Gear Talk > Third Party Manufacturers

New to Rangefinders....


Leopard Lupus:
Hello folks!

I am currently looking to "test the waters" in the rangefinder field... My budget is currently ~ $2000, as I don't know if this will be something I enjoy as much as I do digital and Canon 35mm film, and can't rationalize a M9 at the moment.

What would a recommendation for a basic body and lens be? I've seen the Voigtlander Bessa-R4M, allowing for about the remain $1200 to go towards a solid lens.

Any suggestions?

dr croubie:

They're both Leica ripoffs, throw in a few rolls of film + processing and you're maybe set back $100.
If you get a nice one in decent working order then you can always keep it and upgrade to a Leica lens for the other $1900...

Leopard Lupus:
Thank you, this is exactly what I'm looking for!

Have you considered going medium format with a Mamiya 7 or Mamiya 6?  Or one of the fuji's (eg GSW670 / GSW 690)?  While a little bigger than 35mm rangefinders, their size isn't that daunting.  And it will give you something a bit different to your current set up.  Most of these will come in well under budget.  The Mamiya 7 could be under budget depending on the lenses you want.

If you're not too sure if a rangefinder is for you, maybe start off with something fun.  A Canonet QL17 won't break the bank and will give you some retro coolness.  (Plus, maybe they'll increase in value when Canon releases a 40th anniversary FF digital version later this year?)  Until recently, I had a Yashica Electro 35 GSN.  This is a great little camera, too.  There are a lot of different fixed lens 35mm rangefinders around and they can all produce stunning photos.

You don't specify that you want a film rangefinder. If not, consider the Fuji X100. Not a true rangefinder, but an amazing camera that I definately enjoy.

EDIT: Just checked your profile and see that you prefer film - so feel free to ignore my opinion. On the other hand, using the X100 is a joy, so if you might consider digital, consider the X100.


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