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Thread: Range finder

  1. #1

    Default Range finder

    What makes a range finder a range finder apart from a camera?

  2. #2
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    huh?

    A rangefinder camera has separate viewing system and 'picture taking' system. It does not view through the lens. Focussing system is typically via a coincident image - you alight 2 images together on a small little bright square/circle in the middle of the viewfinder.

    Regards
    CK

  3. #3

    Default

    So is a rangefinder camera a better and sharper image for taking group pictures such as football team and class photos( under low ligting conditions)?

  4. #4
    Calvinle
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    Default rangefinder camera

    Originally posted by Jethro
    So is a rangefinder camera a better and sharper image for taking group pictures such as football team and class photos( under low ligting conditions)?
    not true. the rangefinder cameras are obsolete now and you need to compose/focus your picture manually which slows down your pciture taking. Most cameras use the autofocus function and you can just shoot even without focusing.

    The costly Hassalbal (spelling?) cameras do use manual focusing but that model too has incoperated the auto focusing function in its newer models.

  5. #5

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    From what I understand (in other words, NOT from experience) the advantages of rangefinders are:

    1. Smaller and lighter. The lenses are usually smaller and sharper. Not sure if this is because they do not have to accomodate SLR function. The camera bodies are also simpler and therefore smaller.

    2. MANUAL focussing is easier. Instead of having to judge the sharpness of the subject being focussed (which may vary depending on whether you wear glasses or not), you just superimpose two images on each other. When the two images are superimposed, you are in focus.

    3. Quieter operation. There is no mirror slap noise like there is in an SLR.

    4. Snob appeal. Amateurs and Pro-wannabe's use SLR's. REAL photographers use rangefinders.

  6. #6
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Hi, just new here in this forum and couldnt help notice this thread bout rangefinders.

    Enough has been written on the merits and problems with rangefinders. I use both metered and non metered rangefinders and AF and manual ones as well. I also own an slr which i cannot live without too.

    The most important things, for me using rangefinders:

    1. is its compact size. I shoot street alot and subjects really find it more acceptable and they get comfortable more quickly. Laypeople or for that matter, new photographers dont take us seriously. Which is good.... I get a more relaxed subject

    2. huge savings in weight when moving around

    3. low shutter speed possible when hand holding. Its possible to shoot comfortably and sharply at 1/16 -1/30 sec with a 45mm or even a 90mm lens

    4. for manual rangefinders w/o anything, forces you to think and compose and expose before releasing shutter

    I get frustrated with the rangefinder when:

    1. close focusing parallex error happens when using a seperate viewfinder in the flash shoe

    2. hard to use a cir-pol filter

    3. slightly slower AF because the lens (if AF in the case of Contax G2) needs to mark itself at infinity b4 before focusing to correct distance

    5. cannot do real macro work

    Lastly, owning a rangefinder, especially one without an interchangeable lens is very very affordable. A canonet or an Olympis 35RC or a Yashica Electro is anywhere from $50 to $200 only and some of them come with pretty good lens too in the region of f1.8 !!!

    Give a try with one of these cheaply (just make sure you get a clean sample) and decide for yourself . Many people are under the false impression that Rangefinder = Leica. Lots of other more affordable alternatives out there that will turn out great results.

    ed
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  7. #7
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default calvinle

    "not true. the rangefinder cameras are obsolete now and you need to compose/focus your picture manually which slows down your pciture taking"

    Isnt that supposed to be GOOD?

    Obsolete? My Contax G2 has TWO focusing systems (one active and one passive) and my 40 year old russian rangefinder will work without batteries. Old technology does not mean bad/useless technology.

    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  8. #8
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    Default Re: calvinle

    Originally posted by ed9119
    "not true. the rangefinder cameras are obsolete now and you need to compose/focus your picture manually which slows down your pciture taking"

    Isnt that supposed to be GOOD?

    Obsolete? My Contax G2 has TWO focusing systems (one active and one passive) and my 40 year old russian rangefinder will work without batteries. Old technology does not mean bad/useless technology.

    It's indeed sad that with the advent of auto focussing, auto exposure, auto-everything, a lot of people have begun to take them for granted, and without them, can't do anything.

    Slowing down your picture taking process is sometimes a good thing. It makes you think of new compositions/angles, whether it's worth shooting etc, instead of shooting blindly. "Anyhow shoot" always get crappy pics. I also suffer from that.

    Regards
    CK

  9. #9
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    Hmmm... so I guess getting a rangefinder will help me to slow down a little, side effect from using a digital camera. So what film format does it use? 35mm? (ok, I admit, I' dumb) And does most of the affordable ones has a decent built in light meter?

  10. #10
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    rangefinders are avaliable in regular 35mm format or larger formats (like the new Mamiya 7, Fuji ) Light meters....lots of the 35mm rangefinders come with working meters but of course not matrix super evaluative type technology. Meters from selenium or older generations will tend to lose some sensitivity to light so might not get accurate exposure readings.

    I normally carry a cheap handheld Capitol light meter with me to check light levels.

    A fantastic Kung Fu skill in photography to learn is estimating light with your bare eyes and estimating its EV. From there deduct your appropriate shutter speed/apature combo, set it on the camera and shoot. This will impress the heck out of your photog friends and will come in handy the day your in-camera meter dies. Its not difficult,.... even the most modern light meters measure light with algorithms based on the original 'sunny 16' rule.

    ed
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

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    wah cheem.... Need to channel all my chi to eyes first... hee hee... Or use my Minolta D 5 as a super big and expensive light meter... But then, a bit lose the point... So anything to recommend to someone who is a student and works in coffee bean so that he can buy camera equipments? I guess I'll prefer 35mm...

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    Originally posted by Flare
    wah cheem.... Need to channel all my chi to eyes first... hee hee... Or use my Minolta D 5 as a super big and expensive light meter... But then, a bit lose the point... So anything to recommend to someone who is a student and works in coffee bean so that he can buy camera equipments? I guess I'll prefer 35mm...
    Look for those old rangefinders ed9119 mentioned. Pretty cheap, cheaper than your average consumer P&S digital camera. Even a new Voigtlander Bessa R with 50/1.5 costs about the same as a 4-5mp consumer digital camera.

    Regards
    CK

  13. #13

    Default

    Just say NO.

    *I do not need a rangefinder... I do not need a rangefinder...*

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by StreetShooter
    Just say NO.

    *I do not need a rangefinder... I do not need a rangefinder...*
    You need one. It's the ideal tool for street photography. D30 is too big....




    Regards
    CK

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