My Favorite Rangefinders Under $500

June 29, 2020



The current gear I trust and use
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Rangefinders don’t have to be expensive. These are my favorite rangefinders under $500. Konica Auto S2 35 RC GIII QL17 P
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All Comments

  • I found a Minolta AF at Goodwill for $7. And my Pen D is in good shape.

    Corey G. June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • A lower f number is a HIGHER aperture!

    Bill Ward June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • You forgot the Canon 7, and the Vt Deluxe, and the Yashica YF the M3 copy as in which I all have them, and as for the Russian Rangefinders that I would say that the ones that I like are the Kiev series like the Kiev 4M, and 4AM the difference are one is with and the other model is without meter in which they are the copies of the Zeiss copies of the Contax II, and III in which that was my first RF model the 4M, and 4AM as the lenses were pretty sharp when shooting B/W film as for the contrast was very rich, and stronger, and easy to scan. These Kiev models were the Contax models exact copies but in the mid 1980's the company Arsenal decided to end production so I decided to get the Original Zeiss Contax II, and III in which I had to find them on ebay but I found them. I still have my collection of Kiev's including the last Model the Kiev 5. Now the Fed 2 model that I read in some Leica you tube page that the Russian designer copy the Leica IV model in which Leitz did not released this model leter became the Fed2 model until the last Leica IIIG was release as the the M3 came onto the market. The Leica IV only one exist in the Leica Museum in Germany.

    Alex Carrillo June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Yashica Electro 35 GSN . Takes better photos than my Pentax SLRs.

    Marktuyet June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Can't speak for the others, but I had a Canonet GIII QL17 and it is a great cameras but eventually, the light seals turn to mush and you have light leaks messing up your photos. A replacement kit for the seals is not that cheap, hard to find, and if you can't do the work yourself, paying a repair shop just turned this little bargain into a little money pit.

    William Schaffel June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Hey mate how would you compare the focusing patch brightness vs the Leica’s? Appreciate the time!

    SAPIEN STUDIO June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Konica Auto S2. (Heavy metal.)
    Olympus 35RC (Tiny dancer)
    Canonet GIII QL 17
    Canon P (It's "Populaire" for a reason.)

    Otokichi786 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Most rangefinders on EBAY are now really expensive if they're in good condition. Luckily I picked a few up a couple of years ago before the prices went crazy. I have a box of broken yashica electro 35's to work on, I have 2 working and although they're clunky to use, they give fantastic results. They're probably the cheapest option at the moment, especially if you want an f1.7 aperture priority rangefinder, also they look awesome ( or really ugly, depending on your taste ).
    I have a little plastic ricoh 500 gx in black which gives very sharp and contrasty results, f2.8 lens, auto or full manual, double exposure possible. I think I paid around $35 but it could be worth $150 or more now. You're definitely paying a premium for the faster lenses, maybe you could live with an f2.8 and just embrace the grain occasionally ?

    Just an F3 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Go with a Fed-1 to Fed-3 as you best quality Russian option. I have a Fed-3 with the Canon 50mm f1.8 and it is sweet. I recommend the Fred-3 over the Canon 7 for size, ease of focus and sturdiness..

    Michael Russo June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • IS the Canon interchangable lens camera ?

    Bgvolley June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • I presume the Olympus RC can be used either with a battery for the light meter or without a battery?

    Howie Mudge June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Here is another vote for all the Yashica lynxes. Fully manual with super quality glass.

    aeomaster32 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • think you under estimate the Kodak Retinas. I have about 20 of them and they are beautiful, compact and can be serviced by Chris Sherlock in New Zealand. Fine German lenses on them. I would recommend the 1b and 1B models especially.

    aeomaster32 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • The Konica rangefinders without meters are really good buys. The I, II, III in particular are cheap with great lenses. The IIIA and IIIM probably have the best rangefinder views of any camera, including Leica.

    isaacc7 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Yashica lynx 5000, and the Kodak retina IIIc (small “c”) are my favorites. The Kodak my grandfather had through Vietnam and surprisingly it’s in near mint condition and everything is functional, always keep it in arms reach to see things how he did.

    Cobjawz21 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • So another advantage of the Canon p….it takes the voigtlander ltm lenses! So You can get modern glass on it. Huge benefit to have 50mm 1.5 Nokton or the 35mm 1.7 ultron or the 35mm 2.5 color skopar. Plus unlike the Leica its easier to load and rewind film. Awesome bang for buck.
    You may be able to get a Nikon S2 for $500. I had one beautiful camera, but the Canon is easier to operate. Nikon is prettier imo.

    Jonathan Ellard June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • minolta cle

    Abdulrahman Almutawa June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • You forgot to mention the main thing about rangefinders. Which is the framing of an image. You don’t see what the lens sees which an SLR does. You have frame lines and you don’t see what the lens sees.

    Gino Lomeli June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • How about a minolta CLE?

    Manuel Odabashian June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • you're cute

    Kevin Escobar June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • I have a Kodak 35
    I want to sell it but have no idea for how much , can someone help me out

    Jane Doe June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • I have the konica auto s2 – HEAVY
    Had the ql17iii- HEAVY

    My favorite is the canonet 28,
    its 2.8 40mm lens very sharp! and it can be fully auto ( exposure)
    and its light as a feather

    there is an issue with the batteries as well for all these cameras
    you cant get the original battery, so its either
    1. wein cell replacement that (ive been told) doesnt hold for long period. ( hard to find)
    2. 625 (i think ) that is 1.5 v which make the meter not accurate
    3. an adapter that cost like 20-30 $ so you can use cheap batteries

    if anyone has any info for the battery issue i would love to hear

    thanks

    Elad Korish June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • my canon p came in a week ago and the first roll i developed looks amazing !

    Veganjedi97 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • konica iiia voigtlander vito br Topcon 35L

    Socrates June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Hi, maybe it is already written, good video but your bw fotos have very low contrast. Good fotos, but bad development or bad post production. Use more contrast so your fotos are more briliant

    jd61berlin June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • man i would love to buy a yashica electro 35 and feel like spider man 😛

    ACID SNOW June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Hi, I have a question about the konica auto s2. The battery is good but I cannot get it to wind and snap a shot. The button will go down but does not click and want to wind again. Dug it out and wanted to try to use it. It may be something very simple because I do not know what I am doing. Thanks.

    lmt200 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • I have a question about the Canonet GIII QL 17…I read an Ebay ad for this camera. The ad described the battery for the camera and that it is no longer manufactured. The ad said you can used an alternate battery with a higher voltage but you "have to adjust your exposure". I don't know what that means…shutter speed? aperture? But my question to you is…are batteries readily available for this camera? Thanks. Please email me…jake.jansen1968@gmail.com

    Jake Jansen June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • No one ever mentions the Minolta Hi-matic 7sii but its my favorite and most used camera (own 2 om-1s an xe7 and a digital xt10) it lives in my hand, it's a joy to shoot, super compact, robust build(for what it is) and the lens is awesome!

    Chase Mcdude June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • I own a Yashica GTN Black model my wife bought in Japan in 1971. I used it for 30 years until digital came out. I found a Japanese man who worked in the factory and built these cameras. He was now living in Atlanta. He installed new light shields and rebuilt it completely. It is factory new today and needs to come out again. Now all my NIKON’s can get a rest for awhile. Anyone with a Yashica camera ,on the website Mark HAMA in Marietta, Georgia. He has my Yashica Lynx 14 rebuilding it back to new. As a young man he built the Yashicas in the factory in Japan. He is now the head man for repairs in the U.S.

    Denis Wintersteen June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Hello 🙂

    This is Bonnie, we make rangefinders and would like to see authentic feedback from you.

    Is it possible to send you our rangefinders and have your feedback when comparing to others?

    Looking forward to your reply.
    Best regards,
    Bonnie
    Email: bonnie@laserexplore.com

    Junrong Han June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • You should look into the 凤凰 205! I pretty sure its made around the same time as the 海鸥 4B, so its definitely worth checking out. Ive already shot quite a few rolls with the 凤凰, and im pretty happy with the results despite the limitations of the camera

    dxkaiyuan June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Canon 7?

    Greg Derozier June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • You might be able to afford the cameras, but the cost of lenses – even vintage screw mount lenses, will kill you. Blame it on mirrorless cameras…

    Greg Derozier June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • I think the elephant in the room has to be the Yashica Electro. I know its battery dependant but surely it should make the "also ran" list?

    Brett Foster June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • Ok, I’ve watched numerous videos about the Oly 35 RC and other rangefinder cameras. Nobody mentions anything about the GN settings. Could someone fill me in on what they’re used for or is it obvious and that I’m just missing it?

    Gary Ziroli June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • The QL17 Giii is a nice camera, but aren't they battery dependent?

    Sboy's World June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • My Aunt in China gave me her old rangefinder. A Phenix 205-B rangefinder that seems to be rare

    Sun and D-970 June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply
  • which of these have metering in manual mode?

    julio June 29, 2020 12:45 am Reply

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