extneral viewfinder frameline acurracy
OK so I mostly shoot 50mm and I haven't noticed much framing error. Same with my Hexar AF but I do not compose so tightly. I know that a RF is not the best tool for careful framing but I do care to understand rangefinder limitations.
So I'm interested in going wider (28mm) but with an external viewfinder because I do not have the framelines (I have an M2/M3).
How "accurate" are these things? Are they just as accurate (or inaccurate) as in-camera frame lines?
from my experiences with original Leitz external viewfinders in 21, 35, 90 and 135 mm I'd say that they even more inaccurate than the internal frames. The rangefinders are of a very high manufacturing standard but every small misallignment in the accessory shoe leads to a more or less serious difference between the viwfinder image and negative. With the Leitz 21 mm and the Cosina/Voigtländer 25 mm viewfinders this is more a estimation than an accurate composition. No external viewfinder can fully take into account the parallax mistake and the variation of the image field caused by fokussing from infinity to close range.
Everybody who wants to compose exactly into the frame should use a SLR with 100 % viewing on the screen like a F 2 or F 3.
Russar MR2 20mm viewfinder is parallax corrected from 1m to infinity. It is very precise in my experience and cover well up to 100%.
Originally Posted by jochen
A few of the Canon models, VT, VIT, etc. did have a parallax correcting pin on the cold shoe, which would raise or lower as you moved the focus from either closest to infinity. Pretty spiffy design.
The best option is to get a body with 28mm frame lines, much more accurate than a 28mm external finder. Or going with wider lenses, such as 25mm or wider as its easier to use external finders on these lenses and get good results through zone focusing and the dof you get with the wider lenses.
If you dont want to drop to much cash, just estimate the frame lines with your M2. I used to do this quite a bit with my Canon VT, VITs. If you are familiar with the 28mm focal length its very easy to eyeball it from the edges of the 35mm lines.
The hot shoe on M cameras is offset from the lens centerline. External finders made by LEitz(now Leica) have an offset in the mount to properly align them over the lens centerline.
Any other type of finder will introduce a rotational offset in the picture.
So a proper Leica external finder for an M camera will work just fine.-Dick
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Never seen a Leica finder that didn't have the shoe centered beneath the finder.
FWIW, I think the entire idea of "accurate Viewfinder" is pretty much an oxymoron. You're just not going to get the accuracy that you Think you will with any accessory finder.
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At 28mm it's usually very easy to get everything you need in the frame, the DOF is large, and the parallax is essentially negligible. Basically any 28mm lens will work just great with any 28mm finder - that's been my experience! At 50mm and longer, external finder lens match is a little more challenging, but I frequently use lenses to 135mm with no real problems.
What's interesting is that in the modern RF world, 100mm or so is often considered the practical limit for rangefinder lenses, which is one reason 135mm lenses are fairly inexpensive on the used market today and no longer made new. However before the advent of really effective 35mm SLR's (by the late 50's, early 60's) longer lenses were often used on rangefinders without mirror boxes, particularly in the 1930's (keep in mind the 35mm Exakta did not appear until 1936). For instance there was a 180mm f6.3 lens made for the Contax which used an external finder scope like a telescope. I've shot with this lens on Contax IIa and it works great. Similar lenses were made by third parties for the Leica thread system, all of which are rarities today. But, perhaps I'm drifting a little off topic... :-)
Originally Posted by msbarnes
Last edited by davela; 10-25-2012 at 02:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Thank you for the advice. I no longer doubt the accuracy of the framelines. I mean, I never believed they were accurate to begin with but I've managed by leaving a bit of space around the framelines. I bother to have precise framing.
They might be less accurate, sure, but I think I can learn to see 28mm or just frame looser. I don't anticipate much, if any, tight composition at close distances anyways.
I use the newer EVF by Leica and I have no complaints.