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  1. #1

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    Crazy idea for a adding a laser to a Kalart Rangefinder on my Speed Graphic

    So I am sitting here just enjoying my camera--I truely enjoy using it and have recently started to use it more hand held. The side RF that came on it has a functioning lamp for "use in low light" or so the manual says. I have been just slightly frustrated by the lack of contrast between the two images in the RF. Looks like new beam splitter glass is on order. Anyone ever try to remove the lamp and install a small laser pointer as a light source? I just envision two crisp dots sitting out there in space just waiting to be brought together by a spin of the focus knob. I think I'll give it try--anyone else fool around using the lamp for a focus aid?

  2. #2
    ragc's Avatar
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    Hmmm... not a laser expert here, but I hope you don't do portraits!

  3. #3

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    No, I don't plan on searing the retinas of any unwilling subject. Just a landmark for where the point of critical focus is.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've pointed a laser pointer through the eyepieces of various rangefinders to test the principle, and it works.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    Frank Szabo's Avatar
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    That gives me an idea - I bought 10 of the little guys from a Thai fellow on FleaBay some time ago and have been looking for a project.

    How about a visual rangefinder (with two dots) - merge the dots and read the distance? That could be rather useful.
    ...

    "Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy."

    Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Yes, that's how the Focuspot works, by using the rangefinder in reverse. The light shines through the rangefinder and projects two dots on the target, and when they join together, the lens is focused. A laser is even clearer to read, and you can conceivably look through the viewfinder and focus with the rangefinder at the same time.

    The Focuspot instruction sheet (it's probably available at graflex.org somewhere) would show the photographer pointing the dots on the subject's chest, even though it used an ordinary flashlight bulb and not a laser. Just don't point a laser at anyone's chest at any mafia weddings.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    I was thinking of doing this (I posted about it a while back).
    It's actually how I align my kalart side-rangefinder as well.

  8. #8
    razzledog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Just don't point a laser at anyone's chest at any mafia weddings.
    I have been toying with the idea of incorporating a laser into the Polaroid's finder for some time...but honestly David, what you said here really breaks me up....

  9. #9
    BradS's Avatar
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    isn't part of the beam coming back into the viewer's (eg photographer's) eye?

  10. #10

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    Yes I suppose if one actually looked into the viewer. My goal would be to simply point, merge the dots and shoot. I don't plan on using the RF to compose, rather the finder on top of the camera.

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