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View Poll Results: Is rangefinder photography still relevant to you?
Yes - I still use a rangefinder for most of my photography. 198 57.56%
Yes - but I use the rangefinder only at times and more often use a different style of camera. 90 26.16%
No - I like my rangefinder but rarely use one these days. 48 13.95%
No - never owned a rangefinder and don't think I ever will. 2 0.58%
Not yet but thinking about getting one. 6 1.74%
Voters: 344. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-2012   #41
seakayaker1
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Easy to say that over 85% of my camera use over the past year has been with a film or digital rangefinder. Over the past five months I have picked up a Rolleiflex and Mamiya 7 II and have been shooting some medium format film about 10% of the time and my GF1 about 5%.
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Old 06-20-2012   #42
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For the photography that I like to do for my own personal enjoyment, yes, it is very relevant. To me, shooting a rangefinder creates a sence of intimacy whereas shooting an SLR sometimes just leaves me cold.

Having said that, there are some types of photography assignments that require a macro or telephoto or 5-frames-per-second action sequences or complicated indoor lighting that is just more convenient (if not outright necessary) to shoot with a DSLR.
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Old 06-20-2012   #43
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I enjoy shooting all kinds of cameras from 8x11 mm Minox to 8x20 inch LF. I only just discovered rangefinders a few years ago. I didn't know what I was missing. I really like the size and simplicity of a rangefinder. But I continue to use all types of cameras, even digital.
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Old 06-20-2012   #44
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I don't want to photograph what the lens sees, I wanna photograph what I see in my mind. That's what Rangefinders allow me to do quite easily.
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Old 06-20-2012   #45
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I'm really enjoying the responses here, and I'm a bit surprised to see the strong response in options one and two in the poll. Thanks to everyone who has participated and shared your thoughts too.
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Old 06-20-2012   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulfish4570 View Post
j, with me, it was my first "real" camera. i had used company-provided yashicamat 124 tlrs with big honeywell flashes when i worked for weekly newspapers a couple of years. mostly stand-and-stares, and some high school sports. that kind of sparked an interest in photography that blossomed when i got my first daily newspaper job. i hung around with photogs a good bit. they suggested a nikon f or pentax spotmatic for my very occasional photo duties and hobby. i looked at 'em in a shop, and made the mistake of handling a used double stroke m3 with 50/2.8 elmar. it was love at first touch. i think i paid $125-$160, more than a week's pre-tax pay at the time.
thus i began learning to see in 3:2. a couple of years later, i was in management, and seldom on the road any more. i got married, and sometime after my daughter was born ended up trading the M for an slr and couple of lenses. the photo hobby faded, other hobbies - and a divorce - intervened
i came back to photography 30 years later when my daughter asked me to photograph her daughter - my first grandchild - in black and white. i made some nice shots with a pawn shop practika ltl, and 50 and 28 lenses. then the cam failed, and then came my journey back to RFs.
the M taught me to see in a 50mm focal length, at polite distance. there is only so close one can get with a 50 elmar. the M taught me a cam could be carried at all times, just about anywhere. it taught me to keep things simple.
anyhow, that is how i taught myself to "see." i see the same whether it is an RF or SLR. the business about being able to see more while shooting with an RF doesn't work for me. i concentrate purely on the viewfinder. it is tunnel vision no matter what cam. the M also taught me what my hands like in the way of size and layout. that is why i like my x100 and om-1s and R2m. they feel right, and they see right.

Great post Paul!
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Old 06-20-2012   #47
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thank you, keith ...
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Old 06-20-2012   #48
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and speaking of RFs: i wonder if people being able to see more of the photog's face - including an eye - makes them less conscious of an RF than an SLR. the cam-at-arm's-length posture of LCD-screen cam use - with eyes "hidden" by their focus on the little screen - may somehow make others more aware. hmmmmmm ...
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oh yeah...
Old 06-20-2012   #49
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oh yeah...

...there are times my mamiya6 is "the better choice" over my rolleiflex 6002.

the lack of viewfinder black out, the space outside the frame lines, the ease & speed of focussing, smaller lenses and lighter weight are key factors in choosing it over the 6002.

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Old 06-20-2012   #50
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I've used rangefinder cameras since I was 6 years old and will quit when I'm put into the ground..

My SLR's and digital gear gets used but not as much as my RF's..
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Old 06-20-2012   #51
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I'm using my LX5 more and more, which saddens me as much as delights me. It's a fabulous camera, and I don't really miss film, but I do miss using the M2 and M4. I miss scale focusing, manual controls and of course the fantastic RF/VF.

I missed using the M lenses even more, so much that I'm trying M43 (Olympus E-PL1) with an M adapter. It works, but it throws me off my game. It's really an SLR when it comes to focusing, even though I'm using a Voigtlander OVF in the shoe. Doubling the focal length stinks. But on its own terms, it's easy to use, and the lenses work great (esp. 15mm Heliar, 21 Skopar, 35mm Ultron and 50mm Summicron). I shimmed the LTM adapter so the infinity stop works, and I can scale focus with some accuracy. In this sense, it's as fast as a traditional rf for street shooting. It's about as fast as a Leica or Bessa rf when focusing with the rear LCD (just aesthetically unappealing). I really didn't like the M43 lenses that use focus by wire though. Ick.

There is no way I would spend more than $1K for a digital rangefinder. They don't age gracefully like good film cameras. The GXR is the only camera I would consider beyond what I have.
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Old 06-20-2012   #52
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i rarely ever use mine. i rarely ever use my SLR's too. its all about film p&s lately.
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Old 06-20-2012   #53
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I shoot streets with my CLE... Can't think about what could be better. Maybe a Leica when it'll die... like in 5 or 6 years.
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Old 06-20-2012   #54
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been shooting rangefinders for over 30 years...i mix in other camera types occasionally, i currently have a nikon d200 with the 40 micro...all the other gear is gone...
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Old 06-20-2012   #55
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I use my RFs for most of my photogarphy escapades..... the dslr is sitting nicely in the shelf, even thinking of letting it go as I haven't been using it at least for the past 1 year.
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1908878#post1908878
Old 06-20-2012   #56
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1908878#post1908878

It used to be relevant. Nowadays i mostly shoot with a point and shoot digital. i still shoot film but in a mix of SLR and M.Only a few rolls a month. The color i have scanned at high resolution.
The Leica allows me to see more! i have never been able to explain it..Photos simply jump out at me. If i carry a SLR it takes ages to finish a film, plus one or two, are badly focussed! Rats! The auto focus do worse in the light, where i have trouble, and no, i am not going to use flash!
i am toying with doing a project using film only, B/W and making all my own prints in a red light district. The M3 is growing on me again.
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Old 06-20-2012   #57
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Relevant...not really...
I own two rangefinder cameras both are Olympus with very similar Zuiko lenses...
Neither one is my first choice when walking out of the house...but I would choose either one when wanting the "Look" they are both capable of giving...
Rangefinders are slow for me...if I'm shooting for fun/myself I might use one...
I took the Olympus SP with me on our trip to Boston and ended up shoot half a roll of color film with it...I finished the roll when we got back home...a roll of film in less than a week is a lot for me when it comes to using a rangefinder...
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Old 06-20-2012   #58
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I think rangefinder are relevant for what I am photographing (documentation / the one or other portrait / snapshots) and besides that, I like Leica and Nikon rangefinder cameras.
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Old 06-20-2012   #59
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For assignment work I use an SLR for accuracy. For personal work, a rangefinder because it's what I enjoy using. I'm hoping to bring a medium format camera into there as well, but one thing at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulfish4570 View Post
i still see with a rangefinder aesthetic
I've read and heard people say this before, but I have no idea what it means. Can someone explain?
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Old 06-21-2012   #60
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I like rangefinder style cameras - they don't have to be specifically an optical rangefinder. I like the size, weight, quality tiny lenses, and I like having the frame lines that have space around them. Don't mind if the camera is AF, AF rangefinder, or full on rangefinder - as long as they have the above traits. Because of this, I shoot with an x100 and the contax G system. Soon to get into the Mamiya 7 system.
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Old 06-21-2012   #61
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Very relevant, gives me the best results and far more fun than any other type of camera.
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Old 07-14-2012   #62
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Since the dSLR does not meter with manual focus lenses, I use my Gossen Lunasix 3 lightmeter with all three systems. I hate AF, I have two lenses that do meter with the D3100 but they do not AF. Even then, I never use Shutter Priority and even Aperture Priority is rare.

Mostly all manual It's just the way I enjoy my work most!
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I'm Jumping on Kieth Too
Old 07-14-2012   #63
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I'm Jumping on Kieth Too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I like the compact design and the focusing of a rangefinder ... the vague framing I'm not so keen on.
The major advantage of a rangefinder is that compositions 'fall' into the cross hairs (frame lines) like shooting skeet or trap.

I was raised shooting guns and photography seemed to be an extension of that. There is a world of difference between open sights and telescopic. One shoots sports with an SLR only by the necessity of having a long lens. However, my batting average with a rangefinder on the street is almost always .500, with an SLR, at best .025. SLR's are for long and macro lenses, and studio work.

In my world I use an SLR 10%-15% of the time. They are generally to bulky, too heavy, and too slow.

Last edited by Dektol Dan : 07-14-2012 at 13:29. Reason: I feel guilty
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Old 07-14-2012   #64
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I ticked the second option but am in process toward the first as time goes on.
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Old 07-14-2012   #65
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Rangefinder's are what I shoot most of the time, though I certainly enjoy shooting with my (D)SLR and TLR.
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Old 07-14-2012   #66
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I've recently bought two Fuji MF rangefinders. I love using them. I love the simplicity.
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Old 07-14-2012   #67
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I love using my Yashica GSN and could use that and nothing else for most of the photography I do, otherwise it's the digital P&S for cat shots. The GSN is just the right size for my xxl hands and it works ok in that it doesn't get in the way of me getting the shot.
Would love to try a M6 and the idea of an Epson R-1d is rather exciting.
I don't find slr cameras as exciting as I once did but I would still like to master my 124G.
Alas life has been getting in the way lately and I haven't done much photography.
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Old 08-11-2012   #68
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I have to use a rangefinder since my eyes dont work too well with normal slr cameras.
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Old 08-11-2012   #69
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I have RFs, but mostly prefer SLRs, esp my Hasselblads. But even if I had no RFs, I'd still come to RFF.
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Old 08-11-2012   #70
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My Yashica Lynx and Argus C-3 are my aimlessly walking around cameras. For me this is my no stress shoot anything and maybe end up with a few keepers.
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Old 08-11-2012   #71
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I love my 6x4.5 Fuji MF rangefinder...it's small, compact and gives outstanding results. Almost all of my photography is film based medium format, although I do have and use a Pentax digital. My Leica's, although not quite "shelf queens" don't get as much use now since 35mm is not my primary medium. After this discussion, I think I'll start using them again because it's a joy having a camera that responds so effortlessly to my needs.
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Old 08-11-2012   #72
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I don't get any income from photography. I shoot for myself, so no type of camera is relevant or not relevant. I shoot what works best or O.K. at the time, or I shoot what I'm in the mood to use. Rangefinders are still fun to use.
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Old 08-12-2012   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Not really. It is a perennial question.

I use rangefinder cameras when that is the proper tool for the purpose.
+1

It really is just a box with different qualities. For night shooting, I think the RF is a ready-choice. For macro, SLR. If I think someone MF incapable might be handling the camera (perhaps me, if I tie one on), the Hexar AF comes out.

I do sometimes wonder if something isn't lost by this forum not being more dedicated. Then I focus my thoughts more productively.
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Old 08-12-2012   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXForester View Post
I don't get any income from photography. I shoot for myself, so no type of camera is relevant or not relevant. I shoot what works best or O.K. at the time, or I shoot what I'm in the mood to use. Rangefinders are still fun to use.
+1
Same for me.
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Old 08-12-2012   #75
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I use RFs amongst other cameras. I don't earn my living with photography; so, I can enjoy using various types of cameras without having to fulfill the demands of photograph buyers.
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Old 08-13-2012   #76
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I have the most fun with a rangefinder.
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Old 08-13-2012   #77
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I picked up my friend's dslr this morning and shot a few photos just to remember what non-rangefinders are like... and I didn't like the remoteness of the process. It was like an electronic black box took a photo for me and I could only hope its decisions were in line with my expectations. When I use a rangefinder like my M8, I feel a lot more present in that process.
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Old 08-13-2012   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
I picked up my friend's dslr this morning and shot a few photos just to remember what non-rangefinders are like... and I didn't like the remoteness of the process. It was like an electronic black box took a photo for me and I could only hope its decisions were in line with my expectations. When I use a rangefinder like my M8, I feel a lot more present in that process.
Really? That seems to be almost my exact opposite reaction.
Granted, you are using an M8, so your RF experiences are vastly different than mine.

For me, with my DSLR (granted I'm using old manual glass and run teh camera on full manual) I feel very connected. Each shot is a progression. I take my shot, I examine the results, and adjust accordingly. I 'dial in' my photo and find it very involving.

In contrast, with my fixed lens RF, I take a light reading, set my speeds, set my focus, frame it up, push the button... and then pray. To me it is much more of a black box because I don't know if it worked or not, and I won't know for weeks. It isn't that the RF is less involving, it is that it is much more mysterious and unknown. Especially shooting B&W. With my film SLR, at least I get an idea of what the monochrome image will look like (even if it is mono-green or whatever). With the RF I don't even get that.
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Old 08-13-2012   #79
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Use a rangefinder for certain things, but not everything--good for live concert work and candids, but not the best for landscape and aviation shooting. That's when I break out the SLRs.
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Old 08-13-2012   #80
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