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Author Topic: Rangefinder for GX617?  (Read 4389 times)
spotmeter
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« on: October 21, 2006, 09:47:16 PM »
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I am having problems estimating distances for the 300mm lens on my GX617 when shooting landscapes and seascapes.  Sometimes I have to shoot it wide open, when it has a very narrow depth of field. Has anyone found a reliable rangefinder (optical or laser) to use with this type of camera?  I tried a Leica laser rangefinder in a local camera shop, and was not impressed. It only seemed to work on flat, vertical surfaces. The clerk knew less about it than I did, so he was not very helpful.
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ddolde
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2006, 10:33:44 PM »
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Why shoot wide open?  This is basically a large format camera and lens.  It will perform very well at f16-22.  Use a tripod and release cable.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2006, 03:47:18 PM »
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I have used the Fuji 6x17 for many years, and I have the 300mm Fujinon.

My solution to your problem has been to purchase the dedicated Fuji 6x17 ground glass adapter. This adapter takes the place of the film, with the back swung down, and allows you to see the image upside down as in a view camera. A small pop-up shade let's you use a loupe without a black cloth.  To see the full image you do need a black cloth however.

I don't see how else you can be 100% sure that your image is sharp without this accessory plus a ground glass loupe (magnifier).  

With the wide angle lenses, and when shooting at infinity with no foreground elements, one can use a small f-stop and get good sharpness throughout, even when handholding the camera if the shutter speed is fast enough.  But with the 300 the shutter speed need to be rather high (1/250th minimum) which means the aperture will often be fairly open.  Plus, it is virtually impossible to precisely set the distance since focusing with a telephoto is critical.

Of course, you have to have a tripod with the groundglass adapter.  But then again, if  you are using the 6x17 a tripod needs to be part of your kit as Doug mentioned.  For faster, handheld panoramic photography I would recommend the Hasselblad xpan.

Regards,
« Last Edit: October 22, 2006, 03:52:45 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 03:38:30 AM »
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Accessory rangefinders were very common 50 years ago. Walz, Watameter, Leitz, Ansco, and Medis had excellent models. You can pick these up on ebay. I use a Ansco De Jur with my panoramic camera and I have a Watameter as a backup.

You may find this interesting.
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spotmeter
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 09:07:19 PM »
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Mouse,

Thank you for your very helpful reply and link.  What is 'vertical alignment' on an accessory rangefinder?  If I buy one on ebay, what questions should I ask of the seller?
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2006, 10:57:34 PM »
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Rangefinders work by superimposing to images. If the optics are not calibrated properly, one image could be higher than the other meaning vertical alignment is off. This is not a problem finding the distance to vertical lines, but it can introduce errors with diagonal lines.

I would ask if the rangefinder is clear and whether there is a vertical alignment porblem. Unfortunately, most the sellers will say they don't know anything about rangefinders and so you just have to go with your hunch. Except for Leitz, they are not that expensive, so it is not much of a loss if you get a dud. If the rangefinder can be adjusted by the owner, you certainly can be fixed.

BTW, horizontal alignment controls the accuracy of the distance. The adjustment is made at infinity. That requires an object well over a mile away.
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biggoolies
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2006, 05:19:35 PM »
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Just to let you know,fotoman is coming out with a new rangefinder for this can be used on any camera. You can find out on the webs 6x17 forum at yahoo.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/6x17/
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