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Thread: Laser Distance Meter

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    Laser Distance Meter

    I would like to buy a laser distance meter to use with my Cambo WRS and Fuji GX617 w/ 300mm. There are so many Leica Disto models and other brands to choose from. Please help.
    Thank you
    Pramote

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Pramote,

    I think the Leica D5 is the one to have on the list...

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Pramote,

    I think the Leica D5 is the one to have on the list...
    +1

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    D5 is perfect for Photographers

    Stanley

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Yes the D5 is the only one I know of with a "live view" video feature. Great for bright situations or longer readings. There are times when I have trouble getting it to read beyond 50 meters or so. Some people carry a rangefinder as well, although even with my SK150mm the D5 limitations have not bothered me enough to get a rangefinder too.

    Dave

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Thanks very much guys. It sounds like the D5 is a winner.

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    +1 for the D5. Only ever had a problem when trying to focus on some mangrove shoots. Was amazing with the HPF rings when I had the Alpa.

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    And with all the MF -> D800 relocation going on, you'd expect to see more D5s showing up in the FS thread, but noooooo.

    --Matt (who, with only a 35mm lens doesn't feel the need.. yet...)

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Disto D5 or D8 (I got a great refurb deal at D5 cost) plus I carry a rangefinder for longer distances where dot can be hard to see even with video.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    And with all the MF -> D800 relocation going on, you'd expect to see more D5s showing up in the FS thread, but noooooo.

    --Matt (who, with only a 35mm lens doesn't feel the need.. yet...)
    I think it's less of a stampede amongst tech cam shooters to be honest.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    I'll add my 2 cents for the D5. I got it over a year ago and use it often. Bright sun or not it works.

    Don
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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    And with all the MF -> D800 relocation going on, you'd expect to see more D5s showing up in the FS thread, but noooooo.

    --Matt (who, with only a 35mm lens doesn't feel the need.. yet...)
    I enjoy the D800e, but when I want maximum resolution and dynamic range with superior depth of field, I reach for my Arca Swiss RM3DI with my H4D50 back. With the D5 information, focus is not a problem-no live view-no viewfinder-no autofocus-but the image-wow

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Another style, brand is the opti-logic style. I prefer it to the Lecia, both for cost and the fact I prefer to use the eye piece. 800 yards to 12 f. Past 800 yards I am not worried and under 12 feet, I can pretty much get that by sight.

    feet, yards, meters and the XT has a mode to handle not straight line distance, i.e. looking up or down. I am sure the Leica has this also.

    Here is link:

    Products

    Paul

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    I've used the D5 some. It's a nice tool to have, but it cannot solve all problems, you can only rarely get readings from bushes and stuff like that, you need a tree trunk or similar. For a bit longer distances you may want to mount it to a tripod too. However, the D5 is much better than older distance meters. The old laser distance meters I did not find to be that usable, too difficult to get readings without a tripod and flat target surface. The D5 has much faster readings and can do them in more difficult situations, making it quite usable handheld. Just don't expect it to give you readings in all possible situations.

    Most often I just estimate distances, but it is also something one gets better at after using a distance meter for a while. I focus on the ground glass though, so I don't need the (exact) distance as often as for an RM3Di or Alpa.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    D5 + HPF = 100%
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    D5 + HPF = 100%
    That's a good point, you don't really need to measure distance longer than the hyperfocal / 2 because then you just set the hyperfocal distance. Just make sure you have a hyperfocal table with a CoC that gives you the result you expect. I prefer CoC = airy disc diameter.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Agree with Dan & Torger. Only really need precision close up or with longer glass. I find that over time you get pretty good at eyeballing it.

    For longer distances with my 90 or 150 I use my Leupold laser rangefinder. Close in, D5/8.

    Btw, with tech I found the effort of determining your own hyper-focal distance / aperture / subject distance worthwhile.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    any recommendations for an iphone app for calculating hyperfocal/CoC ?

    rh

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Simple DoF or f/8 are about as good as anything else, particularly if you just decide on which CoC vs selecting a camera model. The authors all seem pretty lazy about updating their camera databases anyway.

    I'd still recommend doing your own tests to determine your acceptable hyperfocal distance if you are shooting with a tech camera. That will give you a good idea of where to focus for sharp enough infinity (or your acceptable infinity) for the limited range of apertures and focal lengths that most tech camera users actually use. It's a bit tedious and easier to do when tethered but it is worth it.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    I actually prefer this Leupold hunting RF -- it includes a 6x optic and measures out to 1000 meters. On the downside, it only measures to .1 m so may not be perfect for critical close focus, but it certainly gets you very close very fast, and you can use it full Sunlight. By contrast, I could not read my Disto in Sun.

    Leupold® RX®-1000i Rangefinder with DNA™ | Bass Pro Shops

    Do NOT get the one with TBR (Ballistic compensation programming) as that only measures to the closest full meter.
    Jack
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    What I was shooting with a SW612 and 90mm and 135mm lenses, I simply used an old accessory rangefinder. I used an Ansco DeJur which was modeled on the Leica designs and could slip into a hot shoe. It was accurate down to 24". It was small and need no power. I hung it around my neck. Watameter was another good rangefinder. Which the Kodak rangefinders had a really good design, the materiel in them can frost and yellow making them useless. These rangefinders can come in an imperial and meter scale. I bought these on eBay.

    BTW, if you live in a place that have lots of security and are nervous about terrorism, flashing a laser rangefinder around might not be a great idea. With the stupidity of thinking photographers are terrorist, this kind of device is probably going to be looked on as very suspicious. It was the best of times and the worst of times...

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    I've just come back from the mountain.
    Thanks very much for the comments. They are extremely helpful.
    Pramote

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    D5 + HPF = 100%
    Does anybody know if HPF rings can be mounted on Rodenstock for Cambo WRS lenses with tilt option ?

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    If I remember right John machined one down and made some modifications to the tilt control knobs. Here it is...

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/medium...72mm-lens.html

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Thanks again Dave

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    hi there, this may sound stupid here, can anyone explain how one uses the laser distance meter? i use a Bosch GLM 80 laser distance meter for my architectural work and i suppose i can use the same in this matter that we are disucssing here.

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    You align the measuring point of the distometer with the plane of the sensor and point it at the subject you want to focus on.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Harshan,

    It is really the combination of a laser distance meter and the Alpa HPF rings. They have very fine distance markings. Here is a pdf chart of how detailed they are:
    Alpa-Rodenstock distance tables
    Basically you set up the camera, check distance with the laser meter, then rotate the HPF ring to the corresponding distance. As long as your lenses and back are calibrated, it works extremely well and is very efficient. At least until you add tilt!

    Also not bad for the longer Schneider lenses. I have the SK150mm, which does not have an HPF ring, but the Schneider helical is detailed enough to make it work fairly well.

    Dave

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Thank you Graham & Dave, so once I know the distance to my point of focus from the sensor plane I need the Alpa HPF rings to set the focus? How does one do it on a normal copal shutter that I have on my Cambo 35xl digitar lens? Thanks

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    You would do it the same way, it is just that the normal distance scale that comes engraved on the lens does not have enough detail in the distance labels. It is too hard to interpolate between the numbers.

    It is not the shutter that is different. The lenses are the same; it is just a ring that gets clamped over the existing rubber knurled grip on the helical. Here is a shot of Guy's Cambo with the Alpa HPF ring mounted...

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/medium...-tech-cam.html

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter


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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Ok, just when I thought i had the complete setup here comes the HPF ring, frankly never knew about suh a thing, will read about it more before I take the plunge, fortunately I have a distance meter already, I tried reading the distance chart and found that really confusing, I suppose its a matter of time me will be able to comprehend faster. Thanks Dave & Stephen.

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    My goodness! How does one possibly figure out how to read those tables? Any pointers wouldbe appreciated,
    Bob
    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Harshan,

    It is really the combination of a laser distance meter and the Alpa HPF rings. They have very fine distance markings. Here is a pdf chart of how detailed they are:
    Alpa-Rodenstock distance tables
    Basically you set up the camera, check distance with the laser meter, then rotate the HPF ring to the corresponding distance. As long as your lenses and back are calibrated, it works extremely well and is very efficient. At least until you add tilt!

    Also not bad for the longer Schneider lenses. I have the SK150mm, which does not have an HPF ring, but the Schneider helical is detailed enough to make it work fairly well.

    Dave

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by rga View Post
    My goodness! How does one possibly figure out how to read those tables? Any pointers wouldbe appreciated,
    Bob
    Hi Bob, i found this thread, there something about shimming going on as well!!

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/medium...hpf-rings.html

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by rga View Post
    My goodness! How does one possibly figure out how to read those tables? Any pointers wouldbe appreciated,
    Bob
    Not really that hard. There are two major columns, one 'meter' the other 'feet' (so labeled). Look at the one you prefer. Ignore anything except the two left most columns in your preferred major column. Those other numbers to the right are for the the various Alpa extension adapters (6.4, 16, etc). The first number is qual to the tick mark on the HPF ring (many of these are indicated on the ring with an actual meter/feet reading, these are red). The in-between marks which are not indicated on the ring can be read off in this table. That is it....

    In practice you rarely need this table, only for very close focus does it matter.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Any idea where I can buy a HPF ring for my 35xl lens? Thanks

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Here is a list on Alpa's website:
    Alpa Distributors
    There website is pretty good; there are several valuable videos that were done by Paul at Optechs. There is no distributor listed in India. There is one in Malaysia, but that is about the closest to you...

    Any of the U.S. dealers are quite good.

    Dave

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    If you carry an iPhone the new beta app has some good info, one of which is for the hpf rings. Here is a screen shot. It is not a simple app to install. You install "FileMaker Go" then read it as a document through that. But lots of good stuff in there.

    For the hpf rings you select a lens then enter the distance reading. It shows exactly where to position the ring... For those who hate interpolating (guessing)

    Dave
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I actually prefer this Leupold hunting RF -- it includes a 6x optic and measures out to 1000 meters. On the downside, it only measures to .1 m so may not be perfect for critical close focus, but it certainly gets you very close very fast, and you can use it full Sunlight. By contrast, I could not read my Disto in Sun.

    Leupold® RX®-1000i Rangefinder with DNA™ | Bass Pro Shops

    Do NOT get the one with TBR (Ballistic compensation programming) as that only measures to the closest full meter.
    I use the Leupold for far distances. It has a near distance limit of 5 yards, so for close work the D8 seems the better choice, but at a distance the Leupold is very good.
    -bob

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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Here is a list on Alpa's website:
    Alpa Distributors
    There website is pretty good; there are several valuable videos that were done by Paul at Optechs. There is no distributor listed in India. There is one in Malaysia, but that is about the closest to you...

    Any of the U.S. dealers are quite good.

    Dave

    Thanks Dave, I shall try through Singapore where I frequent often. Considering I do not have a ground glass with my Cambo WRS for focussing, I think this would be the solution as currently I use live view/focus check but am not really convinced I am getting it right. Regards, Harshan

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Laser Distance Meter

    That is exactly the feeling I have with Live View. I can get close but comparing between small focus changes is difficult for me.

    The distance/hpf ring is indirect so at first it is a bit unnerving. You wonder if you can really trust it? But then you use Focus Mask to verify (and 100% zoom), and it is dead on every time!

    Dave

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