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Justin Bacle

Variable diopter or Set of diopters ?

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May sound like a stupid question, but here it is.

I love my new anamorphic setup (50D MLRAW + M42 lenses + Isco Ultrastar 2X), but rack focusing is a NO NO and the variable strech factor (close focus on the isco ultrastar is NOT 2X strech, pretty sure about that !) will make me use diopters.

So the two options are :
- Getting a set of diopters, great, but fraction diopters are freaking expensive ! (and I need 72+ mm to go in front of the ultrastar :o)
- Getting a variable diopter (like SLR Magic Rangefinder or Anamorphic Shop's FM) which is also expensive, but eh, you just have one to buy :)

Am I just biased by the price or is the variable diopter the only sensible way to go ? I think I may be missing something.


PS : What is the difference between the two rangefinders on sale at SLR Magic (except that one has markings, the other doesn't and is half the price)

PS2 : firsts tests with the new anamorphic setup : https://youtu.be/p3n0kiXhxMc I was still using lower resolution as my new cf card had not arrived yet and an awfull MD to EOS adapter whilst waiting for the M42 to EOS to arrive (so it is very soft wide open, but not because of the ultrastar).

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The difference between the two SLR's is size (72 vs 77). And yes I agree, a single focus would be best. I'm still not that impressed by any minimal focus distance (0.7m at best by the rectilux). But if you align your lens and anamorphic to 5 feet for a close shot, then your single focus solution gets in closer.

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Hate me, but... Get both.

the vari-str will let you rack focus, while strong power diopters will solve your super close focus issue (+1 and +2). You switch between them (vari and regular) according to the shots. My guess is that you'll keep the variable on for most of the time.

The difference between the Rangefinders is indeed what @IshootbeforeItalk said, size. And the markings. SLR Magic wanted to have a really cheap option out there. Small correction though, the minimum focus for the Recilux CoreDNA is 0.7m, but 0.5m for the 3FF-W.

Lastly, I know you watched, but it works as a reminder, how to get a cheap 72mm +0.5
http://www.tferradans.com/blog/?p=9053

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Thanks for all your precious answers. I thing I'll get the cheap SLR Magic Rangefinder (as soon as I have a bit of cash).

The thing is, I don't really care about close focusing. My Minolta 85mm focuses down to 1m, and I never felt that I needed less than that. (BTW, I have to repair this lens, as the front filter thread has been bent for 30 years ... )

So here is the master plan :
- get a front clamp for the isco ultrastar (I have to contact rafcamera as I don't see any on their webite)
- get a slr magic rangefinder
- Shoot (a lot) 
- get close up dipoters if needed

Thanks for your precious thoughts

PS : Stupid question : would it be possible to salvage the front elements from old lenses and use them as diopters ? I am thinking of all the dead cheap 400mm f/5.6 or f/6.3 (i got a tokina one for less than 10 euros a few years ago)
That may be a stupid question, as I don't know if the front element is "diopter-like", but eh, what gives.

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I know this is an old thread, but I'm interested...

Justin - did you end up getting a set of diopters as well?  I've got the Rangefinder and am curious as well.

Tito - it sounds like weaker powered diopters like the .33 by SLR Magic aren't important if you have a Rangefinder?  Trying to decide if I need to pick up a set as well.  I did see someone attach an SLR Magic diopter to a Rangefinder via step-down ring but didn't see any footage, so I don't know how it worked in practice.  

I did read through most of the amazing (and long!) thread on diopters but didn't find any information about using them together.

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Welcome Aaron! An additional diopter can still be helpful then, to further decrease the minimum focus distance of the variable diopter (obviously you lose infinity then, and you will have to account for possible vignetting). Which strength is useful depends on what you're shooting, but as the Rangefinder already goes to about 1m, I'd try a cheap +1 first for (extreme) close ups. You then have a broad range covered.

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