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Thread: Any recommendations for Film Compact?

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    Default Any recommendations for Film Compact?

    Hi people!

    I'm looking to purchase a film compact as backup to my SLR as well as for use on trekking trips. It shouldn't be too heavy, and since I expect to see some rough times with it, it shouldn't be too expensive either. (Hopefully below.....$150?). Don't quite need a zoom am willing to use my legs to move around if the need arises.

    Any recommendations? I've read around and heard about the Olympus mju II. Any idea how good this camera is? Any other brands and models that'll fit my needs?

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    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    I'm using Oly Mju II as a backup for my MF system. It produces some sharp pictures and is really a breeze to use. It's also a real bargain for its performance. However, there are a number of downside to this camera...
    (1) there's no "control" over the image. Yes, there is spot metering in this camera, but it's rather hard to engage it.

    (2) There's AF in this camera, but seriously, with 35/2.8, I'd rather just let it focus to infinity sometimes. How much can you trust the AF of any camera anyway? It's also a horror when the shutter just doesn't allow you to release, no matter how hard you press, just because you can't focus under tricky situation, like subject behind fence, or when the scene is especially dark.

    (3) The system resets itself everytime you close the cover. Thus, when you need to set the flash to "off" everytime you open the cover, if you want to take snapshot without flash, like in street photography situation. Real troublesome. Oh... talking about the built in flash, well, it's horrible!!

    (4) The size... yes, it's a compact camera... but in my hands, it just seems too small. Then again, it's not the fault of the camera. It's just me!

    Anyway, if you want to have some controls and have the budget for a better compact, you may wanna consider the Contax T3, Ricoh GR1 or Leica Minilux. These are really superb cameras.

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    Hi!

    Thanks for the informative reply! Any reasons why the ricoh GR1 is significantly better than the olympus? I see a relatively large gulf in the price. Not sure how much the gr1 is going for but it should be easily double the price of the Olympus if I'm not mistaken. I think with my budget the Contax and the Leica are definitely out of the picture.

    WRT the point (2). Is this a really serious problem? IE does it really not fire very often in a situation in which the AF has problem functioning? Or is this problem pretty rare?

    Oh yah thanks for the points about (1) and (3). But with a compact its pretty likely that I'll have little or no control over the image, and the built in flash, I don't expect much. (Just have to use faster film like 400 and up).

    Any other users of the Ricoh or the Olympus have anything to share with me? Oh and any other compacts that I can consider? (Budget's kinda tight but hoping for some good kind souls to give me their recommendations!)

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    can also consider a Yashica T4/T5 (used) or T Zoom (brandnew) which uses Carl Zeiss lens. great optics and sharp pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza
    can also consider a Yashica T4/T5 (used) or T Zoom (brandnew) which uses Carl Zeiss lens. great optics and sharp pics.
    Do note that it's really hard to find T4/T5... Would have gotten them instead of mju II if they were available.

    Hmm... how good is the optics for T Zoom? I always have reservations with regards to zoom compact camera...

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    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uris1982
    Hi!

    Thanks for the informative reply! Any reasons why the ricoh GR1 is significantly better than the olympus? I see a relatively large gulf in the price. Not sure how much the gr1 is going for but it should be easily double the price of the Olympus if I'm not mistaken. I think with my budget the Contax and the Leica are definitely out of the picture.

    WRT the point (2). Is this a really serious problem? IE does it really not fire very often in a situation in which the AF has problem functioning? Or is this problem pretty rare?

    Oh yah thanks for the points about (1) and (3). But with a compact its pretty likely that I'll have little or no control over the image, and the built in flash, I don't expect much. (Just have to use faster film like 400 and up).

    Any other users of the Ricoh or the Olympus have anything to share with me? Oh and any other compacts that I can consider? (Budget's kinda tight but hoping for some good kind souls to give me their recommendations!)

    Oops! I thought your budget was under $1500... haha~! See one more zero liao. Shouldn't have recommended those models!

    For $150, I think the only decent one is Oly Mju II and Yashica T4/T5. If you don't mind more manual and older camera, you could also find yourself a rangefinder instead, like Canonet GL17 QIII or Yashica GSN. Rangefinder are basically compact camera, that uses rangefinder mechanism to focus an object. Much superior than the AF I dare say. Not as fast though when compact to the p&s compacts.

    As for the AF of Mju II, it could be quite frustrating sometimes when you keep on clicking on the shutter, only to realise that it doesn't release. It's not a malfunction mind you... just a sort of safety mechanism that could sort of be in your way, rather than to help you, sometimes. Just think of it as the safety lever of the M16.

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    there was a T4 on sale at Yahoo auction a few weeks ago but it's sold liao. Saw a few Olympus XA there though. Also saw som Yashica Electro 35's.

    I shot some slides with the T Zoom and it seemed ok. Sold it off though when I found myself using digital more often. But now strangely, I got a T5

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    How do the rangefinders compare in weight and durability with the compacts? They're virtually silent if I remember correctly right? But the metering isn't the most accurate I assume?

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    the mju II is a very good camera though i have reservations about the QC. my unit went dead suddenly one day - olympus offered a fix at slightly below the street price for a new unit. my gf told me that a few of her friends had olympus compacts that developed problems.

    i already have a T4 which is still going strong after 6 years.

    while there's no or little electronics in 70s rangefinders they are largely mechanical and not to mention "aged" so the copy you buy should have been well-maintained.

    http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/p...gefinders.html

    Here's a page to start exploring. The linked pages are pretty informative too.

  10. #10

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    Here's something from my mjuII...


    And of course..I need to go for a facial soon..

    MjuII is pretty cheap in the second hand market..I got mine for $99 at yahoo auctions. And its as durable as its said to be..been in my SBO all the time.

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    my mjuII silver lasted me six years before the shutter button died.

    replacement camera: another mjuII BLACK from B&S here

    Last I heard Havey Norman is having a sale to clear their MjuII... check it out.

    After using it for so long, It become 2nd nature to me to off the flash when I turn on my MjuII.

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    sounds cool.. any particular Harvey Norman branch?

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    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowcrash
    my mjuII silver lasted me six years before the shutter button died.

    replacement camera: another mjuII BLACK from B&S here

    Last I heard Havey Norman is having a sale to clear their MjuII... check it out.

    After using it for so long, It become 2nd nature to me to off the flash when I turn on my MjuII.
    Wah! How long did you take to cultivate that 2nd nature?

    I still misfire my flash on my Mju II sometimes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowcrash
    my mjuII silver lasted me six years before the shutter button died.

    replacement camera: another mjuII BLACK from B&S here

    Last I heard Havey Norman is having a sale to clear their MjuII... check it out.

    After using it for so long, It become 2nd nature to me to off the flash when I turn on my MjuII.
    Wow! So many replies. I guess i've seen both arguments for and against the mju II, more for than against i suppose. I guess for my budget its down to either the olympus mju II or a rangefinder.

    Can I ask olympus XA users and other rangefinder users, are these cameras generally very reliable? I actually have an old FE and the shutter is very cranky, sometimes having mood swings(if you know what i mean), as a consequence i've had a lot of missed shots, over exposed shots when the shutter refused to close after opening and even an entire roll that didn't wind up.(dunno if that is my own fault but that of the camera). any problems with all old cameras or is it just the fault of my not-so-well-maintained FE? Also I was wondering what exactly makes the rangefinder focusing so attractive to people? Its still focused manually right? But i've never handled one so what's so good about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by uris1982
    Wow! So many replies. I guess i've seen both arguments for and against the mju II, more for than against i suppose. I guess for my budget its down to either the olympus mju II or a rangefinder.
    I'm not sure $150 can get you any rangefinder. But for mjuII, You have to test the auto 'everything' is to your liking. I use iso800 film with it but sometimes the focus is off due to shallow dof at f2.8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cheat
    Wah! How long did you take to cultivate that 2nd nature?

    I still misfire my flash on my Mju II sometimes...
    cannot remember. Now is open clam.... press flash button 2 time to off flash... shoot.... close clam. (automatic)

    unless use tripod and night scene....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowcrash
    I'm not sure $150 can get you any rangefinder. But for mjuII, You have to test the auto 'everything' is to your liking. I use iso800 film with it but sometimes the focus is off due to shallow dof at f2.8.
    Oh actually there's a XA2 on sale for 150 at the B&S section. I think it qualifies as a rangefinder but well. Not 100% sure. So deciding between that and a mju II. (Or if ang pao money suddenly pours in then BOTH! But seriously unlikely) Anyway yah. The people here are so friendly and helpful! Just need that last bit of help to help me decide from a much narrower choice range. Any rangefinder users out there who can help point me in the right direction as to why a rangefinder would shade the mju II?

    (Would've included the yashica t4/t5 in the list as well if i could find one on yahoo auctions.) The rest of the cameras are simply out of my price range but maybe in the future.

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