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Thread: Measuring distance

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    Measuring distance

    The Leica Disto D5 appears to be the distance measuring device of choice for TC use. Happy to follow suit and purchase one but am wondering if anything smaller and lighter will do the simple measuring job required. There's a lot of functions in the D5 that I'll never use in landscape work.

    Rob

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    Re: Measuring distance

    I purchased the Leica Disto D5 in anticipation of getting a technical camera, and based upon preliminary use (while waiting for a technical camera) I believe it will be very useful...particularly in learning to estimate distances more accurately. I suspect that a careful study of the D5 will offer more help for photograpy purposes than just the plain distance measurements, but have not yet explored those possibilities. Charles

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Measuring distance

    Rob,

    I find that I use only two features on the Disto - the basic measurement function and also the video mode can be helpful when you can't easily track the laser dot. Everything else is unnecessary for TC use, although handy next time I have a remodeling job
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Measuring distance

    you can always use something like an old ancillary rangefinder. The disto is very useful, and can do some neat stuff, like perfectly centering the camera, measuring camera tilt, measuring height of objects, which paves the way to calculating required lens forward tilt to bring foreground and background objects into sharp focus.

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    Re: Measuring distance

    You can use an old Leica auxiliary rangefinder, often seen on eBay, or a new Fotoman version. http://www.fotomancamera.com/Specials.asp

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    Re: Measuring distance

    +3 on an accessory optical rangefinder. Leica, Waltz, Waterman, Ansco DeJur, and Fotoman all have made good units. Look for a scale you would like, metric or Imperial. Also check that you can collimate both vertical and horizontal alignment. My rangefinders have held their alignment, but who knows how has been using these so it is good to be able to do.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Measuring distance

    We had one of our favorite clients in house today (John Smith). John brought his Arca Swiss RL3D and his Leupold RX-1000 TBR Sport Optic.

    http://www.leupold.com/tactical/prod...r-rangefinder/

    He chose this over the Disto. Likes - look through the viewfinder, point at subject, press the button, and distance and tilt degree are displayed in the viewfinder. Very bright, 6x optic. Easy to see, easy to use. He feels it is more accurate, especially at longer distances than the Disto. Negatives - minimum 15 feet...not much else I could think of.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Re: Measuring distance

    The leupold rangefinder may be great for those of us who have strong hunting and photography interests, but the initial reviews on this product are not encouraging with respect to accuracy. If anyone on this forum has one perhaps we can find a way to compare accuracy between the leupold rangefinder and the Disto 5. You may want to check out the customer reviews for the leupold rangefinder on the Basspro website. If anyone who has the Leupold rangefinder is going to the New England workshop perhaps we could make some comparisons on the accuracy. My guess is that at times either way of measuring may be inaccurate (likely due to operator error), but at this point either tool would be more accurate than my guesses. I have checked my Disto out carefully for distances of 30 ft or less and found it to be dead on. I will be checking it out for greater distances soon. I don't think the Disto is as easy to use as a view through rangefinder. Charles

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    Re: Measuring distance

    The reason the D5 is popular is probably because there are two different ways to measure distance and the second is important. When you are indoors or very close to your object you can easily see the laser dot. So, point laser at what you want and measure. When outside in bright light you lose the sight of the red dot very quickly. The D5 has a small camera on it and you can switch the display to use the camera. The screen isn't very good but you can see on the screen a picture of what you are aimed at. That way you aren't trying to find the red dot out into the distance.

    If you are looking for a D5 I highly recommend looking for a refurbished unit. They are essentially brand new with a 1 year warranty (instead of 3) but the cost savings is pretty significant. I bought mine at CPO-Leica.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Measuring distance

    Quote Originally Posted by cs750 View Post
    The leupold rangefinder may be great for those of us who have strong hunting and photography interests, but the initial reviews on this product are not encouraging with respect to accuracy. If anyone on this forum has one perhaps we can find a way to compare accuracy between the leupold rangefinder and the Disto 5. You may want to check out the customer reviews for the leupold rangefinder on the Basspro website. If anyone who has the Leupold rangefinder is going to the New England workshop perhaps we could make some comparisons on the accuracy. My guess is that at times either way of measuring may be inaccurate (likely due to operator error), but at this point either tool would be more accurate than my guesses. I have checked my Disto out carefully for distances of 30 ft or less and found it to be dead on. I will be checking it out for greater distances soon. I don't think the Disto is as easy to use as a view through rangefinder. Charles

    Hi Charles -

    We will have a Leica Disto 5 at the NE workshop and highly likely we'll have this Leupold as well. John has tested both and in his use feels the Leupold is more accurate, especially at longer distance.

    I'll confirm that we'll have the Leupold there shortly.

    FYI - we don't sell it, so no dog in the fight, just a recommendation from a client. I like the ease of use and if it is as accurate as John says it is, it seems like an excellent alternative.


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar Authorized Reseller

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    Re: Measuring distance

    Steve, I agree that it should be much easier to use. I like looking through a viewfinder instead of looking down on the screen of the Disto while holding it in me hand. I find it hard to keep the screen on what I am pointing toward. Charles

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    Re: Measuring distance

    The Disto D5 is a marvelous piece of equipment. I can't imagine your being disappointed. It is extremely accurate AND will measure distances as shallow as 1.8 inches. If the Leupold has a minimum measuring distance of 15 feet then it would be of no use to me. Many of my images are less than 15 feet and ALL require very accurate distance measurement. These closer distances are more critical for focus than something 250 feet out where DOF is much greater allowing for more leeway. Get yourself a Disto and be happy.

    Victor

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    Re: Measuring distance

    Victor, I have the Disto D5, but until today did not have a technical camera. I have just received my Arca Rm3di TODAY with the Rodie 40 HR W lens. It is going to be a steep learning curve for me since I have no prior experience with such a camera. I will be putting the Disto D5 to good use, and I am inclined to believe those first 15ft are very important in many of my images and have found my estimates to be frequently several feet off (particularly on uneven & sloping terrain). As pointed out by others it is also useful for measuring rooms. I will look forward to a hands on examination of the Leupold. Charles
    Last edited by cs750; 11th August 2011 at 11:11. Reason: typo

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    Re: Measuring distance

    None of this is rocket science. You will have lots of fun with your new body. You will also have fun with your D5 measuring the cubic feet in your bedroom, and inclines and making sure something is REALLY level and, finally, accurate distance measurements. Have fun.....

    Victor

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    Re: Measuring distance

    So, the D5 rather than the D3? If not shooting in bright sunlight is the video screen necessary or will the laser dot suffice?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Measuring distance

    I'd definitely go with a distometer with a video option if the light is a problem. That's exactly the situation when I use the video feature and you can't see the dot.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Measuring distance

    Recently heard on Large format forum that Fotoman was looking to come back with that auxiliary rangefinder

    Optical Rangefinder - Page 4

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    Re: Measuring distance

    I've use an old Fotoman rangefinder as well as the D5 depending on the circumstances. I also now use the new Cambo ground glass/viewfinder. My first choice if I have the time is the groundglass. If I just want to do a quick check on distance I use the Fotoman. If I'm pressed for time and need super accurate measurements the I use the D5 and like Graham I only use to functions, the video mode and measurement. I've found the D5 to be accommodating in bright sunlight to a certain degree depending on subject matter. It does no good if you can't see where you're aiming...
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