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  1. #1

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    Rangefinder for wedding

    I know of people using a Leica rangefinder for weddings. I'm very attracted to this minimal approach, but I'd like to shoot MF.

    The problem is...I can't seem to find any MF rangefinder that have a lens faster that F3.5.

    As an alternative, I'd be interested in a 35mm rangefinder that offers faster glass speed if no options in MF exist. (Can't really afford a Leica right now.)

    Can anyone comment?

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Do you want the wider aperture for reducing depth of field or for low light?

    If it's for depth of field, medium format has less than 35mm anyway so you should be o.k.

    If If it's for low light then I don't know. Judging by questions like these and questions about super high ISOs on other forums, weddings must be much darker now than they were when my father used to photograph them with fairly normal lenses and ISO 160 film!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  3. #3

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    If it's about low light, Portra 400 or XP2 400 can be shot at 800, and and I'd say Portra 400 can go beyond that. Also, the theory at least say that you can shoot a range finder at lower speeds than an SLR, due to no mirror slap and also the fact the finder does not black out when fired.

    If you can't afford a Leica, then check out Voigtlander Bessa, they are pretty cheap used, and you can get fast lenses easy/cheap too.

  4. #4
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    I shot weddings for years with a Mamiya 7 and never had any problems even in low light despite the f/4 optics. I just shot Delta 3200 and pushed the hell out of it when necessary. These days I bet grain would seem exotic to those used to digital so it could be a plus.

    This was taken with Delta 3200 @ EI 1600:



    Jonathan

  5. #5

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    Steve, I'm looking for a very shallow DOF.

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    I've also seen a few Yashica Electro's, but I know nothing about them.

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    If you go to one of the websites which works out depth of field you can find out the depth of field for the settings you would normally use for 35mm then see how the aperture differs for other formats when set up for the same depth of field limits.

    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
    I know of people using a Leica rangefinder for weddings. I'm very attracted to this minimal approach, but I'd like to shoot MF.

    The problem is...I can't seem to find any MF rangefinder that have a lens faster that F3.5.

    As an alternative, I'd be interested in a 35mm rangefinder that offers faster glass speed if no options in MF exist. (Can't really afford a Leica right now.)

    Can anyone comment?
    The trouble with rangefinders is focusing. To build a MF rangefinder, using glass fast enough for something like an f/2 max aperture, you would have a HUGE lens that would likely interfere with the rangefinder itself, and that's in addition to focusing such a beast with razor thin depth of field anyway.

    I'd go with 35mm if I were you. I use a 35mm Nokton f/1.4 on my rangefinder, and comfortably shoot TMax 3200 @ 800 hand held indoors after dark. Max aperture gives me about 1/15th s exposure time. You may wish to invest in a monopod; they don't get in the way much, and will allow you exposure times down to about 1/8th s or even 1/4 s if you're really steady and have a 'cool' hand.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #9
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Well the obvious choice is a press camera! They are actually very quiet and you have a rangefinder. How about a graphic? Put on a rollfilm back and call it medium format. There are fast lenses available.

    If you want something smaller and more agile, how about a konica hexar AF... stealthy, and with an all-purpose semiwide (35mm) lens. A contax g2 might also be nice and can make use of several great lenses, though it is louder.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    My father used to use Koni Omega rangefinders for weddings. His employer was a Leica user and bought the Koni as a medium format version of the Leica.

    The lenses aren't as fast as you want though: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Koni-Omega


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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