focusing with both eyes open

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by David Lyga, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Why is it that I feel a bit more comfortable with BOTH eyes open when I focus an SLR? Does anyone else feel that way?

    Theoretically, you need only one eye, the one in the viewfinder, but I find my comfort level and perception to be a bit enhanced when both eyes are open. Strange? - David Lyga
     
  2. pen s

    pen s Member

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    I too focus with both eyes open. However I am left eyed, this leaves my right eye looking at my right hand holding the camera blocking it's view. I painted the top end of my Newtonian flat black for the same reason. With my left eye at the eyepiece I can leave my right open and the telescope image seems to float in space, I'm not aware of the confines of the eyepiece. Interesting effect.
     
  3. omaha

    omaha Member

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    I'm with pen on this. I'm very much left eyed. Never gave it any thought until someone commented years ago that I was using my K1000 "wrong". It is what it is.
     
  4. jk0592

    jk0592 Member

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    I focus with both eyes opened, as the OP. When young, I was taught to look into one eyepiece microscope with both eyes opened to reduce fatigue, and this habit was carried out with cameras.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2013
  5. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I am both left-handed and I use my left eye. It's interesting to read these comments. Yes, jk0592 fatigue is reduced. I wonder why? - David Lyga
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I always have both eyes open, and am equally ambidextrous. I shoot right and left handed equally well. I don't have a dominent eye as some do.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I'm just about blind in one eye and can't see out the other. I'm 56 and can't see doodly squat hardly.
     
  8. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I have the same experience as jk0592 as I was taught to use a monocular microscope with both eyes open. This was partly to reduce fatigue and party to allow me to draw what I could see with my right eye with my left eye focussed on a piece of paper. The technique is to switch attention from one eye to the other as required which takes a bit of getting used to but is easy enough with practice.
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I generally use one eye, mostly the right one.
    But, it's a useful skill to have both eyes open if you are in a place where you need to pay attention to your surroundings.
    For example, war zones, dodgy urban areas, working at the out-of-bounds line at sporting events, the rim of the Grand Canyon, etc.
     
  10. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I never even thought about this until you mentioned it. I keep both open, though the camera often blocks the one eye. I make no effort to close one.
    On occasion, though, I will position the camera so it's not in the way if I'm trying to capture movement or am walking and taking pictures - sometimes it's good to see more than the viewfinder shows.

    I seem to have a preference for the left eye through the viewfinder, but it is not exclusive.
     
  11. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Must give you a headache if you're viewfinder has a very small magnification?
     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    David, keeping both eyes open is something I couldn’t do when focusing, as I only use my right eye. In fact I can only close my left eye and keep the right open but not vice versa. I know you mention focusing and you have to look through the viewfinder to do that, but if you wanted to keep both eyes open at the taking stage you may find a Voigtlander Kontour finder useful.
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Focusing with two eyes open makes sense with pistol shooting. It help one maintain situational awareness. Rifles with a scope could get debatable whether it is a benefit or not. With cameras I focus with one eye -- dominant eye -- no matter the type of camera. Right eye for SLRs; right eye for waist level screens on MF cameras; right eye for ground glass on view cameras. In the end... interesting discussion (as always, David) but whatever works best is what works best. :smile:
     
  14. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Binocular vision.
     
  15. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I keep my left eye open, right eye closed. I do have many negatives where you'd swear I had both eyes closed, though... :laugh:
     
  16. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Amen to that. :D
     
  17. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Less fatigue and a sense of 3D
     
  18. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I don't have the object here, but when going through a collection of donated camera equipment at the Photographic Historical Society, I came across a viewfinder for some camera (German?) that was meant to "project" a frame on your vision. It was meant to be used when keeping both eyes open. The rest of the guys in the group thought it was pretty neat. It didn't work for me because I do not really have binocular vision, I'm wall-eyed, and while each eye works pretty well, they don't work together.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's the Voigtlander Kontur finder. I had one with my Voigtlander Vitessa-L, and I really liked it. You can see what's happening around the edges of the frame and adjust your composition accordingly. It's excellent for low light shooting, because you really have no light absorption from any kind of viewfinder system, but it presumes you have some other way of focusing.

    It came in 35mm/6x9cm format and 6x6cm and could be used with the normal focal length on each respective format.
     
  20. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Much easier if the focal length of the lens matches your vision exactly.
     
  21. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Thank you Brian, for the compliment about 'interesting discussions'. It's not that I think better than others; it's just that what's relevant with me is tied to what is practical to ME and (I think, others) and NOT what SOCIETY deems is practical! Oftentimes there really is a difference. (When you have no dedicated friends (largely, by choice) you often are free to think in those wholly objective terms because you have nothing to lose for doing so.) I thought that this subject might be well worth pondering because it really just might not have an objective or 'rational' answer to it. I think that the reduction of fatigue is the best answer to this.

    But, cliveh, I would be very interested in knowing this: if you simply COVERED one eye, would it make a difference, because you state (or infer?) that, physically, you simply CANNOT close only one eye. Would that THEN reduce fatigue?

    And, why does fatigue GET reduced? With me, it seems to somehow prevent an overload of information allocated to only one eye. Maybe that is more psychological than real. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2013