This is a rhetorical question I suppose, but I am still interested in replies.
Despite having 4 rangefinders, 2 SLR's, and folders, I ask myself why do I want to pursue the RF's if I already have a SLR that's easier to use.
I don't know why. I read a bunch of urban legends about RF's and how much truth they may hold on Dante Stella's site. Maybe there is no answer.
What do you folks who have 'higher forms' of camera like about the RF's?
I can come up with reasons why I continue to try them (C3's and Moskva V) out, but I feel like it's some subjective reason that defies words and logic.
I've gotten down in to the guts of my Kiev 4 to fix the rangefinder and the focus. I haven't yet opened my Contax IIIa or the Leica M2s at work, but I would. THere is something reassuring to me about working on it yourself. Also, I shoot the rangefinders without a meter (the IIIa's meter is broken). I feel like it's just me with the camera as an extension of my body and my subject. Then there's that wonderful soft mechanical "clk" or "wrr clk" as the shutter releases. It's nothing like my SLR's or digital cameras with their two dozen buttons, eight score settings and modes, electronics, batteries, TTL, mirror slap, etc.
Just "clk".... and I'm off to the darkroom...
I like rangefinders for 3 reasons:
- Picture quality, I can concentrate on the image much better
- overall feel and quietness
- the way they focus
Mama took my APX away.....
I'd love to have a decent 35 mm rangefinder -- I'm seriously considering a Signet 35 or Signet 40, since they're inexpensive and have the excellent Anastar lens (even though the shutter is often reviled, I don't mind the lack of slow speeds and seldom miss speeds above 200). Quiet shutters are a plus, and many RFs are easier to focus in bad light than an SLR (my Spotmatic, with f/1.4 50 mm lens and at EI 1600, can be hand held when the light is so dim I have trouble seeing the microprism spot in the finder).
I don't care that much about interchangeable lenses (I seldom even mount the 28 mm and 135 mm on my Spottie), so I'm firmly in "inexpensive" RF territory -- which also gets me leaf shutters I can likely service or even repair myself, and typically cameras with full manual control, so it doesn't even matter much if the meter works. I'd love to get a Canonet, Yashica, or Olympus RF with a fast lens, though -- f/1.8, 1.5, even 1.2. Maybe someday...
Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.
I've been asking the same question for a little while myself. I have an X-700 kit that gives me very satisfying results; it is simple to use and does what I ask of it.
I've been switching between RF and SLR for a year now, and for myself, it comes down to size/weight and vibration.
My X-700 is fairly large and even the 50mm is a big chunk of glass. It's hopeless hand-held at under 1/30 sec. My FED 5V is small, has small lenses and is quiet and has very little vibration; I can use it at 1/15 sec in extreme cases.
I don't buy into the RF mystique at all, I just find it better for some uses.
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I too prefer my rangefinders over my other systems sometimes. For something to stick in a pocket and carry around all the time nothing beats my tiny but sharp Minolta 7SII or the even smaller Olympus 35 RC. For years I carried around a complete Maxxum 7 setup and then the past year or so carried my Panasonic FZ10 digital daily. But all these cameras took up a lot of space and none of them where pocketable. The little rangfinders will slip right in a pocket or I sometimes clip a tiny neoprene bag with the RF and and extra roll of film inside to a belt loop and head out. The meters do fine for me as long as I'm shooting print film. It was also a blast today to watch my 9 year old get so excited as he snapped away with the 35 RC. We went to a state park so I could work a waterfall and I gave him the little rangefinder to play with while I worked. One hour to get the prints back and he's got instant gratification for his work. And since my son is small for his age he's always had problems holding one of my heavy Minolta MF SLRs level to shoot with, the RF shots where all nicely level (although not all in focus, LOL).
OK - I had some of the same thoughts/feelings which were conflicting with my expected logic...
I am enamored with folders right now and I've gotten nothing but garbage out of them so far, possibly operator error in part.
I used a Matchmatic Brick for a project with my daughter & a friend for girl scouts. The friend happily chose the Brick (perhaps in part knowing it's cinema notoriety) over a Minolta X-700. I told her how to set exposures and haven't seen the results yet, although the mother thought it was great (need an unbiased opinion, however).
Realistically I probably don't have time and shouldn't spend the money, but something makes me want to shoot a roll thru each of the other two Bricks I recently got, 'just so I know if they work', I guess. I can't explain it.
directory with 5 C3-Matchmatic 'snapshots' test shots to see if two rolls of double exposures were my fault or the camera's (no comment).
The Flying Disc dog ones are apparently overcompressed. I'll update them. The portraits are ok.
Originally Posted by gnashings
I was reading the other day that a Wein cell is nothing more than a 675 zinc/air hearing aid battery pressure fitted into a collar. The guy said that if you can pry the 675 battery out of one, and ream it a bit so you don't need a hammer to get another 675 battery into it, then you can use the collar as an adapter for normal 675 hearing aid batteries. The attraction of doing this is that hearing aid batteries only cost about a buck.
I've had a lot of 35mm rangefinders by Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Yashica etc. The only one I can afford that I really like is my Kiev 4m. If you get a decent one they are rock solid and the 50mm f1.8 Lens is a good performer. Great for color or black and white. All manual, but I like that! No seals to worry about either. The thing is built like a T-34 tank. All of my Yashica Electros died from a sticky pad. Sooner or later they're all gonna go. My Kiev keeps on ticking.