Question on Leica rangefinder framing


DSolZ

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2010
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Hi all, me hand itchy, bought a Leica M5 to start my rangefinder journey.
I understand that since framing is not throught the lens, the frame line would be less accurate then a SLR.

I am using a 35 mm lens, I understand that the frame line shifts left right as you vary your focus of the lens to correct for parallax.

My question is, assuming that the range finder is CLAed properly, typically, how accurate is the 35mm frame line for Leica m camera, for framing purpose?

What sort of adjustment should I factor in when taking a picture? E.g assuming film coverage is xx% of the 35 mm frame line in the view finder for near focus and xx% for far focus?

Will appreciate if Leica gurus can provide some framing tips from your wealth of experience.
 

Bandi

New Member
Jan 27, 2015
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Singapore
Not very accurate and depends a bit on calibration and camera model too. Only thing specific thing to mention with the M5 is that the framelines got tighter after around the M6 came out, so they made it worse (which for you means yours would be more accurate).

Most of them seem to reach their peak accuracy around 1m (old close focusing) distance but even there is a bit tighter than what you actually get on the film (but you get more parallax, so probably better frame a bit loosely anyways). Said to be similar to a mounted slide (~95%?). As the distance gets larger, the framing showing in the finder gets more and more loose, peaking at infinity.

It's better with wider lenses so in your case with the 35mm and M5, I would say just frame what you see and crop a bit if needed later.


If you want more confidence, what I did when I started out is taped up frames on the wall, put the tripod at various distances, took a picture through the finder and compared it with the developed film.

The other thing I did with another camera (which was way trickier with an external finder with bad reputation) is to open the back, lock up the shutter, darken the room and put a torchlight through the gate (of course carefully). This will project the crop onto the wall that you can compare with what you see in the finder.
 

ngwmk

Member
Jan 20, 2009
352
3
18
Hi all, me hand itchy, bought a Leica M5 to start my rangefinder journey.
I understand that since framing is not throught the lens, the frame line would be less accurate then a SLR.

I am using a 35 mm lens, I understand that the frame line shifts left right as you vary your focus of the lens to correct for parallax.

My question is, assuming that the range finder is CLAed properly, typically, how accurate is the 35mm frame line for Leica m camera, for framing purpose?

What sort of adjustment should I factor in when taking a picture? E.g assuming film coverage is xx% of the 35 mm frame line in the view finder for near focus and xx% for far focus?

Will appreciate if Leica gurus can provide some framing tips from your wealth of experience.
Just wanted to add.. M5 is awesome. Just shoot no need to think so much about the framelines.
 

DSolZ

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2010
784
7
18
Thanks for the reply. I will give it a go and frame as per normal :) fingers crossed.
 

larrytok

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2009
800
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
The framelines will probably capture smaller focal length of what you are taking. (usually have extra of out the framelines, but it is very minute),

1metre distance will be extremely accurate, but the rest of distance are pretty close also. should not make much of a diff