Looking for a film Rangfinder, very confused what to haunt for; help!

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by noorozeki, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. To clarify, the ME had limited manual function.....
  2. The thing that many of these "really small" cameras seemed to lack in the old days was EITHER the rangefinder OR a meter. If it doesn't have a rangefinder, then despite the appearance, it's not a rangefinder, right? If it doesn't have a meter, there are workarounds (such as the Voigtlander clip on meter) but that is expensive and works against fitting in a pocket. I was never successful at guessing exposure reliably OR in guessing range. Yes I can scale focus, especially with a really wideangle lens, but I'm usually not satisfied with the sharpness.
    Moving On likes this.
  3. The thing about those small Pentax cameras is that they had a meter.
    The MX with all mechanical works.
    The battery only powered the meter.
    The little Gossen Pilot 2 I have works well so far with the S3 and neither need batteries.
    But I’ve not shot E6 through it yet.....
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  4. AJG


    I used 4 of these very heavily for commercial work of almost 15 years with only 1 repair needed. When I finally wore them out I moved on to Pentax LX bodies, 2 of which I still have. The LED meter readout can get a bit erratic on these, but otherwise I found them to be almost bullet proof with great viewfinders that put most DSLRs to shame.
  5. I'll say. Like no manual mode at all. Had to get the ME Super if you wanted that.
  6. When I was still a neophyte at photography, I bought a Canon IVSb rangefinder and realized that I needed a meter, not feeling confident with my skills at estimating exposure. So I bought a tiny little Sekonic that got the job done. There are other very small meters that are quite good, like the cool old Zeiss Ikophot. What I'm getting at is they take up essentially no room, thus are easy to transport. Now, as for range focusing, I've always had good luck with it because I pay attention to a lens's hyperfocal scale, and I use it. When outdoors, if my subject is distant enough, I'll typically set the lens to f/8 and set the far 8 at infinity, then just ensure that the near 8 is closer than the subject. This has always worked well for me.
    carbon_dragon likes this.
  7. It did have a fixed 100 shutter speed or you could do time exposures with the bulb setting.....
  8. Ah, but was the meter engaged at either of those settings? I don't remember anymore. I had an ME for a while many years ago and just didn't care for it since I couldn't set shutter speeds.
  9. The MX with the Pentax 40mm f 2.8 pancake lens is one of the most pocketable (at least jacket pocket) SLR's around. ME and ME Super as well. Not quite as compact, but lighter is the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 fitted with Carl Zeiss 45mm f 2.8
    I don't have a photo on this computer of my MX and 40mm but here's a couple of contenders:
    Yashica with match diode metering
    Another possibility
    Konica TCX with Hexanon 40mm f 1.8
    These two cameras the the Pentax MX accept easily available batteries. The Konica offers shutter priority plus manual.
  10. Back on the rangefinder trail. I'm about to send this lovely little camera off for a CLA and it occurred to me that it might fit the bill. It's the Minolta Minoltina "S", with an excellent 40mm Rokkor QF f/1.8 lens and a Seiko-SV shutter with speeds to 1/500th. It has a coupled selenium exposure meter with read-out on the deck, and a bright rangefinder coupled to unit focusing. It takes very good photographs, indeed.


    Minolta Minoltina S Pnet.jpg
  11. Methinks that’s what the OP is looking for.....
  12. There are metering apps that run on smartphones. They are perfectly fine for negative film, but I tend to use a spot meter for slides.
  13. I totally agree with Rick.
    The Olympus XA has an excellent lens, is reliable and should be well within your price range.
  14. I have bought way too many cameras, including some popular rangefinders, from Goodwill auctions.
    Picking them up at the store saves on shipping, though it might not be all that much for many
    good rangefinders.

    I have a Canon P, FED 2, and Zorki V, at low enough prices that I wouldn't feel so
    bad if one didn't work. The rangefinder calibration on the Zorki is pretty far off, and
    I haven't tried at all to fix it, but otherwise it seems to work fine.

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