External viewfinders for 21mm lens on Leica M

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by ooze, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Hi,

    I'm about to have someone purchase the Zeiss C Biogon 4.5/21mm lens for my Leica. However, I'm not so sure which viewfinder to get. There are two options: the Zeiss with 21mm framelines, and the Leica with 21/24/28 framelines. The Leica is only slightly more expensive and is made of metal, whereas the Zeiss looks plastic. It looks like the Leica is a no-brainer. What do you think? Any first hand experiences? I can only check them on the internet, that's why I needed to ask.

    A quick reply would be appreciated as my wife is in London right now and waiting for instructions :smile:

    Cheers,
    omar
     
  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    I know that several other users are quite happy with the Voigtländer 21mm finder. I also suspect that that alternative is cheaper than the other two.
     
  3. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Well, as far as prices go – the Voigtländer finders are 160 pounds cheaper than the Zeiss ones at Robert White…
     
  4. George Hart

    George Hart Member

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    Omar, I have this lens and bought the Zeiss 21 VF after trying the Leica! IMO there's no comparison—the Zeiss is much superior.
     
  5. Akalai

    Akalai Member

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    When looking through the Zeiss 21mm finder it's appears larger and brighter than the CV21mm finder which I own and I would think it is easily the better choice despite the significant extra cost. It's a shame you don't have a chance to check out the Zeiss and CV finder side by side, as you would see a difference but only you can decide if the added cost is really worth it.

    I really wouldn't consider the Leica multi-finder. It's BIG and not optically as good at any focal length as separate brightline finders are.

    If you are trying to save some money go for the CV finder, but if you have a little spare left over then the Zeiss finder is the bee's knees! :smile:
     
  6. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Get a dedicated viewfinder, unless you own the 24 mm and 28 mm, then get the combo.

    The combo is a compromise.

    The Voigtländer may be a better solution. I have a dedicated Leica viewfinder for my 24 mm which I'm happy with, but it has a plastic feel to it as well.

    Zeiss makes some of the best lenses in the world. I can't imagine they would make a bad viewfinder.
     
  7. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Oh dear...the Leica shop in London currently only has the Leica multi-finder:surprised:

    After the feedback given above I'm very reluctant to shell out 300 pounds for it. And there is zero chance of finding ANY finder here in Turkey...I really wanted that lens:sad:

    Thanks for all the quick replies.

    omar
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    After losing an old Leitz 21mm finder, I determined the difference between the 21mm lens coverage and the M4 viewfinder coverage at the edges, and guessed at framing the photographs. A little cropping in the printing usually corrected for any mistakes.
     
  9. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    I tried the different finders at Robert White, (my corner shop...). Whilst the Zeiss gives a great impression optically, it is big, bulky and has sharp edges which I feel would be prone to snagging.

    There are two CV finders, the cheaper circular one and a lesser known rectangular one which is more expensive, but has a wonderful unobtrusive profile that can happily stay attached to the camera even if the 21mm lens isn't mounted. The optics are fine and the biggest danger I reckon is that it is so small, that it could fall unnoticed from the bag!

    I think that this is the one http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/product.asp?P_ID=956&PT_ID=292&P=Voigtlander-28/35mm-Mini-Viewfinder

    Just realised that this is 28mm, not 21mm. This was right for me as it was going on a Leica camera which has a 1.3 crop factor.
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I use the Voigtlander 21/4 lens with the dedicated finder and I'm perfectly happy with the quality of the finder. The only thing that worries me is the fact that the foot is plastic. I have read really good reviews of the Russian 20mm finder and it's about as economical as you can expect. It's available here: http://www.dvdtechcameras.com/lens/leica/2/2.htm
     
  11. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Again, thanks for all the replies.

    I've decided to wait until April, when I'll travel to Germany and hopefully will have the opportunity to try out things first hand.

    Cheers,
    omar
     
  12. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    I have the dedicated finder as provided by Leitz with the Angulon 21mm f3.4 and like it. It is bright and works nicely for interiors.