Question about View Finders and Cropping

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by AutumnJazz, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Do viewfinders usually have lines marking the 5:4 (or 4:5) crop?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    For 5x4 cameras no, not usually, they normally have a mask on the front which restricts the view for the lens in question, so you don't see whats outside the frame.

    For rangefinder cameras they usually they have frame lines.

    Ian
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I see that you are posting in the Medium Format forum. I would take a guess that the context of your question is that you are using or considering a square format SLR or TLR, and are wondering if the viewfinders might have guides showing what a more rectangular crop may yield.

    Some cameras have interchangeable viewing screens, and some of those screens can include grids which can help with visualizing the crop.

    In addition, it is possible to add your own markings to a screen, although I wouldn't do that unless I had a replacement.

    Hope this (and the included guess) helps.

    Matt
     
  4. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    You're spot on. I've been interested in 6x6, but I don't want to use it if I always have to guess the crop area. I suppose over time I would "see" it instinctively, but I fear it would lead to many unpleasant mistakes when I start.
     
  5. Maris

    Maris Member

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    When I got my first TLR, a Seagull, I marked the focussing screen with crop lines for the horizontal and vertical 8x10 aspect ratio.

    After a few rolls of film I noticed that the pictures were coming out square. I mean I was ignoring the crop lines and just going with the native format of the camera. I guess the psychology was unless the image looked good I didn't shoot and looking good meant fitting the square!
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It works the other way too.

    When you don't have to turn the camera to switch between a horizontal crop and a vertical crop, you end up cropping mentally, both in the viewfinder, and in real life, without a viewfinder.

    Cropping guides on the screen or the frame around it can be useful, if you are trying to photograph something in particular (like a bride and groom for an album photo).

    If, instead, you are looking for a special photo, the constraints of the screen, or the paper may matter less.

    For what it is worth, if you print a lot, on to 8x10 paper (or something similar), you tend to get really instinctive about formatting in camera for the resulting crop.

    Matt