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I'm looking for a mechanical vintage camera that also looks like the Fuji x20. I want the price to be below 100 euro. I looked on google for a decent full-mechincal and fully working vintage camera (35mm film), but without results. If it is possible, I would love to have a 35mm lens (street photography).

After days of searching, I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Can you help me?

he Fuji X20 look

  • Hi Bob, welcome to Photo SE. Do you want a camera that looks exactly like the X20 or are you just looking for a 35mm rangefinder camera in general? If the latter, then this question is likely to be off topic. – NickM Feb 21 '15 at 12:45
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Fujifilm's recent cameras take their design cues from rangefinder cameras of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. At that time, a look similar to this was typical, just as DSLRs in the 2000s tended to be rounded blobs of black plastic or today's smartphones are mostly shiny black rectangles. Therefore, there are many candidates, but I think perhaps the closest is the Canonet series, like the Canonet GIII QL17. Many of these were made, so you should be able to find one for sale, although maybe not quite at your price point.

enter image description here Photo by Hiyotada, CC-BY-SA 3.0

And you don't have to take my word for it — Digital Photography Review made the same comparison in their review of the X100, the model with which Fujifilm kicked off the X series and its styling.

The Olympus 35RC also appears in that review, and it'd be another good candidate, as are many classic Olympus Pen models. Basically, the silver-and-black styling was common for everything at the time, and you just need to narrow it down to rangefinder-style cameras, and then to the boxier of those (the Minolta A, for example, fits the color scheme, but is much curvier). And the classic Pentax K1000 has the color scheme, but the SLR pentaprism means it's not a direct match.

  • Is the Olympus trip 35 also a good choice? – Bob Dolman Feb 22 '15 at 23:33
  • @BobDolman It appears to look the part; whether it is a good choice or not really depends on what you want. If you intend to actually use it rather than having it sit on the shelf, I suggest not, since it is a mostly-automatic camera with little ability to manually control exposure settings. – mattdm Feb 23 '15 at 17:01
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Fuji's X-series cameras always remind me of the Minolta HiMatic 7s.

Minolta HiMatic 7s

The reason there are so many examples of cameras that look like a Fuji X-camera is probably that everybody wanted their camera to look like a Leica. Here's a comparison of the iconic Leica M3 with the Fuji X-100 from Nokton on Flickr:

Leica vs. Fuji from Nokton on Flickr

I'm looking for a mechanical vintage camera

As @mattdm said in his post, you'll have lots of options, many available for just 15 or 20 euro. And since the electronics in most of these cameras is limited to a light meter, it shouldn't be hard to find one that's in good working condition.

  • Yes, another great example! There are very many. It's particularly the lowered area in the top plate near the shutter release that makes me think first of the Canonet, but the basic design was effectively the aesthetic standard of the day. (With "the day" being somewhere between 1960-1980.) – mattdm Feb 24 '15 at 21:55
  • Agree, @mattdm. I don't know if there were cameras before Leica that had a similar design, but Leica usually gets the credit for that look. – Caleb Feb 24 '15 at 22:41
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    A word of warning about the light-meters on such old cameras: They tend to be designed for use with mercury batteries, such as PX13 or PX625, which are (for obvious reasons) not easy to get hold of these days. A modern battery, even if it has the same voltage, is NOT a drop-in replacement for one of these, the light-meter readings will be off, and in a non-linear manner. Adapters ("MR-9") to let you use modern batteries are available, fortunately, but may cost more than the camera. – Staale S Feb 26 '15 at 13:28

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