Advice on buying Vitomatic II (or other rangefinder)

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Pete Grange, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Pete Grange

    Pete Grange TPF Noob!

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    I am looking towards gettin a cheap range finder, i will be shooting mostly slide film through this for projection, and also scanning, and i may even stretch to gettin some images printed in the post photo place in Newcastle which i belive still prints analog with slide.

    I have initially decided on the vitomatic II as it is very sturdy, cheap, quite a fast lens.

    Am just wondering two things

    1
    If any body knows anywhere either in the north east of england or on the internet which would be a good place to buy one, i would love to be able to get one of the f2.0 model but i dont think i can justify the extra cost. Is the higher price justified in quality, with the 6 leaves over the 4 of the colour sekor lens at the larger appatures, or is it mostly due to rarity and collectors?

    and 2
    If anybody know of any other good range finders which mite better meet my critearia:

    cheap (why i looked at the fixed lens range finders)
    durable (hence looking at the german range finders)
    fast lens
    sharp lens
    ideally around 30mm would be perfect but 50mm is good
    tripod mount

    thank you in advance am not sure if my ebay trawling is the best plan for getting a camera this old.
     
  2. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    The RFF is the place to troll for this sort of info. Check out this thread. I've always wanted a Vitomatic II, I love the Color Skopar on my Bessamatic. Currently I'm shooting a Fed2 with no complaints. Not sure how the Industar26m would render color though.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I recently found a Vitomatic IIa which I posted about here.
    It's fine camera and I love it.

    Any Vitomatic with the f/2 Ultron lens will be expensive if in good condition.
    Recent examples have sold for around $300+ on eBay for example.

    There are many fixed lens rangefinder cameras that fit your criteria and
    they don't have to be German to be rugged. Japanese RFs from Yashica,
    Konica, Minolta, Olympus and others can be at least as reliable and often
    offer better lenses than their German counterparts. You just have to
    ensure they are in good condition before buying including the foam
    light seals which are often in poor condition on 1970s-80s Japanese
    cameras (but are fairly easy to replace).

    However, if you prefer a German fixed lens RF with f2 lens, I would
    recommend a Retina. There are many variations of the Retina but
    the later models (II-series and III-series) are the most popular. Many
    of them have f/2 lenses. Retinas are plentiful and can be found at good
    prices. There aren't many other German fixed lens RFs with lenses
    faster than f/2.8 to choose from. The few that do exist are usually
    high priced due to collector interest.

    The top Retina models are the IIIc (small "c"), IIIC (big "C"), and
    the IIIs. These can be pricey but the II-series models are much
    lower in price and still very fine cameras. I especially like the IIa and
    IIc models.

    Popular Japanese fixed lens RFs with fast lenses include the Canonet QL17,
    Konica Auto S2 and S3, Yashica Electro series and Lynx 14, Olympus 35
    series and others. They're all fine cameras with excellent lenses.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  4. Pete Grange

    Pete Grange TPF Noob!

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    thanks both of you, for now i have picked up a really cheap cannon rangefinder a canonet 28, that will tide me by

    I have a bit more reading to do but so far the lynx 14 is looking best bet, got to find one now....
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    There isn't anything to beat the Lynx 14 for speed. There are two excellent Japanese competitors with f/1.7 lenses.

    The first is the reasonably common Canonet QL-17 G-III and the earlier model, the Canonet QL-17 "new". This latter model is very often sold as a G-III and is virtually idendital. There is a difference in the battery check and the PC socket. These are both in the compact chassis. The earliest Canonet 17 and QL-17 were built on a larger chassis. These are older, closer to the age of the Lynx-14, and less desirable. Check out Canon QL17 GIII

    The second is the rather rare, in the US,and possibly Europe, Olympus RD. It was a head-to-head competitor to the Canonet QL-17 G-III with very similar specs. It is slightly larger, but not much. Check out Olympus 35 RD

    BTW, CameraQuest has a nice page on the Lynx 14 also: Yashica Lynx 14
     

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