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EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2023-02-08 02:18:46

Leica M9P

Composing with a rangefinder

Frame lines are crude even at their optimal, because the optical system is not the one used to make the picture, and the lines themselves are rather thick.

Frame lines in the M9 are most accurate at a focus distance of 1 meter. Beyond 1 meter, more is captured than the frame lines would indicate, sometimes considerably more, especially with 75mm or 90mm lenses. This is very frustrating in practice.

With the M9, it is challenging to achieve precise placement of elements within a frame, particularly at the corners. Placing the sun precisely behind a tree branch is not easy. It is also challenging to achieve a level picture, especially with wide angle lenses. I often shoot as many as 5 frames to get the composition as intended.

With a rangefinder, a large lens often intrudes into the viewfinder area, blocking the ability to compose in that area of the frame. This is one reason Leica places a premium on minimizing the size of lenses.

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Red rectangle = where the M9’s frame lines fell when composing.
Leica M9 + Zeiss ZM 85/2 Sonnar

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