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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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Old 10-13-2016   #41
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
An alternative approach (though not my favorite) is to find a low cost fixed lens camera and by a half dozen of them.

When you get to two left working buy another half dozen (odds are at a lower cost then).

Rinse and repeat........

B2 (;->

So u are meant to pack six beaters on a trip and toss them as they fail?

Just pack one awesome indestructible Nikonos and be done with it.
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Old 10-13-2016   #42
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Kievs were used by photojournalists, yes, as long as they were able to get "western" cameras to switch and never look back. And USSR repair centers were busy, very busy....
These days only few people will repair Kievs. While FED-2 or Zorki are much more suitable and simple for DIY maintenance.
And while they have bayonet, in real world practice they are 50mm lens camera.

But, while in Moscow I have seen after War and after Soviet took over German Contax II.
Owner, who is not repair person, did full CLA by himself. He told me what this German after War Contax RF are build "modular" way to be serviceable with less difficulties.
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Old 10-13-2016   #43
Santtu Määttänen
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
And while they have bayonet, in real world practice they are 50mm lens camera.
I must disagree, but only due to excellent Jupiter-12

For original poster, I must recommend Olympus 35RC as a excellent choice. Or XA if you want bit lighter camera which is easier to pocket.

Other that, most RF cameras seem either fragile, have bad VF for glass wearer, or some other issue..
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Old 10-13-2016   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Kievs were used by photojournalists, yes, as long as they were able to get "western" cameras to switch and never look back. And USSR repair centers were busy, very busy....
These days only few people will repair Kievs. While FED-2 or Zorki are much more suitable and simple for DIY maintenance.
And while they have bayonet, in real world practice they are 50mm lens camera.

But, while in Moscow I have seen after War and after Soviet took over German Contax II.
Owner, who is not repair person, did full CLA by himself. He told me what this German after War Contax RF are build "modular" way to be serviceable with less difficulties.
You certainly have more experience with the Kiev cameras than I do. Mine have been very reliable so far so they may seem tougher than they really are. I have not really forced the issue by carrying them when the weather gets bad, when it is really cold, or in salt water environments.

When you think about it, the new, weather proofed, digital point and shoots are probably more reliable in bad conditions than any film camera was. With the possible exception of that Nikonos V. I know that my Pentax K5iis is very reliable in lousy weather and is one of the first cameras I look for when I want to take photographs in hurricanes or blizzards.
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Old 10-13-2016   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santtu Määttänen View Post
Not sure if it's toughest, but I must say, my Kiev 4a seems to be a tank. Haven't tried bashing it around, but I bet it could be used as a weapon at least as effectively as my Nikon F2 / F5.. Have been trying to sell one actually, now that I found a earlier copy to keep. But there doesn't seem to be too much markets for these anymore. Then again, it's not fixed lens camera, so bit out of the OP:s needs.
My Kiev stopped working right when somebody gave it a funny look at the factory. Seriously though, having been inside one it's not as tough as it looks. I'd take a Zorki 4 or a Fed 3 over any Kiev any day.
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Old 10-13-2016   #46
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yashica lynx 14, fully manual fixed lens rf with f1.4 lens

...and all metal body
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Old 10-13-2016   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
The Pen "F" is a very capable camera. Very discreet.
This is the PEN S with the 3cm Zuiko. There was also a 2.8cm version that is more difficult to find. The PEN W would be wonderful if it wasn't prohibitively expensive.

The PEN F was Oly's interchangeable lens half frame SLR. A much different beast than this superb little pocket camera.
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Old 10-13-2016   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Bolsey B2.
1: Fully mechanical.
2: Very durable, body is cast aluminum and about as solid as anything ever made (disassemble one, it's pretty impressive).
3: 3.2/44mm, not quite to your specifications, and not really that great, buy hey.
4: Can be used with glasses, just checked mine.
probably not the easiest thing to find, lens is a little long and slow, but thanks for the suggestion.

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Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Canonet QL17. Probably the most robustly built fixed lens RF. Don't know about glasses but the viewfinder is tops, with parallax correction unlike most others.

I have a few of these, some not so gently used. Pretty much all of them cleaned up and work great. Cameras of this era will usually need seals if you don't buy one that's already serviced. I set mine up to use 1.5v silver oxides.
i think i'm leaning towards 2 QL17s or 2 35RCs. Thanks for your feedback.

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Originally Posted by zuikologist View Post
Does it have to be a rangefinder? If not, one of the tough mid-80s slrs such as an F3 with pancake 50mm might do the job.
You've got me thinking about using an OM-4 with the 40mm pancake. Though, that's too nice of a setup to really beat up on.

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Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
A used Bessa then will be less "pretty" than your Ms, and fits the criteria. You could even get 40mm framelines, or a screw mount for the canon.
This is a pretty solid idea. I'm gonna weigh this against some old fixed lensers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santtu Määttänen View Post
olympus 35rc, I've used mine since 89 and it still works
Thanks for the feedback.

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Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
this is the camera you want



might not look like much, but the Zuiko on the half frame is very capable
a very cool camera, but half-frame just doesn't vibe with me.

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Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
35RC: can see the entire frameline with my sunglasses (these don't fit very close to my face so it's probably a worst-case test)

35SP: have to move the eyeball around or reposition to see the entire frameline
thanks for this info!
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Old 10-13-2016   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
An alternative approach (though not my favorite) is to find a low cost fixed lens camera and by a half dozen of them.

When you get to two left working buy another half dozen (odds are at a lower cost then).

Rinse and repeat........

B2 (;->
this looks like the route i'll be taking. i think 6 deep might be a bit too many for my needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
The toughness of true rangefinder cameras will be limited by the very focusing system from which they get their name.

The toughest is probably the old Contax II rangefinder. Even better would probably be a Kiev 4, since the rangefinder design used in those cameras was probably a little more resistant to damage from small dings and or drops. Maybe not 4 foot drops but the Contax II (the predecessor of the Kiev) was regularly used by photojournalists back in their hey day. Kiev 4 cameras are a Russian version of the Contax and they are far cheaper to buy in usable condition.

I have used a number of the old metal, mechanical slr cameras that could absorb quite a bit of punishment, but when traveling, hiking, skiing or boating it may make just as much sense to just pack an inexpensive camera that can easily be replaced if they succumb to the abuse.

I currently use the GA645i for hiking because I prefer the 6x4.5 negative to 35mm. I know it has worked quite well in hiking situatioins including cold weather (keep the batteries warm), snow, rain, dust/dirt, etc. It is fixed lens and it works in a similar fashion to a rangefinder. I have not yet taken it to the beach so I'm not too sure how well it would work in that environment. It is also not as inexpensive to replace as the older metal slr cameras or the Kiev would be.
good info. i actually have a hand me down Kiev 4A. The finder is TINY.

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Originally Posted by pesphoto View Post
yashica lynx 14, fully manual fixed lens rf with f1.4 lens

...and all metal body
will check this out. thanks.
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Old 10-13-2016   #50
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post
So u are meant to pack six beaters on a trip and toss them as they fail?

Just pack one awesome indestructible Nikonos and be done with it.
I think I HAVE to pick up a Nikonos now to see what all the fuss is about.
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Old 10-13-2016   #51
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Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
I think I HAVE to pick up a Nikonos now to see what all the fuss is about.
Ahhh!!!

This has to stop sometime!

For years and years I was perfectly happy with a Pentax K1000 but then I started reading some of these forums and found there were LOTS of cameras I knew nothing about. Now it seems that every time I turn around I find another one I think would be nice to check out.
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Old 10-13-2016   #52
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I think I HAVE to pick up a Nikonos now to see what all the fuss is about.
If you do, try to get one that has not been dived with. Each model has its foibles. If you go for a 5 prise the rubber cap off the top of the winder mechanism - its stuck on and if water stays under it the shaft can rust.

I've used just about every model of Nikonos and owned a Caplysophot - I've written an article about them and suggested that the original design was heavily influenced by the screw thread Leica - in fact the 35mm lens if from Nikon's RF days and the Som-Berthiot fitted to the Calypsophot was probably the same offered in LTM. But they are not the easiest land camera to use because focus is by scale.

Silly suggestion but the LTM Leicas must be pretty tough as there are many still working and being used .....
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Old 10-14-2016   #53
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Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
This is the PEN S with the 3cm Zuiko. There was also a 2.8cm version that is more difficult to find. The PEN W would be wonderful if it wasn't prohibitively expensive.

The PEN F was Oly's interchangeable lens half frame SLR. A much different beast than this superb little pocket camera.
Thanks for the clarity. A friend has the Pen F.

Could you elaborate the differences between the S, W and F. for my education?

Cal
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Old 10-14-2016   #54
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Hi,

Looking at the criteria again I think you'll be lucky to get three out of the five. How about rewriting it in priority order?

Regards, David
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Old 10-14-2016   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
I think I HAVE to pick up a Nikonos now to see what all the fuss is about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
Ahhh!!!

This has to stop sometime!

For years and years I was perfectly happy with a Pentax K1000 but then I started reading some of these forums and found there were LOTS of cameras I knew nothing about. Now it seems that every time I turn around I find another one I think would be nice to check out.
If you boys ever are in LA I'd be happy to lend you mine.
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Old 10-14-2016   #56
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Nikonos cameras are quite rugged but by no measure compact.
Except for the rare and expensive autofocus Nikonos RS system all Nikonos cameras are scale focus.

I have owned and used Nikonos III and V models.

The Nikonos III is all-mechanical. It has no built-in meter.

The Nikonos V has modern TTL metering with aperture-priority AE and manual exposure,
but has a battery-dependent electronic shutter.

Film loading is faster and less complicated with the Nikonos V.

Though I usually prefer all-mechanical cameras in this case I recommend the Nikonos V.
If has more useful features and is far more convenient in use than earlier models.
They are plentiful used; a nice one can be purchased at very reasonable cost.

Chris
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Old 10-14-2016   #57
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.

The Nikonos V has modern TTL metering with aperture-priority AE and manual exposure,
but has a battery-dependent electronic shutter.
It has one mechanical speed at 1/90 in case of dead batteries.
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Old 10-14-2016   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Thanks for the clarity. A friend has the Pen F.

Could you elaborate the differences between the S, W and F. for my education?

Cal
Haha, sorry if I sounded preachy, I take my PEN seriously!

Off the top of my head, Oly's half-frame PENs are in two categories: The soap bar sized fixed lens viewfinder cameras, and the interchangeable lens 'F' series SLRs.

The viewfinder cameras are scale focus, and included a bunch of different models:

no meter, fully mechanical cameras
PEN 2.8cm f3.5
PEN S 3cm f2.8 / 2.8cm f3.5
PEN W 25mm f2.8

a gaggle of selenium meter AE cameras:
EE
EE S
EE II
EE II S
etc.

CdS Metered mechanical cameras:
D
DII
DIII

and some other later cameras that weren't as cool as the earlier ones.

The F series SLRs had 2 or 3 bodies, and were really innovative with a sideways mirror box. I heard they were popular with portrait photographers at the time.
The main limitation with these is the lack of wide angle lens options, and even moderate wide angle lenses expensive and hard to come by. Like the 25mm f2.8

Im sure google can tell you much more than I can off the top of my head.

In my view the W is the cream of the crop, but just too expensive these days. I am really happy with my S model with the 3cm Zuiko.
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