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21mm viewfinder for super elmar, will the voigtlander do?
Old 05-17-2017   #1
mexipike
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21mm viewfinder for super elmar, will the voigtlander do?

I have a 21mm leica super elmar on it's way and I'm considering just grabbing the voigtlander vf. I have read up on it some here and elsewhere, one thing i noticed is that the Voigtlander may not be lined up as properly? Is this really terrible? I may just break down and buy the current metal 21 leica VF but it does seem quite pricey, even used.

Let me know your thoughts. I'll me shooting on an m monochrome(CCD).
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Old 05-17-2017   #2
Phil_F_NM
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The 21mm CV viewfinder will work just fine. With a lens that wide, there is no precision framing anyways. I've used Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss finders for the Super Angulon on M4, M8 and M9 as well as my current setup of using a 2.1cm Nikkor on top of an adapter on an M4. It's still perfect.
That "alignment" is no big deal when it comes to lenses wider than 28mm. The Nikkor 2.1cm O lens for the F mount camera uses a viewfinder that sits over the rewind knob at the far left of the camera. I've used this setup on my Nikon F2 with the CV viewfinder and it's still perfect. Really, you barely need a viewfinder for these superwides. You can just look over the camera and your whole field of vision with one eye will be in your frame.
As for which finder is the best, that is the Zeiss. It is amazing. The CV is better than the Leica and I've owned two Leica finders, two CV finders and one Zeiss. The Leica finders are dimmer and have more distortion but in mint condition they flare less than the CV finders. Just no worth the money for a lesser product in my opinion. That Zeiss finder is a wonder to behold and I was sad to let mine go a few years ago.

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Old 05-17-2017   #3
mexipike
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Do any of them help more or less to keep everything level? I guess I could try and add a bubble level!

Thanks,
John
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Old 05-17-2017   #4
Phil_F_NM
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The only thing that will help with leveling, aside from actually using a level, would be to get the Zeiss finder. It has effectively zero distortion, so leveling is very easy using just your eye. Actually, you can do a final level check using the Leica body's viewfinder which will be properly aligned with the film plane. Really, save the money, get the CV finder and a bubble level if you feel you need it then take what you saved and put it towards a plane ticket somewhere to take photos. Like I said, you can use a 21mm without a finder. You're going to be focusing with it anyways through the Leica body VF and can use existing framelines in the VF to gauge what you'll get in the final image. This just takes a bit of practice. It's what I did when I was using my ZM 21mm on my RD-1 but didn't have a finder for it. I've been shooting 20-21mm focal length for long enough that I can just "see" what will be in the final image. When shooting on the street, I often just go from the hip and don't even put the camera up to my face. It's simply not necessary. Don't worry about the finder, just go shoot.

Phil Forrest
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Old 05-17-2017   #5
LChanyungco
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The Leica 12013/4 variable 21mm 24mm 28mm finder is canted so that its centered on the lens. I use it and i find it to be accurate. I've tried the Voigtlander and aside from being uncentered i find that it's magnification is too high. I've also tried the plastic Leica 21mm and although the mag. is good, it's also not centered.
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Old 05-17-2017   #6
WJJ3
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Hi, I wrote some thoughts about 21mm finders a while back. If you are concerned with alignment on the lens axis the plastic VC would be a good economy option since it's canted and good. Hope this helps your search!
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Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
Thought I would throw in my two cents.

I use a 21mm accessory finder with my COLOR-SKOPAR, and I prefer Leica's old 12002 finder over the modern Zeiss finder. I actually prefer the plastic VC 21mm finder over the Zeiss as well. The Zeiss has a great build, at least as good as the Leica, and is very clear and bright to look through, but the eye relief is not very good. In this respect the Leica finder has generous relief and is very comfortable to view and frame with. Even the plastic VC finder has higher eye relief and more viewing comfort than the Zeiss. I looked up the magnification of these finders trying to understand why my experience was so different between them. It turns out the Leica is 0.3x magnification, while the Zeiss and VC are 0.54x and 0.42x respectively. These magnification factors have a big effect on eye relief and useability...
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Old 05-17-2017   #7
zauhar
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This was my experience :

http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...1mm+viewfinder

I have since used a metal Leica finder until it broke, then a cheaper plastic model, which is fine.

I don't mean to impugn the VC hardware, I may have just had a bad copy.

Randy
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Old 06-16-2017   #8
Gregm61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
Do any of them help more or less to keep everything level? I guess I could try and add a bubble level!

Thanks,
John
The Leica Frankenfinder has a built-in bubble level, plus the ability to manually adjust the parallax setting for distance. I find it very accurate in keeping things both level and showing the most accurate framing for using the Super Elmar 18/3.8 and 24mm f3.8 Elmar.

It's just a matter of whether you want such an assembly mounted on the top of your M. I have used it often and it greatly improves the viewing experience, but also have the single focal length 21, 24 and 18mm finders for when I don't want to mess with it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
james.liam
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The ZM 21 finder is an absolute delight to use because of its clarity, brightness and lack of distortion compared with others. Some users report rotational error that it adds because it was designed for the Ikon cameras, with its hot shoe off-axis to the lens. This may be so but I'm not doing National Geographic covers so I'll live with it. Precision alignment PP with some loss of the overall image is again not a deal-breaker for me.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
neonart
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I use the CV 21/25 metal finder and really like it. It's clear and bright for about $209 new. It also looks great. I find the 21mm lines are pretty close if you don't need perfect precision. The only negative I find is the lack of any locking mech. I've adhered a piece of decal to the bottom of the viewfinder shoe to add friction. It's never come off.
If you require something very precise or distortion free, the Zeiss or the Frankenfinder are better.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
Richard G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexipike View Post
Do any of them help more or less to keep everything level? I guess I could try and add a bubble level!

Thanks,
John
The best and most convenient thing for getting the camera level is the RF patch in the camera's viewfinder. Unlike with slides, minor adjustments in Lightroom are easy. I have the Zeiss finder, but I often leave it off when shooting digital. Even when I use the external finder, I do the final framing in the camera viewfinder precisely so I have the aid of the RF patch for getting as close to level as possible, when that matters, such as for architecture.
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