WLF vs Prism for portraits

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by EASmithV, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I did a shoot recently and shortly after it started I switched my WLF for my prism. The prism has less magnification and makes focussing slightly more difficult than the WLF, but it's easier to see the full frame and the extra few inches it lets you lift the camera make slightly more flattering images... Thoughts?
     
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Prism helps you not to get photographs of nostrils, which is a good thing IMHO. Mine (RZ67) is harder to focus critically than the WLF though, which is annoying when you're shooting 6x7 at f/4 or so and getting maybe one eye's worth of DOF.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    That different angle of view can be really important.

    Of course, a step-stool for the photographer can go a long way to help with that.
     
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I used a prism for the shots in my gallery that are 6x6. I prefer it, but mine is toast so now I'm using the waist level.

    It's weird. I'm not used to it. It's going to take some getting used to.
     
  5. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    Prism, WLF is awkward on 645 when shooting verticals :wink:
     
  6. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Use what works best for you. Personally, I prefer the waist level finder. I also prefer the camera on a tripod for portraits.
     
  7. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    is there any way to get more magnification out of a Hasselblad Prism finder? Magnifying diopter?
     
  8. mrosenlof

    mrosenlof Member

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    A higher camera position is definitely a good thing for a portrait. You don't really want to tilt the camera downward either. Lens at eye level is best unless you are using large format and can drop the lens a bit. Have the subject sit down then a WLF is about right. I have a pentaprism for my Mamiya TLR but haven't really warmed up to it.
     
  9. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    WLF is brilliant for landscapes on 645 though. It means I can keep the tripod lower (and therefore more stable in windy conditions) without either getting muddy knees or backache trying to peer through a prism finder.
     
  10. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    OK. I'm going to play with the lens to eye level idea which means my lens needs to be level with my subjects eye level. I'm 5'-8" so for a subject that is standing since I'm taller then most women it is actually easier to use a WLF to take their portraits since I don't have to squat with a pentaprism. For men or women my exact height I would be better off using the pentaprism. For taller subjects than 5'-8" I'm just screwed unless I use a ladder.

    Use what works for you. If you like using both finders then fine. I shoot mostly large format and digital. I do still own a Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm Planar and although I own both finders for it I prefer the WLF but that is just my preference.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i recently discovered that focusing is sometimes made unnecessarily hard y forgetting to release the dof button
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yes, when the camera is pointed down slightly it can be more flattering, but that is a choice.

    If you need that point of view the prism can be an easier tool to use. On my RB I got a split prism screen to make focusing easier with my 150 sf, it helps with the WLF Finder too.

    The lower point of view does square things up though if that is important, again just a choice.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Generally I prefer the W.L.F for static portraits and the prism finder for moving ones, and to use with on camera flash.
     
  14. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    You are ablsoutely correct.. but the prism also has an accessory magnifyer which is a very handy tool if you can find one at a reasonable price. They are amazing and once you try it, you will never go back to anyting else ever again. Oh and you will miss it on other cameras if you ever switch.
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have never used the WLF on my Hasselblad, I use the prism. I do not have to bother with the right-left [left-right in England] reversal and I have a great built-in light meter.
     
  16. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I don't have a prism for either of my Rollei's, but I often use the flip down magnifier, which allows raising the camera up to close to eye level. Always a tripod and shutter release for portraits for me, no matter what the camera - it allows me to stand up from the camera and engage directly with the subject.
     
  17. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Will this insanely expensive little thing give me a full/mostly full frame view? And will it fit on an NC2 finder?
     
  18. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Do you guys prefer 45 or 90 deg prisms?
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I use a 90 and would prefer a 45. The reason: big nose.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    45
     
  21. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Since I'm shooting a Mamiya TLR and not an SLR like most of you guys, I don't have a choice between 90 and 45. If I had one, though, probably 45.