View Full Version : Compact rangefinder optics

10-02-2004, 22:53
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking of buying a compact rangefinder. In your opinion, which one of the following has the best optics?

- Canonet QL 17
- Canonet QL 17 G-III
- Hi-Matic 7s
- Hi-Matic 7sII
- Hi-Matic 9
- Olympus 35 SP

Is there any notable difference between the optics of the earlier Canonet and the G-III? How about the Hi-Matics?



Rich Silfver
10-02-2004, 22:55
I really love the Olympus 35SP camera and I think it's G.Zuiko (7 elements) lens is wonderful.

Here are two examples:

Rich Silfver
10-02-2004, 22:56
..and another one,

I also like the spot meter on the 35SP - and use it a lot.

10-02-2004, 23:06
Hi Rich,

Nice photos! I especially like the second one.

The 35SP lens seems to be a different kettle of fish with its 7 elements. (I think the Yashica Lynx 14 also has a 7 element lens.) What's the price range for good condition 35SP? I guess they're quite hard to find?

Rich Silfver
10-02-2004, 23:13
There seems to be 4-5 35SP's for sale at any given time on eBay (seems to be 5-6 there right now).

For a good condition 35SP (chrome) you could expect to pay about 55-75 US dollars.

In mint condition it would go up to about 100-130 dollars

A black 35SP in good condition would fetch about 250 dollars.

You can also try posting a wanted to buy entry here as I know some people are trimming their collections lately. :)

The Canonet is another camera that has a strong following here and seems to have a very able lens.

10-03-2004, 02:28

I've just bought an Olympus 35 SP on ebay, I bought at 115 us $ (without shipping) but I'm still waiting for it since 1 month. I do hope I'll get it but surface mail is so long, I"m regretting for not choosing air mail.

Congratulations Richard, your photos are great, especially the second one with the dog !

back alley
10-03-2004, 05:22
Canonet QL 17 G-III
- Hi-Matic 7s
- Hi-Matic 9

i have a canonet and had the himatics, all very nice lenses and capable cameras. the canon is very nice size wise the minoltas are significantly bigger and heavier.
if a slightly slower lens is acceptable, look for an oly 35rc, great camera and lens.


10-03-2004, 10:11
I'd include the Konica S2 and S3 in that mix of cameras with very good lenses.

10-03-2004, 12:36
I have used a Canonet, Himatic, Electro 35 and Konica and can say that all of them had excellent lenses. Each have had a little different character, but all very good. If I was going to pick one for the lens, perhaps the Minolta followed by... I don't know, it would be a close call.

Brian Sweeney
10-03-2004, 15:27
This prior thread addressed a lot of opinions about several fixed-lens RF cameras. I would agree that the Olympus SP has outstanding optics. Expect to pay a premium for one: $85~$115 depending on condition.

The Hi-Matic 9 has an outstanding lens, and goes for closer to $25.

The "quickest" to the draw, is the Canonet QL17. It's lens is not quite as sharp as the Olympus and Hi-Matics, but the short-throw shutter release is a cure for camera shake during the exposure.

Do not rule out the older Retina cameras. The IIIc has a great lens, and goes for about the price of the Olympus SP.

Canonet Discussion and comparison on prior thread (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1256)

10-05-2004, 06:15
Thank you all. You've been very helpful.


10-05-2004, 14:16
From reviewing side by side results of my own cameras, I think the Minolta Hi-Matic 7S has the edge in sharpness over my Canonet QL17 GIII. I'll do some scanning soon and post the results. I shot a roll of Fuji Reala 100 thru each camera at the same exposure settings and did the metering with a Gossen Digisix meter.

10-05-2004, 15:08
Sorry, the Rokkor is a 45mm,Canonet GIII is a 40mm.
The SP is a 42mm,for me that is a LOT of difference.
Anyway the man is closing this thread,he thanks you guys.
Best buy,with a wider 40 is the Canonet.