C3 review posted for your enjoyment

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
Several months ago I mentioned that I was going to do some more 'formal' testing of my C3 to see where its strengths and weaknesses are. I have since shot about 20 rolls of film, mostly color negative, and looked at a lot of pictures from that little camera (most very pleasing, by the way). Included in that 20 or so rolls were two rolls of Ilford Delta, 100 and 400 - these were used to do some testing of the ability of the lens to capture fine details.
I also decided to try and summarize my findings for those who might be looking for another opinion on the camera. You can check out my little analysis page here:
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Note that I found the 100 and 400 results to be so similar that I only posted the 400 results, which were a little better in terms of contrast, due to the film's inherent higher contrast.

Be aware that the large images that show up when you click on the overview images are VERY large - they are all over 1MB. I apologize in advance for the lack of quality in the scans - my flatbed scanner has a transparency unit, but the results are less than idea. Still, I can see where the detail is and where it is lacking - at least I think I can :)

The surprise for me was that the lens seems much sharper at the tele end of its range. Not so surprising is that the lens seems sharper at the closer focusing distances.

I hope you find somethign worthwhile in this little review exercise.

Cheers!
- marc
 
D

dexterss

Hei guys!!! Nice work!!!
I have never done something as big a marc.

My experience here:

I used a nikon SLR before with few zoom and fixed-focal. Then I did vigorous net search. I bought a Yashica T5 (same as T4 super). I immediately noticed the colour and sharpness have far exceeded my nikon. I then focused on my T5 for a while. I was really disappointed with the out-of-focus problem. It's definitely there. I once thought it's my hand off the partly depressed shutter. It's NOT.

Then I bought a Contax TVS II. It's great when it's in focus. But the focus problem is still there. Though better than T5. So I learn not take shots in those "easy out of focus" situation. It helps. The manual focus helps a bit too. But it's far beyond my expectation as an SLR user.

Then I bought my Sony S75 digital. The focus problem is identical. But the good thing is I now can take many shots and take 1 out of it. And I gotta check the focus (though still not sure before I see it on my computer).

Just a word for the discussion on tripod. The focus problem is identified on a pic (even a postcard size) when u see something nearer or farther (often the case) are so sharp and yet your subject is so soft. You really have to be picky here (Many of us do.). You don't have to blow it up to see that. And the general discussion on "use a tripod" is valid, but the focus problem is not due to "no tripod".

I decided not to pick C3 for my friend, until I saw marc's posting. Marc, I will kill you. You put me in trouble now. You tell me, C3 or T4-zoom?

Steve.
 
C

Craig24

Thanks marc and Steve

very informative posts

Good luck with your future shooting, regards craig.
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
> Steve, I don't think you can go wrong with the Yashica OR the C3 - both have great optics and great handling. I chose the C3 because I found it worked faster - focus was faster, startup faster, etc. I also prefer active AF to passive, since I do like to focus in low light from time to time, and the C3 is one of the few (only?) active AF 28-80 cameras out there. Also, I tend to be biased toward Leica equipment, even point and shoots - they have never let me down (mini 3, minilux, Z2X, M, R, all great). The Yashica is a real bargain though, at half the price of the C3. If money had been more of an issue I would have picked the Yashica I think. Or, I would just have stuck with the Rollei Prego 90 (Schneider version), which is also a fantastic little camera!

Does your friend like the T4 Zoom?

Cheers! - marc
 

adeeh

Member
Very interesting tests Marc. I like the barrel distortion test, quite a good idea - though I fear it would be worse at 28mm. I look forward to your verdict on looking at the negs to compare the short focal length vs long - I suspect the scanning will be causing this, i think the resolution of the scan becomes more critical when the subject is further away.

Yes - the flower pics have gone a bit wrong - I find this a bit of a struggle with mine, since it's hard to pre focus without moving position - and a few cms can be critical - and if you don't pre focus there's a bit of a delay and I've moved!!
However, there is such a mass of details with no clear subject for the AF to get hold of - and should there be parallax with the AF window when close-up?? Lots of issues, but I really don't consider mine to be in any sense a close-up camera (which is a pity because I like to photograph small flowers).

Any more tests would be welcome (wish I had time and a scanner to do similar).

Adrian
 
D

dexterss

Hi Craig & Marc,

You know, some people may prefer wider zoom range to optics. Things like 28-120, etc.

These days I come to accept the limitation of focusing ability of compact camera. That said, I tend to believe T4 zoom is not without flaw in focus. So, I will bet on C3 for the presumably better optics.

I have to agree with Marc, it's no point to be too critical about the quality here. They are both "low cost" compact anyway. If you are looking for a real bargain for optics, buy Minilux. You can't be wrong.

Steve.
 

louisytp

New Member
I have just purchased a C3 in Hong Kong, and I have to say that I love it very much!

Just one stupid question: is the top plane of the shutter release button a bit tilted to fit your finget when releasing the shutter? I don't know if it is intentional or not.....

All in all a very lovely little camera!

Louis
 

humble

Member
Louis,

My wife's C3 has a perfectly level shutter button so i think maybe it's not quite right.

David
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
Mine appears level too. It might be worth taking back to the camera mart if convenient and checking another unit, possibly swapping.

Congratulations on a nice camera! I love mine, it is a great little auto-wonder with a nice range of focal lengths.

- marc
 

louisytp

New Member
Thanks Marc and David,

It appears that there are no stock left all over Hong kong for the C3......So i might stick with it as long as it cause no trouble to my shooting to avoid the frustrating wait for another new one. (Yes i am an anxious person


Another stupid question: In the manual it says that the close up frame could be, and should be, seen in the viewfinder, however there isn't one in my C3. Is it a problem with the camera or the manual?

Thanks a lot!

Louis
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
> The manual had a change - mine came with a small slip of paper that corrected that. The slip of paper said that the close-up lines were eliminated in the camera design after the manual was printed. They also said that the correction was so small that it was unnecessary, and given that the close-focus is not all that close I tend to agree. I do account for a little bit of parallax when I shoot in the 1-meter range, just out of habit I think.

- marc
 

adeeh

Member
Yes - I got an adendum slip in my user manual too as Marc describes. That's the only significant change - the other being the shape of the autofocus square in the viewfinder (diff from manual).
AS for the shutter release, mine is definitely flush with the surface around, although there is some tilt when actually shooting - though I've taken so many that I'd actually forgotten.

Still think it's really lovely - and I've shot over 30 films now since last December - crikey I must slow down...

Enjoy it Louis - there are plenty of tips on this site.
 

Phil

New Member
Well I just discovered my C3 will need to go in for repair. The front apreture that "protects" the lens does not open fully. I had my doubts about it's design. I think I'll see if they can just leave it off. And just as I was about to go on a trip... Anyone else have a similar experience?
 
D

drigsbee

I've discovered the same problem as Phil--the dust cover aperture retracts only partly, rendering the camera unusable. It only happened once to me, but the very same thing happened to a Nikon P&S camera I took to Italy some years ago (with the same lens cover design), and the failure was not only inconvenient, but permanent. My C3 has operated properly since the one "event," but it has diminished my trust in this model.
 

humble

Member
Mine had the same problem when it was brand new out of the box. the fine metal leaves were jammed. But after gently freeing them it has worked perfectly ever since.

David
 

ovi

New Member
Nice camera, good pictures, easy to use. But, after 5 months, the rubber frame from around the viewfinder came out and now it takes a lot of time to fix it. Still waiting for the rubber and also I have to buy some adhesive... Very disappointing!

Ovi
 

adeeh

Member
Yes - my rubber viewfinder frame came out after about a year of use too. Easily sorted with a drop of glue, but take your point that I would not expect this. It does tend to catch on all case when I put it in and out so maybe it's not surprising - and certainly not a problem.

Adrian
 
K

kooning

C3, I love it. Lens quality is no doubt. I like to talk about where is your C3 made. Gemany or China or elsewhere...
I have early production, the rubber base is only engraved the serial no.,no where to made, but I found the recent production, it is engraved made in china. Why would that be? Can anyone have comments about this issue.}}}
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
I checked and the C3 in my camera closet has no origin of manufacture markings. I am fairly certin that they were never made in Germany, because they would say so if they were! Made in China would not surprise me - Leica has to keep the manufacture costs down somehow, and things are cheaper to make in China than in Germany ;-)

Made in China is fine as long as they keep the quality control up and the manufacturing tolerances low.

Cheers!
- marc
 

ovi

New Member
The C3 is made in China, components are made in Japan and the Quality Control is done in Germany.
This is my third C3 in less than one year. The others two have been exchanged due to malfunctions.
Even so, I strongly recommend this camera: exceptional photos and nice body, coupled with 3 yrs. warranty and good customer service.

Ovi
 
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