Film Rangefinder advice needed (cross-post on mu43)

pharaviel

Regular
Jul 16, 2012
Reggio Emilia, Italy
Daniele Frizzi
Hello SeriousCompacts guys (and gals). I'm trying to launch a little project in the photoclub I'm into.
We have 2 35mm enlargers, lots of expired ilford paper and I would like to buy rangefinder cameras for experimenting with some young members and print our images. Enlarger and paper works fine, I printed something of my own but I wanted to use and to teach a more "basic", old feel camera than my F4 and F90 Nikons.

So...I'm open to suggestion about this kind of cameras. 35mm only because our enlargers can't be used for 120 rolls.

I would like to buy 2-3 cameras. I would like fixed lenses rf or interchangable lenses rf (in this case I would grab three different lenses so we can exchange them). CHEAP is the key, I don't think they would pay more than 50EUR each camera (I could spend 150-200 for mine).

Any experience or advice you can give to me?

Thanks :thumbsup:

Daniele Frizzi

Ps: I'm eyeing a Fed 2 and a fed 3 at 70-80EUR shipped...
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
Well for interchangeable lens rf you won't easily find much else apart from the soviet cameras for that sort of money :)
There are many many different fixed lens rf ... Yashica Canon Olympus and so on. The yashicas are rather big for small hands though.

I have a Ricoh 500g which is small neat and can be got for maybe EUR40. There were many versions of it made under different brands .
You'll need to watch out for light seal problems ... Remembering that these are 40 - 60 year old cameras that might not have been used for 20 so ... lenses might be hazy and shutters running slow. Rangefinders aren't always very good on these cameras though - the patches can be small and faint and difficult to use
Fedka on eBay has a good reputation for soviet cameras.
 
D

dixeyk

Guest
There are couple of fixed lens RF cameras that generally get overlooked by collectors and can be had pretty cheaply. I'd suggest Konica Auto S and Auto S2 and Minolta 7s and 9. Between the two I'd say the Minoltas are a bit more full featured and for whatever reason sell for next to nothing. They all use the now outlawed mercury battery but you can buy battery adapters on eBay and use silver oxide hearing aid batteries to get the right voltage (it's for the light meter). You can also use Wein cells but they're more expensive. I like these cameras also because they are a bit larger in size and have nice big, bright rangefinders.
 

Isoterica

Hall of Famer
Dec 6, 2011
The feds or zorki's are probably the best bang for the buck if you want interchangeable lenses. If you want a pop icon, an argus c3, c3, matchmatic [they call it the Brick and depending on your fellow camera persons ages, they might get a kick out of the camera being used in Harry Potter].. they have swappable lenses too. Camera's are pretty cheap, lenses a bit more. For fixed lens I have the Yashica GSN which is fun.. heard good about the Canonette Jock speaks of as well. And as Paul said, Fedka has had good reviews and makes sure all the cameras are shooters etc, but might be more money. You could always contact the guy.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
Kodak 111c. Great folding compact camera. German rangefinder, German lens. Adapter lenses available.

These cameras will rival any film camera including Leica.
There are other models but this one is a gem.
Don
 

pharaviel

Regular
Jul 16, 2012
Reggio Emilia, Italy
Daniele Frizzi
Well for interchangeable lens rf you won't easily find much else apart from the soviet cameras for that sort of money :)
There are many many different fixed lens rf ... Yashica Canon Olympus and so on. The yashicas are rather big for small hands though.

I have a Ricoh 500g which is small neat and can be got for maybe EUR40. There were many versions of it made under different brands .
You'll need to watch out for light seal problems ... Remembering that these are 40 - 60 year old cameras that might not have been used for 20 so ... lenses might be hazy and shutters running slow. Rangefinders aren't always very good on these cameras though - the patches can be small and faint and difficult to use
Fedka on eBay has a good reputation for soviet cameras.
Thanks for the tip!

There are couple of fixed lens RF cameras that generally get overlooked by collectors and can be had pretty cheaply. I'd suggest Konica Auto S and Auto S2 and Minolta 7s and 9. Between the two I'd say the Minoltas are a bit more full featured and for whatever reason sell for next to nothing. They all use the now outlawed mercury battery but you can buy battery adapters on eBay and use silver oxide hearing aid batteries to get the right voltage (it's for the light meter). You can also use Wein cells but they're more expensive. I like these cameras also because they are a bit larger in size and have nice big, bright rangefinders.
Thanks for the tip on the minolta camera! I just pulled the trigger on that!

Years ago, I had a Cannonette (sp?) QL 17 that I liked a lot. Very fast lens, fixed focal length rangefinder.

I don't do film anymore.

Cheers, Jock
Thanks for your tip!

The feds or zorki's are probably the best bang for the buck if you want interchangeable lenses. If you want a pop icon, an argus c3, c3, matchmatic [they call it the Brick and depending on your fellow camera persons ages, they might get a kick out of the camera being used in Harry Potter].. they have swappable lenses too. Camera's are pretty cheap, lenses a bit more. For fixed lens I have the Yashica GSN which is fun.. heard good about the Canonette Jock speaks of as well. And as Paul said, Fedka has had good reviews and makes sure all the cameras are shooters etc, but might be more money. You could always contact the guy.
Thanks you! The argus camera has a wonderful look! :)

Kodak 111c. Great folding compact camera. German rangefinder, German lens. Adapter lenses available.

These cameras will rival any film camera including Leica.
There are other models but this one is a gem.
Don
I'll take a look! there always space for more equipment :)


Well... I decided after some reading to pull the trigger and risk some money on this: eBay Italia - Aste online e shopping a prezzo fisso
The one I like the most is the Hi Matic 7s and I stumbled on this lot while searching for one to buy here in Italy. The cheapest one was 60 for the camera +10 for s&h, and I spent 69 on the lot (add 14 euros for taxes I'm going to pay to italian post). I just hope a couple of that cameras are in nice working order and I'll be happy. Maybe sell some of the unused one :)
 

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