Rangefinder question for a not-expert

Started Aug 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,303
Re: Rangefinder question for a not-expert

docvale wrote:

Thanks Michael and JD.

I knew about the split image focusing system, but I didn't know about the insensitivity to the aperture control (despite it might sound obvious, since you don't see through the lens... but since you can see how you're focusing...).

So, I guess it takes very high skills to shoot with a rangefinder!

With a coupled rangefinder, you have a fixed mirror and a rotating mirror that's connected to the lens' focusing mount. When you turn the lens, it moves the rotating mirror to line up a pair of images in the viewfinder. When the images line up, the lens is in focus.

The aperture setting is not relevant to the focusing operation since you're not looking through the lens. It still influences the focus zone that the lens captures, of course.

Is it easier or harder to focus a rangefinder than an SLR or TTL electronic camera? With any TTL imaging system, you have to learn how to judge the point of correct focus as the focus plane moves when you turn the focusing ring. With an RF system, you have to line up the image in the doubled view patch. In most cases, I'd say it's easier to get the focus roughly correct with the SLR, but critical focus is much harder. Whereas with the RF camera, it's easy to nail critical focus every time if you have a well calibrated system and can see the doubled image line up.

It take lots of skills to be a photographer ...  

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