What differences are there between a SLR and a rangefinder camera?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The rangefinder uses two separate lenses. One you look through the other is in front of the shutter. When you focus the lens you look through, it also focuses the one for the shutter. A SLR uses a single lens, and a mirror system. The SLR allows you to look through the lens to focus, then it flips the lens out of the way when the shutter releases, allowing the focused image to hit the film. Hope that helps

  • Bernd
    Lv 7
    3 years ago
  • 3 years ago

    For the sake of completeness, please refer to the article in the link about the differences between SLR and real rangefinder cameras.


  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    The viewfinder - a simple google search will give you all the information you need.

    Modern EVILs use contrast-detection autofocus, rather than the precision manual focus of a true rangefinder, which is why I tend to see them as pretenders, rather than true rangefinders.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    The viewfinder.

    The rangefinder preceded the TLR or twin reflex camera which is actually two cameras in one - one camera for focusing and another for taking the shot. The problem with this design was that the image seen through the viewfinder was upside down and there was parallax error.

    The rangefinder tried to solve that by adding another lens (bringing the total to three). Two small lenses are used for focusing. The large third one is for taking the shot. You can see more or less what you are taking with the correct orientation but since the picture isn't taken with the viewfinder's lens, there is still parallax error.

    The SLR got it right finally. With just one lens feeding the image to the viewfinder and the film or digital sensor, one at a time depending on the position of the reflex mirror. To correct orientation, a pentaprism has been added in the image path to the viewfinder. You can now see exactly what you are getting.

    Still there is a problem. You won't see exactly how the resulting picture will appear, even after you've adjusted the settings. Even mirrorless cameras with their electronic viewfinders don't do that yet. Maybe in the future, we'll have those so everyone can be a good photographer (finally).

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