What is a Rangefinder? And is It the Right Film Camera for You? By Jen Golay

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Written by Jen Golay

Rangefinder cameras, particularly Leicas, have almost a cult-like following. In some circles, shooting with a rangefinder is a status symbol, not only due to the cost, but also the skills it takes to use a rangefinder.

And while Leicas and other expensive models are exquisitely engineered, you can find a good quality rangefinder in all shapes and sizes to create beautiful images, and the skills needed to master these cameras can be learned.

So, what exactly is a rangefinder camera, and why might you want one?

I have one caution before I move on to all the great things about rangefinders, and that is I would not recommend them for beginner film photographers.

There is a small but important learning curve when shooting with a rangefinder, but it’s worth mastering because I believe using a rangefinder significantly improves your skills as a photographer and teaches you to think like an artist.

Leica M6 film camera - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Leica M6 Rangefinder
Film image of a city street at night - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

What is a Rangefinder Camera?

You could say that rangefinders were the first compact mirrorless cameras. And because of their increasing popularity since the mid-twentieth century, their look has become iconic and instantly recognizable.

Simply put, rangefinders are different from SLR cameras because what you see in the viewfinder is not exactly what the lens sees. What differentiates a rangefinder from an SLR is its focusing system.

SLR cameras focus through the lens of the camera. Light enters the lens and is bounced and reflected through a prism and mirror to the camera’s viewfinder. What your eye sees is what the camera sees.

When you look at the front of a rangefinder, you’ll notice several windows, with the viewfinder all the way over to the right. (SLR cameras have the viewfinder in the center of the camera body just above the lens.)

The large opaque window next to the viewfinder is actually just that—a window to let light into the viewfinder. The tiny window just to the left of the lens is the rangefinder.

I will talk more about why these features are important and how they affect the use of a rangefinder as we go.

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Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)
Film image of a metro - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay
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History of Rangefinder Cameras

The first rangefinder cameras appeared early in the twentieth century with the first one being the Kodak 3A Autographic Special of 1916.

Leica introduced its first camera in 1925: the Leica A (find on eBay). It was not a rangefinder, but one of its most popular accessories was a mounted rangefinder attachment. Its first range finder, the Leica II (find on eBay), with a coupled rangefinder and a separate viewfinder was introduced in 1932.

The Zeiss Contax II (find on eBay), introduced in 1936, was the first 35mm rangefinder camera with a combined rangefinder/viewfinder. The Kodak Ektra (find on eBay) was the first rangefinder to attempt to compensate for parallax error (which we’ll go over a little later).

Besides the Leica, the other most recognizable rangefinder is the Speed Graphic (find on eBay), most commonly used by press and sports photographers between the 1930s-1960s.

The golden age of rangefinders began in 1954 with the introduction of the Leica M3, the first Leica to have a coupled and combined rangefinder and viewfinder. It was also the first to have the traveling frame lines to compensate for parallax error.

By the 1960s and 1970s, SLR cameras were becoming dominant, but there were still new rangefinders created throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s such as the Contax G1 (find on eBay) and the Contax G2 (find on eBay), the Konica Hexar RF (find on eBay), and the Voigtländer Bessa models.

Rangefinders have even made it into the digital age with models from Leica and Fuji.

Film image of a stone building - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)
Portra of a boy on film - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Leica M6

How Rangefinders Focus

Rangefinder cameras focus using a rangefinder mechanism that shows a dual image in the viewfinder and when the calibrated wheel is turned until the two images melt into a single image, the shot is in focus.

If you’d like to see a great video illustration of what it looks like through the viewfinder to focus a rangefinder, take a look at this GIF from B&H Photo or take a look at the GIF below.

Rangefinder focusing on Shoot It With Film
An example of the viewfinder and its focusing mechanism on a rangefinder.

Rangefinder cameras use distance measurements to focus. In an uncoupled rangefinder, when the rangefinder determined the correct focusing distance, the photographer then transferred that distance to the focus ring on the lens. Some cameras had the rangefinder mounted on the top of the camera as an accessory.

Later models incorporated the rangefinder into the viewfinder and coupled it to the lens so that when the image in the viewfinder/rangefinder was focused, the lens was also focused. This is called a coupled rangefinder.

Film image of a lifeguard station - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)
Black and white film image of a bridge - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay

Parallax Error

Because the viewfinder and the lens do not see “eye to eye” so to speak, rangefinders are subject to a thing called parallax error.

Remember where the viewfinder is located on a rangefinder? All the way to the right edge of the camera when you are looking at it face on and all the way to the left when you are holding the camera up to you eye.

This separation of the viewfinder and lens is what causes parallax error.

When you are shooting things from a distance, this issue is negligible; however, when you are shooting things close up, it becomes a problem.

Most high-quality and more modern rangefinders compensate for parallax error with viewfinder frame lines that shift and travel to help you estimate what will be in the final frame.

Film image of birds flying over the ocean - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

Zone Focusing

Since rangefinder cameras offer a completely different shooting experience than SLRs due to its unique focusing system, users have found ways to make using and focusing rangefinders faster and easier.

As we have learned, rangefinders bring distance to the forefront of the user’s experience. This is an advantage for many shooting situations that we will talk about in just a moment. As a result, rangefinder users quickly learn to judge distances speedily and accurately and use a focusing technique called zone focusing.

For a detailed look at zone focusing, check out this article, but, simply speaking, it is using your eye and experience to estimate the distance between the camera and the subject and dialing that number on your focus ring.

This is especially handy when you’re waiting for some type of action to take place. It’s a way of pre-focusing so that all you must do is make minor adjustments to finalize focus.

Keep in mind that a greater depth of field (smaller apertures), or your focus zone, will increase your rate of success. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “f/8 and be there.” This is often the sweet spot aperture for zone focusing.

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Crown Graphic (find on eBay)
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Leica M6

Advantages of Rangefinder Cameras

Rangefinders have been around for over 100 years and still remain popular because the offer a number of advantages over SLR cameras, the biggest of which is its lack of a mirror.

This missing mirror creates several advantages:

1. Compact and Light/Discrete

Rangefinders don’t have to make room for a prism, mirror, or focusing screen making their bodies compact and light to fit in the palm of your hand.

This also makes them less noticeable when brought to the eye to shoot so you can freeze that decisive moment.

2. Quiet Shutter

There is no mirror slap in a rangefinder, making the only sound you hear the quiet snick of the shutter.

3. No Shutter Lag

Again, without that mirror to move before the shutter, you get the exact shot you want at the exact moment you want it.

4. Easier to Hand Hold at Low Shutter Speeds

Without a mirror moving in the camera, you can shoot slower shutter speeds handheld. Some rangefinders even have leaf shutters, making them especially quiet and stable.

Film image of Niagara Falls - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

5. Lighter and Smaller Wide-Angle Lenses

Because lenses don’t have to be designed to accommodate a moving mirror, they can be smaller and lighter.

6. Better Image Quality

The lack of a mirror in rangefinders allows engineers to design lenses whose rear elements can be closer to the focal plane creating sharper images.

7. No Mirror or Mirror Blackout

Getting rid of that pesky mirror means that there is no viewfinder blackout as the mirror flips to allow the image to be taken.

8. Can Show What is Happening Outside the Frame Lines

Viewfinders have framing lines so that you can see outside of the frame and anticipate the shot.

9. Looking Through the Viewfinder is Like Seeing with Your Eyes—Everything is in Focus

Because you aren’t looking through the lens to focus, the majority of what you see (except the rangefinder image to be moved) in the viewfinder will always be in focus.

This is way you don’t miss something important because what you are seeing through your camera isn’t sharp.

Polaroid portrait of a woman - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 180 (find on eBay)

10. You Can Shoot with Both Eyes Open

The framed viewfinder and the fact that the viewfinder is on the left edge of the camera means you can shoot with both eyes open, so you don’t miss the action.

11. Bright Viewfinder and Easier to Focus in Low Light

The extra light let in by the window next to the viewfinder gives most rangefinders very bright viewfinders. And because rangefinders don’t need high contrast in the frame or the use of infrared beams to focus, you can focus in darker situations.

12. Using Filters

Putting a filter on the lens of an SLR reduces the amount of light coming through the lens and darkens the viewfinder. Because you aren’t focusing through the lens, the viewfinder will always be nice and bright whether a filter is on the lens or not.

Just remember to compensate for that filter when metering!

13. Vintage Models are Completely Mechanical and Don’t Require a Battery

I find non-electronic cameras to always be an advantage. They tend to last longer, need fewer repairs, and are always ready to shoot.

Any battery requirements in a fully mechanical camera are usually for the light meter, which once you are an experienced photographer or if you carry a handheld light meter, isn’t absolutely necessary.

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Crown Graphic (find on eBay)
Film image of a city building - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

Disadvantages of a Rangefinder

Of course, no camera system is perfect, so there are a few disadvantages or trade-offs when choosing a rangefinder camera:

1. Parallax Error

As discussed earlier, many cameras compensate for this. And if they don’t, you will learn to with experience if you frequently shoot subjects less than five feet from your lens.

2. No Close Ups or Macro Capability

Because of parallax error and the limitations to close focusing with many rangefinder lenses, you will probably choose an SLR camera for your macro and close up shots.

3. Blocking the Lens and Lens Cap Error

One of the most frequent errors rangefinder users make—even the most experienced ones—is forgetting to take off the lens cap. It happens to the best of us!

You won’t notice the lens cap is on if you forget to take it off because your viewfinder is separate from your lens. It’s also easy to inadvertently block your lens with a finger or a camera strap because you aren’t looking through the lens on a rangefinder.

The solution to this is to stay vigilant and to develop a habitual routine when shooting with a rangefinder.

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Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

4. Slower Max Shutter Speed

Most rangefinders, especially older models have a maximum shutter speed of 1/500th or 1/1000th of a second. This can limit your aperture choices and prevent you from shooting wide open in bright sunlight.

5. Telephoto and Fisheye Lenses are Impractical

These larger lenses can be quite troublesome on rangefinder cameras. They are larger lenses and can block the scene in the viewfinder.

Also, telephoto lenses are harder to focus on a rangefinder and often need to be calibrated to each camera. Fisheye lenses require a separate viewfinder that sits on top of the camera.

6. What You See is Not What You Get

You must get to know your rangefinder well and learn to visualize your images before you create them, because what you see through the viewfinder is not exactly what gets recorded on the film.

Just because the subject is within sight inside the viewfinder doesn’t mean it’s within sight of the lens.

7. Requires Periodic Calibration

Because rangefinders operate primarily using distance measurements, they need to be occasionally calibrated to remain accurate.

It’s best to have your rangefinder regularly maintained to avoid frequent out of focus shots.

Black and white film image of a cat on a couch - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay
Film image of a city street - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

Rangefinder Learning Curve

As you’ve seen from how rangefinder cameras work and their pros and cons, rangefinders are quite different from SLR cameras and require the photographer to think a little differently.

Because what you see through the viewfinder is not what you get on film, learn to visualize your image before you make your image. Because what you see through the viewfinder is always in focus, you begin to think in images.

Once you master the skills it takes to shoot with a rangefinder, you begin to think less about the mechanics of your camera and more about the moment you’re trying to capture.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, arguably one of the most famous rangefinder users, coined the phrase “the decisive moment” because his mind wasn’t consumed with the exposure triangle or focusing his lens but rather because he was constantly searching for the one moment that told the complete story in a single frame.

Of course, you must still know how to meter and focus your camera, and this is why rangefinders aren’t for the beginner or the faint of heart!

Polaroid portrait of a woman - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 180 (find on eBay)
Film image of people of a city street - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay

Best Uses for Rangefinder Cameras

Rangefinders have a cult-like following for a number of reasons, including the advantages we’ve already talked about. Many well-known photographers, artists, and celebrities such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Pablo Picasso, and Queen Elizabeth II, have used them and inspired their followers to do the same.

But they are also popular because they are often the best tool for the job. You’ll find rangefinders most used by street photographers, photojournalists, theater photographers, and travelers.

Rangefinders and Street Photography

Street photographers love rangefinders because they are small, lightweight, discrete, quiet, and have excellent wide-angle lenses.

They also love that they can shoot with both eyes open, watching what is happening outside of the frame so they are ready to capture the decisive moment.


Photojournalists love rangefinders for many of the same reasons street photographers do. They are also wanting to tell the entire story in one frame, and they often want to move through the world quietly and without being noticed.

Theater Photography

In the past, theater photographers who shot during live performances for the press also wanted to be quiet and unobtrusive, making rangefinders the perfect tool for the job.

Travel Photography

Today, rangefinders probably see the most action with travelers. Rangefinders are the perfect travel cameras because they are small and lightweight and have excellent glass.

When space and weight are at a premium, rangefinders are an excellent choice.

Film image of a car on a city street - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay

Various Models I’ve Used or Own

Leica M6

While I don’t own a Leica M6, I have borrowed one from a friend for several months and spent some time getting to know it. A Leica is a beautifully engineered and constructed camera.

It’s a little challenging to load the film until you get the hang of it, but it’s delightful to shoot with and the perfect camera to carry with you everywhere.

And while I loved using it, I just haven’t been able to justify the four-figure price tag for a body and a lens. But someday, I’d love to own a TTL M6 with a 35mm lens.

Find the Leica M6 at KEH Camera.

Leica M6 film camera - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Leica M6

Contax G2

If you caught my Contax G2 review, you know that this is a fantastic and versatile rangefinder that offers lots of great features perfect for street and travel photography.

Find the Contax G2 on eBay.

The Contax G2 35mm film camera - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay

Polaroid 180

Due to the discontinuation of instant pack film, this camera will soon be obsolete, and that is extremely sad. The Polaroid 180 (find on eBay) is a professional level Polaroid camera that uses peel-apart pack film.

It’s completely manual and not automatic like the many consumer models you find in thrift and antique stores. It’s a fun camera that takes gorgeous, sharp images.

You’ll notice that the rangefinder sits on top of the camera.

Unlike most rangefinders, it CAN take beautiful closeups if you have the right accessories. Polaroid offered two closeup filters—a portrait filter and a macro filter—along with a set of “goggles” that fit over top the rangefinder/viewfinder.

I’ve found the portrait filter and goggles to be easier to focus and more accurate. Other rangefinder camera systems may also offer goggled lenses.

Find the Polaroid 180 on eBay.

The Polaroid 180 instant film camera - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 180 (find on eBay)

Fuji GA645

You can read about my love for this camera in my review for all the great benefits and features of the Fuji GA645.

What could possibly be better than a medium format, compact, and easy-to-use rangefinder?!

Find the Fuji GA645 on eBay.

The Fuji GA645 medium format film camera - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)

Crown Graphic

The Crown Graphic (find on eBay) is a large format camera that uses 4×5 sheet film, so it’s unlike all the other rangefinders we’ve talked about here.

It’s not small or lightweight, but its leaf shutter is extremely quiet. Its lens is sharp, and it takes beautiful images.

Among its other unique features, this camera can also be focused using its large ground glass focusing screen as well as with its attached rangefinder.

While I haven’t shot with this camera a lot, when I have, I have most often used the ground glass screen to focus.

Find the Crown Graphic on eBay.

The Crown Graphic large format film camera - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Crown Graphic (find on eBay)

Rangefinders On My Camera Bucket List

The Fuji GF670 and Hasselblad Xpan

Both of these cameras are still on my camera bucket list for the same reason as the Leica M6: they are expensive! But both are worth it.

The Fuji GF670 (find on eBay) is a compact medium format camera with a leaf shutter in its bellows-focused lens. It has a tack-sharp lens that allows for closer focusing thanks to the bellows behind the lens.

The Hasselblad Xpan (find at KEH Camera) camera is a 35mm panoramic camera that offers three sharp interchangeable lenses. It’s definitely a special-use camera that won’t be used on a regular basis. But what fun it would be to travel and see the world through its panoramic lens!

Film image of a temple - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Fuji GA645 (find on eBay)


Rangefinders can be a polarizing topic in the photography world. Some people see them as a status symbol because of their expense, name recognition, and the added skills required to use them well. Some see them as an over-priced finicky piece of gear.

But for others, rangefinders are the best tools for the job. Or they like how rangefinders challenge them to think creatively and visually. And some photographers just enjoy the experience of shooting with a lightweight, quiet, and low-profile camera.

It’s hard to predict whether you will like shooting with a rangefinder until you actually get one in your hands and spend some time getting to know it. But if you’re ready to try something new and learn to think and see the world just a little differently, it’s worth picking up a rangefinder and heading out to explore the world together.

If you’re already a rangefinder user, what’s your favorite?

Black and white Polaroid portrait of a woman - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 180 (find on eBay)
Film image of a fountain - What Is a Rangefinder by Jen Golay on Shoot It With Film
Contax G2 (find on eBay

Thank you so much, Jen! Jen is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out her other articles here, including 15 Must-Have Film Photography Accessories and a review of the Rolleiflex 2.8F.

You can also check out more of Jen’s work on Instagram.

If you have any questions about what a rangefinder is and how to use one, leave them below in the comments!

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Jen Golay

Jen Golay is a senior portrait and travel film photographer and a regular contributor for Shoot It With Film. Find her other articles here, such as How To Shoot Kodak Gold 200 and Olympus Pen F Half-Frame Film Camera Review.

Blog Comments

Nice article, Jen.

However, don’t you think that you should also at least have mentioned the dozens of popular fixed-lens rangefinder cameras of the 50s-70s?
Even the lesser ones can be capable shooters. (I picked up a Petri 7s for $20 at a flea market last year, and it works perfectly – even the selenium meter – and makes very nice images.)

And these little gems don’t cost thousands of dollars like the Leica, Contax, and medium format rangefinders you discuss. By starting first with nearly any Japanese fixed-lens model, people can find out if they even enjoy shooting a rangefinder camera… for just a couple of hundred dollars.

There are endless articles and guides out there to these humble “amateur” rangefinder cameras. I suggest that you add a paragraph or two discussing them and link to a couple of those resources. As it reads now, your article kind of implies that you need to spend big bucks for the rangefinder photography experience, and that’s simply not the case.

nice article , I myself find it very difficult to work with rangefinder , but their non -automatisation- is a learning school for photographers . I’m using my simple agfa Isolette L , a medium folder , I sold my Ighagee Varex , who was very looking like L first Leica’s .And yet I ‘m passing once a week in the shop of secondhandcamera.nl to look at the Leica M’s but their lenses are sooooo expensive. Btw nice shot of Amy!

I know what you meant, Tjen! They definitely require a different way of thinking. And I keep getting tempted by the Leica bug, too. I almost bought one last week!?

Actually you definitely don’t need to buy leica glass to use a Leica m camera , for example I myself use seven artsin 50mm f1 it was 250$ and it allowed me to enjoy leica gear at a price more affordable for me

Thanks for your feedback, Michael.

Great article – I learned a lot! Thanks for all the work that went into it. Please ignore the man-splainers. ?

Hi Eric! I am so glad you found it interesting! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the encouragement as well!?

Great article. Rangefinders we’re intimidating to me and then I got an Olympus 35 RD and fell in love! So light and images are superb quality. The meter is on the lens so using filters is easy too.

Thanks for your comment, Elena! It sounds like you are an expert rangefinder user! That is an unusual feature for a rangefinder, but it’s a great solution as well.

I have a Kodak Signet 40 rangefinder. I fixed the problem of leaving the lens cover on with a piece of electricianvs tape. It’s sitting on the cover (the round part, not the rim) and extends far enough to block the viewfinder. It’s doubled over so the sticky side is covered. It works at the expense of taking a little more time to ensure the cover is placed correctly, but the “shot of a lifetime” is never lost.
At 6’3″ and 275 pounds, I don’t get any giggles, either!


Hi Rich! Thanks so much for your comment! That’s an excellent tip for making sure your lens cap is out of the way. I think we have all learned that lesson the hard way!?

This is a great guide—wish I’d had it when I first started exploring rangefinders a few years ago after years of using SLRs! Just to pile on to the list: My favorite-ever is the (ridiculously large and impractical) Fuji GW690, but for something pocketable, the Minolta CL or CLE are hard to beat. Yashica Electro CC with its light weight and super fast fixed lens is an amazing budget pick (even with today’s prices…)!

Thank you for your reply, George! I love hearing and learning about everyone’s favorite rangefinders. There really are so many out there to choose from. I recently got a Canon G-III QL17. I haven’t taken her out for a spin yet, but I hope to soon!

Dear Jen,

Apropos your comments below (and a couple of other references further down your article not quoted below):

“Rangefinders have been around for over 100 years and still remain popular because the offer a number of advantages over SLR cameras, the biggest of which is its lack of a mirror.”

Although a rangefinder camera obviously does not have a reflex mirror, as found in a single lens reflex, or twin lens reflex, for instance, it is worth noting that most rangefinders do, in fact, rely on some sort of mirror to achieve a focusable reflected patch.

For example, many more affordable rangefinders with fixed lenses do not have an angle prism to reflect the light entering the rangefinder patch window into the focusing viewfinder: they will be fitted with a simple front surface mirror on a perch, which will often pivot. The mirror itself thus alters the angle of beam deflection according to the distance the lens is focused to. Most 1960s Japanese fixed lens rangefinders, for instance, used a front surface mirror for beam deflection—but many other types also did.

Even where the beam deflection is achieved via a glass prism, a mirror may still be integrated into the focus system. A typical Leica screw mount rangefinder is a good example. Beam deflection is achieved with a right angle prism, rather than a simple front surface mirror. But, a mirror is still installed ahead of the rear rangefinder eyepiece. No, it is not an ordinary full-silvered mirror as found in one’s bathroom or automobile, it is a “semi-silvered” or “half-silvered” mirror—nevertheless—a mirror it is. Its function is to permit some of the light entering the front focusing window to be visible to the photographer (the “main image”), whilst still reflecting the deflected beam from the right angle prism actuated by the lens rangefinder cam (the “focusing patch”).

One shift Leica made from the release of their first M series rangefinder was to replace the half-silvered mirror employed in their screw mount rangefinders with a cube beam splitter. It could be argued that—although the cube does indeed reflect some of the light entering it back to the rear eyepiece—it’s not a mirror, per se. Thus, the Leica Ms could be considered a truly “mirror-less” rangefinder. (As could Zeiss’s Contax II and III rangefinders from 1935). But it’s still very much the exception, for a rangefinder camera to not have a mirror.

No doubt Eric will regard my comments above as “mansplaining”. I don’t care. They’re factually accurate, and germane to factual inaccuracies in the content. My understanding is that historical and/or factual accuracy is not determined by the gender(s) of those discussing it, rather, by an objective, and thorough, examination and interpretation of accurate information.

I’ll close by saying I love your passion for film, Jen. It’s wonderful to see such renewed interest in a medium I greatly love and have used for most of my life. Keep up the good work please.

Brett, thank you for your input!

I just discovered your blog today and I am so thrilled. I am planning to start shooting again on film and I really love reading your articles. So many useful information!

Thanks for the great introduction to rangefinder cameras. I’ve owned and used several superb Rangefinders Leica M3, M4, M4-P, M-6 and a Mamiya 6. Today I am using my 1960 vintage Nikon S3 with 3.5cm f2.5 and 5cm f1.4. It is a good choice for someone who can’t afford a Leica but wants a quality rangefinder camera with excellent lenses. Models S2, S3, and SP are all great cameras.

Hi John! Thanks for the kind words! And thank you for sharing your current favorite rangefinder camera. I am not familiar with the Nikon S3, but I will check it out and put it on my camera bucket list. ?

Liked your article on RF cameras. I love the feel of them and the fact that very often you are forced to rethink a shot’s composition. My first RF is a Yashica “J” purchased new as a HS Graduation present in 1966 and it still works. I have owned five Leicas and still own two of them (love their glass) and low light performance. Yes I do own two Nikon SLRs and the are used regularly along with their “glass” lenses”, do not like plastic lenses. I will be adding a GF670 in the near future. Again thanks for the introdory to RF cameras. John

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