Originally Posted by Stever
First, and most obviously, the waist level finder is of course more convenient when you want to shoot from a lower vantage point. The prism finger is better when you need to shoot from a higher vantage point.
Second, if you are photographing something with a lot of movement, it is easier to track with a prism finder. The fact that the image is not reversed makes it more convenient and natural to follow movement, and you have (somewhat) better peripheral vision too.
Third, and this is related to the first point, photographs of people taken using a waist level finder have a somewhat unusual angle of view. I worked with a portrait and wedding photographer once who would hire other photographers to do overload work. He refused to hire anyone who didn't use a prism finder, because he didn't like what he called the "navel-eye view" of the world. We are used to looking at people using eyes that are approximately 5 - 5 1/2 feet off the ground - photographs taken from 3 feet of height are often not as flattering.
Fourth, you will find that the prism for the Mamiya C series isn't the brightest viewing system in the world (although if you want really dim, try a porrofinder). As a result, when light is marginal, the waist level is better.
Fifth, the waist level finder has a built in magnifier, which is good for fine focus adjustments.
Sixth, the waist level is small and light, so if that is the priority, that is what goes on the camera.
And finally, seventh, the waist level tends to force you to slow down and approach the photograph in a more methodical manner. If you need something to encourage that approach, than the waist level finder is recommended.
Some times I go for a long time with just the prism finder on the C330 (which I use more). Other times, I carry both finders, and switch between them. Finally, at other times, I just carry the waist level (usually on the C220) when size and weight are important, or I know that I'll be shooting something other than portraits, and mostly from a tripod.
Hope this helps.
I would add a few more experiences to what Matt said:
I find that as I get older and my eyes get worse, the prism finder is easier to use with bi-focals
If I am shooting architecture or street scenes, where there are going to be a lot of signs with words, I use the prism finder, so that I don't end up with L to R composition problems... but that is much rarer than my outdoors landscape and scenic kinds of shooting.
The porrofinder, while much less expensive and lighter, is much darker, as Matt said. I have one in case I have both bodies going at the same time and don't want to be using the WL on either of them... strictly "overflow".
I find the WL finder very natural, after 35+ years of TLR usage. On my Bronica system, I have only the WL finder and it seems perfectly fine. What I have never tried, in all this time, is the chimney finder, and I'd really like to...
Waist level finders only really screw me up when I'm holding the camera out sideways (90 degrees from vertical with the WLF facing me). It takes some mental gymnastics to orient things properly like that
Why would you do that?
Originally Posted by walter23
Originally Posted by David Brown
Maybe he has tried to do this with a 6x4.5 or 6x7 camera.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Matt, I'm sure you're on to something. Now, why didn't that occur to me in a thread about 6x6 TLR's? Doh! :rolleyes:
Originally Posted by MattKing
I sometimes hold my C330s sideways to focus in low light with the split rangefinder focusing screen when the subject has no visible vertical lines. As I don't always put the camera back to upright position before shooting, there are a few "landscape" pictures in my negatives :o
Originally Posted by David Brown
I often run a C330 sideways on a tripod when doing landscape work with the waist level finder. This configuration enables me to set the camera very high (about 1.8 metres) and still see the ground glass. A high camera position is one of the best ways of overcoming messy foregrounds that always challenge depth of field limits.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
I've had the Rolf-Dieter Baier 45deg non metered prism on my C330S for years, the screws in the base are adjustable, the prism is bright and clear, ez to focus, easy on the eyes, I wouldn't use anything else, it kind of looks like an accessory Mamiya came up with for this camera.
What a great idea! While my particular style of landscape usually has some foreground object of interest, the longer I live here in Texas and the more I travel west, the more I have been trying to get that "western vista" look to some shots. I will definitely be trying this one!
Originally Posted by Maris
I have also been working on a project to make an adapter for the cXXX series that lets me put 35mm film in it and keeps it aligned correctly. But unlike some that I have seen, I want film exposed the full 6cm, not masked back to a 35mm frame size. I have some wooden spools that I have been using to make a holder for the 35mm can and I purchased several masks from other cameras that I will try to modify to use as a film guide - - this is a long term project... years in the making! The significance of raising this? I want to use it for long landscapes on the 35mm film and I will have to use the TLR sideways to do it.