Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Rangefinder Forum > RFF Polls

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Rangefinder Myths I - I look outside the frame lines
Old 11-08-2007   #1
Tuolumne
Registered User
 
Tuolumne's Avatar
 
Tuolumne is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Negev, Israel
Posts: 2,989
Rangefinder Myths I - I look outside the frame lines

There are a number of benefits claimed for rangefinder cameras that I never find myself taking advatnage of. One of these is the ability to look outside the frame lines to see what may be coming into view or how a different framing may affect the picture. Here is an eloquent statement of this benefit by one of our RFF members from another thred:

"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."

For myself, I never look outside the frame. Perhaps it is too many years of using SLRs or P&S cameras. I think the fact that I wear glasses also contrubutes, since I frequently can't see outside the frameline presented. Heck - on 35mm and wider I often can't even see the frame line.

Anyway, I wonder how many RF users are like me and never, or almost never, see outside the frame and how many do. I guess you'd call this seeing outside the box.


/T

P.S. I was going to make this a poll, but for some reason it posted before I could create one.

Last edited by Tuolumne : 11-08-2007 at 09:18.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #2
FrankS
Registered User
 
FrankS's Avatar
 
FrankS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Canada, eh.
Age: 61
Posts: 19,408
I wear glasses like you, so with some (wider) lens/viewfinder combinations it is not possible. When it is however, I do look-see outside the framelines.
__________________
my little website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

photography makes me happy
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #3
kmack
do your job, then let go
 
kmack is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,056
Composing is much faster when you can see outside the frame lines. You can see what is excluded as well as what you included. Decisions on how to frame a shot can be made quicker.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #4
kevin sykes
Registered User
 
kevin sykes is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: London UK
Posts: 7
I also have an SLR "background" - where frequently the viewfinder is only 90-95% - so looking outside the framelines doesn't come naturally.
But I don't see the big advantage claimed of seeing what is coming into the frame, after all how much more can you see? If for example it is a figure walking into the scene - how close do they need to be to the scene to be in the viewfinder but not within the framelines?
And, if it's just general composition - well compared to an SLR the framelines generaly only seem to be an aproximation so I tend to make sure I capture more than I want and crop later rather then be inch accurate and cut something off.

kevin
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #5
Dogman
Registered User
 
Dogman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,339
I think we probably notice the area outside the frames more than we realize but we concentrate on the area of composition. Does looking outside the frames help much? For me, not really. The framelines are only approximations of the actual image on the film anyway so the lines aren't precise enough to determine for sure what is at the edge of the frame and what is outside it. I like rangefinders for the ability to shoot loose and open. Going back to an SLR always makes me feel a little claustrophobic at first but SLRs are better for precise framing.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #6
oscroft
Registered User
 
oscroft's Avatar
 
oscroft is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Liverpool (UK) & Bangkok (Thailand)
Age: 60
Posts: 2,353
Quote:
Anyway, I wonder how many RF users are like me and never, or almost never, see outside the frame and how many do
Interesting. I came to RF cameras from decades of SLR use, and the "outside the frames" thing struck me immediately as a benefit. Now, when I use an SLR, I catch myself trying to see round the edges of the viewfinder view.
__________________
Alan

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #7
wgerrard
Registered User
 
wgerrard's Avatar
 
wgerrard is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,454
Isn't the real difference that you need to move an SLR to see what you might include in the frame, while an RF gives you at least a little "window" outside the frame. How much you can see in that window, of course, depends. Still, if, for example, a guy chasing his dog is about to run into your beautifully composed shot, you will see the dog just a few milliseconds earlier in an RF. To me, that's an immaterial difference.

When the window around a particular set of framelines is large enough, I do find that it helps me compose a shot. But, I don't find this feature of RF's to be compelling, or the lack of it in SLR's to be offputting.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #8
ferider
Registered User
 
ferider's Avatar
 
ferider is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11,254
It's a technique. You can also use it on SLRs by keeping both eyes open.

Very useful for 35-50mm focal lengths and action shots.

If you don't use it, probably means you don't need it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #9
DougK
This space left blank
 
DougK's Avatar
 
DougK is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Westlake, OH
Age: 49
Posts: 1,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuolumne
There are a number of benefits claimed for rangefinder cameras that I never find myself taking advatnage of. One of these is the ability to look outside the frame lines to see what may be coming into view or how a different framing may affect the picture. Here is an eloquent statement of this benefit by one of our RFF members from another thred:

"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."

For myself, I never look outside the frame. Perhaps it is too many years of using SLRs or P&S cameras. I think the fact that I wear glasses also contrubutes, since I frequently can't see outside the frameline presented. Heck - on 35mm and wider I often can't even see the frame line.

Anyway, I wonder how many RF users are like me and never, or almost never, see outside the frame and how many do. I guess you'd call this seeing outside the box.


/T
I rarely see what's outside the frame line and for the same reason: I wear glasses. I do like the brighter view of things through an RF viewfinder, though, and find that to be a bigger advantage.
__________________
Doug K.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #10
cmogi10
Bodhisattva
 
cmogi10's Avatar
 
cmogi10 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,687
I do in conjunction with shooting with both eyes open. I like to see the big picture as well as my potential shot.
__________________
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #11
thomasw_
Registered User
 
thomasw_'s Avatar
 
thomasw_ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Fort Langley, BC
Age: 53
Posts: 1,628
being a spectacled man, i find when i remember to wear contacts before i go out to shoot, that i enjoy my rf-experience just a bit more.....especially with my m3.
__________________
f l i c k r
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #12
gns
Registered User
 
gns is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,216
I guess the longer the lens (and the smaller the framelines in you finder), the more one might do that. But I don't think I do it much. I'm not really looking through the finder that much at all. Mostly I'm looking with the camera away from my eye (maybe right next to my eye) and then moving it to my eye just to shoot. I mean, do people really sit there with the camera glued to their eye? I guess if they do, then this would be more important.

Cheers,
Gary
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #13
ibrando
Photographer?
 
ibrando's Avatar
 
ibrando is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 56
I too wear glasses and cannot see the 35mm framelines. I do like to see what's out-of-frame so I usually use 50mm and that allows me, with glasses, to see outside the framelines.

Cheers,
B.
__________________
Currently:
M4-2 with 50/2 Summicron
Rollei 35S
Yashica Electro35 GTN
Ricoh GR-Digital
Nikon D40x with 50/1.4D Nikkor

Out of my league but still wishing for:
M6 Classic - M8 - 35mm Summilux - 50mm Summilux
Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8G

My Flickr | My Photoblog
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #14
cmogi10
Bodhisattva
 
cmogi10's Avatar
 
cmogi10 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,687
Quote:
Originally Posted by gns
I guess the longer the lens (and the smaller the framelines in you finder), the more one might do that. But I don't think I do it much. I'm not really looking through the finder that much at all. Mostly I'm looking with the camera away from my eye (maybe right next to my eye) and then moving it to my eye just to shoot. I mean, do people really sit there with the camera glued to their eye? I guess if they do, then this would be more important.

Cheers,
Gary
I watched a video on James Nachtwey, and yes, that's exactly what he does.
He also shoots SLR's...but it doesn't matter what tool he uses to get his results.
__________________
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #15
Rafael
Mandlerian
 
Rafael's Avatar
 
Rafael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,272
Maybe some will feel that the two amount to the same thing, but for me the difference is that SLR framing involves adjusting the placement of subjects within the frame and RF framing involves moving the frame to adjust to the subjects.
__________________
~ Marc ~
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #16
PlantedTao
Registered User
 
PlantedTao's Avatar
 
PlantedTao is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Emerald City
Age: 42
Posts: 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrando
I too wear glasses and cannot see the 35mm framelines. I do like to see what's out-of-frame so I usually use 50mm and that allows me, with glasses, to see outside the framelines.

Cheers,
B.
Same for me and is one of the reasons why I have been restricting myself to 50mm for street (although I prefer the 35, but that is as wide as I can go with glasses)...a 50mm lets me see the action before I have to shoot, allowing me a bit more time for composition.

Jason
__________________
My Gallery

  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #17
JNewell
Leica M Recidivist
 
JNewell is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Near Boston, MA
Age: 60
Posts: 1,008
I really do that...pretty much perfectly fulfill the old Leica ad talk (and Leica School advice). Doesn't help a lot with static subjects but I find it very helpful when photographing people.
  Reply With Quote

A DISadvantage?
Old 11-08-2007   #18
Feanor
Registered User
 
Feanor's Avatar
 
Feanor is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 5
A DISadvantage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuolumne
...
For myself, I never look outside the frame. Perhaps it is too many years of using SLRs or P&S cameras. I think the fact that I wear glasses also contrubutes, since I frequently can't see outside the frameline presented. Heck - on 35mm and wider I often can't even see the frame line.

...
Like you, perhaps I've developed bad habits with SLRs and digital displays. Sometimes I "see" outside the frame and forget that I'm not going to get everything in the finder.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #19
Morca007
Matt
 
Morca007's Avatar
 
Morca007 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 889
Using a 50, I look outside the framelines when I compose...
__________________
flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #20
Anupam
Registered User
 
Anupam's Avatar
 
Anupam is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 350
I find seeing outside the frame a great way to compose, set exposure, focus and then let people walk into the frame and have them precisely where I want them in the pic.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/primelens/1820885706/

-Anupam
__________________
My Website and Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #21
NB23
-
 
NB23's Avatar
 
NB23 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Inside a Noctilux
Posts: 1,414
How can you even try to kill a myth with your personal opinion?

I look outside the frameline, therefore it is true.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #22
gns
Registered User
 
gns is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,216
I'll add to clarify my first post...
Of course I want to see outside the framelines, but I want to see a lot more than the little bit I can get around the edges of the finder. Hence mostly just looking without the finder and a lot of moving the camera to and from my eye briefly. I just use one focal length so i have a pretty good feel for where the framing will be.

Cheers,
Gary
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #23
Tuolumne
Registered User
 
Tuolumne's Avatar
 
Tuolumne is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Negev, Israel
Posts: 2,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by NB23
How can you even try to kill a myth with your personal opinion?

I look outside the frameline, therefore it is true.
I'm not trying to kill anything. I'm just curious about what people do.

/T
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #24
NB23
-
 
NB23's Avatar
 
NB23 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Inside a Noctilux
Posts: 1,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuolumne
I'm not trying to kill anything. I'm just curious about what people do.

/T
I'm sorry, I misread... But yes, people do look outside the frame and it's sometimes an invaluable tool...
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #25
Finder
-
 
Finder is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,055
I always look inside the frame, but I notice what is on the outside. I do find SLR, TLR, and view camera finders confining in comparison.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #26
rogue_designer
Reciprocity Failure
 
rogue_designer's Avatar
 
rogue_designer is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Age: 43
Posts: 2,484
whoo hoo! I'm eloquent!

I do use the "outside the frame" information in my shooting. Especially with the 50mm.

And since I use the P with a 1:1 finder - I guess I doubly use it when I do "both eyes open" shooting. There I find the 35mm frames are just in the edge of my right eye vision (with glasses) - and I use my left eye to provide the outside the frame information.

I do a lot of street shooting, and knowing what all is going on around - is that car moving into the frame, etc. Is a huge benefit in my shooting.
__________________
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.
Usually using: M4, Rolleiflex 3.5C, Fuji X Pro 1, Canon 5D MkII, Horseman VHR, Horseman 45LX

---
My Flickr | StreetLevel Photography
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #27
peter_n
~
 
peter_n's Avatar
 
peter_n is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 8,771
Information about what is happening outside the frame can be very useful for helping to anticipate what might happen inside the frame.
__________________
_
~Peter

My RFF Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #28
JNewell
Leica M Recidivist
 
JNewell is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Near Boston, MA
Age: 60
Posts: 1,008
Quote:
Originally Posted by NB23
How can you even try to kill a myth with your personal opinion?

I look outside the frameline, therefore it is true.
In seventh grade math I learned: "it takes every case to prove the proposition true; only one to prove it false." I'm with you.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #29
ernesto
Registered User
 
ernesto's Avatar
 
ernesto is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 279
I like to see through a 1:1 viewfinder to do so, I use an old special Zeiss Ikon Folding viewfinder (originally for contax II) that does the trick, but I wouldn´t be able to do so with the built in viewfinder of the camera.
Anyway my reason for using a rangefinder camera is just to be able to use the voightlander heliar 12mm.

E
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #30
Solinar
Analog Preferred
 
Solinar's Avatar
 
Solinar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 65
Posts: 2,429
Try walking towards your subject while looking into the tunnel viewfinder of an SLR.
__________________
- Andrew in Austin, Texas -

35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina II, Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, an Oly 35RC, plus an XA
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtland Bessa II and Perkeo II - a ZI Mess Ikonta - 524/2, plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes

"Who spilled the Dektol on the bathroom carpet?"
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #31
bean_counter
Registered User
 
bean_counter's Avatar
 
bean_counter is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SW Chicago 'burbs
Posts: 328
This summer, I took my IIIf w/ Canon 1.8 and SBOOI to an air show. I shot most of my film around the crowds & displays, but had half a roll left when the show started.

I figured it was a lost cause shooting a moving aircraft w/ a normal lens on an RF, but when the planes were close to the flightline, both eyes open w/ the SBOOI worked great. Just followed the plane in and shot when the framing and aspect were right. It's about the only instance where I really missed a motor drive on an RF.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2007   #32
pvdhaar
Zoom with your feet!
 
pvdhaar's Avatar
 
pvdhaar is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 3,175
Being able to look outside the framelines is a godsend for timing and composition.

With an RF, you see the world with superimosed framelines. You can immediately make out the best composition without even moving the camera around. With an SLR you look through a tunnel that gives no environmental information. You can't tell whether moving the camera around improves or deteriorates composition without doing so.. it's a scanning device.

Having a view of the world outside the frames also helps tremendously in timing. With moving subjects, you can anticipate when and where it will enter the frame and when to snap..
__________________
Kind regards,

Peter

My Hexländer Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-09-2007   #33
wyk_penguin
Registered User
 
wyk_penguin is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 445
I have to say I am addicted to the R3A, mostly because of the 1:1 finder.

My usual lens combinations are 50 & 15 (no puns intended as it is the truth) with the 15mm finder permanently on the hot shoe. I wear glasses but I can still see the whole 50mm frame and beyond and I usually shoot with both eyes open. It is quite magical to see the brightlines floating in space, not to mention it is very easy to evaluate framing options.

What I did not expect beforehand was that I am somehow mentally glued to the 50mm framelines and could sometimes frame before looking into the viewfinder, i.e. I know that from my position that, that and that will be in view. All I do is lift the camera up just to "align it with the mind's eye" so to speak.

To be fair, it is possible to learn to do such things on an SLR as well, as I have seen bird watchers line up their manual focus nikon primes with flying birds while I try to search for them amongst blurry bokeh when I use my 500mm reflex lens.

Having written on and around the question. My answer is that I do look outside the framelines, but then I also compose before looking into the viewfinder, no matter the system.
__________________
My Gallery

Bessa R3A, M4, Seagull TLR, Bronica S2A, Canon 30D
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-09-2007   #34
RML
Just live it.
 
RML's Avatar
 
RML is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Amsterdam, Holland or Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Age: 48
Posts: 4,795
I do look outside the framelines. Not always, true, but often enough. Especially when I'm waiting for a composition to fall in place, waiting for a pedestrian, cyclist, car, or such to come up as part of the shot I want to take.
__________________
My photo blog

Join the Rangefinder Blog/Site Ring.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-09-2007   #35
victoriapio
Registered User
 
victoriapio is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Victoria, Texas
Posts: 522
My normal rig is the rd1s, 21mm biogon, with the 28mm Voitlander viewfinder. For most shots I focus though the rangefinder (1:1 on rd1s - it's a great rangefinder for using both eyes - which is REALLY looking outside the frame lines) checking composition with both eyes open, then switch up to the viewfinder for framing/composition tweaks. The 28mm Voitlander viewfinder (the new round one) is very small but allows you to see outside the framelines and I am looking at the entire viewfinder almost everyshot.

O.C.
__________________
www.ocgarzaphotography.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-09-2007   #36
Tuolumne
Registered User
 
Tuolumne's Avatar
 
Tuolumne is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Negev, Israel
Posts: 2,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by victoriapio
My normal rig is the rd1s, 21mm biogon, with the 28mm Voitlander viewfinder. For most shots I focus though the rangefinder (1:1 on rd1s - it's a great rangefinder for using both eyes - which is REALLY looking outside the frame lines) checking composition with both eyes open, then switch up to the viewfinder for framing/composition tweaks. The 28mm Voitlander viewfinder (the new round one) is very small but allows you to see outside the framelines and I am looking at the entire viewfinder almost everyshot.

O.C.
I guess I'm going to have to try one of these CV external finders. I use the Russian turret finders which don't let you see outside the frame line. In fact, there is no frame line. The expensive Leica external finder, 21-28mm, also has the same problem. And I thought I was avoiding buying extra viewfinders when I got them!

/T
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-09-2007   #37
ruben
-
 
ruben's Avatar
 
ruben is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: West Jerusalem
Posts: 3,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuolumne
There are a number of benefits claimed for rangefinder cameras that I never find myself taking advatnage of. One of these is the ability to look outside the frame lines to see what may be coming into view or how a different framing may affect the picture.................

"Myth I" is for me of more interest and doesn't affect the character of the photographer, but the technicalities of the viewfinder.

As we all know there are cameras with no bright lines at all.

There are other cameras with bright lines, in which the space between the bright lines and the "dark" frame is rather meager. I find this the case with most fixed lens RFs I own.

But recently I found an outstanding exception within this breed: The Konica Auto S3. Here the space in between is quite generous, relatively. It would be of interest for me to learn to exploit this margin. The camera was purchased a few days ago.

Now, as you may know I do not own any Leica, but I have played a bit with Mike's Leica and noticed the shrinking bright lines adapting to longer length lens. I suppose that in this case you can frame an interesting background with a tele and wait for the fish to enter.

In principle this is possible with any camera of any brand, but with a shrinking frame lines camera it must be easier to track the fish an catch it infraganti.


Cheers,
Ruben
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-09-2007   #38
jlw
Rangefinder camera pedant
 
jlw is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,239
Yes, I look outside the framelines whenever I can. Although I can get by without it, this feature helps me get better pictures.

I do a lot of stage photography, generally with a medium tele lens. With an RF camera, it's easy to see outside the medium tele's framelines even though I wear glasses. Being able to see outside the framelines is very valuable for this type of shooting: supposing the most interesting thing happening is outside the frame? With the RF camera, I can see it right away and re-aim.

When I use an SLR camera and a medium tele lens, I don't have this ability to monitor the rest of the scene. So, when using an SLR, I tend to hold the camera away from my eye and watch the scene, then bring it up to my eye to compose when I'm ready to shoot. That works, but the extra time delay means I'm too late for a lot of spontaneous shots.

As far as I'm concerned, though, the ultimate in viewing convenience is a medium tele on an RF camera that also has a 1:1 viewfinder -- such as the Canon P, Bessa R3a, or my Epson R-D 1.

With this type of camera, I can have both eyes open at all times, giving me the full panorama of the scene. The frameline for the medium-tele lens "hangs in space" within my visual field. It's very easy and natural to monitor everything that's happening, put the frameline over the part that's most interesting, and make the picture.

(Keeping both eyes open doesn't work for me with an SLR and a tele lens -- the difference in magnification between the camera eye and the non-camera eye is too distracting.)
__________________
"Never trust a graph without error bars."
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:28.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.