Need info on fixed lens P&S film cameras

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Sombrero57, May 7, 2004.

  1. Sombrero57

    Sombrero57 TPF Noob!

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    I'm writing this on behalf of my mom, who is a very good photographer but doesn't like computers. (I have not followed in her footsteps in terms of photography.) Anyway, for many years, my mother has used 35 mm SLRs and a few medium format cameras (Rolleiflex, Mamiya and a fairly inexpensive Yashica she let us kids learn on), and overall produced great photos. She's not a professional but an amateur with high standards for herself who always wanted to produce high-quality photos for friends and our large family. Recently, she impulsively gave away all her equipment to family members saying she's too old for the stuff. She says that now she just wants a compact film camera (not digital) with a high-quality, fast lens that will meet her needs. Unfortunately, I don't know if there's one out there that will fit the bill. I've researched P&S cameras with and without zoom and discussed the options with her. Being satisfied with her old equipment, she hasn't really kept up-to-date with the trends, i.e. not very good zoom lenses on P&S cameras being all the rage with many people, myself included. :)

    OK, now on to more specifics. My mom is impressed with the specs of most of the non-zoom P&S cameras. However, she's skeptical about whether she'd be able to take good photos of her main subjects -- people, pets, the wildlife that visits her back yard, flowers and insects she deems friendly. She says that with a 35mm or 38mm or even 40mm lens (on the Leica Minilux, I think), she'd have to get rather close to her subjects, and then people and pets would end up being distorted. I've only managed to find a few sample photos from fixed lens P&S cameras on the Web. My mom doesn't want to buy and try every good-looking possibility out there.

    Most of the things I see written about these fixed-lens cameras is very general, saying simply that they take great photos. Few people are specific regarding what they mean by that. Great photos of what exactly? I read one review on epinions.com saying you can indeed take good people "portraits" with the Leica Minilux. My mom is skeptical, as I said. She says all the fixed lens P&S cameras have wide-angle lenses, and she says those aren't good for taking pictures of people and pets.

    So, my main question is this: Is there a compact camera out there that might fit my mom's needs?

    And secondly, do people mainly shoot landscapes with these fixed lens P&S cameras? I'm just curious.
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    From what I've seen, yes. Most of the fixed-lens P&S cameras I know of are around the order of 35mm for a lens. Some have 45mm, and you might find one with a 50mm, but I've never seen longer.
    Here's a link to some older rangerfinders.

    You might want to try for a rangefinder with interchangable lenses and pick up a short telephoto for it.
    Some Minoltas

    Here's a guide to rangerfinders.
     
  3. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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  4. Sombrero57

    Sombrero57 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the links -- a wealth of information. I've never heard of a rangefinder, but I'm sure my mom will know what you're talking about. After reading about some of those, I'm surprised she didn't have one. Her favorite type of camera has been the medium formats that she got in the early '60s when we kids were wee tykes. Anyway, thanks again! Now I feel like we'll be able to find something she'll be satisfied with. And the info comes in time for Mother's Day!
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    All of the fixed lens point-n-shoots I know of are wide (35mm or 28mm focal lengths). Zooms rule the consumer market.

    I've always liked the Olympus Stylus line of point-n-shoots, and often recommended them to pro photogs when I sold cameras. They were usually surprised and happy. If you have the moola then the Nikon 35Ti is a wonderful camera, but still 35mm focal length.
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    If she's still interested in medium format, the a Koni-Omega Rapid M might be worth a look.

    I borrowed a friend of mine's for a couple of weeks and liked it.
     
  7. wwjoeld

    wwjoeld TPF Noob!

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    The olympus epic is an awesome camera with a 28mm focal lenght and a solid f/2.8 aperture. Great camera with the all weather protection.
     

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