Distracting Rangefinder Patch (?)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by adrian bastin, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Does anyone find the rangefinder patch a nuisance in making a
    picture ? I often cover the RF window with my finger, though in
    bright sun that only shows bright red, which is worse. I'm used
    to 'squinty' but clear and defined Barcack viewfinders. The finder of
    the M2 is wonderful, though.
     
  2. No, it isn't. Isn't that part of "getting used to" RF photography?
     
  3. Well, damn me, so THAT's what rangefinder photography is!
     
  4. There..you got it, Adrian! :)
     
  5. OK. Lets say you are painting a picture - but you have to keep a gold coloured rectangle in the centre and can only remove it when the picture is finished. The picture is not going to work very well, is it.
     
  6. "Does anyone find the rangefinder patch a nuisance in making a picture?"

    That whole focusing thing can be a nuisance, can't it? Never buy an M6 (God forbid!) - then you'll have to deal with those annoying meter diodes too. After all, even SLR cameras have a focusing patch.

    "I often cover the RF window with my finger..."

    At my first read though your question/observation(s) I was sure you were either joking or trolling. But then I realized, in a P&S world all of these things might seem archaic and/or flat out annoying.

    Using an M camera requires a certain amount of discipline (like the placement of your hands). I can assure you if you're in to "fast food-like" picture taking, your M camera will drive you nuts.

    After all, these days even film loading can be an annoyance.
     
  7. The film does not see any rectangle.

    If the composition is spoiled due to the golden rectangle, yes, it will not work.

    Solution? Separate viewfinder?
     
  8. I once saw a photo of HC-B photographing with an M camera and he had put a small piece of black tape over the rangefinder patch. Evidently he often used a WA lens and zone focused. I guess it bothered him as well. I've tried to locate that photo, but no luck. If I do I'll post a copy.
     
  9. Todd. Exactly! I was angling towards that. Thanks. Maybe that's why James Ravilious used a seperate finder. I'm sure he could have aquired an M2 with the 35 framelines, if he cared to.
     
  10. That patch could have been there to improve focus, see:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00FfoR&tag=

    A separate viewfinder could be your solution.
     
  11. Vivek, that could be correct. I've also seen him with cameras with topside viewfinders.
     
  12. Todd, thanks. It didn't occur to me that, at least, when using a 3.5cm lens I lould cover the RF window with tape. Brill !
     
  13. Yeah...if you want the viewfinder to be less distracting when zone focusing, just cover the window. Use plastic electrician's tape and cut a nice neat square. That tape won't leave a sticky residue and you can remove it and then use another as needed. Effective little trick! Glad to help.
     
  14. Oh, Bill. For discipline, the old pre-rangefinder Leicas are jolly good. I've come to the M from that direction.
     
  15. Adrian, I had a Leica If and a VC 21mm lens with finder a few years ago. That combo was wonderful, and visually beautiful. Hard to film load, however. Wish I hadn't sold it. Good discipline not to use the RF. I have some vintage cameras that don't have a RF and it trains the eye to judge distances. I just got a Kodak Vigilant 620 folder Saturday at an estate sale for $10..as new...with box and books...and am very eager to use it. No rangefinder.
     
  16. Solution? Leica M1 (or black electrical tape).
     
  17. Maybe that's why James Ravilious used a seperate finder. I'm sure he could have aquired an M2 with the 35 framelines, if he cared to.

    Maybe, but I rather suspect that he used an external finder because the home-made lens hood he apparently used probably intruded too far into the finder view. Trevor will probably know more.

    Personally, I have never found the rangfinder patch distracting. I simply don't notice it when I'm not actually using it. Similarly with the 'extra' framelines (except for when I had a 75mm lens and found the 50 frames annoyingly close).
     
  18. I found the whole rangefinder/focus thing so annoying that I sold all the Leicas for a song and bought SLRs. Then I realized the whole focusing thing wasn't any better so I gave the Nikons to my brother-in-law because no one wanted to buy film cameras. I am using a 6x6 now. That's feet. It's a camera obscura. No film! No focusing! I am free, free at last! :)
     
  19. "I once saw a photo of HC-B photographing with an M camera and he had put a small
    piece of black tape over the rangefinder patch. Evidently he often used a WA lens and zone
    focused."

    There's a well known picture of Larry Burrows too. Round his neck are a pair of M3 bodies
    - one fitted with a 28mm, and the other with a DR 50 Summicron. Both cameras have
    auxiliary finders fitted, so maybe he used the camera's finder only to focus then switched
    to the auxiliaries to exclude the patch.
     
  20. Thanks everybody, I enjoyed your input. Todd, good shooting with the Vigilant. I think I could get too interested in 'folders', so I avoid them. Andy, M1: good idea, if they are un-saught after. John...blimey!! Tim, I will look out for that Larry Burrows pic. Ian, yep, I will probably come to not notice it; but maybe it depends what kind of subject you are shooting.

    Best, Adrian.
     
  21. Actually, in all seriousness, I think the direct-view nature of the RF finder is the real thing that takes getting used to, compared to any other kind of camera where the image is viewed and focused on a ground glass (or plastic equivalent).

    BTW & FWIW, I just bought a Canon SD450 digisnap and it turns out that viewfinders are on the way out in that market niche...viewing is mostly done on the LCD panel. %-(
     
  22. ...or better still
    00G1FR-29380684.jpg
     
  23. Is this the pic of HCB you mentioned?

    http://blog.freetimegears.com.tw/mrsturtle/archives/bresson.jpg
     
  24. I see that he has a taped M3 there, but are any of the viewfinder optics obscured?
     

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