What to do when the eyes are going!!

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by leeturner, May 19, 2005.

  1. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    A the young age of 46 I am finally starting to experience difficulty with my vision so it's time for a trip to the opticians. I use waist level finders for 99% of my photography so for you spectacle wearers out there, did you find any problems when you started wearing specs when using a WLF? How about when using the magnifier? Thanks for your help, and I won't even start discussing my knee joints!
     
  2. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Go to an opthalmologist so that you can rule out macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts.

    I've worn glasses since I was 14 and have never had any problems with viewfinders. One of my lenses is -10 diopters. If you have trouble seeing close (i.e. need reading glasses) you might want to take your glasses off to look closely at the viewfinder. You will definitely need your glasses on to use the magnifier.

    I always take them off when I am under a darkcloth.
     
  3. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I've worn glasses for most of my life (30 something years anyway). I use the WLF on my RB67, and always with the magnifier in place. Helps me judge more than just focusing, it helps when using DOF preview on the lens.
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Excellent advice from c6h6o3!

    I have been wearing glasses since I was 4 years old (stigmatism - both eyes and convergence problems). I use WLF with MF TLRs and SLRs plus focus magnifiers with no problems. You may need to remove your glasses in order to see the full image (for framing/composition).

    I usually leave my glasses (bifocals) on when I am under my BlackJacket using a LF camera.
     
  5. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Go with c6h6o3's advice first. Ruling out pathology, you probably have presbyopia. No, it's not some kind of religous reformation. It means "due to aging". :smile: You can probably do very well with glasses. Not to draw attention to myself, but I have profound astigmatism (top 10%) and 20/200 vision and presbiopia so I use tri-focals.

    If you do find specific problems using glasses, then ask again. There are some good tips and work-arounds.
     
  6. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I've had glasses for years and now have old people glasses. The progressive lenses ( lineless bifocals) that I have now are often tricky to focus because you have to get the glasses in the right place through a viewfinder to not be seeing through the reading glasses part or the middle part. (Perhaps with a ground glass you need the reading glasses part.)

    Anyway I've decided to get an extra set of glasses with the focussing eye having only the distance lens and not the progressive lens. So you don't have to focus your camera and your glasses at the same time.


    Michael
     
  7. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I've been wearing lineless bi-focals for years (I'm 46). For WLF, I don't have any problems at all. I do have issues with large format though, it's a PITA to have to look through the bottom portion of my glasses to see the GG. At my next eye exam, I plan on getting a set of glasses JUST for use with LF cameras.
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    For the past 20 years (following 15 years as a military and photojournalist) I have been have worked as a rehabilitation counselor and supervisor with a speciality in blindness and brain injury. I concur that you get a good medical eye exam to rule out any of the above mentioned conditioned. It is very likely that at your age you will need reading glasses. I would take your camera to the drug store and check out different reading glasses to see which power (diopters) might work for you. (I assume that like in the US you can reading glasses with a prescription). You may need a different diopter when you are using the camera than for reading.
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've gone through that.
    It started right about your age and I noticed that it was harder to focus on things that were close. It is a PITA because you can't focus close without glasses and you can't focus at distance with them. This keeps you juggling constantly, always leaving the glasses in the other room and never having them, precisely at the moment that you need them. I have found that I have no problem at all focusing on a matte screen with a pentaprism such as on a 35mm, even without special viewfinder diopters, but a ground glass or the small numbers on my handheld meter definitely needs the glasses. My perfect solution would be a pair of reading glasses with flip-up lenses but I haven't been able to find anything like that so I hang them around my neck which is really annoying. I've heard of some photographers buying an extra pair of glasses that are much more powerfull than they would normally wear, specifically for working under the darkcloth.
    On the good side, reading glasses can be bought at the drugstore for a few bucks instead of hundreds at an opticians and, by not wearing your glasses, you'll find that your prints need much less spotting :smile:
     
  10. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Lee, at 53 I had to get glasses last year. To add insult to injury, they ended up being bifocals. When you choose frames, make sure to get them large enough to give plenty of space for the reading portion. It will take a bit of getting used to, but if the pictures are better, it is worth the trade. tim
     
  11. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

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    Well I'm 20 and I have great eyes.... i suppose i should count my blessings... but i know a photographer who has wore glasses most of his life and claims its not difficult to work with medium format at all.
     
  12. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Thanks guys for the advice. I'll definitely go for a full check. I've worked with computers for over 20 years but have always carried out eye excercise (focus at long distance every 30 minutes or so). It feels like an age thing (as does everything now!) as it's hard to focus when moving between distances. After a couple of minutes everything is quite clear on the new object, it's just that I've started to get headaches for the first time after either reading or working at close range for any length of time. After giving it some thought it strikes me that focusing on a WLF may be easier than with an eye level finder. Next thing to try is the grain focuser with the enlarger.
    One strange thing, but probably just coincidence, is that my eyesight has become worse since working with flat screen monitors. Could it be that with some flat screens the contrast changes with your viewing angle and your eyes are constantly working to compensate for the change in contrast?
     
  13. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I need my reading glasses to focus on the wlf screen but can remove them when using the magnifier (SQ-A) as it projects the virtual image far enough away for me to focus. If necessary you can get different dioptre lenses for the magnifiers of many WLF equipped cameras. I started needing them a few years ago at the same age as you. Seems to be a surprisingly sharp transition: most people seem to need them within a couple of years either side of 46 even when you have previously had 20/20 vision.

    I tend to wear the glasses low down on my nose (but then, I have a big nose...) so I can look over the top of them when I need to focus at a distance; as Flotsam says, it's a pain switching between close and far focus...

    Luckily, the knee joints are holding out, but then, they don't get too much wear and tear anyway while I'm on the sofa watching the telly...


    Bob.
     
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  15. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Even when your eyes have gone, you can still take photographs, as have proven these people in Australia. Mind you, some prints have sold for $200!
    4Sight

    BTW, I am not making fun of these people, in case anyone was wondering!

    Njoy, medform-norm
     
  16. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I am 47 as of very recently. I started needing reading glasses about 6 years ago. Prior to that I've always had astoundingly good vision and this business of needing reading glasses is a real pain.
    I shoot LF, not MF, but I find that I need more than just glasses to focus properly. I tried a "loupe" and found it less than satisfactory because the area that it covered was so small relative to the size of the ground glass
    Some time ago I came into a slide projector with a bunch of old radios I bought, and seeing as it was pretty much scrap anyway, I cannibalised the lenses, cut them apart and made my own magnifier. It's about 1.5" diameter glass. I put the glass into a plastic tube about 2" long and taped it together. Unlike a loupe, I don't have to have my eye tight up against it. I can use it more as a magifier than a loupe.
    I don't think it's going to make me another Ansel :smile: , but at least my pictures will be in focus.

    cheers

    oh yeah - I also found that I "must" wear my reading glasses when using the grain magnifier for my enlarging as the focal length seems to be dependant on having them either on or off.
     
  17. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    A closing note - My optometrist volunteered that he could have a special loupe made to a prescription. I find that intriguing. We will be discussing it next week.
     
  18. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I've worn glasses for a good portion of my life. But I love contacts. So much easier IMO for the focusing. If it's not a crazy prescription, I would recommend looking into it. They have made them so easy to wear, I rarely use my glasses.
     
  19. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I friend related the visit to his physician where he was told he was suffering from allergies. He told the doctor "I'm 59 years old and I've never had allergies before", to which is doctor replied, "Yes, but you've never been 59 years old before".

    I started wearing glasses in high school. The eye-guy told me that I would get better, and then I would get worse. Sure enough, by the time I graduated from college I didn't have to wear glasses any more. But around age 45, things started getting fuzzy. Back to the opthamologist - and back to glasses. But this time, it was bifocals.

    Glasses in general are a PITA - bifocals are worse. The line is aways in the wrong place and they always need cleaning. They are a nuisance with a 35mm viewfinder, miserable with a waist-level finder, and an abomination with a loupe on ground glass.

    But it happens to all of us - part of getting older. But look at it this way - wine and cheese improve with age. In general, that applies to people also.

    The solution - by the time you reach the age where you need them, you should have gained the maturity to just suck it up and deal with the nuisance. After all, if that's the only thing that you have to complain about, life is really sweet.
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Hmmm...
    Decades of working in commercial photography (Pre-digital)... Eyes were fine.
    A couple of years of working at a computer monitor... Eyes started to go.

    There's another theory about a certain practice that will damage the eyesight but I would have been blind years ago if that one was true :wink:
     
  21. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    As of last year, I now wear progressive bifocals. There are 3 different types of bifocals (at least, there's probably even more): 1. traditional bifocals with a line between the distance Rx and the reading Rx. 2. lineless bifocals are basically very similar to the original bifocals, the only difference is that you can't see the line when looking at somebody wearing them. For the person wearing them, it's a different story, instead of just having a line to look thru to go from one portion to the other, you have a larger fuzzy area! 3. progressive bifocals. with these there's no noticable fuzzy area, but rather a smooth transition between the distance & reading Rx'es (sort of like a zoom lens) :smile: The only problem with progressive bifocals is that the peripheral vision is blurry. It was explained to me that the lenses are hourglass shaped (the area that does any correction), and that the other areas are just filler sort of. Progressive glasses take some getting used to, you 'focus' them by varying what part of the lens you look out of, so if you see somebody looking at somebody, and moving their head up/down they're looking for the right part of the lens to look out of!

    I found that it was almost impossible to focus on the GG of a 4x5 while using progressive lenses, and had a pair of reading only glasses made for reading, and focusing the camera. Using a loupe with the distance Rx works for me too (when I had the reading glasses made I also had a single vision pair made with just the distance Rx). When I use my Graflex Super D I use the single vision lenses, and I have flip up/down reading glasses that are 2.75x magnification.

    In the end, like so many other areas of photography, trial & error, trying several combinations to see what you are comfortable with is about the only thing you can do, there's no correct way to use a camera with glasses, nor a wrong way.

    My solution was to use a Linhof 4x5 with a rangefinder, it's much easier for me to use than trying to focus on the Super D's GG (the Super D has a chimney to see the GG, so you can't get a loupe on the GG) Of course the Linhof still has a GG so I can still use it any time I want/need to.

    -Mike
     
  22. Dimitri

    Dimitri Member

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    Been wearing glasses since I was 10 or 12. In the past 2 yeaars or so I also developed presbyopia so moved to bifocals. Found then PITA so I just had a normal pair of glasses (myopia + astigmatism) and a reading pair (presbyopia). Now I can see the GG and use the loupe with no problem. Before that I took off the glasses to check the GG, but it wasn't always easy.

    For WLF I can still use the normal glasses with the magnifier and all seem OK.
     
  23. biloko

    biloko Member

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    I do less (but better) pictures using a tripod and high f stops... and I also remember all those I have already done in my F! life...
     
  24. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Well many years in IT certainly played havoc with my eyes, but I get less headaches since I left IT.

    At first I admit I took the panic road and got my first auto-focus camera.

    Then I found I only needed to use my glasses to see the F stops and speed. Alternatively if the information is displayed in the viewfinder I didn't need to wear my glasses.

    Interestingly for me I've found I shoot better pictures without my glasses as I see the lines and form better without needing the detail. Once I have the negative I can see the real details within the picture. So usually I now put my glasses in my pocket when out prowling for the street shots.
     
  25. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I've been wearing glasses since early schooldays (astigmatic). Can't do lasers 'cos of glaucoma in the family plus amount of correction needed, contacts would have to be weighted in order to keep them in the correct orientation (possible but fiddly).

    As far as photography goes:

    - if using an old-style SLR then have a pair of glasses just for that (the metal 'finder on my Dad's old Pentax S1a scratched the hell out of one pair!).
    - with any eye-to-the-finder type camera make sure the eye relief point is far enough back so that you can see the whole 'finder image with your glasses on.

    Can't speak for WLF's or GG as I haven't much experience with them.

    Best of luck with your tests,

    Frank
     
  26. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    35mm or 2 1/4 autofocus and a nice older Deardorff 8x10. Or, a brand new DPPI 8x10, currently being made by Jack Deardorff.

    It is a lot easier to focus on the large ground glass.