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11-13-2017, 04:32 PM   #1
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Range finder recommendation

Hey looking at getting a range finder as my 3rd camera.
I was looking at the Canon canonet 28 because it's cheap and photos looks good. I'm getting one one eBay that needs the seals replaced for $15.

My budget is some around 30$, I know it's a low budget but I'm not working currently and I just need something portable but still has some manual control

11-13-2017, 05:07 PM - 1 Like   #2
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You might be able to find a Yashica Minister D for that price. I had one for a little bit, I liked it but eventually gave it to my uncle.
11-13-2017, 05:15 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Moved to the non Pentax forum. As the sticky in General Talk says, photography talk does not belong in General Talk as this an off topic forum only.
11-13-2017, 05:45 PM   #4
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If they are working, any of the older ones can be fun. I have an Agfa which still looks new and works great and cost me around $24. I just saw a Voigtlander sell on e-bay for $25. Occasionally you can find a Minolta or Olympus for the $30-40 range.

I had a Voigtlander Bessa-L with the color Skopar 15mm, and do I miss that camera. I've been looking at getting another one soon, but the cost with lens is a bit over your budget, around $500.

11-13-2017, 06:23 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The Canonets are all good. The 28 is overshadowed by the 17.
More like a pre-autofocus point & shoot, it offers program AE only.

It requires a battery to operate, originally a PX625 1.3V mercury cell.
Today's closest equivalent is a hearing aid battery or Wein cell.

Problems to look for are low-contrast or misaligned rangefinder,
misadjusted or non-functional shutter, degraded light seals etc.

Chris
11-13-2017, 06:28 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 89Y49Si Quote
You might be able to find a Yashica Minister D for that price. I had one for a little bit, I liked it but eventually gave it to my uncle.
Just checked it out seems alright so I'll look into it a bit more

---------- Post added 11-13-17 at 06:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
If they are working, any of the older ones can be fun. I have an Agfa which still looks new and works great and cost me around $24. I just saw a Voigtlander sell on e-bay for $25. Occasionally you can find a Minolta or Olympus for the $30-40 range.

I had a Voigtlander Bessa-L with the color Skopar 15mm, and do I miss that camera. I've been looking at getting another one soon, but the cost with lens is a bit over your budget, around $500.
Care to say which model of the afga
11-13-2017, 09:04 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sonygoup Quote
Hey looking at getting a range finder as my 3rd camera.
I was looking at the Canon canonet 28 because it's cheap and photos looks good. I'm getting one one eBay that needs the seals replaced for $15.

My budget is some around 30$, I know it's a low budget but I'm not working currently and I just need something portable but still has some manual control

The two cameras pictured below date from the early 1960s.



The one on the left, a Yashica Lynx 1000, is very similar to my first "real" camera of the same model. In the '60s, it was a sweet package with sharp and fast 45mm f/1.8 lens, parallax-corrected rangefinder, coupled selenium meter, and Copal SV shutter with speeds from 1-1/1000s. Unfortunately, the aperture mechanism is jammed with a cost to repair of over $100 (requires major disassembly). On the right is a Yashica Lynx 5000. Aside from different cosmetics and a CdS meter, it is much the same as its younger brother. Its shutter has developed a bad case of the stickies. Both cameras used to work and I have the photos to prove it. I think I have less than $50 in both including two parts bodies.

Why am I showing you this? Because while there may be some real cool rangefinders at the low end of the price scale, most will require some sort of repair to get working and those that are working when you buy them will likely cease to work very soon unless subjected to a full tear-down and rebuild.

What would I be looking out for if I was looking for a solid user in a fixed lens rangefinder?
  • Canonet G-III 17
  • Ricoh 500G
  • Olympus 35 RD
  • Olympus 35 RC
  • Olympus XA (not the others in the XA series)
None of these will come cheap. The XA really can't be repaired except for cleaning, though the others if basically sound should only require a basic CLA.

What, no Lynx? If you find a clean one with all controls smooth and working, go for it, but treat it gently. The innards are not robust.


Steve
11-13-2017, 09:36 PM   #8
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This is my Agfa Silette. It has a 45 3.5, 4 shutter speeds, B-25-50-200 with a leaf shutter and no light meter. I actually have the leatherette case which is in great shape, but the strap has fallen apart. Very simple and will make you think about every shot beforehand.

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11-14-2017, 03:56 AM   #9
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If you can save a little bit more. My personal favorite rangefinder is the Canon P. And since it’s a LTM camera, you can use a whole slew of old Leica, Canon, Nikkor, Voigtlander lenses, along with the Pentax 43 Ltd.

I bought mine in pretty mint condition for $125, but you can definitely find them cheaper. And the Russian LTM lenses are damn cheap too.
11-14-2017, 10:04 PM   #10
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A LTM camera is not going to be "a little more" than $30 once you add a lens, even if it's Russian. Even if it ends up being $150 that's 5x his budget.

I found my Olympus XA for $50 at my local camera repair shop. It's a great little plastic fantastic and I love mine. I also found an Olympus 35 RD in a local pawn shop that needed a CLA and it's even better if a bit heavier.

I also had a Yashica 35 GSN, probably one of the better budget rangefinders, for $10 and found a correct voltage battery on Amazon for another $10. If i hadn't replaced it with the 35RD I'd still shoot it.
11-17-2017, 05:47 PM   #11
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Forget any rangefinder you've actually heard of being in working condition for $30.

You're going to be looking for the weird stuff, and you may find it easier to get a zone-focusing camera first.

I got a Graflex Century 35 (zone focusing) for about $25 in the box with a dent on the filter ring. It has many of the elements of a neat rangefinder, including small size, low noise, and fun ergonomics (the viewfinder is huge). But it is a zone focus camera, which is annoying. But how many people do you know who shoot Graflex 35mm? It also takes good pictures, which is pretty important to me...

You may be able to get some of the Retinettes or things like that in that price range. They are very cool and can take nice photos. I've found a couple in larger lots from Goodwill.

If you are in the US, ShopGoodwill may be about to be your new best friend. They sell all sorts of wacky stuff, occasionally at very good prices.
Just be careful. Sometimes things aren't in particularly good shape, and if it's a camera you've heard of, odds are someone will bid it up much higher than it should go. Also, several of the Goodwill branches have discovered there is a lot of money to be made in shipping, so watch the shipping prices.

But even on more traditional auction sites, I think you need to look for the oddball cameras that nobody collects. Petris sometimes sell cheap, and some of those are very cool. Ricoh made some fun ones.

I got a Minolta 7s under your price cap (the earlier one, not the later, cooler one that everyone else wants), and it is in great shape and has a terrific lens.

Just be patient and keep looking...

-Eric
11-23-2017, 03:35 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I have been playing with compact fixed-lens rangefinder 35mm cameras for 20 years.
Many are fun to use and handy when you don't want to carry a larger camera.

Many (most?) were consumer models not really designed to last twenty years.
Most are well past their expiration date now.

It's difficult to find a good working one or someone willing and able to fix it.
I have found no counterpart to Eric Hendrickson for these cameras.

I agree you'd be lucky to find anything decent for $50; $30 would be miraculous.

Here are web pages with good information on some of these cameras:

https://www.cameraquest.com/com35s.htm

http://subclub.org/shop/aps.htm

Chris
12-01-2017, 09:53 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advise guys. I was looking for an olympus 35 rc or pen because I kinda like how half frame looks. But I ended up finding a Rollei 35 black on eBay for stupid cheap. Got it two days back and turns out the winder and aperture needs to be repaired so I'll have that done next year. Super ready to start shooting it
12-02-2017, 12:08 AM   #14
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It's not a rangefinder but people like them nonetheless. Hope you get to enjoy it.
12-02-2017, 01:12 PM - 1 Like   #15
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The Rollei 35 cameras have a reputation for fine lenses.
Ergonomics are an acquired taste and I soon sold mine.

Chris
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