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  1. #1
    Terrence Brennan's Avatar
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    Mamiya C330 Prism vs. Porroflex

    I am in the market for a Mamiya C330, and I want to use it with a prism, as opposed to looking down through the standard viewing hood. I would like the image to be upright, and not laterally reversed.

    What is the difference between the Mamiya prisims and the Mamiya Porroflex finders, which I see advertised on eBay? From what I can see from the pictures which accompany most auctions, the prism's eyepiece seems to be in the centre, and the Porroflex's eyepiece is offset to the left. Are there any other optical differences, or any other recommendations from Mamiya owners?

    I used the predecessors of the 330, the C3 and the C33, many years ago, and have always had a hankering for one. Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

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    I might be utterly wrong, but I think the porro prisms use mirrors in stead of full glass penta-prisms are therefore lighter.
    Left to right orientation ?????

  3. #3

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    archphoto is correct re: the mirrors. The view through the Porro is reduced where the Prism is almost full size.

  4. #4
    narsuitus's Avatar
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    Years ago when I was shopping for an eye-level finder for my Mamiya TLR bodies, I compared the prism finder and the porofinder. The prism finder was heavier and more expensive but the image brightness and clarity were superior. With the prism finder, a 180mm lens, and a pistol grip, I was able to shoot outdoor daylight sporting events.

  5. #5
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    I have a porroflex finder here that I bought for the Mamiya C330f that I later sold. The finder is unusable. The image is tiny and VERY dim. Get the prism.
    Chris Crawford
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  6. #6
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    I have a porroflex finder ... The finder is unusable.
    I wouldn't go quite that far, but I do agree that the prism is superior - also heavier and more expensive.
    David
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  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
    I wouldn't go quite that far, but I do agree that the prism is superior - also heavier and more expensive.
    I agree with David, and find it best to use it with the L grip with trigger release to improve the handling at eye level,especially with the 180mm or 250mm lens pairs that make the camera very front heavy.
    Ben

  8. #8

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    A follow-up question: On a Web site (I think this one, on one of the subsidiary pages), it's mentioned that the prism finder is hard to use with glasses because it's impossible to see the whole frame with eyeglasses between the eye and the viewfinder. Can any eyeglass wearers who've used both types of finders comment on this? As an eyeglass wearer myself, I find this is a problem with many cameras, but it's usually not a huge problem -- I sometimes need to shift my view a bit to see metering displays or the like, but I can usually see most of the viewfinder image.

  9. #9
    Blighty's Avatar
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    The prism finder is useable with specs, but if it comes with the eyecup, fold it back or remove it. You have to peer about a bit to see the whole screen but it's not a major problem. I have a prism but rarely use it. Compared to the magnifying finder, the image is relatively dim. Focussing through the prism isn't much of a problem with a bright lens like the 80mm, but I have trouble achieving quick and accurate focus using the less fast telephoto's or, even worse(IMO) the 55mm wide angle. I suppose if your were intent on using the prism then it might be worthwhile investing in a Beattie screen or similar. Regards, B.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  10. #10
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I wear glasses and my experience of using the prism with them is about the same as Blightys, I find the microprism/ split image focusing screen helps with standard and wide angle lenses, but generaly I prefer the waist level finder, and don't use the prism much, I've been using Mamiya TLRs for more than twenty years and you get used to following moving objects with it, or I pre-focus and use the eye level frame finder, practice makes perfect.
    Ben

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