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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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Review: Vivitar 35ES (1978)
Old 01-06-2017   #1
eckmanmj
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Review: Vivitar 35ES (1978)

I recently acquired a Vivitar 35ES, which is based off the same Cosina rangefinder that was the basis for the highly desirable Konica Auto S3 and Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII.

The Vivitar is the lesser known variant of this camera camera, but it has the same lens, and almost all of the same pictures.

But how is it to use, and does it make excellent photographs?

http://www.mikeeckman.com/2016/12/vivitar-35es-1978/

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Old 01-06-2017   #2
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This is one of the earliest fixed lens RF cameras I bought after succumbing to RFF. Really nice lens and robust body/rf mechanism, usually with some fog in the vf. If you find a good one they tend to stay good. Enjoy the new acquisition.
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Old 01-06-2017   #3
Larry H-L
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Nice little cameras, a simplified Minolta 7sII. Like Zuikologist, this was one of my first compact RFs, along with a Yashica CC.

I have a second ES, still in the box, with the original price tag, $69.
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Old 01-06-2017   #4
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I had one of these as well. My first rf, I think. Loved mine; got a Canonet soon after but preferred the images from the Vivitar, especially with colour. Lens barrel was a little loose, but a good user.
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Old 01-06-2017   #5
splitimageview
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Although similar in features, these three cameras are not identical (35ES, S3, and 7s II.) The Vivitar is black paint (!), the S3 is anodized.The 35ES has visible barrel distortion in the viewfinder, the 7s II has a lower magnification VF than the other two, and there are internal differences.

The tech that has serviced many fixed lens RFs for me once explained:

"For example, the 7SII is easiest to work on: Disconnect 3 wires , remove front coverings, 4 screws, and entire working camera assembly slides neatly out. Also meter has resistance pot which allow for adjusting the meter. They are a real jewel of intelligent design if one has to work on them.

The Konica Auto S3 / FD is an absolute b**t**d to remove the lens board and associated mangle of micro wires and hidden circuit board buried to body frame."
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Old 01-06-2017   #6
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Interestingly the S3 has two guide number scales (one in meters, one in feet) and the 35ES has only one (in meters) and has an Auto position, which the S3 does not; the S3 has a combined focus scale (meters and feet) whereas the 35ES has two separate focus scales.
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Old 01-06-2017   #7
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Is this possibly because the Auto S3 had a GN flash system based on focused distance?


Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Interestingly the S3 has two guide number scales (one in meters, one in feet) and the 35ES has only one (in meters) and has an Auto position, which the S3 does not; the S3 has a combined focus scale (meters and feet) whereas the 35ES has two separate focus scales.
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Old 01-06-2017   #8
eckmanmj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Interestingly the S3 has two guide number scales (one in meters, one in feet) and the 35ES has only one (in meters) and has an Auto position, which the S3 does not; the S3 has a combined focus scale (meters and feet) whereas the 35ES has two separate focus scales.
My 35ES has a single guide number scale thats neither in meters or feet.

The focus scale however, does show both meters (green) and feet (white).

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Old 01-06-2017   #9
splitimageview
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That photo is identical to my 35ES; the scale is actually in meters, just unmarked (it matches that of the GN meter scale on the S3.)

Note it's in green, as the meter focus scale is also.
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Old 01-06-2017   #10
splitimageview
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The 35ES body is slightly longer than the S3, also. Need to glue down that unruly cover.

Second photo shows the difference between GN scales and focus scales between the cameras.



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Old 01-06-2017   #11
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oh, and nice review.
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Old 01-06-2017   #12
ColSebastianMoran
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I have one of the Visitor 35es. A great little camera.
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