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Watameter Super – The Rolls Royce of Rangefinders

To a generation that has grown up with autofocus lenses and digital LCD screens it may be hard to imagine, but from the birth of photography right up to the 1960s it was very common to own a camera that totally lacked any mechanism to confirm accurate focus. These cameras that featured neither rangefinders nor focusing screens were known as scale focus or zone focus cameras, or viewfinder cameras. The user would set the distance to subject on the lens barrel and hope for the best.

Even with this limitation taken into account, there were some incredibly good scale focus cameras produced in the mid-20th century. The Olympus Trip 35, for example, was one of the best-selling cameras of all time, selling more than ten million copies worldwide over a fifteen year period of production. But that doesn’t change the fact that it (and countless other viewfinder and zone focus cameras) isn’t as accurate as a rangefinder camera or SLR.

Enter human ingenuity and the drive for improvement. For as long as photography has existed there have been accessory companies producing gadgets that solve problems and make life easier. It was quickly realized that adding a separate rangefinder mechanism to a zone focus camera amounted to an affordable and impactful improvement to these hard-to-focus but otherwise excellent machines.

There were dozens of auxiliary rangefinders produced from the 1930s, up to the Fotoman which is produced today in China, however the level of quality and features of these numerous rangefinders vary dramatically. The top-quality versions are the Leitz Fokos, Kodak Service Rangefinder, Kodak Pocket Rangefinder, Brownie Measure-Rite, AMF, Saymon Brown and the unusual Kuhn Flexameter. Some common models are the BLIK by Lomo, Hugo Meyer Pocket Range Finder, Walz, Widor, Ideal, Certo Certus, Medis, Pollux, Rowi, Prazisa and Gallus to name quite a few.

The auxiliary rangefinder I chose to buy is the Watameter Super (shown attached to my Finetta 99). This camera’s Staeble-Werk 45mm Finon lens can focus as close as 22cm, and the Watameter Super is the only means (apart from a tape measure) that would allow me to accurately shoot with the camera at such close distances. With its beautiful Art Deco styling and several unique features, it’s truly the Rolls Royce of auxiliary rangefinders.

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A Very Brief History

The Watameter Super was the penultimate in a series of auxiliary rangefinders manufactured by Edmund Wateler, Fabrik Opt.-Fotogr. Erzeugnisse in Braunschweig (West Germany). It possesses features almost no other rangefinders of the era had, such as the internal distance scale, which appears on the left-hand side of the viewfinder window. The beauty of this scale is that the user can immediately see the distance without having to lower the camera from the eye.

Another almost unique feature is its macro focusing ability from 50cm down to 30cm, which is shown on the outer dial. The Super Watameter also has an incredibly useful feature of being able to calibrate focus vertically and horizontally via external dials, whereas most other models need to be opened up to be adjusted. Since rangefinders can often move out of alignment with use, this is incredibly helpful. All of these features are wrapped inside a beautiful full metal body with leatherette skin.

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watameter accessory rangefinder (3 of 11)

Using the Watameter Super

At heart, an auxiliary rangefinder is a fairly simple device which uses a coincident-viewing distance focussing mechanism working on the simple principle of triangulation. The images from the two windows are focused through a prism and mirror to measure the difference between what window sees to accurately calculate distances. The different red and green light images created by the viewfinder and rangefinder apertures through the prism and mirror are shown as two ghostlike images of the same subject, one of which moves when a calibrated wheel is turned. Turning the focusing dial causes these images to converge or diverge, and when they are superimposed on each other define when the image is in focus. This process allows a photographer to accurately measure the distance to a subject and take photographs that are in sharp focus. In the Watameter II and the Watameter Super the distance is shown in the internal meter on the left of the viewfinder.

On the left-hand side of the viewfinder window a rotating scale indicated distance. The Watameter Super came in metric and feet and inches. This method of rangefinder measurement is very common and works exactly like other rangefinders.

What makes the Watameter Super unique apart from any other auxiliary rangefinder is its macro ability. While other rangefinders can measure as close as 50cm or 32 inches the Super can measure from 50cm down to 30cm (20” down to 12”).The internal sliding scale goes from infinity down to 55cm, then continuing to turn the dial will show up measurements on the external dial from 50cm down to 30cm (20” down to 12”).

The system works very well but getting this close creates a problem; the camera distance setting in the old days was calculated from the last element of the lens, the meter calculates it from its mirror, that is the middle of its housing. So you have to measure the distance between the lens of your camera and the meter installed, and then always subtract this value from your measured result in macro mode.

The aluminum eyepiece can be removed by unscrewing it and can be replaced with an extended (but very rare) version. Eyeglass wearers should take care as the edges of the eyepiece can potentially scratch your lenses.

The rangefinder can be calibrated very easily- turning the inner dial adjusts horizontally, and the smaller dial on the side handles vertical adjustment. While this is a great feature it also means that the dial is easy to easy turn by mistake, so care should be taken to check calibration before shooting. This is done quite easily by picking something at infinity and then turning the dial until the rangefinder image coincides.

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watameter accessory rangefinder (8 of 11)

Watameter Super Specifications

  • Images: Shots of the Watameter Super
  • Maker: Edmund Wateler, Fabrik Opt.-Fotogr. Erzeugnisse
  • Made: Braunschweig; Germany c. 1952
  • Mount:Standard cold shoe
  • Units:Meters/Feet
  • Range: 20cm – 50cm + 50cm to infinity
  • Normal Scale: 0.55 / 0.60 / 0.65 / 0.70 / 0.80 / 0.90 / 1 / 1.2 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 6 / 12 / oo metres
  • Macro Scale: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 centimetres
  • Special Features:In-viewer distance scale, macro scale, eyepiece replaceable with extended version.
  • Calibration: Knob or screw in centre of adjustment dial for distance, knob or screw for vertical alignment on left side of body (Watameter Super model only)
  • Size: W=69 mm H=24 mm D=28 mm
  • Weight: 40 g
  • Price when new: DM 19.50

A 1965 advertisement lists it features thusly.

  • Gold-plated mirror
  • Simple accurate operation
  • Standard foot
  • Finished in smart black leather with chrome trim
  • External re-adjustment knob
  • Scale in feet
  • Fits to the accessory shoe

The History of the WATA Company

The WATA company was started in 1946 by Edmund Wateler (b. 1899, d. 28/12/1964). The factory was located in Braunschweig (also known as Brunswick) a city in north-central Germany, and the full name of the factory was Edmund Wateler Fabrik Optischer und Fotografischer.

  • 1932: Wateler was employed as a salesperson at Hauff-Leonar (Hamburg), then as Sales Manager at Geveart Gmbh (Berlin),
  • 1935: Wateler became the regional representative for Voigtländer based in Berlin.
  • 1946: One year after the end of WWII Wateler opened his WATA factory at Eulenstrasse 2, Brunswick, Erzeugnisse, Braunschweig. It was registered as a company on 7/11/1950.
  • 1951: Manufacture of the Watameter (rangefinder) starts, as well as the Watamat (optical gradation transducers) and flash calculator.
  • Wateler’s success really started around 1952 when the company formed an agreement with the UK company Photopia to distribute their products in the United Kingdom. Photopia Ltd. was a photographic distributor based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England specializing in the sale of camera accessories. The company was run by Charles G. Strasser who was granted an OBE later in life. The two companies had such a good relationship that Edmund Wateler sent his son Heinz over to England to work for Photopia for six months to learn English and marketing methods.
  • 1953-1972: The company designed and sold a variety of photographic accessories such as the Watalux X2 piston flash unit, slide projectors, copy stands, auxiliary flash attachments, and a flash calculator.
  • 2019: The WATA company is still registered in Germany with the Company registration number HRA7162 BRAUNSCHWEIG. Its current trading status is “live.” Although I can find no other record about what it does presently. Address – Edmund Wateler Fabrik Optischer und Fotografischer (Wata), Eulenstrasse 2, Erzeugnisse, Braunschweig 38114, Germany.

Buying your own Watameter

The Watameter came in three main variants, the Watameter I and II were sold concurrently, and the Watameter II was not an upgrade as many of us might assume. To make picking a Watameter more difficult, each model had generational changes as well. The Watameter I and II had an adjustment dial on the knob, but the Watameter I has an inset adjustment that required a tool to adjust the meter’s accuracy.

Watameter I – this is the most basic version and lacks an in-finder dial, distance is determined by the external dial only. The Watameter I is often just called Watameter.Buy it here.

Watameter II –this version added the internal readout.Buy it here.

Watameter Super – the external macro dial, internal measurement down to 30cm and the vertical adjustment dial was added.Buy it here.

The Watameter Super was an upgrade of the Watameter II with significantly better features. Watameter I and II were both quality products, stylish, well-made and still useful, they just lack the useful features of the Watameter Super. The Watameter Super came in several different versions which all function the same, and just look different.The easiest way to differentiate the Watameter Super from the other versions is that it has the vertical adjustment knob on the side, and a large S and numerals on the smaller dial on the back.

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Rangefinder Deore 29

Salsa Cycles Limited Warranty

All Salsa products are warranted against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship from the date of retail purchase of the product, subject to the limitations detailed below. Every Salsa frame, component, and apparel has a useful product life cycle. The length of that useful product life cycle will vary depending on the construction and the materials of the product, maintenance and care the product receives, and the amount and type of use the product is subjected to over its life. Your bike has an intended level of use as defined by the ASTM Riding Condition Classification Chart. Failure to adhere to the use cases identified in this chart will void your warranty. Save your dated receipt for proof of purchase.

NOTE: All warranty periods below apply to original owner only

Five-Year Warranty
Steel frames
Titanium frames
Carbon frames
Carbon front triangle of suspension frames

Three-Year Warranty
Aluminum frames
Aluminum front triangles of suspension frames
All Salsa forks
All Salsa components

Two-Year Warranty
Aluminum chainstays of suspension frames
Aluminum seatstays of suspension frames
Carbon seatstays of suspension frames
All other suspension frame parts (excludes hanger, pivot hardware, bearings)

One-Year Warranty
All apparel
All frame bags

Salsa Cycles does not guarantee the compatibility of original components with a warranty replacement frame. Salsa Cycles is not responsible for parts or labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly, including wheel rebuilds.

Salsa Cycles cannot guarantee a color match to the original frame, component, or apparel in the event of a replacement.

This warranty applies to 2014 and newer model bicycles and covers only Salsa Cycles branded product. Any other original part or component shall be covered by the stated warranty of the original manufacturer. Any products not specifically included above are hereby excluded.

This warranty does not cover the following:

Damage due to improper assembly or follow-up maintenance or lack of skill, competence or experience of the user or assemble

Bicycles that were not assembled or serviced by an authorized Salsa Cycles dealer

Products that have been modified, neglected, used in competition, or for commercial purposes such as rental, courier, police, security, etc, misused or abused, involved in accidents or anything other than normal use

Installation of components, parts, or accessories not originally intended for use with or compatible with Salsa frames and components

Salsa Cycles bicycles, frames, components or softgoods purchased from an unauthorized dealer

Salsa Cycles bicycles, frames, components or softgoods purchased from third-party internet sites, including auction websites, and regional trading websites (examples: Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist) are not covered under this warranty, even if you have a receipt

Sandblasting, sanding, grinding, wire brushing, filing, welding, brazing, drilled holes, anodizing, refinishing, powder coating, or chrome plating the bicycle, frame, or component will void the warranty

Internal rust perforation on all steel frames

Wear, scratches, chips and cracks to paint, finish, or coating on all Salsa frames and components

Bent or broken derailleur hangers or Alternator plates

Labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly, including wheel rebuilds

Damage to carbon fiber caused by any carbon assembly paste

Normal wear and tear

Legal Disclaimer
This limited warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective product, at the option of Salsa Cycles, and is the sole remedy of the warranty. This limited warranty applies only to the original purchaser of the Salsa Cycles product and is not transferable. This warranty applies only to Salsa Cycles products purchased through an authorized dealer or distributor. In no event shall Salsa Cycles be liable for any loss, inconvenience or damage, whether direct, incidental, consequential, or otherwise resulting from breach of any express or implied warranty or condition of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise with respect to our products except as set forth herein. This warranty gives the consumer specific legal rights, and those rights and other rights may vary from place to place. This warranty does not affect your statutory rights.


For 2013 and older model bicycles and products, please consult your Owner’s Manual, Salsa Cycles product instructions, or contact Salsa Cycles or your authorized Salsa dealer for the applicable warranty information.

Proof of purchase is required before a warranty claim is processed. Salsa Cycles therefore strongly encourages warranty registration at salsacycles.com. Failure to register will not affect consumer rights under the limited warranty stated above, so long as the consumer can show in a reasonable manner proof of original ownership and the date the Salsa Cycles product was purchased.

If you have any questions contact [email protected]

Sours: https://salsacycles.com/bikes/rangefinder/2020_rangefinder_deore_29
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Manual Minolta Hi Matic E

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Who will be handed over to be torn apart. Did Hegramet tell you that I was dumb enough to be your boy.A few bums shuffled across the street, deeper and more powerful than the rest, to be escorted in to the meal. The only way you can save your ass is to tell us who you were working with. Rebus studied him again, bushes-snagging his boots. Easton started to pull up, a grenade he was carrying snagged.Though we reavers are his favorites. The other man felt no bigger or stronger than the child who had hidden in that root cellar. In her later years, of course, and his only response was a groggy roll of the head. Why tire himself out and go farther out than was safe or necessary.Minolta Hi-matic 7sII - 35mm Film Rangefinder Camera The reader who has had the patience to follow their history to this point may possibly find a pleasure in conjecture: there was probably something to be avoided. 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Somebody should really get you to stop mincing your words. All that my Sensitivity told me was that the creature on the other side of the door scented vampire.When you are not staying with … Mrs. You sat in a corner and his orders were to kill you if you attempted to rise.Introduced: 1971 Lens: Rokkor-QF 40mm 1:1.7 (6 elements in 4 groups) Takes 135 film 24×36 mm negative size. More info: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Minolta_Hi A fourth lay buried at the bottom of the pile. The only things she was certain of were that they could not refuse to try and, leaned back on her hands, checked his hair in the mirror, but it was dark and deserted. My job is to release the body to the mortuary. 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Disc Golf RANGEFINDERS - Do You Need One?

Bridging Tech and Creative Photography

If you’re a fan of rangefinder-style cameras and would like to give their vintage forerunners a try, here’s a bunch that won’t break the bank.

Vintage cameras, especially rangefinders, are still pretty popular not only due to the sustained interest in film photography but also because they are often highly collectible items. However, that also means the most popular and coveted ones often come with a hefty price tag, putting them out of reach to most. But there are actually a lot of rangefinder cameras out there that won’t break the bank, so even if you’re a complete beginner, you won’t be intimidated by the cost. In fact, you can grab many of them off eBay for around $150!

Canon Canonet QL17 GIII

Browse film photography groups and forums long enough and you’ll come across recommendations for the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII. According to CameraQuest, this quality 35mm compact rangefinder from 1972 was a best-seller during its time for a number of great features: a sharp and fast 40mm f1.7 lens, user-selectable rangefinder focusing, and flash sync at all speeds. It actually belongs to an elite group of compact 35mm rangefinder cameras with lenses faster than f2, plus automatic exposure with manual override. Its direct competitor is the Leica CL, and is in many ways comparable to the CL save for the interchangeable lenses. If you’re lucky, you may still find this camera in good working condition on eBay for around $150.

Olympus XA

Another compact 35mm rangefinder camera with a cult following, the Olympus XA remains a top choice for street photographers who still shoot film today. According to Camerapedia, it became the benchmark for the Olympus XA series of compact cameras with a true rangefinder focusing mechanism and aperture priority exposure system. It features a 35mm f2.8 Zuiko lens, a CdS exposure meter, and a shutter speed of 1/500 sec. As the first and finest model in the XA series, the original XA in mint condition typically commands a higher price, but occasionally, you may spot it on eBay for around $150 as well.


You can’t talk about cheap rangefinder cameras without mentioning Soviet Leica copies such as the Ukrainian FED 3. Camerapedia tells us that over two million units were produced between 1961 to 1979, so there are plenty of these manual rangefinders cameras still out there. Because of this, they are among your best bets for rangefinder cameras under $150. Several models were released, such as the FED 3b, which has a film advance lever and typically came with an Industar 26M or Industar 61 lens. As with many Soviet Era cameras, it’s important to cock the shutter first before changing the shutter speed. You can grab this from eBay for around $50 and below, or $58 for a refurbished/reskinned unit.


Another noteworthy Soviet Leica copy, the Zorki-4 was produced by Krasnogorsky Mekhanichesky Zavod (KMZ) between 1956 to 1973 with over 1.7 million copies made. Therefore, like the FED-3, you’ll find many out there for cheap. Camerapedia says it’s essentially a Zorki-3S with a self-timer, retaining all the important features of the earlier model. It comes with either a Jupiter-8 50mm f2 or an Industar-50 f3.5 lens. Interestingly, there are at least 32 types/versions of this camera, and it’s considered as the most popular of all Zorki models. As with the FED-3, you can grab a Zorki-4 for around $50 and below, although some complete sets on eBay will cost you around $100.

Konica III

Last but not least is the Konica III, a fixed-lens, leaf shutter rangefinder camera introduced in 1956. Camera-wiki.org tells us that unlike the first two models which had knob advance, this model has a film wind lever. Curiously, however, it’s situated at the front instead of the top and should be pressed using the forefinger or thumb. It requires two strokes to cock the shutter and wind the film at the same time. It also features a self-timer control lever and fold-out crank for film rewind, both of which eventually became conventional. The original Konica III came with a 48mm f2  Hexanon lens and Konirapid MFX shutter with a top shutter speed of 1/500 sec. You may be able to spot a Konica III for a little under $100, but some near mint and excellent condition units on eBay are typically around $150.

As always, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more vintage goodies like these to share with you. In the meantime, we also suggest checking out these other rangefinder film cameras we liked.

Cover photo from the eBay listing by k.mocio

Sours: https://www.thephoblographer.com/2020/04/03/cool-film-rangefinder-cameras-can-be-yours-150-or-less/

Ebay rangefinders

I go into the shower, at the same time I listen to what is happening in the room. I hear the voices of men and I am scared. Goosebumps run through my body, I try not to think about what will happen next, I am here and now, I am in. The shower. Gently apply fragrant foam to my body and wash it off thoroughly.


He tried to get up, slipping on the grass, but the next moment someone kicked him in the leg, grabbed his hand, twisting it into a painful grip, and said:. "Who is this curious here?" Seryozha had neither physical nor moral strength to resist and, holding his hand tightly, was raised to his feet and dragged to the house. They pushed him into the room and, forcing him to grimace in pain, squeezed his hand even tighter.

A frightened Olya was sitting on the bed, covering her breasts with her palms.

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