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"Throw in the Bag" Film Camera Suggestions?
Old 12-27-2019   #1
giganova
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"Throw in the Bag" Film Camera Suggestions?

Hi all --

Similar questions have been asked, but not the same, I believe. I often walk to/from work, through a park, at parties, and wish I had a compact film camera with me. All my film cameras are either too expensive (Leica) or too large (MF) to carry around all day.

Such a camera should be light, somewhat durable, and I prefer a fast 35mm prime lens with decent (but not stellar) image quality. Doesn't need to be a rangefinder. Budget doesn't matter as long as it fits my needs. What do you suggest?

A point & shoot?
A vintage SLR, maybe a Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus, or a Leica R?

Hit me with ideas -- thanks!
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Old 12-27-2019   #2
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Kodak Retina IIa. Or maybe a IIc or IIIc. Load it with film, stick it in your pocket and head out.
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Old 12-27-2019   #3
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Olympus XA/XA2/XA3, Rollei 35s, Nikon L35AF, Canon AF35M, Konica New Genba Kantoku, Olympus Stylus.

For a have anywhere the Olympus cameras are amazing and will live in a pocket happily. Rollei gives more control but is quirky, you will either love it or hate it. Last four are P&S and they have good lenses on them along with flash.

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Old 12-27-2019   #4
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Rollei 35 with Tessar or Sonnar lens.
Minox 35mm.
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Old 12-27-2019   #5
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The Olympus Mju II is really expensive currently but it’s lens is great and its size is so small.
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Old 12-27-2019   #6
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Left field possibility.
Apart from lens speed, something from this camera family seems to tick all your boxes.
https://www.35mmc.com/05/08/2016/kon...-kantoku-28wb/
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Old 12-27-2019   #7
lynnb
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What's your minimum requirement for "fast"? f/2.8 or f/2?

Have you handled an XA? It's the most pocketable camera I've owned, because of its curved clamshell design. Also it has aperture-priority with +1.5 backlight control switch. Lens is good, but not as good as the Rollei 35S, but it's the quicker camera.

The earlier suggestions others mentioned above are all good. Add the Mju-I and Mju-II, again the curved design easy to slip in the pocket. The Mju-II's flash has to be disabled every time you open the camera, a bit of a pain.

A Barnack or Barnack copy with a compact 35 is very fast if you zone focus. Film loading not so easy. You can buy the Canons quite cheaply and they're built well.

Small Pentax or OM is easy to live with but bigger again. Jacket pocket camera. I have a $5 MZ-5 that's great as long as the batteries are fresh. MF/AF and P/A/S/M. The spring on the built-in flash can fail.

Plastic EOS300 with kit zoom is small/light/easy. A good p&s. Cheap.
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Old 12-27-2019   #8
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I had cameras in the bag since 2009 or so. Every day bag, with every day cameras.
But I don't think you are going to like my experience.

I have M4-2 in the bag as every day with Summarit-M 35 2.5 since 2015 or so.
It needed service, but I sold all other film Ms which didn't.

People are walking with latest iPhones and status $$$$ watches, glasses and so on. $$$$ status signaling things. Just as I walk with under thousand Leica M and slightly above thousand Leica lens. And it doesn't looks like status declaration. It just a tool with sings of use. So, no trouble here. And I have it attached to my neck via strap. I also never leave camera or bag.

It isn't service which bugs me, it is dealing with film. Develop, scan or print. This is the time waste.

But it is for camera been in use daily, not just walk with camera in the bag.

If you like Leica, good luck to find something else what you are going to like. I can't take pictures for long with something I don't like.

I don't consider R as Leica. It just another SLR, but with status label. Serviced LTM with SBOOI and J-3 or VF from Olympus XA and Color Skopar 35 2.5 will do for less and as every day camera.
IMO.

For SLR I have F kind of Nikons now and they are just something opposite to Leica. Nowhere near elegance and simple of use, but they are build for everyday.
Just get matching their weight bag and shoulder straps, belts.

I also do P&S. Status ones are not going to lasts. But true, cheap P&S never lasts long in my bag as every day. They are very simple to use. They are not good for fast photography, but to stop, turn flash off and take exposure.
Well almost like this.

5 CAD P&S:











The part you are not going to like...
The end result shows only one thing, are you capable or not. It is not about the camera and how fast lens is, to be honest.
Choose what you really like and just put it in use.
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Old 12-27-2019   #9
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I picked up a Nikon N75 for about $20 and happened to have an 18-55mm DX lens. It's a great compact AF film kit -- the lens works perfectly from 24mm to 55mm. I throw it in a bag when I'm out and about and don't worry about damage or theft.
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Old 12-27-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
What's your minimum requirement for "fast"? f/2.8 or f/2?
2.8 would be good, gives me enough sensitivity with 400 speed film.
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Old 12-27-2019   #11
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Minox C. Cheap, robust, easy to use (AE & manual). You can load your own film and develop by yourself. This holiday project will be Neopan1600 in the Minox.
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Old 12-27-2019   #12
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Olympus 35 RC.

Pros: Rangefinder with fixed 42mm f/2.8 leaf-shutter lens. Shutter-priority AE, or manual mode (battery-independent, mechanical). Fully featured and under-valued on the current market, especially compared to other fully auto P&S compacts that have no manual controls.

Cons: Designed for mercury batteries (there are workarounds), 1/500 top shutter speed, 42mm isn't 35mm per the OP's preference.
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Old 12-27-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Rollei 35 with Tessar or Sonnar lens.
Minox 35mm.
You are faster than I, but we agree.

Cigarette pack size body with collapsible 24/300 is better, but does not exist.

Do not discourage ove a single focal. I had a single in 1960s college and all the great magazines showed pics from many different lenses and encourages me to buy a Pentax and 6 lenses at one go right after graduation ( no student loans then). That made a heavy carry.

A wedding photog neighbor with 5 guys working for him were provided Leicas with 50 .35,&90 lenses.
Most all the wedding shots were done with 50.

Saw a young lady on line yesterday who does weddings with 50 mm almost fully.

I am getting tired of being a pack horse at 77 and going back to one body and 50 mm lens.

Learn to move in or step back or crop if necessary and you will be a happy fellow. And you will never be fumbling around and miss a shot while changing lenses.
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Old 12-27-2019   #14
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Maybe hit a few local thrift stores or Goodwill locations and see what you find for cameras that look like they might work for your needs. Then shoot with them and share your experiences and results here as you work to pick a winner.
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Old 12-27-2019   #15
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Great suggestions, keep them coming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
People are walking with latest iPhones and status $$$$ watches, glasses and so on. $$$$ status signaling things. Just as I walk with under thousand Leica M and slightly above thousand Leica lens. And it doesn't looks like status declaration. It just a tool with sings of use. So, no trouble here. And I have it attached to my neck via strap. I also never leave camera or bag.
I have a bunch of M4 and don't mind carrying them around or getting damaged, I can live with that. But my bag is not always with me, so I'm more worried about someone grabbing my bag in a hotel meeting room, even though the potential thief wouldn't even know that there's a Leica in it.

Quote:
It isn't service which bugs me, it is dealing with film. Develop, scan or print. This is the time waste.
We are clearly different: I love dealing with film, wouldn't want it any other way.

Quote:
I can't take pictures for long with something I don't like.
Same here: a camera has to inspire me and that has nothing to do with how expensive that camera is. I am totally loving the Minox 35 cameras: super tiny, super stealth, noiseless, no flash, no annoying motor that advances or rewinds the film, great lens ... I would ditch all my Leicas if -- and that's the killer -- they were reliable! I know that I can rely on my M4s in all situations, they have never failed me. But, as I said in another thread, I had 12 Minox 35 over the past two years and NONE was reliable or even worked, even though I bought them all as Ex+ or MINT with prices to match. I'm done with these flimsy and unreliable cameras. I also had a brand new MJU II that I found at an estate sale for $20 which I sold for over $200. Big mistake selling it. But that "always on" flash was too impractical because I had to fiddle with that tiny flash off button every time I turned it on, and it made a lot of noise because everything is motorized.

Quote:
I don't consider R as Leica. It just another SLR, but with status label.
Yes, just an SLR but one of the greatest: the finder is extremely bright, ergonomics is superb, spot and matrix meters are awesome, and you get good Leica glass that doesn't break the bank. Plus, an R4 was my first camera and has great sentimental value for me. R4s are too unreliable, though, but an R7, heck even a mechanical R6 is affordable these days.

Quote:
For SLR I have F kind of Nikons now and they are just something opposite to Leica. Nowhere near elegance and simple of use, but they are build for everyday.
I had an FM and an F3: F3 wasn't for me but the FM is great because it is so tiny and I have a thing for mechanical cameras. But that shutter noise ... I still shudder when I think about that ugly noise. Maybe I'm too spoiled with my Leica toys.

Quote:
The part you are not going to like...
The end result shows only one thing, are you capable or not. It is not about the camera and how fast lens is, to be honest.
I'm totally comfortable with what you said and I fully agree. A camera is just a tool for my creative vision. But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't look for the right tool for the job.
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Old 12-27-2019   #16
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Here's four P&S's I've tested in a comparison shoot. All 35mm AF/AE, most of them pocket-able.

Minolta Freedom AF35 https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvMYHhu

Olympus Stylus https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvLdV6b

Kodak V35 K10 https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvKUVuf

Canon Snappy 20 https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvKwEt9

If you want something in a rangefinder, and don't mind the Aperture Preferred metering, try a Yashica Electro 35 CC https://flic.kr/s/aHskpjiCJo , or its 40mm sibling the GX https://flic.kr/s/aHsjvmY7kz .

But if you'd like to try a truly cheap rangefinder with 35mm lens experience, then get a Zorki-6 with a Jupiter-12. Once you get them sorted out, they make a wonderful pairing https://flic.kr/s/aHskBiPyfC .

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Old 12-28-2019   #17
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A question like this opens up so many possible aswers.

Personally i would stay clear from any camera that the hipster movement has elevated them to a cult status cameras - Yashica T4/5 and oly mju-epic being two of them. I used plenty of both found on car boot sales before people started selling them on ebay. Good cameras but they do not warrent the ŁŁŁ price tag.

I am more of an SLR person than a P&S. A small SLR is my way forward. If you want AF - the minolta dynax 5 is a tiny little thing with all the features found on the more expensive Dynax 7. Same goes for the EOS 300v







A picture taken with the 300v whilst on the bus...





If you want really small SLR's, i would recommend the Pentax ME with the 35mm.









And compared to the Oly OM2n and the Leica IIc (which are all very similar size)





My personal favourite is the Olympus but the 35 f/2 is not a small lens.


Here a picture taken with the Pentax (sigma 24 f/2.8)



And a coupe from the oly OM2n with the tiny 28 f/3.5








I hope it helps
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Old 12-28-2019   #18
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A Nikon EM is a great little camera, shove a 50mm f1.8 pancake on it (or if you are keen to spend a bit more, a Voigtlander 40mm Ultron - the first of the series is now pretty reasonable.

Pan's suggestions are also excellent - any Olympus SLR is compact and the lenses are for peanuts.

Another option - Minolta X500 (just excellent manual operation as well as AP) with the 45mm f2 lens. Sharp, small and highly inexpensive.
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Old 12-28-2019   #19
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Maybe consider an Oly PEN? I have a couple PEN Ss that are awesome. 80 frames a roll, big depth of field and easy scale focus, good finder. Just snap away...
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Old 12-28-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Another option - Minolta X500 (just excellent manual operation as well as AP) with the 45mm f2 lens. Sharp, small and highly inexpensive.
Yes! I was meant to mention this. Also an X300 is a beautiful little camera.
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Old 12-28-2019   #21
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I used a konica big mini hg for over 10 years documenting grafitti,still works,,great camera
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Old 12-28-2019   #22
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You’re talking about parties so you’ll need to factor in flash also.
To that end a compact SLR with pop up flash - Nikon F75, Canon EOS 300x, Minolta Dynax 5, Pentax MZ5 etc
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Old 12-28-2019   #23
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Looks like you've got what you asked for; almost all the small format cameras made on the planet. So let me just throw in one more: Buy a dirt cheap Olympus OM-10 with the kit lens, a Zuiko Auto-W 50mm f1.8 (I bought the same kit from a street market last summer for 15 dollars). You get a very light camera and a sharp, fast lens. Use a lens cap on a string or even better a hood to protect the lens. If the camera fails it will not cost a lot to replace, you could even have a spare body lying around.
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Old 12-28-2019   #24
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Another vote for the Olympus XA: lightweight, tiny, pretty rugged and has a very capable f2.8 lens. It has a decent and accurate rangefinder, too. Also, the optional flash is useful. Downside is that it’s getting old and many examples have a dodgy electronic shutter release.
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Old 12-28-2019   #25
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If you must have the red dot , Leica AF-C1 (Minolta Tele-Freedom) w/40mm 2.8 and 80mm 5.6


These are getting pricey on the auction sites though.

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And some nice shots from this photographer...
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Old 12-28-2019   #26
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Nikon 35Ti or a Contax T (1, 2, or 3)? The T3 is tiny and all four of these have darn good lenses.
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Old 12-28-2019   #27
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Been said, but any of the Olympus XA line. My own answer to this was a Pentax MX or ME with the 40/2.8 pancake.
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Old 12-28-2019   #28
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For SLR, a Contax 139 or 159 with 35/2.8 (or not as wide 45/2.8 pancake); Nikon FM/FE and derivatives with 35/2.8; for AF with flash, Nikon F80/N80 with 35/2 or one of many available small wide Nikkor zooms
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Old 12-28-2019   #29
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My choice of late has been the temperamental but capable Minox 35. I prefer the arrangement and the lens to the XA line (I've got an XA2 and had an XA4). It's so light and unobtrusive that it can live almost anywhere. If you can find an ML you'll get a decent Program mode and half-press exposure lock.



The Rollei 35 or Barnack Leica are also excellent options; the main difference is in the weight, not size. Great if you have a bag, not so much if you want something to stick in a pocket.
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Old 12-28-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Rollei 35 with Tessar or Sonnar lens.
Minox 35mm.
Yes. Currently have taken my Minox 35GT-E out of storage and carrying it in my bicycle bag. i could put it in my saddle bag too, it's so small and light. makes excellent quality photos!

The Rollei 35S is my other choice for this use ... it's about the same size overall, a little thicker, and a little heavier: The Minox is easier to carry all the time, and its folding lens with a cover door makes it easier to slip in and out of a pocket.

G
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Old 12-28-2019   #31
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Just because medium format has its benefits, 6x4.5 folders can be nice "large" pocket cameras. Zeiss Super Ikonta (rangefinder) or Voigtlander baby Bessa 46 (scale). Both are larger than many of the 35mm cameras mentioned, heavier mainly because of the older metal construction. But- medium format! 3-4 times the film area makes a difference.

My issue with any daily carry camera is if I will want to use the final negatives. So for a while a Canon Dial 35 half frame, tri-X and Rodinal, was my pocket camera because, well, why pretend otherwise, why not go with the grain?

Or you can just process smart phone images to look as you want.
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Old 12-28-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
....
I have a bunch of M4 and don't mind carrying them around or getting damaged, I can live with that. But my bag is not always with me, so I'm more worried about someone grabbing my bag in a hotel meeting room, even though the potential thief wouldn't even know that there's a Leica in it.
....
I have been in hotels meeting rooms for almost thirty years.
I can't recall even single item disappearance.
Now my wild imagination draws something

I have read how some bozos were loosing cameras, phones in eating, drinking places, but it is matter of choice.
It didn't happened to me, because of it. We were drinking a lot after work, but always been thinking where and who is on premises.

What is the point to add Leica R which is nowhere near economical comparing to non prestige status SLRs, if you already have bunch of M4?

If you could afford bunch of M4 and R are "economical" why not to pay something like 20$ per month for camera, lens insurance and put another 20$ aside per month for periodical CLA of daily M4?
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Old 12-28-2019   #33
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How it started:- " I often walk to/from work, through a park, at parties, and wish I had a compact film camera with me"... That suggests small as in pocketable.



All the cult cameras have baby brothers that people overlook or ignore, unless they are trying to sell it. So you can buy and try cheaply.

So look at the µ-I instead of the µ-II and the XA1 or XA2 instead of the RF XA. And there's a few small ones with zoom lenses like the Olympus µ-V and Pentax 928M. And the Nikon One Touch Zoom 90AF is probably the youngest of them all.

Even dearer than any mentioned with a prime lens are the Leica mini and friends (Minolta and Panasonic).

One last point, metal gears in the XA's, I think, and that's a good thing, like the batteries they use (SR44's).


Regards, David


PS Very challenging; the Cosmic Symbol with its 40mm triplet and it can be fitted with a lens hood, which some think essential on any camera...
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Old 12-28-2019   #34
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Favorite film camera for Me is a leica M

For your question, how about Contax T2 .... Compact, love those silvery greys it renders, beautifully sharp sonnar lens

A camera I have never tried but would love to
Leica Minilux /fixed lens


Miss Contax T2 in action:




carousel Fun
by Helen Hill, on Flickr
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Old 12-28-2019   #35
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Cameras I've used as my daily commute, throw in the bag and don't care if it gets ruined that I would recommend:

Olympus Stylus Infinity / Stylus Epic

Olympus XA2 (better lens than the XA which I always found soft despite trying numerous copies)

Ricoh R1s (most pocketable p&s there is)

Canon Demi EE17 (half-frame and thus, twice as many images, super fast and sharp 1.7 lens)

Canon Sure Shot Max (most affordable option here by a long shot and the image quality is great)

Pentax Espio Mini (Stylus Epic alternative)

Canon T70 (SLR option with various Program modes you can buy for <$20USD easily and pairs very well with a <$100 Canon FD 35mm 2.8)
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Old 12-28-2019   #36
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I'll second the Kodak Retina IIa. Yesterday was my first day throwing it in my briefcase. Very compact, doesn't need a case, this is my first roll of film through it but looking forward to see what the Schneider Xenon can do.

I sold my Contax T2 some years back. Of course before they tripled is price. Very compact when folded up. The lens was superb. I worked around fooling the auto exposure and focus, but prefer the all manual I have now.
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Old 12-28-2019   #37
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I'll second the Kodak Retina IIa. Yesterday was my first day throwing it in my briefcase. Very compact, doesn't need a case, this is my first roll of film through it but looking forward to see what the Schneider Xenon can do.
You won’t be disappointed. If you have the opportunity, post in the “Images from your Retina” thread.
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Old 12-28-2019   #38
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Originally Posted by chipgreenberg View Post
I'll second the Kodak Retina IIa. Yesterday was my first day throwing it in my briefcase. Very compact, doesn't need a case, this is my first roll of film through it but looking forward to see what the Schneider Xenon can do.

I sold my Contax T2 some years back. Of course before they tripled is price. Very compact when folded up. The lens was superb. I worked around fooling the auto exposure and focus, but prefer the all manual I have now.
The IIa are nice cameras, just be careful around the frame counter. I have three of them and I don't think the counter is working on any of them. They have a small metal actuator that breaks over time.

The earlier scale focus Retina's are good too. A Retina 1 with the Ektar lens is a fun shooter. Little bit smaller than the IIa and no worries about a RF gettting knocked off in a bag. Slower to shoot though being scale focused and having to cock the shutter directly.

Vito III is a really nice folder too. Little longer than the Retina IIa but feels a bit more solid. Shutter has to be cocked manually though. On the plus side it can be folded up pre-focused and doesn't have to be at infinity like all the Retinas. Wonderful Ultron lens.

None of these are 35mm lenses though.

Shawn
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Old 12-28-2019   #39
PaulCooper
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I had a very good experiences with Nikon FM2. It doesn't weigh much and is sturdy. As for the lens I suggest something 28, or 35mm, as they have a perfect perspective for most situations. Another one, I like, and it's my favorie, is Contax G1. It's compact enough, and it uses incredibly sharp lenses. I often take it with me when backpacking...
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Contax G1, G2, 21/2.8 Biogon G, 35/2.0 Planar G, 90/2.8 SDonnar G, Nikon F4, 180/2.8 Nikkor,
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Old 12-28-2019   #40
chipgreenberg
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I will!

Right now I'm working on getting a roll through the camera to make sure it's working OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
You won’t be disappointed. If you have the opportunity, post in the “Images from your Retina” thread.
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