X-Pro 1 Review on LL

Started Mar 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
RealXenuis
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Re: Redefinition
In reply to MayaTlab0, Mar 16, 2012

You are right, and thank you for articulating that! I wanted to a couple of days ago, but it seemed very tedious. Basically, anything that "finds range" is a rangefinder, and i agree, the implication is that the range is found directly first, and then whatever you need the range for is adjusted (such as a camera or a deck gun of a battleship).

"Rangefinder Camera" referred to either coupled or uncoupled implementations that we've seen for years, but there was never an exclusivity clause where and updated mechanism would not be allowed to cohabitate with the older RF mech's. When AF came around, it COULD have been referred to as the new RF mech, but I'm sure "Autofocus!" sounded more futuristic at the time and also, really, describes it better. But if we're getting into the origin story for RF, and you follow the etymology, we start crossing over into the finer semantic of it and there are many cases to be made why we should or shouldn't call this or that camera a rangefinder.

My personal opinion is one of relevance and really, practice. These things sort themselves out and in the end, we'll all be calling it one thing or another for brevity's sake. The interesting part of this, for me, is that we ARE a part of the living process of language when we participate like this. This discussion in this forum will help to decide what "type" the camera is labeled as, just as much as what the mfgr decided to label it.

MayaTlab0 wrote:

justinwonnacott wrote:

Definitions become obsolete maybe? Perhaps it is fair just to say it is not a Leica . What if Leica introduced autofocus lenses ? What would you call that particular Leica then? would it still be a real rangefinder? Of course.

I am sure many photographers would be delighted to see Leica join the modern age . .
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Please keep in mind that:

The xp1 does determine the distance to the subject and set the focus accordingly with an "electronic range finding system" after all. - and I have no doubt that the xp1 will focus much faster than I was ever able to focus my Leica.

Strictly speaking, a CDAF based camera doesn't determine the distance and then set the focus accordingly. It works in reverse, because it has no way to measure distance, only contrast. In fact a DSLR with PDAF has more rights to be called a rangefinder, since it actually has a rangefinder system inside (although it works differently than the rangefinder system of what we've come to call a "rangefinder camera") But it all only matters if you're obsessed about giving the X pro 1 category a name - which probably isn't the wisest thing to attempt right now. All that debate simply arises because we've used a term that describes a function (a "rangefinder" is something that measures distance) to call a sort of camera that happens to use a rangefinder (what we usually call "rangefinders", or "rangefinder cameras"), while in fact any camera that has any sort of system that measures distance could be called a "rangefinder camera" - that's the case of PDAF DSLRs.

Now, I quite agree with you that it's likely it will focus just as fast as most people do with their Leica, although :

1) it may not do so as reliably because of parallax, while the focus patch in a "RF camera" (let's call them that way then) isn't affected in a way that's as problematic.

2) because those are AF lenses, there is no way to easily zone focus, which remains the fastest way to (not) focus possible.

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