For those of us who have awakened only to digital cameras and only vaguely remember that people used to shoot pictures using film, the rangefinder maybe a bit of a mystery. But for people steeped in the tradition, the rangefinder touches the soul.
There were no computers then, and most people used â€˜instamaticâ€™ cameras to shoot pictures on film and then those photos were printed on Kodak paper by a specialized developing shop. The more sophisticated photographic buffs shot with rangefinder cameras. Why, they even did their own developing and printing at times.
Today, there is a revival of sorts for the rangefinder. While digital SLRs sold millions of units last year, Leica and Voigtlander â€“ who still make 35mm rangefinder cameras, thank goodness! â€“ quietly sold an estimated 20,000 units to hobbyists and photographic connoisseurs. They will be joined by Zeiss this year to carry the torch for the rangefinder camera.
For a good read, breeze through the Rangefinder Revival article by Herbert Keppler; your photographerâ€™s soul will appreciate it.