Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/11/30

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Subject: [Leica] Other rangefinder cameras
From: Jeremy Kime <>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 19:06:14 -0000

Ted, Mike,

I must admit that the Nikon and Contax (Kiev included) r/fers leave me cool
(not quite totally cold). I've tried an SP, thought I'd enjoy it but sent it
back, I've just found an old Contax II (too cheap to resist) with a Sonnar
but it does little for me.
Did they ever focus without shredding your fingers? Or have I just had two
old dogs that needed a good oiling? Seems to me that their design requires
rather more gears to get the lens to turn if you're not turning it directly,
wasted effort for a single finger rather than a finger and thumb directly on
the lens.
I can't imagine Nikon still have the tooling available, this is story,
'Least Likely to...' in '99.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Mike Dembinski []
> Ted wrote:
> > "we should get in on this Leica range finder thing, so why don't we
> >resurrect the Nikon SP in a new and modern day version? Heck we got all
> the
> >toolings and what we don't have we'll just make. Then go for the RF crowd
> >that Leica appear to be loosing ground with from lack of service and
> >delivery."  "Why we could even create an incredible demand using the
> >nastalgia thing and the unobtrusiveness of a rangefinder camera."
> >
> >The SP in it's day was a great camera and I understand still commands a
> >"more than princely price" if one can find one. So imagine Nikon coming
> out
> >with a competely new 1998/99 updated version, lenses included. And while
> >we're at it, a silent winder!
> >
> >I wonder if that wouldn't just shake the corporate heads of Leica into
> mega
> >action.
> >
> >Remember folks this is completely imaginary!!!!!!!! What think you all?
> >
> >ted
> I for one am up for it. There's something about the Contax II/Nikon
> RF/Nikon F lineage that grabs me from the purely aesthetic point of view.
> I'm currently toying with the Soviet 'Contax II', a Kiev 4a. Why? It was
> cheap ($20 with three lenses) and I like the bayonet mount and long R/F
> base. But it's a toy. As I've previously posted, the Jupiter-8M and
> Helios-103 f/2 53mm standards just don't cut it. I recently bought a pair
> of Jupiter-3 f/1.5 50mms on Marc's recommendation and will get results
> back
> tomorrow.  But the thing shows its 1936 vintage despite being built in
> 1979. No frame finder, the external bayonet is grunchy in the extreme, and
> it lacks lever wind-on. So it's not a professional tool, like the M-series
> is.
> Now; Nikon could easily resurrect the S3 or SP, update it (internal
> meter),
> adapt AI-S optics to suit the rangefinder... and Bob's your mother's
> live-in lover. Oooh! I could go for it in a BIG way - especially if it
> were
> priced around the same as a new FM2N (and why not - a manual mechanical
> with motordrive capacity, still good for a professional to use). And the
> heritage - from Korea to Johnson-era Vietnam, the PJ's tool of choice.
> Ted- you got me slaverin'!
> Mike