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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 03-23-2018   #41
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The reality is that SLRs and RFs are two very different species. You can have small, light SLRs (like the OM and Pentaxes mentioned) and you can have big, heavy RFs (like a Kiev 4 series, for instance). Some SLRs have split image rangefinder focusing on the glass focusing screen but that doesn't make them like a true rangefinder camera.

If you look at digital cameras, some of the current mirrorless models come very close to the approach the OP mentioned. Cameras like the Olympus Pen-F digital and the Fuji X-E series as examples. The cameras are small, light in weight, have the handling characteristics of RFs but the upper left side EVFs give you a through-the-lens view like SLRs. But, of course, they are NOT rangefinders or SLR. And, of course, they are autofocus and digital so they're a separate species as well.
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Old 03-23-2018   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Then you must have changed your avatar, because what I see is a Geiss modified Argus C4.

PF

PS: Oops, I just realized he was asking about another posting before the one his post wound up under. Just ignore mine.
No problem -- mabelsound didn't post the last 3 days, perhaps he's occupied hunting for the Minolta model in question, SR-7 version V

Something important -- if one's focus is that the desired SLR follows the Leica M function factors/ergonomics -- I should add:

I guess that for some the lack of the possibility of multiple mini-strokes as a means of film advance/shutter cocking may be a nuisance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the original Leicaflex. Its viewfinder is like a rangefinder in that the only part that focuses is the central microprism -- the outer region of the viewfinder is always in focus, like a rangefinder's viewfinder. And like a rangefinder, the viewfinder is particularly bright. (Oh, and like many rangefinders, the metering is not through the lens.)

Otherwise, it's a rather large and hefty camera, so rather un-rangefinderlike in that regard.

I *do* like my Leicaflexes, but I didn't mention them because I prefer the old Minoltas that have the multi-mini-stroke feature, vide supra
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Old 03-23-2018   #43
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In my case, I have a DSLR and a 35mm SLR, but mostly with this frame size tend to reach for a Leica M with a 35mm lens, sometimes a 50mm... almost never the 90mm. These days, SLR means Medium Format to me.

But I'd turn this around 'cause I tend to work it from the lens to the camera. My 35mm SLR was bought to run the same Zeiss glass I had on my DSLR. Same with the Leica M's where I use ZM glass. And then MF Rolleiflex SLR's (6008's) run Zeiss glass as well. The camera's just a box to hang a piece of glass off. Some boxes are fancier than others or conform better to your way of working.
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Old 03-23-2018   #44
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As you can see the first Zenit was a Zorki that had been modified a bit. It also explains why some 39mm threaded lenses are wrong due to the different registration.

REgards, David
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Old 03-23-2018   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
No problem -- mabelsound didn't post the last 3 days, perhaps he's occupied hunting for the Minolta model in question, SR-7 version V
Ha! No, just catching up now. I might very well do that!
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Old 03-24-2018   #46
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I dont really understand when people try to find SLR similar to RF , etc. To me - its all about the lenses. If I like a lens - whatever the camera, I'll use it. Be that a large lens on a RF camera - even if it feels in size like an SLR or small lens on an SLR, so it almost the size of RF. I think you can adapt to any camera, but not every lens will have a particular way a certain lens draws. But thats me.
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Old 03-24-2018   #47
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I'm extremely happy that I jettisoned all my Canon RFs and Leicas and put the money back in the bank. The Minolta SLRs are not rangefinder like (except my 21mm F3.5 retrofocus Rokkor, that lens gives me a rangefinder like buzz). See that lens in the middle of this pile of Minoltas. This kit does the job, and I love the Rokkor glass and early tank-like build quality. And they are cheap and plentiful and not painful to get repaired.

My replacement for rangefinder cameras. Rangefinder like? Nope.

001 by Nokton48, on Flickr
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Old 03-24-2018   #48
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Minolta glass is great, highly underrated. But I think you need an XE-7 in that collection!
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Old 03-24-2018   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesun267 View Post
Minolta glass is great, highly underrated. But I think you need an XE-7 in that collection!
I have a good working overhauled XE-7 as well as my XK. I have thought about getting an XE-5, just to have the trio. But how many bodies do I need?
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Old 03-25-2018   #50
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Getting back to the OP, I often think the Pentax K1000 was a good match for the M series Leicas and with that f/1.4 standard lens...


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Old 03-25-2018   #51
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I don't trust myself with calculating exposure so I mostly use AF SLRs for the majority of time.

I have used most of the most popular SLRs - too many to list here - and a couple of FSu rangefinders, two canons (7 and L2), an Olympus 35 DC, a Konica Auto-S and a Leica IIc.

The Olympus OM1 is the closest to a good mechanical rangefinder although I personally prefer the OM2N for the aperture priority mode. Pentax MX was a close second although it was a bit too small for my hands (another reason why I don't use the Leica much).
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Old 03-25-2018   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skucera View Post
I've never owned one, but I have occasionally been intrigued by pellicle mirror cameras like the Canon Pellix or the EOS RT. When the RT was new I fondled one in a camera store, snapping some imaginary shots, and it didn't black out with a flip of the mirror. I thought it might be a neat cross between the user experience of a rangefinder crossed with the ability to look through the lens.

Maybe someday....

Scott
Had a EOS1N RS and I was not impressed. Too big, too heavy, too dark and small viewfinder. Despite popular belief it was NOT a quiet camera - the EOS5 is much quieter.
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Old 03-25-2018   #53
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Sorry for the late reply, I've not had enough time in one go to respond, so have been building a response via my phone notes.

I'm glad Brett has gone in to some depth to discuss the Alpa cameras.. Some time ago I was looking at them on the basis that they seem to have the quality, a relatively small size, and a little weight due to being made from traditional materials (and in some cases a rangefinder) - I'm going to re-read that section later, to fully understand it.

In terms of what I've used/ enjoyed using before..
I had a Nikon F4 in the past, easily hand hold able at slow speeds, effective metering etc, not even too bad to hold, and with plenty of traditional external controls. It was a picture taking machine, but I don't have it anymore. At my level I don't need that sort of guaranteed picture taking ability, but do need to enjoy using the device, and to appreciate it enough to take out.

Have an inherited and used a Contaflex (before buying the project camera in another of my posts), a lovely camera, on which the shutter ticks some of my boxes except for the rear floating lens element of doom - not to mention the slow F2.8 max aperature and slight wedge shape which naturally lends itself to slipping out of ones hand.

Often I do prefer rangefinder focusing for normal lenses, particularly for capturing action - on the cameras I've become comfortable with.

My favourite camera to use was the Contax II, excellent focusing which just seemed to work for me (why doesn't every manufacturer use such a wide base with reasonable contrast and minimal susceptibility to misalignment).
The longish focus throw just seemed better than the Canon 7 Jupiter lens combo I now tend to use, and I felt the ergonomics (rotary wind is also fine) made it pretty easy for photographing nearby moving things.. it's the only camera I've used while cycling (off road). I don't have it now because I figured the shutter was a liability, and that I'd just get used to something else, it was also rather heavy for something so small.

I do appreciate the serviceability factor of metal shutters like the leaf shutter models, the Contax (ok, a poor example), or the Canon 7.. Just seems more likely to run through servicing rather than replacing parts. I'm also not too bothered about onboard metering.

I've used some other cameras such as folders with coupled rangefinders. What I do particularly dislike is interference from automatic, electronic or intermediate systems, particularly in difficult lighting or moving scenes.

I don't foresee myself buying a leica under any circumstances, there's more chance I'd try swapping my Canon 7 from LTM to M mount as per the recent thread elsewhere. It would be nice to find an SLR I could be interested in though if anything, this thread has reminded me why I miss the Contax II.

Also, to add, I'd agree that the Minolta lenses can e quite underrated. And thank you for posting a picture of the early Zenit, that's an interesting mention.

Jonathan
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Old 03-25-2018   #54
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Given you like the Contax II and the Canon 7, along with preferring metal shutters, I would say the closest you'll find in a SLR would be a plain prism Nikon F.
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Old 03-26-2018   #55
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"And thank you for posting a picture of the early Zenit, that's an interesting mention... "

This might be of interest:-



As you can see they are both bottom loaders.

The hinged back arrived in 1961 for the Crystal SLR, which quickly became the Zenit 3(M), and the Zorki 6 from, perhaps, 1958. So interesting how Zenit and Zorki developed together.

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Old 04-01-2018   #56
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Since my last reply, I was tempted by a couple of models, ultimately, after some chatting with a friend I was given the rough OM-1 mentioned at the start of this thread.

It's missing the cover for the motor drive, and the meter switch from the top cover - the meter does seem to work by turning the switch with pliers. I've spent some of today replacing the light seals and re-lubing the lens helical.

Equipped with the 1.8 lens, I've also ordered a cheap 200 f4 in need of some attention. I'm thinking it might be worth getting a 1.4 tele converter, to use with the standard (preferably 1.4) lens for some low light dancing portrait shots.

Looking it over, realistically, it's perhaps sufficiently retro and manual to fit with my taste - but I could still be fitted with a motor drive if it becomes necessary to use it like a machine.
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Old 04-01-2018   #57
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SLRs that are RF like seems like a bit of a stretch is my first thought. The whole RF thing is about the finder and how you view through basically a plain ‘window’, set (bright-line or outlined) frames, and the mechanics (not eye judgment) of the RF for focus. The advantages, and disadvantages between an RF window/patch and the SLR finder, and seeing through the lens are very different. But there are a couple that may fit in this RF-SLR from my personal experience.

One is the ALPA 9d. With its size and curved M-like shape, it was what I thought of as an M-SLR, finder view differences aside.

The other is the original Leicaflex. It's basically an M3 in an SLR body. The shutter is an M-series shutter in a different style, shape/size body, very well made ‘M3-like.’ Dense and heavy like an M-series, it oozes quality, and the curved back/flat front give it a unique feel in the hand. It's not like any other SLR is this way. Although the original Leicaflex took a lot of criticism for its ‘limited’ focus finder, it does have an almost RF advantage, as it is very very bright, maybe a bit brighter than even an M3 window (even with a so-so fast f2 lens), and if you think that the M3 just had a small patch for focus, the round central micro-prism focus patch of the Leicaflex isn’t so bad. Also, if you think of the M-series size with an added MR meter on top, the Leicaflex with its built-in MR meter doesn’t seem that big ;-) I really think Leica was not trying too hard to make a ‘real’ SLR uniquely different from their M-series, but trying to make something more like a combination of the M-series in an SLR style body, kind of a half-and-half (not all-in, following the trend, and still relying on what they did best [M-series] at the time) if that makes sense.

As a bonus, [at least the earlier] Leicaflex lenses are built with an M-series quality and an optical style design in mind. They are still very good.
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Old 04-01-2018   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsandart View Post
SLRs that are RF like seems like a bit of a stretch is my first thought. The whole RF thing is about the finder and how you view through basically a plain ‘window’, set (bright-line or outlined) frames, and the mechanics (not eye judgment) of the RF for focus. The advantages, and disadvantages between an RF window/patch and the SLR finder, and seeing through the lens are very different. But there are a couple that may fit in this RF-SLR from my personal experience.

One is the ALPA 9d. With its size and curved M-like shape, it was what I thought of as an M-SLR, finder view differences aside.

The other is the original Leicaflex. It's basically an M3 in an SLR body. The shutter is an M-series shutter in a different style, shape/size body, very well made ‘M3-like.’ Dense and heavy like an M-series, it oozes quality, and the curved back/flat front give it a unique feel in the hand. It's not like any other SLR is this way. Although the original Leicaflex took a lot of criticism for its ‘limited’ focus finder, it does have an almost RF advantage, as it is very very bright, maybe a bit brighter than even an M3 window (even with a so-so fast f2 lens), and if you think that the M3 just had a small patch for focus, the round central micro-prism focus patch of the Leicaflex isn’t so bad. Also, if you think of the M-series size with an added MR meter on top, the Leicaflex with its built-in MR meter doesn’t seem that big ;-) I really think Leica was not trying too hard to make a ‘real’ SLR uniquely different from their M-series, but trying to make something more like a combination of the M-series in an SLR style body, kind of a half-and-half (not all-in, following the trend, and still relying on what they did best [M-series] at the time) if that makes sense.

As a bonus, [at least the earlier] Leicaflex lenses are built with an M-series quality and an optical style design in mind. They are still very good.
I've got a test roll of film in an ALPA 9d at the moment. It's one of a few ALPAs I have had on hand for the last few months. It's an interesting looking camera and feels incredibly solid, even compared to other ALPAs.

Pignons made more 9d ALPAs than almost any other model, hence, prices are fairly reasonable, and I'd actually decided I was going to buy it. Well, until I began using it that is. I'm not particularly fussy about finder brightness generally (for instance I enjoy using Exakta Varex SLRs, occasionally). But the 9d finder is just too dim and, worse, the glass seems to have a grind that makes fine focusing adjustments not particularly easy.

I've cleaned the viewfinder eyepiece, mirror and underneath of the focus screen but there was little improvement. Perhaps removing the top cover and cleaning the internal optical surfaces would also help, but as I don't own the camera I won't be doing that.

The two examples of the later 11si model I've used have excellent finders as good as anything from, say, Japan that I've ever looked through. I also have an ALPA 5 here and, whilst it has a plain ground glass and the 45 degree offset reflex eyepiece that was almost a Pignons trademark, I'm finding it much easier to focus with than the 9d, so I'm keeping that instead. I don't know if the 9d I'm currently using is typical of the model, because it doesn't compare well to either earlier or later types of ALPAs. I'd be interested to know how other 9d owners find theirs.

Cheers,
Brett
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Old 04-02-2018   #59
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Hi,


" ...and feels incredibly solid..."

What they feel like when you pick them up is an incredible motivation to buy them and so on. Sense takes over after a while but one or two feel right and almost are 100% right. Olympus seem to have nailed it, imo.

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Old 11-11-2018   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
From the Nikon RF perspective, it's a Nikon F plain prism.

(It is Nikon RF Month and all).......

B2 (;->
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
Given you like the Contax II and the Canon 7, along with preferring metal shutters, I would say the closest you'll find in a SLR would be a plain prism Nikon F.
I, as a Nikon noob, find very interesting what Erik wrote in another thread:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The early black Nikkormat FTn reminds me somehow of the rangefinder Nikons. That is why I like it so much, just like the black Nikon F with standard prism.

The design of the FM and FE is so terribly middle of the road.

Erik.


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Old 11-11-2018   #61
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Another vote for Nikon FG for those who need to pair an RF with an SLR system. When I was a real photographer, I had Leica and Oly OM1 gear, but the OM1 always was ergonomically irritating. The FG solves the Oly's worst problem of having no place for the right hand to hold on to for one-hand shooting by providing a really good hand grip bump, plus it does everything I need it to do, is compatible with most Nikon lenses up to and including the AF-D series, and they're DIRT CHEAP!
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Old 11-11-2018   #62
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Quite a few Soviet post-war slr cameras were based on rangefinder models with the addition of slr viewing systems. The Retina Reflex shares much of its design with the 2C and 3C rangefinders of the same period. I enjoy shooting the Retina Reflex. It is heavy, but well balanced. The shutter is ultra-quiet. The Xenon lens is excellent.
I also enjoy shooting my Contaflex I which is very compact. The Contaflex is very similar in design to the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 35 viewfinder camera and has the same excellent Tessar lens.
(Sorry, I missed that interesting second page of comments.)
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Old 11-11-2018   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
Sumarongi, what's that camera?
Looks like a Minolta SRT-101 to me.

No SLR is ever much like an RF camera to me. I used them both, side by side, for most of my life. They let me see differently.

I recently acquired a Leica R6.2. It was sitting on my desk next to the M-D, the M4-2, and the (digital) CL the other day. With the lenses I had on them, they are all very close in size and weight ...
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Old 11-11-2018   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Looks like a Minolta SRT-101 to me.
No, it's her older sister or aunt, so to say
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Old 11-12-2018   #65
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Talking

It matters little but no SLR/DSLR is even similar to a RF.
First lenses have to further away from film, due to mirror box..
2nd more important the RF is about RF and frames.
Most frames are Guess what is in and what is out esp. on newer Leicas..
I own early M2 and M3, plus a M6TTL mmm!

The Leica frames are great in seeing a scene, framing the important area..
The SLR is about seeing what makes a photo, enjoying depth of field controls (on older SLR), playing with Bokeh and stunning use of many lenses.
NOT fractional differences between 25mm and 28mm or 50, 75, and 90mm!
Long lenses as 200mm, 300mm wide to tele zooms..

I love going simple one camera,one lens M3,50mm!
Age and heart cause me to really miss carrying a big rig!
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Old 11-12-2018   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
It matters little but no SLR/DSLR is even similar to a RF.
First lenses have to further away from film, due to mirror box..
2nd more important the RF is about RF and frames.
Most frames are Guess what is in and what is out esp. on newer Leicas..
I own early M2 and M3, plus a M6TTL mmm!
Generally, yes, but there are quite notable exceptions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconnealy View Post
Quite a few Soviet post-war slr cameras were based on rangefinder models with the addition of slr viewing systems. The Retina Reflex shares much of its design with the 2C and 3C rangefinders of the same period. I enjoy shooting the Retina Reflex. It is heavy, but well balanced. The shutter is ultra-quiet. The Xenon lens is excellent.
I also enjoy shooting my Contaflex I which is very compact. The Contaflex is very similar in design to the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 35 viewfinder camera and has the same excellent Tessar lens.
(Sorry, I missed that interesting second page of comments.)
See also here: https://www.cameraquest.com/ret3s.htm


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Old 11-12-2018   #67
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Minolta Vectis S-series comes to mind, in that it is technically an SLR but the viewfinder is on the far left, allowing you to keep both eyes open.

But it's a junky plastic APS camera that has mostly been lost to history.
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Old 12-13-2018   #68
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Sorry to be late to the party.

While my preference has and still is using a RF, I've tended to get on with my OM10 better than most other SLR's to the point I occasionally switch to it when shooting film, it's focusing centre as a slight RF asthetic to it as well with the split image you join together, my only regret with it is not having more lenses.

Pretty much all Soviet SLR's use RF guts, only really the outside has gone way from the original stuck a prism on a Zorki Zenit 3m, you can tell in a way its a shoehorned job as you got less speeds as less room for guts and the Mirror slap on even my later ones sounds like gunfire.

My advice to you is to find somewhere with a few models to try and see what fits you best.
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