Best rangefinder for iso 3200 film?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by kreuzberg, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. kreuzberg

    kreuzberg TPF Noob!

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    I was looking into getting a small rangefinder style camera that I could keep loaded with Ilford 3200 film so I could easily stick it in my bag whenever I go out to take pictures with friends in low light conditions and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on a suitable camera?

    Ideally it should be as small as possible and quite cheap as my budget is limited. I really like the canonet 28 or canonet ql17 but the maximum iso is 800 but something along the same lines is what I'm looking for. I dont mind if it has full manual controls or not but I would prefer semi-auto as I will mainly be using it for snapshots.

    I would be grateful for any suggestions, thanks!
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    I don't think you will find any to fit the bill if one of your requirements is a meter that handles ISO 3200 and the other is that it is inexpensive.

    During the era of the popular RF with decent controls and fast lenses there were no ISO 3200 films. True, you could push some B&W films that far, but few using such mass market cameras did. I don't believe any of the RFs you'll find will set ISOs beyond 800. Many will only go to 400 and there may be a very very few that go to 1600. In fact, most SLRs of that vintage don't go beyond 1600. Only a few upper end pro models did.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another approach is a 35mm with a fast lens and a very bright rangefinder coupled with a decent hand-held meter [Luna Pro, etc] running on good ol' manual. Rigs with those characteristics are legion.
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My Bessa R has ISO settings to 3200. I'm sure the other models in this series
    do as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Sweet cameras and less expensive than a Leica M series, but they don't fall into the class of the "cheap" camera that the OP is inquiring about (e.g. used Canon QL17 GIII, ...).

    Using a hand held meter is one option. Another is to use something like a QL17 GIII in manual with the meter set to 800 and raising the shutter speed to stops after metering to correct for the difference between ISO 800 and 3200.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cheap is relative... perhaps a budget range should be mentioned. To a lot of M-shooters, those Voigtlander rangefinders are cheap... but Voigtlander rangefinder and lenses are definitely not "cheap" in quality. I have yet to find a V/C lens or item that I didn't like. The Bessa are good cameras but with ISO 3200, I would have liked to also have a max shutter of more than 1/2000. Top on my list would also include the Konica Hexar, Contax G2, and Leica M6. None I would call inexpensive.

    I think you are really limiting yourself with cheap, ISO 3200, and rangefinder. During late 80s and early 90s there were a few higher end P&S cameras with wonderful glass. The nikon 35ti, Nikon 28ti, and the Konica Hexar AF come to mind. I'm sure there are more that can meet your needs.
     
  7. kreuzberg

    kreuzberg TPF Noob!

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    I thought that iso 3200 was a bit more common as my Fujica st605 has that setting, but maybe not.

    I looked at the Bessa-R, nice camera but just a tiny bit out of my price range. I was planning on using delta 3200 film, but I've since found out that the film is only rated at iso 1000 so would this be ok to use on iso 800 setting risking over exposing?
     
  8. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, to get an RF camera with an ISO 3200 setting it would have to be of
    fairly recent manufacture.

    Another, lower cost alternative might be a non-zoom P&S type AF camera like
    the Olympus Stylus or Yashica T3. Image quality is quite good with these.
     
  9. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another budget rangefinder option might be using the QL17 in manual mode with a handheld meter. (since the meter only works on auto) That way you wouldn't be limited by the 800iso cap on the meter.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since you (OP) are specifically mentioning rangefinder is it safe to assume you already own one?
     
  11. kreuzberg

    kreuzberg TPF Noob!

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    Nope, the only camera I have is a Fujica ST605. The reason I specified a rangefinder was that when looking for another camera I came across the Canonet series and really liked the compact dimensions, auto and manual controls and a very attractive body. I then discovered that this kind of camera is called a rangefinder so I specified this kind of camera in my original post. Ive never tried using a rangefinder before so I thought Id give it a go.

    I was planning to use Ilford delta 3200 film but Ive since discovered that it is only iso 1000 so would I be able to use this on iso 800 setting?

    As regards to my budget, I would like to spend less than £40 ($60), I guess I should have been more specific in my original post. Are there any other cameras in that price range that I should consider?
     
  12. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you specifically want a fixed lens rangefinder, then in that price, Canonet QL17 is probably your best option. You could also try a Yashica Electro GS or GSN (iso goes up to 1000). I have both and like the Canonet better because you have more control over the shutter speed because you can switch it to manual if you want, than with the Electro which is aperture priority only, no manual controls at all on that one. I feel like the Electro has a sharper lens though, compared to both of my Canonets, but the Canonet is smaller, which is a plus. I don't think you're going to find anything with a high iso capability in that price point. Just not gonna happen.

    The Canonet became my most used camera in the year or so that I owned it but no meter in manual mode and 800 iso limit led me to my Leica purchase. It was definitely a nice gateway drug.
     

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