Rangefinder cameras are my favorite. Not sure why, but I’ve always liked the 35mm film form factor. I think that’s why I’m drawn to the Yashica Electo, the Leica M line & similar cameras.
Yesterday I added another rangefinder to my lineup. Hopeless, I know! I purchased a Canon L2 (without a lens) from Used Photo Pro at Roberts Camera for $95. I saw it the other day. It didn’t have a lens, so although I’ve always wanted a Canon L1, L2, L3 or 7 I didn’t consider it without a lens. I knew it took an M39 Leica Thread Mount type lens. Original Canon LTM are pretty pricey. Since film is just a hobby for me (pro work is all digital), I couldn’t justify the price. I thought maybe I could go the adapter route, but honestly, I said to myself “Steve you JUST bought a Leica CL”.
However, when I got home I remembered my Fed 4 which has a Industar 61 53mm LTM lens. I hadn’t used the Fed 4 for some time so wheels started to spin. You know how it goes (or at least how my brain goes) – should I or should I not?? I didn’t resist, off came the lens and the next day took it down to Roberts. The lens fit, the camera felt good, everything worked….so I bought it.
Here she is without the lens (as purchased) and the lens I put on it.
I wanted to give it a go immediately. It was a bit of an overcast day but still bright. Since the max speed on the camera is 1/500 I picked up a roll of Kodak TMAX 100 & loaded it up. I walked around for about an hour and just took some test snaps.
The camera handles like a dream. Very smooth, quiet shutter, good weight & the rangefinder is fairly bright of an old camera. It very much has a Leica vibe going on. The Industar lens is also good. Although mine looks a bit “rode hard” it focuses smoothly, the aperture blades are smooth and it looks nice on the camera. A nice combo, and anyway 50mm (this is 53mm) is what I prefer for street photography.
I brought the film home and developed / scanned it last night. I’m happy with the results. Here are a few examples (these are just test shots).
I’m very happy with the camera. It was a good price, got to put a lens into use & it looks nice. This might be my current go to rangefinder.