rangefinder photography

Rangefinder photography? How does it differ from any other kind of photography? Surely, a camera is a camera?

Yes and no -- but increasingly, we suggest, no.

For most people, a reflex is a big heavy camera with a zoom lens, and a rangefinder (hereafter RF) is a small, light, fast-handling camera, fitted with a prime lens. And this is only the starting point.

This module deals with 35mm rangefinder cameras, and principally with Leica, Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer/Rollei systems, though other 35mm cameras are mentioned.

It is partially for those who already own RF cameras, but principally for those who are contemplating a rangefinder and want to know what it can do for their photography.

As well as a discussion of RF photography in general, there is a (very) brief survey of the main 35mm RF systems on the market. Roger uses mostly Leica, while Frances uses mostly Voigtländer, but if we could afford it, she would be much tempted to switch to Zeiss Ikon, which we had on loan for several months.

A couple of dollars spent here, or even $29 on a subscription, could make it much easier to decide first, whether you want an RF camera at all (if you don't, it will save you a fortune), and second, what sort of camera or outfit to buy. Alternatively (or as well) you could buy our book on rangefinder photography.

This is a long module containing 35 pictures, of which 12 are monochrome (including two hand coloured and one infra-red); 15 are colour; and 8 are technical/equipment shots.


Square, Teruel, Catalunya


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© 2006 Roger W. Hicks