Full frame rangefinder solutions. Not leica

Started Aug 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
bosjohn
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Re: Full frame rangefinder solutions. Not leica
In reply to T3, Aug 19, 2013

T3 wrote:

GodSpeaks wrote:

Ed B wrote:

Everyone is different and I happen to be a person who doesn't like rangefinder cameras.

Back in the 60s and 70s they were great cameras but today they would have to be considered a niche camera. Contrary to all the hype, they just aren't a good choice for most people.

That is a very broad and sweeping statement, and completely wrong. What you ment to say is that they are not a good choice for YOU.

I think he has history on his side. History has shown that, when it came down to choosing a rangefinder vs an SLR, "most people" overwhelmingly chose SLRs. Why? Because SLRs proved to be a better choice for most people. And I think that's even truer in today's day and age, when people *expect* to see in their viewfinder an image that is actually coming through their lens. Additionally, "most people" expect a modern camera to be able to do autofocus...which a rangefinder can't do. Plus, "most people" expect to at least have the option to use a zoom lens on their camera...which a rangefinder can't do either. Also, "most people" expect to see the image frame filling their viewfinder, enlarged and magnified by the lens focal length they've chosen...which a rangefinder can't do. With longer focal lengths, you get frame lines that outline a tiny box that might only take up a small fraction of the viewfinder. So, given the limitations of a rangefinder, and put up against what "most people" expect from a camera these days, I think Ed B is right on the money when he says, "they just aren't a good choice for most people." Sure, that may be a "broad and sweeping statement", but it's certainly not "completely wrong." Broad and sweeping statements can be generally true.

Over the years, rangefinders have been brought to the brink of extinction because they really aren't a good choice for most people. They are very much a niche camera, just as Ed B has said.

the reasons for the popularity of th slr is way more complex then you above statement. While in the main the advantages to pro photographers of an slr are true I am not sure they are nearly as compelling as you make them out to be. 99 percent of the great photographs made with 35mm cameras could have been made with ease by either camera.

I think in addition to the perceived versatility difference there is some metooism some its what I learnedonism and whatthecompanyismakingism

in the first one The nikon F became legend in the the hands of photojournalists towards the end of the Vietnam war. The image of the press photographer with his trusty Nikon F became an Icon for a generation of wanabee pro photographers. Some history is helpful here. When Leitz introduced the M3 it was so brilliant it was in fact the seed of thier demise. Nikon Canon etc. figured out they could not beat or even get close to that magnificent camera so they shifted their efforts to the still very new and very hard and slow to use single lens reflex cameras. The invention of the quick return mirror made it all possible. Nikon Canon Pentax Minolta etc etc ad infinitum could not compete with the Leica range finder so they made slr cameras/ Leitz was never able to make a really competitive reflex.

So if you aspired to be a pro back in the late sixties onwards you wanted a Nikon and later canon slr because thats what the pros were using. Very few photography students lust for view cameras or to be fashion photographers till they have been in the school a while.

So the thatswhatIlearndonism . The students learned their craft on the NikonF's and Nikormats or the CanonF or ftb. They bought equipment for thier class and its doubtful any of them ever considered the merits or lack of merits of the rangefincer. Its more likely they didn't think of the rangefinder at all. So now we have the pros and the schools using the slr what chance does a range finder have. Well until quite recently as far as I know it was the only camera allowed in courtrooms and the oval office because it was quite and unobtrusive. That is not however enough to get back on the a list. Almost all photojournalists i knew and know have a leica in their arsenal.

but by far the most pervasive reason the slr became king is it was and is what the major companies make for advanced amateurs and pros it like a circle. we clammer for slrs so thats what the companies make and because thats what the companies are making all we get are slrs.

Aside from my former post about the somewhat philosophical differences between using one or the other, it is also true there is almost nothing you can do with your slr that you cant do with a Leica with the right accessories. but using the leica for long focus or close up or time laps etc is not nearly as easy as it is with an slr

one last point. When it comes to very wide angle lenses the Leica has a big advantage in that its lens flang  to sensor plane is shorter and there is not mirror flopping around in there. This means that even 21mm or shorter lenses can be designed as so called straight focus lenses which means less distortion and better sharpness and a huge savings in size

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bosjohn aka John Shick bosjohn@yahoo.com

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