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35mm compact film camera for a beginner

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

  1. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    The XA was a true rangefinder. The XA1, XA2, etc.. were compacts of a Trip-like nature with zone focussing.

    Other cameras worth considering are the Contax T series, or the Nikon 35Ti. I'm not sure if they have filter rings or adaptors though.
  2. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I mean in terms of the results you can get with the camera. Plus it is a solid built camera.

    Many examples still work well today.

    That is why I would consider it a highend compact. :D But hey that's my opinion from seeing shots from one.
  3. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    Are you thinking about the Voigtlander Bessa R series?

    Zeiss had a go too, but rather more money.

    Nice bit of kit.
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    No, they can't produce anything like the results of the cameras other people have mentioned; the lens is OK, but not remotely in the same league as all the others. They're simple, effective and fun basic machines but nobody could sensibly call them high-end, that's simply absurd. It's nothing like as good as the XA, but even that is also overrated (despite being a fave of mine); the lens isn't as good as it might be, sadly. The Rollei that's been recommended is lovely, but fiddly. The Canon GIII 1.7 is great, as are the Olypmus SP and RF 35s; the so called Voigtlander rangefinders are excellent, especially the Bessa R2; and the Konica Hexars are also great cameras. Not tried the Nikons, but they look very nice. And IMHO the best ultracompact 35mm SLR isn't the nice enough OM series, but the superlative Pentax MX.
  5. peterkin1010

    peterkin1010 Active Member

    Actually I'll post on the forum instead.

    Some of this info will coincide with what Ken Rockwell has posted on the subject. However I have a clear conscience as I have been trading on eBay (buying and selling) since 2009 and have my own expereince which I am relaying. I am of course not wanting to profit in anyway shape or form.

    Anyway top rules:

    1) As Ken states eBay is a GAMBLE. Once the deal is done it is bothersome getting a refund. However there are certain things that can reduce that to a minimum

    2) Check the item and title of the bid. Has the seller taken some time and effort on this fundamental aspect? This can give clues to the nature of the seller.

    3) Read the description carefully. These vary wildly on eBay. Some are pessimistic others are a blasted con. Clues to the latter include EMA (eBay Male Anatomy) words:


    Put into plain english MINTY (NOT Mint!), SNAPPY IRIS (in need of a clean), SLIGHT DING (IMPACT DAMAGE), CLEANING MARKS (SCRATCHED front/rear element), NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR (Heavy use!), SLIGHT SPOTS (FUNGUS!).

    There is at least one American business eBayer and one UK business eBayer who regularly pedal UTTER GARBAGE using this terminology.

    4) CHECK THE PICTURES. There should be at least four pics of the item, preferably supersized. if it looks mint then it probably is. No picture is no bid in my book.If it looks tatty then that is a sign as to what's on the inside. Condition is critical. The odd scratch on the bodywork wont harm if.Copious Brassing, dents etc on Pro cameras indicate HEAVY PROFESSIONAL USE.

    Scratched lens elements, fungus and dents a MASSIVE NO-NO!

    Missing caps like PC socket caps, shutter release socket caps etc for pro cameras ie Nikon F3, F5 etc are almost a GUARANTEE of professional use-and that means ABUSE

    5) CHECK THE FEEDBACK-by this time you should be getting an overall feel for the integrity of the seller. Always check out the NEGATIVE feedback. Sometimes perfectly honest sellers can be done by spiteful buyers. An example might be somebody gets a negative on a £0.99p battery charger because the post was slow.

    But as a guide if there is a 'flame' ie seller scrapping with the buyer then that is a bad sign-a bit like a shop assistant arguing with a customer.

    6) Watch the item and bid in one of two ways. Either bid at the last possible moment-less than 20 secs remaining. Or bid your max bid with an odd figure eg going rate on Minilux £250-300 ish. Bid £301.63. Don't go over it! I've sold plenty in the past where the auction went crazy in the last 2 mins and I've had a much better price than expected out of nothing. Ken terms this 'Auction Fever' And he's right.

    7) ALWAYS PAY WITH PAYPAL. No ifs, no buts and no exceptions. In particular AVOID any offers for a reduced price outside eBay-you have no realistic comeback at all in the event of a problem.

    8) PAY PROMPTLY-that's your side of the bargain!

    9)DO NOT LEAVE ANY FEEDBACK YET. Once a positive is received that is the end of the matter as far as eBay/PayPal are concerned!

    10) CHECK THE ITEM AND USE ASAP. The acid test. Besides your eyes use your nose-that's right smell the item. Anything that whiffs of damp, mustiness, sewage(FLOOD DAMAGE!), WD40 then you are in TROUBLE. Open the battery compartment if applicable and check for leakage (white/green deposits)

    11) IF THERE IS A PROBLEM-always contact the seller first via eBay. Be fair and request they make amends. Sadly the seller is not obliged to pay for return postage. Give the seller a reasonable time to resolve the matter (7 days is fair).ALWAYS pack well and return the item via trackable courier/post. Only if that fails then you need to contact eBay/PayPal as you have 45 days to open a dispute in the event of a problem.

    12) When you are entirely happy with your purchase then leave feedback. Always praise when praise is due. Don't for example moan about the sellers postage costs if they were stated clearly at time of purchase. And if you did get a dud but you got your money back speedily don't leave a negative. Sometimes things go wrong with the best will in the world.However if you did get treated badly like being ignored, given abuse etc you should then leave a negative-to warn others! Negative feedback should always be a last resort.

    As stated previously eBay is a gamble, the scope for bargains is nowadays more limited than what it was. But you can still come out of it smiling and have a lot of fun as well.

    And as I say on all my auctions:

    HAPPY BIDDING and many thanks for looking!
  6. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Looks good but I thoght I rembered an older one early 90s... But I might be wrong.
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    If you want an auto point and shoot, the Canon ML might be worth a punt, 40mm fast lens and a reasonable performer, if not some of the Ricoh 35s were quite nice, with a reasonable lens and manual exposure and focusing. All at well under your budget too.
  8. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    The Yashica Electro was very nice too :)
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The Konica Hexar RF.
  10. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is the one.
  11. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    One of the thing I like about the Trip is it has a standard hot shoe for flash and a x socket. With XA you force into using their A11. Which to me make the Trip highend. Plus the Trip has alot of metal contruction.

    To be honest you comparing a camera from the late 60s early 70s to a camera basically from the 80s.

    I could be wrong of cause but the XA looks like a Trip stripped down with a plastic body then put on top to give it a 80s look. They even did a no battery version the XA1.

    But hey you have probably shot with both and notice better from the XA. It does have a updated lens. :)
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Oh for goodness sake, do I have to spell out just how basic the Trip was? It was a true point and shoot, with programmed exposure metered with a selenium cell. It had a whole two shutter speeds, 1/40 and 1/200, which the user had no control over except for flash; then it only used 1/40. There was no control at all over exposure settings, and just a four zone zone focusing system for the four element lens. Film speeds went to ISO 400. No sane person could ever call this a top-end machine!
    The XA had a number of flash units; I've got the A16 as well as the A11. The XA has rangefinder focusing for its six element lens and aperture priority autoexposure with exposure compensation. This is a significantly better camera in every way, it's not even a close comparison. However, the XA1 really IS very much a reskinned Trip; it has a selenium cell meter, programmed only exposure, simpler lens, zone focus - I've one of those as well, and it's fun enough, but certainly not high-end. I prefer it to the Trip, though, as it's as good but a lot more pocketable.

    The Trip was entry-level when the 35RC and 35SP were considerably more up-market alternatives. Trips are reliable - there's virtually nothing to them to go wrong - and the quality is OK, but they cost less than £20 now for good reasons!
  13. Yebisu

    Yebisu Well-Known Member

    How about a Fuji Natura Classica or Klasse? I think they are still being made... well they were in the Yodobashi Camera Store last time I went in. They go for around 25,000 to 30,000 yen (180 - 250 pounds) so well within your 400 pound budget.

    Here's a link to Fujifilm's Japanese website

  14. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    What about a Leica Minilux 35-70mm Zoom, on eBay now for £199 buy it now

    Or the original Leica Minilux with 40mm lens, on eBay now for £289 buy it now

    These cameras had excellent write-ups in their day, see


  15. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    You mean the one with the hotshoe on the bottom and the collapsible lens? YUK!
  16. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Don't get me wrong - the Rollei 35 was a nice enough looking camera, but bloody awful to use IMHO. I had one and couldn't wait to get rid of it. Likewise the Minoxes, lovely to look at but awful to use.

    Now, the Leica Miniluxes were beautiful to look at and nice to use. And they are classics IMHO.
  17. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Oh I see what you mean Bechinsta. I thought the Trip shutter worked from 1/40 to 1/200. :eek:

    Did not realise it was that basic. :(

    Sorry about that. Just remember it being quite nice camera at the time.
  18. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    still is a nice camera if you can work within the limitations
    probably what the acronym KISS was invented for....:D
  19. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Each to their own - I have a B35 and find it an absolute joy to use. I'm left eyed so it is one of the very few cameras which really works for me in regards to viewfinder and winder layout. I don't use flash so bottom located hotshoe not an issue. I wanted a full manual / mechanical wee camera and it 100% fits the bill. It beats any SLR in that respect for me.
  20. joejoe

    joejoe Member

    Thanks for the great suggestions...much food for thought.

    Many thanks to peterkin1010 for your comprehensive ebay guide...I will bear in mine when bidding. I love the look of the Leica Minilux with 40mm lens, I have found one on ebay. However, having read up on various review etc, all say that it's a lovely camera with great lens but a large percentage of them develop an electrical fault - something like 'EO-2'.

    Peter - do you know what my chances of this occurring are? If it is quite likely, I have seen that many recommend the Leica CM as a slightly more expensive, but more reliable and better camera. What are your thoughts? I have seen one on ebay for about £450.

    Again, thanks for the advice from all.


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