35mm body to supplement MF equip. What are you using?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by r s, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. r s

    r s

    My old 35mm system is dead and I'm looking to get another one to
    supplement my Hasselblad when it is just not practical to bring it.
    I'm drawn to fairly manual cameas and I've been thinking about the
    Canonet QL17 G-III.

    1) Does anyone else have one and what do you think about it?

    2) Out of PURE curiosity - what other 35mm systems are you MF users
    keeping around? Is it all Leicas?

  2. Canon A-1 and Canon EOS Elan
  3. A Pentax MZ5 and a MZ5n; smc pentax 28-70 4.0AF, 28 3.5, 35 2.0, 40 2.8m, 50 1.4m, 100 2.8m, 200 4.0m, 70-200 4.0A.
    I like the way the camera handles - and the manual focus lenses are all very nice to work with.
    Sometimes I dream about a rangefinder (yes, a Leica), but the Rollei 6008i has been enough for the last few months.
  4. After a faltering start and initial experiences, I've grown very fond of a Hexar Silver. Once some of the unique controls are mastered, it's a very capable little rig that produces some solid, predictable results. I had one of the Canon QL's you mentioned and it was a nice little camera, too. I had a Minolta Hi-Matic E and Konica S-3 that were a bit better optically than the Canon but the Minolta was bit over-automated for me. Proper batteries aren't always easy to locate on some of the good old rangefinders, either.
  5. Richard
    When I started using a Hasselblad, I gave my old faithfull Nikon FE to my wife. Generous of me? No, I just wanted to make sure it was still around if I needed it.
  6. QL17 G-III is a great camera, but fairly limited with its non-interchangeable lens and the PX625 mercury battery. I have the older original Canonet and it's fun to shoot with after you get used to the film advance lever.
    Another vote for Canon A1, which is not much bigger than QL17. Mine has been a workhorse for the past 10 years. Very lightweight for what it does. Its basic 50mm/f1.8 lens is pretty sharp and contrasty and can compete with Leica's. Or, you can use the Zeiss/Pentacon/Pentax/Zenitar M42 lenses on it with a cheap M42/FD adapter from Adorama - camera meters in stopdown mode. I love the quality of pictures that Zenitar 16mm gives me (bought it for $100 brand new). I have also been using this camera with a laser-cut 50mm/f181 pinhole ($40 from Adorama). Canon T70 is also a very nice little camera.

    Other option is the Voigtlander Bessa series. Or if you still want to shoot medium format, Voigtlander Perkeo II (6x6) folding camera. It's pocket sized.
  7. Nikon F3 manual focus 35mm
  8. Nikon F3 for telephoto and close up. Leica M6 for wide angle and travel.
  9. I'm a Canon guy and you will not see me saying A1...*IF* I was looking for an older manual workhouse camera it would clearly be Olympus OM series, the 1 to 4ti are all very well built and small! Great lenses, reasonably priced but not as common as the K mount, FD mount or whatever the Nikons are. IOf I bought Canon it would be a much bigger F1n or the best manual focus 35mm ever built (I'm trolling for the bottem feeders here) the T90.
  10. Like you, my old Nikon 801 body died before I ever got my Hasselblad last year. Since then, I have not had much temptation to replace the 801 with another 35mm film camera. For those that love the 6x6 square image, it is tough to consider downsizing again to 35mm. However, trying to get my kids on film with the Hasselblad, is not always possible, and there are times you just don't want to drag a heavy backpack with your MF gear.

    I briefly considered the Contax T3 for a pocketable 35mm, but the price turned me off. (I have seen some nice fine art pix taken with a T3). Ideally, I would love to see a digital T3 (with the same fixed Zeiss lens) with a 5 or 6 MP sensor. I guess it will be interesting to watch some of the new pocketable 5 MP digital cameras in the next 6-12 months, which might be an alternative. Lastly, there were pre-PMA rumors about a small Nikon RF camera that could take F mount lenses. That would be sweet, or a Nikon version of an SLR that was similar in size to the Pentax *ist.
  11. Hi Richard--I use a Minolta Maxxum 7. Its incredible viewfinder and meter complement my RB67 well (I often bring both of them along). I do most of my serious work on 6x7, but the Minolta just feels so perfect in my hands. No Leica, unfortunately.
  12. A old F1 Canon with 28mm 50 85mm 200mm and winder. I found it all cheap.I like manual also.
  13. Nikon F with the waist level finder that has also the retractable lupe for critical focusing and a M4 .
  14. Olympus OM.
  15. I still use 35 mm cameras quite a bit. I perfer rangefinders unless the job dictates an SLR, for example for macro or copy work.

    OM-1 My first “good” camera and still a handy little manual camera. (the 50 mm f 3.5 macro is a superb lens)
    Leica M6
    Leica M3 One of my favorite machines of any kind.

    Joe Stephenson
  16. Leicaflex SL and SL2--- Simple, dependable, bright finder, spot metered, hand built and solid. David Muench used to use an SL2 and may still.
  17. leica m3 and nikon f3
  18. Nikon F3 or F4 (not F4s). Twenty-two years with my F3, and twelve years with my F4...not one single problem after many times around the world, in all kinds of conditions. The overwhelming "cameras of choice" for the world's photo-journalists.

    I also am crazy about my Mamiya 645AFD, although were I going to Iraq, I would take the Nikons.

    Good luck!

  19. I presume that when you say supplement MF gear, you mean as
    a serious camera and not a P&S.

    An interesting consideration for you may be a Contax N camera.
    The AF Ziess T* N lenses offer one touch manual focusing and
    have aperture rings so you can go "old fashioned manual" if you
    so choose. But the kicker is that you can use your Hasselblad
    lenses ( C or F ) on the N cameras via a Hasselblad branded

    I use a N1, with the 35mm N lenses, any of my Hasselbad
    lenses, and all of my Contax 645 lenses (which retain all AE and
    AF functions).
  20. Leica M, Leica R and Leica LTM.

  21. I have just two 35mm cameras left now ... Rollei 35S (well, I have four of them) and a Voigtlânder Vito B. The Rollei 35S is a joy to have in your bag for when you want a superb lens and manual control.

    All my other small format work has pretty much disappeared ... I use a digital camera most of the time when I'm not shooting the Hasselblad.

  22. Olympus OM-1's and Zuiko primes. Leica CL.
  23. Back in the late 70's I ended up getting rid of my Mamiya C330 system for Hasselblad. I found that other than finer grain I was getting better sharper pictures with my M series Leicas than I was with the Mamiya lenses. The Zeiss lenses on the 'blad could finally show off the advantages of the 6x6 format. With today's improved films, both B&W and color negative, I seldom use the 'blad and just mostly shoot the M Leicas. The optics are superb!
  24. I USED TO:

    have Hasselblad, complemented by either Olympus stylus (zoom), or the wonderful Ricoh GR1. I could not possibly justify lugging around 2 complete camera systems and lenses - a good P/S does the job well indeed.


    I use a digital camera (Sony F717) complemented by the Fuji GSW 690. Wow, what a combo!!!
  25. syd


    To supplement my Rb67 Pro-S I've got a Contax 139Q with a 50mm prime, a 24mm prime and a 28-135mm Tele-Zoom.

  26. Nikon Nikkormat.
  27. Olympus OM.

    I use the Om4Ti as a spot meter for medium format when I am not using incident metering with a hand held meter.

    Has multispot metering and is accurate. It isn't manual, but is 'fairly manual' as you put it! I carry it with a 90mm macro which I use for detail/macro.

    Not cheap and now discontinued, RIP.
  28. OM1 plus 24mm, 40mm, 100mm, seldom used now. Rollei B35 and Zeiss Ikon Ikonta (35mm) folder for snowboarding.
  29. Leica M Series, Contax SLR and Rollei 35 is what I use in 35mm. All have their uses and are of similar build quality and feeling as the usual MF stuff and not overautomated. The Olympus 35 RC/RD/SP is another nice 'low cost' option like the Canonet and Minolta Hi-Matic series.
    The new Contax N as someone mentioned already above might be interesting since you can buy the Contax MF lenses for the 645 and use them for the N-series. Which keeps the investment for another MF system (Contax) low.
  30. I use a Canon EOS1 (PDB) together with my P67. Superb combo. Only use standardlens with both systems (90 and 50mm).
  31. I'd think twice about the Canonet: retro fashion statements are one thing, practicality is another.I find the ergonomics of the small Nikon MF bodies like the FE-FM series to be near-perfect.The current FM3A shares this chassis--a very sweet camera.
  32. Nikon F3 and Minolta X-700
  33. I use EOS (1V) for long IS tele and bells-and-whistles AF, and digital (D60). Otherwise I use Leica M. I've still got a nice early Nikon F outfit, and used to have Leica reflex equipment, but IMO aside from the high-tech or digital reasons for EOS, and the size and no mirror-slap of the Leica, there's no reason for me to use 35mm in place of my Hasselblads.
  34. 1. Yes; I use it more often than I use my Mamiya C330f. It's an outstanding and very versatile system; I have lenses from 16mm fisheye to 300mm telephoto.

    2. Minolta X-500 and X-570. But some of the lens designs (16mm fisheye, for example) are the same as Leica lenses, as Minolta made quite a few Leica lenses, so I guess it's close to a Leica.
  35. I use a Minolta XD-5 and XD-11 for 35mm backup but almost never use them--I use my E-10 for events, family, product shots used below 8 x 10 and notepad uses, a Mamiya Universal and Super 23 for more critical work. My medium format system has enough redundancy as to not need backup, the 35mm is really backup for the E-10 (and I suppose a backup for my lightmeter too, as the Mamiyas are meterless.) About all I shoot regularly in 35mm these days is my Zorki + 12mm Voigtlander.
  36. For travel, I carry a 500cm/2 lenses and a contaxG /2 lenses.

    For photography near the road, I carry a pentax 67 system (2 bodies and 3 lenses) and a nikon system (2 motorized bodies and about 6 lenses). Yes I know I have too many cameras, but I worked hard for 40 years and I deserve it.
  37. I use both Contax G kit and classic rangefinders to supplement my Rolleiflex, but I'm assuming your choice of the Canonet means you are trying to keep your costs down. Other posters have mentioned other cameras, so I'll answer your question directly:

    I have two Canonet GIII's. I must really enjoy them because I'm on my second pair. I buy them cheap, have a good tech perform a CLA (especially the finder, which gets real hazy), replace the foam seals, make the adjustment to use environmentally non-mercury batteries, and put on a Hama rectangular lens hood using a 48 to 49 step up ring (49mm Screw-In Plastic Wide Angle Lens Hood with Cap $17.00 at B&H).

    Seems like a lot work for cheap cameras, but film and processing involve more time and money in the long run.

    These are great cameras for photographing WTO protest riots, hiking, wading in the surf, etc.: things you can do with this affordable camera that give you great pictures and reduce your fear of dropping the M6 and Summicron in the Pacific Ocean, or getting it snatched by an anarchist. My first two have died from 1) a long fall from a cliff when a williwaw (wind) blew the tripod over and 2) a swim in the Pacific from a sneaker wave. I use them as either back up bodies for my other cameras or in rough conditions. When I carry two, I load one with fast film, one with slow film.

    The Canonet can flash synch at all shutter speeds with any auto-flash, uses a standard hot shoe and has a flash synch terminal. You can use a handheld meter and manually set the shutter speed and aperture. The Hama hood vignettes in the finder a little, but kills flare AND makes the exposed metering cell become much more accurate (heck, more people should use lens hoods on zooms and primes, period). This camera is not bad for flare without a hood, but edge contrast improves with a hood. I use hoods on my Zeiss lenses. Rubber collapsible hoods will intrude on rangefinders.

    Very sharp, excellent color contrast, back ground blur is OK although F2-8 can have strange background highlights with pinpoint light sources (follow this link for an example of Christmas lights in the back ground):


    Other inexpensive rangefinder cameras mentioned like the Olympus and Minoltas are nice, but I've just settled on the Canonets because I have a good source for them. Downsides to the Canonets are fixed lens, Canonet stuck shutter syndrome, and the shutter speed adjusted by stiff ring on the lens barrel. The meter bar in the finder can get lost in some lighting conditions.

    I also like my later Agfa Karat 36 with Tessar-clone lens, but they're harder to find, have bellows, no meter, and no hot-shoe. I like the Yashica Electro GSN (cheaper than the Black GTN) but you can't manually set aperture and shutter speed. The "electro" shutter is stepless and the metering works very, very well. But it is bigger than a Canonet so for less weight and smaller size you could use a small SLR body, so no advantage there.
  38. Canon FX,TX,AE1,A1,F1,F1n,T70,T90 and lenses ranging from 24mm to 400mm. I have only recently got into medium format (over the last 50 years out of nearly 30 years as an enthusiast). I tend to use medium & large format for most of my work but will carry a small 35mm set up if I am walking long distances or over difficult ground. I restrict my enlargements to 8x12 issues to keep the quality as high as I can.


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