Small and light?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by exposed|1, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. I may be looking for something that is not made and just in my dreams. I have been using a Nikon fm2n and 20mm 2.8D for most of my film work and love the results. I use this for hiking and am looking for a camera that is smaller, can fit in a small case, have the option for all manual or full auto. Interchangeable lens is not needed so fixed lens is great.
    I have been a film user for almost 40 years, shooting and printing. Digital is great for the small amount of client jobs, but film is still the choice for me. I have been a Nikon and Hasselblad shooter for most of my life but I am open to any brand.
    What do you think?
  2. Well how a about a small fixed lens rangefinder. The Olympus 35RC has shutter priority automation and full manual. Lens
    is a 42mm f2.8. Shutter is 1/15 to 1/500 sec plus B.
  3. My choice for small and light is the Rollei 35. Tessar or Sonnar lens, it doesn't make a difference to me. Both are beautiful.
  4. You might want to look in the Leica forum, which contains threads such as this.
  5. The obvious choice would be an Olympus XA. The Zuiko 2.8 lens should not disappoint.
  6. I'd second the XA. The Rollei 35 is fun, but not nearly as practical for day to day use as the XA, which has a rangefinder and uses modern batteries, and can be thrown into a pocket or pack without an added case.
    If you're willing to carry a bit more size, and fuss with battery substitutions, the Olympus 35 RC is very nice, and so is the Sears 35RF /Ricoh 500G, a surprisingly nice little camera, with a sharp lens and a crisp rangefinder.
  7. Nikon 35Ti, if you can find one.
    If you can't, let me know. I still have one, but have been reluctant to part with it. :)
  8. Contax Aria is pretty small and light, and has the four usual exposure modes. The Zeiss lens options in your focal range are the 18mm f/4 Distagon and the 21mm f/2.8 Distagon.
  9. Just for giggles, an FM2n next to an Olympus 35RC.
    If you are not set on 20mm lenses, the RC's 42mm lens gives one fine sharp image and is quite affordable. Manual and auto-aperture exposure.
    Some limits, but quite a fun camera. Only bummer, it uses replacements for the mercury battery.
  10. There are some very handy alternatives in the thread Hector suggested. For a cost effective alternative between an SLR and fixed lens compact rangefinder I'd probably go with one of the recent model Bessas.
    The Olympus 35 RC and similar compact fixed lens rangefinders are handy alternatives between SLRs and auto-everything P&S's. But after a few years of alternating between the very same two models shown in Jim's photo, there are occasions when I regret selling my Olympus OM kit.
    The 35 RC can be a bit awkward for some folks who prefer to meter for most or all photos. The rangefinder is good but not great, not easy to see in dim lighting and demands precise eye alignment. As much as I enjoy using the 35 RC, I must admit the Canonet GIII QL17 was more convenient.
    The FM2N is quick and easy to use for anyone accustomed to all-manual operation. The red LED meter display is easy to see in any light, including very dim spaces and at night. The standard K screen is bright and crisp enough for almost any scenario. But the body is not as compact as the OM bodies and the smallest Nikkors with the 52mm filter thread won't easily fit the same small bags - Lowepro Off Trail 1 and Beseler canteen bag - I used easily with the OM-1 and 49mm filter thread Zuikos.
    Since Randy specified both manual and auto exposure, I'd suggest an OM-2N or one of the OM-4 versions. If you don't need flash, the flash shoe is detachable from the OM-2N and can save space and aggravation - no sharp edges to snag inside tight pouches. On the downside, flash shoes for the OM-1 and OM-2 series were pretty dreadful kludges and tend to malfunction and literally fall apart. If flash is a must, especially TTL flash, the OM-4 is a better choice. Paired with a suitable fast wide angle lens, it might offer a good compromise between the FM2N and any of the various compact fixed lens rangefinders from Olympus, Canon, Yashica, etc.
    BTW, regarding those 625 mercury button cells - the 675 zinc air hearing aid batteries work great in the OM-1, 35 RC and every other camera I've owned that originally was designed for the 625 mercury cells. I've never even needed to use an adapter collar, shim or anything else to make the smaller 675 buttons fit. Just carefully adjusting the tension of the leaf spring or coiled spring in the battery compartment was enough to ensure reliable contact.
  11. Les is right, size and weight are both factors.
    Here's a gotcha.
    Ladies and gentlemen ...
    - in the West corner we present the 4x5 Graflex (no rangefinder or film holder included).
    - in the East corner we present the Nikon F4 with the MB-21 battery holder and 50mm F1.8 lens (no batteries or film included).
    The size difference is obviously huge, but which one weighs more?
    Go ahead, take a stab. :eek:)
  12. To my mind an FM with a 20 is small and light. But if you want really small and light, for years my "pocket" camera was a Canonet GIII QL17. Very shap, often called the poor man's Leica, small and light, full manual or shutter priority auto, very bright rangefinder focusing (actually easier to focus than my M3). Unfortunately the gears eventually stripped on mine but you can still find good ones for sale. Have had an Olympus Stylus Epic since then. Strictly a point and shoot with no manual exposure, but does have a spot meter and very sharp lens. Fits in a shirtpocket or pants pocket very easily. Smallest 35mm camera I have ever had. Have shot more family pix with it than all my Nikons put together.
  13. I will go in a completely different direction, and suggest one of the smallest, lightest cameras I have ever used: the Nikon F75. Paired with an AF-D 50/1.8 or AF-D 28/2.8.
    This is truly a tiny combination, that can be carried easily without ever noticing the weight. But it's a full-function modern SLR that feature-wise is as capable as a Nikon F100.
  14. How about a Canon 300x? With a 50/1.8 that should be plasticy enough to be pretty light. Pretty small too. On similar lines, the Pentax *ist is very small. As is the Pentax MX.
  15. Not being around my computer for a bit, have not had a chance to read the answers. The one thing I did forget to say in my post was AF is what I need also. I was looking at the Contax G2 with the 28, 2.8 but weight was the thing. I have decided to go with a Nikon of some kind, like the N75. I have AF Nikon lenses so that should have been a no brainer for me. I have looked at the Olympus XA's but I like to have the option of all manual operation and I think they do not, not sure. But I sure do love the size and weight of them. The older Olympus 35 was another option but guess I wanted a bit newer camera and something to use my Nikon lenses with.
    Thank you for all the options, you all were great!
  16. I have just used the F75 / N75 for shooting during a skiing week-end (minus 10 °C to minus 19 °C !)and I can confirm it's a real joy to use: small, light and with a decent viewfinder as well.
  17. I would also add the N80. It's a baby F100 and is a really nice camera to use. It gets quite a lot of attention in "The Nikon Compendium" and is pretty impressive for its size and price point. I bought my last one for just over $50.
  18. Another vote here for the Nikon F75. Only when you get one do you realise what a great camera it really is. Paired with a 45mm P lens it is so compact yet capable of absolute to class results.
  19. I used to have an F75. It's tiny. Smaller than a D40. Supports all AF lens features. Stick a 50mm 1.8 AF lens on there and you have a fully modern SLR in a very small and light package.
  20. Con tax T2,T3
  21. Contax T2, with Carl Zeiss T* Sonnar 38/28 lens
  22. black titanium body Contax T3, with Carl Zeiss 35mm/28 lens

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