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Newbie question - is rangefinder easy to focus?


William C
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I currently use the 5D2 and a bunch of L lenses. I have also ventured into adapting R lenses onto the 5D2 and got amazing results. I am at the age that lugging all the gears around is getting too much to handle. I recently bought an X1 and it is in the mail. I am thinking of selling off my DSLR gears to buy a M8 or M9 and a lens or 2. My reservation is that my eye sight is not that good and I don't know I can manual focus that well. I have a hard time doing manual focus with my 5D2 with R lenses so I sold off a few of them already. But I have heard that focusing with rangefinder is easier because the viewfinder is a lot brighter and you can focus a lot easier. I have never used a rangefinder before so I have no idea how it is like. Any advice?

Thanks

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Welcome to the Forum.

 

Some people claim that a rangefinder is much easier than an SLR, others find it easier with the choices of screens available for the latter. Only you can judge.

 

Go to a dealer and try for yourself. Many / most good dealers will let you borrow or rent an M for a weekend so that you can try one yourself.

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I made the change for much the same reasons 9 months ago. I need specs for reading and found I needed to invest in a diopter correction lens to make accurate focusing repeatable.

 

I have no regrets, my camera bag now weighs a quarter of what it did and very often I just go out with the camera and lens attached, no bag.

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Welcome to the Forum.

 

Some people claim that a rangefinder is much easier than an SLR, others find it easier with the choices of screens available for the latter. Only you can judge.

 

Go to a dealer and try for yourself. Many / most good dealers will let you borrow or rent an M for a weekend so that you can try one yourself.

 

I will look into that. thx

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I need reading glasses as well. What is diopter correction lens? Are you referring to an attachment to the viewfinder? thx

 

For reading I need a +3 prescription glasses and found a +2 the perfect diopter correction lens for the M9. It is a tiny (but ludicrously expensive - c. £100) lens that screws into the viewfinder of the camera.

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Reading the M9 Faq at the top of this forum will answer questions like these (including the ones you did not think of asking

)
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I'm in the same boat as you, getting too old to lug around the dSLR kit and associated lenses etc.

 

Went into local dealer and explained what I wanted, light weight, quality and full frame, they pointed me to the M9 had a "play" with it in the shop and I was hooked.

 

The rangefinder focusing will take a while to get used to and I think I'll need some correction for the veiwfinder, but looking forward to my new kit coming when it does.

 

As for the viewfinder correction, if you find a proper Leica dealer they may have the dioptre lenses in stock for you to try, so you can pick one if you need it.

 

I agree with Bill, for what they are, they're a little expensive, but then if you can afford the Leica body and a couple of lenses then in comparison it's cheap.

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Reading the M9 Faq at the top of this forum will answer questions like these (including the ones you did not think of asking )

 

Thanks for the pointer... so do I following the FAQ link next to the User CP and do a search on M9? Not sure how to get to the M9 FAQ?

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I'm in the same boat as you, getting too old to lug around the dSLR kit and associated lenses etc.

 

Went into local dealer and explained what I wanted, light weight, quality and full frame, they pointed me to the M9 had a "play" with it in the shop and I was hooked.

 

The rangefinder focusing will take a while to get used to and I think I'll need some correction for the veiwfinder, but looking forward to my new kit coming when it does.

 

As for the viewfinder correction, if you find a proper Leica dealer they may have the dioptre lenses in stock for you to try, so you can pick one if you need it.

 

I agree with Bill, for what they are, they're a little expensive, but then if you can afford the Leica body and a couple of lenses then in comparison it's cheap.

 

I will give that a try. This might be dangerous to my pocket book cause I think the value of DSLR gears can only get me a M9 plus a lens but who would stick with only one lens?

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My only problem when I started out with rangefinders was user error. I was placing a finger over the small window that gives you the image that is aligned in the viewfinder. After figuring that out, I really love manual focus with RF. Now I have 4 of them!

 

Another huge benefit, the viewfinders show the area outside the frame as well, instead of the 95-100% coverage if an slr finder, you get a nicer preview of the entire scene.

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I have been shooting mainly landscape, cityscape and people. I would like to print up to 20X30 but so far I have only printed 2 pano wall-hangers of size 12"X72".

In that case consider the Zeiss Biogon lenses ( I use the 21mm for landscapes) and the Summarit range, the 35mm is a fine lens for city/street photography and they are both much more affordable than some Leica glass.

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I will give that a try. This might be dangerous to my pocket book cause I think the value of DSLR gears can only get me a M9 plus a lens but who would stick with only one lens?

 

Oh believe me, I know what you mean

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I also found this video showing how it actually look like inside the viewfinder when you focus. Looks easy enough.... just wondering since the focusing patch is in the middle and when you have the lens wide open and the DOF is razor thin, is it easily get out of focus when you focus and recompose?

 

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I also found this video showing how it actually look like inside the viewfinder when you focus. Looks easy enough.... just wondering since the focusing patch is in the middle and when you have the lens wide open and the DOF is razor thin, is it easily get out of focus when you focus and recompose?

 

 

That is a problem yes. Most solve this by bracketing the focus.

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