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jay00
11-07-2007, 12:43
Hello, I have only just found out about these Olympus RC 35 cameras so sorry I also have a couple of perhaps silly questions,- what is the difference in how you use a manual SLR compared to a rangefinder camera, other than with the lens capability and interchangability? Do you still adjust apeture, shutter speed and focus manually (with ring on lens)? And when they say rangefinder- is this the same as manual focus depth of field, or has it something to do with how you compose a shot through the viewfinder (ie. does a rangefinder not give an actual view, and require compensation- if so can you please describe how you may do this in simple terms for me). (I have a minolta SLR if that helps explain the comparison)- thanks :). And I apologise for my ignorance when it comes to these cameras- but the prospect is exciting!

Also can anyone tell me how much it may cost for a Olympus RC 35 mm camera which has been overhauled (inc. battery and cleaning)? And reliable people that may sell or repair this type of camera either overseas or in Australia. ( I am from Australia).

With thanks Jay

dmr
11-07-2007, 12:53
I know my opinion here is not shared by most here, but I consider the 35mm manual SLR (with a normal lens) and the 35mm manual RF to be far more similar than they are different. I shoot a Pentax K1000 and a Mamiya SD rangefinder and the process is almost identical. Set the shutter speed manually, compose and focus via the viewfinder (which is the most different step), then adjust the f-stop to either match the needle exactly or else intentionally over or under expose, and then fire.

The focus on the SLR is on the ground glass so you focus for the sharpest image. The focus on the RF is to line up the two images so they coincide.

Kent
11-07-2007, 13:02
Hi, Jay! Welcome.

It all depends. With some rangefinder cams (mostly the "better" ones) you have manual control and you can change aperture at the lens. You would not change shutter speed at the lens, though, well... you wouldn't do that at an SLR either, would you?
With an SLR you see what you'll get in the picture (sometimes even including DoF), with an RF you always can see what you shoot (no mirror slap) and more. With an RF it is easier to shoot "secretly", since mostly the shutter is quieter than in an SLR.
RFs generally are smaller and since you do not have a mirror in the way, extreme wide angles are easier to construct.
For me composition is easier with an SLR, snapshots are easier with an RF - but that's personal opinion.
When I shoot with an SLR, I often use a narrow DoF for composition, with an RF I mostly use the lens at hyperfocal distance.
IMHO SLRs are more versatile, RFs are compact and street photography is much more fun with an RF.

You can get a 35RC in good condition for perhaps about US$ 30-40,-

wgerrard
11-07-2007, 13:14
Rangefinders and SLR's are different kind of cameras. There are a number of differences, with perhaps the most basic being that an SLR allows you to view the subject through the lens. Nothing wrong with that, but there are trade offs.

Rangefinders can have interchangable lenses, just as SLR's. And SLR's can be made with only one fixed lens. Rangefinders are typically completely manual -- you adjust aperture, shutter speed, and focus -- or offer an aperture priority mode -- you pick an aperture and the camera sets a shutter speed.

A viewfinder is not the same thing as a rangefinder, although in many cameras they are combined. Depth of field has nothing to do with all this.

Rangefinders allow for smaller and lighter lenses than on SLR's, so a kit of a rangefinder and a few lenses usually weighs less and is less encumbering than an equivalent SLR kit.

Here's a good link to get you started: http://www.photoethnography.com/equipment.html. Check out the links along the left.

For sales and service in Australia, I'd have to turn to Google. I do know that a number of Olympus service shops in the States have websites. KEH (http://www.keh.com) in Atlanta, Georiga, sells used equipment and has a good reputation, and they ship overseas.

rogue_designer
11-07-2007, 13:26
I don't recall where I read it - maybe it was in Bill Pierce's threads - but it was stated that they forced a different approach to the photograph.

With the RF, you're in the moment. You are capturing a feeling, a moment, a more inclusive kind of photograph. This is partially due to the nature of the RF - you can see what's around the photograph you are taking, your view isn't ever blocked, so you can capture HCB's "decisive moment"

With the SLR - you have more control over the precise framing and can more easily preview the depth of field - so you can make different kinds of composition decisions more accurately. Exclude this element, or that one with selective focus? Or show them all more clearly? etc.

Summarized as follows: "With the RF you take a photograph, with an SLR you make a photograph."

principe azul
11-07-2007, 13:58
SLRs are way more versatile than rangefinders, but you shouldn't worry. I've always bought SLRs with multiple exposure capability and depth of field preview, but I've never actually used either feature.

With an SLR, you have the advantage that you're looking through the lens (and can see the effects of graduated and polarising filters, and the depth of field - if you can preview it by stopping the lens down).

With a rangefinder, you have the advantage that you don't have to look through the lens. There's no blur in the finder (and you don't get annoying dust specks everywhere). And if you use a yellow filter - or a really dark infrared one - your view isn't obscured as it would be with an SLR.

While you can't see depth of field through a rangefinder window, you should know by intuition, experience or the depth of field scale on the lens what you're going to get. And a lot of new SLR lenses don't even have them. I used to shoot with an SLR all the time, with a 35mm lens. I'd choose to shoot at 1.4 or 2.8 or 5.6 purely according to the effect I wanted, or according to the circumstances - e.g., want selective focus but subject moving a bit, so I'd go to 2 or 2.8. I didn't find the time to stop down and preview DOF.

This all comes much easier if you don't use a zoom and just get to know a few focal lengths.

So my experience was that I was using my SLR pretty much like a rangefinder, and since I often focused in very low light and preferred wider angles and wanted a more compact camera, a rangefinder became the obvious choice.

I've never found a huge difference between the two - though I can see the point of Bill Pierce's article - it's just that if you shoot to the strengths of an RF, it's far more rewarding than an SLR.

About preferring wider angles. First, RF wide angles tend to be better than equivalent SLR wides (price, focal length, aperture, make, newness, etc.) because there's no mirror box to clear. My Zeiss wide probably gets well over an inch closer to the film than my Nikkor ever could, for instance. Second, though viewfinder magnification is better in an SLR for longer lenses, it works in your favour for wides, because the magnification doesn't drop on an RF.

You'll probably futz around the first time you try and focus an RF, but I remember doing that with my first SLR.

One last thing. While there's a lot of mystique around rangefinders - at least the ones that come from Germany - rangefinder-focusing was the bog-standard way to focus a camera back in the 50s and 60s, and millions of folks who only took pictures at holidays and at Christmas seemed to manage it perfectly well. Don't know much about your Olympus, but it would have been one of those cameras.

One very last thing. A friend of mine took a Zorki on holiday, knowing nothing about photography. She just followed the exposure instructions on the inside of the film box, and everything came out perfectly.

principe azul
11-07-2007, 14:05
Aaannnd, to get back to your question, framing won't be perfect with a rangefinder, but most SLRs don't show a 100% view anyway.

The framelines won't move in the Olympus to correct for parallax, but there's a parallax indicator to help you compose: http://www.ph.utexas.edu/~yue/misc/35RC.html (http://www.ph.utexas.edu/%7Eyue/misc/35RC.html)

ruben
11-07-2007, 14:25
Jay welcome! Go ahead with the RC as it is a mighty small tool. For a good and slightly used RC I would pay a hundred Amercan dollars.

As for your questions, you are very much asking the technical questions of questions, very much controversial. So hereby my view in brief.

SLRs are the sons of RFs, somewhat like digitals are more evolutioned cameras than film cameras. The problem is that the photographic industry never takes all the good sides of the old cameras and adds it to the new ones, but always leaves highly valuable features of the old ones as if they never existed.

What RFs have to offer against the much more evolutioned SLRs ?:

a) They are extremely quiet cameras.

b) They are built to focus much more quickly than SLRs

c) With wide lenses, RFs focus more easy than SLRs

d) There is a whole branch, to which the RC belongs, of compact cameras

Now, the SLRs have different advantages over the RFs, making them in much more versatile and convenient in general terms. But if you are specially looking for one of the avovementioned edges of RFs, you will not find anything at SLRs - you will have to get a RF. And the RC is superb !

Cheers,
Rubne

gns
11-07-2007, 14:43
There are many differences well noted here, but the essential difference for me is what you see when you look through the finder. With an slr you see the lenses image projected on a ground glass and magnified. The focus is shallow as you are generally at the widest aperture and image is often not the brightest. With a rangefinder, you view the subject more directly. Everything is seen in focus and as bright as possible. That suits me better. I want to see the subject, not something that looks like a picture.

Of course, great pictures are made with all kinds of cameras and when I look at others' pictures, I'm not concerned with what kind of camera was used. But I prefer rangefinders and for me I think it does make a difference in what pictures I make.

Cheers,
Gary

anselwannab
11-07-2007, 15:16
My Leica CL I leave in my pocket, my Canon F1 I leave at home.

FallisPhoto
11-07-2007, 17:00
Hello, I have only just found out about these Olympus RC 35 cameras so sorry I also have a couple of perhaps silly questions,- what is the difference in how you use a manual SLR compared to a rangefinder camera, other than with the lens capability and interchangability? Do you still adjust apeture, shutter speed and focus manually (with ring on lens)? And when they say rangefinder- is this the same as manual focus depth of field, or has it something to do with how you compose a shot through the viewfinder (ie. does a rangefinder not give an actual view, and require compensation- if so can you please describe how you may do this in simple terms for me). (I have a minolta SLR if that helps explain the comparison)- thanks :). And I apologise for my ignorance when it comes to these cameras- but the prospect is exciting!

Also can anyone tell me how much it may cost for a Olympus RC 35 mm camera which has been overhauled (inc. battery and cleaning)? And reliable people that may sell or repair this type of camera either overseas or in Australia. ( I am from Australia).

With thanks Jay

This should just about cover all of it: http://www.photozone.de/3Technology/camtec2.htm

NickTrop
11-07-2007, 17:13
Forgive me if I missed this, but I didn't see it in the posts.

The RF has no mirror. Therefore, you can hand-hold shots at slower shutter speeds. 1/30th (no problem), 1/15(practice or braced), 1/8(practice, braced) so they're better in low-light. Because the mirror "slaps" the camera's insides in order to "get out of the way" before the shutter opens, the vibration caused by the mirror slap in an SLR makes SLRs, generally, "a little" to "a lot" noisier than a RF and the vibration imposes a "1/focal length" rule when using an SLR. So if your SLR has a 50mm lens, you usually won't shoot with a shutter speed slower than 1/60th (1/focal length) for hand-held photography.

For these reasons:

1. Smaller (usually)
2. Quiter (usually)
3. Can shoot a stop or two slower shutterspeed hand-held than an SLR (due to no mirror vibration)

... RFs are preferred for "documentary" style "street photography" and candid photography using natural light (no flash). Another advantage is you can anticipate action because you can see outside the frame lines with a RF camera, as others have mentioned.

Another advantage of you particular camera (and all the fixed lens Japanese) is they use leaf shutters, which enables you to sync the flash at all speeds. This is good for using your flash as a "fill flash" (think of wedding photographers you might have seen) in harsh daylight to remove harsh shadows and if there's strong backlighting. SLRs use a different type of shutter than has to "sync" to the flash at a disignated slower shutter speed - sometimes 1/30 (older SLRs), 1/60 (common), 1/125 (modern). Usually when using fill flash, you're shooting at 1/250 or 1/500.

Also, because lenses don't have to be designed to "clear" the mirror in a RF, better wide angle lenses can be created where the rear element is almost smack up against the film plane. So, photographers often take advantage of this and shoot at 35mm and wider focal lenghts if they're using an interchangable lens RF system (moot, since yours is a fixed lens...)

Incidentally, you have a great little camera. Enjoy.

peter_n
11-07-2007, 18:02
Welcome to the forum Jay. :) For me the difference is that I can see outside the frame in a rangefinder VF. Simple as that. I haven't used my SLR since I got my first RF cam 4 years ago.

Ronald M
11-07-2007, 20:15
SLR see exactly what the film sees. RF focus better.
SLR have slower responses after you push the button. SLR have more accesories and excell at close up and tele work.

Take your pick depending on what your main use is.

MJones
11-07-2007, 20:29
Here's a link to a simulator for the Epson rd-1s.

Follow the startup. and literally click on the different parts of the camera. I think it will simulate most everything the camera can do. But here's for the RF focus with a coupled lens.
1. turn "on" the camera from the top view.
2. rotate the focus ring on the lens
3. watch the cropped viewfinder above the camera and it will show the focus change as you rotate the lens

http://www.epsonrd1.co.uk/virtual/virtual_en.html

oftheherd
11-07-2007, 22:42
...

One very last thing. A friend of mine took a Zorki on holiday, knowing nothing about photography. She just followed the exposure instructions on the inside of the film box, and everything came out perfectly.

I took photos, including crime scene photos, like that often in Vietnam years ago. All worked out well. Having some background in photography helped but wasn't essential

As to the questions that started this thread. There are many different versions of RF cameras. Some allow changing aperture and shutter speeds, some are all auto with no option to change exposure other than adjustment of the ASA (ISO). RF viewfinders have a frame to indicate the area that will appear in the photograph. Most are fairly accurate, but that used to be commented on in reviews, how much they were or were not accurate. In general I wouldn't worry about it. Most gave a little extra room to compesate for composing errors on the part of the user.

I never found RF focusing to be faster than SLR as I usually went from in and out on either side getting it exact. RF are often easier to focus in dim light than as SLR, but when you practice it a lot, you would be surprised at how good you can get in low light with an SLR. But RFs are indeed usually easier.

I can't help you at what costs might be overhauled, or what is usually referred to as a CLA, clean, lubricate and adjust. Hopefully someone else in the forum can help with that.

Welcome to the forum.

capitalK
11-08-2007, 06:32
Rangefinders force you to focus and recompose if you are not using the center as your focus point. SLR's allow you to focus any part of the image and often will allow you to set a point other than center for automatic focus.

This one is personal, I don't tend to shoot a lot of portrait-orientation images with a rangefinder though I do with SLR's. Just a preference thing.

richiedcruz
11-08-2007, 08:22
For me the main differences are weight and that I tend to scale focus when I use a rangefinder. When I use an SLR, I cannot resist the tendency to take an extra second to focus rather than just take the picture. As for the weight, I use screwmount Leicas and anything, even an M, is a tank in comparison ; )

Richie

ruby.monkey
11-08-2007, 08:41
For me the main difference is that I have far fewer thumb- and lenscap-shots with an SLR.

DougK
11-08-2007, 09:38
I know my opinion here is not shared by most here, but I consider the 35mm manual SLR (with a normal lens) and the 35mm manual RF to be far more similar than they are different.
I probably wouldn't have said this when I was a newbie rangefinder convert, but I now agree, the essential process is the same, particularly if you shoot mostly wide angles. My favorite focal length has steadily moved wider, from about 50mm when I started shooting rangefinders to 24-28mm now. I don't take many macro or telephoto shots anymore and scale focusing allows me to just meter, frame, and shoot most of the time.

FallisPhoto
11-09-2007, 06:38
Rangefinder strengths:

1. SLRs use retrofocus lenses; they have to, because the lens has to be placed farther away from the film plane (due to the mirror box) than is optimum. This works fine with telephotos lenses, but not as well with normal lenses and it is pretty awful with wide angle lenses. Rangefinders don't use retrofocus lenses because they have no mirrors, and so perfermance is superb with normal and wide angle lenses but not very good with telephoto lenses.

2. SLRs use lenses that have their best performance only in a very narrow range of f/stops (usually f/8 to f/16). Typically even a good SLR lens will not do very well stopped down to f/22 or opened up to f/2. Again, this is inherent in the retrofocus design. Since rangefinders don't use retrofocus lenses, they don't have this problem. f/2 and f/22 will both be sharp.

3. SLRs are more difficult to use in low light. There is a pretty wide range of focus adjustment where the image will appear sharp. A coincident rangefinder's superimposed images (or even a split image rangefinder) make it much easier to focus accurately in low light.

4. Because there is no mirror swinging up and down and bumping into things in a rangefinder, there are no mirror-induced vibrations that can cause camera shake and motion blur. This means you can shoot handheld at significantly slower shutter speeds than would be possible with an SLR.

5. Rangefinders are far quiter than SLRs and so are less intrusive.

Rangefinder weaknesses:

1. It is going to be nearly impossible to use a graduated ND filter or a polarizer with a rangefinder. You have to be able to see through the lens in order to use these effectively, and most rangefinders don't allow you to do that.

2. Rangefinders don't do very well with telephoto lenses. I don't think you can even get a lens that is over 135mm.


Conclusion:

Rangefinders excell at full-length people photos and group photos, at street photography and at low light photography. SLRs are going to be better at most other things.

As you can see, the rangefinder and SLR systems compliment one another almost perfectly. Each system's weak points precisely match the other's strong points. Ideally, you'll have both.

OlyMan
11-09-2007, 09:00
While I agree with most of what's been said here, a lot of people quote low-light focussing as an advantage of rangefinders vs SLRs. Am I the only one to think otherwise? Ok my only experience of rangefinders has been with fixed-focus Olympus models while my experience of SLRs is wide and varied. But from what I've seen, providing the SLR has a fast-ish lens (F2.8 or wider) then I find the split-image and microprism found on manual-focus SLRs a lot easier to focus than a rangefinder in almost all instances. Perhaps it's just because I need to wear spectacles and do not have the benefit of getting the viewfinder right up to my eye? Crappy slow zooms on modern plastic wonders can be dismal and difficult to focus, but they only really tend to come attached to autofocus SLRs anyway. With a standard 50mm attached to my OM4Ti and focussing screen 2-13 installed, the lifesized, bright image is leagues ahead of the the tiny, flare-prone images seen in my rangefinders (a CLA would help with the flare but not the image size)

wgerrard
11-09-2007, 10:49
I should add to my earlier post that the one thing that makes me an RF fan is their carry-ability. If you're looking for a camera to shove in a coat pocket and take with you, the RC is a good one. No, it isn't as flexible as an SLR system or an RF system. But, if you're like me, I don't want to carry around a "system". I just want to carry around a camera. You won't take pictures if it's too much hassle to carry around the stuff you take pictures with.

Go for the RC. If you don't like it, you won't have any trouble selling it.

FallisPhoto
11-09-2007, 14:15
While I agree with most of what's been said here, a lot of people quote low-light focussing as an advantage of rangefinders vs SLRs. Am I the only one to think otherwise? Ok my only experience of rangefinders has been with fixed-focus Olympus models while my experience of SLRs is wide and varied. But from what I've seen, providing the SLR has a fast-ish lens (F2.8 or wider) then I find the split-image and microprism found on manual-focus SLRs a lot easier to focus than a rangefinder in almost all instances. Perhaps it's just because I need to wear spectacles and do not have the benefit of getting the viewfinder right up to my eye? Crappy slow zooms on modern plastic wonders can be dismal and difficult to focus, but they only really tend to come attached to autofocus SLRs anyway. With a standard 50mm attached to my OM4Ti and focussing screen 2-13 installed, the lifesized, bright image is leagues ahead of the the tiny, flare-prone images seen in my rangefinders (a CLA would help with the flare but not the image size)

Fair enough, as far as it goes, but I am comparing a whole bunch of rangefinders (Isolette III, Speedex Special R, Retina II, Yashica GSN, Hi-Matic 7S, Super Memar, and about a couple of dozen more) against several SLRs (a Nikon FM2, a Pentax K-1000, a Yashica TL Electro, a Pentax 67 and about half a dozen more). Many manual SLRs don't have split image focusing screens. When they do, what the focusing screen does is take a sample image from either side of the lens (about equidistant from the center of the lens and the edge) and project the image onto a spot in the center of the focusing screen. Focusing the camera brings the two images together, in effect turning an SLR into a split image rangefinder (not unlike the Agfa Karat 36 or the Argus C-3 rangefinders). Another point is that most rangefinders have a MUCH bigger and brighter viewfinder than the Olympus (I'm assuming an XA of some sort).

Also, since a rangefinder's focusing system is based on triangulation, rather than the typical SLR's "now it looks fuzzy and now it doesn't" system, and because the base of a rangefinder's triangle is much wider than that from a typical SLR's split image focusing screen system (unless you have a HUGE diameter lens), focusing is still going to be more accurate with the rangefinder, because there is no range of focus adjustment where it will still look sharp. Either it will be spot-on, or the images are not merged in the viewfinder.

I suspect that your rangefinder, in addition to having a small viewfinder, may be dim, due to a dirty mirror or one that has been cleaned poorly and has had some of the semisilvering rubbed off.

wgerrard
11-09-2007, 14:50
...most rangefinders have a MUCH bigger and brighter viewfinder than the Olympus (I'm assuming an XA of some sort).


I picked up an XA sometime ago. I haven't serviced it and pretty sure that it's never been serviced. I wear glasses. The viewfinder is, indeed, small. The focus patch is really small and I find it difficult to focus on occasion. In low light, the patch is essentially invisible.

But, it's an old, used camera that uses a design that is not typical of rangefinders. It really isn't the best example to choose when comparing rangefinders and SLR's. Frankly, 30-year-old rangefinders should be compared only with 30-year-old SLR's.

On the other hand, I also have a Bessa R4M and find it's viewfinder to be bright and easy to use with my glasses, in all kinds of lighting environments.

FallisPhoto
11-09-2007, 16:12
I picked up an XA sometime ago. I haven't serviced it and pretty sure that it's never been serviced. I wear glasses. The viewfinder is, indeed, small. The focus patch is really small and I find it difficult to focus on occasion. In low light, the patch is essentially invisible.

But, it's an old, used camera that uses a design that is not typical of rangefinders. It really isn't the best example to choose when comparing rangefinders and SLR's. Frankly, 30-year-old rangefinders should be compared only with 30-year-old SLR's.

On the other hand, I also have a Bessa R4M and find it's viewfinder to be bright and easy to use with my glasses, in all kinds of lighting environments.

If we are talking about manual cameras, the technology involved in SLRs and rangefinders is very old technology that hasn't changed to any significant degree in those 30 years you mention. Nearly all of the technological advances since then have been in the areas of automation (autofocus and autoexposure) and in the design of zoom lenses. In prime lenses the last really significant change occurred in about 1978, when multicoated lenses and computerized calibration became generally available. In the SLRs themselves, the last siginificant changes were the substitution of fresnel lens focusing screens for ground glass, and the appearance of sensors behind the semitransparent mirrors of some SLRs. In particular, these last two have had a negative impact on the performance of SLRs when used in manual mode. The cameras simply are designed to work better in automatic than they do in manual.

BTW, I use glasses too.

principe azul
11-09-2007, 17:05
I'd say, given typical viewfinder magnifications, that a top-drawer SLR and a top-drawer RF are round about equal at 50mm for ease of use, focusing aside. But the RF definitely improves in both areas 40/35mm and wider.

Easier to focus an RF accurately in low light at 50mm, too, I reckon. Maybe longer, but I don't have much experience of this. And certainly with slower lenses.

That said, you'll run into situations where an RF doesn't cut it for focusing. Patterns can be awkward to focus on. In very low light - e.g., unlit room at night, with streetlights making faint shadow of blinds on far interior wall - you might not be able to get any purchase on them at all (e.g., by attacking them from a different angle), where an SLR proves better - though not 100% accurate, and we're talking about light so dim that autofocus would fail. Then again, few people focus on almost imperceptible, repeating shadows, and you might ask what I was doing with two cameras in an unlit room anyway... :eek:

So many variables. Light changes constantly, and equipment varies so much. By top-drawer above, I was thinking of something like a Nikon F3 with a fast lens in front of an optimal focusing screen versus a Hexar/Bessa/Leica/Zeiss Ikon. Get an RF from a thrift store, or an SLR with a dim screen or one that's really designed for viewing rather than focusing (as wgerrard points out), and it might be a different story. But in general, the RF shines for low light.

Anyway, while I can justify my generalisation, an RF is unquestionably superior at focusing for most of what I throw at a camera (light, angle of view, filtration, lens speed etc.), and that's all that matters.

OlyMan
11-10-2007, 06:41
Many manual SLRs don't have split image focusing screens.
I've only ever had manual SLRs with split-image focussing screens. I certainly wouldn't want to try to focus one without such inbuilt assistance. To be honest, I would have thought every manual-focus SLR designed within the last 40 years will have had a split-image screen? Certainly all the ones I have used have had one, including models by Yashica (FRII), Olympus (OM1/10/4Ti), Monolta (X300) and Pentax (K1000).

FallisPhoto
11-10-2007, 09:58
I've only ever had manual SLRs with split-image focussing screens. I certainly wouldn't want to try to focus one without such inbuilt assistance. To be honest, I would have thought every manual-focus SLR designed within the last 40 years will have had a split-image screen? Certainly all the ones I have used have had one, including models by Yashica (FRII), Olympus (OM1/10/4Ti), Monolta (X300) and Pentax (K1000).

I have a Yashica TL, a Yashica TL-X, a Canon AE-1, a Pentax 67, a Pentax K-1000, and several other SLRs, that do not have split image focusing screens. Some of these have it as an option, but apparently the persons who had them before me didn't opt for them.

jay00
11-11-2007, 14:34
Thanks so much all of you for you replies to my thread- all is making a bit more sense now when it comes to rangefinders vs SLR's, next step is to try one out!
No doubt I'll have more questions when I do....thanks again & regards.

ChrisPlatt
11-12-2007, 05:20
...a lot of people quote low-light focussing as an advantage of rangefinders vs SLRs. Am I the only one to think otherwise?

Framing maybe, but focusing definitely not. In low light the RF patch sometimes becomes completely invisible.

Chris

FallisPhoto
11-12-2007, 08:22
Framing maybe, but focusing definitely not. In low light the RF patch sometimes becomes completely invisible.

Chris

What kind of rangefinder are you using? I've got about 30 - 40 rangefinders in my collection and only have that problem with maybe half a dozen of them. I could probably fix that with those half dozen too, by installing new semitransparent mirrors. What is usually the problem is that the semisilvering on the mirror has become dim (dirty or has been rubbed partly off by inexpert cleaning).

Finder
11-12-2007, 08:39
There are varying shades of gray/grey between rangefinders and SLRs. Certainly each can be a manual or automatic as the other. There are limits to the lenses you can put on a rangefinder. Focus distance is limited as well for rangefinders. I guess in "practical" terms, the SLR is superior in most every way.

However, people and photography are not practical. I use rangefinder/viewfinder cameras more than any other camera type. It is limiting in ways, but I find the rangefinder to offer fewer compromises to the way I see and work.

I could not recommend a rangefinder except to try one and see if you like it. If it clicks, then you have found a useful camera. (Know pun in tended.)

OlyMan
11-12-2007, 13:23
Definitely. It all depends what you want the camera to do. I like to use my RFs when I want to go around without looking like David Bailey: OM kit is small compared to its bigger peers and modern pro SLRs, but is still not as compact as most RFs.

The RFs I have had any experience are strictly of amateur grade compared to such as a Leica M7 or a Contax, so it's probably unfair for me to compare. None the less the bright, clear, lifesized image which appears on my OM4Ti's 2-13 focussing screen is just simply in a different league to the tiny image and even tinier focussing spots on my RFs. Depending on what I want to focus on and whereabouts it lies in the frame, it can take a few extra seconds with my RFs to focus and compose the shot because the image in a RF's viewfinder is by its nature always in focus to your eyes, regardless of where the focus ring is positioned. On an SLR, you can get near enough bang on without using the split image because the image snaps into focus on the focussing screen as you turn the focus ring.

As for an RFs 'feature' that you can see both left and right of the area being photographed so you can spot that 'decisive moment', you can get a simlar effect on an SLR by opening your other eye... ;)

FallisPhoto
11-13-2007, 10:06
There are varying shades of gray/grey between rangefinders and SLRs. Certainly each can be a manual or automatic as the other. There are limits to the lenses you can put on a rangefinder. Focus distance is limited as well for rangefinders. I guess in "practical" terms, the SLR is superior in most every way.

However, people and photography are not practical. I use rangefinder/viewfinder cameras more than any other camera type. It is limiting in ways, but I find the rangefinder to offer fewer compromises to the way I see and work.

I could not recommend a rangefinder except to try one and see if you like it. If it clicks, then you have found a useful camera. (Know pun in tended.)

Superior in every way? Not at all. The way I'd put it is that an SLR is more of a general purpose camera and the rangefinder is more of a speciallist's tool. There are a few things that rangefinders do WAY better than SLRs, but there are just not a whole lot of them.

To use an analogy, an SLR is kind of like a big swiss army knife. Yeah, A swiss army knife has a saw, and it CAN cut a branch, but it isn't going to do it as well as a jungle knife. On the other hand, the jungle knife is going to really suck if you are trying to get a cork out of a bottle. An SLR, like a swiss army knife, can do quite a lot of things, but some of them it does rather poorly, some it is okay at and several things it does very well indeed. A rangefinder is more like a bowie knife; there are a handfull of things it is very good at indeed, but it isn't going to be much good for anything else. Now if you happen to be doing one of the types of photography that a rangefinder is good at (full length people photography, night photography, street photography), then you are probably going to absolutely fall in love with your rangefinder, because these all fit rather well with its strong points, but if you are doing something else (landscapes, sports photography, macros and so on) then you're probably going to find it very limiting and are not going to like it at all.

In short, whether I would recommend a rangefinder (or any other kind of camera, including an SLR) would depend on what kind of photography the person who is asking is going to be doing with it. I would not make ANY kind of recommendation without knowing that first, and I think those who jump right in and say things like "the Nikon FM2 is what you ought to get," without knowing what kind of photography the guy is into are idiots.

Herman Abdullah
11-13-2007, 21:04
Hi Jay, mind if i joining in this discussion?

Perhaps my view is slightly different in certain angle. I beg to differ. :-)

Well, I think , all the responses that you have received were pretty much about the technical comparison of those two camera, and you already have got most of the answers you ever need in that matter.


As to me the most important thing when comparing the both, it is not about the technical stuff, but more about the 'feeling' when shooting with it.

Of course you can do more stuff with SLR because that is the main reason of existence (i.e: interchangeble lense, more control, white balace, DOF preview and stuff) but when it comes to RF, it is not about the camera advance technology that you are thingking of, but it is more is about you doing advance thingking for the camera ( as RF function is normally inferior to SLR at certain extend and im talking about my 35SP)

However, with RF you will discover photography differently. It has that sweet (undescribable?) 'feeling' in it.. you will get yourself engaged, diluted, mixed, blent with the subject more than what you will have with SLR, and it is basically you and your sweet time, and not the camera anymore.

At the end of the day, sweet satisfaction comes with it..believe me. It is totally a different experience all together.


That's about it.

Anyway, i will shoot with DSLR if the 'situation' required me to do so...and if i need fast and quick result..and i mean no film involve..:-) and I will use a 'very fast' camera in that range.