Viewfinder magnification: .72 or .85?
Old 02-04-2006   #1
thodo
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Viewfinder magnification: .72 or .85?

Hi everybody,

yesterday I was able to play around with different MP's (both chrome and black; all different viewfinder magnifications). It has been really a joy and I could at least fall the decision, that I prefer the black laquer version. Unfortunately I am not sure, which viewfinder to take.

With the .85-vf it seemed to help more with focusing, giving more focus-accuracy. On the other hand, the .72-vf was better to use with a 35mm-lens. Though I was able to see the whole 35mm-frameline in the .85-finder, the .72-finder gives the opportunity to see, what happens outside the frameline.

What a dilemma... I lean (a little bit) towards the 0.85-viewfinder because of the higher focus accuracy (at least it seemed to be higher in the short period of testing). I mainly want to use a 50mm and 90mm lens, but also a 35mm lens, so I am not sure, if I should take the 0.72-viewfinder and try to live with the (perhaps) less focus-accuracy.

What are your experiences with the different viewfinders?

Thanks,
Thorsten
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Old 02-04-2006   #2
Flyfisher Tom
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If you are absolutely opposed to using an external viewfinder, then pick the 0.72 VF. The 35mm is more easily seen and you will not be hunting for the edges all the time.

If you primarily intend to use 50/90mm and you don't mind picking up an external 35mm VF, then go for the 0.85, it makes your 50mm and 90mm a much more accurate and pleasurable experience. good luck
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Old 02-04-2006   #3
Flyfisher Tom
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By the way, it is not impossible to see the 35mm frameline in the 0.85 VF, just very difficult and time consuming. And if you wear glasses/specs, definitely opt for the external VF.
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Old 02-04-2006   #4
thodo
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Thanks Flyfisher Tom,
my fist lens will definitely be a 50mm, followed later by a 90mm. Though 35mm is planned, too, my main photography will be with the 50/90. By what you said, my impression of easier and more accurate focusing with the 0.85-viewfinder seems to be correct. By the way: I didn't find it too hard to view the whole 35mm-frame in the 0.85-viewfinder (I don't wear glasses), I only missed to see, what happens outside of it.

Well does the 0.75-viewfinder offer any more advantages than showing more "outside" of the 35mm-frame? The missing 28mm-framelines don't bother me, 'cause when I will shoot wideangel, I won't choose the 28mm-lens, but something wider. So for wideangle, I would be in need of an external viewfinder anyway.

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Thorsten
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Old 02-04-2006   #5
Charlie
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Thodo,

I wear glasses and probably use my 35 as much any other lens. I don't find it a big problem and I don't think you will too once you get a feel for the image area covered by the lens. IMHO a rangefinder is all about composing outside the viewfinder anyway. And if your primary uses will be 50 and 90, then the .85 is probably the way to go.

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Charlie
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Old 02-04-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thodo
[snip] my main photography will be with the 50/90 [snip]
Thorsten that is your answer right there. I have both 0.72 and 0.85 but in M7. I have a 35mm lens on the 0.85 right now and I can use it just fine (don't wear glasses). 50mm and 90mm are a dream with the 0.85 mag so I think you should get the 0.85 since those two lenses are what that mag is designed for.

One other consideration that (hopefully) won't enter your head for a long time is that Leica is no longer making the 0.85 mag cameras except for special order through the a la carte program. So a 0.85 mag cam may have a bit more value than a 0.72 in the future.

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Old 02-04-2006   #7
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Peter is right about the resale value of the .85 being higher. It has been already on the Bay.

Having said that, NEVER SELL a LEICA ! ;-)
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Old 02-04-2006   #8
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I've got an M3 and just keep it because of the historical significance and to use with the rigid 50 Cron that came on it. Otherwise for all my other photography all my other Leicas are .72 and I've never found it lacking in focus ability with any lens, including the 50 Summilux, 90 Summicron and 135 Tele-Elmar. I do wear glasses, at least except for close work, and I can barely squash my face against the eyepiece and make out the borders of the 28mm frame one side at a time. I rarely use a 28, and it's d.o.f. is enough that I can use a separate finder without having to jump back and forth to the rangefinder to focus. I wouldn't dream of trying that with a 35mm.
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Old 02-04-2006   #9
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I have both the .72 M2 and M6 and .85 MP. I don't generally wear glasses and I use a wide variety of lenses. I rarely used my 28mm and just sold it but found the frame lines to be very inaccurate. I had to purchase the finder to accurately shoot with the 28mm. The 35mm is a favorite and now I have a 75mm summilux too. I have really fallen in love with the bigger image of the .85 especially with the longer lenses. I've owned a few M3's over the years and haven't had one for about twenty five years. I guess I had forgotten how nice the extra magnification was with longer glass. If you don't wear glasses I vote for the .85.


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Old 02-04-2006   #10
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Another option would be to get the 0.72x then get a 1.25x viewfinder magnifier, which would then turn your viewfinder into a 0.9x. Of course it's extra cash, but it seems like it would give you the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-04-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekF
Another option would be to get the 0.72x then get a 1.25x viewfinder magnifier, which would then turn your viewfinder into a 0.9x. Of course it's extra cash, but it seems like it would give you the best of both worlds.
I've been thinking about getting a 1.25x viewfinder, but I've heard mixed reviews. I'd love to hear some thoughts from those who've used one (I don't mean to hijack thread, but it seems related).
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Old 02-05-2006   #12
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Hi,

I'd vote for the .72 if you usually use the 35mm. I don't find the .85 good to use with the 35mm because I'd like to see what's going on outside the framelines.

I'd suggest you try the .72 with the 1.25x viewfinder magnifier at the store. See if you are comfortable with it before going for the .85.

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Old 02-05-2006   #13
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I thought that I would only want/need the .85 viewfinder. I could use my 35 with the .85 but didn't like the tight frame lines and so I rarely used the 35. When I bought my 28 Summicron I also bought an external viewfinder and thought that would be the way to go. I then had the opportunity to buy a .58 viewfinder at a good price and did and now find that not only is it great with the 28, but that I really like it with the 35, turning a rarely used lens into an often used lens! I would not forsake the .85 viewfinder; it is great with the longer lenses, but the .58 viewfinder is tailor made for the 35 and 28 lenses. The bonus with the 35 is that there are no competing framelines and therefore so pleasant to use.
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Old 02-05-2006   #14
thodo
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Thanks for your experiences. Well, I tried the .72 together with the 1.25x-magnification, but I didn't like it too much. In my opinion it's not really an alternative to the .85.

At the moment (thanks to your replies) I think, I'm gonna go with the .85 because of its great value together with the 50mm and 90mm lenses. I really had the impression, that focusing with the .85 is faster and more accurate, not to speak of the higher magnification itself. It is of course a disadvantage, that the 35-framelines of the .85 don't give the opportunity to see, what is happening outside the frames, but I think, I could use the 35mm nontheless. Perhaps it would be different, if I'd wear glasses. As I won't use 28mm lenses, too, I think I'm choosing the .85.

Thanks again for your help. I'll let you know, what happens finally. (next week)

Thorsten
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Old 02-05-2006   #15
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Good decision Thorsten!

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Old 02-05-2006   #16
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Thorsten,

I have an M7 .72 and an M5.

If you really are going to shoot mainly the 50 and 90, then I think you are very wise to get the .85. However, the .72 is a much better option if you want to shoot the 35 quite a bit. If the 35 is only occassional, then stay with the .85.

I find that I am shooting mostly with 50 now myself, and this has lead me to leave the M7 on the shelf and really use the M5 which is great for the 50.

Having tried the 1.25 magnifier route on my M7, I concurr that it is not a great option.

Let us know how things work out.

Best,

Ray
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Old 02-06-2006   #17
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I agree with Ben that the .72 does not have any real problems focusing any of the Leica lenses. I think the advantage of the .85 is that it makes the 90 and 135 framelines bigger. The added focus accuracy is just gravy. If you don't use a 28mm, I would go for one. I use both, and like both. I don't like anything smaller than .72, and the .6 viewfinder of the Hexar RF is one of the reasons I chose to sell it. The viewfinder magnifier does its job, but I am not a huge fan of it. It is a little fiddly and it certainly does not work as well as a dedicated finder. It is nice to use on an M3 or a .85 if you are shooting with a 90 or a 135. The framelines become normally sized!

In any case, if you don't wear glasses, the 35mm on the .85 is not a problem...you will not see around the frame much though, so if that is what you are after the .72 is a better choice. But from the way you described it, the .85 sounds like a good choice.
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Old 02-06-2006   #18
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Roland, I agree. I do think the .85 and the M3 are more accurate, but I just don't think it makes much difference in most applications. The .72 can focus the 75/1.4, 50/1 and 135/3.4 without great difficulty, but the M3 and .85 can indeed do it better...
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