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Thread: Laser distance finder

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Laser distance finder

    Okay some folks have some camera's that need to guesstimate about distance . The Horseman, Cambo's and Alpa do not have a way to focus except for replacing the back with a ground glass which is fine but slow. So i would think what we are looking for is something small, cheap and works at distances at 2 ft to about 50 ft than infinity settings takeover . This could also be handy for M8 shooters as well to test lenses and such. So what is out there that would work really well but I would like to see one under 200 dollars and really small like shirt pocket small.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Nothing to suggest, Guy, but there may be some caveats to consider. One is how accurate the setting on the lenses are to which you are dialing in the distance? At smaller apertures, where DOF may make up for some slop, it is not as much an issue, but I would think that on MF, where the DOF is already getting skinnier, larger apertures are still going to require something a bit more precise.

    LJ

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    I bought one of the laser tape measures at OSH for $35. Only problem is it needs something solid to bounce back at you off of, and even then it isn't accurate An alternative would be the Leica RF binoculars, but they will set you back about as much as another lens for your Alpa
    Jack
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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Laser distance finder

    The near distance spec is the difficult one.
    Most laser rangefinders need the target to be at least 30 meters away.
    You could use your m8 for the distance range you are looking for.
    I did find this one, but it is a bit more expensive http://www.opticsplanet.net/leica-disto-a5.html
    -bob

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Well of course it has leica's name on it. LOL

    Does look nice
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  6. #6
    dlew308
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    Re: Laser distance finder

    I might be able to get you one for ~200

    http://www.dandeoutlet.com/catalog/p...roducts_id=365

    Min. distance is 15yds tho :/

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Yea looks perfect too but 3ft is what we need to 50 ft. But I like that setup
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Laser distance finder

    I've got an old Leitz rangefinder like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Leitz-Leica-Rang...QQcmdZViewItem

    It fits in your pocket and is as accurate as (or at least agrees with) the finder on an M8.

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    Angry Re: Laser distance finder

    Guy

    The gal I've chatted with a number of times who uses an Alpa uses one made by (I think ) Hilti. They are NOT cheap however, but look on Ebay. You are going to beat me to the punch again !!

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    here is what i use in the contracting world:
    http://www.us.hilti.com/holus/module...=-16261_000041

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    I was looking at the Hilti, and came across this: "Bosch claims the DLR165K is accurate to 1/16" from distances from two inches to 165 feet!" (http://www.toologics.com/Reviews/Bos...071024420.html)

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    The Bosch is 139 dollars have that site bookmarked . Look at Johns now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Home depot may be the place to look at these
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Stone View Post
    Guy

    The gal I've chatted with a number of times who uses an Alpa uses one made by (I think ) Hilti. They are NOT cheap however, but look on Ebay. You are going to beat me to the punch again !!

    Cheers

    Jim
    Your toast buddy. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Just be careful if you are trying this with street. Some people don't take kindly to having red laser beams pointed at them.....

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Oh yea that would not be very polite. I scream at my son when he does that stuff with his laser pen
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    the way the hilti works is you put the back of the device against your zero and aim the spot at the target. once on target, push a button, wait a sec or two, it beeps and reads out the distance to the 1/32", up to at least 100ft (longest i have tried) you have to hold it steady and you have to be able to see the spot on the target. a very handy gizmo. it is a bit limited in bright light or if you let it wiggle

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Good luck with those.. Let us know how they work for you.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    How do you match the laser rangefnder's indicated distance to the lenses scale? How much more accurate is the laser to the lens - given aparture focal length distance combinations?

    Now look at the scales on the lens...a laser rangefidner is NOT going to help in any meaningful way. You are shooting wides at F8-16 - you do not have a focusing issue. For anywhere between 1 meter and infinity anywhere in between for tighter acceptable focus is easily achieved by reference to lens distance scale.

    I will say this again - read a DOF chart and relax.

    I think too many of us have been addicted to auto everything on cameras - much of which is a waste of time for a photographer.

    If you feel you need one of these laser distance measures - you dont need an Alpa.

    Also as an aside the Leica rangefinder binoculars are not accurate - I tried a pair to use for marking distances out in golf course and prepare my cheat sheet for Yearly Competition - NOT accurate to within 10 meters from 200 meters out - useless. Maybe it was the pair I borrowed.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Peter,
    for golf in the US there is sky caddy which is a hand held gps with the course mapped out and all distances to key areas (bunkers, center of green, etc). A friend of mine maps the courses. Cool stuff although for me I like figuring out the distance and thinking about what the shot looks like rather than a precision level that seems sort of unfair.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    For some things i will not need it but for others it would be really handy like interiors and stuff like that. The real issue is does the focusing numbers line up exactly with the laser distance. More than anything you can do some real test like this to see if 3ft is truly 3ft
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Hi TEB - I play at The National which has three Championship style courses - off 4 because I just cant practice enough...our Club courses were mapped the way you were talking about only a year ago - (a couple of them actually feature in the Tiger Woods game..) so yes there is better available now via sky caddy etc..however I was walking/pacing out holes years ago ..LOL..just wanted to see if laser was accurate enough to use in play..it wasn't ..

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Well Guy - you just asked the same question I was asking you - do you think that the 3' will align up with the 3'scale 'indicator' on your lens - will it line up same way on all lenses..see what I mean? Anyway ..it is all just practise - you have a MF back on to check here is a tip that might work for you

    Quickly caibrate your own scale feel by marking out set measured distances with markers and try the lens scale and see what happens to focus..you can get a few kids to stand in a line if you liek after you have paced out gaps between them all..etc

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Before giving up on the Voitlander 15mm, I took some time figuring out where the 2m mark was in regards to an object really 2m away. It proved that even with a 15mm, if the focus wasn't spot on, the image was not as sharp. I can't remember where the 2m lined up best, but sharp was the difference of moving the focus less then the width of the 2 on the focus scale.

    In other works, if you are shooting interiors, such as you plane shots, you are going to need a ground glass for critical focus.

    Robert

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    I planned on a ground glass right from the start. Really the only way
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Guy - I bought a very nice laser range finder from Sears. When I got it home I found out it is made by LEICA!

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Really , what model number is it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Hmmm, I just checked the Sears catalog and all they had listed was a Nikon laser rangefinder for $199.
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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I've got an old Leitz rangefinder like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Leitz-Leica-Rang...QQcmdZViewItem

    It fits in your pocket and is as accurate as (or at least agrees with) the finder on an M8.
    How does that work Stephen?

    Does it sit in a hot shoe? How do you calculate distance?

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay some folks have some camera's that need to guesstimate about distance . The Horseman, Cambo's and Alpa do not have a way to focus except for replacing the back with a ground glass which is fine but slow. So i would think what we are looking for is something small, cheap and works at distances at 2 ft to about 50 ft than infinity settings takeover . This could also be handy for M8 shooters as well to test lenses and such. So what is out there that would work really well but I would like to see one under 200 dollars and really small like shirt pocket small.
    This is what has put me off a portable technical camera. I had a Hasselblad SWC and learned that I was horrible at guessing distances.

    Having to use a ground glass defeats the purpose I have in mind for an ALPA ... but I'll probably get one anyway ... eventually. Some sort of rangefinder gizmo would be most helpful.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Laser distance finder

    "How does that work Stephen?
    Does it sit in a hot shoe? How do you calculate distance?"

    I assume it has the same parts as the rangefinder in a Leica M camera: you look through it and see a split image; turn the knob until the image lines up, and read the distance on the dial. Mine reads in meters, but they made them in feet as well. It can be mounted on a hot shoe/adapter, but I find it easier to use off the camera.

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    "How does that work Stephen?
    Does it sit in a hot shoe? How do you calculate distance?"

    I assume it has the same parts as the rangefinder in a Leica M camera: you look through it and see a split image; turn the knob until the image lines up, and read the distance on the dial. Mine reads in meters, but they made them in feet as well. It can be mounted on a hot shoe/adapter, but I find it easier to use off the camera.
    Hi Stephen

    I have one of these and yes it is essentially a rangefinder with markings so that you get distance once you have aligned the images. It seems to work very well but before I relied heavily on it i would want to do some more serious experimentation. I will do so on behalf of the forum members.

    Woody

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Guy,

    FatMax from Stanley at OSH. Leica Geosystems Technology in a finder from about 1 foot to 100 feet. I paid $99 and it seems to be dead on accurate.

    Now you will need to look at Alpa's FAQ on shimming the back to match exact focus. I believe that after about 6 feet at f11 you will be in the hyperfocal distance for a 47.

    Just measured 6' 8" 7/8 with the thing...dead on scary.

    BTW your private message que is full.

    Bob

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    Re: Laser distance finder

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    the way the hilti works is you put the back of the device against your zero and aim the spot at the target. once on target, push a button, wait a sec or two, it beeps and reads out the distance to the 1/32", up to at least 100ft (longest i have tried) you have to hold it steady and you have to be able to see the spot on the target. a very handy gizmo. it is a bit limited in bright light or if you let it wiggle
    I've used the Hilti's extensively in construction & second John's comments. For photography the weakest link will be measuring distance in bright ambient light. If it does that for you, it will do anything else a photographer will throw at it.

    Robert

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