Rangefinder, under £60

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by sd_woods, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. I, not long ago, settled upon the Olympus 35RD, £58 including postage and packaging. It arrived, the shutter was stuck and the seller refunded me. That was that, but what wasn't just "that", is what I was instead going to buy, and as the price seems to have gone up I can't just buy another one, so I'm stuck. I don't feel like paying more than £60 unless you can really persuade me to.
    I thought I'd ask you lot, you've helped every time I've asked before.
    And I'm sorry about the category, I've never posted in this forum before, and none of them quite fitted.
  2. Odhran, I'm in the same boat. I have loved these little RFs since they came out, but at that much money, you'd figure they should work. If I did find one for £60, most fleabayers won't guarantee they work, or claim they don't know how to test them. I figure another £90 for CLA and it might be usable. I've tracked a hundred auctions and the cameras are just going for too much money. It's left me wondering why Canon or someone doesn't reproduce them with the original Cosina stamps. Maybe not enough profit.
  3. Hi Odhran
    There are several makes and choices within the parameters of rangefinder and £60.
    Olympus made quite a few cameras - 35RC and 35RD are well though of.
    Canon did a whole range of cameras - QL17 (40? mm f/1.7 and pretty superb!), QL19 (45mm f/1.9), QL28 (42? mm f/2.8) which would fit.
    Since you quote a price in quid, I'm assuming that you are UK based? Keep an eye on camera shops and charity shops as well as Ebay. A shop gives you the chance to inspect the camera and hopefully avoid the dogs....
  4. I second the motion about charity shops. I work for one here in Oz and we get some nice old cameras here and there. Once we even got a lovely Nikon SLR with 50mm f/1.2! I don't know what charities you have up there apart from the Salvation Army but if we get nice stuff down here I'm sure you can find at least as good up there. People who go to England always say good things about markets there so I'm sure you'll find something.
  5. I used to have the 35RC. It is a great compact rangefinder. I have read that shutter sticking problems are common with the 35RD because of the shutter/lens design, but not such a problem with the 35RC. I recommend you try that model. Of course, all these cameras are now over 30 years old, so make sure you get one in tip top condition.
  6. I've just picked up a Ricoh 500G for well under your budget. It is similar in size, has shutter priority and manual modes, and works without a battery in manual mode too (although no metering). The camera is nice to use, and seems to have a reasonably decent lens (40mm f2.8). There is the slightly later 500GX too, which has (IIRC) a multi-exposure option.
    These usually go for quite a bit less than the Olympus 35 Rx series. You should bank on having to replace the foam light seals, but that is an easy enough job.
  7. The 35RD is a comparative rarity, because of the fast lens. It was more expensive when new, so fewer were sold. The 35RC is much more common, should be obtainable within your budget, and is a very nice little camera. It may feel like second best if you were hankering after a 35RD, but it is a very good and well respected camera.
  8. This is me doing rangefinder on the cheap, but a friend of mine said to forget about cheap ones and just go for a near pro level one that'll still do me just fine 15 years down the line. I have my mind set on getting one with a lense of F/2 or faster, and that Contax G1 with its 45mm F/2 Planar is pretty enticing up there... Any thoughts?
  9. Unless you are stuck on buying Olympus you could try the Yashica GSN model. It is a larger camera with a very sharp lens.
  10. Don't rule out the Russian rangefinders, Zorki 4, Fed 2 etc. I have one of each, both in as new condition cosmetically. The Fed 2 is in as new condition mechanically too, but the Zorki needs a service as it has a slow shutter. I bought a brand new Industar 61LD lens from Moscow delivered to my home in London for £20 incl shipping! Fitted to my Fed 2 this likely competes well with anything costing 10 or 20 times as much, no problem. They are also an absolute pleasure to use versus the older Leicas, such as the Leica III I previously owned. Anyway, make of it what you wish, but here is a link including an image from thesetup I described above:
  11. Any of those rangefinders you would particularly recommend, David? I'm only buying one after all. Lense recommendations would be greatly appreciated too.
  12. I have just bought a Zorki 4k for £59.97, including postage(from effin' Russia no less). Thank you all for your help. I have picked.
  13. The Zorki 4K isn't a bad choice. A very useable RF.
    Actually, I have had good luck with FSU cameras, except for the Kiev Contax knockoffs. I've bought several of them and never got one that worked correctly.
  14. Any ideas on lenses for it, Jim? It's got a Jupiter-8 on it now. I prefer wide angles.
  15. Odran, regarding lenses, 50mm lenses, there are really only two options in my opinion - the Jupiter8 (50mm F2) and the Industar 61LD (55mm F2.8). The Industar has a reputation for being razor sharp. They are often sold on Ebay brand new as I mentioned in my post above. I have owned three Jupiter 8's and they are pretty good, but condition can vary greatly so beware. I would happily purchase the Industar again, in fact I nearly ordered 2 or 3 at the time, just in case of quality issues but in the end opted for one and its a winner.
    The FED 2 would probably be my choice again, although the Zorki4 (and 4k) are also very nice. The rangefinder contrast on my Fed2 is superior to that of my Zorki4 and every Zorki I have tried out (admittedly only about 5) has had poor contrast making focussing more difficult than it needs to be. But, there is a fantastic trick to increase the rangefinder contrast. It takes 5 minutes and costs nothing and you require no technical skill to do it...... mmmm!
    I would suggest trawling Ebay for a Fed 2 and Industar 61LD (separately) and this combo should cost you more than £50-60 absolute max.
  16. Odhran, congrats on your Zorki 4k! In case you need it serviced, here is one of the renowned experts:
  17. I almost did look up the Fed-2 there, but I must resist the urge to become a collector, I must.. What was that you were saying about contrast? Do tell, David.
  18. I got a little carried away when I spotted a semi-working Olympus 35 RC on the 'Bay, auto exposure broken, manual works perfectly and a free light meter thrown in anyway.. £31. Not bad methinks.
  19. Here is the contrast enhancement trick:

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