I seem to be the obsessive compulsive type. I got hooked on rangefinder 35mm cameras back in the 80s using an Olympus XA and in the 90s when I borrowed my Dad’s Olympus 35 (DC?) in New Orleans, LA. Since my foray back into all things film, I have amassed quite the camera collection (in addition to what I already had). Rangefinders seem to be my weakness.
Argus C-3 aka “The Brick” 35mm rangefinder camera
Kodak 35 RF 35mm rangefinder camera
Minolta Minoltina AL-s 35mm rangefinder camera
It all started with a lot of three cameras on eBay. There was the obligatory “Brick” (Argus C-3), a freak of nature called the Kodak 35 RF (rather than redesigning a new model, they just put all the rangefinder gears and gizmos on the OUTSIDE of the body!), and a sweet little Minolta Minoltina AL-s. The Minolta was the one I was after…the other two were “fluff.” She had a fast 40mm f1.8 lens and looked to be very clean. I received the lot and every camera came in it’s “ever ready” case (or “never ready” as they are sometimes known and was in pristine condition. Yet another testament to purchasing from a seller who knows nothing about cameras and just sells them “as-is.” Think I paid $35 including shipping for the entire lot.
The brick and the 35 rf were kindof painful to use…strange dials to set, uncomfortable to hold and shoot, accidentally hitting the wrong thing instead of the shutter release, etc. But the Minoltina was another story…it just felt at home in my hands, very compact, selenium light meter works very well, and that fast lens sure does soak up some light! I dubbed her “Tina” after falling head over heels for her Here are some shots from her:
Stay tuned for more “Rangefinder Mania!”