I Want to Build a Waist Level Finder (I think)

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by bvy, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I want to build a waist level finder -- something that I can attach to the hot shoe mount, for example, of one of many cheap 35mm cameras that I have (my Smena 8M for instance). How hard a project might this be?

    Really, I don't want to make one. If there's something that exists already that can be adapted or modified for such purposes, that would be better.

    Any ideas? It doesn't have to be perfect. For the type of street photography I do, I want something that just gives me a rough estimate of where the camera is aimed.

    Or maybe there's a camera that I missed. Has to be small and snappy though. TLR's are too big; my Yashica T5 has a WLF, but the shutter lag is interminable.

    Thanks!
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    nikon f series (f, f2, f3) had removeable prisms/vfinders, so you stare right down at the ground glass.. sneaky.
     
  3. DLM

    DLM Member

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    You could cannibalize an old Kodak or similar folding camera. Many of them had a small cruciform viewer (similar to a WLF, but way smaller) up near the lens. It would be really easy to glue one of those onto a hot shoe cap or adapter of some sort. Kinda cool idea, I'd never thought about that before. I don't have a good photo of one of my Kodaks, but look at this one and you can see what I'm talking about. It's the little part above the lens.
     
  4. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Thank you both. Still interested in hearing more ideas. But, DLM, you may be on to something. I actually have one of those Kodak folding cameras, and the viewer is small and looks to be easily detachable. I might make a go of it. Only problem is that the mirror/prism or some inside glass seems dusty or rusty (has spots). It might not be too bad. Anyway, they're cheap enough on eBay to pick up a second one...
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In the 30's Meyer made a reflex viewfinder for Leica's and Contax's, turned them into TLR's in effect as there was a separate viewing lens, you seem to want to do the same but waist level, perhaps a shorter focal length lens and correspondingly smaller screen.

    That should be quite easy to do.

    Ian