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Rangefinder Camera's


Flight959
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Hello Guys,

 

Been a while since I posted here...

 

A good friend and also a fellow forumite got me into these wonderful little beauties within the last few weeks. Now I enjoy taking photographs, but I have well and truly got out of my depth with one of these Russian Rangefinder cameras... For me they present a significant challenge, as now I actually have to think before I take a photograph as all the settings have to be input manually. This compounded by the additional challenge of finding focus on a moving subject is a real bind, but a challenge one which I am really enjoying. Maybe spending sometime with this well engineered little camera might actually teach me something and further appreciate the true art of photography which is diminishing...

 

Here's a few quick snaps of this camera.... Pippy owns one of them... They are Zorki 1 Type B and D.... Lecia 1 copies, replicas, forgeries.... LOL...

 

32495572573_b0ab377f84_c.jpgZorki type B & D by Simon Clarkson, on Flickr

 

32467157084_7bb917f015_c.jpgZorki type B & D by Simon Clarkson, on Flickr

 

33309957435_74b604a6fe_c.jpgZorki type B & D by Simon Clarkson, on Flickr

 

 

Any of you guy enjoy these or something similar...?

 

Regards

 

Flight959

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Not the same, but I still have film cameras.

 

I have a usable Zeiss Ikon rollfim camera which is enjoyable to use. It takes a deal of care to use though.

 

I also have (but no longer use) a 5" X 4" sheet film Wista field camera. The enlager is in the loft, and my darkroom was dismantled years ago and converted into my recording studio. That takes a very long time to use, because a tripod is essential and film is loaded singly for every shot. Then focus is checked on the ground glass screen useing a loupe. Every image is only shown upside down too.

 

The only 35mm film camera I still have is my Contax RTS slr. Still works ok.

 

Old cameras are fun. I would still like a TLR too.

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I also have (but no longer use) a 5" X 4" sheet film Wista field camera...

I also have (but no longer use) a 5" X 4" sheet film Sinar Monorail camera! Perhaps we are Twins Separated at Birth, m-e?...LOL!

 

Sinar%20lo-res_zpscogkssxx.jpg

 

(I still use the 'pod on a daily basis. Old School Gitzo Series V. It weighs half a ton)

 

A few of the accessories;

 

S-Ks%20lo-res_zps1zgtapxt.jpg

 

Pip.

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...I actually have to think before I take a photograph as all the settings have to be input manually...

Any of you guy enjoy these or something similar...?...

Nice looking 'export'! Very clean looking lens, too.

 

As long as you remember that pulling out the collapsible lens is always "Rule 101, #01" you'll do fine, Flight!

That and the famous advice to an inexperienced photojournalist;" 1/60th @ f8 and be there!"

 

msp_thumbup.gif

 

Pip.

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As far as my own current rangefinders are concerned?

 

As well as the 1949 Zorki 1 Type B in the previous snaps I've somehow managed to end up with "several" Contax-copy Kievs dating from '52 - '81.

 

I'm looking forward to having time to play with these two;

1955 pre-export KNEB II;

 

Kiev%20II%20lo-res_zps7a9mhlwm.jpg

 

1978 Kueb / KIEV IV - a bit unusual in black lacquer finish(*);

 

Kiev%204A%20lo-res_zpszb4tni8v.jpg

 

(*) As I said to Flight when he was here; "No black-finish Kiev's were ever made. Here are two of them..."

 

I've since acquired a 5cm f1.5 Jupiter 3 and I'm really looking forward to having a go with that wide open.

 

...but for serious use I'm so happy to have this pair of bodies;

 

Leica M9-P; here fitted with a Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 Nokton. Nowadays it usually sports a regular 50mm f2 Summicron;

 

L1434225%20v1%20lo-res_zpsx4bwsl35.jpg

 

 

..and my old Leica M8.2 here shouldering a 90mm f2.8 Tele-Elmarit;

 

Lo-Res%20Tele-Elmarit%2090mm%20f2.8_zpst6kgbok0.jpg

 

 

I grew up - literally - with Leicas. Here's me aged around 4 with my dad's Leica IIIb + 5cm f2 collapsible Summaron;

 

Me%20with%20IIIb_zpsvonsi7ty.jpg

 

...and in the mid '80s with my long-suffering M2 - here wearing (in addition to a yellow-filtered 3.5cm Summaron) black insulating tape to cover the chrome finish (*);

 

Me%20at%20Hastings%20Lo-res_zpsjegcdk7l.jpg

 

(*) Back in these days 'selfies' didn't exist, mobile phones - never mind with cameras built-in - didn't exist and it was absolutely NOT USUAL for folks to be going around taking photographs of just anything they pleased. Today no-one bats an eyelid when people are out in the streets openly taking pictures of everyone and everything but back then - believe me - the more discreet you could behave and the less you 'stuck-out' the better were your chances of capturing a good photo. Chrome-finish cameras literally shone-out so giving them the 'blackout' treatment was a pretty common occurrence.

 

Pip.

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I have a 1950's Wirgin rangefinder that belonged to my grandmother. I still works but I haven't used it in a few years.

 

As far as other film cameras, I still have a Toyo G monorail 4x5 view camera with a few accessories/lenses. And both my original Canon F-1s with all the goodies except the 250 exposure backs. I sold my medium format Mamiya TLR, a 645, and a couple Hasselblad 500's a few years back. Film is actually making a comeback. Back in January, Kodak announced that they were going to resume production of Ektachrome: http://www.kodak.com...ilm/default.htm

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In the olden days for me as a photojournalist I used a number of cameras...

 

Can't even recall the label on my rangefinder; but then there were the 2 1/4 square cameras, as in Rollei... and given that without a pentaprism, one "shot" while seeing things backwards and upside down, shooting basketball was a gas...

 

My first printed color shot was with an old press graphic, sheet film.

 

Frankly my SLR digital Nikons and Photoshop handle current needs quite well, although I still have some film cameras gathering dust or existing as worn-out trophies of travel to other places and even other continents.

 

As others, my darkroom is long gone.

 

The thing is, there are thousands of ways one might consider photography. I'll occasionally think "art shot," but most are those of a working photojournalist - regardless that some few have won awards.

 

Tools, in photography or guitar playing, have importance, but regardless, they're but part of a craftsman's system to produce a result desired at a given point in one's life.

 

Oddly that's even essentially a major message in Musashi's Go Rin No Sho, but must be read as metaphor:

 

"The carpenter will make it a habit of maintaining his tools sharp so they will cut well. Using these sharp tools masterfully, he can make miniature shrines, writing shelves, tables, paper lanterns, chopping boards and pot-lids. These are the specialties of the carpenter. Things are similar for the soldier. You ought to think deeply about this."

 

Ditto the photographer and whatever tools he uses... the tool is still but an instrument...

 

m

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Tools, in photography or guitar playing, have importance, but regardless, they're but part of a craftsman's system to produce a result desired at a given point.........the photographer and whatever tools he uses... the tool is still but an instrument...

Agreed. And a large part of a photographer's wisdom is in knowing which tool is best suited to the purpose at hand.

Nowadays a rangefinder camera (whether it records its images using film or digital is largely irrelevant) is rarely the ideal tool for any professional assignment. But for a non-professional assignment? To use the 'tool' for the pure fun of using a wonderful piece of engineering? That's a different matter entirely.

 

Using a fully-manual '35mm' direct view rangefinder camera (film or digital) requires a completely different shooting mindset from anything else a photographer will encounter and it can be a source of great frustration or enormous pleasure. Sometimes both at the same time. For anyone brought up in the auto-aperture-exposure-focus-zoomlens-digital-chimping era using a Leica/Zorki/Contax/Kiev for the first time will be so alien it must be like setting foot on the moon. But once there the resulting experience can be out of this world. Bad Pun. My Bad...

 

Anyone who tries to use a direct-view rangefinder camera in a serious way quickly realises that you 'see' the world differently than you do if you go out with a DSLR. Shooting with rangefinders is not for everyone - I doubt it's for many at all - but for those who do enjoy it nothing comes remotely close.

 

Anytime I ever go out to shoot personal work I take my Leica. Everytime. I wouldn't dream of using anything else.

 

sweet! [thumbup]

As is the Wista!

 

msp_thumbup.gif

 

pip.

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Gawd, this takes me back. Never had really expensive equipment but I so liked the Mamiya C330 TLR and the 645. The Minolta Hi-Matic 7 was easy to use as well as being almost bullet proof. Simple days.

 

Now it's just whip out the phone or digital camera if necessary but I rarely do as it's just no fun.

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I have a somewhat expensive digital Cannon camera with extra lenses and stuff but after loading them all in the computer and cropping them, downloading them on Snap fish and waiting to get the pictures back. We don't do it anymore. Just use the lap top or the I phone seems to be our norm now.

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...Now it's just whip out the phone...but I rarely do as it's just no fun...
...We don't do it anymore. Just use the lap top or the I phone seems to be our norm now...

Funny both of you should say that, SmokeyGhost and Retired...

 

Last autumn my family and some friends took a trip to the English Lake District. At the top of one of the peaks I was taking a group snap of our rabble (the view was stunning) and I heard a lady in another party behind me remark; "Oh look! He's using a camera! It's nice to see some people still use a camera."...........and she was being perfectly serious!

 

As if taking a photograph with a camera was, somehow, a quaint notion nowadays. Then again; perhaps it is?....................msp_blink.gif..................

 

Pip.

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Some interesting reading thanks guys!

 

was hoping to go out with my new "OLD" toy today on a country walk but I seem to be having trouble loading the film. Despite watching Pippy load his and finding some good websites I seem to be doing something wrong or the camera is knackered... I have loaded the film fine, but when cocking the shutter it doesn't seem to wind the film on. It feels like its slipping. I have checked the film is suitably round the uptake spool and the tooth is in the hole on the leader...

 

Any suggestions?

 

Regards

 

Flight959

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Great to see some photo-bilia.....[thumbup]

 

Had a few 'proper' cameras since childhood....

Starting out with an ancient Kodak roll-film Brownie or similar....I think it took 6x9 format and only worked when the sun shone...[biggrin]

 

Halina 35x was my first 35mm.....also borrowed dad's Voigtlander rangefinder camera

 

Then the Russians arrived.....cheap copies of Leica.....I had a 'FED 3' which was fun for a few years....there was the 'leaf' vs 'focal plane' shutter issue.....particularly with interchangeable lenses.....tres exotic at the time.....

 

First SLR was a Zenith....an entre into macro photography.....the big drawback of rangefinders being the difficulty of getting in really close

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Some interesting reading thanks guys!

 

was hoping to go out with my new "OLD" toy today on a country walk but I seem to be having trouble loading the film. Despite watching Pippy load his and finding some good websites I seem to be doing something wrong or the camera is knackered... I have loaded the film fine, but when cocking the shutter it doesn't seem to wind the film on. It feels like its slipping. I have checked the film is suitably round the uptake spool and the tooth is in the hole on the leader...

 

Any suggestions?

 

Regards

 

Flight959

 

This can happen for a variety of reasons.....one choice is to wind on and fire the shutter with the back open to see how things work and ensure the take-up spool is fully engaged....

Unfortunately that will expose/ruin the film.....may be worth it in the long run.....[thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Sadly in Flight's case this approach can't be followed as the camera body doesn't have an openable back but, instead, has a removable baseplate which facilitates film-loading.

 

We've had a bit of a chat over the 'phone so hopefully Flight has something to work on...

 

Pip.

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...the big drawback of rangefinders being the difficulty of getting in really close...

Nah, V; all you need is the correct kit!

Specifically the thing attached to the camera in the centre; a Visoflex housing. With the 65mm lens unit fitted here the Leica can work all the way from infinity down to 1:1 macro.

 

Leica%20Stuff%202016%2006%2024%20lo-res_zps2ssm2jej.jpg

 

Various housings of this general type have been available to the Leicaman since the '30s. This version, the Visoflex III, was introduced in 1964 and is particularly useful because it had a prism housing which was slightly higher than the Vis I and Vis II which means it can still be used on the latest Leica digital bodies!

Whilst it's obviously a lot more cumbersome than, say, a Nikon F with 55mm Macro-Nikkor it should be remembered that when the first Leica M Visoflex was announced in '54 the Nikon F and Micro-Nikkor were still many years away in the future...

 

Pip.

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Yes pip....I know about the Visoflex.....and literally came within a whisker of mentioning it.....dry.gif

 

Harking back to the days when anything Leica was very expensive for the common man....

 

I can't remember if the Russians did a cheap Visoflex-ski......I'll search now just for fun.....[biggrin]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Yes pip....I know about the Visoflex.....and literally came within a whisker of mentioning it....

I can't remember if the Russians did a cheap Visoflex-ski......I'll search now just for fun.....[biggrin].....

Let us know what you discover!

 

And you were sort-of right not mentioning the Viso anyhow as it means the 'rangefinder' isn't really a 'rangefinder' any longer in terms of use...

Oddly enough the Viso is one of the very few bits from Wetzlar which are (almost) dirt-cheap to buy on the second-hand market. A type I can be had for around £30 and even the later versions (which, as mentioned, can still be used today with the M8 / 9 / 10 Digital bodies) come in at a ridiculously reasonable - by Leica standards - £60 or so.

 

Some of the "-ski" stuff available on the 'bay is amazing, though! It's possible to buy a complete 'Hasselbladski' outfit - (Salyut S; Kiev 88 or Zenith 80 body; 80mm lens and film back) - for around the £150 - £175 mark!

In fact here's one which is tempting me at this very moment;

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...F0AAOSwx6pYniTM

 

Pip.

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1489048359[/url]' post='1840311']

Funny both of you should say that, SmokeyGhost and Retired...

 

Last autumn my family and some friends took a trip to the English Lake District. At the top of one of the peaks I was taking a group snap of our rabble (the view was stunning) and I heard a lady in another party behind me remark; "Oh look! He's using a camera! It's nice to see some people still use a camera."...........and she was being perfectly serious!

 

As if taking a photograph with a camera was, somehow, a quaint notion nowadays. Then again; perhaps it is?....................msp_blink.gif..................

 

Pip.

Yes, I see tons of people here with cell phones. Deb. Took my other computer for her school stuff and bought me a crappy I Pad. Said it would load photos but it won't. There's nothing to hook up to it. Frustrated, and she never downloads anything I take on the good camera on her now computer she took from me. Never has the time! So that's why I bought a good I phone that takes good photos but it can't replace what the Cannon does.

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