Rangefinder camera?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DIRT, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    Im curious as to what is the deal with rangefinders, why the hubbub? i have aquired an old ricoh "mate" 35mm rangefinder and need to know what the advantages could be as compared to an SLR?

    also, does anybody know of a good site to find info on the Ricoh "mate' rangefinder camera?
     
  2. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    advatages: they are small and weight less than SLRs
    they are good for use with wide angle lenses which correct deviations such as distortion to a nearly perfect level.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In the "old days," a big benifit was the leaf shutter rather than a focal plane... much quiter and faster flash sync, all with less vibration. They were often less expensive (sans Leica).
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    The advantage of Rangefinders is no mirrors. No more guessing "if I saw it in the viewfinder did I miss it on film?" SLR's have the strong disadvantage of projecting the image in to the viewfinder.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Hmmm, maybe I'm confused by your reply? It sounds backwards.

    By projecting the image coming through the lens through the viewfinder with a mirror the SLR shows exactly (or close, most viewfinders show slightly less than 100% of the final image) what the lens "sees", and what you are going to get in the photo.

    With a rangefinder you are looking through a viewfinder that is not seeing exactly what the lens is seeing. At farther distances the difference between what the lens and viewfinder see are minimal, but as subject to camera distance shortens the difference between what the lens is seeing and what is seen through the viewfinder becomes greater. This is called parallax, and it happens with any camera with a viewfinder besides SLRs.

    Some cameras correct for parallax (such as Rolleiflex TLRs), meaning that except at the very shortest focusing distances, the viewfinder does pretty much show you what you are going to get. Other cameras have marks in the viewfinder (like most point-n-shoots) to show how the composition needs to be corrected in order to get the same photo as you are seeing through the viewfinder.
     
  6. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    Exactly. The mirror allows you to see what the film is going to see. That's precisely the advantage of SLRs!
    I don't have any experience with rangefinders (always been with SLRs), but it seems to me that the focusing system must be one of the advantages. Then also the fact that they are smaller, the shutter they have... and some are sooo beautiful... :drool:
    ... and sooo expensive... :grumpy: -you know which ones!
     
  7. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I think he meant the delay when the mirror flips up. Technically, what you see in the viewfinder won't be on film because of the shutter lag.....
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Ahhh, I understand what Craig meant now. That's one of the reasons I love my TLR; I can see if they blinked when I take the shot.
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Pardon my lack of a clear explanation I am afraid it happens often. At any rate I was speaking of the mirror flipping up at the decisive moment. Paralax error is a tough deal. Seeing only 97% of the image is also a hard pill to swallow. I am not sure if masters like Bresson ever used an SLR because of that fact.

    I second the motion of precise focus. I am not sure if all Rangefinders' have them, but Leica's dual image focusing is hard to beat.

    I bought the http://www.leica-camera.com/digitalekameras/digilux2/index.html to accompany my http://www.leica-camera.com/digitalekameras/digitalmodul/index.html. Joking of course.
     

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