Talk:Rangefinder camera

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RF—vs—SLR claims[edit]

I'm not at all certain about some of the RF-vs-SLR claims, such as that RF cameras are more robust than SLRs. Yes, the M-series cameras are famously robust, but is any other RF camera as robust as, say, a Nikon F2? Come to think of it, is a (Zeiss) Contax less complex than a Nikon F2? But having only anecdotal evidence to go on, I've contented myself with toning down some of the claims a little; I've left them in.

Somebody with a lot more time, energy and knowledge than I should add stuff about leaf-shutter compact 35mm cameras, spring (bellows) MF cameras, etc. etc. Hoary 14:32, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've just pulled the following:
Since rangefinder cameras are simpler, they tend to be more durable - while some Leicas are collectors' items which are treasured and protected from the slightest scratch, they are nonetheless capable of withstanding considerable abuse and have been widely used by photojournalists.
I've no reason to think that a Leica is more durable than, say, a top-o'-the-range Nikon. -- Hoary 10:34, 2005 Mar 30 (UTC)
Rangefinder cameras are not simple. What doens't age well at all in many classic cameras is the lightmeter. I believe that a pre-Spomatic (without meter) Pentax is as reliable as a Leica. Ericd 00:11, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Illustration of focusing a rangefinder[edit]

Can anyone think of a good way to make a picture of what it looks like focussing on a rangefinder. Perhaps its easiest to make a synthetic one. I might give it a go. Justinc 15:34, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I think is a good reference. -- shotgunlee 09:23, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Focusing a rangefinder[edit]

I've been trying to find a page explaining what it is like to use a rangefinder camera. This page doesn't do it. It's written from the viewpoint of already knowing what one is like and how to do it. I know nothing more about using a rangefinder than before I visited this page. 05:23, 27 November 2005 (UTC)nobody

Working on it - havent had time to make diagrams, will do. Justinc 12:26, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
I have to agree. I'm no photography expert, so sometimes I don't know what terms mean. This is one of those cases. I may have even used a camera with this before (I've seen alot of wierd, and sometimes stupid focusing techniques), but this introduction left me absolutely clueless. I'm not going to bother sifting through the rest of the article to find out - it's not that important to me, but it clearly needs improvement. Diagrams will only help to fix a bad explanation.
Unless I'm misunderstanding the purpose of wikipedia? And why is this taking 5 years? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:26, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
If the focusing system was weird or stupid, then it probably wasn't a rangefinder system. Improving this article is probably taking five years because nobody who's competent to write a good explanation both feels a pressing need and has the time to do so. In the meantime, Google points to this, for example. -- Hoary (talk) 11:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


The picture of the "Zorki turret rangefinder" is not relevant. The device pictured is in fact a "KMZ turret viewfinder". This is a viewfinder, there is no way to measure distance with this device. Ericd 00:00, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Have to add something here. I think that the major perceived benefit of SLRs is the wide availability of autofocus. No rangefinder offers this. However, regularly using both, I have to say I get perfect focus on the subject I choose every time with a rangefinder, while autofocus SLRs take their focus cues from the area of the image that has the greatest amount of contrast, even if that is not what the photographer wishes to focus on. On most consumer oriented SLRs, it's very dificult to overcome this problem. So I think -- and many rangefinder users will tell you this -- that the chief attraction of the rangefinder is the ability to control precisely what the lens focuses on. Also, because rangefinders use coincident focus, something not available in an SLR, there is much less risk of poor focus than in an SLR set to manual focus. Either the images coincide, or they do not. If they do, you have the subject in perfect or near perfect focus. Many photographers who use rangefinders tell me this is the primary reason they use rangefinders, and it probably merits mention in the "pros and cons" section.

Well, I don't know about "most" autofocus SLRs, but my consumer level Nikon has several options to focus on what you want, including the option to turn off the AF and focus manually. The viewfinder has 3 small squares indicating the spots the AF is using: you can point one of these to the subject you want in focus, then lock in the focus by half depressing the shutter release to frame the image as you wish. Wschart (talk) 14:53, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Leica Digilux 2 and Panasonic LC1[edit]

"The three models mentioned above are all the digital rangefinders that have so far been made." This statement is out of date, the Leica Digilux 2 & Panasonic LC1 are now in production. ...added at (06:09, 13 March 2007 by

It's news to me that the Leica Digilux 2 & Panasonic LC1 are rangefinder cameras. I believe they are autofocus cameras. Offhand I don't know how the autofocusing works, but I haven't heard of any autofocus system that depends on anything much like a rangefinder (except possibly the Contax G1 and G2, of which I know very little), or of any autofocus system supplemented by a rangefinder. -- Hoary 07:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Digilux2 and LC1 are not range finders, they are just normal digital cameras with a range finder look.

Voigtlander "Write-up" External Link[edit]

Hi there, I am requesting permission to add my recently created "Voigtlander Rangefinders" write-up to the external link section of the page. The URL of the page is [1]. I already have a write-up on the Hasselblad Xpan on the page which is quite popular. Cheers, Matthew. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fotodudenz (talkcontribs) 09:43, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


Why is the Nikon D300 listed in the "other camera types" area? Is it not just an SLR? Seems like a bit of a fan boy-ism.--Normal Phobic (talk) 18:50, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

50mm Lens[edit]

I reverted the change which turn statements like "should use a 50mm lens" to "should use a lens which accurately represents the picture" (I'm paraphrasing). It is fairly well documented that 50mm lenses are noted as being the most equivalent to the human eye. Please feel free to argue with me here if you disagree :) --Mpdelbuono (talk) 04:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


It would be nice if the article had some schematics of the more common types of camera rangefinders systems IMO. --TiagoTiago (talk) 19:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Digital rangefinder[edit]

Should be the Fujifilm X100 in the digital rangefinder section ? I guess yes. Its a complete rangefinder camera. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Almost all digital cameras use phase detection??[edit]

"Almost all digital cameras, and most later film cameras, measure distance using electroacoustic or electronic means and focus automatically (autofocus)"

I suspect phase detection is meant here?! "Almost all" seems like a little exagaration when most mirrorless and probaply almost all compact cameras use contrast detection for auto focus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:25, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Minolta CLE[edit]

I see no mention of the 1980s Minolta CLE. It was a high-quality camera with the Leica M mount and should be mentioned as its younger siblings are. Harjasusi (talk) 15:39, 11 October 2017 (UTC)