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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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What LTM rangefinder for a year away from home?
Old 04-04-2007   #1
Anupam
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Lightbulb What LTM rangefinder for a year away from home?

Hi,

I finally decided to take a rangefinder for a year away in England instead of my Nikon F3. But my plethora of FSU bodies don't seem up to the task. I really like my Kiev, but would want to avoid using an accessory finder and the Feds don't really seem to suit me.

However, I am on a very tight budget and so the M3 will have to wait. I also want to be able to use the cheap but very good FSU lenses that I have and maybe I could get a fast 50mm or so.

In terms of features the following are most important to me.

(1) Good viewfinder with projected framelines - atleast 35 to 90mm - 28 and 135 would be nice but not essential.

(2) Focussing accuracy with all LTM lenses. Not like the "Nikons almost work with Contax/Kiev" thing - I know it doesn't really matter in real world situations, but that kind of thing gives me sleepless nights.

(3) Soft, silent shutter - the Kiev exels in this department, but fails #1, alas.

(4) Compact body, light etc. A meter would be nice but not necessary.

I had almost decided on a Bessa R, but two things gave me pause. It has a less than silent shutter and doesn't mount the Jupiter 12 lens which I think absolutely rocks. If it is my only option I will bite the bullet and buy it, but are there other cameras in the price range that would suit me? I can only think of the Canons but know very little about them.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks,
-A
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Old 04-04-2007   #2
wlewisiii
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I can think of several Canons that might fit your needs. What is your budget?

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Old 04-04-2007   #3
Anupam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlewisiii
I can think of several Canons that might fit your needs. What is your budget?
About a used Bessa R which seems to be around $200 or so.

-A
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Old 04-04-2007   #4
wlewisiii
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A Bessa is probably your best choice then. The Canon P, if you can swing about $100 more from what I've seen on ebay lately is probably your best bet there. The nice thing about the Canon is you can use your J-12 if it is a later black lens. Otherwise, a 35mm you can use on your R is going to be $1-200 as well.

Good luck.

William
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Old 04-04-2007   #5
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After years without a rangefinder, I recently bought a Leica M4 and a Canon P. I'm VERY impressed with the Canon, which is just a tank of a camera yet very graceful in appearence and operation. For the money I paid, I expected the M4 to be excellent and it is. But the Canon is at least 80% of the Leica for 20% of the money.

On the other hand, these are both really old machines. If I were going away for a year on a shoestring budget, I'd probably put up with the noisy Bessa shutter.
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Old 04-04-2007   #6
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Have you considered getting a Bessa-R and also taking an FSU body? That way you'd still be able to use your J-12 (which I also like a lot) and have a backup body in case of any problems (If I was going away for a year, I'd definitely want a spare body with me).
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Old 04-05-2007   #7
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Bessa R

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Old 04-05-2007   #8
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A Bessa R, CV 35/2.5 Color Skopar and Jupiter 8 50/2 is a common kit for good reason.
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Old 04-05-2007   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
my plethora of FSU bodies don't seem up to the task
Florida State University? I kid, I kid (sorry, couldn't help it )
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Old 04-06-2007   #10
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A Canon 7 might be worth looking into. Usually around $175 but getting one with a working light meter might be problematic.


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Old 04-11-2007   #11
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Settled for a Bessa for now. Thanks all.

-A
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Old 04-11-2007   #12
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I agree with the Canon suggestions. Extremely well built cameras - as good if not better than the LTM Leicas. And for that matter so are the lenses. Cheaper too in general. The viewfinder arrangement of most Canons is also better as they have a single finder not two as in Leica and also have switchable fields of view which at the very least give more accurate focusing (by using higher magnification) even if you use an accessory finder.
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Old 05-04-2007   #13
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It seems to me that depending on a 50-year-old camera is sticking your neck 'WAY out. Since it sounds like you really only want to take one body, the Bessa is probably your best bet. And since you want framelines, are you aware that those didn't come along until the IIIg or the M series? And an M isn't LTM.

I'm not sure I quite understand why you are so stuck on an LTM. Anything with that is sure to be either old or over your budget or both. Since you surely want something VERY dependable, I think I 'd re-consider the lens mount!! (They must have a camera repair shop or three somewhere in that cold country.)
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