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A discussion of digital rangefinder style Cameras (ex. Leica M9, Fuji X100/X-Pro 1, Sony NEX-7,... - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jax View Post

I never really got the allure of rangefinder cameras.  The huge advantage they had as film cameras were their size/weight advantage over SLR's, and that their shutters were very quiet and some could synch at any speed.  Beyond that, why would anyone actually prefer looking through a window that outlines the approximate area of the lens coverage with lines that do not fill it, and have to rely upon a focusing system that is optically more challenging and less direct and slower overall to focus accurately?



In low light, they can often actually be easier to focus than an SLR and especially over autofocus... (and I guarantee, after a dozen years shooting rangefinders, I am faster to find focus than any manual focus SLR, and many non-pro grade autofocus machines too - especially with the advantage of easy zone focusing).

 

Some people prefer having the area around the frame lines visible, so you can see what will be moving into frame before it gets there - to better anticipate good moments. And of course, the viewfinder never blacks out when you take the shot - you know if you got it.

 

Another big plus (objectively, probably the biggest) - not requiring a mirror behind the lens means that wide angle lenses do not need retrofocus elements added to the optics, so you end up with sharper, more accurate wide angles than you can easily make for an SLR (and that they are smaller and lighter for much wider apertures is a bonus). 


Edited by liamstrain - 2/23/12 at 8:20pm
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginalb View Post



It's retro SLR styling. Why did they have to put a hump for a pentaprism in it? There's no damn pentaprism! 



Ha, just to keep in line with the OM styling i'm sure.

post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post



In low light, they can often actually be easier to focus than an SLR and especially over autofocus... (and I guarantee, after a dozen years shooting rangefinders, I am faster to find focus than any manual focus SLR, and many non-pro grade autofocus machines too - especially with the advantage of easy zone focusing).

 

Some people prefer having the area around the frame lines visible, so you can see what will be moving into frame before it gets there - to better anticipate good moments. And of course, the viewfinder never blacks out when you take the shot - you know if you got it.

 

Another big plus (objectively, probably the biggest) - not requiring a mirror behind the lens means that wide angle lenses do not need retrofocus elements added to the optics, so you end up with sharper, more accurate wide angles than you can easily make for an SLR (and that they are smaller and lighter for much wider apertures is a bonus). 

 

Thanks for the reminder of those points...and good points too  I've tried Leica M's over the years and never got the hang of them, nor felt I'd give priority to any of the advantages you mention.  I find the M's focusing quite slow, and non-instinctive and in requiring you put a visual and mental focus on the double-image, for me it always took my mind, if only for a instant, off of everything else about the compositions.  SLR's for me make focusing more of a natural extension of vision and seeing the whole.  With rangefinders it feels like looking at two things.  I also like to work wide open a lot and that demands very precise focusing.  You might be able to do that with rangefinders, but I certainly haven't found it very precise in the past. I always found focusing rangefinders far more cumbersome and imprecise overall, and at wide apertures I'd be frustrating in loosing many shots to poor focus skills.  

 

Good points all, though.  Thanks for the counterpoint.  These cameras are so out of my realm that I really don't think about them that much anymore having tried more than once and gave up on them. 
 

 

post #19 of 36

Yah, it definitely took a while before I was consistently hitting focus, but now it is pretty instinctive (I don't conciously have to look for the split image any more). In low light, with the 50/1.2 wide open, it is rare that I miss hitting what I want. 

 

dexter.jpg 3097797947_9aea58814c_o.jpg

 

But honestly, 80% of what I shoot with the M, is street during the day.. so I'm usually at f8 and 1/250 with a 35mm, where dof covers any slop and allows me often to preset focus and not have to touch it as long as the subject is between 6 and 20 feet - a huge speed advantage, not having to focus or adjust exposure for the majority of shots. 


Edited by liamstrain - 2/23/12 at 11:17pm
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

Yah, it definitely took a while before I was consistently hitting focus, but now it is pretty instinctive (I don't conciously have to look for the split image any more). In low light, with the 50/1.2 wide open, it is rare that I miss hitting what I want. 

 

dexter.jpg 3097797947_9aea58814c_o.jpg

 

But honestly, 80% of what I shoot with the M, is street during the day.. so I'm usually at f8 and 1/250 with a 35mm, where dof covers any slop and allows me often to preset focus and not have to touch it as long as the subject is between 6 and 20 feet - a huge speed advantage, not having to focus or adjust exposure for the majority of shots. 


Ah, I see.  I tend to shoot much tighter at wide openings for effect.  If you are in a head-and-shoulders portrait crop at 1.4-2.8 and you miss crisp focus on the eyes, chances are you will loose that shot.  Even with an SLR in good light it is often challenging with a subject that is moving and sometimes hand held.  This is where I was giving up on the rangefinder as I just couldn't get the hang of it and would loose far too many shots. 

 

 

post #21 of 36

Yeah - the form definitely has its limits. I do not use the rangefinders in the studio, as a rule. Tho, to be fair, I do not usually use any small format digital or film in the studio either... 

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

Yeah - the form definitely has its limits. I do not use the rangefinders in the studio, as a rule. Tho, to be fair, I do not usually use any small format digital or film in the studio either... 



...the right tool for the right job...

120gcfn-front_1_1.jpg

post #23 of 36

oh hell no.

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

oh hell no.



Why not?  It's just another tool in the arsenal. It yields very specific results, granted, for a very specific effect.  A few various image samples from the plastic camera doing a simple google search.

 

1_after_flight.jpg   holga3198.jpg   346630680_d4a37dd480.jpg

 

Lyonnesse_Sunset.gif   Ss05_000308.12_MN.jpg   iTurnMyCameraOn_look1_holga.jpg

post #25 of 36

I suppose. I tend to not want the uncontrolled elements of the shot to be a result of the camera though. I want repeatability and predictability from my equipment. I am not a fan of allowing light leaks to be considered an "aesthetic choice" - that's like rewarding the guy who repainted your car and left it all orange peely and nasty looking. If you don't know what you are doing, or cannot control your tool, you are not making a choice.

 

But since I'm carrying 40lbs worth of large format (4x5" and 8x10") gear on a big shoot, and can take upwards of an hour on one shot (assuming I'm not dealing with lighting it too) ... I suppose that's my own hang up. 

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I suppose. I tend to not want the uncontrolled elements of the shot to be a result of the camera though. I want repeatability and predictability from my equipment. I am not a fan of allowing light leaks to be considered an "aesthetic choice" - that's like rewarding the guy who repainted your car and left it all orange peely and nasty looking. If you don't know what you are doing, or cannot control your tool, you are not making a choice.

 

But since I'm carrying 40lbs worth of large format (4x5" and 8x10") gear on a big shoot, and can take upwards of an hour on one shot (assuming I'm not dealing with lighting it too) ... I suppose that's my own hang up. 



Not to mention that it was posted in response to a post about cameras to use in a studio. That is the last camera I would want for studio work. Of course, I don't really do a lot of studio work, but that isn't what I would get for it. I mean, you have the MF part right, but that's about it for studio work, which needs to be more precise IMHO. 

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I suppose. I tend to not want the uncontrolled elements of the shot to be a result of the camera though. I want repeatability and predictability from my equipment. I am not a fan of allowing light leaks to be considered an "aesthetic choice" - that's like rewarding the guy who repainted your car and left it all orange peely and nasty looking. If you don't know what you are doing, or cannot control your tool, you are not making a choice.

 

But since I'm carrying 40lbs worth of large format (4x5" and 8x10") gear on a big shoot, and can take upwards of an hour on one shot (assuming I'm not dealing with lighting it too) ... I suppose that's my own hang up. 


First off, let me point out something that I would think might be painfully obvious: I was not suggesting a Holga be used for studio shooting or where exacting controls are required. It falls under the accompanying statement; the right tool for the right job. Obviously using a Hoga for studio work would not be an application of that suggestion. Furthermore none of the examples I offered would remotely suggest studio use.

Believe me, I know all about control and it's value in choosing tools.

If it ever comes to the point where the photographs I consider successful, that actually mean something to me and move others, can be equated with a body shop painting a car, then please just put me out to pasture or send me off to the glue factory. It is not the tool at all - its what a person does with it. Whether or not you consider randomness of some aspect of performance to be an aesthetic choice or not - it still comes down to what is produced. I get the sense that our tastes may diverge widely where this stuff is concerned.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I suppose. I tend to not want the uncontrolled elements of the shot to be a result of the camera though. I want repeatability and predictability from my equipment. I am not a fan of allowing light leaks to be considered an "aesthetic choice" - that's like rewarding the guy who repainted your car and left it all orange peely and nasty looking. If you don't know what you are doing, or cannot control your tool, you are not making a choice.

 

But since I'm carrying 40lbs worth of large format (4x5" and 8x10") gear on a big shoot, and can take upwards of an hour on one shot (assuming I'm not dealing with lighting it too) ... I suppose that's my own hang up. 


First off, let me point out something that I would think might be painfully obvious: I was not suggesting a Holga be used for studio shooting or where exacting controls are required. It falls under the accompanying statement; the right tool for the right job. Obviously using a Hoga for studio work would not be an application of that suggestion. Furthermore none of the examples I offered would remotely suggest studio use.

Believe me, I know all about control and it's value in choosing tools.

If it ever comes to the point where the photographs I consider successful, that actually mean something to me and move others, can be equated with a body shop painting a car, then please just put me out to pasture or send me off to the glue factory. It is not the tool at all - its what a person does with it. Whether or not you consider randomness of some aspect of performance to be an aesthetic choice or not - it still comes down to what is produced. I get the sense that our tastes may diverge widely where this stuff is concerned.
post #29 of 36

Fair enough. I am a big proponent of "the right tool for the right job." I just (speaking personally) cannot conceive of any job for which the holga is the right tool. :)

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

Fair enough. I am a big proponent of "the right tool for the right job." I just (speaking personally) cannot conceive of any job for which the holga is the right tool. :)



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