Nikon F3/4/5 with eyeglasses
I just tried out an F4 and noticed that with glasses, you have to move your eye to view the top and bottom read-outs in the viewfinder.
This has never been a problem for me with my Olympus OM SLR's because the readouts are on the bottom or side (not top & bottom) but I am about to retire that system and move to Nikon - because it will allow me to shoot FX digital and 35mm with the same lenses.
I have read that the F3HP is good with eyeglasses because of the high viewpoint finder. Is it better than the F4, how do they compare?
I also have my eyes on an F5, how does the F5 finder compare with the F4 finder?
Would I be better off going for bodies with readouts on the bottom or side of the frame - such as the F100, or the FE2 instead of the Pro bodies? I am pretty set on the pro bodies because of the 100% finder coverage and a proper mirror lockup - I don't mind the extra weight, and before someone tries to warn me off it - I know the F5 is a brick, and I know the F3 sucks with flash. Cheers - Tim
I think it's only the F4 that has that issue. I had the same problem w/ mine, and it aggravated me enough that I sold the camera. Too bad because otherwise it's a heck of a performer. Tank-like doesn't even begin to describe it. The F3HP viewfinder is "normal" and great for eyeglass wearers. Never used an F5. I recommend the cheap N8008s and B90s cameras. Great bang for the buck, excellent meters. I can see the whole frame lines on my N8008s w/ my glasses on. Not sure either has mirror lock up though. I know my N8008s doesn't, but I never use that feature.
I don't have an F4 but both the F3HP and F5 are about the same good in this respect.
Originally Posted by timk
I also wear glasses and the only camera where I can see the entire frame is the OM. (Had first an OM-10 and its viewfinder was the motivation to upgrade to an OM-2.)
I also have the F2, F3HP and F4. None of them compares to the OM in regard of the viewfinder. I had hopes the HP prism on the F3 would be usable, but it doesn't come even near the OM.
My advice: Don't sell the OM.
I recently aquired the F100, so I can't say much about it, only its viewfinder is also not on pair with the OM. The same goes for the F80, F801, F90... should I list all models I own? Better I tell you directly: none of them is at the level of the OM, at least when you look in them with glasses. (With an diopter adapter it is different.)
I can see the frame well enough with glasses on my F3HP, F4 and F5, but it might depend on your glasses.
As an alternative, use dipoter correction lenses (if the built-in correction isn't adequate) and put your glasses atop your head when shooting.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
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yes, well, my other option is to try contact lenses - I have astigmatism which means the standard diopter correction is no good. I have heard of people getting custom prescription lenses made, but that may be more trouble than it's worth. Maybe I'm getting lazy but it would be nice to have an AF camera and be able to use the same system with a digital body - I agree on your comments about the OM's - best viewfinders I've ever seen. I was tossing up between keeping an OM4 or a 2n, I love the spot meter on the OM4, but the OM-2n's is quieter and smoother!
I have astigmatism which is in both eyes. I get suitable disposable contacts no problem. I use an F3 with the standard prism, and also an F100, and can see the full frame and displays in both. I have tried the add-on diopter option, but it was a pain putting glasses on and off when using it. The F100 has a built-in diopter adjustment. I also have an OM-1, and I agree the finder is excellent. Contact lenses are probably the best option to achieve your goal.
I have awful eyes and giant glasses: I just tried all three side by side, F3hp is the best, it's uncluttered and the info at the top is super easy to read (except in the dark, but that's a different problem), F5 is second, both top and bottom displays are totally readable, bonus points for lighting the bottom display, penalty for not being able to tell which AF point is active in poor light, F4 is the worst, both top and bottom data and corners seem slightly out of view, plus if you look through it a long time, there is an annoying (IMO) central hotspot.
That being said, I wouldn't rate the viewfinder as all that important; I used a Pentax 67 for a long time, and I could only see the very central part of the screen.
+1, on the diopter suggestion. I have found wearing eyeglasses when shooting with any of my Nikons (F2/F3/F4/F5/F6) to be a bit of a bother. So I opted to use the diopters on the F4e/F5/F6 for convenience sake. For my F2 and F3HP bodies, I have found the Type L or Type P focussing screens (quick and easy focus irrespective of lighting conditions or the quality of one's eyesight) a viable alternative to the diopters offered by Nikon for either of these two cameras (the fact the bodies are 25 years old + doesn't make the search for the appropriate diopter any easier).
Originally Posted by PhotoJim
An assortment of F-series Nikons with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.
Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.