A Retro of Rangefinders

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by entropicremnants, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    A gaggle of Geese
    A pride of Lions
    A wake of Buzzards
    A brood of Hens

    There are many collective idioms -- but what else could you call a group of rangefinders but a "retro"?

    Can YOU spot the digital? Probably you can -- it's easier though when you can see the back, lol.

    From left to right: Konica C35, Fuji X100, Minolta Hi-Matic E, and Ricoh "35". Yes, the 35 is in quotes on the Ricoh, lol. That is it's model name.

    A Retro of Rangefinders by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    the digital has got a builtin flash:biggrin:

    a nice set of comparison:thumbup:
  3. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Also, no shoe spot.
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Piece o' cake :cool:
  5. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Yes, it has a shoe, but it's recessed to be flush with the top.
  6. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    I think the collective noun for rangefinders these days would be a 'hipster' of them ;)

    I speak as one who works in an area inundated with cord-wearing beardy-types riding fixie bikes!
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    A "fake" of cameras?
    There are only three rangefinders.
  8. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I'm curious where that name "rangefinder" even came from. None of these actually "find a range" (like the golf optic that tells you how far away your target is).
  9. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    Originally they did. See: Rangefinder camera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It may be more correct to refer to them as rangefinder format cameras, although that's clearly not as hip n cool as simply rangefinder....
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I always put mine on the stove when I come in the door carrying stuff. At least that's my theory.:smile:

    I think if your original method of focusing was to estimate distance and then adjust the lens using the scale, then the purpose of an an optical focusing device could be thought of as finding a range, even if the result is the state of the lens and not a number.
  11. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Actually they do in a very real sense since they use the same triangulation technique with a known baseline between the sighting stations that true "range finders" do.

    The Fuji however, does NOT. It just looks like one of those old cameras and is really just a "rangefinder styled" camera.

    Rangefinder cameras are distinguished by the two optical windows on the body which represent the two observation points on a fixed baseline. One you peer though directly and the other is coupled to your view using two mirrors generally (but sometimes a prism could be involved).

    The one mirror behind the second window is on a pivot connected to the focus wheel. As you turn the wheel the mirror rotates on a vertical axis (relative to the camera in landscape mode). A smaller half silvered mirror (like the "pellicle mirrors" Sony uses now) directly in your view allows you to see the view from the other mirror.

    As you turn the focus wheel, you see two images which show the "range" to your subject, relatively speaking. When the two images are superimposed perfectly, you are focused.

    Often the second image is tinted a different color, or the main viewfinder window (not eyepiece) is. This allows you to distinguish which image is which and depending on which one is to the right or the left it tells you which DIRECTION to focus. This is an old analogue of what we consider the advantage of phase-detect focus: not only do you know you're out of focus, you know whether you're too close or too far focused.
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Correct answer
  13. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I remember a different chart that compared the effective base length of various rangefinder (optical rangefinder) cameras. This chart isn't what I remember, but it's the same in substance. Effective base length (and therefore accuracy) are the product primarily of physical base length and viewfinder magnification. Other issues come into play but those are the principal factors.
  14. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    Wow, that thread got technical quick... :)

    Nice collection, John. My old Canonet QL-17 would fit right in.
  15. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    It would indeed! I never ran into one in a local shop as I have some other cameras but I bid on several and lost every time, lol. They are a great camera and very popular with film buffs and collectors.


    And yes, things do turn technical here very often -- especially odd considering the whimsical start I gave this thread, lol.
  16. greyelm

    greyelm Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2010
    An alternate collective noun could be a "Patch of Rangefinders"
  17. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    When I was a kid, my father gave me Smena-8M as a New Year present. Smena is a Soviet camera with zone focusing. I wasn't really good at guesstimating the distance between the camera and the subject and he gave me an add-on rangefinder as a birthday present. You turn the wheel until double-images in the rangefinder are aligned, read the distance off the scale and then set the same distance on the camera itself. Ahhhh, those were the days!

    Sent from my GT-I9500 using Mu-43 mobile app
  18. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    To me, the aesthetically pleasing description would be a "range of rangefinders"
  19. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    They are all digital ... one uses their fingers (aka digits) to manipulate the controls. Thus they are all digitally controlled.
  20. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    You are too far away for me to smack you, so I shall have to be satisfied with putting my head in my hands and groaning... :wink:
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