My 6x9 has a fixed wide angle lens. I use them more often than all the others.

My Canon Canonet QL17 G-III 35mm rangefinder (left) with fixed 40mm f/1.7 lens (also known as: Poor Man's Leica) was my favorite 35mm rangefinder until I purchased a Leica M6.

My Minolta Hi-Matic 9 35mm rangefinder (right) with fixed 45mm f/1.7 lens is a fine camera but I rarely use it.



Rangefinders by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 09-22-2019   #22
David Hughes
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My four are:-


Konica C35 - film in it at present,
Mamiya 135 EE - used earlier this year,
Olympus XA - the next to be used but
Yashica 35-ME (Black) - awaiting repair (glass cracked & loose).


Regards, David
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Old 09-22-2019   #23
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Came in four versions, good lens, decent shutter, well built, plenty of them out there. I like them.


PF


https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=115186

Thanks, I saw that thread during my search.
The pictures look so sharp, knowing the Ricoh 300 was considered as a low range camera.
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Old 09-22-2019   #24
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Got rid of almost all of my 35mm fixed-lens rangefinders (replaced by P&S and scale focus cameras), so now it’s mostly medium format.

- TDC Stereo Colorist II
- Polaroid 360 Land Camera
- Fujifilm GS645
- Fujifilm GW690III
- Fujifilm GSW690III

A Polaroid 110a or 110b converted to 4x5 and a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 532/16 are still on my wishlist.
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Old 09-23-2019   #25
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Ahhhhhh.....Stereo Realist Custom 1050, Stereo Realist 2.8 Model 1042 (very late production c. 1968. Seven 3,5 Realists, earliest serial # A0787 . Wollensak Stereo 10, KinDar Stereo
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Old 09-23-2019   #26
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I forgot my Voigtlander Vitessa L and my Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 534/12
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Old 09-23-2019   #27
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A few Certo Dollinas in a box, languishing. They need to go...
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Old 09-23-2019   #28
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There are a lot of great cameras, but many of you forgot to answer the second part of the question, namely: what are the status'?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 09-23-2019   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
Nice collection!

...
:Ricoh 500ST + SP Winder - Cured my itch for a compact with a motor. Loud as heck. ...
Does it have the feature where if you press the shutter release button and hold it down, it takes the pic but doesn't advance? (as that is the loud part)

Then, you walk away and release the button when it is OK to be a bit louder.

My Canon AF35M2 has this.
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Old 09-23-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Petri 7s: Bought this because I had a similar model in 1963. Lots of good features on it.
I've read that these have great features, but were not built very well. Has that been your experience?

Quote:
Olympus 35RC: The one I use the most, but still have a love/hate relation with it.
I had one, and the rangefinder was not accurate, and the lens rings were hard to grab one without also grabbing the other. Not one of their masterpiece designs, in my opinion.
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Old 09-23-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
currently, Olympus XA2, XA4, Minox 35ML, Rollei 35, must take the XA4 to new York in november
Big fan of the minis, eh?

You don't like the (original) XA? That's the one most of us go for.
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Old 09-23-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconnealy View Post
Nice exercise. I hadn't thought about singling out the fixed lens RF cameras.
All of mine have made good pictures for me, but the Retina Xenons can't be beat.

Kodak Bantam RF
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina IIa
Kodak Signet 35
Minolta Hi-Matic 7s
Minolta AL-S
Olympus 35RC
Olympus XA
Ricoh 500
Samoca-35 Super
Yashica Lynx 5000E
Yashica Lynx-14
Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35
That is one awesome blog/site you've got going there. I particularly like the history of each camera, and posted results. I'm bookmarking this thread so I can come back and read all of those when I get the time.
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Old 09-23-2019   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
My 6x7cm and 6x9 cm fixed Fuji rangefinders (also known as the Texas Leicas) are my personal favorites. My 6x7 (center) has a fixed normal lens. My 6x9 has a fixed wide angle lens. I use them more often than all the others.

My Canon Canonet QL17 G-III 35mm rangefinder (left) with fixed 40mm f/1.7 lens (also known as: Poor Man's Leica) was my favorite 35mm rangefinder until I purchased a Leica M6.

My Minolta Hi-Matic 9 35mm rangefinder (right) with fixed 45mm f/1.7 lens is a fine camera but I rarely use it.



Rangefinders by Narsuitus, on Flickr
Nice write-up. Two questions:

1) Why cover the branding on the 35 mm's, butnot the the Fuji?

2) Why medium format? I guess you print large? Or maybe you like having fewer exposures per roll? I'm thinking of my recent scans of 35 mm, and there is plenty of resolution. I guess medium format wouldn't let you see the grain, but if that's your thing, there's always digital. Not challenging you, I'm just curious.
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Old 09-23-2019   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
My four are:-


Konica C35 - film in it at present,
Mamiya 135 EE - used earlier this year,
Olympus XA - the next to be used but
Yashica 35-ME (Black) - awaiting repair (glass cracked & loose).


Regards, David
I've never heard of the Yashica 35 ME until now. Cool. Reminds me of the Vivitar my dad used to have when I was a kid.

It looks automatic except for rough focusing. What sort of battery(ies) does it use? Might be a good alternative to a more modern AF point & shoot, which would be fooled by glass and such.
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Old 09-23-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
I've read that these have great features, but were not built very well. Has that been your experience?


I had one, and the rangefinder was not accurate, and the lens rings were hard to grab one without also grabbing the other. Not one of their masterpiece designs, in my opinion.
The Petri 7s is a much sturdier camera than the later late 60s early 70s compact fixed lens cameras. I've never had a problem with either of my Petri cameras, but one was new in 1963.

The 35RC is a problem with the lens rings, I always set the camera up to shoot and forget to set to 'A' which messes up all settings, so I start over. My RF is right on but I did have it CLA'd.
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Only 8 frames to a roll with 6x9 medium format
Old 09-23-2019   #36
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Only 8 frames to a roll with 6x9 medium format

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
- Why medium format? I guess you print large? Or maybe you like having fewer exposures per roll? - I'm thinking of my recent scans of 35 mm, and there is plenty of resolution. I guess medium format wouldn't let you see the grain, but if that's your thing, there's always digital. Not challenging you, I'm just curious.
One doesn't need to print to a larger size to enjoy a 6x9 medium format negative. In comparison to 35mm, I like the way 6x9 cameras render an image on film. There is a smoother gradation between tones, a.k.a. tonality, for one. Also, the effect of grain is noticeably reduced for what I'll refer to as a cleaner look.

See the link below for a couple of examples:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...=73622&page=30
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35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus a Voigtlander Vito II and Vito BR
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

"Who spilled the Dektol on the bathroom carpet?"
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Old 09-23-2019   #37
wwfloyd
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Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
Big fan of the minis, eh?

You don't like the (original) XA? That's the one most of us go for.
[Deleted my note; must have read that in a fog.]

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That is one awesome blog/site you've got going there. I particularly like the history of each camera, and posted results. I'm bookmarking this thread so I can come back and read all of those when I get the time.
That IS a nice site. I'm surprised I have not yet stumbled into it on my many research outings.

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I've read that these have great features, but were not built very well. Has that been your experience?
I have 3 Petri cameras, from 3 sources, and, ALL three had the same issue -- with the 45 degree mirror for the rangefinder having come loose. Fortunately, it's an easy repair, since the tops come off easily, and it just takes a bit of glue to reset the mirrors.

My Petri 7s, f1.8, makes sharp images, but, I don't get out with it, as it feels less refined, in comparison to Canon, Oly, Minolta, Konica.

I've got a dozen or so fixed lens RFs in my collection. All the usual suspects. When I first started collecting, my goal was to find the ultimate such camera for my own preferences. As I've used each one for a test roll, at least, I have not warmed up to them as much has I'd hoped to. I'll still shoot one occasionally, but, prefer the speed, accuracy and flexibility of an SLR.

Actually, the RF I use most is the Voigtlander Perkeo III. So compact, with the medium format film. It really is nice to work with such large negatives.
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Old 09-23-2019   #38
charjohncarter
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One doesn't need to print to a larger size to enjoy a 6x9 medium format negative. In comparison to 35mm, I like the way 6x9 cameras render an image on film. There is a smoother gradation between tones, a.k.a. tonality, for one. Also, the effect of grain is noticeably reduced for what I'll refer to as a cleaner look.

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All of the observations you made are true. I have a print that is not much larger than the 6x6 negative. It is just beautiful. There is just something very nice about a small print made from a MF negative.

The first time I did a 35mm contact sheet I was stunned at how wonderful the tiny prints looked. Sorry, they did not look that good when I printed them to 8x10.
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Old 09-23-2019   #39
Ambro51
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I’m wanting to run a roll of Ektar through the Realist, and alternate lenses and double expose. Doing this will give 58 single images. Back in the day this was not done too often as labs were not set up to print 5P negs. Now of course scanning film solves this.
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Old 09-23-2019   #40
goamules
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I'd gotten out of fixed rangefinders, until I found the Retina. Now I have a handful of those, I shoot them occasionally, or one time, the look for another I don't have. None more than $25.

Not shot with a Retina, but with a Leica iiiF:

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