Focussing very wide lenses

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by RobC, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. RobC

    RobC Member

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    Can someone tell me what happens when you put a very wide lens on a range finder.
    For example a 15mm lens on a Zeiss Ikon. I realise the standard finder does not have frame lines for the lens and you need a special view finder for the wide lens, but what about focussing? Does the focus in the built in viewfinder work for the wide lens or do you just rely on short focal length having very great DOF and set hyperfocal distance for your chosen aperture?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The normal range-finder works fine, but in practice you can just set the hyperfocal distance and forget about it. I can't speak specifically about the Zeiss 15mm, but that works fine for the Leitz 21mm.

    Ian
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My CV 15/4.5 ASPH Super Wide Heliar is not rangefinder coupled, I estimate the distance and dial it in on the lens scale. The lens has great depth of field. I also have the 15mm finder.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My CV Color Skopar 21mm F4 is rangefinder coupled and came with a CV 21mm viewfinder. It has become one of my favorite lenses.
     
  5. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    It's just like using any lens with an external finder - like on the Bessa T or the old LTM Leicas. Focus with the RF, frame with the finder. The 15/4.5 CV isn't RF coupled, though. With its DOF, it doesn't need to be. But for lenses that are, this is the drill.
     
  6. RobC

    RobC Member

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    Thanks all, I found some more information. The Zeiss ZM 15 lens is not range finder coupled but if you have its viewfinder then you can see some special markings on the lens through the viewfinder which aids in setting focus distance:

     
  7. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    You hardly have to focus a 15mm, it has so much DOF. Certainly guessing on the focus scale has always been good enough for me.

    David.
     
  8. RobC

    RobC Member

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    Now all I need to do is find the dosh to buy it...:sad:
     
  9. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I have a 12 mm Voigtlander for my Leica M6. The lens is not rangefinder coupled. Depending on your aperture, you set the focus via click stops in the focus ring. Depth of field covers pretty much everything. With the 15 mm stopped down a few stops, you'll be in focus from a foot or two from the lens to infinity.
     
  10. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Focusing a very wide rangefinder-coupled lens is one of the advantages a rangefinder camera has over an SLR -- seeing the double image is a lot easier than trying to figure out by looking through the SLR lens whether you're in focus (made harder by the fact that really wide lenses are often relatively dim -- f4 or slower). But using the auxiliary viewfinder, with its inherent imprecision in framing, is a disadvantage of a rangefinder camera.
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 21mm Color Skopar is the widest of the current CV lenses that is rangefinder coupled. The 12mm and 15mm are not, but the DoF is so large that it's almost unnecessary to focus.