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  1. #1

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    Russian RF frustration.

    I have reading glasses (that I'm always forgetting at home)and adjusting the dials on these cameras to achieve proper focus& exposure can be a chore.Thinking I might just "set-it-and-forget-it" shifting shutter speeds as necessary.How do you use your Russian RF?

    Thanks

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    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I pretty much use most 35mm's at hyperfocal distance unless I absolutely need control of where the focus is (or more importantly is not).
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    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

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    I was using FED that was stuck on 1 speed [1/50th] so I just jiggled the aperture to suit. Good results too. The Kievs i have I only use on hyperfocal with wide lens - otherwise you might as well use a P&S - surely.
    The Zorki 6 I have has a integral dioptre and can be easily adjusted to suit my eyes as I wear glasses too - except when using the Zorki.

  4. #4
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    Mike Kennedy=I have reading glasses (that I'm always forgetting at home)and adjusting the dials on these cameras to achieve proper focus& exposure can be a chore.Thinking I might just "set-it-and-forget-it" shifting shutter speeds as necessary.How do you use your Russian RF?
    Turning shutter speed dial all the way left you have B,then every right click or drop of it, means the higher number of shutter speed.Same can be said for f numbers if there are click stops. FEDs and JORKIs are build in diopter lever adjustment mechanism (not the earlier models of 1950).
    n
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kennedy View Post
    I have reading glasses (that I'm always forgetting at home)and adjusting the dials on these cameras to achieve proper focus& exposure can be a chore.Thinking I might just "set-it-and-forget-it" shifting shutter speeds as necessary.How do you use your Russian RF?
    A lot of the Soviet rangefinders have diopter levers for the VF/RF window; both of mine do, though since I shoot with my glasses on, the levers mostly function to annoy me when I nudge them by mistake. That doesn't help you with reading the itty-bitty aperture numbers, though.

    I think most of the shutter speed dials are asymmetric enough that you can tell where you are on them by feel ("OK, the big gap is between 1/25 and 1/1000, so two more detents past that should get me to 1/250..."), so setting and forgetting the aperture should work all right. A lot of the Soviet lenses don't have detents on the aperture ring, though, so it's very easy to accidentally change the aperture while handling the camera; you may want to seek lenses that hold their aperture settings pretty firmly, or even, I suppose, tape the ring in place while shooting.

    Or you could always remember your glasses... :-) I'm lucky, in a certain sense---I'm sufficiently blind that I can't get far without them anyway, as I'm liable to mistake a dog or something for the front door and get stuck trying to open it, wondering why the doorknob keeps drooling on me. But I digress.

    -NT

  6. #6
    DBP
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    You could put a small plastic fresnel magnifier in your wallet, or attach a small one to the camera strap.

  7. #7

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    Great idea DBP.I have 2 or 3 kicking around the house.

  8. #8

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    I've got a FED-4 and haven't used it all that much, i'm now on my 4th roll of film with it but i can use it without looking at it now. The meter doesn't work so i use the sunny 16 rule and basically only use F16, F11, F8 and F5.6 and shutter speeds of 1/500th, 1/250th and 1/125th... it's very easy to tell what's what by feel, as those three shutter speeds are grouped closely together and turning the aperture ring all the way to F16 and work a click of two back works for me. I wear glasses, too, so i don't even bother trying to look view the VF/RF, i can't see enough of it to make 'fast' use from it.

  9. #9

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    I've got a FED-2 that I recently had CLA'd. I like the "feel" of the camera, although I haven't shot with it much, mostly because the RF/VF window is so tiny.

    To fix that, I've picked up a Soviet-era "turret" viewfinder ("turret" because it has a rotating viewfinder with "lenses" for multiple focal lengths). These can be had for about $70-100 on eBay depending on seller, condition, etc (just search for "turret viewfinder"). The Leica version on which this is based is usually more expensive, as are dedicated-focal-length accessory viewfinders.

    Although the turret viewfinder viewing area isn't terribly large, it is larger and brighter than the one in the camera. I'm currently using it with hyperfocal distance as well, and so far I find this system quite usable.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  10. #10

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    Just remember if you want the absolutely best performance at infinity the focus must be set at infinity. Any shift off infinity will compromise performance-regardless of aperture.
    Mark Layne
    Nova Scotia
    and Barbados

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