How many of us use rangefinders?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by netdog, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #1
    Like everywhere, we mostly see posts here debating the merits of Canons and Nikons. Both manufacturers make fine cameras but there really isn't much between them

    Just wondering if we have much of a rangefinder community here shooting either digital or film.

    M8 and M4P here.
     
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #2
    Though Leicas certainly aren't the only rangefinders still out there, they're the best known ones, and also extremely expensive. For the price of an M8.2, you can buy a D3 and some great glass to go with it.
     
  3. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #3
    I'm an ex-rangefinder user. I used to use a Fuji 670GWIII (probably my favourite camera of all time - 6x7 medium format and a fantastic 90mm lens).

    For me, I don't find the Leica or Epson digital rangefinders attractive (too expensive, too limited compared to lightweight DSLRs).

    I am looking forward to the expansion of the Olympus/Panasonic micro four thirds format. I don't know if you'd consider these to be rangefinders - although they are similar (reflex mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras). I'll probably wait to see what Olympus release in the format, rather than going for the Panasonic G1.
     
  4. jpfisher macrumors regular

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    #4
    I've used the M8 as my primary camera for a little over six months now... also have a DSLR (Pentax), 35mm SLR (also Pentax) and a medium format film SLR (Hasselblad) for use when needed...
     
  5. RainForRent macrumors 6502

    RainForRent

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    #5
    I shoot a Minolta 7s on occasion for kitsch retro awesomeness.
     
  6. rouxeny macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I have an old one, but I don't use it much. It's film and ancient (well, relatively). Digital seems so much easier....
     
  7. Dfndr90 macrumors regular

    Dfndr90

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    #7
    Leica M6 and Konica Hexar for me. But they dont get much use now that I am shooting with the D200.
     
  8. atlanticza macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

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    #8
    Still using (occasionally) my Hasselblad X-Pan for panoramic shots.
     
  9. wittegijt macrumors member

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    Eindhoven
    #9
    I use mainly rangefinders (all film): A Bronica RF645 is my favorite camera. I also own a Contax G2 set, and some Russian Leica/Contax copies.
    No digital rangefinders for me, they are way overpriced in my opinion.

    Wittegijt.
     
  10. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #10
    I occasionally dust off my old Fujifilm GA645zi, still got a fair amount of film in my freezer, should go out and use it!
     
  11. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    #11
    Bubbble ... bubble ...

    My underwater camera, a 35mm (film) Nikonos V, is a rangefinder.

    Probably due the the UW application, it doesn't have any short of range-focus assistance (eg, split screen to allign, etc) in the viewfinder.

    Instead, there's range markings on the lens. On the 3rd party lenses, its a simple knob with values and a tickmark, but on the genuine Nikkor lenses, it has two "pointers" that are hooked into the f/stop: as you go to a higher f/number, the pointers move apart, indicating the total depth of field.

    You can get a decent view of this system at this webpage.

    In the above URL's second photo (orange body) looking at the front face of the lens, the top scale (silver) is for focus range (and has two orange pointers) and the bottom scale (black) is f/stop.

    The current setting is f/22 and a range of roughly 5 to 7ft (red numbers), or 1.5 to 2 meters (black numbers)...call it roughly 6ft focus distance with +/- 1ft worth of depth of field.

    FWIW, with the 15mm wide angle at roughly 0.7m at f/8, the depth of field is roughly 10 inches to infinity.



    -hh
     
  12. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    #12
    The main "advantages" of range-finder cameras over SLR's are (1) size/weight - the former being smaller/lighter and (2) the lack of shutter noise - SLR's are not always ideal in "quiet" situations such as the theatre where mirror-slap can be a problem.
     
  13. netdog thread starter macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #13
    Very cool page.
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Back in the film days, I was often taking out my dad's Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK (he's the first owner and it's still in perfect working order!). The camera has a very different feel to it than the slrs I was used to, but I was usually never very good at estimating the distance to the subject. I've always shot bw with it. Perhaps I'll ask them to give it to me permanently and continue to shoot film every once in a while.
     
  15. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    #15
    Leica CL and 28, 40 and 90mm lenses, but it is rarely used now. My life has gone digital! Would love an M8, but will be getting a D700 first...
     
  16. Knomad macrumors newbie

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    North Coast, California
    #16
    I use an old Leica M4 far more than my DSLR. Compact size, light weight, exquisite balance, amazing lenses... and a whole different way of seeing. A rangefinder allows editing things both in and out of the frame, no more looking through the tunnel. It makes a difference in composing.
     
  17. Knomad macrumors newbie

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    #17
    There are still a lot of 40-year old M4's in everyday use.

    D3's are good cameras. But how many do you think will still be around in three years? These days, DSLRs are obsolete in a year and a half.
     
  18. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #18
    Actually, I have a buddy who still beats the crap out of his Nikon D1 and D1x bodies. They were bought in early 2000 if I recall, so that's 9 years of service. "Obsolete" doesn't mean useless - the M4 is completely obsolete too.
     
  19. jacobsen1 macrumors member

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    #19
    I would love to use a rangefinder, but the price for what you get is just absurd these days. The epson would have been great if they continued improving it. The leica is into the nose bleed territory for me, especially considering my old 5D could beat it optically. Yes, I'd prefer the body of a rangefinder, but when it's loses in terms of budget and features I just can't do it. I've also been drooling on a bessa r4m for a while now, but scanning film is enough of a pita I avoid it.

    For me, I have what I need right now. For 35mm film I have my old canon A2. For 645 I have a Bronica ETRSi. For a DSLR I have a 5Dii. It covers the bases.

    I agree that I'm waiting to see what olympus brings to the micro 4:3s table. It's not technically a rangefinder, but it's got the principle and won't break the bank... I'm also looking at the LX3 right now, but I'm wondering if I should wait for the spring show to see if Olympus has something by then? The G1 is close, but why'd they put an EV on it? :confused:
     
  20. jacobsen1 macrumors member

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    #20
    exactly. If a D3 beats film today (let's not go there) it still will in 3 years. Sure, the D4 or 5 will be better by then, but that doesn't mean the D3 stops taking great images.

    I had a 1D until late last year. It's hunger for batteries is what made me finally sell it. Damn CCD sensor.
     
  21. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #21
    All of them, most likely. I am still using a D2X. Its greatest limitation is me.
     
  22. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #22
    Maybe someone can answer this for me...

    I love rangefinders, but using the "finder" in P&S and in some of the Rangefinder Cameras I looked at - it felt kinda "wierd" having your nose and face plastered against an LCD display screen and controls on the camera back.

    Is there a decent digital rangefinder that doesn't have that?

    Thanks.
     
  23. harinezumi macrumors member

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    UK
    #23
    Leica M8 or M8.2 might be what you are looking for.:)
     
  24. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #24
    In three years? There will be a ton of D3s in use three years from now, with many of them having passed from the hands of cutting-edge professionals to amateurs who will by then be able to afford the lower prices of the D3 (compared to a D4 or something similar).

    An F5 isn't any less great than it was in 1996, but it now costs perhaps a sixth of what it did then.

    D3s are very well put together, and will still see a lot of service as the years go by. The shutters are made of kevlar, and the body is made of metal. The megapixels provided are plentiful and the onboard image processor is top-notch, and won't suddenly produce poor images three years from now.

    Pros who dump their D3s will be putting them in the hands of people like me.
     
  25. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #25
    Sorry to drag up a thread, but I walked into a camera store recently intending to buy a P&S - which I did, but also came out with an M8.2.

    I had fond-ish memories of my old film Leica, on which I got some excellent shots... but playing with the new one for a while, I have a nasty feeling that it may all have been a fluke. Recalling how I used to use it, I really had no idea what I was really doing in the moment that I took the shot. I just pointed, did the technical basics and hoped for the best.

    Maybe I need to be in a similar situation, but the shots are not coming out as I thought they might. I think some informal tuition may be in order. Does anyone know if this sort of thing can be done online, or if there's some sort of class for it?
     

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