Well, this saddens me somewhat. The R4A has the perfect framelines for me...I don't see myself going past a 35mm focal length anytime soon, and the ability to use a wide lens like a 21mm without an external finder is extremely appealing to me. I also, however, want a really, really fast 35mm lens. I was planning on just getting a 35/1.2 now, and a 21/4 down the road or a 35/1.4 and a 21/4.
So, what would focusing be like with a 35/1.2 on a RF like the R4A? Would it just be inaccurate, really faint, or what?
My $0.02 worth...
Referring to the focusing as being "easy" probably misstates the situation.
The view through the viewfinder, and the operation of the rangefinder system itself doesn't change when you change lenses. What changes is the amount of success you will have in getting well focussed photographs, when shooting a fast lens at maximum aperture.
I would suggest that "responsive and accurate" would be a better description.
If you are using a fast lens, at its maximum aperture, you are working with very little DOF, so you need a very accurate and finely responsive rangefinder.
If you have a short baseline, the rangefinder reacts more coarsely - i.e. its ability to differentiate between two slightly different distance settings is less effective than a rangefinder with a longer baseline. As a result, you are more likely to end up with the camera being enough out of focus to result in your subject being outside the DOF available to you.
I would emphasize that this only matters at the widest apertures - as you stop down, the DOF expands, and the using the rangefinder becomes more effective.
So basically, if I chose to use a 35mm f/1.2 on the R4x, I could think the camera was focused correctly, but I would be out of focus due to the narrow DoF?
Damn me and my love of a total lack of DoF.
Instead of a 35/1.2 get a 40/1.4 and with the money you save + the R4 money, buy a Zeiss Ikon. It is a truly beautiful camera and the Nokton is an outstanding lens. For the 21, using an external VF isn't that bad. I used the Bessa T a lot and I can vouch that it can be very fast with a bit of practice. Moreover, even the R4 doesn't have lines for the 15/4.5, if you ever decide to go that wide. Like I mentioned my old 40/21 combo and my current 15/28/50 combo both work really well for me.
At 1.2 focusing with the R4 would be imprecise. You will nail some and miss quite a few as well, I'd think.
PS: The 40/1.4 Nokton fits the ZI's 35mm frame quite well. For a head on comparison with the Summicron 40/2, see my site.
What other AE bodies have 28/35 frame lines?
Yes, I'm stuck on 35mm. Yes, it is also probably stupid of me but it is pretty much my favorite focal length, and I had a 24-120mm zoom.
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Among currently available bodies, only the M7. The Konica Hexar does, I think, but I don't know much about that camera. AE, BTW, is way overrated. Among the non-AE bodies, the M6-TTL, M6 and M4-p have 28 lines. The M4-P doesn't have a meter, the other two do.
Originally Posted by AutumnJazz
Doesn't the Zeiss Ikon also have 28 and 35mm frame lines?
Yes. I meant other than the ZI and the R4.
OK Tom, call it a perceived distortion or exaggeration of perspective if not used with care.
Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
Heavily sedated for your protection.
Yes Anupam, I agree! The Bessa T is a wonderful camera - mine are an integral part of my hiking/backpacking kit.
Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
With my ZI, my current favorite lens kit is 50/35/21.
As I mentioned previously, I am also attracted by the new CV Ultron 28mm/f2.
Everything is analog - even digital :D