Coexistence of 35mm SLR's and RF's

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by msbarnes, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    For those that have RF's and SLR's, do you use both equally for general off-tripod shooting? I want to get into the Leica M system but I'm wondering if I should still keep my OM system. I'll probably keep both for a while then sell off the OM gear if it sees no use, but I'm wondering if you, users use both.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I much prefer a rangefinder, it's possible to hand hold at slower speeds than an SLR with a higher level of sharness. That said I've used both successfully.

    Ian
     
  3. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    don't sell the OM just yet--unless you're thinking of switching to nikon :laugh:

    after a long while shooting the M and the F in parallel, i sold the M. i'm not too good babysitting gear--you should see that hole my F2 made in the ground last week (and then proceeded to finish the three-hour shoot, as if nothing happened) :cool:

    (i only say this, because the choice you're facing, or think you are, has little to do with photographic results: a year down the road i have no idea which old picture was taken with which system. it's mostly about all the other factors)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2012
  4. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    I use both.

    Apart from those situations where an SLR is greatly advantaged (telephotos, close-ups, exact framing), they are also very different ways of working and seeing.

    Given the price of gear now, by all means keep both!
     
  5. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    After years of shooting Pen's and OM's, I branched out into the Olympus RF's and VF's (all of 'em). For several years I made a concerted effort to only shoot the RF's. They were nice. They all have their own character.

    But the OM's will always be my first love. The view thru the lens just seems so "real". The OM is easier to use in full manual, which I prefer (For Olympus' RF's, only the SP metered when set to manual). I prefer a wider lens, and take most shots with a 28mm or 35mm. And the sound of the mirror and shutter is just so strong and solid (And I take exception to the lower shutter speed comment for RF's. That might be true for some of those "other" SLRs, but the OM's are too smooth. I actually had more problem with the RF's because of the long release shutter travel needed lock the exposure.)

    And the final point, you can't leave the lens cap on an SLR or frame for the wrong lens. Check the post above for the guy who did just that.
     
  6. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I have lots of rangefinders (Leica, Contax, Nikon, etc.) and SLRs (Contax, Nikon, Minolta, etc), and various fixed lens RFs. I started out many, many years ago with a Nikkorex (!) and stuck with SLRs for a long time (mainly because my Nikon S3 was stolen in eastern Zaire). I liked the full view, the use of telephotos, the accurate framing. But over time, as I aged and my eyesight changed, it became significantly easier to focus with a good rangefinder patch. And despite my continuing love and use of Nikon F and Nikkormats, I seem to find the use of a rangefinder to somehow be more pleasing. I will switch back and forth, for how can I resist using my F? But it's very much a personal choice you'll have to make. And despite all the NOOKY NESUMs and such for closeup work with RFs, you'll always want an SLR on hand for that sort of work. Try both!
     
  7. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    I also have a wide range of cameras but I mainly use SLRs as I find them much more versatile. You can use a SLR instead of a rangefinder in any situation. The opposite is not true.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I like to recommend SLR's to students who are starting out, besides the things mentioned already, a large and relatively bright (50mm f1.8 standard lens) viewing area is the norm, where as with range finders the larger and crisper windows and patches are usually only in the exceptional models.

    I use both SLR and RF, but find that I am faster with a SLR and a good focusing screen. I really like my OM system as well, I just wish lenses were a bit less expensive. I have been keeping a look out for a nice 6x9 RF at a good price, as I have been liking my 6x6 RF, it will probably be my next purchase if I get lucky.
     
  9. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    I like the rangefinder camera for general snapshots, ie; shooting from the hip as it were. Whereas the SLR seems to be well suited for telephoto and close-up photography. I've never tried using a bellows unit on a rangefinder camera. Nor have I tried using lenses such as 200mm - 600mm on a rangefinder camera. Both those scenarios sound like they would be a bit cumbersome.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2012
  10. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I use both. Rangefinder for street, casual, and quiet shooting. SLR for fast, accurate, flash, portrait and telephoto. They are tools, I like having both. I could use flash on my rangefinders too, but I'm lazy and use the TTL on my nikons (F4 and FM3A). Neither of my rangefinders (Oly 35RD and Mamiya 6MF) do TTL.
     
  11. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I like to use both.

    Jeff
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Couldn't imagine shooting <24mm and close-in with a rangefinder vs SLRs.
     
  13. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The camera is a picture taking tool. Depending on what picture you are taking, some tools may be better or easier to use than others. Why limit yourself?
     
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  15. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    I have and like both. RFs and SLRs both have their advantages and disadvantages, and are different ways of seeing.
     
  16. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    As many others have said, I use both. I will carry my Voigtlander RF with me most of the time - it is small enough to do so without much hassle. For specific projects I am likely to use one of my SLRs - Canon or Olympus OM.

    As Fotch said, a camera is a tool. You wouldn't restrict yourself to either a screwdriver or a hammer, would you?
     
  17. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Start with an Olympus XA & see if you like it,

    You can always get a Leica m, Voigtlander Bessa, or even a Contax G-2, Later.
     
  18. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I hate rangefinders. I only use them when I have to (Graflex Handheld) And much prefer the feel and function of my SLRS (Nikon F, F6)
     
  19. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thanks for your advice/experience!

    I'm no stranger to rangefinders. I tried the XA and hated it. My favorite 35mm cameras right now are my Retina's, but the finders are a little squinty. I've tried a few RF's but none of them have been a real joy to use but I feel that the Leica M's will fix this. I know that cameras are nothing but "lightproof" boxes, but to me, the experience is very different.

    I felt that an SLR and RF in this format is a little redundant because they can function similarly for many applications. I know that SLR's are more advantageous for careful composition, macro, and telephoto work, but I have little/no interest in these applications. I do, however, like the idea of affordable bodies and quality glass. I can build a system much more easily. With a RF 1-2 Leica/Zeiss bodies and 1-2 Leica/Zeiss lenses will cost a few grand. But I can build a decent SLR system for much much less.

    Money is one thing, but not everything--I don't want to hold on to cameras that I won't use. I have a bunch of cameras that I don't use and that I plan on selling them but I'm not sure how minimal I want to go....however, i think that I'll keep the OM system for a while because letting it go is a little tough. I haven't owned a Leica, so it's possible that I may be dissapointed and warm up to SLR's.
     
  20. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    I like you use the Kodak Retinas for rangefinders (Yashicas too). If you ever get the chance try the Retina IIIS and obtain the Schneider 28mm lens. Very sharp and the camera has an extremely quiet shutter. Condition of the camera, of course, will be an issue but with some patience it is worth obtaining.

    I also love slrs and will always hold on to my Pentax equipment, but I do find that I have been using rangefinders more often.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/ret3s.htm
     
  21. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    msbarnes, I don't really see the advantage of switching from Oly OM to Leica M. Weight and size are pretty similar, SLR is easier to use, you already have it, no need to spend extra money.

    The situation would be different if you were starting from scratch but it is not the case.

    Take care.
     
  22. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I didn't elaborate fully but it isn't necessarily the glass, noise, weight, etc. but the low-light shooting capabilities. I shoot my Retina's down to 1/8s when I have to. I also prefer the focusing mechanism, and seeing outside the frame.
     
  23. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    While I have a Leica, I find that there are a number of RFs that can come close to the quality if there is no need for interchangable lenses as a requirement or if so, then look for the CL, the Minilta CLE or even the Barnack LTM that all have Leica quality but not the M body pricing for a good one. If really on a budget and want almost (within a degree or so) then look for a Minox 35mm other than the ML (that has shutter problems). They bought their glass from Leica and were great at ginding the lenses. When Minox went up for sale, Leica bought the company to get their lens grinding ability for small glass associated with digital lenses that Leica had not in-house experience with at the time. I used a ML along with my Leica and the differences were so small that other than I got the Leica at a bargain rate and my ML was experiencing the shutter problem (sadly), I could have just used the ML rather than getting the Leica. I still miss the Minox and have thought of getting another but, different model on the used market. Compared to the more well known Olympus XA series the Minox was clearly the better, I had a XA along with the ML and about 6-months after getting it gave it away as it just did not measure up. I also, really liked the Rollei 35mm made in Germany even though the control layout was funky. The lens is almost as good as the Minox but it is more reliable than the ML in spades and I could have also as easily lived with it. It is another today, I'd want if not having the Leica.
     
  24. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    RF is easier to me for available darkness phuzzygraphy. As with your Retina, quieter, and depending on lens, ability to see out side the picture area. 35 & 50's tend to be the more popular focal lengths.
    If you do get a modern RF, keep the OM and compare shooting with both bodies and same focal length lens.
    If you buy used RF and buy it right, you can sell it on at no loss if it doesn't fit. The SLR has lost so much value already, you're effectively giving it away.
     
  25. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    I use a M6 most of the time for 35mm, but still have my decades old Pentax stuff for macro shots, or telephoto shots that I can not due with the Leica. Keep the Olympus and, let your budget decide for you if you want a Leica.
     
  26. Timestep

    Timestep Member

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    Different horses for different courses. Keep and use both, each to its area of strength.

    I use both Nikon S2, and F2's.