Point and Shoot with manual controls.

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by josephlockley1, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. Hey guys,

    Recently decided to sell my Olympus mju ii (stylus epic) as it kept disappointing me with missed focus on obvious subjects.

    So now I'm in the market for a new point and shoot with some specific requirements:
    1. a sharp, fast lens. preferably around 35-40mm focal length.
    2. some way to see what focus distance the camera is choosing before I shoot, or a manual focus control.
    3. aperture control and aperture priority mode would be amazing also.

    So far I can only think of cameras like the Contax T2/T3 and Leica Minilux, which are unfortunately out of my budget range. Are there any solid alternatives that haven't skyrocketed price-wise?

  2. Minox 35 series. Guesstimate distance. Select a aperture. Camera select shutter-speed. Price from 50 USD. Wonderful 35mm/2.8 lens and very pocketable.
    Or Olymput XA
    Kent T and eskoi.pohjanpalo like this.
  3. The Olympus XA is a great camera with rangefinder manual focus and aperture priority auto exposure. I found used ones tend to have faded rangefinder patch and makes it impossible to use the rangefinder so watch out for that. I found 1 disadvantage of the XA is that you can't use any flash except the built in one and you can do flash with 1 single aperture of f/3.5. But then it's a great compact camera but it's no point and shoot as you can't really do that with it.
  4. Yashica Electro 35 or Canonet 28. Both are aperture priority and manual focus. If you want a shutter priority camera it is hard to beat a Canonet QL 17.
    Kent T likes this.
  5. I think those cameras are a little bigger than the OP wanted. When he said he wanted a Point and Shoot with manual controls it's almost an oxymoron but I understood that he meant small cameras when he said Point and Shoot.
    If size is irrelevant then something like the Nikon F5 can be a Point and Shoot with full manual controls.
  6. Hey guys - Reporting back after getting my hands on an Olympus XA and putting a roll through it. I really don't enjoy trying to manual focus through such a tiny viewfinder, with such an old and dull rangefinder.

    My first attempt at enjoying a point and shoot was an Olympus mju II, but I didn't like having no idea where it's focusing at all. I got way too many photos back from labs to find that it had completely missed focus on the subject.

    I think now I want to try something that is basically exactly the Olympus mju II, but with an indicator that gives me an idea of where the autofocus is deciding to focus. Does something like this exist?
    I'm not familiar with that Olympus.
    What kind of indicator do you mean? - P&Ss tended to have a "AF spot" marking in the centers of their VFs right? i.e.: You focus & recompose with them as oif you were using a RF.

    If you want to see AFing results, get a nice little AF SLR with a matching compact lens. Canon make a 40/2.8 pancake and sold lost of film bodies. - I'd look at a EOS 500. - Was it named "kiss" & "Rebel" elsewhere?

    An AF that evaluates almost the entire framed picture is a pretty new thing. The film cameras I am recalling had maybe 3 AF spots in a line or a cluster of 5 still cramped into the center of the image.
    leo_tam|1 likes this.
  7. What you ask for does not exist in a pocketable format without paying a high price - (what you don't want according to your original post). And even so, those expensive cameras you referred to are not perfect by any means.
    Small digicams and now smartphones have long taken over this segment. If you don't enjoy the quirks, you should maybe consider giving up on film.
    Kent T and don_essedi like this.
  8. The Yashica T2 seems to be almost entirely automatic (like the mju II) but with an autofocus distance indicator in the viewfinder. Right now this is the way I'm leaning - anyone got any other suggestions?
  9. Contax G1 or G2 glorified - point and shoots with a distance scale in the VF. The G1 is better if you want to manually focus. Not cheap of course.
    leo_tam|1 likes this.
  10. The Contaxs and Leica (and their elite bretheren) are called "compacts" rather than the plebian "P&S". They are 'out' because of price. "Fast" for a P&S is usually f/2.8. "Sharp" is a matter of opinion. "35-40"mm usually resolves to 38mm (although 35's are not uncommon, they add to the price).

    The only P&Ss I've owned with focus distance indicators are ones from the 1980s; they have a scale like a scale focuser -- for example Nikon L35AF or Pentax PC35AF. I've never had the Nikon miss focus, but the Pentax would on occasion; both are 35mm f/2.8. I don't recall what kind of auto exposure they use, and neither have exposure controls for the user (except setting ISO).

    What you want reads like a combination of an early 80s P&S and a 1990s one (except the 90s one likely is a zoom), and that may be asking too much, or, put another way, you are describing a "compact". Anyway, if you find one, let us know. I've been looking for years.
  11. There's the Rollei 35 (scale focus), the Kodak Retina 1(scale focus) and II series up to the small C, and the IIIc. Voigtlander Vito folders, the Zeiss-Ikon Contessa folder, just to name some. And there's the Olympus 35 RC. (the latter does not have metering in manual)
  12. If one selects proper aperture and shutter speed almost any manual camera can be "point and shoot".
    Kent T and bobbudding like this.
  13. Before the phone cameras got so good (and they're always with me) I used some of the Canon Powershot (e.g., A1400, S500) models and got good results. Like most not-at-the-bottom-of-the-line P&S cameras. they can be set manually.
  14. When people say P&S and in the case of the OP he really meant compact camera and not P&S.
  15. On a different tack one might try the Olympus XA2, fully auto, zone focusing, with essentially no user input except to change ISO. Orthe nearly identical XA3,which reads Iso from the film can but has exposure compensation. With a fixed 35 mm lens the zone focus is surprisingly good, and so is the exposure program, and the result is a nearly indestructible pocket point and shoot which, with leaf shutter and manual wind is also nearly silent. A great stealth street camera.
  16. I wish they made a M43 like the old Olympus 1/2 frame cameras. 100% manual is fine by me. I gave up on my mini M43's, too hard to adjust.
  17. I have Contax T3, Olympus XA, and Minox 35(several models). As far as design goes, I favor the Minox, but from my experience they are extremely unreliable in the field...all models. I prefer the Olympus, a very discreet camera for my use. The T3 makes a great travel camera, especially in fitted case, since titanium body is a little flashy. All fir nicely in pants pocket.
  18. There's the Minolta TC-1 (AF compact with a 28mm lens and aperture priority). At one time they fetched outrageous prices on used market. I haven't checked lately.
  19. I always found that compact Japanese rangefinders from the 1970's were small enough. But I've never wanted to carry a camera in the front pocket of my jeans, so YMMV.

    Compact 35 Rangefinders
    Olympus RC
    Olympus 35 RD

    You'll either need a battery adapter or short-lived hearing aid batteries because mercury batteries are obsolete. I've been happy with the adapter that I purchased from Frans de Gruijter in The Netherlands. email: battery.adapter@online.nl
    Kent T likes this.

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