Why I Shoot with a Rangefinder . . .

. . . I had a Leica M8 and a Leica CL and then, for some strange reason, sold them and bought a Canon G9 & 350D.

Very quickly I realised I’d made a mistake and that ALL my favourite pictures were taken with the Leica’s. Six months later, I had an M8 & CL again.

It’s hard to quantify the reasons for taking favourite shots with the Leica’s and not with the Canon’s. For me it’s down to the ease of framing and as a result, the speed. With the lens focused hyperfocally, I can see ‘the shot’, raise the viewfinder to my eye and the framing is there, just as I saw it. No hunting around to find the subject or the most pleasing composition. All this takes half a second. When I’m in ‘the zone’ it can become meditative.

I put this down to the viewfinder being just a piece of glass, like a pair of spectacles and not a telescope, like an SLR/DSLR.

All of this however is down to personal preference and depends on where you’ve been before. If you’ve come from SLR’s or compacts and have expectations of a similar experience with a Rangefinder, you’ll be disappointed, as a lot of people are.

Enter with a clean sheet and you will flourish.


Author: Kevin Shelley

Street Photography. Narrow Boat Documentaries. eBooks. Blog. Reviews cameras. Develops film.

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