Not quite a rangefinder but certainly very close, the Konica Hexar gives you a lot of camera for not very much money. However, that beautifully quiet leaf shutter does come with one huge drawback. Is it a dealbreaker?
In this video, photographer Barney Arthur takes the Hexar out for a day of shooting, and there’s a lot to love about this fixed 35mm f/2 lens camera. The lens is sharp and renders beautifully, and the camera comes with a smart autofocus system that, as Arthur explains, does have its limitations but performs exceptionally well given the price and age of this gem of a point-and-shoot.
There’s more than a few to be had on eBay at present, though you will probably have to fork out a little more than the $500 that Arthur paid (they seem to be cheaper in the U.K., strangely).
Some trivia for you: once in silent mode, the Hexar is said to be quieter than a Leica rangefinder. The Silver version of the Hexar had the silent mode disabled, but there is a means of overcoming this restriction through a series of arcane button pushes that seem almost reminiscent of activating championship mode in Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo (ask your parents).
Is this the best sub-$600 compact film camera on the market right now? Let us know in the comments below.