F3HP Viewfinders vs. Other Nikons

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    This may sound somewhat trivial, but I noticed that when looking through the viewfinder of an F3HP it seems as though I am looking through a wide angle lens. I compared it to other Nikons without the HP viewfinder using the same lens, and it appeared that the F3HP had a bit of a wide angle effect. Am I imagining this, or is this part of the design? I have been using the F3 for years and I never really noticed this until recently.

    Disclaimer for those of you who usually jump on the opportunity to bash me for anything I post here: This post is meant for curiosity satisfaction only. I am simply inquiring about the effect of the HP viewfinders vs. regular finders. I know and fully understand that the above mentioned difference in viewfinders will not have any negative effect on my images, and I am fully aware that I "just need to out and shoot and stop worrying about the little things", so thank you in advance for sparing us the over obvious condescending observations.
     
  2. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    Just a few days ago I compared back and forth between an FE2 and F3HP using the same lens and there is a noticeable difference. You are right, there does appear to be a bit of a wide angle affect, I believe it does have a bit of a negative magnification built in as part of it's ability to show 100% of the view. The F3HP does show a bit more of the view than the FE2, and to me seemed a bit brighter.
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Snegron,

    From the Nikon Compendium:

    "For those photographers who wear glasses seeing into the extreme corners of the image area in the viewfinder is often a problem since they cannot position their eye close enough to the eyepiece. Normal viewfinders are designed for an eye relief distance of about 15mm between the eyepiece and eye. As this distance increases the corners of the finder image begin to be obscured. In order to solve this problem Nikon developed a special viewfinder for the F3, the High-eyepoint (HP) finder, which has an eye relief distance of 25mm allowing a complete view of the finder image that suffices for most glass wearers.

    "The HP viewfinder, known as the DE-3, turns a normal F3 into an F3 HP increasing the camera's weight from 700 to 745 grams. It is not just those with glasses who have come to apperciate the F3 HP, photographers with normal vision can benefit from the more comfortable viewing afforded by this finder, so much so that in the latter years of its production the F3 was invariably delivered as the HP version."

    Perhaps they accomplished the effect with a bit of wide-angling?
     
  4. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I also noticed as you mentioned that while the image was brighter, it also appeared a tad bit more foggy than when looking through the viewfinder of an F2A or FM2. I wonder if this is due to the design of the actual mirror itself (with the tiny, microscopic holes that permit light to go through the mirror onto the metering cells)?
     
  5. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    It's only a wideangle effect when you consider that, yes - you ARE seeing a wider angle of view - when compared to an FE2 which is fairly constrictive. The difference is nearly as much as a 24mm vs 28mm lens. You're just seeing the full angle that the lens offers. It is not technically possible for the prism system and associated optics to give you a wider angle of view than the film sees. Otherwise you'd have a focus error. Make notes for one of your next shots -as to exactly what's included/not included through the finder. The film should show you exactly that.
     
  6. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Keep in mind that professional level Nikons (F2 to F6) all show 100% of the image in the viewfinder. Consumer Nikons don't (it is only around 90% if I remember correctly). This means the viewfinders for this camera tend to be bigger than the consumer cameras.
     
  7. snegron

    snegron Member

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    True. But I also noticed the difference between the F3 and F2A (the F2 with a DP-11 finder) using the same lens.
     
  8. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I wonder if the field of view is affected when using a wide angle lens then? For example, when I use a 24mm lens I will notice a bit of distortion in the image (wide angle effect). Will I see this effect increased through an HP finder vs. a regular finder? If so, then it won't be possible to obtain a truely accurate view of an image (what it will look like on print) when using a wide angle lens with an F3HP. In other words, the only way to know for sure what the image is going to look like with a wide angle lens while using an F3HP is after the image is printed.

    Intersting theory especially because in all the years I have used an F3HP, the widest lens I have used has been a 35mm lens! For the most part the lenses I have used with the F3 have been a 35mm, a 50mm and a 105mm. Only recently (last year) did I purchase a 24mm lens, but I have mostly used it with an old F with Ftn Photomic head.
     
  9. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I have to be honest, I was so intrigued by this I checked out my F3HP.

    I had a 50mm mounted on it (i.e. "normal" lens) and did not see any wide angling at the edges.

    I then mounted a 28mm on it. Still do not see any "wide angling" at the edges.

    But I must say, I was reminded of how wide open the F3HP viewfinder is versus my F5/F100 gear.
     
  10. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Very valid point!

    I just tried an experiment. I have a regular F3 and an F3HP and two 105mm lenses. I attached the lenses on both bodies and looked through both viewfinders at the same time. I did not see any difference in the angle of view. However, I attached one of the 105mm lenses on my F body with standard prism and the difference was very apparant! The view through the F3HP appears to be more of a wide angle.

    Then, this was somewhat surprising, I looked through the viewfinder of the F with 105mm lens and the F3 (non-HP)with 105mm lens. Even the F3 "standard non HP" prism has a wide angle effect. Not as pronounced as with the HP, but it still has a wide angle effect.
     
  11. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I'm not 100% certain, but I think that the F5 and F100 incorporated the HP viewfinder in their design. You would probably notice the difference on an older Nikon F, F2 or any of the compact series (FM, FE, etc.)
     
  12. dslater

    dslater Member

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    The F3HP viewfinder has a .72x magnification vs. .8x magnification for the non HP finder. This difference may be what you're seeing.
     
  13. roteague

    roteague Member

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    The new F6 has a 0.74x magnification.
     
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  15. dslater

    dslater Member

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    I don't know about the F5, but I do know the F100 has a high eyepoint (HP) finder.
     
  16. mawz

    mawz Member

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    The HP finder is one of my main beefs with the F3 (apart from the horrid LCD). While it's great for eyeglass wearers, the lower magnification and higher eyepoint make it distinctly inferior to the F2's finders for non-eyeglass wearers.

    And finding a non-HP finder for an F3 is difficult these days.

    Note that while all the post-F3 pro bodies have a high eyepoint finder, they do not have as much eye relief as the F3HP's 25mm, typically the newer bodies are in the 22-23mm range. This makes for a better finder for those not wearing glasses.
     
  17. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I think you're thinking yourself into a corner here. It's SIMPLY that the F3HP finder will show you exactly what you get on film. There's NO optical trickery whatsoever to it. No wide angle distortion that isn't ALREADY there. It is more accurate than the finder on other cameras from the perspective that it shows you the WHOLE frame. However - one can ALSO make the argument that the lesser angle of view of a 'lesser' camera will mimic the cropping induced by the rebate in a negative carrier.
     
  18. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Hi. What on EARTH are you talking about?? The F3 has no LCD. Are you thinking of the F4??? I'm not an eyeglass wearer and I find the F3HP to be VASTLY superior (brighter, bigger, easier to see, etc) than the F2s that I've tried.
     
  19. dslater

    dslater Member

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    The little window in the viewfinder that displays your shutter speed is an LCD.
     
  20. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Hmmm... can't recall - I thought it was an LED display. Could it be that some were LED (early ones)? It's been 7 years since I've had one though (F3/T).
     
  21. mayokevin

    mayokevin Member

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    It comes down to the magnification. The HP finders have a magnification of .74 the FE2's magnifications .92 (This is from memory). So with a 50mm lens focused at infinity the F3HP viewfinder is 3/4's life size and the FE2 is .92 life size.
     
  22. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Nope. They all had tiny LCD displays on the front edge of the mirror box. These LCD displays have been considered by many as one of the flaws of the F3 due to its sensitivity to extreme temperatures, poor visibility, etc.
     
  23. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Are you referring to the LCD display that shows the shutter speed in Aperture Priority mode? The ones on each of my three F3HPs are quite bright and readable.
     
  24. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    For my money - the F3HP HAD no flaws. I had no problems or issues with mine at any time. I loved it - and it was, by a LONG shot, the best 35mm I'd ever used. If only people actually USED their cameras more, and stopped just sittin' on their duffs looking at them...! (that wasn't a personal jab - just in case it be taken that way)
     
  25. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Eh? A camera with no flaws? Even my MP isn't perfect, but I'd much rather use it than an F3.
     
  26. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Here we go!

    Roger pops in with an OT post and now we'll wind up debating:

    1) RF v. SLR
    2) German glass v. Japanese glass
    3) Cameras that use batteries v. those that don't
    4) Trekking in the Himalayas

    etc. etc.

    Fasten your seat belts everyone.... :D