Useful Photography Tip #179: Why Shooting Landscapes With a Rangefinder Can Really Suck

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Medium Format and film rangefinders in particular seem like such a perfect package for going about and shooting landscape photos, right? Or if not, maybe you’ll want to tote along your Leica! But before you do that, you should note that that’s probably a really bad idea if you want to do things right. With digital, this can be easier because getting details in the highlights or shadows is as simple as moving a slider. If you’ve got burning and dodging skills that can be used in the darkroom, then you’ll also not really have a problem when it comes to printmaking. However, if you’re trying your hardest to get it right in camera, then you’re going to be working with a tripod, ND filters, and Graduated NDs.

And that’s where this all becomes a bad idea.

With a mirrorless camera that has an EVF or with a DSLR, you’ll be able to see exactly where the ND filter is covering in the scene. In most situations, photographers position graduated ND filters over the sky and expose for the shadows. But if you’re doing that with a rangefinder, you’re not going to be able to see what’s happening through the lens unless you’re using one of the newer Leica cameras with an EVF. So instead what’s going to happen is you’re going to put the graduated ND filter on in front of the lens and you’re not going to be 100% totally sure how much coverage you’re getting. You can make a guesstimate but that is as great as you’re going to do.

Instead, I tend to want to reach for SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras that have an EVF. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t shoot a great landscape photo with a rangefinder. It’s just much tougher.

5 Fantastic 6×7 Medium Format Film Cameras to Create Beautiful Photos With

There are a number of photographers out there who consider the 6×7 format of medium format film to be the only really medium format type. Part of this has to do with the fact that it’s right in between small format (35mm) and large format (4×5). It’s quite a bit larger than 645 format and much larger than 35mm format. It can also prove to be very difficult to work with simply because you need to be super critical about your focusing.

So if you’re looking for a 6×7 format camera to work with, check out this list.

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Which One: Fujifilm X100F or Fujifilm X-Pro2 with Fujifilm 23mm F2?

Looking at specs one couldn’t help but notice that and X-Pro2 feature a lot in common. Both have Fuji’s new 24mp sensor, both are rangefinder inspired, both have hybrid optical and electronic viewfinders, and both have (or can have in the case of the X-Pro2) a 23mm F2 lens. So with all of this in mind one would not be that out of line to wonder which setup is the better option, and today we are here to answer that question.

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4 Rangefinder Inspired Digital Cameras For Those Tired of The DSLR Lifestyle

What does your camera look like? What does that style and appearance say about you as a person, as a photographer? It is not uncommon to care about what your camera looks like, though this aesthetic preference usually takes a back seat (as it should) to other more important issues with a camera, such as image quality, performance, etc. But assuming your threshold for desired performance is met, what style and design qualities are important to you in your next camera?

For many, the same old SLR/DSLR look and build is boring and uninteresting. Functional and practical, sure, but generally not the most stylish. Rangefinder cameras on the other hand, at least the latest models, have come into their own in terms of style and performance, leading many to ditch their SLR styled cameras in favor of smaller, lighter, and more stylish rangefinder inspired designs.

Let’s take a look at some of the best of these rangefinder inspired cameras that one may like to consider… Continue reading…

Vintage Camera Review: Leica CL (Leitz Minolta CL, Minolta CLE)

Years ago, I owned a Leica CL when I was getting into photography. Trying to balance an understanding of both film and digital, I toted this around with my old school Olympus E-510 DSLR. They were perfect together for a college student. But then I needed money, and unfortunately had to sell my Leica. Very recently though, I took the plunge before my 30th birthday and bought myself another one. You see, the Leica CL is the same camera as the Minolta CLE and the Leitz Minolta CL.

Some consider it not a true Leica because it wasn’t made in Germany. Instead, the Leica CL was a collaboration between Minolta and Leica. It was a camera that sold very well and perhaps too well. In fact, it’s rumored that sales were so good that they discontinued the camera because it ate into the sales of the Leica M5.

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Vintage Camera Review: Fujifilm GW690 III (6×9 Medium Format)

When Fujifilm announced their medium format digital camera, a whole lot of people really wanted it to be something along the lines of the Fujifilm GW690 III camera–also known as the Texas Leica. This rangefinder camera shoots in the 6×9 format–which is one of the largest formats to use 120 film. For many years it was used by hobbyists, travel photographers, landscape photographers, and even a few portrait shooters. Due to its 90mm lens equivalent, you’re getting around a 38mm f1.2 equivalent when it comes to field of view converted to full frame.

When I purchasef this camera, I genuinely thought it would be the perfect medium format rangefinder for me, doing pretty much everything the Mamiya 7 II is capable of sans interchangeable lenses. But with more experience, I learned that I was wrong.

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Review: Leica 40mm f2 Rokkor (Leica M Mount)

Most affectionately known as the lens that comes with the Leica CL, the Leica 40mm f2 Rokkor is also a bit of a hidden gem. To this day, it’s one of the sharpest Leica lenses ever made and perhaps a lens that has held its value so well vs many other options on the market. Due to it being Leica M mount, it’s easily adaptable to many mirrorless cameras. If photographers who own Fujifilm, Sony, or Micro Four Thirds cameras are looking for a solid manual focus lens that is also compact it’s very hard to invalidate what the Leica 40mm f2 is capable of.

That, and it’s crazy affordable price point.

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