Non coupled

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by shadesofgrey, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

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    Morning everyone.
    coupled rangefinder lenses, like those used on the Bessa R series and Leica's seem to be the norm, but, was it always this way? Are there any non-coupled gems out there? I have in my collection a couple of Bessa L's and obviously they don't need the above function although I use them with a J-8 and a 35/f2.5 Voigt. Just curious really as to what else is out there.

    Take care out there everyone.
    B.
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Uncoupled, yes, gems; rather fewer.

    Prior to early 1932 all Leica lenses were uncoupled. Since then, I think that all have been coupled except a few Visoflex-mount lenses. The 35/4.5 Snapshot Elmar was proposed as an uncoupled lens, and built in prototype, but never entered production.

    There have however been uncoupled lenses from a few other manufacturers, including the Periflex series (with reflex focusing via a periscope, hence 'Periflex', they didn't need an RF), but the only ones I'd call 'gems' are the original Kobayashi 15/4.5 and 25mm Voigtlanders, and the 15/2.8 Distagon from Zeiss.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Zeiss has a whole line of new coupled rangefinder lenses too.
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Yes, but the 15/2.8 is the only uncoupled one -- slightly to my surprise. Of course you don't need coupling with a 15 but it still struck me as somehow odd that this staggeringly expensive lens isn't coupled. The others are 21/2.8, 21/4.5, 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 50.1.5, 85/2. I've tried all except the 85/2 (which Zeiss has promised) and been very impressed. There are pics taken with several of them at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/sgallery/g zi i.html

    And there are more lenses to come...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  5. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

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    So no gems to look out for on evilbay then Roger? Any idea as to why the 35/4.5 Snapshot Elmar was never put into production? I'm off now to read the review of Zeiss 35/f2 which I'll obviously compare to my Voigt 35/f2.5 though not in price of course.
    Thanks for the interesting reply Roger.

    Brian.
     
  6. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    There are some great pictures there, Roger, but unless I am missing something, one can only guess which lens was used in each.
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Brian,

    No point, I think; they reckoned that more people wanted feature-laden Leicas (with the new coupled RF, etc.) and there wasn't mich point in offering a low-cost, low-spec lens. They may also have been working extra hard (as they are now) to keep up with demand for new high-end stuff, and not had the resources to deal with the Snapshot Elmar.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Chazzy,

    No, you're not missing anything. It's a question of time: there's so much work in that site that the galleries are just that, galleries, not part of the Photo School.

    I suppose I could caption the thumbnails, but I'd need to enter camera, lens, film, and which of us (Frances or me) took the pic. The information is available to subscribers in the Zeiss Ikon tests. I don't normally mention the paid parts of the site because that's too much like advertising, but I reckon that the free parts are fair game.

    Personally I find it quite interesting trying to work out from internal evidence (especially perspective) which lens was used to make a particular pic. The 15s are obvious enough, I think, but after that it can be hard to tell two adjacent focal lengths from one another (especially 21mm/25mm, 25mm/28mm, 35mm/50mm) -- in which case it's possible to argue that it doesn't matter.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  9. mabman

    mabman Member

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    You seem to be talking about removable lens cameras, but just in case you're interested there are a number of beautiful vintage "folder" cameras around that are uncoupled - fixed-lens, though.

    I have one restored from Jurgen Kreckel (www.certo6.com) - an Agfa Isolette III - fantastic condition - I don't shoot with it as much as I'd like due to the cost of 120 film (although I do have a few expired rolls stockpiled in the freezer now...)
     
  10. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The wider Cosina Voigtlander lenses are uncoupled.
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    See post #2. But I should have included the 12mm as well, which I don't own.
     
  12. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

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    And, Brian, there is the wonderful, modern, 50mm f/3.5 collapsible/uncoupled Elmar, permanently attached to the dirt-simple O serie. Don't know how well the 'prototype 1' pop-up viewfinder does, but the 'prototype 2' optical viewfinder is amazingly accurate and easy to work with.

    However, in the interest of full disclosure, the O's pre frame-and-snap drill is perhaps the most unforgiving short-term memory test known to man. Good thing about this lens/camera is: just when you think you've mastered it, think you're really brilliant, you screw up and know you are, after all, simply stupid and unworthy.
     
  13. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Probably most of the folder cameras of the past that took medium format rollfilm were uncoupled, or had no rangefinder. There are some great accessory rangefinders out there, including Präzisa, Leica, Wattametter, Kodak, Voigtländer, et al.

    More modern choices would be the ALPA 12 series, Fotoman, Gaoersi, or Horseman, though many are panoramic cameras. Then there are Fuji made choices like the 6x17 cameras, and the GS645W. In practice a wide angle can be more forgiving at closer distances to guess focus.

    Roger Hicks has a great book out on Rangefinder cameras. Many of the cameras mentioned in that are scale focus, or perhaps more properly called viewfinder cameras. This book points out several good choices; adding an accessory rangefinder should be fairly simple, and will give that uncoupled experience.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Gordon,

    Thanks for the plug. The thing is, quite a few RF cameras were also made in non-RF form (Leica I, M1, etc.) as well as RF form, and at that point it was quite hard to justify excluding other direct-vision (DV) cameras. A title that made it clear we were including DV as well would have been unnecessarily compendious. Here's a link to a brief description of the book on our site:

    http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photography/rangefinder.html

    Ignore the stuff on the site about ordering from Amazon. We decided not to go with them after all, because we'd rather promote small book-shops, and besides, Amazon's policies on dealing with authors are more authoritarian than we care for.

    Cheers,

    Roger