Mamiya C330 Prism vs. Porroflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Terrence Brennan, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

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    I am in the market for a Mamiya C330, and I want to use it with a prism, as opposed to looking down through the standard viewing hood. I would like the image to be upright, and not laterally reversed.

    What is the difference between the Mamiya prisims and the Mamiya Porroflex finders, which I see advertised on eBay? From what I can see from the pictures which accompany most auctions, the prism's eyepiece seems to be in the centre, and the Porroflex's eyepiece is offset to the left. Are there any other optical differences, or any other recommendations from Mamiya owners?

    I used the predecessors of the 330, the C3 and the C33, many years ago, and have always had a hankering for one. Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I might be utterly wrong, but I think the porro prisms use mirrors in stead of full glass penta-prisms are therefore lighter.
    Left to right orientation ?????
     
  3. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

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    archphoto is correct re: the mirrors. The view through the Porro is reduced where the Prism is almost full size.
     
  4. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Years ago when I was shopping for an eye-level finder for my Mamiya TLR bodies, I compared the prism finder and the porofinder. The prism finder was heavier and more expensive but the image brightness and clarity were superior. With the prism finder, a 180mm lens, and a pistol grip, I was able to shoot outdoor daylight sporting events.
     
  5. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I have a porroflex finder here that I bought for the Mamiya C330f that I later sold. The finder is unusable. The image is tiny and VERY dim. Get the prism.
     
  6. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I wouldn't go quite that far, but I do agree that the prism is superior - also heavier and more expensive.
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree with David, and find it best to use it with the L grip with trigger release to improve the handling at eye level,especially with the 180mm or 250mm lens pairs that make the camera very front heavy.
     
  8. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    A follow-up question: On a Web site (I think this one, on one of the subsidiary pages), it's mentioned that the prism finder is hard to use with glasses because it's impossible to see the whole frame with eyeglasses between the eye and the viewfinder. Can any eyeglass wearers who've used both types of finders comment on this? As an eyeglass wearer myself, I find this is a problem with many cameras, but it's usually not a huge problem -- I sometimes need to shift my view a bit to see metering displays or the like, but I can usually see most of the viewfinder image.
     
  9. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    The prism finder is useable with specs, but if it comes with the eyecup, fold it back or remove it. You have to peer about a bit to see the whole screen but it's not a major problem. I have a prism but rarely use it. Compared to the magnifying finder, the image is relatively dim. Focussing through the prism isn't much of a problem with a bright lens like the 80mm, but I have trouble achieving quick and accurate focus using the less fast telephoto's or, even worse(IMO) the 55mm wide angle. I suppose if your were intent on using the prism then it might be worthwhile investing in a Beattie screen or similar. Regards, B.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I wear glasses and my experience of using the prism with them is about the same as Blightys, I find the microprism/ split image focusing screen helps with standard and wide angle lenses, but generaly I prefer the waist level finder, and don't use the prism much, I've been using Mamiya TLRs for more than twenty years and you get used to following moving objects with it, or I pre-focus and use the eye level frame finder, practice makes perfect.
     
  11. Vick Vickery

    Vick Vickery Member

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    Go with a prism or stay with the waste-level finder...the porroflex finders are very dim.
     
  12. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    The porofinder might be easier to use with glasses, but the apparent image is smaller. I have a prism, but rarely use it. It came with my first C series camera. The prism should take a correction lens if you can get one.

    Personally I stick to the standard WLF or the chimney finder (the metered version has a large eyepiece and focus correction - I never use the built in meter since I have a spot meter or flashmeter).

    The only reason I drew attention to the edge of frame issue in my web pages is that unlike a 35mm SLR, the edges are all equally hard to see. It makes lining up verticals and horizontals more work. At least if you stick to what you see you won't crop too tightly :cool:
     
  13. TELLEGEN

    TELLEGEN Member

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    C330 f and S models are excellent camera,s for tripod and handheld use.
    The porroprism gives a dark and too small picture of the groundglass and the original prism is heavy, expensive and rather dim too.
    Look at the website of "baier fototechnik".
    They make a very solid from Kiev 88 adapted 45 degree prism which is far superior than the original.
    Even with built in exposure meter if you want.
     
  14. fotch

    fotch Member

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    For the most part, I find that the TLR works best with none of these accs. and if I need eye level viewing, I grab the 645.
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I recommended to my father to try the Porroflex on his C330. Once he put it on, he only took it off when he needed the tower for a shot. Then the Porroflex went back on. When I got his C330, I thought the Porroflex with the elimination of the left-right reversal was great. So when I when to Hassleblad, I got a 45ยบ PME prism. The prisms make it much easier to track moving subjects, especially quickly moving subjects. One can always remove the prisms if necessary for some situations.

    Steve
     
  16. fenderslash

    fenderslash Member

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    One of my C330f bodies came with a porrofinder attached. Until then I had always used the WLF, although I had always (and still do) wanted to get myself a prism finder some day. I agree that the porrofinder is not really up to the task for the reasons other posters have listed, and my WLF still gets 100% of the work as a result. The one saving grace that may make a porrofinder preferable over the prism is that you can get porrofinders with a built in meter, but you can't get the prism with a built in meter.
     
  17. bugmenot

    bugmenot Member

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