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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    WLF vs Prism for portraits

    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?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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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. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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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.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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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.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  5. #5

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    Prism, WLF is awkward on 645 when shooting verticals

  6. #6

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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. #7
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    is there any way to get more magnification out of a Hasselblad Prism finder? Magnifying diopter?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  8. #8

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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.
    ---
    mike rosenlof
    louisville colorado usa

  9. #9

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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.
    Matt

  10. #10

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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.

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