Rangefinder vs SLR – Which one is BETTER?

June 25, 2020

Rangefinder vs SLR 35mm film camera, which one is better? Today we will be taking a look at two different types of 35mm film cameras and even though they do the same thing they both provide two completely different shooting experiences. One feels more bare bones and the other may be good for people who prefer automation. Hope you guys enjoyed this video! Subscribe if you haven’t already 50k giveaway is coming up!

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Equipment Used:
Leica M2
Nikon f3
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Filming Equipment used:
Sony A7II
Manfrotto tripod

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All Comments

  • The best cameras for most people are generally (in order) point and shoot, then rangefinder, and finally SLR. Point and shoots are fast and small. They have wider lenses so focussing is not so critical. They have leaf shutters and no mirrors so they don't shake when you shoot and blur your pictures at lower shutter speeds. Rangefinders are bigger but still not too huge, also lack a shaking mirror and clunky vibrating shutter, and offer more accurate focus and interchangeable lenses. SLRs are bigger, noiser, and again, the mirrors and shutters shake the camera (even on a tripod) so you get worse pictures (even if you lock up the mirror due to the shutter) unless you use very fast shutter speeds. SLRs are essential only for microscope, telescope, and very long telephoto work, due to the need for very precise focus. Some have better shutters that vibrate less and lock up mirrors.

    The general public was sold on SLRs for all the wrong reasons……pros use them for scientific use or because they really need them for very precise focus situations only.

    everyday tenor June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • video starts at 1:56

    Sherwin H June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Meh… I prefer Twin-Lens Reflex :^D

    Lithostheory June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • i bought an slr and got my rangefinder thrown in for free. ive never understood how im supposed to use a rangefinder and u showing that ghost image focusing technique just confused me even more. i dont have that square whatsoever and i dont think my camera uses batteries. id love to use it but i have no clue how to even get started on my rangefinder

    Mark Diaz June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • There are cheap Russian rangefinders like Kiev, Zorki, FED. Usually models from late 50s to mid 60s are pretty good. I own Kiev from 1965 (Contax III copy) and Zorki 4 from 1962 (Leica copy, I don't know witch model). Both came with Jupiter 8 lenses (Cral Zeiss Sonnar f2 50mm copys). I got great quality images with them and don't have any troubles shooting with them. Of course because they are direct copys you can put Contax lenses on Kiev and Leica M39 lenses on Zorki without any troubles. I recently got for my self prewar Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f3.5 that was made originally for Contax and came from broken Contax body. I really enjoy useing those old Russian cameras

    Dino Steiner June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • There are alot of old Soviet Rangefinders that are very cheap and fun to explore like the FED and Zorki models, some with very good lenses like the Jupiter 8 f2. Alot of these rangefinders started out as copies of early Leica's and then were further developed over the years. There is also the Kiev, a Contax rangefinder copy that you can buy very inexpensive and is excellent too. Because both film cameras and rangefinders can be found cheaply and easily, it is fun to explore both these old film camera types.

    Geoffrey Schmit June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • SLRs are better because you don't get parallax error.

    Arm Head June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Do you have a link for camera strap/rope on the M2 please the one i find has a huge leather piece a the end i dont like it

    DNdavidsonsnation June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Sounds like SLRs are easier to use and more convenient

    Ummagumma99 June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Rangefinders are slower to focus but when you have something that beautiful in your hands , who cares ?

    Marktuyet June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • My grandpa used to have 2 cameras I took them and fortunately one is a SLR and the other is a range finder
    Which one should I use plz give me your opinion

    XTR3M3 June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Man I can’t afford a Leica LENS HOOD lol.

    Grass Board Nerds June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Ayyyeee Olympus om1 through 20 are my favvvv

    Grass Board Nerds June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Better?

    H Mager June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I have a Nikon F60 and a Vivitar V3000N but both of them had to be sent for servicing due to fungus.

    I'm a beginner and wanted to get into film photography. Which one is the best one to start with?

    Red June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Like asking to choose between John Lenon and Paul McCartney.

    Ericson Tan June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I gotta love the F3 man. My first film camera. Still my go to film camer

    Dale Gallaza June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • SLR is obviously the more versatile tool. Needs zoom/tele lenses? No problem.
    On RF system, you are practically stuck with shorter primes. Ever seen a 24-70 or 70-200 lens for Leica M cameras? No wonder lots of photojournalists in the 1960s switched from Contax/Leica RFs to Nikon SLRs.

    I'm very aware that RF is more compact and silent, and usually easier to shoot at slower speed handheld. But does it give significant advantage over SLR? Personally… no for most of the time. I'm not a photojournalist or street photographer who needs to be "invisible".

    I once carried a Pentax 67 for street photography, and well people still ignored me 😀

    Andre Tampubolon June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I have many film cameras, but I prefer my leica film cameras…. also others I like, it is just rangefinder focusing for me is the most precise

    Jure Tomassini June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • This is a thoughtful video man. I appreciate it. However in the end, a camera is a tool to take make art. I think a really cool thing to do would be to show to make identical photos with both cameras with the same focal length and same film stock. This will show ppl the differences in lens character as the most and prove that they both eventually do the same thing.

    After 3 years of experimenting myself. I’ve come to realize that i need to have both for myself. For portraits and precision framing i llike having a dslr, for street, speed and simple shooting I’ll always go with a rangefinder (especially for zoning) so yeah, they pretty much make the same kinda photos. Its the way the photo is made that differs.

    Keep up the great work buddy

    Murtaza Daud June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • EOS forever.

    Michael Brinkhues June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • You are breaking the law denying closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing

    Charles Simone June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Russian clones of the Leica, really inexpensive..

    Pedro Meza June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • SLRs are like looking into another world. Rangefinders are just like looking out your window.
    I remember the awesome first time experience of looking through the viewfinder of an SLR.
    It got med hooked right there. Started saving up for my first camera, the Nikon F.
    Nikon F was of course based on their own RF-camera – the SP and the heritage goes back to
    The next big wow came with the 28mm wide-angle.
    So my suggestion to anyone who's trying to lure somebody into photography is:
    Just lend him/her your film SLR with a 28mm.
    Rangefinders are kind of a meh.. – first time, and more of an aquired taste.
    (I have 3 RFs)

    Lars A G June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Neither is “better.” They are just different.

    Grumpy Old Photographer June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • If you have great eyesight you can use a Leica M series rangefinder if not, stay with an slr.

    Art Tafil June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • 7:46 🤣🤣🤣

    Mr. Reanu Keeves June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I learned photography on a Yashica FX-3 manual SLR. I've accumulated manual SLRs, point-and-shoots, compacts, and digital cameras I've picked up over the years, but I always wanted to try a rangefinder because it is a different shooting experience. They are the traditional street camera because they are light-weight, simple, unobtrusive, and very quiet. There is no mirror slap with the associated vibration. It doesn't look like a journalist's professional camera, so it doesn't draw much attention, The lenses tend to be small and of a wide fixed length, but fast and sharp. You have to use your feet to compose a shot. It makes you think about your subjects in a different way. They also have a cool factor, as fewer people have a working one and they are usually more vintage and made out of metals with chrome rather than plastic. They are kind of like the vinyl records of cameras. They are back in fashion, so much so that modern digital versions are available. Today I won a 60's era Yashica Electro 35 GSN at auction. I've come full circle and I'm looking forward to that new photography experience again.

    Fran Cisco June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • neither is better, one should have plenty of both….

    John West June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I like Rangefinder better. It is easier to compose a photo because you are able to see a wider area through the viewfinder.

    T Chen June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Fuji, too.

    Yu Wang June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Having grown up shooting SLR's in the 70's/80's…. but now shooting ALOT of rangefinders…I find it STRANGE you think "focusing is easier with a rangefinder". And you failed to mention…rangefinder cameras are limited in general in their ability to focus close-up (camera to subject distance).

    Jerry Milton June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I'm shooting with Petri7, a very cheap japaneese rangefinder. If you are happy with just onboard lense (which is good) and having fun with rangefinder workflow, that's it.

    Artem Atrashevsky June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Agfa made rangefinders as well! The Agfa Ambi Silette in particular was known as "the poor man's Leica" – I've got one and it's great. The only thing is that you can't attach a strap to it, and it's very, very heavy.

    t June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I am thinking if it's worth buying a Minolta Hi Matic F with 38mm 2.7 or a Revueflex ACX 50mm 1.9 or none of these two? What do you suggest?

    mp3311 June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Well i thought minolta have rangefinder too tho and its cheap like himatic 7

    gladys kara June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Bruh, in Vietnam ,rangefinder are cheap and SLR are so expensive

    C a t b u t t c a t June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Just get a different prism if your nose is too big lol

    Nermket June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • you're fucking awesome

    S M G June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Lovely cameras. I own a F3 hp my favorite SLR and a M3 SS with a Summicron. Different brushes.

    Louis White June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I prefer slrs. I owned an F3, kiev 4am, olympus 35 sp,. I dont like range finder focusing, wysiwg is better in my experience. Focus-recompose is a hit&miss on a very thin Dof (f1.4). I own a mamiya 645 now. #MamiyaGang

    Lord Kambing June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • You should change the batteries on your smoke detector

    TrektNation June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • Hey man, I was just wondering where you got your strap for your Leica? Looks sick!

    Sam June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • The light Ray's from mirrorless & rangefinder lenses go right to the sensor & allows for unique rear element designs… Aside from that I don't see what the difference is aside from price

    Andres Ruiz June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • There's an antique store near me with a box of film cameras for $20 and under, mainly agfa rangefinders and a couple Nikon slrs

    Daedalus304 June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • How do Soviet rangefinders stack up against these cameras

    MrCelroy June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I has a Pentax MX SLR, fully manual. Imo, range finder cameras aren't inherently more expensive. I think the companies that made both SLR's and range finders sould for roughly the same. Like Leica M vs R or Contax RTS vs G. The problem is that range finder cameras became niche products, and were typically a compact street photo aparat of a pro.

    TheGreatLoco June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I love your choices to compare. Those are the very best of both worlds! I love both of those bodies.

    Chris Maness June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I picked up a Mamiya ruby for £5 and that started my journey… Absorlutely loved it. The range finding patch is mislinded verticly but never failed to take a acceptable focused shot.

    Ben Zeng June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply
  • I love my rangefinder but slr is better.

    K. Theodos June 25, 2020 11:59 pm Reply

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