View Full Version : Vue focus vs. graflex rangefinder

31-Jul-2013, 14:57
Ok, i have had a Pacemaker Speed Graphic with the regular Kalart for a long time. But for a short time i had a Crown graphic with the top mounted rangefinder. And it seemed excellent! It has 80mm base length, so it seemed much more accurate than my basic kalart with only 70mm base lenght. So it left me thinking, should i get one for handhold rangefinder shooting. Then i started thinking about Busches Vue Focus, is it better? How long it's base length is? It would have the advantage of combined rangefinder/finder...

Ivan J. Eberle
1-Aug-2013, 18:07
Dunno the base length. But I do seem to recall you've got no adjustments on the View Focus for anything other than an Optar/Raptar 135 whereas the Kalart Synchronized RF is good from about 90mm to 203mm and the TRF Graphics and Supers use cams for quick accurate lens/cam swaps, provided you've got a cam that fits the lens (modern lenses=custom ground cams).

Kevin Crisp
1-Aug-2013, 18:27
The top mounted rangefinder seems more natural, at first, to people transitioning from SLR's. I prefer the Kalart, however, since it can be fine tuned and adjusted for a number of different lenses. If you really adjust it properly, as in running through the instructions a couple times, it will nail focus which you can confirm on the gg. You can't use it once set up for a second lens, as you can with the top mounted one with cams. But you can make due with a second bed scale for the other lenses you are using. You can take the feet measurement off the rangefinder, then adjust on the second bed scale to that same distance.

My point is that the Kalart is excellent in accuracy, if properly adjusted, and the search for a 'longer' rangefinder probably isn't necessary. Sadly so many of these old cameras have Kalarts that are misadjusted and people love to break off the screw that is plainly labeled with an arrow by ignoring that.

6-Aug-2013, 14:39
My kalart is well adjusted, but 10mm more of base length in a rangefinder is still better. I shoot pretty fast lenses, and my interest is merely the max effectiveness of the rangefinder. I do not see any idea on confirming from ground glass, if i had time to confirm from ground glass why i would be using the rangefinder?

I was merely interested on the top mounted graflex rangefinder vs vuefocus. I have tested the basic kalart vs top mounted, and the top mounted seemed much more accurate, as it should with 10mm longer base length.

Ivan J. Eberle
6-Aug-2013, 15:50
The SuperGraphic with a TRF I've found to be very accurate and repeatable, perhaps more reliable than a the Kalart RF on my Meridian. I think this is so because of the ball follower and spring actuator of the SG, as opposed to lever arm actuator with the fork that floats loose when folded closed on the Meridian. The Busch ViewFocus uses a lever more like the latter than the former, if memory serves.

To my mind the precision of the actuator mechanism would be a larger consideration than base length (I'm assuming that by base length you mean the distance between the split windows of the RF.)
And, what exactly is it that are you trying to accomplish? Portraiture? At head-and-shoulder distances, parallax error will not be improved with a longer base length, but rather worsened.

6-Aug-2013, 17:02
The Vue Focus seems like it would be a lot better than it is in actual practice. But it must also be admitted that the standard Busch viewfinder is a total disaster -- almost anything is better.

6-Aug-2013, 20:58
The difference in RF accuracy between 70mm base and 80mm base is inconsequential for subjects beyond about 5 feet.

Even at closer distances, the error is probably less than the curvature of the film in the holder.

- Leigh

8-Aug-2013, 16:11
The Vue Focus seems like it would be a lot better than it is in actual practice. But it must also be admitted that the standard Busch viewfinder is a total disaster -- almost anything is better.

This is something i was interested, some info on vuefocus. Is it a accurate, or working concept in actual use?

13-Aug-2013, 09:59
I think the base is indeed inconsequential, and the Kalart is really not a limitation for fast lenses. With care, it can be adjusted to focus an Aero Ektar to tack-sharp precision, wide-open, to minimum focus distance (4ft.) and still be accurate at longer distances (25+ feet) and everywhere in between. That's about as demanding an application as you will find. The biggest issue when attempting that sort of thing is camera position changing between focusing and composing, and/or the offset between the rangefinder window and the composing/viewfinder window, rather than the accuracy of the rangefinder itself.