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  1. #21

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    Wow, this is interesting. I wonder how an old slr, say a Minolta XD-11, would compare to a modern one, like the Minolta Maxxum 7 or a Nikon F100. Does anyone know if they made any serious technological in-roads regarding mirrors and vibration over the years?

    It's interesting to note that Minolta stopped putting MLU on their SLRs after the SRT 102, all the way until the Maxxum 7. That's nearly 30 years until they felt they needed it, I guess?

    On the rangefinder lenses - is the wide angle lens advantage really obvious in a print, or have the lens makers been able to overcome the problems with SLR wide angle designs with computer aided drafting and such?
    Thanks,
    Jed
    Last edited by Jedidiah Smith; 01-27-2010 at 12:09 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The laser pointer and penny tests don't really tell you if the vibration is affecting the image. There could be a lot of vibration when the mirror returns and the shutter closes, and that wouldn't make any difference.
    In my understanding, however, the laser pointer test involves actually photographing the laser point on the wall, not just viewing it with your eyes. Therefore, the test should work just fine to tell you if the slap is affecting the camera during exposure.

    As for the penny test, it is just silly, IMO.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  3. #23
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The laser pointer and penny tests don't really tell you if the vibration is affecting the image. There could be a lot of vibration when the mirror returns and the shutter closes, and that wouldn't make any difference.
    I actually did a laser pointer test on my 6x7 with & without MLU and using slow speeds and B in order to differentiate between mirror rising, shutter opening and shutter+mirror closing (unable to differentiate between those two).

    True, the worst vibrations were with the mirror/shutter closing. The shutter opening was fairly weak (but visble) and the mirror raising stronger still, but a long way from being a major part of the jolt you feel when you shoot the beast.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  4. #24
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    There are big differences between 35mm SLRs in the degree of mirror (and shutter) dampening present.
    Some SLRs I can hand hold at speeds practically as low as a rangefinder.
    Others notoriously have no dampening at all (the otherwise lovely Nikon F & F2, for example).
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  5. #25
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    In my understanding, however, the laser pointer test involves actually photographing the laser point on the wall, not just viewing it with your eyes. Therefore, the test should work just fine to tell you if the slap is affecting the camera during exposure.

    As for the penny test, it is just silly, IMO.
    I've usually heard the laser test as attaching the pointer to the camera and watching the spot dance. I think photographing the spot might tell you something, but a photograph of a projected laser spot wouldn't be as informative as a photograph of a resolution target with and without mirror lock up, if one were trying to determine the effect of mirror slap.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  6. #26
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    The thing about a rangefinder is that you MUST learn to see the world as it will see it.
    You can't get lost inside the SLR kaleidoscope.

    The reason a Rangefinder is good in the street is that the photographer learns to SEE what it will see.

    Its like learning to play a violin. Following the SLRs are better argument, guitars must be better than fiddles because they have frets and you know where all the notes are.

    So, it isn't so much whether a RFDR is sharper without the mirror, it is that WE become sharper when our eyes can see.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by olwick View Post
    The Pentax 67's problems are also due to the shutter curtain. See the illustration, even with the mirror locked up, here:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ntax67ii.shtml
    That's an interesting photo with a double image in the detail.
    But, if the shutter bounced that far it would have gone more than 1/2 way back across the negative.
    In any case camera movement doesn't give a double image, it gives a blurred image.
    Expletive Deleted!

  8. #28

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    Hi Df Cardwell, thanks for the philosophy of shooting rangefinders tip! I suppose I should have given that MF Fuji rangefinder a bit more time to get used to when I had it...Makes me wonder if I should just go for the G2 anyway and see if I like it sometime? Suppose no one can tell me if I will, I just have to try.

    This whole discussion is making me want to get an SLR with MLU, if I return to an SLR, though. Which is kind of a bummer, because I really liked the Minolta XD-11. It is a fine camera; but sadly, no MLU. Maybe the shutter and mirror assembly is sufficiently dampened that they didn't need one? One could only hope that, I guess!

    Thanks for the great discussion, it feels really good to be talking cameras and things again.
    Jed

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The laser pointer and penny tests don't really tell you if the vibration is affecting the image. There could be a lot of vibration when the mirror returns and the shutter closes, and that wouldn't make any difference.
    I don't think so.
    First, because both tests include the full cycle, not just the opening part.

    Second, the real 'bump' occurs when the mirror or shutter hit their end stops, their end positions. When their mass comes to a sudden stop, and the energy built-up during accelleration instantly has to find a place to go.
    At that time, the image is no longer being created.

  10. #30
    Lee L's Avatar
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    The difference between having a mirror and having no mirror is not readily quantifiable in general terms and the difference between an SLR and rangefinder in use is more about whether the particular camera model is a good match to the individual photographer and the job at hand. David Goldfarb's point about the wider parameters and greater ease of designing wide angle lenses without compensating for a mirror's physical requirements is well taken, but in practice there are good and bad wide angles among both rangefinder and SLR optics.

    I have a very solid brass-bodied SLR with a cam driven mirror. With the mass of the body and the deceleration of the cam drive mirror (to the point that it really doesn't slap against the rest of the body at the top of the cycle), it does very well at pretty much any shutter speed. I have been repeatedly surprised over the 30 years that I've used it at the degree to which I can handhold at slower shutter speeds.

    I have an Argus C3, an Agfa Isolette folder, and a Bessa R3A, all rangefinders. The difference in their viewfinders is more significant a difference in practice than between say the R3A and a nice SLR finder.

    One other thing that I find more significant than mirror slap in the cameras I've used is whether the camera fits my hands well. I have larger hands, and even many SLR bodies aren't large enough for me to get a good grip. The Nikon N8008s body is short and thick, and the bottom of the body doesn't even reach halfway across my right palm with my finger on the release button. I don't feel that I can hold it very steadily. Bad ergonomics for me personally. I put a trigger winder on my C/V Bessa rangefinder bodies to make them fit my hands well, and they work great for me that way.

    There's a lot more at play than a simple mirror/no mirror question if "sharper negs" is the goal, and in many (perhaps most) circumstances, I think that gets swamped by other considerations, including individual camera build, individual lens quality, overall ergonomics of the particular camera model in your hands, your overall comfort level with the given camera, and your individual skills/ability to hand hold steadily.

    Lee

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