Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Coffee With Mentors > Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Direction of aperture ring, focusing
Old 03-03-2009   #1
Daneinbalto
Registered User
 
Daneinbalto is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 82
Direction of aperture ring, focusing

Roger, in your excellent "Rangefinder" book, it is stated that you find the M6ttl and M7 unusable because of the direction of the shutter speed dial (given that you are used to the direction used on the older cameras). I appreciate the importance of being able to use the reflexes one has built up over decades.

But then how about aperture rings? Are they standardized within M-mount lenses? Not that it matters to the M-system, but on my OM-Zuiko (SLR) lenses, the aperture rings moves in the opposite direction to stop down. Is there any system to the direction of aperture rings, e.g. rangefinder lenses go one way, SLR the other?

How about focusing? On the cameras I am used to, one turns counterclockwise to go toward infinity - is this always the case?

Thanks for your great writings.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-03-2009   #2
principe azul
Ian
 
principe azul's Avatar
 
principe azul is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London
Posts: 269
Focusing goes the same way in the same camera system, otherwise the roller cam in the rangefinder wouldn't respond correctly.

The Soviet Jupiters (at least J-3, J-8, J-9) have aperture rings that aren't click-stopped and that go the 'wrong' way to Leica, i.e., engraved scale runs 16 - 11 - 8- 5.6 - 4 - 2.8 - 2. As well as the lack of click stops, there's usually different spacing between whole stops (big gap between 2 and 2.8, small gap between 11 and 16), something uncommon on modern lenses but found on the Nokton 35/1.2.

With click stops, Nikkor SLR lenses usually did whole stops, Leica and Voigtlander RF lenses do half-stops and Zeiss RF lenses do third-stops. As I often change aperture without looking at the scale (sometimes if I didn't know what aperture I was at I'd rack a lens to full aperture then count clicks back to f/4, for instance), I sometimes have to pause if I'm using different lenses.

Anyway, that's the limit of my knowledge. Roger will be able to tell you things you never knew you didn't know!
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-03-2009   #3
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,943
Aperture rings are of course different from focusing rings, and as far as I am aware, go in both directions even on Leica. I suppose I find it easier to use the 'classical' direction (anticlockwise to stop down, with the cameraat the eye) but I have to admit that I've used both without undue grief. I'm not sure I have any 'backward' lenses left.

I have to add, also in all honesty, that although I've more or less got used to the 'backwards' shutter speed dial on the M8/M8.2, it does slow me down on 'real' Leicas.

Focus can go in either direction, of course, but again, Zeiss switched to the Leica direction for modern RF lenses. Without checking, I'm pretty sure that Leica derivatives (especially Canon) go one way, Contax derivatives (including Nikon but not current Zeiss) go the other.

Interestingly, I don't mind focusing my Nikon Fs one way, my Leicas the other. The cameras are so different that the direction is built in, so to speak.

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 03-03-2009 at 14:53.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-06-2009   #4
Daneinbalto
Registered User
 
Daneinbalto is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 82
Thanks for the feedback. I like the angle that Nikons focus opposite of Leicas because Nikons were historically Contax derivatives so they focus the same way as Contaxes. I found a picture of an old Zeiss lens and it stops down by turning it clockwise, which is similar to Nikon but opposite of the typical Leica way, so there seems to be some historically explained system to the madness, although of course Zeiss has since changed the stop direction.

As Roger's post suggests, one can get used to either direction but when learning, I think it would be easiest to memorize the direction if turning clockwise equals smaller apertures and shorter shutter times. One can make an apt analogy to a faucet, which (in Europe, almost universally, and in the US, usually) restricts flow when turned clockwise. So you would restrict the light by turning the camera controls clockwise. As far as focusing, by analogy to the human eye, one can think of the outfocused (at infiinity) state of the lens as the relaxed state. Then it might be logical to "tighthen it down" to focus in. Maybe that's what the Contax engineers were thinking. Or maybe not.

Last edited by Daneinbalto : 03-06-2009 at 11:50.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-06-2009   #5
ferider
Registered User
 
ferider's Avatar
 
ferider is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11,249
All LTM/M lenses that I have used focus in the same direction, including Leica, Canon and Nikkor lenses.

Aperture movement is different however, but even varies across Leica lenses. For example, the 90/2 v1 is different from the 90/2 v3. But then it doesn't matter so much to me, since I always look at the lens when setting the aperture.

Roland.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-06-2009   #6
Beemermark
Registered User
 
Beemermark's Avatar
 
Beemermark is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,800
Quote:
Originally Posted by principe azul View Post
Focusing goes the same way in the same camera system, otherwise the roller cam in the rangefinder wouldn't respond correctly.!
Not true at all. I had a 90 Summicron (48 mm filter ring) that focused just the opposite of all my other lenses.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-06-2009   #7
VinceC
Registered User
 
VinceC is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,924
All RF Nikkors that I've used have aperture rings turning the same way.
__________________
Vince
My Gallery

Nikon S2, S3, S3-2000, SP, SP-2005 / Kiev 2a

Biogon 21/4.5; CV 21/4; CV 25/4; CV 85/3.5; the following Nikkors: 2.8cm/3.5; 3.5cm/1.8 (1956 and 2005 versions); 5cm/1.4; 8.5cm/2; 10.5cm/2.5; 13.5cm/3.5
Soviet lenses: Orion 28/6; Jupiter-12 35/2.8; Helios-103 50/1.8; Jupiter-8 50/2
  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 On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:24.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, 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.