Compact filma camera with interchangeable lense system?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by sincere, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    By interchangeable lense system i mean a compact film camera where i can put various lenses on there.

    Whats out there? What do you recommend?

    I liked the Canonet QL 17 GIII until someone told me i cant change lenses. Bummer.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Leica?
     
  3. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Older (pre-AF) slr's are pretty compact... other than that, rangefinders are probably your only other choice. Leica or Voigtlander Bessa.
     
  4. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    Rangefinder.Screwmount lenses. I'm sure there is some other exotic sol'n to the problem you pose, but the rangefinder is the classsic and common answer to the compact full frame camera with excellent lenses question. There's a whole rangefinder culture out there.

    Now, that I've gone past the obligatory answer the OP's actual question, may I suggest something else? I'm more likely to ask, how big of a camera CAN I use handheld, but I've heard very good things about most of the models of the Rollei 35. It's a full frame 35mm camera, which has a fairly fast, nice lens, slightly wide that actually slides back into the body when not in use.

    It was made for 30 years or so, and millions were made so the price is pretty cheap on the used market.

    Just a thought.
    [​IMG]
    Photo courtesy D. Meyer.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There's the Olympus Pen F, a half-frame SLR system camera. The Leica CL and Minolta CLE are the smallest of the Leicas. As already mentioned, most Leica and Bessa rangefinder cameras are fairly compact. Olympus OM cameras are very small for full-frame SLRs.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. Orrin

    Orrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    * As already posted... Pentax ME and ME supers or their cousins were one of the smallest 35mm SLRs ever made. For street, pocketable setup, pick an ME and go with a 40mm pancake lens. Its smaller than some rangefinders. In this pick is my LX (about the same size as the ME) with the unmounted pancake lens. You can see how "thin"/compact the lens is (about half the length of a 50mm):

    [​IMG]

    * Rollie's as pictured in a previous post are great cameras. They are zone focus, relatively expensive for what they are, and don't have interchangable lenses. They are EXTREMELY compact and have a bit of an odd design. They were very popular for their optics.

    * Mike mentioned Leica. Certainly fall under compact with interchangable lenses. I love them and I shoot with them and they are wonderful. They are EXTEREMELY EXPENSIVE and I wouldn't tempt someone going that route unless they "really" want to.

    * Someone else mentioned Voigtlander. Voigtlander as a german company is really not active anylonger. They have given permission to Cosina in japan to continue production of lenses and rangefinders under their name. I can't say enough about the Bessa line... they are absolutely WONDERFUL jewels. The US main distributer is www.cameraquest.com. His webpage is a wealth of information. Most of the voigtlander rangefinder lenses are between $300-500 each and come in Leica Thread mount as well as Leica M-mount. They are popular among the Leica shooters as well (me included). They have a good selection of rangefinder bodies in the $500-1000 range that will meet anyones choice of framelines, mount (LTM or M-mount), paint finish, etc.. (see http://www.cameraquest.com/voigtchart.htm). Many professionals have reviewed a selection of their lenses ( 35mm color skopar, 21 4P, 25mm 4P, 75mm, etc..) with good remarks that for some is close enough to the image quality from Leica glass several times the cost. Its pretty shocking when you consider that you can buy 1 lens from Voigtlander's entire lineup for the cost of a single Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux. I have their 35mm f/1.2 Nokton (the fastest ) and their 12mm Heliar (the widest). Both beautiful.

    * Another option is the Leica CL and its brother the Minolta CLE. Wonderful write ups here:
    http://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm
    http://www.cameraquest.com/leicacl.htm
    Also good choices each with their dis-advantages. Many will say that the lenses intended for these two cameras are just as good as the Leica M-mount lenses. I tend to agree from the samples I have seen... .The Minolta ones are bargains considering their quality. Also very compact.

    * Also another option.. also a bit expensive and difficult to find is the M-mount Konica Hexar. Don't have one.. .wish I did... consider it the updated and modernized Leica.

    * Another option is the Contax G1 and G2 with their own line of lenses. I've heard wonderful things about these cameras.. too bad they are no more. Typically priced high but I've seen them dropping in price pretty steadily. I've seen a contax G2 with a lens priced at around $700.

    * If you wanna be the ultra-compact shooter and the odd one on the block, there's always the Pentax AUTO 110 SLR "spy camera". My father gave me his for my collection. NEAT! absolutely NEAT!!! basically a real interchangable lens SLR minaturized to fit in the palm of my hand. They have a whole line of lenses and compatible flashes too... bargain prices if you can find them. Of course.. this isn't 35mm film anylonger... but 110.


    Honestly.. For compact ( non-interchangable lens) camera, the canon QL GIII is hard to beat. Sometimes, having one focal length actually sparks more creativity.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    * Oh... how could I forget Leica Screwmount Russian copies? They are an option too... but be ware of spotty quality control. Look at the "Fed" russian cameras and their line of LTM lenses.
     

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