View Full Version : Viewfinder Comment

Huck Finn
12-14-2004, 11:12
I came across this post-Photokina comment by Stephen Gandy:

"Epson's RD-1 uses the same shutter and similar finder to the other new Cosina-made rangefinders. Using only 3 framelines, 28/35/50, the 28 will be unfortunately close to useless with eyeglass users. Epson makes a big deal of the RD-1 having the first 1:1 finder. True enough, but Epson's inexperience in RF design shows in choosing the 1:1 finder in a camera with 28/35/50 framelines that makes 1/3 of the framelines useless for eyeglass wearers. The .7 finder would have been a much wiser choice for this camera."

I may be showing my own "inexperience in (digital) rangefinder design," but doesn't a 28mm lens on a 1.5 digital camera = 42mm field of view? Isn't this the same viewfinder as the R3A except that the R3A uses even slightly wider 40mm framelines?

As I read it, Stephen is in effect indirectly knocking his own product - or at least the product he represents. What am I missing here? :confused:

12-14-2004, 11:46
I don't think Gandy sells the RD-1; he's not an Epson dealer.

Huck Finn
12-14-2004, 12:21
RML, you're right he does not sell the RD-1.

Let me clarify. Isn't the RD-1 viewfinder essentially the same viewfinder as the one on the Voigtlander Bessa R3A? My question is: why would he criticize a viewfinder that's the same as the one on the camera he's selling?

I don't get it - or I may be missing something.

12-14-2004, 17:08
I think you're right about the viewfinders, Huck. But I'll bet Mr Gandy is biting his lip now over that earlier comment. The RD-1 was widely publicized well before the R3a details were known...

12-14-2004, 20:12
What I think everybody's got to remember about the R-D1's 28mm frame and the R3a's 40mm frame is that they are absolutely no problem if the user doesn't wear glasses.

It's only people who wear specs (like me) that have trouble seeing them. And at least some of those people (like me) are primarily normal-lens-and-longer shooters who would use a 28 (R-D1) or 40 (R3a) only occasionally, if at all.

So, out of the whole universe of possible R-D1 and R3a buyers, the only people who will have problems with the framelines are those who BOTH wear glasses and use a 28 or 40 frequently. Yeah, it's a bummer for those people, but I feel it's a small price to pay for having a 1:1 viewfinder, which is my absolute favorite feature of the R-D1.

Incidentally, the R-D1's finder eyepiece unscrews easily, and I would guess the same is true of the R3a since in photos it appears identical. Betcha that relatively soon Cosina will make available alternate eyepieces with different diopters, and this should make life easier for bespectacled shooters who want to use a 28 or 40.

12-14-2004, 22:40
so one eye sees in focus, and the other doesn't?

12-15-2004, 07:20
Originally posted by aizan
so one eye sees in focus, and the other doesn't?

Technically, yes. If your vision requires a lot of correction, two-eye viewing with a correction lens might be a problem. But a lot of people can work with it, since the eye they use for the viewfinder is their dominant eye anyway.

My vision is only moderately crummy -- I can see well enough without glasses to avoid running into things -- so I do pretty well with a diopter-correction lens.

Most RF cameras don't have a completely diopter-neutral finder system, so viewing with both eyes open requires the eyes to focus at slightly different distances anyway. It's surprising how much the brain can put up with this. For example, I've got a friend who wears contacts and needs different corrections for close-up and distance vision. Her optometrist simply set her up with the close correction in one eye and the distance correction in the other. She said it took a few days to get used to it, but now her brain makes the adjustment automatically.

12-15-2004, 07:42
I will agree with jlw that the 1:1 viewfinder is very nice to use. When wearing my glasses the 40mm framelines are on the very edge of my vision, keeping in mind that I am left eyed. Perhaps the fact that I am viewing through with my left eye makes a difference, but I find it totally useful, though not perfect.

12-15-2004, 09:29
I'm seeing 'ghost images' with glasses over one eye. They only line up if you're looking straight ahead, so tinted rangefinder patches would help sort things out.

and it's good to hear some glass wearers can sort of see the 40mm framelines. =)