Rangefinder shooting style?
Ralph Barker mentioned that SLR and Rangefinder shooting styles differ and not everyone makes the transition kindly.
I shoot both and yet I'm not sure what the statement refers to. Anyone wish to clarify?
(didn't want to pollute the other thread)
Well, you have to remember to take the lens cap off with a rangefinder :-)
Graflex SLR ad, 1913--
With this camera you can make better pictures
There is no uncertainty with a Graflex. You see the image the size it will appear in the negative, up to the instant of exposure. You can watch the changing composition and expression until you see the picture just as you want it, when a slight pressure releases the shutter. There is no guesswork--no finder nor focusing scale.
The Graflex shutter works at any speed from 'time' to 1-1000 of a second. With the Graflex you can make snapshots indoors or in the shade."
What I was referring to is really a combination of things. First, the disconnect between the viewfinder and what the lens actually "sees" (paralax issues, etc.). Precise framing becomes a matter of getting to know the camera, what the framelines represent at different distances, and so forth. Then, there's the difference in focusing - some people have trouble with the super-imposed rangefinder image patch. That's further complicated when you need to focus and then recompose when using very wide apertures with minimal DOF. (Moving the camera to recompose also shifts what is in critical focus.)
Although no mental adjustment is required for casual shots with a rangefinder, a little more thought is usually required when doing critical work. It's just "different" than an SLR, and some folks seem to have a problem making the adjustment.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
And having to clean the viewfinder window every time you pick the camera up by the corner after eaten that greasy order of fries. It's just a matter of time before you learn.
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If I haven't been using the Technika for a while as a rangefinder camera, my habitual mistake is to forget to focus, but I seem to be doing that less and less.
I'm waiting for my new Bessa R3a so please don't anyone say anything bad about it and harsh my bliss....
I found some interesting reading yesterday at:
This in particular:
Rangefinder images with BOTH superimposed AND split images are more accurate than superimposed images alone because the human eye can focus split images VERY easily. Unfortunately, only the Leica M's, CL, CLE, Hexar RF and Bessa R have this feature. According to Modern Photography, with some people this accuracy increase may be as much as 5 times!
"I am an anarchist." - HCB
"I wanna be anarchist." - JR
Some other rangefinder shooting differences:
Rangefinders allow you to see your shot at the exact instant of exposure, and during tracking of a panning shot, so you know what expression you got or that your fast-moving subject was in frame.
Certain rangefinders, like the Bessa R3A and to some degree the Leica M3, have 1:1 or nearly 1:1 finder magnification. This allows you to shoot with both eyes open, and you can see the whole scene in front of you (although there are problems if you're left-eyed) with the framelines floating in front of you. You can also achieve this with 1:1 shoe mount finders, available in 50mm and longer focal lengths. The shoe mount finders also keep the typical rangefinder body from blocking the right eye of a left-eyed person. I find shooting this way to be wonderful, and when photographing people, feel much more connected to them, and less like I'm hiding behind a metal box.
Rangefinders are often quieter than SLRs, and look less "professional", so may attract less attention, depending on circumstances.
Some rangefinder focus rings have tabs or levers attached, and with a little practice, you can rough focus by feel before bringing the camera to your eye. With wide angles and a bit of stopping down, you can rough focus and be assured your DOF will cover you near or far. Cosina even makes a wide angle with three focusing detents so you can click into certain distances.
To add to the others
The entire scene in the viewfinder is in focus
Usually quieter than a slr
Another advantage if you like to use fill flash - fixed lens rangefinders are more likely to have a leaf shutter, that offers flash synch at all speeds.