Leica Point And Shoot 35mm Film

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Movie has experienced a bit of a resurgence in the by decade and we’ve seen a proliferation of never-earlier-made film stocks and fifty-fifty brought some back from the dead. Merely if yous want to get started in film photography now, yous’ll need a camera. And so where should you start?

Every bit a life-long, gorging shooter of film — from 35mm to 4×5 and experience with thousands of photographic camera models — I have created this guide to point out some of the best 35mm photographic camera models at various prices.

Each pick is based on user experience and, naturally, my personal preferences. There are plainly hundreds, if non thousands, of options that others may adopt. So, before yous inquire “what about such and such?” please keep in listen that I probably already considered it, I probably love the camera, and my decision to choose something else isn’t a slight against it, but for the sake of this guide, some choices had to be made.

We’ll exist looking at iii categories: 35mm SLR Cameras, 35mm Compact Cameras, and 35mm Rangefinder Cameras. Within each of those, they are broken downward into 4 pricing brackets: Ultra-Deal, Bargain, Mid-Range, and Premium.

While used cameras tin come from a variety of sources, quality can vary. In our stance, the best U.S.-based sources for vintage cameras are Robert’s Camera (UsedPhotoPro) in Indianapolis, Indiana, and KEH Camera in Smyrna, Georgia. Both offer 6-month warranties and gratuitous shipping on a bulk of products.

At a Glance

The Best 35mm Picture show SLRs

Ultra-Bargain SLR: Yashica FX-103 Program

Image by KEH Camera

This is one of my favorite subconscious gems of the film world and tin routinely be establish with a Yashica 50mm lens for $100 or less. It uses the Contax Yashica (C/Y) bayonet mount, which means it can utilize all of the
extremely excellent
Contax Zeiss lenses, many of which still hold their ain fifty-fifty on high-resolution digital cameras. In fact, some of the lenses were then adept that their designs be to this day in the Zeiss Archetype and subsequently the Zeiss Milvus series.

The FX-103 Program has four modes: P (Programme), HP (High-Speed Program), A (Discontinuity Priority), and M (Transmission). That’s far more than most cameras in this cost range, plus information technology has an unusually extensive ASA range from 12 to 3200. There actually isn’t anything to mutter about here.

Similar alternatives include the Yashica FX-three and Yashica FX-3 Super 2000.

The Best Bargain SLR: Minolta 10-570 or 10-700

Image from Robert’s Camera

In that location are a number of great options I considered here: Nikon FE, Nikon FM, Pentax K2, or MX, but ultimately settled on Minolta because the X-570 was one of my outset cameras and they’re powerhouses — loaded with features, and compared to the Nikons or Pentaxes, the glass is a great deal more affordable. The X-700 has Plan, Discontinuity Priority, and Transmission modes; the X-570 lacks Plan, which is honestly not a style I ever use with 35mm cameras anyhow. Otherwise, the bodies and features are virtually identical.

There are a plethora of keen Minolta lenses available at very reasonable prices; there is also the renowned 58mm f/1.2 Rokkor which is a nice chunk of drinking glass that produces nice, dreamy images wide-open up. Fifty-fifty that lens can exist establish at a modest cost. Your regular 50mm f/1.viii or 50mm f/1.seven Minolta lenses are clay cheap, and 50mm f/1.4 or 55mm f/1.4 lenses are incredibly affordable as well.

Make certain to bank check compatibility between lens types (Md versus MC) if you intend to use the Ten-700’s program motorcar style (MC lenses are discontinuity priority or manual but).

Robert’s Camera is rarely without several X-700 bodies in stock.

The Best Mid-Range SLR: Nikon F3 / F3HP

Image by James P. Fisher, Creative Eatables

The Nikon F3 is one of the finest cameras ever made. It is nil brusque of perfect; it has a rock-solid build, amazing ergonomics, and is one of the nearly dependable cameras I’ve ever come up across.

The F3 is, unsurprisingly, the successor to the legendary Nikon F2, just now with a congenital-in low-cal meter (no clunky finder necessary) and aperture-priority automation. Like Nikon’south FE/FE2/FA models, the F3 has an electronically controlled shutter, then it will not function without batteries. On a personal note, in my experience with thousands of cameras, there is no correlation regarding longevity or reliability and whether the camera is mechanical or electronic.

The F3HP is simply the F3 with a high-eyepoint finder (very nice for those of united states who wear glasses). Since the finders are interchangeable, a regular F3 can become an F3HP by swapping in the DE-3 finder, and an F3HP can use i of the many other finders available – including the bones DE-2 finder. There’southward even a (very cool) waist level finder available (DW-3). Focusing screens are also easily interchangeable.

The Best Premium SLR: Canon EOS-1V or Nikon F6

Image by Christopher Kesting | Creative Commons

I was tempted to put the Nikon F2 Titan hither, simply I set bated my personal bias that sees the Titan as my “white whale” of cameras to instead choose non one, simply 2 of the all-time (and final) 35mm cameras e’er made. Why two? Because they are both fantabulous, “tin’t-go-wrong” options and the merely thing that separates them is the lenses — if you already take EF mount lenses, you should go with the Canon and if yous accept F-mount glass, you lot should cull the Nikon.

The Canon EOS-1V, released in 2000, was the fifth generation of Canon’s superlative-of-the-line professional person series which started with the F-1. Capable of an astonishing 10 frames per second, it was the fastest moving-mirror flick camera ever fabricated at the time — only fixed pellicle mirror cameras like the Nikon F3H, capable of xiii frames per second when used with the MN-2 battery, were faster.

With v metering modes — evaluative, spot, center spot, fractional, multi-spot, and focusing point-linked spot — and 45 zone TTL (through the lens) phase detection autofocus, the EOS-1V was a powerhouse piece of applied science. It can utilize any Canon EF lens fabricated since the introduction of the mount in 1987, though you may encounter issues with various third-political party lenses. Nigh, however, piece of work simply fine. So capable and tech-filled was the EOS-1V, Canon would keep to manufacture it for another 18 years until they ended production of all non-digital bodies in 2018.

Image by Nikon

The Nikon F6 — unsurprisingly the sixth model in Nikon’s highest tier of professional models that began with the Nikon F in 1959 — was released in 2004, supplanting the also fantabulous Nikon F5. While the F5 sported an integrated vertical grip, Nikon opted for a smaller, traditional body (with optional vertical grip) in the F6 — a blueprint choice I personally prefer over the F5 for its versatility, smaller footprint, and 225-gram weight deviation.

The F6 is fully compatible, including metering, with almost all F-mount lenses since 1977. Non-AI lenses — unless they have been modified — and the newer E series lenses with an electronically controlled aperture are non compatible, and as with the Canon, you may encounter issues with some third-political party lenses. Similar all Nikon autofocus SLRs (and DSLRs), the F6’s crowning achievements were its remarkable focus tracking abilities via the Multi-CAM 2000 autofocus sensor module and its 3D Colour Matrix metering way. Like the Canon, the F6 would remain in product for over a decade until its discontinuation in 2020, at which time information technology was the last remaining film SLR nonetheless being manufactured.

The Best 35mm Film Compact Cameras

The Best Ultra-Bargain Compact Film Photographic camera: Minox 35 GL or GT

Image from Robert’due south Photographic camera

These lilliputian fellas are such gems. They’re possibly the smallest 35mm camera ever made (I believe that was the visitor’s merits at the time), though others come shut. It is by no means perfect — the exposure control is limited, the movie advance can be finicky (likely due to how tiny and cramped everything is), it’due south zone focus only, and the leaf shutter is prone to failure at a higher rate than others.

No camera ever made is more than deserving of the adjective “discreet” than these cameras. Zone focus simply and the limitation of aperture-priority only metering system ways you lot really only need to raise the camera to your centre for framing. The leafage shutter and manual film advance mean you’ll never hear the photographic camera in action unless you lot happen to be lonely in a padded isolation room.

There were 18 models released over 24 years, from 1974 to 1998, starting with the Minox 35 EL. Bated from the fixed focus Minox 35 AL, all models were fitted with i of two Tessar-type lenses — the 35/2.8 Color Minotar and the later 35/2.viii MC Minoxar. While the Minox 35 GT-10 or GT-S may be the all-time of them all, the earlier GL and GT — both of which can be identified by their orange shutter release button — are the best value options. I also have a personal preference for the Colour Minotar over the MC Minoxar.

The only deviation between the two is the improver of an electronic cocky-timer in the GT, equally well equally the relocation of the cablevision release socket to a position less probable to issue in accidental triggering.

Best Deal Compact Film Camera: Olympus XA series

Photo by Ashley Pomeroy | Creative Eatables

The Minox 35 is just about the only discreet, pocketable 35mm camera out there that comes in at an affordable price. Designed by Yoshihisa Maitani, main camera designer of Olympus Optical Co Ltd. and the man behind the Pen, OM, and mju serial of cameras, the Olympus XA line comprised five distinct models.

The kickoff model, the Olympus XA, is a tiny rangefinder-coupled, aperture-priority (with +ane.5 backlight compensation) meaty fitted with a sterling six-element 35/2.8 F.Zuiko lens and a leaf shutter up to 1/500 of a second. The following model, the XA1, is a fixed-focus point and shoot with a 35mm f/four lens, programmed automobile exposure, limited film speed settings of ASA 100 and 400, and maximum 1/250th of a 2nd shutter. The XA2 uses a four-element Tessar variant 35/3.5 D.Zuiko lens, leaf shutter up to 1/750th of a second, programmed auto exposure, ASA from 25 to 800, and a iii-position zone focus mechanism.

The XA3 retained identical features as the XA2 but added automatic DX coding, ASA 1600 support, and the backlight bounty feature from the original XA. Finally, the XA4 pivoted to a new five-element 28mm f/3.5 Zuiko “macro” lens, programmed automobile exposure, maximum 1/750th shutter speed, and a new scale focus mechanism. Unlike the XA2 and XA3, which only gave users the choice of one of 3 focus positions (one.2-i.8m, 1.8m-6.3m, and 6.3m to infinity), the XA4’south sliding scale allowed for incremental positioning anywhere between infinity and the camera’s 0.3m minimum focus distance.

All of the Olympus XA models remain quite affordable and can normally exist found for under $200. Your choice will depend on the features y’all want. The faster 35/2.eight lens and rangefinder coupling of the original XA, forth with aperture priority, allows for a flake more versatility and command compared to the XA2 and XA3. It as well commands the highest prices of the bunch. If yous prefer a wider 28mm lens, the XA4 is the way to get. The XA1, in my opinion, is a poor selection with no articulate benefits — but many deficiencies — over the other models.

The Best Mid-Range Compact Film Photographic camera: Rollei 35S

Photo by Janne Moren | Artistic Eatables

In 1966, DHW Fototechnik — successor of Franke & Heidecke of Rolleiflex and Rolleicord fame — introduced the Rollei 35 at Photokina. The photographic camera — at the fourth dimension the smallest 35mm ever fabricated — was designed by Heinz Waaske, chief design engineer of Wirgin, and featured a somewhat odd, boxy design with a battery-powered CdS light meter and a fantastic, collapsible Carl Zeiss Tessar 40mm f/three.v lens. Later models transitioned to a xl/3.5 Rollei-HFT Tessar lens and marked “Made past Rollei,” but the eyes are identical to the original Zeiss. Furthermore, from 1972 to 1973, some Rollei 35 cameras featured a 40/three.v Due south-Xenar lens made by Schneider.

Because of the Rollei 35’s success, in 1967 a college-finish variant was planned for market, but due to the production’s shift from Germany to Singapore, it would be a number of years before it saw an audience. Somewhen, the Rollei 35S — now the well-nigh desirable of Rollei 35 models — debuted with a new, faster 40mm f/2.8 Zeiss-designed and licensed Sonnar lens. Like the Tessar, focus was controlled via a ring at the end of the lens, while the aperture and shutter speed were set via dials positioned to the right and left of the lens, respectively.

Every bit with all Rollei 35 models, the Rollei 35S featured a large, bright viewfinder without focusing aids, which meant the camera was, like the Minox 35, zone focus only with a match needle metering system. While the design of the camera — from its left-handed shutter advance to its quirky controls — tin can be off-putting to some, at that place’due south a lot of logic (and charm) that begins to click in one case you utilise the camera. Shutter speed, discontinuity, and lite meter values tin be easily seen and adjusted while looking down at the photographic camera and the quality of the Zeiss-designed 40mm Sonnar lens speaks for itself.

The Best Premium Meaty Motion picture Photographic camera: Konica Hexar AF or Nikon 28/35Ti

Photo past Matt Williams

I’thousand including two options here because they are both exceptional and about the same price, yet i or the other may better suit your personal preferences.

At that place are a lot of options when it comes to premium compacts and plenty of other articles written almost them. I admittedly dearest the Nikon Ti serial (in either 28mm or 35mm flavors): they’re fitted with utterly fantastic lenses and the — at first odd and potentially off-putting — dials on top are i of my favorite points of design in
any
camera. They’re the merely autofocus point-and-shoot camera I can think of that allows you to see your aperture, exposure bounty, focus distance, and the number of exposures remaining without raising it to your eye. Shutter speed, however, is merely displayed in the viewfinder.

Nikon 35Ti Superlative Display | Photo by Matt Williams

My personal choice favorite, notwithstanding, is the Hexar AF because it’southward the but autofocus, auto-advance point and shoot that is quiet enough (unbelievably so, in this case) for me to describe it equally inconspicuous. The Nikons, the Minolta TC-ane, the Contax T2/T3 — all are fantastic cameras with elevation-notch optics, only they’re stripped of discretion by their loud, whirring film advance motors.

The Hexar AF is a bit larger than others due to its significantly larger (and magnificent) lens, but none of these cameras will comfortably fit in a jeans pocket or shirt pocket anyway. Later you lot cantankerous that point, the differences go academic in my opinion — all of them will do only fine in a jacket pocket or dangling from a wrist or neck strap. Yet still, the Hexar is undeniably larger, however, the weight is similar to the others because of their titanium-bodied construction.

Photograph by KEH Photographic camera

The Hexar as well excels in several other means due to its larger structure: there is actually a slight grip rather than the flat-fronted, boxy designs of the others, and the viewfinder is of significantly higher magnification — closer to an actual rangefinder than a betoken and shoot. Many compacts have (let’s confront information technology) abysmal viewfinders, with the Leica Minilux being a especially notable offender. This is an inherent merchandise-off in render for their atomic size.

Of course, if size is a priority, the Nikons, with their smaller bodies and fully retractable lenses, are going to win out. Y’all absolutely won’t lose anything to the Hexar in terms of sheer epitome quality — though the Hexar’s lens is a full terminate faster — and there’s i notable advantage in favor of the Nikons: matrix metering.

Get-go introduced in the Nikon FA and later the F4, Nikon created what is today the most ordinarily used exposure mode. Other cameras of the time had a spot or middle-weighted meter, which can be tricky to use under some circumstances. Matrix metering (also known as evaluative, multi, et cetera) uses a microprocessor to analyze a scene, compare it to like scenes in its library of reckoner knowledge, and choose an exposure based on what it believes is best for that scenario. Taken for granted today, it was incredibly remarkable engineering science when offset introduced and simply improved over time.

The All-time 35mm Moving-picture show Rangefinder Cameras

The Best Ultra-Bargain Rangefinder Photographic camera: Canon P / Canon 7

Image from Robert’s Photographic camera

When we think of rangefinders, our first thoughts drift to those of Leica and Zeiss Ikon, the two primeval and most highly regarded rangefinder camera manufacturers. But the marketplace landscape, particularly in the 1950s, looked quite a flake different — numerous Japanese manufacturers offered options more attainable to those without deep pockets. Nippon Kogaku (afterwards Nikon), Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko (later Minolta), Tanaka Kogaku, Showa Kogaku — there was no shortage of options, many of which used Leica’s M39 thread mount.

The first rangefinder to hit the market place from the Canon Camera Visitor was the Hansa Canon in 1936, which was fitted with a Nikkor bayonet focusing mount. At the fourth dimension, Canon did not have the ways to manufacturer its own lenses, then it turned to Nihon Kogaku (Nikon) for help. This cooperation continued for about a decade until Canon began manufacturing its own Serenar branded lenses. In 1952, the company released the Canon IIIA with its standard Leica M39 pitch thread; subsequent Catechism lenses were at present compatible on Leica thread mount bodies.

Leica’due south release of the revolutionary M3 in 1954 presented a claiming for other manufacturers — its huge, bright viewfinder, simpler picture show loading, and move from a picture show advance knob to a lever winder all made for a significantly improved user experience. Canon responded with the Canon VT in 1956, simply it wasn’t until the release of the Canon P (often referred to as the “Populaire”) in 1958 that the company saw truly huge success.

The Canon P bundled already existing features from other companies — the integrated rangefinder/viewfinder and non-rotating shutter speed dial from Contax, the lever accelerate from Leica, the huge one:1 viewfinder from Nikon to name a few — and presented them in an affordable and very dependable trunk. There were also some improvements: a hinged door, which would eventually become the standard photographic camera design, 35mm framelines and parallax correction in the viewfinder, and metallic shutter curtains, preventing burning.

The result was the nigh pop camera the visitor had ever made with nearly twice as many sales every bit any previous model.

Iii years later, Canon would release the Canon 7, whose biggest blueprint change was the addition of a selenium exposure meter into the camera’due south height. The Catechism vii was also coupled (both literally and figuratively) with the fastest lens ever fabricated at the fourth dimension: the Canon “Dreamer” 50mm f/0.95.

Both the Catechism P and Canon 7 are very desirable rangefinder options, with a plethora of affordable M39 lenses to choose from. The Catechism P, despite being the less avant-garde of the 2, commands higher prices, but can often be plant for under $225, though prices have been on the rise. A working Canon seven can be sourced for under $150, though if yous intend to use the light meter, exist sure to cheque its accuracy as selenium meters often didn’t stand the test of fourth dimension.

The Best Bargain Rangefinder Camera: Contax G1

Image by Den Dowling | Creative Eatables

Contax, again pioneering some of the nigh innovative engineering science, surprised the camera world in 1994 when it released an
autofocus rangefinder. That camera was the G1 — a titanium-clad body with electronically controlled exposure, autofocus, and rangefinder system. Lenses are screw-driven via an in-body motor that turns a pin on the lens mountain, driving the helicoid dorsum and forth.

Unlike every other rangefinder camera to that point (and since then), the viewfinder field-of-view changes depending on the lens being used. Instead of relying on a small-scale box in the center of the finder for a 90mm lens, for instance, the viewfinder “zooms” to fill up the unabridged frame. No matter your chosen focal length, the unabridged viewfinder will exist used.

None of this itself is a reason to add it to your pocketbook, but the lenses are what clinch the deal. Similar most Contax lenses, One thousand-mountain drinking glass was made past Carl Zeiss, and they are some of the visitor’s finest work. Ranging from a 16mm Hologon to a 90mm Sonnar, all of the lenses are optical works of art. In my stance, the two.viii/ninety Sonnar and 2/45 Planar stand out as the crown jewels.

The 90 Sonnar tin can be constitute for very reasonable prices and is a must-have lens for any G1 or G2 owner. It likewise adapts easily to almost mirrorless systems as well — though due to the lack of a focus ring on G lenses, focus must be controlled by a ring on the adapter, which is not as bad as it sounds in exercise. I recommend either the Metabones or the Fotodiox Pro, with an edge to the Metabones. At that place are even autofocus adapters available — the Techart TZG-01 for Nikon Z mount and the Shoten GTE adapter for Sony East mount. The 28mm and wider lenses don’t perform besides on most digital bodies, just the 45 and ninety lenses sing.

If you search for Contax G1 bodies, you lot may notice some described equally “green label.” These are updated versions with modified ROM and will accept a literal dark-green label inside where the film canister sits. The upgrade allows these bodies to apply the 21mm and 35mm lenses (regular G1’south can simply use the 16mm, 28mm, 45mm, and 90mm lenses). Only the G2 can use the 35-70mm zoom, which happens to be the only rangefinder zoom lens ever made.

The All-time Mid-Range Rangefinder Photographic camera: Minolta CLE

Photo past Matt Williams

When it comes to rangefinders, the Minolta CLE is one of the best deals on the marketplace.

Its predecessor, the Leica CL (sometimes labeled “Leitz Minolta CL”), was designed in concert with Minolta and released in 1973. Unlike many other M-mount rangefinders, the CL has framelines for 40mm lenses in add-on to 50 and 90mm. Leica and Minolta designed and released the Leica xl/2 Summicron with the camera as well as the Leica Elmar-C ninety/4.

Like the M5 that was released one twelvemonth prior, the CL uses a CdS meter on a pivoting arm in forepart of the shutter that drops down just before the moment of exposure. Considering of this, certain lenses cannot exist mounted without damaging the arm: those with excessively protruding rear elements (often super wide-bending) and some collapsible lenses (which tin can be used if you don’t fully collapse them).

Seven years later, Minolta introduced the very similar Minolta CLE — one of the most advanced rangefinders of its time due to the inclusion of aperture-priority autoexposure (something Leica wouldn’t attain until the release of the M7 decades later). Unlike the CL, the CLE utilized a silicon photodiode meter that measured the calorie-free reflected off the unique spotted patterning of the shutter drape — protruding rear elements or collapsible lenses were no longer an outcome.

The CLE also added a frame line for 28mm lenses in addition to 40 and 90mm lenses — the erstwhile was paired with the release of Minolta’due south new M-Rokkor 28/2.8. Minolta as well released the M-Rokkor 40/2 and M-Rokkor xc/4 — identical to the previous Leica versions optically, though the Leica variants are single coated, while the Minoltas are multi-coated.

The Minolta CLE is non only superior to the Leica CL by every metric, just commonly, not much more expensive, and the Thousand-Rokkor lenses are decidedly cheaper than their (single-coated) Leica counterparts.

The All-time Premium Rangefinder Photographic camera: Leica M4-two or M4-P

Image from Leica

At that place are legitimate reasons to choose just nigh any Leica rangefinder here — the M3, M2, M4, M5, M6, M7, Thousand-A, and MP are all worthy for their own reasons. The M3 may be my personal favorite because of my love for 50mm lenses and that gorgeous, brilliant 0.91x viewfinder. But if I had to pick the best all-arounder, it would exist either the M4-2 or M4-P.

The production of the Leica M4 stopped in 1972 and its successor, the Leica M5, was released to a very lukewarm reception and poor sales. Ironically, the M5 has risen in value more than any other model over the past few years — information technology has at least doubled in iv or five years. In response to the M5’due south market place failure, Leica restarted production of the M4, and in 1977 released the M4-two using a streamlined production process. The M4-2 saw the cold shoe swapped for a hot shoe, the removal of the self-timer, and motor drive compatibility. Like the M4, information technology had framelines for 35/50/90/135mm lenses with a 0.72 magnification viewfinder.

4 years later the M4-P was launched, which added framelines for 28/75mm lenses and the trademark Leica red dot on the front of the camera.

While the later M6 and M7 cameras were fitted with a built-in lite meter, they also come at a significantly higher cost and the M7 is entirely dependent on its electronics. For me, the M4-2 and M4-P hit the sweet spot of versatility, build quality, aesthetics, and price. If you lot prefer chrome over black, you’ll take better luck with the original M4, though — most M4-2 and M4-P bodies are blackness.



Prototype credits: Header photo by Mia Domenico.

Source: https://petapixel.com/best-35mm-film-cameras/