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View Full Version : *Locking* external viewfinders?


Ken Ford
01-02-2009, 14:27
I'm considering picking up a C-V 21/4 which would require the use of an external viewfinder on my .72 M6.

My past experience with shoe-mount viewfinders has been poor - they always tend to drift out of the hotshoe because they don't lock in place. I was reduced to using electrical tape on my Bessa T to keep from losing or dropping one. This experience has made me very leery of buying another external viewfinder.

The plastic bodied C-V finders are a joy to use optically but just seem too fragile for me to trust. I've had three now and always felt like I had to treat them with kid gloves to avoid breaking the shoe off.

I remember Leica used to make one with a locking foot. Are there any other 21mm locking viewfinders out there that are worth considering?

Alternately, how is the Leica 12013 21/24/28 zoom finder? I see it has a lock and would also be useful with my 28 Ultron.

Photon42
01-02-2009, 14:49
[...]

Alternately, how is the Leica 12013 21/24/28 zoom finder? I see it has a lock and would also be useful with my 28 Ultron.

Ken,

I can only comment on the Leica 21/24/28 viewfinder. It looks quite nice on the camera, can be locked with a screw but doesn't have framelines. You wouldn't need the 28 anyway with the M6. I still think it's a versatile finder, despite it's petite flaws.

Regards
Ivo

Tom A
01-02-2009, 15:06
The 21/25 VC finders are quite rugged. I am a "destroyer" of finders as i tend to leave them on cameras and dropping the cameras into my bag with some amount of disregard. None of my VC finders have suffered "broken feet". I did bash a 21 VC finder that was on a Nikon RF by falling and smashing the finder up against my glasses. The housing cracked a bit - but nothing that a bit of glue could not fix! Oh, my glasses lost one lens though!
The Leica 21/24/28 finder is fine for 24, but distinctly crappy at 21/28 - very distorted view. I had one and sold it quickly. Somewhere on RFf there was discussion about a spring shim - adapted to work as a locking device for M and VC shoes. I should really proceed with making it! I to do use tape to hold them in place.
For the 28 - nothing beats the VC metal finder.

akalai
01-02-2009, 16:01
The best solution I have come across for making sure an external viewfinder doesn't slip out of a hot shoe is to use a rubber band.

Visualise a number "8" made by twisting the rubber band at a point just above it's center, the small top loop of the rubber band is fitted over the viewfinder and down around the foot of the viewfinder. The larger bottom loop of the rubber band number "8" is then placed around the base of the lens or lens mount on the camera front. The bottom loop then acts as an anchor and ensures the viewfinder doesn't slowly work it's ways out of the hotshoe or go flying off if it gets knocked.

What I like about using the rubber bands is that it also allows for a bit of give should the viewfinder receive a knock, something that a locked down viewfinder would not do and which as a result could cause a breakage.

BillBingham2
01-02-2009, 16:06
Ken,

I have some thin metal things left over putting up a new heating wire on the back roof. I bet it is the right thickness for a little extra. This should work very well with the plastic finder for the 21. With a bit of crazy glue as backup, I think the CV plastic finders should do very well. I have the metal 28 CV on my GR-D 1 and love it. It too some times slips off but nothing major.

Email me your address bingham.b at comcast.net and I will throw a few in the mail just for giggles.

B2 (;->

rodneyAB
01-02-2009, 17:22
I've no experience with any finder other than the Zeiss 21 on the MP, and I find it entirely secure in the shoe, in fact, difficult to remove.

Pablito
01-02-2009, 17:29
The best solution I have come across for making sure an external viewfinder doesn't slip out of a hot shoe is to use a rubber band.

Visualise a number "8" made by twisting the rubber band at a point just above it's center, the small top loop of the rubber band is fitted over the viewfinder and down around the foot of the viewfinder. The larger bottom loop of the rubber band number "8" is then placed around the base of the lens or lens mount on the camera front. The bottom loop then acts as an anchor and ensures the viewfinder doesn't slowly work it's ways out of the hotshoe or go flying off if it gets knocked.

What I like about using the rubber bands is that it also allows for a bit of give should the viewfinder receive a knock, something that a locked down viewfinder would not do and which as a result could cause a breakage.


Brilliant! I love solutions like this.

fbf
01-02-2009, 17:30
How is the old metal leica 21mm viewfinder comparing to the modern cv and zeiss 21 finder? Anybody have any experience? I know zeiss 21 is one of the best finders out there but it costs a funtune....

Al Kaplan
01-02-2009, 17:31
I use a piece of thin card stock cut to fit in the shoe. A matchbook cover is about the right thickness. If your not planning on changing the finder camera to camera too often a wee little bit of clear nail polish would work. A drop of nail polish remover would get it loose, but it might damage plastic finders.


I used to have an old Leitz 21mm finder. Once I saw how nice the 15mm VC finder was I bought one of their 21 finders.

Tom A
01-02-2009, 17:58
How is the old metal leica 21mm viewfinder comparing to the modern cv and zeiss 21 finder? Anybody have any experience? I know zeiss 21 is one of the best finders out there but it costs a funtune....

The old style metal Leica 21 finders are good - but beware of "rattling" elements in them. With time the "balsam" used to hold them together dries out and the center elements start to work loose. Compared to the Zeiss 21 they are adequate - whilst the Zeiss finder is brilliant.

fbf
01-02-2009, 18:07
I used to have an old Leitz 21mm finder. Once I saw how nice the 15mm VC finder was I bought one of their 21 finders.

The old style metal Leica 21 finders are good - but beware of "rattling" elements in them. With time the "balsam" used to hold them together dries out and the center elements start to work loose. Compared to the Zeiss 21 they are adequate - whilst the Zeiss finder is brilliant.


Tks a lot. :D I might just go for a CV 21mm finder or trade my kidney for the zeiss branded one :o

Ken Ford
01-02-2009, 20:46
Ken,

I have some thin metal things left over putting up a new heating wire on the back roof. I bet it is the right thickness for a little extra. This should work very well with the plastic finder for the 21. With a bit of crazy glue as backup, I think the CV plastic finders should do very well. I have the metal 28 CV on my GR-D 1 and love it. It too some times slips off but nothing major.

Email me your address bingham.b at comcast.net and I will throw a few in the mail just for giggles.

B2 (;->

Bill, thanks - I'm OK for now, I'm not currently using any finders!

Ken Ford
01-02-2009, 20:47
The Leica 21/24/28 finder is fine for 24, but distinctly crappy at 21/28 - very distorted view.


Thanks, Tom - that wouldn't do, especially for what they cost!