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Thread: Rangefinder Cameras

  1. #1

    Rangefinder Cameras

    What seems like a long time ago I use to shoot a Super Graphic with a 135mm Optar. I actually became pretty efficient at handheld with it and could rattle shots off pretty quick if necessay, not they were all good, but it was fun, and I actually enjoyed the darkroom work just as much as shooting with it. Eventually I sold the Graphic for a lighter (?) MF system(s), sold out of those, and then went back to my begining with the lighter 35mm film cameras with a concurrent sojourn with a small Sony digital mirrorless. Now I'm back to wanting a 4x5 again. (Yes I'm crazy.) I still have my 4x5 darkroom equipment including many film holders, so I'm thinking of a rangefinder 4x5, no handholding pet se', no dark cloth and just one lens, and wanted ideas on the easier shooting models, meaning handholds besides tripod shooting. I'll be living up in the N. Georgia Mountains later this year and I think the 4x5 would be fun to use over a 35mm, and I could use the mirrorless for color.

  2. #2

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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    Linhof Super Technika IV, V, Master Technika or Wista RF.

  3. #3
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    What Bob said plus Crown Graphic or Busch Pressman. The Kalart side rangefinders allow you adjust them to work with any one lens from around a 90 to 210 or so.

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    Crown / Speed Graphic or other press cameras
    Linhof Technika cameras
    Converted Polaroid 900 / 110B (Chamonix Saber also on that platform)
    Wista RF

    Personally, if the one lens you wanted was usable on a Speed, that's what I'd go for. Alternatively, the Polaroid models have the only combined viewfinder/rangefinder which is pretty awesome, if you can find one spec'd how you want.

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  5. #5

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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    3D printed with focus for 58, 65,75 or 90mm

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  6. #6
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Reba S Miller View Post
    The Konica would be my choice. Beautifully made, excellent Hexanon lens and almost silent in operation. However for those venturing back into film, it could be an idea also to look at the non-RF quality 35mm cameras, which you zone focus. You would be surprised how few wrongly focussed shots you will get. The two that spring to mind are the Rollei 35 series and the Minox 35 series. The Minox is a bit smaller, lighter and “plasticky” but otherwise just as capable as the more sought after Rolleis, especially the expensive 35S. Compared with the rangefinders, the advantage is that these are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, so will have them with you for that “decisive moment”.
    I was unaware you could fit a sheet of 4x5 into a konica or a rollei 35 without crumpling it up.


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  7. #7
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    Anyone have experience with one of the Polaroid 110 4x5 conversions?
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  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    Easy to do with paper cutter

    I have cut sheet film to fit Hasselblad film holders

    Quote Originally Posted by C. D. Keth View Post
    I was unaware you could fit a sheet of 4x5 into a konica or a rollei 35 without crumpling it up.


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  9. #9
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    The Polaroid 900 I have is very similar to a 110B, with the only difference being the location of the focus knob.

    Mine is equipped with a 135mm f/3.5 Xenotar lens. It's a bit short of a lens and if portraits is your thing, it's best used for full-body portraits or 3/4 with the Polaroid since it doesn't focus super close anyway.

    As mentioned earlier, the RF and VF are combined which is a wonderful experience compared to the common Graphic or Linhof which has separate RF/VF, and it's even fully parallax corrected! Really a nice platform, with the only flaw being that the RF calibration, at least on mine, seems to be a bit touchy if you bang the camera around (but is easily adjusted). Note that the Polaroid 110A, in contrast, has split RF/VF so the 110B / 900 is the way to go IMO.

    It's the smallest and lightest handheld 4x5 setup I have, with a few small drawbacks but a pretty fun camera. I used to shoot mine mostly with 3x4 pack film but since that died it hasn't seen a lot of use since I haven't shot handheld as much as I used to.
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  10. #10
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Rangefinder Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Easy to do with paper cutter

    I have cut sheet film to fit Hasselblad film holders
    You REALLY think somebody is going to cut sheets of film for a 35mm rangefinder? Come on.

    I’m just being a smart as because somebody couldn’t be bothered to read the original post.


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