View Full Version : using a 28 with no finder
I am considering a 28 to go along with my 15 and 40 lenses. I would like to put it on a L and just point and shoot. The perfectionist in me wants to use a finder. Is there enough room around the 35 framelines on a R2 to get close to the 28 field of view? I figure if an external finder costs $145, why not spend about $100 more and get a camera (R2) with a viewfinder built-in.
it's easier to get an r3a, switch on the 50mm framelines, and double the distance outwards to estimate the 28's coverage. this trick is harder to do with a .7ish body because you don't have enough peripheral vision. yeah, there's enough room, if you snoop around for the edges, but it's slower and not very satisfying.
are used r2s going for $250?
You may be able to find a used 28mm finder of some sort. Maybe one of the turret finders has a 28mm frame. The low-cost route would be a home-made 78°-diagonal viewfinder... But this would give you a view without parallax correction. The Bessa-R series might approximate 28mm in the full area of the viewfinder, I don't know, but you wouldn't have parralax correction then either. I have tried this approach with two different cameras... it works, but demands more of the user.
My Bronica RF645 has framelines for 100mm and 65mm, and there's an external finder for the 45mm (28mm equivalent) lens. Which I have never used, as the full viewfinder window does approximate its field of view. Without parallax correction of course. But then the external viewfinder has no correction either except an additional close-focus cut-off line, and even more parallax error than the camera viewfinder. So I unexpected cut off bits and pieces in the close-in pics and try to learn to move the camera slightly before pressing the shutter to compensate for the error. Frankly, it's easier to use the Fuji 645 instead, with its fixed 45mm lens and viewfinder with both parallax and framesize corrections!
I also attempted this with the Minolta CLE and a 25mm CV lens, as its viewfinder approximates the field of the 25mm lens around the outside of the 28mm framelines. Same deal about lopping of bits of my close subjects, which is most of them, and I switched to a 28mm lens instead. Ah, now I have parallax correction!
So, the upshot for me is that what you propose does work, but it makes you work harder too keeping in mind the need for manual parallax correction. If your subjects are mostly more distant ones, then no big deal at all. If you're serious about 28mm in tight like I am with environmental portraits, then I'd seek out a camera with built-in parallax corrected framelines for that lens. Maybe a Hexar RF or Minolta CLE, a used Leica M6 with .58x viewfinder, maybe save your pennies for this Spring's intro of the Zeiss-Ikon RF camera.
oh, good point. you'd "get" parallax correction with a 1x viewfinder.
Aizan, I believe not... Parallax error arises from the difference between the point of view of the lens and the point of view of the viewfinder. It doesn't happen with view cameras and SLRs because these points of view coincide in those cameras. But cameras with finders separate from the lens, such as RF and TLR cameras, inevitably suffer from this error. The correction achieved by moving the viewfinder framelines as you focus can correct only for the objects at the distance focussed upon. If you try to line up objects nearer and farther from the camera than that, you'll find they never line up in the picture. So while helpful it can only be a partial correction, and this just underscores that viewfinder framing with "direct view" cameras like RFs is a rather casual matter at best. :)
You could achieve perfect parallax correction if you put the camera on a tripod, and between the camera and tripod is a device that when activated moves the camera up and to the left so that the lens is now exactly where the viewfinder window was before, when you framed the picture as you wanted it. Indeed there WAS such a device made for TLRs, called a Paramender, that lifted the camera straight up so the taking lens was where the viewing lens had been. This was particularly handy for the Mamiya TLRs which could focus very very close, making parallax a major issue.
hence, the parentheses! it's not perfect, but with the 50mm framelines of a 1x viewfinder, at least you can extrapolate off of moving framelines, and have the peripheral vision to do it easily, instead of being hemmed in by the fixed edges of a .7x viewfinder, which you can't see unless you squirm around the eyepiece. barring an external viewfinder or experience in anticipating results, this is the best alternative, don't you think?
Clint, though I understand your perfectionism, I'd suggest to just go ahead with the L and the 28, either with or without an auxilliary VF. Shooting like that is nothing short of liberating. I must say it's not something I do all of the time but when I shoot the L + 25 it just calms me down: I just set shutter speed, f-stop and distance (minding the DoF a little) and just poke the camera at what I see, often even just shooting from the hip or chest. I found it hard at first to let go of all the visual controls the RF offers but as the 25 isn't even RF coupled I just had to let go. Disturbing at first but now a common enough practise. I now regularly use th 25 on my CL and even though the CL has a RF I hardly ever use it when the 25 is on it.
Try the L + 28. You won't regret it, and if you do regret it you can always stick it on an Bessa R2(a)/R3a or Leica M3/M2/M6 and get the auxilliary VF. :)
On Cameraquest's website, Gandy noted that the viewfinder on the R is approximately that of the 28, using the 35mm lines. I took him at this and I don't use a finder on the R I have with the 28mm f3.5 mounted. I am please with the photos I've taken, that is, the framing and the composition. I can't see how a finder would improve them; however, most of mine are landscape and buildings. Not close up!
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