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Leica Screw Mount Copies Classic Leica Copy forum as listed in the book 300 Leica Copies, including but not limited to Nicca, Leotax, Honor, Canon etc. At one time there was a major part of the camera industry just trying to make a lower cost copy/dirivitive of the original Leica.

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Old 05-19-2019   #41
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Interesting but I'd like to know how many brand new cameras you have bought in the old USSR, make, models etc...

Regards, David
A couple of cameras myself (Smena, Zenit) and all the people around me had same experiences. We even had a saying “russian machines like to be hit” meaning it took some force quite often to get things work.
I wonder how people who never were part of the system are favorable towards the regime they never experienced and only have heard romantized stories or propaganda. Yes, some photography stuff was just ok because they were successifull copies of true innovation, but that’s about it.
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Old 05-19-2019   #42
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Certainly, Lada cars were extensively rebuilt when they arrived in the UK as their finish was appalling. Shame we didn't have the same for the British Leyland products of the time (ducks).

I did have a Zenit E as a boy and it took perfectly acceptable photos (when I applied myself).

I come with no illusions. I did have friends who own a number of Soviet bloc cars and go on rallies, and most of them are as mad as a hatter. I rather lost touch when I asked not so innocently who in their right minds would dress up as Stasi or NKVD to go to some reenactment. That didn't go down well.
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Old 05-19-2019   #43
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Keep in mind, those cameras and lenses were made in huge numbers. Smenas and Fed-2 where made in millions. Some of them could come with defect.
You have never returned defect product purchased new?

As for Lada, our family first car re-export from Belgium. Sorry, but it was nothing special, nothing showing it as rebuilt.
Our last Lada was special minivan based on Niva (Corsak). Once we went to Finland, many asked us where to buy it. I owned made in Finland Talbot and it was worse than Lada.
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Old 05-20-2019   #44
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It's arrived in good condition but an undisclosed chip out of the filter ring. I'll do some lens tests but this sort of thing does rather irritate me, sometimes enough to request a return.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-20-2019   #45
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If filter will not screw, I would return it. With filter on, this lens doesn't need hood. And front element is soft, better to be protected.
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Old 05-20-2019   #46
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The lens hood will unscrew then re-screw on, but it's a little tight.

Did some lens testing with it on the A7s on tripod with measurements done with a tape measure. There's about a cm of front focussing at 1m at f1.5, largely gone by f2. At 5, 7 & 10 meters, F1.5 is slightly out but all the other apertures are absolutely spot on.

I'll do some at infinity tomorrow in better light, but it looks to be off - a bit forward. However, I need a lens I am confident of with the same distance scale to check the distances.

Glass is ok with some haze and cleaning marks but nothing major or out of line with its age.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-20-2019   #47
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looking at the infinity shots again, it was low light and some shake with ISO set to 100 (despite being tripod mounted) is apparent. So I'll do them again in the morning.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-20-2019   #48
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Decided to return it. Pointless spending time on a lens that was damaged.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-20-2019   #49
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Decided to return it. Pointless spending time on a lens that was damaged.
Just out of curiosity - how much did it cost?
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Old 05-20-2019   #50
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£134 from a UK seller.

Not the cheapest or the most expensive.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

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Old 05-20-2019   #51
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£134 from a UK seller.

Not the cheapest or the most expensive.
Yes, that’s about the market price for a silver J3, although in good condition. I have just checked some local ads -160€ for a CLA’d silver version J3...
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Old 05-20-2019   #52
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Hey ho, the search continues!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-21-2019   #53
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Have had several J8, still have a black one and a chrome one and used to have a J3.

The J8 is a "better" lens, as far as "lab performance" and aberrations are concerned, but the J3 has much more "character". Kind of regret having sold the J3 some time ago.
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Old 05-22-2019   #54
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Just to finish off, the Zorki 3 I ordered "with everything working" arrived today and in really good external condition. The rangefinder is lovely - nice and bright and build quality is up there. However, slow speeds were completely out and the shutter curtain was like fishnet stockings. So that too is on the way back. Shame really my FSU experience has been marred by bad sellers.

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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

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Old 05-22-2019   #55
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Yep, every Zorki off the eBay in working condition, I have purchased, needed at least curtains change.
How those scammers are getting thousands of positive 100% is eBay dirty secret.
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Old 05-22-2019   #56
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It always mystifies me too. But he's now lost his postage twice and a sale.

The seller of the Jupiter emailed that he'd never worried about the filter ring gouge. So he admitted knowing and not disclosing. These people are idiots.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-22-2019   #57
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Yep, every Zorki off the eBay in working condition, I have purchased, needed at least curtains change.
How those scammers are getting thousands of positive 100% is eBay dirty secret.
I am not entirely sure if that's always been the case, but when I returned something and hadn't yet given feedback, I was forbidden to give feedback after requesting a return. This of course would mean that the only evaluations are from people who did not return. Thanks eBay!
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Old 05-22-2019   #58
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Same here, once the return case was accepted the transaction removed feedback as an option.

Any Zorki sellers to avoid Ko.Fe? I loved the camera, but have better things to do than tie up my money awaiting a return!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-23-2019   #59
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It's a pity you have to buy and like and keep things before you can write any feedback. I'd like to comment on people who write strange descriptions and won't answer questions, meaning I don't buy and don't get a chance to tell others in feedback.


Regards, David


PS The worst case was a Leica that was described as stolen from the factory in 1940 something...


PPS and all this Leica copies from FED and Zorki that have been amended, re-engraved and generally spoilt.
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Old 05-23-2019   #60
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A couple of cameras myself (Smena, Zenit) and all the people around me had same experiences. We even had a saying “russian machines like to be hit” meaning it took some force quite often to get things work.
I wonder how people who never were part of the system are favorable towards the regime they never experienced and only have heard romantized stories or propaganda. Yes, some photography stuff was just ok because they were successifull copies of true innovation, but that’s about it.

Thanks for the info. Can you give a date for these purchases, please?


It's strange no one else has a similar story...


Regards, David
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Old 05-23-2019   #61
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Nothing strange here. First, it was not rare, but not this common. Most of the made in USSR worked.
Second, it was very different back then. Things were often purchased just once.
One camera, lens for entire life. One refrigerator, one radio, one stove. Furniture was not changed. And most of those things were primitive. Primitive cameras, radios. Even cars, I don't think even now they have automatic transmission or AC. I owned Russian cars purchased new. They worked.
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Old 05-23-2019   #62
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I've had a lot of FSU lenses. From the early Fed 50/2.0 to the 90mm Jupiter 9, and all in between. Multiple versions of most. I disagree with the premise that "the J8 was a better lens". At one time I had 3 J8s, and tested them. Only 1 of 3 had really good resolution. The other two you could see were much less sharp. And no, they were not scratched or fogged. All crystal clear. I use them for camera body caps...don't even shoot with J8s.

On the other hand the J3 was the cream of the crop. This was the fastest 50mm and much more expensive in the Soviet Union. Their cameras in general were so expensive to Soviets only the elite (yes, there are those in Communism) could buy them. The Jupiter 3's that I've had were all fantastic. As a matter of fact, I prefer the J3 to other Sonnars like the Canon 50/1.5. Only the Nikkor 50/1.4 do I like better, because of it's close focus ability.

All this shimming talk has always baffled me. But I mostly shoot on a digital XE-1, and when you focus by sight, WYSIWYG. Which is fantastic sharpness and color rendition. On Velvia 50, canon P body if I recall:

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Old 05-23-2019   #63
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Garrett - that's really lovely - that lens has a great 'pop'.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-23-2019   #64
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Ordered a replacement for the Jupiter 8 from the Ukraine. It better be as described but the pictures are much clearer. Also a bit cheaper even after postage.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-24-2019   #65
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Keep in mind, those cameras and lenses were made in huge numbers. Smenas and Fed-2 where made in millions...

Hi,

I thought I had some figures somewhere and have just dug them up; these are for the FED RF's and are from various sources.

It seems to me that a reasonable number for FED RF production would be about 9 million from the 30's to the final 5C in the late 80's. So none younger than about 30 years old.

If just 1% have had a fault that's 90000 cameras of all ages. OTOH the output could have been exaggerated and it was only half that number, even so 1% is 45000 cameras.

Then we can add in the events of 1990 when the walls came down and so on; so FED's could be abandoned until the great ebay bonanza and every thing started being sold off for silly prices. And there's those sellers who have strange ideas about spray cans of oil and servicing cameras...

Anyway, I don't blame the cameras' designers or makers but the sellers and, very slightly, the buyers who rushed in and paid silly prices and encouraged them more.

I don't think now is a good time to buy. It was a lot better years ago before ebay and the www when I was buying cameras of all makes for a pittance from stalls in the market and charity shops. Thanks to the wonderful digitals I was paying 50 pennies for cameras like Olympus and Lomo...

Regards, David
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Old 05-24-2019   #66
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Hindsight is the most powerful investment tool known to man. Certainly there has been a huge run up in prices, but ultimately you can still get a decent camera for not a lot, and frankly most of the 70s cameras I've bought have had bigger issues - a nice mechanical camera like a Zorki can still be serviced.

Anyway, in the absence of a good enough Zorki 3, I may get a Zorki 4 (same rangefinder, less likelihood of slow shutter speed issues) as a much cheaper alternative pro tem.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-24-2019   #67
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Hi,

I thought I had some figures somewhere and have just dug them up; these are for the FED RF's and are from various sources.

It seems to me that a reasonable number for FED RF production would be about 9 million from the 30's to the final 5C in the late 80's. So none younger than about 30 years old.

If just 1% have had a fault that's 90000 cameras of all ages. OTOH the output could have been exaggerated and it was only half that number, even so 1% is 45000 cameras.

Then we can add in the events of 1990 when the walls came down and so on; so FED's could be abandoned until the great ebay bonanza and every thing started being sold off for silly prices. And there's those sellers who have strange ideas about spray cans of oil and servicing cameras...

Anyway, I don't blame the cameras' designers or makers but the sellers and, very slightly, the buyers who rushed in and paid silly prices and encouraged them more.

I don't think now is a good time to buy. It was a lot better years ago before ebay and the www when I was buying cameras of all makes for a pittance from stalls in the market and charity shops. Thanks to the wonderful digitals I was paying 50 pennies for cameras like Olympus and Lomo...

Regards, David
I purchased around seven FSU LTM RF in 2018. Only one of them worked. "Fresh" FED 5B. The rest was with uneven exposures. For cameras made in seventies or earlier it means CLA.
Next to none of cameras sold by sellers on eBay after real CLA.
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Old 05-24-2019   #68
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I purchased around seven FSU LTM RF in 2018. Only one of them worked. "Fresh" FED 5B. The rest was with uneven exposures. For cameras made in seventies or earlier it means CLA.
Next to none of cameras sold by sellers on eBay after real CLA.
That's become my assumption. I plan to contact Oleg Khalyavin as I hear he does a good job with the cameras he sells, but that may be internet over-praising.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-24-2019   #69
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That's become my assumption. I plan to contact Oleg Khalyavin as I hear he does a good job with the cameras he sells, but that may be internet over-praising.

Hi,


He did a good job for me and has the parts. Newton Ellis and Co in Liverpoo have also done good work on old USSR made ones but I've not needed much repaired in the last few years so my info may be out of date but I trust them both.


Regrds, David
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Old 05-24-2019   #70
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I have a Summicron with Newton Ellis at present. They did a great (but slow) job on a Zeiss Distagon 35mm Rollei last year but it will 6 months on the Summicron in a week's time and they are snowed.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-24-2019   #71
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That's become my assumption. I plan to contact Oleg Khalyavin as I hear he does a good job with the cameras he sells, but that may be internet over-praising.
If you'll get camera from him, test its all speeds with film right away.....
For now I just rely on cameras I could fix by myself.
Fed-2 and Zorki. Those are elegant and simple FSU RF.
The rest of FSU LTM RFs are not worth it, IMO.
Old Canon II is better camera. I have one to try change curtains and CLA.
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Old 05-24-2019   #72
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Ok, so not even him!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-24-2019   #73
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Ok, so not even him!
I can understand gambling with J3 - the difference in price vs a German/Japanese fast lens is significant, and I have to admit - J3 is quite a decent lens... But FSU cameras... Why bother? Fixed lens Japanese RF like 30€ Minolta 7s will overperform FSU RFs in all departments.
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Old 05-24-2019   #74
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I'm not particularly logical, but as I do have a range of screwmount lenses I do want a rangefinder, my Leica III is fun but I loved the combined rangefinder on the Zorki 3 (nice big and bright window). Knowing me I'll end up with some Japanese ones too.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 05-24-2019   #75
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I can understand gambling with J3 - the difference in price vs a German/Japanese fast lens is significant, and I have to admit - J3 is quite a decent lens... But FSU cameras... Why bother? Fixed lens Japanese RF like 30€ Minolta 7s will overperform FSU RFs in all departments.
Giving next to not existing service for FSU, made in Japan old RF are better alternative for overpriced Leica LTM. I'm just not sure why fixed lens camera with antique electronics is better than no electronics camera from same region, which works with any FSU LTM lens and serviceable by YEE.
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Old 05-24-2019   #76
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Giving next to not existing service for FSU, made in Japan old RF are better alternative for overpriced Leica LTM. I'm just not sure why fixed lens camera with antique electronics is better than no electronics camera from same region, which works with any FSU LTM lens and serviceable by YEE.
Well, my experience - for some reason those old Japanese RFs just work I guess there is a reason why Toyota is no 1 or 2 automotive company in the world (with VW)... old cars, old cameras...
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Old 05-24-2019   #77
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Originally Posted by valdas View Post
I can understand gambling with J3 - the difference in price vs a German/Japanese fast lens is significant, and I have to admit - J3 is quite a decent lens... But FSU cameras... Why bother? Fixed lens Japanese RF like 30€ Minolta 7s will overperform FSU RFs in all departments.

The 7s can out perform a lot of other cameras but does that mean they are all bad? Some of us like cameras because of their quirks. I bother with 1936 FEDs for the same reason I bother with 1936 Leicas...


Regards, David
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Old 05-24-2019   #78
IIIg
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Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
I'm not particularly logical, but as I do have a range of screwmount lenses I do want a rangefinder, my Leica III is fun but I loved the combined rangefinder on the Zorki 3 (nice big and bright window). Knowing me I'll end up with some Japanese ones too.
It is difficult to beat a Canon P as a user's camera. I've owned all of the FSU LTM cameras in the past and the Canon P completely outclasses any/all of them and is worth the cost of a CLA if needed. Don't often find holes in the Canon's metal shutter curtains.
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Old 05-24-2019   #79
Ko.Fe.
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And you could beat with P as well. It is larger than M.
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Old 05-24-2019   #80
IIIg
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
And you could beat with P as well. It is larger than M.
What are you trying to say?
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