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  1. #1
    lensworker's Avatar
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    My rangefinder cameras are taking over

    In looking back over the past few months, I have realized that nowadays I am shooting almost exclusively with my rangefinder cameras. It has been months since I got out my Nikon gear - I seem to always pick up my Leica gear or my Hassleblad XPAN kit when I'm going out to make images.

    My Leica M4-P and my 28mm f/2 Summicron are what I use most; this setup (along with my Sekonic meter) are what I carry on a daily basis when I want to go light.

    This made me wonder if others who have rangefinder cameras (regardless of make) have found their rangefinder cameras claiming more and more of their photographic time.

    I have discovered that making images with a small, light and nearly silent rangefinder camera is truly an enjoyable way of photographing. The negatives and chromes that are produced by Leica lenses are frighteningly sharp with dazzling color rendition. The lenses for the XPAN (which were made by Fuji) are also outstanding. They are very close in quality to the Zeiss T* lenses made for the 6x6 'blad cameras.

    The cameras themselves are about as simple and basic as a camera can be - no command dials, sub menus buried beneath other menus and no 400+ page camera manuals. The simplicity of rangefinder cameras is liberating and allows much more time with your eye in the viewfinder rather than spending hours with your nose buried in a thick manual.

    I'm just curious if others here have notice that their rangefinder cameras are claiming more and more of their time. Is anyone else having a similar experience?
    "My idea of a good life is that I wake up in the morning, go out and look around and make four rolls of film a day." - Josef Koudelka

    "There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are." - Ernst Haas

    "Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment." – Elliott Erwitt

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    No, because they always have.

  3. #3
    X. Phot.
    As a sidekick to the 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10, I do prefer a quality rangefinder. I carry one most everyday. The small footprint and reduced weight I really appreciate. They make for excellent snapshot cameras.

  4. #4

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    Yes, rangefinders all the way, Leica, Zeiss, Voigtlander. From the 30's until the mid 50's, at most.
    I don't care about SLR's, never did and hopefully never will.

  5. #5
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    When I first got into photography I thought slrs were what 'real' photographers use. Boy, I was I naive. I love my Pentax and Minolta slr gear but I really love my Yashica and Kodak Retina rangefinders. When I shoot 35mm I find that I generally use rangefinders over slrs. One of my favorite rangefinders is a Retina IIIS and I have the normal, 28mm and 135mm lenses for it. The Schneider-Kreuznach lenses for the Retinas are great.

  6. #6
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Yes. Love my Leicas (MP and CL). But I also love my old Nikon (FM2, F3) and Contax (RX, RTSII) SLRs too. Vive le difference! (or whatever....)
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  7. #7
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I've been a rangefinder man for years now, first in medium format, but now 35mm since I just got my new Leica M6 today! I think SLR's are ok in 35mm, but for medium format get too bulky, heavy and just awkward to use. Rangefinders are small, easy to handhold and quick to use, and best of all, the optics are sharper than SLR optics.

  8. #8
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Making sweeping statements like the optics on range finder cameras are much sharper than SLR s Brian on photographic sites, is what they call in boxing circles "leading with your chin".
    Ben

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    Making sweeping statements like the optics on range finder cameras are much sharper than SLR s Brian on photographic sites, is what they call in boxing circles "leading with your chin".
    Please, explain why.

  10. #10

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    For 35mm it is rangefinders all the way and has been for a few years now, I v=have sold most of my Pentax gear
    Richard

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