M-mount, wide frame lines, and TTL metering?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by AutumnJazz, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    As-per the topic, I'm considering a rangefinder (instead of getting into MF). I know the Leica M2 has frame lines for a 35mm lens, but that is about it. Are there any other m-mount cameras that have wider ones? In addition to TTL metering? Auto-exposure isn't a must, but I wouldn't mind aperature priority.

    I do plan on getting a light meter in the future, but TTL would still be more help (eg. allow me to carry less if I'm running around somewhere).
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    http://www.cameraquest.com/voigt4m4aintro.htm

    The Voigtlander R4M and R4A are the only production 35mm rangefinder cameras ever made with built in parallax projected framelines for 21, 25, 28, 35, and 50mm lenses.

    The new R4 series offer a combined rangefinder/viewfinder at .52x magnification with user selectable 21/35, 28, and 25/50 parallax corrected brightline frameline combinations. These are high eye point viewfinders.

    The R4M is a mechanical shutter camera and the shutter works without batteries. The TTL meter requires batteries and It has a LED metering display along the bottom of the viewfinder, displaying exposure information in .5 EV values.

    The R4A is an electronic shutter camera which offers metered manual or aperture priority exposure. Like most other electronic shutter cameras, dead batteries mean a dead camera.

    These cameras take 2 LR44 alkaline or 2 SR44 silver oxide Batteries. I use the SR44 silver oxide Batteries in mine and I carry spares.
     
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    The Zeiss Ikon ZI has 28, 35, 50, and 85 framelines built in. Not sure about viewfinder magnification, but you can find it online.
    Leicas new and used come with a variety of framelines and viewfinder magnifications, some as wide as 28mm IIRC. Bessa R4A/M is the champ of built-in wide frames.
    A little internet searching will get you all the options.

    Lee
     
  4. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I don't care if they are in production or not, btw. I've never been one to mind trolling ebay.

    Edit: I now think that I will start saving my pennies for an R4A and 21 f/4.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2008
  5. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    The Cosina/Voigtlander 4A and 4M are in production - - http://www.cameraquest.com/voigt4m4aintro.htm

    ...and they show up on eBay...
     
  6. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Because of your wording, I thought you were just recommending me in-production cameras. It confused me, so I posted that...Then I read the page, and read about the finder...thus my edit.

    I feel somewhat foolish...I'll probably end-up selling off my F100 and 35mm f/2. The F100 is so much more "advanced" than the R4A, yet I find myself wanting this manual-focus camera more. I'm crazy and I really need to stop focusing on equipment and get out and shoot. (Then again, I have a really bad cold and am stuck inside for the time being.)

    (Also, I'm beginning to doubt my manual-focus abilities. I find it nearly impossible on my F100, but extremely easy on my Pentax K1000. Does my camera suck (less likely), or do I suck (more likely)?)

    Also, how does the R4A let you know your shutter speed in A-mode?
     
  7. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    The R4s have lines down to 21 but be sure you understand the implications of the extremely short effective baselength and the relative difficulty of using it with longer lenses. Other than the R4M/A, the Leica M4-P, M6, M6TTL, M7 and Zeiss Ikon has 28mm lines. The ZIs finder is truly breathtaking and beats the Leicas hand down, IMO.
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I've only shot with an F100 once, two days ago, but like most other AF cameras, the stock screen isn't really designed for manual focus. Are you using the manual focus indicator that says your focus is good? I was given an N8008s with a broken finder LCD (so no focus confirmation), and changing the focusing screen to one with a microprism made manual focusing much better.

    The K1000 expects you to work and is designed to make that possible.

    Cameras often "suck" at doing what they're not designed to do. Autofocus on the K1000 is not very good.

    On the Bessa R2/3/4M series bodies the finder has red +/- LEDs for "match LED" manual exposure setting.

    On the R2/3/4A versions the shutter speed shows in red in the bottom of the finder in AE mode. This is the closest displayed speed to a more finely variable auto shutter speed. In manual mode the recommended shutter speed blinks and the manually set speed glows steadily, so you match up the blinking and steady LEDs until only one glows steadily, or until you have the offset you want.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2008
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    http://www.zeiss.com/zeissikon

    The Zeiss Ikon's viewfinder magnification is .74X
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2008
  10. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    The screen I have for my F100 is pretty much the stock one with gridlines on it (oh man I love my gridlines...is that possible with a RF?).
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Which 35/2.0 lens do you have? I assume an AF one. One that is manual focus only will probably be easiest to manually focus (AI-S or AI, for example). I have found this to be the case with my 10D. An adapted Nikon F lens always focuses easier than an EF lens focused manually.

    Also, the screens on AF cameras only show you the D of F and brightness of f/2.8 or so. In addition to making it more difficult to focus, this also means that when shooting at apertures wider than f/2.8, you actually get less D of F than you see in the viewfinder. You also lose the center focusing aid on most modern stock screens.

    Canon has type S screens to partially cure these problems, and I am sure Nikon has something similar. It is probably advertised as being "optimized for fast fixed-focal-length lenses", or something like that.
     
  12. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    It's the AF one. The F100 does have a DoF preview button, and I've made a habit of using it when I'm not shooting wide-open.

    The thing about the focus indicator is that I feel like it defeats the purpose...When I want to use manual focus, I want to use it because it is faster, or it lets me focus on something not on an AF point. Using my brain can sometimes be faster than selecting an AF point, even if I'm in MF.

    That is why I love manual focus...It lets me focus in on any part of the scene faster if it isn't behind an AF point. I guess rangefinders somewhat defeat this purpose, but, eh. :\
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Have you tried using the AF taken off the shutter, using a single point, one shot mode, and focusing/recomposing? My AF is never set any other way (except very occasionally, on a tripod or with macro pix, I will choose a point other than the center, and occasionally I will use AI Servo mode with just the center point selected). Any other way, and I find AF to work poorly, even on some of the world's best AF systems like 1D series cameras. Why anyone on the planet would want auto selection of the focusing point, or would want AF control on the shutter is beyond me. There is no conceptual difference between doing this and using manual focus. Working like this, the AF doesn't decide anything for you; it just moves the elements for you instead of doing it with your hand.
     
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  15. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Huh? Howzzat work? I agree with the brightness part, but how can a focusing screen change the apparent dof on the screen?
     
  16. nsouto

    nsouto Subscriber

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    I've set the f100 so the AF-L button just starts the AF and leaves it alone otherwise. The AE-L button locks the exposure on first tap, unlocks on second. They're all custom settings. And the shutter button just turns on the meter. This way I can point the central focus blot at what I want in focus, tap the AF-L button, re-frame the shot and press the shutter. If I need to fiddle the exposure, re-frame and tap the AE-L button, then re-frame again and shoot: focus will still be where I left it. I don't shoot action with that camera so this works real well.
     
  17. nsouto

    nsouto Subscriber

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    I'll second the ZM: I find its wide range of frames quite helpful. And they are reasonably accurate, erring on the conservative side: slightly smaller than the actual recorded image. In other words: if it's inside the frame, it'll be in the film frame for sure.
     
  18. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Nobody has told me whether I'm crazy or not. :\
     
  19. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Sorry about that. You are crazy.
     
  20. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Eh, I think I'll forgo the 21/4 and end up with a 28/2, 35/1.4, or 35/1.2. How much wider (field of view, I guess) is 28mm compared to 35mm? (f/4 just seems too slow for me...I like to use ISO 50 film and slower.)

    What other cameras offer auto-exposure, and at least 28mm frame lines? I guess there is the Zeiss Ikon, but that is just one pricey camera.

    Thanks again.
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    As for the exact optical reasons, I do not know. But I know it has something to do with the design of the little fresnel (or whatever it's called) pattern cut/ground into the screens. They are designed to focus and optimize the viewfinder image for f/2.8 or slower lenses, because they figure most people using AF cameras are using zoom lenses.
     
  22. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    How useful is 21mm? I'm not quite sure if I should just go with a 35mm f/1.2 or a 35mm f/1.4 and a 21mm f/4.
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Re: the earlier question, I think 28mm is noticeably wider than a 35mm. I like 28s or sometimes 24s only when I have to get closer to people than I would normally like. I prefer the distance from the subject I get with a 35, personally.

    I would suggest renting an ultra wide zoom for your Nikon for a week and shooting it set at various focal lengths. I think they have a 17-35 f/2.8 if my memory serves me correctly.

    How useful any of these lenses will be really is up to you. Another reason to try out a wide zoom rental.

    Personally, I love 35mm and 28mm for many things, but for my average shooting, I find even 35mm to be frustratingly wide for many subjects if I have it as my only lens at the time. Wides really make you move closer than normal if you are after a "normal" subject size/magnification/whatever you want to call it. One of my favorite setups is one camera with a 35 and another with an 85, or one with a 50 and another with a 135. If I am using a super wide, I really prefer to have three cameras on me. One super wide (pref. a zoom), one normal, and one mildly long tele, like a 100 or 135. That is my normal wedding setup for the candid stuff...

    ...but it really does you no good to know all that about ME.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  24. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    1)angle of view-diagonal
    21mm=92
    28mm=75
    35mm=63
    2)I'm not a big fan of 35mm lenses, to me they are too close to a 50 and so, I
    prefer a 28. 21mm is a pretty wide lens if it's the only one you've got and it's
    possible to get pretty tired of the distortion all the time.
    3)Don't ask why 'cus I don't know, but although I don't care for the 35mm fl. I
    just really like the 40mm!
     
  25. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    What distortion, John?

    My 21mm lenses (Biogon, Super Angulon and Color Skopar) don't distort.
     
  26. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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