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View Full Version : Best finder for 21mm lens on R-D1


Jim Watts
04-14-2005, 06:59
Now having one of the 21mm Avenon/Kobalux on order courtesy of Mike I was about to order a VC 21D finder to use with it, but I am now wondering if the VC 28mm metal finder might not be a better bet? With the multiplication factor the 21mm becomes a 32mm lens and the VC 21D is designed for that length, but it is usual with accessory finders to get in quite a bit more than you see in the finder, so the 28mm maybe closer? It also seems to be better built and has a high eyepoint better suited to spectacle wearers like myself. Further I could use it for a 28mm lens on my M4 which does not have 28mm frame lines.

Has anyone used this finder for a 21mm lens on the R-D1 and if so how close is it to what you finally get on the sensor?

einolu
04-14-2005, 07:03
Could this be what you are looking for:

http://cameraquest.com/epson_rd1_VF.htm

?

jlw
04-14-2005, 07:10
I've got an Avenon on request from Mike also (you'll be getting the dosh as soon as the transfer to my PayPal account finalizes, Mike!) and I already have the VC 21D finder, so I should be able to let you know how that one works in a few weeks.

When I got the 21D finder, since I didn't yet have a 21mm lens, just for fun I put it on my Nikon D100 (same sensor size as R-D 1) and took some test shots with my 20mm AF Nikkor lens. While I didn't do any precise measurements, the shots seemed to match up well with what I saw through the finder.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure I follow the logic of using a 35mm-format 28mm finder. The coverage of a 21mm lens on the R-D 1 would seem better suited to a 40mm finder to match the 85% coverage of the R-D 1's built-in framelines ((21mm focal length x 1.53x 'crop factor)/0.85 = 37.8mm). Even if you skip the 85% safety factor, the straight crop multiplier works out to 32.13mm, so an accurate 28mm finder would show quite a bit more than you'd get.

Of course, if you need a 28mm finder for your film camera anyway, and are willing to mentally crank in some "Kentucky windage" to allow for the smaller coverage on the R-D 1, I suppose you could make it work. I think I'd find it a bit nerve-wracking, but I know some RF users are perfectly comfortable with this sort of "mental viewfinding" and get good results with it.

Ed Schwartzreic
04-14-2005, 07:30
I have a new Zeiss 21/2.8 Biogon on pre-order, and was planning to use with it the 28/35 VC MiniFinder which I already own. I have found that not all lenses rated for a particular focal length give the same field of view, understandable of course, but magnified by the crop factor. For example, the 28/2 Summicron had a noticeably wider field than the 28/3.5 VC.

I'll be interested in the findings on this thread.

Ed

Jim Watts
04-14-2005, 08:21
"((21mm focal length x 1.53x 'crop factor)/0.85 = 37.8mm). "

Jim (jlw),
As we are talking about what the finder sees with a safety factor , surely its that which sees 37.8mm. So shouldn't this be 21mm x 1.53 'crop factor' x 0.85 'coverage factor' = 27.31mm. Closer to a 28mm finder than the 21D (32mm Finder). You get more on the sensor than a 32mm finder shows. Still like to see how close though. I have used the VC 40mm f/1.4 Nokton and I find this a better match to the R-D1's 35mm frame lines than a 35mm lens. At least at a few meters, but a little tight close-up.

mtokue
04-14-2005, 08:31
I recently seem to have unconciously "Aquired" quite a few finders.
As for the finders for 21mm I have an old Leitz 21mm , the Avenon 21mm
and the CV "D" 21mm Finders, I wear glasses sometimes and I find the CV
very ueable. You have to remember that these were actually made for the RD-1
and match very well, The framing is not exact but quite close. And I know the
FOV is different but out of the three that I have mentioned I like the CV the most.
If it only had the looks and metal skin of the Leitz.

Mike

jlw
04-14-2005, 10:42
"((21mm focal length x 1.53x 'crop factor)/0.85 = 37.8mm). "

Jim (jlw),
As we are talking about what the finder sees with a safety factor , surely its that which sees 37.8mm. So shouldn't this be 21mm x 1.53 'crop factor' x 0.85 'coverage factor' = 27.31mm. Closer to a 28mm finder than the 21D (32mm Finder). You get more on the sensor than a 32mm finder shows. Still like to see how close though. I have used the VC 40mm f/1.4 Nokton and I find this a better match to the R-D1's 35mm frame lines than a 35mm lens. At least at a few meters, but a little tight close-up.

Where my 85% number comes from is that the R-D 1's built-in framelines only show about 85% of the actual image area at infinity. As explained in Sean's review, this safety factor is necessary in any RF camera (except the handful that include field size correction) because a lens' effective focal length increases as you focus closer.

If the finder were designed so the framelines covered 100% of the picture area at infinity, they would cover more than the picture area at close distances (because the lens' effective focal length has increased, so its angle of view is smaller.) That would mean stuff you composed at the edges of the finder field would not be included in the final picture, and you'd be justifiably annoyed. To avoid that, Epson designed the framelines to be smaller than the actual field of view at infinity.

If (and only if) you want to retain this same amount of safety factor in an auxiliary finder -- so the auxiliary will behave the same as the built-in finder -- then you also need to choose one in which the field of view at infinity is smaller than the actual picture area. You get this smaller field of view by choosing a finder for a longer focal length.

So if your 21mm lens on the R-D 1 provides the same coverage as a 32.13mm lens on a 35mm camera (21mm x 1.53x crop factor) then to match Epson's safety factor you'd want to further reduce its area of coverage to 85% of the original.

A reduced area of coverage means using a finder for a longer focal length: 32.13 / 0.85 = 37.8mm. (Area of coverage is inversely proportional to focal length -- as the focal length gets longer, the area of coverage gets smaller -- so you have to divide instead of multiply.)

Make sense? Of course, these are ALL approximations, since the actual coverage area of individual lenses, finders and sensors differ from one to the next. But if in doubt, smaller framelines are always better: If you get MORE in the picture than you had framed in the finder, you can always crop it out, but if you get LESS, there's no way to put back what's missing!

Charles D. Orze
04-14-2005, 14:32
I posted a test on the Zuiko 21 F2 on the R D1 and tried two variable finders I have in the closet, an old Nikon unit and a Russian clone of a Zeiss finder. The Russian / Zeiss set at 28mm was a good match for what showed up on the lcd screen. This particular finder has a black-lined area outside of the prescribed boundary for 28mm. I think Cameraquest has a blurb on this finder. Seems to work fine, but view is restricted if you wear glasses.

Charlie Orzech

Jim Watts
04-15-2005, 02:20
Where my 85% number comes from is that the R-D 1's built-in framelines only show about 85% of the actual image area at infinity. As explained in Sean's review, this safety factor is necessary in any RF camera (except the handful that include field size correction) .......

A reduced area of coverage means using a finder for a longer focal length: 32.13 / 0.85 = 37.8mm.....

Make sense? Of course, these are ALL approximations, since the actual coverage area of individual lenses, finders and sensors differ from one to the next. But if in doubt, smaller framelines are always better: If you get MORE in the picture than you had framed in the finder, you can always crop it out, but if you get LESS, there's no way to put back what's missing!

jlw,
It makes sense to me. I wasn't trying to start a dispute, just approach it from a different direction. I think we are both in agreement that the 21D (nominal 32mm finder) gives a coverage of 37.8mm. I personally find the safety factor of 0.85 is too much. I hate cropping away nearly 15% from the resuting picture each time to get back to my origiinal vision. Too many years believing in Cartier-Bresson's its sloppy to crop approach. I guess he mentally adjusted for any frame line safety factor? So I am trying to see if a 28mm finder is acceptable. 21 x 1.53 x 0.85 (to remove the safety factor) = 27.31/28 = 97.5% coverage at infinity, which should be enough (for a risk taker like me ;) ) but as you point out, a lens' effective focal length increases as you focus closer and also without moving frame lines or crop marks the parallax error also increases creating more crrop errors. This is exacerbated with an accessory finder as it is farther from the lens. Given all this and the individual approximations a 28mm finder (32.9mm coverage with safety factor) might or might not be acceptable with a 21mm (32mm on R-D1) lens for the way I work.

I really need to check both finders out for myself, but while I can probably get my hands on the VC 28mm at a London dealer I don't know of any with a VC 21D in stock, so I was looking for other members practical experiences. I should perhaps have pointed out I don't mind tighter framing (without any significant loss of image area) though.

For someone like me who likes to frame quite tightly even with a rangefinder camera the problem is one of lack of experience with the unusual focal lengths that result on the R-D1 with some lenses 32mm, 42.8mm etc. With my M4 and 35mm Cron (a favourite combination) for instance, years of use mean I know exactly where the framelines will fall before I raise the camera to my eye, so I hardly need the markings, they are burnt onto my retina pre adjusted for safety factor. I'm now getting closer with the same Cron on the R-D1 (53mm) but thats close to a 50mm on the M4 so it shouldn't take too long to burn a further set on my retina. :)

David Kieltyka
04-15-2005, 07:48
I personally find the safety factor of 0.85 is too much. I hate cropping away nearly 15% from the resuting picture each time to get back to my origiinal vision. Too many years believing in Cartier-Bresson's its sloppy to crop approach.

Jim, if you get the chance give a copy of the 40mm Summicron-C a spin on the R-D1. The 35mm framelines absolutely nail the 40mm's coverage. The CV 40mm Nokton is slightly longer than the 'Cron-C and so the frame is a bit tight at close distances. But from two meters (or so) on out it's a closer match than any 35mm lens I've used on the R-D1.

-Dave-

Jim Watts
04-15-2005, 09:51
David,
Thanks. I have seen this lens at a better price S/H than the CV Nokton new in the U.K. as well. I could live without the extra stop and the Bokeh is supposed to be much better on the Cron-C. What's your overall impression? I think Gandy rates it highly.

David Kieltyka
04-15-2005, 11:29
Jim, bokeh-wise I'd say the two lenses are near identical. IMO the Nokton gets an undeserved rap in this department. The 35 & 40mm Summicrons do the same thing as the Nokton to out-of-focus specular highlights. That is, they render the edges crisply. This may be just be the way double-gauss-derived optical designs behave in this focal length range. In any case it can give bright OOF areas a hard appearance. In the corners at f/2 the Nokton (the single-coated version anyway) is slightly lower in contrast than the 'Cron-C. This can result in more pleasing bokeh from the Nokton. Most of the time bokeh is fine with either lens.

Overall I love the 'Cron-C. It's sharp, compact, color rendition & saturation are very good, contrast is moderate. Compared to the 35mm Summicrons it's a bargain too.

-Dave-

jlw
04-15-2005, 12:13
I really need to check both finders out for myself, but while I can probably get my hands on the VC 28mm at a London dealer I don't know of any with a VC 21D in stock, so I was looking for other members practical experiences.

As soon as I get my 21 from Mike, I'll slap my VC21D finder on it and try to report back to you with some practical impressions and maybe sample photos, if I can devise any that will show the coverage of the finder vs. that of the lens.

PS -- Cartier-Bresson did many of his most famous photos with a screwmount Leica, meaning that he had no framelines at all! If you look at a lot of his images, you'll see that usually their graphic effect relies on the placement and relationship of masses within the frame, rather than the exact placement of the frame edges -- so he didn't need to worry about the finder boundaries being a bit imprecise. Of course, using the same camera and lens so much have him a familiarity with its coverage that's bound to have helped...

pfogle
04-15-2005, 12:27
...Cartier-Bresson did many of his most famous photos with a screwmount Leica, meaning that he had no framelines at all! ...

I have seen pictures of HCB with a Leica with a 50mm brightline 1:1 finder mounted - so he would have seen things pretty much like the R-D1 does, only clearer ;)

Phil

jlw
04-15-2005, 12:32
He used different equipment at different periods in his career -- wound up with a CL, I think, before he decided to concentrate on being a mediocre painter. After that I kind of lost track...

vincenzo
04-25-2005, 05:22
My Avenon arrived, thanks Mike!
Now I'm going to buy a finder. I decided to get one of the small metal voigtlander ones. Should I get the 28 the 35 or the dual28/35? I think I'll go for the 35 tomorrow...
Ed, did your Zeiss 21mm arrive? The 28/35 dual VC finder could be a good match for the 21mm rd-1 combo

simonclivehughe
04-25-2005, 08:50
I can't speak to the 28mm finder, but I'm using the 35mm one that came with my 35mm Ultron and it works quite well with the VC 21mm lens.

Rocamadour
04-26-2005, 08:50
Reading all these interesting and detail-rich kit descriptions, I fell very unsatisfied with my last post in this thread...
Thus, with the risk of repeating myself and boring the rest of you, I feal I too must canalise my compulsive nature.

My favourite kit (just gonna give you the lenses though):
-Elmarit 2,8/21 mm (the corner stone)
-Canon 2,8/28 mm (thanks for the tip Sean...)
-Summicron 2/35 mm (if Jim can put up with the focusing problem, then so can I)
-Elmar 2,8/50 mm (the dark horse... ...sometimes too dark)

Thanks for your patience!

Rocamadour
04-26-2005, 08:53
Ooops wrong thread... suppose its the same people reading it though...?

Huck Finn
04-26-2005, 09:27
Jim, bokeh-wise I'd say the two lenses are near identical. IMO the Nokton gets an undeserved rap in this department. The 35 & 40mm Summicrons do the same thing as the Nokton to out-of-focus specular highlights. That is, they render the edges crisply. This may be just be the way double-gauss-derived optical designs behave in this focal length range. Most of the time bokeh is fine with either lens.

-Dave-

Bingo! :cool: The Nokton is pretty much an updated variation on the old 35 Summilux - only better.

Huck

Ed Schwartzreic
04-26-2005, 09:40
Vincenzo,, still waiting for the Zeiss 21 Biogon, but expect it some time next month. I hope it comes in time for my daughter's wedding near the end of May. The only 21 I own is the f/3.4 Super Angulon, but I also have the 19 and 25 Canons, neither of which I have tried on the R-D1; somehow I doubt that the 19 will work owing to its depth. Should be easy enough to try, so perhaps I will report on it.

Ed

Ed Schwartzreic
04-26-2005, 10:17
I got out the 2 lenses, Canon 19 and 25 and took a few shots. The 19 vignettes ferociously, even with EPR's vignetting settings. The 25 was quite correctable, and therefore usable. Both lenses have low contrast and sharpness. Both were shot at f/8, below.

Ed

MIKIRO
05-01-2005, 22:03
I use a VC 28mm viewfinder on R-D1 with 21mm lenses. What I see within the frame is practically close enough to the area of the acquired image. I have not tried a 21D finder, which should be even closer.

MIKIRO

Jim Watts
05-10-2005, 08:34
I picked up a Russian universal finder at the large Photographica collectors fair in London on Sunday. This has frames for 28mm/35mm/50mm/85mm and 135mm and I was expecting from what I had posted earlier that the 28mm would be the best match for the 21mm Avenon on the R-D1. Well "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", with this finder at least the 28mm setting crops out too much of the image but the 35mm setting is pretty good. A little bit of a safety margin all round, more top & bottom (when held horizontally) than left and right but l would guess less than 85% which better suits me. The added bonus was that the 135mm setting is an exact match for my 90mm and hopefully the 28mm setting will work out for this lens on my M4. I managed to get it for 40 GBP about $70. I did see some for a bit less but this was mint with very clear optics. I suppose the only downside is its quite a large appendage on the top of the camera.