Any 35mm Waist-Level-Finder users out there?
Lately I've been thinking about how nice it would be to have a WLF finder on my Canons (EF & AE-1P). I feel like it would allow a much more discrete way to take pictures of people. Indeed, I don't think anyone would realize you're taking a picture, they'd think instead that you're just admiring your camera.
So does anyone on here find it an advantage? I think it could open up new realms of candid/street photography to SLR users who don't have the advantages inherent to a rangefinder.
I'd also like to get a list of 35mm bodies that support WLF. I know the Nikon F does, the Canon F-1 and randomly, the Praktica FX's. (I happen to own a Praktika, currently not working, might have to fix it up just for the WLF)
Also, has a *metering* waist level finder ever been manufactured? That would be awesome.
The Pentax LX as well as the Nikon F, F2, F3 and F4 could use WLF's, though I don't think any of them had metering in them.
What about a right angle finder on a normal prism?
Ah, I just read about the Pentax LX on mir.com.
Do the right angle finders allow you to see the imagine from waist level though, or do you have to put your eye up to it? That would be my main concern.
If I remember rightly Miranda 35mm SLR s had metering interchangeable WLFs, but the problem to me with waist level finders unless you're Clark Kent is they are so small you can't see them without glueing your eye to the magnifier.
Both my pre-war Exakta and Exa have WLF's and are built like tanks and can take a Zeiss lens. Beautifully made cameras with a cult following.
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Awesome, thnx guys. Any more out there?
How about the Canon angle finders, do they allow you to see the image from a distance or do they require you put your eye up to it?
The Nikon F3's meter is in the body, as is the F4's spot meter (but not the center-weighted or matrix meters), so you can meter with a WL finder with these cameras.
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
You are correct. I have a Miranda G with both the prism and WL finders. I rarely use the WLF for precisely the reason you mention-the ground glass is so small that I have to use the magnifier up really close to judge focus. It is handy for low angle shots or for when the camera is on a tripod. Unfortunately, to swap out the viewfinders, I have to first remove the clip-on light meter from the right-top of the camera, so it's a cumbersome process to change.
Originally Posted by benjiboy
That being said, for a street shooter (which I'm not), I would think that with a 28mm or a 35mm lens, you could just scale focus and use the WLF discretely to frame your shots.
Agreed on the 28mm & 35mm lens. But I'm more interested in 50mm and 85mm lenses. Like the other day, I was sitting in a coffee shop and the couple across the room was picture worthy. Would've been prime for some WLF action.
And I don't really like zone focusing or guessing, especially in lower light levels where depth-of-field is so short.
This website says "...A2 and B are convenient Eyepiece attachments for viewing. They are used taking pictures from the waist level..."
I'd like to know if the whole image is visible though and some personal experiences from people using these attachments. There's a similar thread "next door", I might go over there.
The Exaktas have the best WLF I've seen in 35mm (apart from a few simplified later ones).
With a massive condensor/magnifying element, they produce a much brighter and apparently bigger image than, say, a Nikon F with a WLF.
Maybe one of the very few you could actually use at waist-level (at least for composing).
Also the Rolleiflex SL 2000f/3003 cameras have a WLF finder (as well as a normal one), but again not as nice as the Exakta's.
The main advantage in this case is to be able to switch form one finder type to the other in an instant.
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa