Here's a question for Agfa Isolette users.

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Ipno Tizer, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Ipno Tizer

    Ipno Tizer Member

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    Hi All.

    I have an Agfa Isolette III.

    I was wondering whether any of you have a particular system for estimating the focus when the rangefinder reading falls between one of the marked distance marks.

    Chris B.
     
  2. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I wouldn't have thought it critical. Set the lens to between the same two distances and you should be ok, particularly if you are stopped down to f5.6 or smaller. I manage ok just guessing distances and relying on depth of field.
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I only have an Isolette I which doesn't have a rangefinder but when you look at the table in the instructions which shows the near and far DoF then unless you are working very close to the subject and at big apertures then as Peltigera says it shouldn't be critical.

    pentaxuser
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    I guess. It's really not all that critical.
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I tend to let DOF be my friend, and set focus with a guess of about 1/3 of dof in front of the estimated distance, and 2/3 behind it. I have an Ansco cousin to the isolette, and the DOF is indicated on a little dial on the top left side of the camera body.

    You have cleared the green once grease, now goo from the focussing and rangefinder? My RF takes a while to spring back, so I guess I have not got all of the green crud out of it yet.
     
  6. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I have the Ansco Speedex Special R, which is the US version of the Agfa Isolette III.

    My camera has the uncoupled rangefinder, but the markings on the rangefinder wheel are the same as those on the lens focus. So, when I am focused, I move the lens to the same point as the rangefinder reading. If the little dial for the rangefinder is partway between the 10 and the 15 foot mark, that is where I set my focus on the lens. I guess it may be possible to be off just a slight bit but like everyone has said, in most cases depth of field is your friend and any small focus errors are immaterial.

    BTW, even at f4.5, which is wide open on my Apotar lens, my little Ansco takes pretty amazing images.

    Here is a shot on Fuji 160 taken with the little Ansco. Would have looked better with a cow or three in the foreground but I couldn't find any at the time. :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2012
  7. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete Subscriber

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    I find the focus at close distance is quite critical even at, say f6.3 -- when I have a flash attached for fill-in outdoors I find I cannot read the rangefinder scale so if I 'guess' the photos are often 'soft' in focus -- then I thought of a way -- set the distance you want on the lens FIRST, say 1.2 metres, then set the same distance on the rangefinder scale then approach the subject and 'sway' back and forth watching the rangefinder spot -- when the two images are co-incident press the shutter release. I will see if I can upload a 'soft' photo where the focus is just out.
     

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  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    If you can see where it falls between the two numbers you can set the same ration on the lens.

    So do I. It was a gift from a member of this forum a few years ago. It seemed that he liked to buy them, repair and refurbish them, then give them away. Mine looks and works like new.


    Steve.
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    What you do is to set the lens to the same approximate setting on the lens.

    So, if the pointer on the rangefinder is 1/3 between 6 and 8 feet, for example, I'll set the lens 1/3 of the way between 6 and 8 on the lens. Just make your best estimate and let the depth of focus of the lens handle any small errors.

    Of course, it's very important that the rangefinder be accurate.

    Here's what I mean. I probably would have set the lens a bit closer to "8" in this example.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    That's a great visual Mike.
     
  11. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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  12. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Mine awaits a new set of bellows. The original on my Speedex R are the OEM plastic ones, and they have been patched and plugged to no avail. Still a fun camera for inside with flashbulbs, but it laeks all over when used out of doors in daylight.

    I have the templates, the approriate cloth covered rubber material from an old balckout roller blind, and the glue.
    So far the usual middle age family man woe is the limiting factor- where to find the time.

    Yes, a a nice classic folder, in all other ways once the damn oem green grease is all ferretted out of them.
     
  13. Ipno Tizer

    Ipno Tizer Member

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    Indeed. And my reason for asking was precisely to find out if there were any tips getting the maximum sharpness from the Apotar. I have though of counting the the notches round the rangefinder knob and relating them to those round the focus ring. There seems to be a 3:1 ratio up to about 4 feet and 2:1 above 8 feet. But between 4 and 8 feet it's around 2:5 which is a bit awkward. But the entire rigmarole of counting notches is a bit laborious. So maybe I'll just guess like everyone else.
     
  14. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Counting Notches

    That's an interesting observation. I have never looked at it quite that closely.

    My experience has been that my very best results with the Apotar come at f8 and f11. I suspect that any focus error I have introduced is probably inside the circle of confusion at those apertures.

    I have also had pretty good luck with portraits by actually measuring the distance from the very back edge of the accessory shoe (which I estimate to be the film plane) to the subject's nose. I've never done that with my Apotar but I have certainly done it successfully several times with the Schneider Kreuznach Radionar 4.5/105 on my Balda Baldalux 6x9. I know that isn't an Apotar but it is still a very nice triplet as well. I'm not sure I would try to do this professionally but with my grandkids it makes a great game and gets them smiling every time.