1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

35mm compact film camera for a beginner

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by joejoe, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. joejoe

    joejoe Member

    I would like to purchase a 60s/70s 35mm compact camera for my wife to allow her to continue her hobby of black and white photography. I will probably look on ebay/gumtree for the camera when I know what I need.

    She would like a classic design with easy to use manual functions, but with an excellent lens.

    We would like to spend around £300 - £400, but more or less depending on what you advise.

    Any suggestions? Any help would be invaluable.

  2. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    That kind of money opens up a lot of possibilties, and a lot of quality cameras. What was she shooting with before?
  3. joejoe

    joejoe Member

    She has a Canon EOS 650 which is a nice camera but bulky (she really wants a compact) and a voighander bessamatic which is a lovely camera but very basic, shaky optics and again, bulky.

    What do you recommend?

  4. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Rollei 35 with Sonnar f/2.8 lens? Great lens, not at all bulky, manual everything but capable of great results.
  5. joejoe

    joejoe Member

  6. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    The Olympus Trip is a classic 1970's compact camera, and can be had from Ebay for circa £25. You get to adjust the focus and aperture but there are only two shutter speeds. Quite a nice 40mm f2,8 Tessar type lens.

    Rollei 35 also with a 40mm Tessar, rather more expensive, circa £55, and a larger range of shutter speeds. Very small camera has variants so do research before buying.

    For a real enthusiast look at one of the compact single lens reflex cameras of the era, the Olympus OM series or Pentax M range. My pick would be Pentax MX, as the similar OM1 needs an unobtainable battery while the Pentax ME and Super have unreliable electronics. Not much bigger than a true compact but much better standard lens and the possibility of interchangeable lenses.
  7. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    I would love to tell you go for a Laica M Series. But they still come arond +£400 body only. But if you wnat a compact you shuld definetly look at a Laica like rangefinder as the bladetype shuter is superior to almost anything else. For this kind of money you should be able to get som pretty great SLR gear, like the old classic from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olumpus the list is endless.

    On the same note can anyone rember what was the brand and type of th great rangefinder that came in the early 90s almost Laica M6 quality but only fraction of the price?
  8. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Are you looking for a full manual SLR or electronic like say a Pentax MZ which has AF but is film?

    Or are you talking about a rangefinder with a fix lens like say a Olympus Trip?

    As the other poster has wrote, there is loads of stuff out there.

    Like Olympus OM10 with extra lenses way below the £400 you have quoted for budget. :D

    PS: Just saw your other post the EOS 650 is 772g. The Pentax MZ-5 which had once only 400g. Trip is 390g.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  9. Graham_RM13

    Graham_RM13 Well-Known Member

    Olympus 35-RD - 40mm f/1.7 lens that's acknowledged by many to be one of the best ever made in that era. It's also a GN lens that provides for "auto" flash exposure.

    There is also the tiny Olympus XA with a 35mm f/2.8 one of the smallest 35mm cameras of the time, again an excellent bit of kit.

    They are good for beginners because they provide both Auto and Manual in a compact package that is worthy of todays standards.

    Have fun
  10. peterkin1010

    peterkin1010 Active Member

    Not sure if i would have a compact camera for B&W.

    Reason being you really do need the option of adding a Yellow filter to improve contrast for landscapes etc.

    However, if you don't mind the limitation of no filters and no full manual operation then go for a Leica Minilux.

    I owned one and when loaded with XP2 for indoors gave phenomenal results.

    If you proceed down the SLR route then get a Nikon with a 50mm F1.4 lens.
    You might get an F3 with a 50mm F1.4 lens if you look in the right places for about that sort of figure.

    That is not necessarily eBay.

    I will be delighted to assist you if you want advice on how to buy a camera off eBay and minimize your chances of getting done over!
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The Trip was not a rangefinder. Nor does it seem even a remotely sensible suggestion in this case.
  12. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    Olympus XA would be my choice. Excellent little camera. Wish I hadn't sold it :(
  13. joejoe

    joejoe Member

    Wow! Many thanks to all who have helped - I didn't expect such a good response. I have looked at all suggestions and I have lots of reading up to do.

    Peterkin1010 - my wife loves the look of the Leica Minilux. Is this the model you mean?


    I would love to take you up on the offer of how to purchase from ebay without buying a dud - what would you recommend to look for?
  14. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Yep, my mistake there. :eek:

    More highend 35mm film compact.

    PS: the reason I make that mistake is they describe the Olympus XA as a rangefinder. Is that wrong as well?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    NO! The Trip was a low-end 35mm film compact!
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The Minilux is a terrific little camera, but it is rather prone to electronic failure - not sure I (as a Minilux owner) would actually recommend it because of that.
  17. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    That does look like a nice little camera. :)

    Would be nice if it went abit wider than 35mm focal length though. But still. :cool:

    PS: Mind you Ken not a fan.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  18. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I was always very fond of my Canonet QL17 It has an excellent wide lens plus the quick loading mechanism that Canon later mistakenly dropped. It also has a good matched flash although those are rarer. You should be able to pick one up for a lot less than your budget. Mine (including the flash) is still in good working order, the lens is a bit prone to flare wide open but that is probably true of all lenses of that era. You will probably want to replace the light seals (thats a DIY job).

    If you do get one that does not have the instruction booklet PM me and I will photocopy mine.

  19. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    That would be leaf shutter, not blade... But you want a quality rangefinder with a leaf shutter.
  20. peterkin1010

    peterkin1010 Active Member

    Joejoe, I meant the Minilux without the Zoom.

    AVOID the zoom model, it's ok but the lens isn't as good as the fixed focal length lens.

    Does this forum have a PM facillity?

    I can phone you and talk you through bidding on eBay.

    I've got loads of airtime on my phone and provided you have a UK Landline or a UK regular mobile number (NOT Lebara/Lycamobile etc!).

    As Benchista makes a possible point, the CM is the modernised alternative with no such reported issues.

Share This Page