what's the difference betwen point'n'shoot and rangefinders

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by chibitul, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. chibitul

    chibitul Guest

    Hi, like the subject says, what's the difference betwen point'n'shoot
    and rangefinders? in both cases you see the image through an optical
    viewfinder (not through-the-lens). Could you say that a P&S is in fact a
    rangefinder? thanks.
    chibitul, Apr 7, 2004
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  2. To my way of thinking a point'n'shoot is a simple automatic camera
    that needs litle or no adjustment/setting to be used and is a
    viewfinder or SLR type camera.

    Rangefinder camera is a camera that uses a rangefinder to determine
    correct focus; and has nothing to do with method of
    setting/determining correct exposure.
    Charles Seyferlich, Apr 7, 2004
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  3. chibitul

    Timo Labrenz Guest

    As I see it, a rangefinder camera can be a P&S camera, but a P&S camera
    doesn't necessarily need to be a rangefinder.

    P&S is not a special type of camera like rangefinder, SLR, TLR and so
    on. The expression doesn't describe the kind of camera, but how you use
    it. It's basicly any kind of camera with wich you can point at the
    subject and take a picture without having to worry much about the
    settings. Therefore, "high-usability" and small cameras with autofocus
    are often called that way (for example the Olympus mju/Stylus Epic).
    But you could use a SLR or classic rangefinder for this kind of taking
    pictures as well. Just whatever you feel comfortable with and allows
    you just to point and shoot, and obviously not something like a field

    The big difference to Lomo is that with a P&S you're at least
    pretending to be willing to take good photos, but you just didn't have
    the time to. Sigh while you explain that to someone else. ;)
    Nah, just kidding, a P&S camera is really practical for travelling
    light or as a support to your big camera equipment.

    Timo Labrenz, Apr 7, 2004
  4. chibitul

    Mxsmanic Guest

    A P&S camera is any camera that allows you to simply aim at your subject
    and shoot by pressing a button. Usually these are inexpensive, compact
    cameras, but even an F5 or EOS-1v can be used as a point-and-shoot when
    it is set to "full auto" mode.

    A rangefinder camera is one that uses a rangefinder mechanism for
    focusing. Typically the focusing is manual, and you look through the
    viewfinder at a central area that shows two overlapping images that you
    must align by adjusting the focus. When they are aligned, the
    corresponding subject is in focus. You don't actually look through the
    taking lens in a rangefinder (unlike a SLR, in which the viewfinder
    image comes right from the main lens).
    Not necessarily. Most simple cameras are P&S cameras with a separate
    viewfinder (not reflexes), but any camera that allows you to take a
    picture by just pointing the camera and pressing a button is a
    point-and-shoot camera.
    No. Two different terms for two different things. And in fact, most
    cameras used as P&S cameras are not rangefinders, since most
    rangefinders are manual (and thus require adjustment of focus for each
    shot, which is contrary to the notion of "point and shoot").
    Mxsmanic, Apr 7, 2004
  5. chibitul

    Slingblade Guest

    Most point-n-shoots have fixed focus lenses or autofocus systems.
    Rangefinders have a viewfinder and a seperate lens which takes the
    picture, but that lens has to be focused just like an SLR lens.
    Slingblade, Apr 7, 2004
  6. chibitul

    Paul Schmidt Guest

    A rangefinder is a mechanical device that give 2 images, or parts of
    images in the viewfinder, you turn a focusing ring to line up the two
    images, to achieve proper focusing. Rangefinder cameras are cameras
    which have a rangefinder built in, otherwise like SLRs some are manual
    exposure, some are semi-automatic and others are fully automatic, most
    of the semi and fully automatic ones have the options of being put in
    manual mode. You can find them in sub-mini, 35mm and medium format
    sizes, although the sub-mini and medium format rangefinders are not
    being manufactured anymore. Some of these cameras folded into a square
    smaller then a pack of cigarettes.

    A P&S camera on the other hand, either is automatically focused, or uses
    a fixed (Hyperfocal distance) focus lens. They use automatic exposure,
    with no manual settings. They may look like rangefinders, but are not

    Digital P&S cameras often, really fit into another category, because
    they do allow manual settings, there are no digital rangefinders
    currently on the market, whether there ever will be, is another question.

    Paul Schmidt, Apr 7, 2004
  7. chibitul

    Timo Labrenz Guest

    I just wanted to add that although rangefinder cameras aren't typically
    used as P&S cameras, they can be. If you e.g. have a 35mm and auto
    exposure, you can focus to about 3,75m at aperture 11 and everything
    from about 2m to infinity will be in focus. It's not perfect, but the
    results will prolly even be better than what you get from a fixed focus
    (or "focus free") camera.

    Timo Labrenz, Apr 7, 2004
  8. A good rangefinder camera will have interchangeable lenses, and the ability
    to turn off the automatic features and be used in manual mode.....It will
    also cost several times as much as your standard plastic "point & shoot",
    which usually sells for under $200.......
    William Graham, Apr 7, 2004
  9. chibitul

    Patrick L. Guest

    and medium format rangefinders are not being manufactured anymore.

    Mamiya 7II ?

    Patrick L., Apr 7, 2004
  10. chibitul

    chibitul Guest

    Epson is coming out with a 6.3 mega pixel digital rangefinder that will
    take Leica (or Contax?) lenses. It's on dpreview.com
    chibitul, Apr 7, 2004
  11. chibitul

    Paul Schmidt Guest

    I know about that unit, question is, is it a camera with a true
    rangefinder, or is it an auto everything digicam that looks like a
    rangefinder. Also design comes up with marketing promotes as coming
    real soon now, and what manufacturing actually gets out the door can be
    two very different things.

    Paul Schmidt, Apr 8, 2004
  12. chibitul

    Paul Schmidt Guest

    My appologies to Mamiya, that is one big honkin' rangefinder.....

    Paul Schmidt, Apr 8, 2004
  13. chibitul

    Rico Tudor Guest

    The Epson R-D1 has a true optical rangefinder (distance triangulated by
    converging two images). Focus is set manually from the lens and links
    mechanically to the body, as with Leica M. The camera is essentially a
    Cosina/Voigtländer Bessa R2 with Epson-added electronics. Demonstrators
    are already delivered to Japanese photo shops, and a price of ¥200,000
    is quoted. See Gandy's cameraquest.com for more info.

    Rico Tudor, Apr 8, 2004
  14. chibitul

    Rico Tudor Guest

    I consider my Contax T rangefinder to be good... in fact, bloody
    marvelous. It has a Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8 which is perfectly lacking any
    interchangeable characteristic. The advantage gained is diminutive
    size, a quality shared with the likes of Rollei scale-focus 35s and
    the Stylus Epic. I enjoy the lens selectability of SLR or Leica M,
    but fit in my pocket they do not.


    I admit a manual exposure mode would be nice.

    Rico Tudor, Apr 8, 2004
  15. chibitul

    Chris Brown Guest

    [Epson RD1]
    It's a real, honest to goodness rangefinder. Manual focus only, based on a
    Voigtlander Bessa body.

    Uses the same imaging sensor as the Nikon D100/D70
    Chris Brown, Apr 8, 2004
  16. chibitul

    Paul Schmidt Guest

    Are they are going to do it right then, that's what about US$1000, means
    by the time we see it up here (Canada), it will be about CA$1600, a
    little pricey.....

    Paul Schmidt, Apr 8, 2004
  17. I thought they had interchangeable lenses.....I wish Nikon made one that
    took my Nikkor SLR lens set....Some of the longer ones would be ridiculous,
    it's true, but there are a lot of smaller Nikkors that should work pretty
    well....My 20 mm, 45 mm pancake, and a few others......
    William Graham, Apr 8, 2004
  18. chibitul

    Rico Tudor Guest

    You are thinking of the Contax G series. The G1 and G2
    have interchangeable lenses and, curiously enough, an AF RF
    mechanism. By my definition, the G almost qualifies as P&S:
    AF, AE, motorized advance. Only programmed AE is missing.

    In the Contax T series, only the original T is a RF. The others
    (T2, T3, Tix, TVS, TVSII, TVSIII, TVSD) have ordinary active
    or passive AF. They also qualify as P&S.

    As for SLR manual-focus lenses on an RF body, certain
    combinations are possible with commercially-available adapters.
    Leica M bodies are a popular destination, of course. As you say,
    some lenses would be ridiculous, given the handling and issue of
    focus. Contax SLR lenses (C/Y mount) are officially supported on
    G bodies, and the indicated RF distance can be transferred to the
    focus scale of the lens by hand. Whether this still constitutes
    rangefinder photography is a question of epistemology.

    Rico Tudor, Apr 9, 2004
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