Waist Level Finder for Nikon F

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Adams, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. Adams

    Adams Member

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    Over the weekend I realized that eye level prisms are no longer friends of mine. Long story... Involving my glasses, my F and quite rare photo opportunity.

    Anybody around here on our little planet experience the same agony, have any ideas or schematics for a DIY workaround?

    I have a metered prism that doesn't work that could be used for a mount of some sort. Lemmie know!

    Mucho Thanks!
     
  2. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    What are you trying to do that needs a WLF?

    I have WLF's, chimney magnifiers and r/a finder attachments. For low profile work I prefer the r/a attachments because they still work when rotated for portrait orientation. For critical work a chimney magnifier is probably the best bet.

    I almost never use a WLF - I find the 35mm focusing screen to be just too small. A WLF works OK with just a field glass with cross-hairs for focusing, but is problematic with WA lenses. A 'field WLF' can always be made with a bit of cardboard and some tape.
     
  3. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    If your problem is you can't focus with your glasses, the fix is to get a diopter lens that works in conjunction with your glasses, not instead of them. If you can't find one, they are pretty easy to make from a pair of dollar store reading glasses. You will find you will miss a lot of shots with a wlf for quite a while after you start using it. The reversed image take a while to get used to and it is small compared to medium format cameras.
    .
     
  4. Adams

    Adams Member

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    I can't see the scene through my prism in it's entirety, without moving my head back and forth up and down. Sort of a problematic without a tripod. I used to have a Mamiya C330S (before I had glasses) and could shoot that without a tripod... I'd like to be able to use my F the same way. Focusing would be a bonus but I typically shoot beyond infinity of my lenses.

    Thanks for the swift reply and your kind advice.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    A DIY work around to shelling out the big bucks for a Nikon F WLF is to tape a loupe where your prism goes.
     
  6. Adams

    Adams Member

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    Dollar Store reading glasses... YAHOO!!! I didn't think of that.

    Thanks Bob!
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Well I've had the same problem since the F was introduced, you do get used to doing that without using a tripod. The other options are an eyepiece diopter to replace your glasses, a F3HP has a nice viewfinder for those who do wear glasses. Glasses with small lenses set in close to your eyes will help as well.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Yes, the plastic lenses can be sanded down very easily to fit inside the screw in holders on the prism. To determine which one you need, just stand about 3 1/2 feet from the stand and see which pair give you the clearest image of the stand. The factory prism is corrected so your eye has to focus on something one meter away from your eye.
     
  9. Adams

    Adams Member

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    Bob, it is good to know that it can be gotten used to... and I ain't the only one ever to have this come up. Change my glasses to pull closer to my eyes that would help.
    Thanks
     
  10. pnance

    pnance Member

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    I bought my first F in '66, (replaced an M3, which had one of the smallest viewfinders I've ever worked with) I've always worn glasses, so I look around the viewfinder. It spoiled me when I saw the tiny little images later cameras (even Nikons) had. Even on the F3, I prefer the non HP viewfinder. Small images in viewfinders are for the birds!

    Paul
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    An eyepiece diopter is the right solution for seeing the whole screen with a non-hp finder. You need to be able to get your eye's pupil the right distance from the eyepiece and glasses prevent that from happening.

    I have a diopter in my finders even though I wear glasses when using the camera. I am nearsighted, but my accommodation has gone to hell and with distance glasses I find it a strain to focus as close as 1 meter. A +1 (marked '0' in Nikon-Speak as the combination of a -1 prism and a +1 lens is 0) moves the apparent focusing distance to infinity, where my corrected vision is better. I can only see the whole screen with an hp finder, but don't find using the non-hp finders on my F2/DE-1 and FM2 a problem when wearing glasses - the big difference was the use of a diopter lens.
     
  12. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I fabricated +1.25 diopters for the same reason as Nicholas L, and using dollar store reading glasses as a source of lenses gets you much a much finer range in lens selection compared to finding discontinued/used or nonexistent Nikon products. Not to mention a $2 pair of reading glasses nets two lenses.