Range Finder Types And Options To Consider

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I'm considering a range finder to help with dof measurements when I'm using my 4x5. Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated. Regards-Albert

-- Albert Martinez (martinez@unitekmiyachi.com), June 09, 2001



There are a bunch of options including canabilizing a rangefinder from a press camera, using an old handheld photographic rangefinder from Kodak, working with a medium format or 35mm rangefinder camera, buying a new compact rangefinder made for golfing, hiking, etc., or purchasing a precision laser device used in survey and construction work.

Press camera rangefinders might not provide specific distance readouts and an old rangefinder camera could be too bulky for what you are looking for. The pocket rangefinder made by Kodak would need to be cleaned and perhaps adjusted based on known distances. You would also have to search to find one on the used market. It would probably cost about $25. New compact rangefinders are available from sites which offer survey equipment or hiking or golfing supplies. (See Benmeadows.com, for example) They are usually priced in the $50-100 range and vary according to measurment accuracy and range covered. You will find that most of these don't cover distances closer than about 10-20 yards. In addition, some are made for longer distances and I assume that you won't need anything that reads distances over infinity (100 yards?). The laser rangefinders are precision instruments avilable from construction supply and survey equipment houses. I suspect that they are going to be more expensive than you need. Hope this helps.


-- Dave Willison (dwillisart@aol.com), June 09, 2001.

Put your camera in a neutral, repeatable position and use the camera as your RF. Lay down a 25 foot rule and focus at different distances and make a scale for the side of the camera or wherever it's convenient. This is what I do with my press and plate cameras that don't have built-in RFs. For handheld work-in this case, I am trusting my estimate of distance, then putting the lens at the proper focus point (i.e. using a press or plate camera with roll film back or sheet film.) Your camera is your best RF. Good l

-- David Stein (DFStein@aol.com), June 09, 2001.

Assuming you mean a laser rangerfinder, vs. a rangefinder camera, I have excellent luck with my DME laser finder, it measures from 12 ft to about 1000 ft. very accurately! You can see them at www.rangefinder.com. Most of the big name brands all start at around 30 ft, too far for my taste. Be sure it reads out in the increments you desire, i.e. feet, meters, yards, etc...

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), June 14, 2001.

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