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Rangefinder advice

Stickleman 7 82 3 England
18 Apr 2013 7:53PM
Hi,I'm thinking of buying a rangefinder camera for street and urban photography mainly due to weight and noise considerations.The last time I used such a camera was in the 80's when I owned an Olympus XA, problem is my eyesight has deteriorated in the intervening years such that I now use +2 dioptre reading glasses.Would this affect how I see the two images in the viewfinder when focussing (without glasses) and can I achieve correct focus without my glasses.Thanks.

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Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 8:05PM
Do you want digital or film, and how much do you want to spend? Basically, the more you want to spend (generally) the better viewfinder you get. You can also get dioptre lenses that screw into the eyepiece, so they'd be permanently there for when you looked through it.

Very few will have a built in dioptric adjustment.

With a decent viewfinder and a corrective lens attached, you shouldn't have much problem seeing a coincident rangefinder.

Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
18 Apr 2013 8:16PM
Guessing you will be looking at digital, not film, have a look at the Fuji`s. X-pro 1, XE-1, X100s or older x100(fixed lens)

Or there Compacts, x20 and older x10.

The new compact system camera`s are good as well, no flapping mirror, Micro Four Thirds are the best here with plenty of system backup.

Most will have built in dioptre adjustment.
Stickleman 7 82 3 England
18 Apr 2013 8:21PM
Hi Nick,to start with I just wanted something cheap maybe around the 100 mark for a fixed lens film rangefinder to see how it goes. I've been tentatively looking on ebay at Yashicas,Olympus etc but I wanted to know about this issue before I go a stage further. I'm guessing the cameras that can take correction lenses (Leicas I suppose) are above my budget at the minute.
Stickleman 7 82 3 England
18 Apr 2013 8:26PM
Hi Paul, no it's an old film camera I'm looking for.Starting to use film a lot more nowadays mainly with a Pentax MX, and I can use the split image portion of the focussing screen OK with that, was wondering if that's also true with a true rangefinder camera.
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
18 Apr 2013 8:37PM
No they don`t use split prisms.

Loads to choose between

Looking at one brand alone there are many, Olympus RC,DC,RD,EC, 35RC, 35SP,35LC, etc.
Stickleman 7 82 3 England
18 Apr 2013 8:41PM
Ok, thanks for the advice.
Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 9:35PM
Most rangefinders that have a circular eyepiece will accept a screw in dioptre adjustment - you might have to look for suitable models. I believe the Olympus ones have a square eyepiece.

Voigtlander Bessas might be worth a look, but might cost a little more with a lens.
Gundog 5 629 Scotland
19 Apr 2013 9:35AM
Your own eyesight should not affect your ability to use the rangefinder in any way.
randomrubble 13 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2013 9:53AM
Playing devils advocate for a minute, for about 100, why not get a Pentax SMC-M 40/2.8 pancake for the MX? Given the snall size and relatively unobtrusive shutter sound I'm not entirely convinced that a film rangefinder (best of breed are Olympus SP/RD/DC, Canonet G-III, Yashica Electro or Ricoh 500G) camera is going to be that much better for street use. They tend to have lenses in the 40 range and while they might be a stop faster but you'll probably want to stop down a bit for DOF most of the time.

PS, I have an Oly XA, 35DC & 35RD and they are all nice but I tend to prefer my Contax 159 and 45/2.8 Tessar.
Stickleman 7 82 3 England
19 Apr 2013 4:26PM
Thanks for the input folks,as for the 40mm pancake, that could be an avenue worth exploring,don't know why I didn't think of it.The good news though is I've seen a private local ad for a Yashica,so I intend to go and take a look at it and see for myself if there are any issues involved.Thanks again.
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
19 Apr 2013 4:45PM
I still use an Olympus 35SP, and I recently paired this with a Panasonic GF2 with the 14mm (28mm equ)

28mm has now become the norm when it was once between 35-40mm


Gf2`s with the 14mm can now be picked up fairly cheaply I paid just 169 for body and lens new.

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