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Basics Of How To Shoot With A Rangefinder Camera & The Benefits Of Doing So

By Kishore Sawh on December 21st 2014

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It’s a sad fact that the overwhelming majority of photographers I know have spent hardly a moment with rangefinder cameras. Perhaps I was fortunate to grow up around people who were always into photography and there were rangefinders around, but even if you weren’t, the experience is worth it. There’s something about a rangefinder that seems to connect you more to the scene, to the environment.

That may sound like some strange esoteric comment from a romantic photographer, but I assure you it isn’t. Looking through an SLR, you see what the lens is seeing, and while that has its advantages, it can isolate you a little from your surroundings. Well, a little compared to a rangefinder. When you look through a rangefinder, you see as your eyes would, with everything in focus, and a little frame inside the viewfinder denoting what the boundaries of the photo will be. The space outside that box allows you to see what’s going on just outside it, helping you to get a better context of the photo, and to see what might be happening or coming into frame. These little things make it wonderful for street photography.

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It may then explain why to this day, Leica users swear by the type as the best cameras for street photography. Craig Semetko is one such photographer. With a background as a comedy writer and performer, Craig has a strange ability to understand the ironic, and shoot it. Beyond that, Craig is an accomplished photographer who has caught the eye of Leica and had his work displayed at their Leitz Park opening. In this short video, Craig goes over the basics of rangefinder shooting, which hopefully inspires you to try them, even if not a Leica.

[REWIND: Why I Choose the Leica M9 Over the Nikon D4S – My Leica Experience]

If you are interested in the Leica, have a read of our own Jay Cassario’s take on why he chooses it over anything else, even a Nikon D4s. If you haven’t been sold before, that should nudge you in the right direction.

For more on Craig Semetko, do visit his site.

Source: Leica Rumors

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

4 Comments

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  1. Henri-Pierre Chavaz

    ” When you look through a rangefinder, you see as your eyes would, with everything in focus, and a little frame inside the viewfinder denoting what the boundaries of the photo will be. The space outside that box allows you to see what’s going on just outside it, helping you to get a better context of the photo, and to see what might be happening or coming into frame. ”

    Yep. With my Fuji X PRO1, for street photography with the 35mm lens, I prefer to set the viewfinder magnification to 0.37x (against the 0.6x) to get the more out of frame space.

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  2. Jon Coudriet

    So where can I watch the video?

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  3. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for sharing his work.

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  4. Brandon Dewey

    Thanks for the tips!

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