35mm External VF: What's your recommendation?
Old 08-07-2015   #1
Vincent.G
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35mm External VF: What's your recommendation?

I wear glasses and prefer an external VF with lesser magnification. I find VF with plenty of eye relief helps me frame a little better.

I hope I can use this external VF with my Nikon RF body too.

What are you using and what's your recommendation?
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Old 08-07-2015   #2
Robert Lai
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I prefer the current Cosina Voigtlander models. They are coated, very bright, and offer good eye relief. I can see the entire frameline with my eyeglasses on.
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Old 08-07-2015   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
I wear glasses and prefer an external VF with lesser magnification. I find VF with plenty of eye relief helps me frame a little better.

I hope I can use this external VF with my Nikon RF body too.

What are you using and what's your recommendation?
I have both the Voigtländer and the Leica. The Leica has more eye relief, is brighter, and the frame lines are more accurately 35mm FoV. It's about $90 more than the Voigtländer at B&H Photo.

G
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Old 08-07-2015   #4
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another vote for the CV
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Old 08-07-2015   #5
Vincent.G
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I am leaning towards the 35mm CV finder too.

I saw a Helios multi frame line VF on the auction site. It is selling below 100. Anyone used those before?
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Old 08-07-2015   #6
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I'd look for a CV finder as well - the metal versions seem more robust and compact than the plastic ones, though.

The Leitz brightline finders are also excellent, but a bit more $$. If you find one at a good price, grab it! I just picked up a 5cm SBOOI finder and it's really nice.
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Old 08-08-2015   #7
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As a Leica owner, I have the 50 (SBOOI), and the 35 (SBLOO), and with original boxes. The Voightlander 35 that Stephen Grandy sells is totally weather sealed; and in my opinion a far superior product. Today I only use my Voightlander 35 viewfinder.
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Old 08-08-2015   #8
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I find the old Voigtlander "turnit" finder from the 1950s to be excellent if somewhat large. It provides optics for 35/50/100mm lenses and provides an exceedingly good and bright view. The all metal and glass one is better made than the more plastic one. The original Canon 35mm finder is also quite good and much, much smaller.

http://www.leicashop.com/vintage_en/...ku22772-6.html

http://www.shutterbug.com/content/prominent
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Old 08-08-2015   #9
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The Nikon RF 35mm bright line finder is good. The finder has a bit of optical barrel distortion, on wich the bright line does not anticipate.
The great advantage of the Leitz SBLOO however is that the bright line anticipates on the barrel distortion of the finder. This is very convenient.

Erik.
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Old 08-08-2015   #10
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The only 35mm VF I have is the old Canon unit, which is compact, clear (once you clean the glass, which is very easy), and cheap, but it would not work well with glasses. I like my CV finders (in other focal lengths), and these seem quite well-suited to longer eye relief.
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Old 08-08-2015   #11
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How about those VIDOM or VIOOH finders? Worth the money and how good are their eye relief?
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Old 08-08-2015   #12
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
How about those VIDOM or VIOOH finders?
They are worth the money, but they are for a 35mm finder big and clumsy. The VIDOM-finders show a mirror image, like the VISOR.

The WEISU is a wonderful little finder, but is expensive. It is more a collectors item, not unlike the Nikon minifinder.

Erik.
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Old 08-08-2015   #13
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I had the Helios once. It is OK, but not that bright, and I didn't feel the framelines were very accurate either.
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Old 08-08-2015   #14
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It seems that the SBLOO sells for a little more than a new CV finder. But the CV finder comes in black.
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Old 08-08-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
I had the Helios once. It is OK, but not that bright, and I didn't feel the framelines were very accurate either.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-08-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
The only 35mm VF I have is the old Canon unit, which is compact, clear (once you clean the glass, which is very easy), and cheap, but it would not work well with glasses. I like my CV finders (in other focal lengths), and these seem quite well-suited to longer eye relief.
I came across the Canon 35mm chrome VF bundled with a chrome Canon 35m f2.8 lens. The price looks good for a lens with a VF.
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Old 08-08-2015   #17
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I use a Komura which works just fine with glasses.
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Old 08-08-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
It seems that the SBLOO sells for a little more than a new CV finder. But the CV finder comes in black.
The SBLOO too - in black paint - but I admit it is among the rarest Leica items. I have one ...

Erik.

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Old 08-08-2015   #19
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I have a Russian KMZ 3,5cm finder. No framelines, but perfect for the job.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The SBLOO too - in black paint - but I admit it is among the rarest Leica items. I have one ...

Erik.

Erik, where do you get all that beautiful (and rare!!) black Leica stuff?
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Old 08-08-2015   #20
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Quote:
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The SBLOO too - in black paint - but I admit it is among the rarest Leica items. I have one ...


And a very rare 1st series too boot. Nice catch Erik, looks mint
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Old 08-08-2015   #21
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Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
I came across the Canon 35mm chrome VF bundled with a chrome Canon 35m f2.8 lens. The price looks good for a lens with a VF.
That's exactly how I got mine. The lens is very nice as well.
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Old 08-08-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The SBLOO too - in black paint - but I admit it is among the rarest Leica items. I have one ...

Erik.

Erik, you always have the nicest stuff !

That black paint SBLOO looks gorgeous!
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Old 08-08-2015   #23
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That's exactly how I got mine. The lens is very nice as well.
But do you need to press your eye close to the Canon VF to see all the 35mm frame lines? I wear glasses so I need the VF to have good eye relief.
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Old 08-08-2015   #24
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But do you need to press your eye close to the Canon VF to see all the 35mm frame lines? I wear glasses so I need the VF to have good eye relief.
Yes, you really do need to get right up on it (and, FYI, there are no framelines). As noted above, it's really not suitable for glasses-wearers.

But the lens is rather good.
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Old 08-09-2015   #25
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Thank you for sharing! I have heard good things about that little canon lens.
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Old 08-09-2015   #26
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The fsu 35mm accessory VF has a plastic foot which is a weak point

Mine broke while in use.
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Old 08-09-2015   #27
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On the Voigtlander - the plastic ones, I have 25 and 15. Very good finder but I really hate them on my IIIf because they obscure the shutter speed indicator line.

I have this type - not a lot of money. It fits well on the camera and gives a good view (I wear spectacles). Note - no bright line though.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Russian-VIEW...item51ca931589
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Old 08-09-2015   #28
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I've been happy with the CV 35mm finder. I tried a Leitz 35mm finder, and it was fatiguing to look through, like a pair of eyeglasses that are a little too strong. When I sent it back to the seller, he took another look through it and agreed with me. He said he never realized it until I pointed it out. There must have been something wrong with it; they can't all be like that!
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Old 08-09-2015   #29
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The fsu 35mm accessory VF has a plastic foot which is a weak point

Mine broke while in use.
That's interesting, mine's metal as pictured in the e-bay ad (pervious post). Perhaps there were different producers?
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Old 08-12-2015   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oltimer View Post
As a Leica owner, I have the 50 (SBOOI), and the 35 (SBLOO), and with original boxes. The Voightlander 35 that Stephen Grandy sells is totally weather sealed; and in my opinion a far superior product. Today I only use my Voightlander 35 viewfinder.

I agree. Vincent. I also have the SBLOO only because i got it for a bargain .
I prefer the VC metal finders.

Ophir.
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Old 08-12-2015   #31
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The 35mm version of the Voigtlander Kontur viewfinders is pretty rare and it's quite difficult to find one for sale, but it's the best external viewfinder I've ever used. Not everyone's cup of tea though and takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you've never used any of the Kontur finders before. The 50mm fov Kontur finders also say 35mm on the front, but that's related to the film format, not the fov.
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Old 08-12-2015   #32
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My favorite is the Voigtlander 28/35mm brightline finder.
It does not block the shutter speed dial and I can use it for 35 or 28mm. Using the 1937 IIIa's viewfinder I can also shoot with a 50mm. Downside is it is expensive but worth it to me.


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Old 08-13-2015   #33
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Thank you very much for sharing your experience guys. I will most likely go for a CV 35mm metal VF. I will update here with my user experience in time to come.
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Old 08-13-2015   #34
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My favorite is the Voigtlander 28/35mm brightline finder.
It does not block the shutter speed dial and I can use it for 35 or 28mm. Using the 1937 IIIa's viewfinder I can also shoot with a 50mm. Downside is it is expensive but worth it to me.


Wish I'd seen one of these before getting separate finders. Just leave it on the M3 full-time and be covered from 28 to 135. Might have to do some wheeling and dealing. Is this comfortable to look through a lot?

Thanks,
s-a
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Old 08-13-2015   #35
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Wish I'd seen one of these before getting separate finders. Just leave it on the M3 full-time and be covered from 28 to 135. Might have to do some wheeling and dealing. Is this comfortable to look through a lot?

Thanks,
s-a
Yes comfortable to look through and has a rubber tip so will not scratch your glasses.
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Old 08-13-2015   #36
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I have the later black Canon 35 finder which is setup only for the Canon L1/VT/VL series with the auto-parallax and that has bright lines. Quite bright, I'm happy with it when using those cameras but obviously not so wonderful when trying to use it any where else due to the lack of parallax compensation. But, if you aren't trying to frame that precisely, maybe it would be an option for you.
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Voigtlander 35mm metal vs Leitz SBLOO finder
Old 05-21-2016   #37
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Voigtlander 35mm metal vs Leitz SBLOO finder

I realize this is an older thread, but I want to add a bit info from some recent first hand impressions

I have been using a vintage SBLOO for some time but wanted to replace it with the Voigtlander 35mm metal finder for use on my IIIf. Now I have both finders here on my desk for a direct comparison, one important thing strikes me and as far as I can see, it has not been mentioned clearly in any of the comments here in this thread:

The SBLOO gives a MUCH bigger image.

The Voigt metal finder apparently has a lower magnification. I was looking for the exact ratio numbers but couldn't find any for the metal version. The SBLOO is said to be 0.7. I guess the lower magnification is a consequence of the compact dimensions. Maybe the plastic version of the Voigt finder comes closer to the image size of the SBLOO (it has a 0.68 magnification according to the bartender), but the image of the metal version is distinctly smaller. It's a bit like comparing the 50mm field on a M3 and a M2 in relative terms. I also read that the newer plastic version of the Leitz 35mm finder has a lower magnification than SBLOO, but have not seen it personally

Other impressions so far:
  • Eye relief for the Voigtlander is better
  • Frame lines in the Voigt finder are more solid and distinct, but also a bit more "obstrusive". Which you prefer is probably a matter of taste.
  • I do NOT see any difference in the brightness of the finders. If you have a SBLOO and think it is dim, you should have it cleaned. IDK about the more recent plastic Leica finders.
  • Both finders appear to have a similar amount of barrel distortion, no winner here IMO.
  • The rigidness and finish of both finders appears to be equally well.
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Old 12-22-2019   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeswe View Post
I realize this is an older thread, but I want to add a bit info from some recent first hand impressions

I have been using a vintage SBLOO for some time but wanted to replace it with the Voigtlander 35mm metal finder for use on my IIIf. Now I have both finders here on my desk for a direct comparison, one important thing strikes me and as far as I can see, it has not been mentioned clearly in any of the comments here in this thread:

The SBLOO gives a MUCH bigger image.

The Voigt metal finder apparently has a lower magnification. I was looking for the exact ratio numbers but couldn't find any for the metal version. The SBLOO is said to be 0.7. I guess the lower magnification is a consequence of the compact dimensions. Maybe the plastic version of the Voigt finder comes closer to the image size of the SBLOO (it has a 0.68 magnification according to the bartender), but the image of the metal version is distinctly smaller. It's a bit like comparing the 50mm field on a M3 and a M2 in relative terms. I also read that the newer plastic version of the Leitz 35mm finder has a lower magnification than SBLOO, but have not seen it personally

Other impressions so far:
  • Eye relief for the Voigtlander is better
  • Frame lines in the Voigt finder are more solid and distinct, but also a bit more "obstrusive". Which you prefer is probably a matter of taste.
  • I do NOT see any difference in the brightness of the finders. If you have a SBLOO and think it is dim, you should have it cleaned. IDK about the more recent plastic Leica finders.
  • Both finders appear to have a similar amount of barrel distortion, no winner here IMO.
  • The rigidness and finish of both finders appears to be equally well.
I'm very much in the market for the Voigtlander! Haven't seen one on eBay in a while.
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