I'm biased in my opinion here but I'll have to give the answer as the latest Leica MP. It's 100% manual and mechanical but has a built-in TTL metering system. Built solid as a rock (and weighs like one too!) and has a very silent and smooth rubberised cloth horizontal-run plane shutter.
I've heard of that one and saw a bit on it in the B&H summer catalog. I wasn't sure if the MP replaces the M7---O lost track after the updated M6 something. I doubt I can afford a new one at this time unless I win tomorrow's Super 7 lottery. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.
The MP is a totally different beast from the M7. The MP is a re-introduction of the original MP from the 50s' but with new improved mechanisms. It is roughly based on the old M3... so its effectively a back-to-basics system but using current technologies (like the non-flaring rangefinder units). This different from the M7 which is was the next evolution from the M6TTL. The M7 is a electronically controlled rangefinder with the "new" AUTO feature (aperture-priority).
True that these are expensive but they are built to last a VERY long time!!! I suspect that even my M7 will out-live me!
>Naaa. One's got to be better than the other. > >My guess is the MP's better, right? From what I read from >that Leica link, the MP's more solid and completely manual. >That's a good thing.
The MP and the M7 are equally solid, both have brass top and bottom plates. Later versions of the M7 even incorprate the anti-flaring rangefinders from the MP. THE main difference is the aperture-priority capability... and with me coming from so many years of SLR usage on the "A" mode, its something of a "best of both worlds" for me on the M7.
I see you have Tom's RapidWinder on it. I know Tom from a way back. Nice looking cam. Thanks for the explaination of solidness between the M7 and MP. The last time I looked at Leica rangefinders was when the M6 was the big shot on the block and it didn't feel that solid to me. I'll have to have a look at one and the MP next time I visit the camera shop---that might be tomorrow, if I can find parking.
On second thought, I'd better check a few pawn shops for some older used rangefinders until I come up with the extra cash for a Leica. In-between my shoot tomorrow, I can probably slip out around lunch time and have a go at several of these shops in the area. D_mn! I'm so cheap, but what the heck. (Maybe I'll even find one and buy one---I'll just take my cam short list with me and of course I won't forget my CC.)
Try here for starters http://www.cameraquest.com/index.htm. I just picked up a Yashica MG1 and a Minolta Hi-Matic ES and they were $5.00 each. The batteries cost more. Look up " Cheap and Cheerful" in this forum for samples of what the Yashica can do. Played with the Minolta today and here are 2 samples. The alternative is to go Leica or Voigtlander. I shoot print film so it really makes no difference to me. I also use a Nikon S2 and an old Leica screwmount but they have no built in meter so I have to use a handheld. There is a lot of choice out there. These photos are not the best examples but what do you want for $5.00.
I have never used the ones you listed so can't comment and I think the Canon T90 is an SLR if I am not mistaken. There is also the Hasselblad Xpan http://www.xpan.com/ that is unique and worth considering. If you do a web search there are several sites and forums specifically for rangefinders that have loads of info and opinions. Here is a site for the Canon T90 http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/canont90/ . Have fun finding the rangefinder that is best for you, it is a fun area.
The LX uses the Pentax bayonet mount but I believe you can get an adaptor to mount screw mount lenses on it also. Off on another tangent here also by saying my point in mentioning the cheapy rangefinders was that sometimes there is too much nashing of teeth and wringing of hands over what is the best of anything. There is always pride of ownership that is intangable but if you were looking at travel prints from neg film I doubt that in the real world you would notice a big difference. If you need a lab full of gear just to determine which is best then does it really matter on a practical level. Sorry for the ramble.
Yes, I read about this adaptor. I looked a Pentax SLR, a M something. Well, I'll just keep my eyes open to see what I can spot when I'm out snooping. Pawn shops are always a good bet.
>>>If you need a lab full of gear just to determine which is best then does it really matter on a practical level<<<
It's a hobby. I always wanted the best of everything I was interested in, and now I'm 50 and I still can't shake it.
PS: I made a short list of rangefinders. I'm sure I'll come across one of them sooner or later. The Yashica Lynx 14 seems interesting---I know about the battery thing. Maybe I'll even find an old Electro or one of the Vittorets? Can't recall the spelling. It's an old Voightlander, low end, but before I dropped my old one I took some nice pics with it.
My stable is full of "best" rangefinders. Leica is great (and expensive), but my #1 favorite is an old Nicca 5 (same as Tower 45/46). It's just about an M3 with great build quality. Next favorite is Nicca III. Next is my (owned since new) Nikon S2. Recent CLA by Pete and it's like new. Great camera. My Retina IIIc is fun, and my Mamiya 6 is probably my all-time favorite. So "best" is a tough question to answer. I'm 89 in Feb. and still using film - and loving it. Best is clearly definied by the guy/gal looking through the viewfinder -- if you hand-hold your camera, IMO it's impossible to tell which camera is best.
>My stable is full of "best" rangefinders. Leica is >great (and expensive), but my #1 favorite is an old Nicca 5 >(same as Tower 45/46). ...
The Niccas were decently made, close to the build quality of early 50's Leicas but not, in my opinion, a match to the M series. Nicca's main claim to fame comes from the fact that they never tried to develop a lens division and simply concentrated on improving their copy of the screw mount Leica body and shutter design. Instead of trying to make their own optics they simply "went down the street" and bought some lenses from an optical company that was hurrying to replace the lens market they lost when Canon (nee Kwanon) started they own optical division. The optical company was, of course, Nikon (then Nippon Kogaku) who introduced their first camera, the Nikon (now referred to as the Nikon I, the first in the line that led to the SP) and also marketed the Leica compatible screw mount lenses to others like Nicca. Cameras were simply a side line for Nikon, existing solely to provide a market for their lenses. When Zenza formed to market their new Bronica camera they relied on Nikon as a supplier for their lenses.
BTW, when SLRs became an essential part of any successful camera brand's line many Japanese manufactures came to grief, Nicca included. Many had relied on "off the shelf" shutters for their leaf shuttered RFs, available from what were really watch manufacturers (Seiko, Copal, ...) but there were no such focal plane shutters for many years (the Copal Square was the first, which Nikon used in the Nikkorex F). Yashica choose to acquire Nicca as their shutter division since Nicca was at the end of being successful simply refining their Leica III derived design and not capable of advancing into SLRs on their own. The reasonable success of Yashica for the next decade (mid-50's onward) until the availability of decent off the shelf FP shutters (Copal Square II and newer compact versions from Copal and Seiko) proved it to be a good marriage.
You are right, of course. My love affair with the Nicca is strictly as a shooter. Good Nikon glass and reasonable build quality -- I've had mine for over 50 years and it still takes great pictures. When Nicca changed the back for easier film loading on the model 5 it surely made it nice for this old guy! Of course each to his own -- even with nearly 20 old Nikons on the shelf I usually shoot with an Olympus OM4, and I don't think the glass is as good as Nikon. But it fits my style. Happy New Year. Dusty