Paul Lewis1664881697 Posted March 16, 2017 Share Posted March 16, 2017 I wouldn't have thought this with us losing film stocks at the rate we were a few years ago, but I think it's time (I hope it's time) for a manufacturer to produce a new high quality compact fixed-lens camera. My reasoning? Read this article first about the current state of the film industry. It's very comprehensive and informative: https://www.zorkiphoto.co.uk/2017/02/2017-the-year-that-film-returned/ Right now, the only 35mm cameras that are available new are the Nikon F6 and FM10, Leica M7, Voigtlander Bessa, and then a bunch of sub-standard toy cameras. There are obviously a ton of used 35mm compacts on the market of varying quality. If one wants a 35mm compact, it could be found at a thrift store, flea market, etc. The vast majority of these cameras are of dubious quality, questionable funcitonality due to age of electronics, and are going to be mostly automatic. There has been a big demand over the past decade for compacts with manual functionality and high quality lenses and it has increased significantly over the past few years. Here are some examples and their correponding price ranges on eBay: Contax T, T2, T3 (Zeiss lenses) $400 - $1000 Rollei 35s (Zeiss lens) $100 - $300 Ricoh GR series (Zeiss lenses) $400 - $800 Yashica T4 $300 - $500 (Zeiss lens) and then there are some recent cameras that sell above new price and are very desirable now: Fujifilm Natura S $500 - $1000 Fujifilm Klasse W $500 - $1000 These are just a few examples. It is clear that pros, serious amateurs, students, and young amateurs are seeking out these cameras based on the talk that I have seen in photography forums and blogs. The demand is so high for these cameras right now that even though the prominent electronic issues of the Ricoh GR series (which cannot be repaired easily or by the manufacturer) are overlooked for the chance (gamble) that a good one can be found that will last..... at $500+ a pop. I think it's obvious that there is a market right now for a high quality compact camera. What should be the functionality and form of this camera? Here are my thoughts: 1. Fast, high-quality, fixed, wide-angle lens. The Zeiss T* Sonnar 38mm / f2.8 would be a great choice, and is an extremely popular choice on used cameras. Perhaps a 28mm would be even better based on the popularity of that focal length on M mount rangefinders. This is the critical component... this is the feature that has people clamoring for compact cameras. 2. Manual ISO. This is an under-discussed issue that is becoming crucial based on the loss of fast films. We've lost multiple 400 speed films over the past decade. Most color films are 50 or 100ASA and it's important for a camera to have auto-iso to enable push processing. 3. Manual Aperture. One frustration that people have with the older cameras mentioned above is the difficult or non-existent ability to manually adjust aperture. If you say it can't be done on a small camera, look at the Contax T, which is one of the smallest 35mm cameras every created (which has a manual aperture and manual iso on a Zeiss 38mm lens!). 4. Aperture Priority. A feature used by many street photographers. 5. TTL Flash 6. Large viewfinder that displays shutter speed. 7. Metering. While center weighted metering is a must, a matrix meter like that of the Nikon 35ti would be fantastic. 8. Tough metal body. Regarding focus, which is better? The Leica crowd shoots manual focus on the street by default. Everyone expect auto-focus on a compact, but zone focusing or manual focusing ensures that you won't miss a shot based on hunting auto-focus or auto-focus that samples on the wrong area. Price point. This is clearly a $750 - $1200 camera. If the camera were reliable, produced by a well-known and trusted manufacturer and was created with high-quality components, I don't think there would be price resistance. I think everyone looking to buy one of these used compacts would give this strong consideration. I'm looking forward to your feedback! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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