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Old 11-15-2011   #1
infinitydreams
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Using a Rangefinder

I'm new to photography and never used a rangefinder before, an Olympus 35RD should be arriving tomorrow and I've ordered some HP5 and Ektar film.

Does anyone have any tips or links to best practices when using a rangefinder? I've never had to do metering before so not sure exactly what I need to do in order to get the best from this retro gem!
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Old 11-15-2011   #2
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Try this to start:
http://www.butkus.org/chinon/olympus...ympus_35rd.htm
That should get you the basics of how to use your RD.
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Old 11-15-2011   #3
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Take off the lens cap first
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Old 11-15-2011   #4
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You might find the following useful: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...n/ps%20rf.html. It deals more with interchangeable-lens RFs, because "There are many surprisingly good fixed-lens, leaf-shutter rangefinder cameras, but there is no room to go into them here as they would make up a whole module in themselves. The main thing to look out for, apart from general functionality, is good, bright rangefinders: we got rid of our Yashica Lynx 14 with its very good f/1.4 lens because the rangefinder was so dim."

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Old 11-15-2011   #5
Brian Sweeney
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It's a nice camera, sharp lens, and good overview of it here:

http://www.cameraquest.com/olyrd.htm

With a camera this age: check the light seals, and check for haze in the viewfinder. The latter will make it appear dim and more difficult to focus.

On the Lynx that Roger had: I've seen several where the semi-silvered mirror had deteriorated. I replaced it with one from a later Yashica GSN.
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Old 11-15-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iandiam View Post
Take off the lens cap first


you'll laugh when you read this, and then the first time you're out taking pictures, you'll forget to do it and feel like an absolute moron.


i've done it like 3-4 times -- nothing is worse than when your buddy comes up after you've been shooting 3/4 through a roll and says "hey dude, don't you have to take off that cap thingy first?"
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Old 11-18-2011   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicy View Post
you'll laugh when you read this, and then the first time you're out taking pictures, you'll forget to do it and feel like an absolute moron.


i've done it like 3-4 times -- nothing is worse than when your buddy comes up after you've been shooting 3/4 through a roll and says "hey dude, don't you have to take off that cap thingy first?"
This is worse --I just shot I'm not sure how many frames with the slip-on light meter on my M3 set to ISO 3200 instead of 400. This is especially bad because a _real_ photographer would have instantly found the recommended aperture and f stop odd for 400 film. . . but I just, you know, fooooorged ahead .

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Old 11-18-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iandiam View Post
Take off the lens cap first
Good advice and don't beat yourself up when it happens. We all do it from time to time.
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Old 11-20-2011   #9
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When using a film camera is it best to always wind the film on so it's ready or if then left for a few days does that tension ruin springs/parts etc in the camera body?
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Old 11-20-2011   #10
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... mine are always left wound, and I've not been aware of any problems
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Old 11-20-2011   #11
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The camera manuals advise leaving the shutter uncocked if it is not going to be used for a while. Lots of springs in the shutter, even some that are used only on certain shutter speeds. I have a lot of cameras, and one might sit for months before being used.
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Old 11-20-2011   #12
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... not the M2 manual, or the camera as far as I can tell
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Old 11-20-2011   #13
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Is it possible to shoot night photos (street lights on) without a flash?
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Old 11-20-2011   #14
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with a fast enough film, certainly.
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Old 11-20-2011   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitydreams View Post
Is it possible to shoot night photos (street lights on) without a flash?
Fast film helps. So does a fast lens and/or a slow shutter speed. Any two or all three can combine to help get night shots. The biggest drawback is if you have to go to a slower shuttter speed, the use a tripod, monopod or find anything to hold/steady the camera. If you don't want to lug around a tripod or monopod, then brace the camera on a wall, tree, lamp post etc. Set it on a table, mail box etc. Anything sturdy will do.
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Old 11-20-2011   #16
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So with Ilford HP5 400 in my Olympus 35RD would you say I'd be looking at 1/30 shutter speed or something like that?
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Old 11-22-2011   #17
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A light meter would help you, but this link gives you an idea of how to expose under certain conditions - http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm
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Old 11-23-2011   #18
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That's interesting, as last night when walking the dog around the village I thought I'd go and have a little test with my Olympus 35RD. The scene was obviously dark but there was some street lighting and I was taking a photo of my local pub which had lights on inside and outside. I have ilford hp5 and had the camera set to auto, I first set the shutter speed to 60 but it wouldn't work, I was then messing about and ended up reducing the shutter speed to 4 and by accident took a photo (what a waste) I then put it back up to 30 and took another.

It's going to be interesting to see what the results are but I think that in order for me to get better shots I'm going to have to invest in an external light meter (suggestions?) and turn the camera to manual.

Once I've got my first film developed I'll get some pics on here.
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Old 11-23-2011   #19
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The two most useful tips are definitely remember to remove the lens cap and set the film speed, I've been caught out with both more than once! Another tip is to write down details of exposure, and anything else relevant so when you go over the pics you'll get to know how the camera handles at slow speeds for example......
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Old 11-23-2011   #20
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Yeah, I've got my little moleskin notebook already listing the details of each photo.

Jeez photography is addictive and I've only just started!
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Old 11-23-2011   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iandiam View Post
Take off the lens cap first
Throw away your lens cap (or at least pop it in a drawer somewhere.)
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