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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Viewfinder accuracy

    I shoot with an M2 because the viewfinder reflects what I get. But what do APUG members think is the most accurate camera viewfinder in respect of what you get when pressing the shutter?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

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  2. #2

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    Are you limiting to only rangefinder cameras? The M2 I assume you meant the Leica M2 which is a rangefinder and almost just about any SLR viewfinder is more accurate than that.

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    Are you limiting to only rangefinder cameras? The M2 I assume you meant the Leica M2 which is a rangefinder and almost just about any SLR viewfinder is more accurate than that.
    No, I mean any camera, but can you explain why any SLR viewfinder is more accurate than that?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

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    With the SLR you see what the frame of film will "see", through the same lens.

    This is surely a question of which camera has the largest viewfinder coverage? The Pentax MX has to be up there with 95%.
    Matt

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    I'd venture to say any SLR with a DOF preview function will be the most accurate. Much more accurate than a rangefinder since you are veiwing through the same lens that exposes the film. You also get the ability to stop down the lens to "preview" the depth of field at whatever aperture you have chosen. At that point, its about finding one with the largest coverage like PentaxBroncia said.

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    All SLR's with 100% viewfinder are most accurate as you can see corner to corner of what will exactly show up on film with any lens. Of these I know it included the Nikons F, F2, F3, Canons 1, 1V. There may be others. All other SLRs show a smaller percentage coverage that vary from model to model.

    In the Leica M2 manual page 9 the example shows what is visible in the rangefinder and you can see it is not exactly corner to corner accuracy as in the 100% viewfinder SLRs.
    Last edited by Les Sarile; 02-07-2013 at 06:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    BTW, I have not tested a Leica M2 - or any other Leica for that matter, in terms of accuracy as I have the SLR's I have tested a few non-interchangeable lens RFs and a whole lot of other SLRs.

    How accurate have you tested the M2 as far as the viewfinder is concerned?

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    Accuracy is nice, but for most purposes, not terribly necessary.
    For example, if you shoot (and mount) transparencies most mounts cut off the frame edges so that there is not a white border when projected. Simularly, unless filed, most carriers intrude slightly, so even if the camera shows you 100%, you may not be easily able to get that onto a print.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    No, I mean any camera, but can you explain why any SLR viewfinder is more accurate than that?


    A view camera is the only real accurate camera based on your question. A rangefinder can not be as accurate as an slr due to the offset of the view finder in relation to the film frame.
    If you were able to shoot macro with a rangefinder your could theoretically frame a subject but not capture it on film.
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  10. #10
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    A curious consequence of the Leica camera having an imprecise viewfinder was the necessity of cropping Henri Cartier-Bresson's much acclaimed "Puddle Jumper". Cartier-Bresson shot verticals with the viewfinder to the right thus displacing the lens to the left. The Puddle Jumper negative was exposed through a gap in a fence. Cartier-Bresson plumb forgot to point the lens through the gap and not the viewfinder! Consequently the side of the negative was obscured by a paling in the fence Cartier-Bresson was shooting through. The imprecision of the Leica viewfinder and its uncertain framing stands in stark contrast to Cartier-Bresson's insistence on "no cropping". I believe the "no cropping" rule was about asserting power over control and ownership rather than aesthetics. Later generations of photographers can thank Henri-Cartier Bresson for that. Here's a link to the H.C-B blooper:
    http://lourceyphoto.com/wp-content/u...04/garebad.jpg
    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.

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