Trying out a Range Finder?
Hi folks in Vancouver,
Curious if anyone in the area is willing to let me test drive their film range finder (either Leica or Voigtlander) to take for a spin? I've been shooting with my Konica Auto S2 and, while my image are ALL out of focus (I can't seem to align the rangefinder properly) the results I see appear to be quite... well, quite amazing
I'll bring the roll of film and take 36 shots or so. I don't mind bringing one of my cameras so we can run around for an evening or something.
Either you have a vision problem that prevents you to see the alignment. Then a rangefinder (whether Konica, Leica, or...) is not for you.
while my image are ALL out of focus
Or RF system in your S2 is deficient, and you need to find out in what respect, and to fix it if possible. Could be faded RF semitransparent mirror: do you see the two images, split with comparable intensity, then merged? Could be lateral or vertical misalignment of RF? Or maybe the RF is properly calibrated for infinity, but the lens is not (I mean the actual lens, not the distance scale, another story).
How can ALL your images be out of focus? Focus is critical only for nearby objects. Landscape, (natural, urban) in clear weather: scale focus @ 7m, aperture f:8, and shoot. If those pics are not sharp, it means an elephant has been sitting on your camera sometime.
You need to do some googling on the above topics to gain some understanding. And why not walk into a store selling second hand cameras and just try your RF focusing skills with a store rangefinder; that would answer some (but not all) of the above issues.
I'm on the wrong end of the country, and I don't have anything as fancy as a Leica or a Voigtlander, so really I, like most other people on the internet, am useless to you.
But since I'm on the internet, and that means I love reading my own writing, here goes
As Bernard said, rangefinder systems go out of sync. Many have a simple way to adjust them (I don't know about the S2). My Yashica Minister had a set screw at the centre of the back top plate. unscrew the protective cap, then set the camera on a tripod. Run a tape meausre from the film plan to sometihng high contrast (ie east to focus on) exactly 10 feet away (or 6 feet, or some easy marking on your lens) and adjust the set screw until the thing is in focus.
I rattled my Yashica out of focus on a motorcycle trip. Ten minutes of light effort and it was focusing perfectly again. It's worth a try.
Depending on your tastes, look for a cheap FSU rangefinder on kijiji. Yes, they are quirky and imperfect. They are not Leicas. But the contrast patches tend to be brighter than the fixed lens rangefinders I've played with, and the controls are similar to LTM Leicas, so they'll give you a taste.
Admittedly, it may be like trying to figure out if a vintage Porsche 911 is for you by test driving a rusty old VW Beetle; but then some of us like those too.
appreciate the replies. It's definitely got something to do with either my attempts to align the rangefinder (i.e. try to get it calibrated to infinity with a distant object) and possibly that this old camera, which I found off the shelf of a Value Village, is in need of some serious CLA.
I don't know how exact you have to be with an RF to get a image in focus (especially at F16) but it sounds like my Konica Auto S2 needs more serious work than just calibration of the rangefinder. I suspect an elephant may have sat on my camera. Maybe.
Hence why I'm asking to try someone else's out as I think I'm really like RF's but seeing my images come completely off focus is putting me off I'll see if I can drop by the local store to give one a whirl and see how the images turn out. I know Leos close by sells the Voigtlander R2m and R3m. But they don't have a Leica, which I'd really like to put a roll of film through and try out for a bit.