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  1. #1

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    Leica Technique -- both eyes open?

    Does anyone out there use Leica or other brand rangefinders with both eyes open? I've been reading about this technique and am feeling handicapped by not being able to utilize it. I am left eye dominant; I view and compose through the viewfinder with my left eye. This puts my right eye directly behind my thumb on a Leica, and I usually close it, since it's nearly useless in that position. I've tried looking through the rangefinder with my right eye and keeping my left eye open to see the surrounding environment, but it gives me a raging headache after 30 seconds, and I can barely focus. My left-eye dominance has never bothered me before, but for the first time I'm seeing it as a handicap. Do most right-eye dominant people keep both eyes open during shooting?

  2. #2

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    I do not keep both eyes open during shooting.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I trend to switch eyes but never noticed a difference I think I squint with my other eye, ie close it slightly by not fully.

    Ian

  4. #4
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Try to look on left eye in viewfinder when you turn leica for 90 degrees (like when shooting portraits). Do you get headache?
    I am left eye dominant also Anyhow I think this is very good and relaxing only when you have 1:1 viewfinder, like in some new bessa.

  5. #5
    eddym's Avatar
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    I frequently shoot my Leicas with both eyes open, but not always.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  6. #6

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    This may not be relevant as I don't use a Leica but I do have an Agfa Isolette 1 which is a rangefinder of sorts as well as a Pentax SLR and while I have tried switching eyes for the viewfinder, I find that I cannot somehow get the same view with my non dominant eye. It won't quite behave as I need it to! Definitely feels uncomfortable and a strain.

    pentaxuser

  7. #7
    Lee L's Avatar
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    I am right eye dominant, so these cameras were built to fit me. I leave both eyes open with my Bessa R3A and with 1:1 hot shoe finders all the time. I used an M3 for a bit with both eyes open, not much of a stretch at 0.91 magnification in the finder. However, it becomes more difficult to work with both eyes open as the viewfinder magnification drops, and I think it would be very difficult to use low magnification finders with a non-dominant eye. I haven't ever had occasion to try that.

    I'm more likely to take candid people shots with a 1:1 finder and both eyes open because I feel a lot more like I'm there with the group, and not a voyeur hiding behind a camera.

    Perhaps a 1:1 hot shoe finder and a Leicavit/trigger winder would help with a dominant left eye. The finder gets both eyes above the camera body and the winder means you're not racheting the advance lever through your right eye.

    A C/V Bessa T and trigger winder would be the least expensive way to try out this setup and see if it works for you.

    Lee

  8. #8
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I use Leicas, and any other camera with both eyes open. Probably a habit from an old science instructor who used to yell at us and call us idiots for closing one eye to look through a microscope.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  9. #9
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    ...Probably a habit from an old science instructor who used to yell at us and call us idiots for closing one eye to look through a microscope.
    You mean, from way back in pre-history when Leeuwenhoek ground microscopes with only monocular eyepieces?

    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  10. #10

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    I shoot clay pigeons with both eyes open, but not film.

    The change in perspective between the viewfinder-eye and my other eye makes me dizzy as hell.

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