Need some advice - film rangefinder...

Started Nov 15, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Need some advice - film rangefinder...
Nov 15, 2009

I find myself being lured deeper and deeper into the thrall of rangefinder shooting. For nearly 40 years now - with some timeouts - I've been primarily a Pentax shooter and have always been happy with the brand and the results I've been able to achieve with it. I went digital in early 2007 (K10D) and bought a K20D in early 2008. I have a generous collection of lenses - more than I need if you look at my profile. In short, I can do pretty much anything I want with what I've got.

Still, something must be missing because in the last year and a half I've purchased a D-Lux 3, Sigma DP-1, Panasonic LC-1 and, most recently, a Digilux 2. I gave my K10D to my wife when I bought the K20D - a very smart move if you're upgrading, by the way - my daughter has pretty well commandeered the D-Lux 3 and I find myself using the DP-1 only intermittently. The Foveon sensor takes stunning pictures but the camera just doesn't seem, well, "satisfying" to use. The LC-1 and Digilux are both very recent acquisitions and, while the Pentax gear sits ready and eager in its bag, I am more likely to pick up one of the others when heading out the door. I am, quite frankly, enchanted by the images the LC-1 and Digilux can produce.

But as much as I like the Digilux and its cousin there are two things they are not: a) a true rangefinder, and b) full frame cameras. A digital rangefinder is out of my budget range at the moment so I’m thinking very seriously about a film rangefinder.

I keep telling myself that going back to film will be a mistake, that it will be a hassle, that it’s something I really don’t need to do, that digital will allow me to do everything I need to at the moment. But the idea won’t go away so maybe the thing to do is exorcise my demons by buying a “starter’ film camera of some sort.

I’ve been following this forum - as well as several others - looking on eBay and Craigslist and even poking around in camera stores a bit but the bottom line is that I have no idea where to start. Since I’ve never used a rangefinder before I’m thinking relatively cheap so I don’t have a lot of money invested if I find that the experience just doesn’t suit me. I guess that interchangeable lenses would be better but I think I’d settle for a fixed lens camera to start. (There’s a Konica Hexar AF available locally for about $500 CDN at the moment.) There are many different possibilities and I could really use a little advice…
Look at the picture, not the pixels...

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