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04-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #31
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For the GSN, check out the yashica guy
Yashica Electro 35 & Rangefinder camera user Homepage
His battery adapter is excellent
Here's a GSN next to a Konica S2



These are large cameras, just so you know, larger than most Pentax SLRs, but they are excellent to shoot - you can't really go wrong with most of these monsters from the time. With the ones that don't have an easy battery situation - e.g. the Konica above - the simple solution is to set the camera ISO (there! I wrote ISO instead of ASA!) lower in compensation. E.g. I set the Konica to 100 for 400 film, and it works fine.

04-08-2011, 05:46 PM   #32
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I have and use.

Yaschica lynx 5000- Solid and great camera with shutter speed up to 1/1000th sec. Which can be important depending on film speed if you don't carry an ND filter. It used a mercury battery though so you have to trick it by setting your iso a stop and a half from your desired iso . This sounds more problematic than it is. I always used this method anyways since I rarely shot film at box speed anyway. The meter is quite accurate but does not see through the lens so you need to adjust accordingly for filters. Flash syncs at ALL speeds which can be GREAT. Nice bright viewfinder.

Fujica V2 SOLID Chunk of a camera. But very tempemental about the linkage that sets the aperature. It must occasionaly be reattached. Not difficult if you have the correct tools but not for the timid either. Very nice lens and SUPERB viewfinder.

Kodak Retina iia Tiny but solid and heavy truly a work of art with build quality that NOTHING built today even coms close to. I have Modern Remington rifles with poorer craftmanship. It has the two best meters ever developed. The hand held one you carry along to shoot velvia slides with and the fast and accurate enough one you shoot B&W film with aka SUNNY 16. Meaning it has no built in meter. That is NOT a drawback. It keeps it tiny and handy with a GREAT lens. It has a very small viewfinder but it is easy to use and very accurate . Ditch the neverready case and throw it in a jacket pocket . I do love this one ! NO Batteries .

Lots of cheap options out there. The best ones are the ones you use. I'll be honest though. I also have an old Pentax H3v/ SV which is about the same size as the Fujica and the Yaschica that is also has wonderful craftmanship. Mirror slap does rear it's head at about 1/30th sec for me with a fast 50. YMMV Whereas any of my rangefinders I can use until 1/15 sec most of the time. Doesn't sound like much of a difference until it creeps up on you.

Eric
04-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #33
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So, these things are larger than a typical SLR?
I kinda remember Rangefinders as being somewhat slimmer and compact?
That link to the Yashica guy is really useful if ever I decide on the Yashica.
I have to decide too whether to get an interchangeable lens..baaaddd idea 'coz of LBA..again! ..or just a fixed lens..which would be better to curb LBA.
04-08-2011, 06:13 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
So, these things are larger than a typical SLR?
I kinda remember Rangefinders as being somewhat slimmer and compact?
That link to the Yashica guy is really useful if ever I decide on the Yashica.
I have to decide too whether to get an interchangeable lens..baaaddd idea 'coz of LBA..again! ..or just a fixed lens..which would be better to curb LBA.
I would not say larger than typical slr. But larger than a pentax MX or H3v/SV. Thats if your asking of the Yaschicas. I find them quicker to use than an slr though. Quicker to focus and meter for me YMMV. But they are not compact like some others.

Eric

04-08-2011, 06:40 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
So, these things are larger than a typical SLR?
I kinda remember Rangefinders as being somewhat slimmer and compact?
My Leica M's are about the same size of my Pentax MX's. The Leicas are taller but because it lacks a mirror-box, they are thinner. What makes the rangefinder kit more compact are the lenses. In general, rangefinder lenses are more compact than SLR lenses.

Here's a post from RFF that demonstrates that:
Rangefinderforum.com - View Single Post - Zeiss Biogon vs Distagon image quality comparison
04-08-2011, 07:31 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
The bessa’s are wonderful. they may not be quite ‘Leica’ quality, but considering I can get a brand new body and lens for less than a used M3, its a heck of a kit. and that 1:1 viewfinder is superb. even better in my opinion than the MX viewfinder, and that things is one of the best you could ever use.
So when are we going to start seeing shots with the Bessa on the film shot thread? I will likely get a R2a with the 40/1.4 at some point, but that step will probably involve liquidation of most of the other rangefinder stuff. Too many cameras, too little time to shoot with them all!


Steve
04-08-2011, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
My head is spinning now from all the suggestions..too much for me to handle I guess and I haven't even gone to the battery issues like, can the batteries still be found or do they have replacements like LR44's or such?
I'm looking at the Yashica Electro GSN and I kinda like the way it looks and price seems to be affordable (for me)..and it can take LR44's which are plentifully available.
The other brands and models I still have to check and see what suits my tastes best.
The Olympus XA looks a bit like "Instamatic" cameras rather than the typical Rangefinder build (metal).
Rio-Rico's post is too much for my head..hehe..He's got too much cameras I guess!
The battery issue can be addressed in several ways:
  • Have a shop bias the meter circuit to use the higher voltage from modern silver cells (leave the alkalines at the drug store)
  • Buy a C.R.I.S or Yashica Guy adapter
  • Wire a diode into the meter circuit yourself
  • Buy Jon Goodman's three-spot adapter for use with hearing aid batteries (limited life once activated, but much cheaper than the similar Wein cell)
  • Wein cells
Don't let the looks of the XA fool you. It is plenty tough and hardly in the same league as an Instamatic (or even a Minox for that matter ). Although there are plenty of plastic parts, the XA chassis is metal and the camera has a quality feel. I was shooting with mine today. (Yes, I have too many rangefinder cameras.) That being said, it is a little small for my big hands so I tend to prefer my other cameras unless I need something pocketable.

Your vote for the Electro 35 GSN is a good one. The Yashica glass is excellent and the cameras are robust (except for the pad of death (POD) issue...look it up...).


Steve
04-08-2011, 07:55 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by erkie Quote
Meaning it has no built in meter.
The meters on both my Lynx (1000 and 5000) are a little flaky. Instead I carry a very compact Vivitar CdS meter that slide onto the accessory shoe if needed. The cool thing is that the Viv meter takes modern batteries! Here is a link to my guest post on Hin's blog regarding the Viv meter:

Hin's Tech Corner: Newest, Most Favorite Gadget: Compact Exposure Meters
It truly is a great little meter and at less than $20, was a lot easier on my pocketbook than a new VCII!


Steve

04-08-2011, 08:20 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
So, these things are larger than a typical SLR?
Size is highly variable with rangefinder cameras in much the same way as with SLRs. An Electro 35 GSN is larger than the typical Pentax compact SLR and similar in dimensions to the non-compact models. The Olympus XA, Rollei 35, and Minox are quite small. A Ricoh 500G is very compact and smaller than any compact SLR. Folding cameras taking 120 roll film are often VERY compact in the sense of pocketability (the film is shorter and has a smaller diameter as a result). Leica M are not particularly small and neither are my Canon P or Kiev 4A, though both look fairly svelte when placed next to my KX or Mamiya 1000 DTL. Screw mount Leica and their clones are quite petite. (I guess I should upload a photo for comparison...)


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-08-2011 at 09:01 PM.
04-08-2011, 10:19 PM   #40
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The Incredible Shrinking Film Box!

In regards to relative rangefinder size, here is my collection arrayed with a few SLR bodies for your viewing pleasure:

Small

Left to Right: Olympus XA, Pentax Super Program, FED-2


Medium

Left to Right: Kiev 4A, Pentax KX, Canon P


Larger

Left to Right: Zorki 4K, Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL, Yashica Lynx 5000


Please excuse the lighting, framing, perspective and scaling. I added the film box to give an indication of scale, but it is not particularly affective in that role.

A few comments:
  • The Olympus is the smallest camera I own outside of my phone cam
  • While the Super Program is not the smallest Pentax 35mm SLR, it is pretty close and is too small for my hands except when shooting in program mode.
  • The Mamiya is the largest 35mm camera I own and while it is not as hunky as a Topcon Super D, it is still a substantial piece of camera
  • The KX has almost identical dimensions to a Spotmatic
  • The Canon P is about the same dimensions as a M-body Leica of the same vintage (1961)
  • The Canon P with Jupiter-8 50/2 weighs about half as much as the KX with Pentax-K 55/1.8
  • It is hard to judge from these photos how much deeper the SLRs are when compared to the rangefinders. There really is a significant difference and that difference affects handling.
  • The interchangeable lens models are shown with a lens similar in size to what would have shipped with the camera
  • Note the lack of strap lugs on the Zorki...I am thinking of re-skinning it with Griptac


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-08-2011 at 10:25 PM.
04-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #41
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Again please...From the Top:

This time with constant frame, shooting distance, and subject position:

Small From Top

Olympus XA vs. Pentax Super Program


Medium From Top

Canon P vs. Pentax KX


Large From Top

Yashica Lynx 5000 vs. Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL


Better?


Steve
04-09-2011, 03:06 AM   #42
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Some great info here!
I have been using a very old Yashica J rangefinder - completely manual and fairly limiting with 1/300th max shutter speed and a fixed 40mm 2.8 lens, but it is great fun to use - and the shutter is so damn quite, half the time it has me questioning if it is working properly!
I am currently trying to work out how to get hold of a Zeiss Ikon range finder, and some of their glass - after having a play with one recently it is now at the top of my photographic equipment wish list
04-09-2011, 01:09 PM   #43
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On topic, the only rangefinder I've ever used was the Yashica Lynx 14, and I must say I just didn't like it -- was already spoiled by TTL. So I'll take myself out of the discussion.

But I hope I can go just a little tangentially off-topic. Namely:

Is that an auxiliary rangefinder on the Asahiflex?
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04-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
Is that an auxiliary rangefinder on the Asahiflex?
No, its a viewfinder.
04-09-2011, 01:40 PM   #45
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^Ah, a reverse-Galilean viewfinder. Beyond composition help, I really must wonder what the point of having it there is.
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