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  1. #1
    Ironage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Ronan, MT
    Large Format

    Mini viewfinder for Large format camera.

    I recently purchased a tiny Minolta MG 16mm camera. Although it takes some interesting tiny pictures and is very easy to carry around and snap off pictures with compared to my 5 x 7, I have discovered an even better use for this camera.

    I found the focal length to format aspect on this camera to be very good for me so I did some calculations and learned that if I use a 240mm lens on my 5 x 7 it would have the same aspect. I obtained that lens for my camera and now pop the Minolta in my pocket and use it as a range finder while composing photos with the 5 x 7!

    Saves set up time to wander around with the mini until I get it just right. The picture on both cameras is identical except for quality!

    Try it!

  2. #2
    mjs is offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Elkhart, Indiana (USA)
    Multi Format
    You might try cutting a 4"x5" hole in the center of an 8x10-ish scrap of matt board or cardboard. Tie a string to the bottom with knots at the focal lengths of your lenses -- if you have 90mm, 150mm and 210mm lenses, for example, tie knots 90mm, 150mm and 210mm from the spot where the string ties to the cardboard.

    Hold the cardboard up in front of you and look through the hole until you see a scene you want to shoot. Hold the cardboard steady and pull the string up to your cheek. Where the string touches your cheek is the focal length of the lens you need to get just that shot you see through the hole onto 4x5" film.

    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
    darinwc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    I have tried a few different shoe-mount finders and a few DIY contraptions.
    Generally i have found that all of the glass 'finders' are tiny and squinty.

    My best recommendation, as above, is to cut a hole in a piece of matt board.
    You can use a string for focal length estimation but I found I dont really need it.

    For me, when I am not squinting through a finder, i can focus much better on composition.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.



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