I focus with my right eye (left shut) BUT I open both eyes when shooting. My left eye tends to address or engage the people or person, trying not give the feeling of being caught with the camera between us. Also, if I'm focused and framed but waiting to see what is changing in the shot, I scan outside of my frame with my left eye (admittedly seeing mostly the outside left of my frame).
Thanks all for your replies. I'm not feeling quite so handicapped, now that I know that I'm not the only one that closes one eye while shooting. I'd like to keep both eyes open, and I may try it, but it won't do me much good with my right eye behind the advance lever. I can shoot with my right eye if I keep my left eye closed, but that defeats the purpose, so I think I'll just keep shooting with my left eye and not worry about it.
Other cameras with 1:1 viewfinder -- Nikon S2, Konica IIIa (with parallax adjustment). Also, you could try a Kontur finder -- you look with one eye and because the Kontur only shows an outline on a black field, effectively with both eyes open you see your subject with a box around it. Interesting. I'm left eye dominant too -- funny how tough it is to switch to right eye.
I use a CV Bessa R3M with a 1:1 finder. I keep both eyes open. I wasn't aware this was a 'Leica' technique, I just thought it was a rangefinder technique.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Both eyes open, but just with my rangefinder, and just when street shooting.
Secret weapon: I bought a Bessa R3A a year ago. From my research & to my knowledge, it is the only rangefinder that has a 1:1 viewfinder, meaning the view through the viewfinder is exactly the same as real life. With both eyes open I have all of my peripheral vision, so I see the things my camera is *not* pointing at, and as I pan to capture interesting things, the 1:1 viewfinder doesn't throw me off balance or make me dizzy. All I see are the framelines suspended in space, and the focus patch in the middle. It's really quite something.
It was something of a revelation to me after shooting with SLR's trying to cover events and/or keeping one eye out for 'undesirables' heading in my direction, if you know what I mean.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Oldish Fujica SLRs have bright 1:1 viewfinders too, I have an ST605 and an AZ-1 and they are really nice to use with both eyes open. Coupled with M42 lenses they might be a really cheap way to experience it.
SLR's have 1:1 finders only with a single particular focal length, and only if an available focal length produces a 1:1 image. I have two sequential SLR models from the same maker. The earlier one is 1:1 with a 60mm lens and the second with a 50mm lens. Of course you can also set a zoom lens at 1:1 on an SLR.
Originally Posted by ludoo
The SLR viewfinder, being near the center of the body, also causes the camera body to block more of the left eye's field of view (unless you're shooting a vertical), as opposed to the typical top left corner placement of a viewfinder on a rangefinder camera, which typically permits a greater field of view with the left eye on a rangefinder.
IIRC, the Minolta SRT series was 1:1 with their 58mm lenses.
I'm not saying that this isn't a nice feature in an SLR, just that it's a single focal length case when it does happen, and that it doesn't work across a wide range of focal lengths as on a rangefinder, where you can fit something in the range of 40mm - 135mm lenses on a 1:1 body or with 1:1 hot shoe finders.
Silly persons like me have used 1:1 hot shoe finders on SLR's though, for tracking a blurring shot, or for framing star constellation shots with a finder that makes it much easier to see the stars.
I just got a Voigtlander 12 mm, for a Bessa L. I have the double shoe, with the 12 mm viewfinder in the middle & the spirit level finder on the left.
In playing with it in anticipation, of shooting with it for real, I noticed that while both eyes may be open,
I can only concentrate on one finder at a time.
Either the viewfinder, or the spirit level. And man that spirit is hard to keep level.
I'm shooting a model with it next week out in Mojave. I may just put it on a tripod.
My preference seems to fluctuate with the light I'm working with. When the light is especially low and I'm trying to get critical focus with minimal DOF, I will sometimes close my non-dominant eye for a bit while I check the focus but before and after that short moment I like to always keep both eyes open to anticipate the action. I think this came from me learning on an SLR and wanting to have more peripheral vision in the first place. When I got a RF, I felt right at home. Despite my main RF's .72x finder, I find it perfectly comfortable shooting with both eyes open.
Because of this, I have been going back and forth between portrait positions. If I want to be able to have both eyes open I have to shoot shutter release up but it's got a different feel (perhaps slightly-less stable?) than shutter release down so I'm still on the fence on that one and change depending on the subject.
Leica M6 Panda, M6 Black, Leitz 35/2 v4, 50/2 v3, CV 28/2, 35/1.2, 50/1.1
Contax RTS III, Zeiss 28/2.8, 50/1.4, 35-135, Shimada C/Y-to-M adapter
Graflex Super Graphic 4x5, Polaroid 545 holder
I have the brightline 50mm external viewfinder (Leitz.) Since it's 1:1 I can keep both eyes open.
But I don't ...