Interested in starting with classic Rangefinders...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cigrainger, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

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    I know this is a path my wallet will end up hating, but I'm really jonesing for a Canon P (Populaire) with one of the early Canon (Leica Screwmount) RF 50mm f/1.4 lenses.

    Do you guys know if the Canon P has the 16:9 Leica-style aspect ratio? I'm assuming it does, but nobody mentions it. Maybe because it's so obvious?

    If so, how many exposures will this permit on a roll of 35mm that usually allows 24 or 36 exposures?
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How about trying the Cannonette QL17 Glll?

    It's an amazing little rangefinder and this from a Nikon guy! You should be able to pick one up for around $50 in good shape and then save you money for a Leica. Google is your friend.

    mike
     
  3. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

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    The results that I've seen from the Canon P with a good Canon RF-mount lens have been about 95% of a Leica IMO.

    I'm a college student who is selling one of his guitars (worked a lot in high school and have a bit of cash invested in guitar gear, didn't get into photography until more recently), and I'd like something nice that I will be content with for the next few years, until I start pulling in a paycheck that might allow me to get whatever it is I want as far as photography (and guitar) goes.

    I have a Pentax K100D and kit lens that my parents got me as an early birthday gift, and I just ordered an SMC-Pentax M 50mm f/1.7 lens. I learned on a Canon AE-1, but I'm going to get a Pentax K1000 so I can "streamline" my film and digital SLRs as far as getting some old glass goes.

    I want to get the Canon P because the results I've seen have been unbelievably sharp, contrasty, and the colors on color film (usually just Kodak Gold) have been beyond anything else I've seen. I've not seen any other 35mm rangefinder besides Leica M-series or a few earlier Leicas produce the same tones, sharpness, and detail. But as I said -- I won't be saving up my money for the time being. All my money goes to tuition and living expenses -- this guitar sale is just one nice chance for me to splurge for the next couple years really.

    Either way, do they have the 16:9 aspect ratio, and how many exposures is that on a standard roll of 35mm film?
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cigrainger,

    In all honesty you should drop by the film photography section and specifically the Collectors Corner in this site for information on your intended.

    I had someone give me a Cannonette in a box of cameras that they found in a house they had bought and as it turned out, all it needed was the light seal replaced. It takes very good photos and fits in your hand (mine anyway) so if you like doing street photography on the QT -and it is very quiet- look around for one. You might find one really cheap and still get the
    Canon P.

    OBTW, replacing a light seal is easy and you can find self adhesive sheets of black foam at wally-world for next to nothing.

    mike
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wrong forum.... better off posting in collectors corner or film.

    If money and budget are tight, your best bet is to get a Canonet QL17. The camera is sharp, easy to use, and a great camera for someone getting started into rangefinders. They can be had for under $50 and typically all that is required is to change the foam light seals in the rear door. If you haven't shot with a rangefinder, I would not recommend dumping huge chunk of cash into it until you have tried it out. Its not like shooting with an SLR. Many don't take to it. I have 5+ Canonets in my collection and they are wonderful cameras to shoot with. Here's info on the series:
    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/f_camera.html

    If I were to choose a Canon Rangefinder system to start a new collection, I would rather start with this:

    http://www.cameraquest.com/canon7sz.htm


    Here's a start on information easily found on the internet:
    http://www.cameraquest.com/canonp.htm
    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/1955-1969/data/1959_p.html
    http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?CanonP.html~mainFrame


    BTW... Sharp, Contrast, detail, tones... are a function of the lens not the body.

    >>The results that I've seen from the Canon P with a good Canon RF-mount lens have been about 95% of a Leica IMO.

    "The results I've seen from the Casio cheapo watch with a good watch band have been about 95% of a Rolex IMO."
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    As usayit says, those image characteristics have nothing to do with the camera body. Assuming the body has no light leaks and the shutter speeds are accurate, it's all about the lens and the film. No doubt some cameras are more enjoyable to own and use than others - see Casio v Rolex. But the thing that interests me is that you've obviously invested quite a lot in a digital SLR but seem to only have one lens to use on it. If you have the cash it might be more constructive to invest it in some more K-mount glass - after all you said you want to shoot both film and digital - rather than start looking at a whole different system just yet. It's good to have at least one system with a good collection of glass... of course I learned this the hard way (or rather didn't learn) because I've always been attracted to various different systems, lenses or cameras. It's tempting to do that but it's really not the most practical or economical approach.
     

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