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Roger Hicks
11-03-2010, 13:57
Something between a review and a description of one of the best accessory finders ever made: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/tewe%20polyfocus.html

And an interesting quote for those who ruminate upon Leica frameline sizes:

This close-up of the 85-90 setting shows . . . the (slightly surprising) fact that the angular field of view of an 85mm lens at 1.7 metres (call it 6 feet) is just about identical to that of a 90mm lens at infinity: a worthwhile illustration of the truth that fixed-size frame lines can only be accurate at one fixed distance.

Does anyone know which came first, Nikon or Tewe? Or was the same design licensed in two markets?

Cheers,

R.

FPjohn
11-03-2010, 14:10
Great contribution. Rather good finder.

yours
FPJ

RichC
11-03-2010, 16:49
I agree, Roger: an excellent finder. As I'm sure you're bored of hearing, I'd never used a camera until the mid-2000s: to help develop my "photographer's eye", I took to carrying a Tewe finder around. And still do from time to time as I find it a useful exercise.

A friend sent me the review below, from 1949 (British Journal of Photography?). Note the price: £21 10s - out of interest, I converted that to the present value (based on the retail price index), which is a stonking £550! <eek>

There's also a review on my Epson R-D1 website: http://www.richcutler.co.uk/r-d1/r-d1_04a.htm

I picked up a Nikon Varifocal version 1 finder of about the same vintage cheaply. I took both finders apart to service them, and the Nikon is not a copy of the Tewe: it differs significantly in construction (I can't recall the details).

The Nikon finder has a slightly better build quality than the Tewe finder, with a little less distortion and a larger viewfinder window. I prefer the Tewe finder, owing to its greater zoom range - some Tewe finders have a 28-200 mm range compred with the 28-135 mm of all Nikons. I sold the Nikon finder as it's worth a lot more than Tewe, which is now rather cosmetically banged up from rattling around in bags and in pockets (NB: I'm not a total heathen - I did make a cover for the optics!).

As to which came first: the Tewe? That said, this site http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/RF-Nikkor/RF-Accessories/Nikon-RF-Finders/index2.htm on the Nikon zoom finders says that some were marked "Made in occupied Japan" - and since Japan was officially occupied until 1952, those particular finders cannot have been made any later.

http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/1279/tewefinderreview.jpg

radiocemetery
11-03-2010, 18:02
There was also a similar zoom finder marketed by Argus. See this link and scroll down the page.


http://sites.google.com/site/ldtomei/accessoryrangefinders&viewfinders

Steve

Bill58
11-03-2010, 18:51
Thanks for the contribution. It's a rather remarkable product indeed, but I guess the price is going to go up on 'em now.

Also would you feel terrible if one fell off and was lost? I guess you gotta secure it better than the shoe does. I use a short piece of tiny elastic cord around the foot of the VF to the nearest lug.

ERV
11-03-2010, 19:09
I have a Tewe finder that I use on my LTM bodies and it is very well made.
I like the lower profile and barrel shape over the Leica Imarect finder that I once had. The Tewe has a red dot at the 40mm mark that I've tested with my 40mm summicron C lens and it appears to work well.

I once asked DAG how much it would cost to clean it and he said it required some work - not difficult, not easy- to disassemble. He quoted around $70, which is fair because I know it would come back like new.

rbiemer
11-03-2010, 19:09
15 pounds and 6+ pounds tax?! Yikes.
I have been very happy with my KMZ turret finder but your review, Roger, makes me want to try one of these.
Rob

bigeye
11-03-2010, 20:47
RichC: I confess to doing same; wandering around with just the Tewe, 'framing' like a silent movie director.

The tewe is a good VF, ranking after the individual SBLOO, SBOOI, SGVOO trinity, but better in comparison to the other multi-finders, which seem as more mechanical entertainments than practical finders.

- Charlie
.

pvdhaar
11-04-2010, 00:41
Nice review Roger!

What's most remarkable to me, even though you mentioned the size in mm/inch and show it on top of a M4-P, is how big these finders actually are. Especially when you're used to the modern CV finders.

I've attached two images of a similar sized T.O.C. next to a 35mm film. It's a great companion to a (heavy) Leica, but less to a lightweight Bessa. Because of the location of the strap lugs on the Bessa, such a big/heavy finder makes the camera hang backwards from the neckstrap.

chris00nj
11-04-2010, 06:53
I just sold mine (a 35-200). It's a great underrated finder, but it wasn't getting much use. I had it up here on the classifieds and it didn't sell. So it sold on ebay for a song.

Roger Hicks
11-04-2010, 07:18
I just sold mine (a 35-200). It's a great underrated finder, but it wasn't getting much use. I had it up here on the classifieds and it didn't sell. So it sold on ebay for a song.

That's why I don't sell things like that. They don't take up much space, or eat much, and the tiny amount I'd get isn't worth the hassle of e-baying. Mostly, if I sell anything, I sell it to a friend who knows I have it and has asked if they can buy it.

Also, you never know when you may get another camera where it comes in handy: ANY 6x9 with interchangeable lenses, for example, such as my Mamiya 600E with RF back adapter. And the 'director' function has already been mentioned.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
11-04-2010, 07:24
15 pounds and 6+ pounds tax?! Yikes.
I have been very happy with my KMZ turret finder but your review, Roger, makes me want to try one of these.
Rob

Dear Rob,

The only real advantage is if you want focal lengths that aren't on the KMZ. Frances generally uses the KMZ on her Bessa-T in preference to a Tewe. Prices vary enormously: a while back, I bought two at 15€/$20 each, but I've heard of them going for £60/$100.

Cheers,

R.

rbiemer
11-04-2010, 08:17
Roger,
I keep a short list of "stuff" that I idly keep an eye out for; these are things that I don't especially need but might be fun or interesting to use. This finder is in that category for me. Right now, with the lenses I own, it's one concrete benefit is that it has settings for both 85 and 90 lenses.
As well, the prices I found poking around on line last night are closer to $200 and up.
Rob

FrozenInTime
11-04-2010, 09:25
Leicashop vienna has one if anyone want's a Tewe finder.

I'm all findered out - having just bought a MK70 viewfinder and a Voigtländer Kontur black hole frame finder from them.

sevo
11-04-2010, 10:16
As well, the prices I found poking around on line last night are closer to $200 and up.


That would be the irrational BIN offers from the usual suspects in the over-priced collectibles game.

The ones that actually sell in auctions or from more rational sellers are generally in the 40-100€ range. Collectible vintage grade go for more, visibly wasted ones are even cheaper. Beware, when looking for nicely priced ones you'll stumble across many Robot square format ones - these go for about 2/3 the price of the 24x36mm variety, but have the wrong framing (square) and labelling (30-150 rather than 35-200 for the longer range ones we've been talking about, but the 35-135's seem to have had the same labelling in either format, and were square cropped in the case of the Robot - these would be easy to convert by replacing the mask).

Sevo

archive59
11-04-2010, 10:28
Be aware also that there are some Robot branded Tewe finders that have a 24x36 framing together with marks for 24x24 but only go up to 75mm focal length.

Edward C. Zimmermann
11-16-2010, 03:34
Be aware also that there are some Robot branded Tewe finders that have a 24x36 framing together with marks for 24x24 but only go up to 75mm focal length.
75mm was the longest rangefinder objective they sold for use on a Royal 35.

There were a large number of variations of TeWe finders in 24x24 (Robot), 24x36 and even 4x5" (branded, among others, as Linhof). TeWe developed the market. Tewe founded immediately after the war making telephoto objectives (with designs clearly influenced by Astro) were also the first company to sell a dedicated "Director's Zoom Finder" sold as a "Director's finder". These were exported in the U.S. as early as 1946 and completely dominated the cine director's finder market (under a number of brands including Birns & Sawyer and Allan Gordon) even beyond the early 1970s when they ended production and closed their doors. One can still find TeWe Director's Finders hanging on many a neck...
P.S.: To correct Roger's article: While 150mm was the longest standard objective they sold for the Robot Star they did sell longer. I don't even know of a 150mm for the Royal/Record models. They sold instead 135mm and 200mm. While the 200mm Tele-Xenar was their longest with a "rangefinder" focus mount--- made possible by its wide metering basis-- they sold objectives with bayonet mount (for Royal and Recorder 24 models) all the way up to a 1000mm from Kinoptik Paris.

robklurfield
11-24-2010, 21:28
nice finder. just picked one up on eBay for $60. waiting for my IIIf to arrive as I don't really need this on the M2 (though it looks nice). Really well built piece of equipment.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5207/5205539981_696fdee389_b.jpg

robklurfield
11-24-2010, 21:44
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5006/5206161760_28cab0f959_b.jpg

John Camp
11-24-2010, 23:46
This rang a bell with me, so I scratched through the massive pile of junk I have in my workspace, and sure enough, came up with a Tewe finder in what appears to be excellent shape, in its original leather container, which also seems to be in excellent shape. One difference from those shown is that the barrel seems to be a kind of coffee brown, rather than black. I have no idea why I have it. Could I possibly have intended to use it on an Epson RD-1? I have no memory of buying it. But when I was scratching around looking for it, I came up with an even smaller little leather container in which I found another viewer (?) which also seems to be in good condition. It has a shoe on the bottom of it, is made of what looks like a matte steel, is marked in feet at 5, 7, 15 and infinity, and around the eyepiece says, "Ernst Leitz GmbH Wetzlar Germany 13.5 cm." I have no idea of what it's for.

Maybe I ought to scratch around there some more. Maybe there's an M9 somewhere.

JC

David Murphy
11-25-2010, 00:07
If I'm not mistaken the vintage (screw mount era) Canon rangefinder accessory finder works the same way as the Tewe, so perhaps this is where they got the idea. The Canon finder dates from the early fifties -- perhaps earlier, not sure. I own a Canon unit and it is a superb piece.

I've always wanted a Tewe however, and perhaps a Komura 200mm lens to go with it. I've mastered using the 135mm focal length on rangefinders, so I need a real challenge now!

David Murphy
11-25-2010, 00:08
OK I just noticed that the Tewe dates from 1952 or earlier, so probably the Canon finder was based on the Tewe!

Brian Legge
11-25-2010, 00:27
John, I like this concept. I just found a Contax takeup spool in the pipe of cameras I'm cleaning up and selling - works nicely in my Kiev 4a.

Unfortunately that is probably the best find in my stack. Most of the rest consists of fixed lens rangefinders in need of work. Good projects but it is taking me way too long to get through.

Edit: To tie this in to the topic at hand, I'm talking with someone here on RFF about buying a Tewe. I don't really need anything as long as 200. The mythical 28-135 would be great but I've yet to see one of them for sale. If they go for more, i'd stick with the 35-200 in a heartbeat.

bigeye
11-25-2010, 03:11
bottom of it, is made of what looks like a matte steel, is marked in feet at 5, 7, 15 and infinity, and around the eyepiece says, "Ernst Leitz GmbH Wetzlar Germany 13.5 cm." I have no idea of what it's for.

JC


Sounds lika Leica "SHOOC" finder. -Charlie

John Camp
11-25-2010, 14:38
Sounds lika Leica "SHOOC" finder. -Charlie

Yup. Looked it up after your note, and that's it. Now if I could only figure out why I have it.

rumbliegeos
12-01-2010, 15:41
I had a 35-200 model which I used on a Leica IIIf. I loved the concept, and the quality of construction, but ultimately found it was difficult to use when wearing my glasses. So, I sold it for a surprisingly large amount of money.

Ezzie
12-01-2010, 16:00
i have the Nippon Kogaku varifocal Finder, and its very nice indeed. i hear the Tewe and the NK resemble one another.

robklurfield
12-01-2010, 18:32
atop my new IIIf
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5242/5220082470_df05abecbd_b.jpg

raid
12-01-2010, 19:32
I have several such viewers. I should sell a few.

Spavinaw
03-15-2011, 13:13
In the article referenced by Roger in his first sentence, there are references to blob-on-a-stick markings on the focal length scale. The marks at 38mm and 127mm are for 1/2X and 1X views respectively. Not sure about the mark at 90mm; maybe 3/4X?? Anyway, I have both the Tewe and the Nikon Version 1 finders. The view through my Nikon finder is as stated above. The view through my Tewe finder is slightly smaller than it should be. Close but not exact.

Roger Hicks
03-15-2011, 13:19
In the article referenced by Roger in his first sentence, there are references to blob-on-a-stick markings on the focal length scale. The marks at 38mm and 127mm are for 1/2X and 1X views respectively. Not sure about the mark at 90mm; maybe 3/4X?? Anyway, I have both the Tewe and the Nikon Version 1 finders. The view through my Nikon finder is as stated above. The view through my Tewe finder is slightly smaller than it should be. Close but not exact.

Fascinating!

Is this from any other source, or pure observation? The latter is normally worth more, but equally, this may be coincidence.

Thanks very much indeed for a lateral (as it were) observation (as it were) on the whole thing -- an incredible example of how much can be forgotten/ ignored/ rediscovered in only 50 years.

Cheers,

R.

LeicaFoReVer
03-15-2011, 13:41
Anyone having information on Tower finders? I have a universal one (actually for sale) made in germany but could not find any information on its history. It looks really well made. You may check the images:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost-classifieds/showproduct.php/product/27194/title/sigma-dp1-2ctopcon-2c-tower-2c-canon/cat/3

Spavinaw
03-15-2011, 22:39
I already knew what the blob-on-a-stick marks were , but to refresh my memory I Googled "Nikon Varifocal". If you try it, click on the entry "Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) Finder Group of Accessories for...". Hopefully you will arrive at the section titled "Part 4: Multi-focal length (universal) Nikon Verifocal Finder". If you do not arrive at Part 4 then go to the bottom of the page and click on the forward/backward function as needed to get to Part 4. Once at Part 4, the last sentence in the third paragraph provides the information on these marks.

Roger Hicks
03-16-2011, 01:16
I already knew what the blob-on-a-stick marks were , but to refresh my memory I Googled "Nikon Varifocal". If you try it, click on the entry "Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) Finder Group of Accessories for...". Hopefully you will arrive at the section titled "Part 4: Multi-focal length (universal) Nikon Verifocal Finder". If you do not arrive at Part 4 then go to the bottom of the page and click on the forward/backward function as needed to get to Part 4. Once at Part 4, the last sentence in the third paragraph provides the information on these marks.

Thanks very much indeed.

Cheers,

R.

sevo
03-16-2011, 01:42
Anyone having information on Tower finders? I have a universal one (actually for sale) made in germany but could not find any information on its history.

That one at least is Steinheil made (Tower being a seller/importer brand they may well have marketed others as well). If you can read German (or let Google translate): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/CA_Steinheil_%26_S%C3%B6hne

Spavinaw
03-16-2011, 14:41
Just for the record, a Walz finder that is very similar to the Nikon Varifocal finders sold on eBay on March 11, 2011.

newspaperguy
03-16-2011, 15:26
FWIW - Steinheil also offered that finder under their own name in the 50s.

Our own Brian Sweeney just cleaned and repaired mine. Thanks again Brian.