Compact 35mm Cameras

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by stuart_templeton, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. MINOX 35, the most compact, the quietest, the best steamline. My EL works like a charm since 1979.
    Fiddlefye likes this.
  2. There are, and were, many great little 35 mm. cameras, but when I was shooting a lot of film, the one I almost always used the most, and always kept one of handy, was the Olympus XA2. The XA is in some ways a superior camera, being a true rangefinder with a manual option, while the XA2 is automatic and zone focusing. But the XA2 is sharp, and quiet, and always ready. I got really good pictures with mine, including backups when I would be using a more serious camera, but figured just in case I'd grab one with it. A great street shooting camera.
  3. The Olympus 35RD or 35DC models are great, with a superb 1.7 lens, if you can get one with a working leaf shutter.
    ] likes this.
  4. For just knocking, around I have a Yashica T4 Super or for light and quality work, a Contax T3.
    There was a time when ALL 35mm cameras were considered "miniature"
    mrjallen likes this.
  5. I still have my Olympus XA2. And it still takes fairly good pictures. It went on many backpacking trips with me when I was younger.
  6. I have had many "compact film cameras", but I think the compact digital cameras are more compact. For example, I often used the Coolpix 3100 with only one hand. Well, but the compact film cameras are usually more valuable, and I sold them right away after I serviced them (at my best) because they don't satisfy my requirements but I could sell them very fast at a high price. My favorite compact film camera was my Agfa Isola I because at least it satisfied my basic requirements Simple + Fully manual
    Focus manually by scale.
    Mike Gammill, LMar and frankmercer like this.
  7. I used an Olympus Stylus for years. Great lens. Compact weather resistant clamshell design.
    I wore that one out.
    LMar likes this.
  8. SCL


    I've always been fascinated by the ultra-expensive Tessina, since seeing one in the 1950s and realizing it was a 35mm camera, not an 8 or 16mm subminiature. Never got my hands on one though. I do keep an OLY XA in my car. I tried the Minox 35 EL, and it did just fine, but I never really loved it.
  9. Have seen quite a few Contax T series P&S cameras on the big online auction site lately. I don't remember them fetching the huge prices people seem to be asking now, some upwards of $1,500. They must be the greatest point and shoot ever if someone is willing to pay those kind of prices!
  10. AJG


    Those are asking prices, not completed sales. I think there are a lot of sellers on eBay that expect buyers to have more money than brains and common sense.
    kmac likes this.
  11. A little out of the mainstream idea but a Pentax MX with a pancake lens makes a great compact 35 mm.
    AJG likes this.
  12. I dunno about that. Just search completed sales for the Contax T3. There are at least 12 that recently sold for $1,500 +. That's crazy if you ask me.
  13. AJG


    I can think of a lot of cameras I would buy for that kind of money before I would buy a Contax T3.
    jason_withers likes this.
  14. It’s a full blown YouTube EBay photoconspiracy..........
    jason_withers likes this.
  15. For battery independence and lens interchangeability it's hard to beat a Pentax MX with its 40mm f 2.8. If some automation is wanted pair this lens with the Pentax ME Super. Both are heavy for their size but still fit a jacket pocket. A lighter, but less rugged alternative is the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 with the Carl Zeiss 45mm f 2.8.
    nice fit for jacket pocket, batteries only needed for metering
    frankmercer likes this.
  16. The Tessina uses a special cassette, meaning you need to always load your own. The image size is not standard full-frame or half-frame, but is 14mmx21mm.

    So- Tiny, beautifully made- but "not standard". I recently picked up the accessories required to load the cassettes.

    No where near as tiny as the Tessina, but I picked up a Minolta AL-E. About the same size as the Canonet QL17 GIII.
  17. I sold a black 'double teeth' T3 for £1150 (which is close to your $1500) a couple of years back, making a very tidy profit on a camera I had for a fortnight and didn't really warm to. As it was boxed and in good shape I'm pretty sure I could get significantly more for it today... Wish I had another to sell!
  18. I like to use a Contax 139 & 45 or an OM-4T & 40mm f/2 for this too - indeed I've gotten rid of the likes of my 35SP as it's almost as bulky yet I can also carry a small wide or telephoto (e.g. OM 21mm f/3.5) in a jacket pocket.
  19. I found this little gem recently at a yard sale. Paid $5 for it. Slow speeds are sticky, but for that price, I reckon I can afford a CLA.

    rollei 35 te 2a.jpg
  20. I just like the solid feel of the Rollei 35. Bought one the first day offered for sale at MiniCam in NYC. Been using ever since without a problem. Have extra wrist straps because a strap is essential to hold camera steady. Adapter for Leitz e39 filters is a useful accessory. I’ve successfully taken pictures of printed signs at 1/4 sec. Olympus XA has a great design and so far mine has held up. Have no complaints about lens. Minox 35 cameras have great lens, great design, but like the family 1953 Studebaker, suffer from poor build quality. I bought several but just not dependable. I also like the Contax T3. Bought mine new but I wouldn’t buy a used one...too expensive without warranty. Moving up in size, I like my Retina folding cameras and Contessa folder. The film advance-shutter cocking mechanism is the weak spot for Retinas. With Contessa film advance and shutter cocking are done separately.
    The Contax is great for traveling light. The Rollei, Retinas and Contax are well built machines.

Share This Page