Originally Posted by presspass
Just browsing and looking for an external 35mm finder for a Barnack. Will the Sony FDA-V1K work on a film Leica? [I know, it's blasphemy, but I would like a Zeiss finder with the wonderful glass.] Any help appreciated.
It will mount, but please read on.
I must correct my previous post which lacked first hand experience at the time - I have acquired a used copy since then - that I now think the finder is not worth it. Although it looks almost identical to the extraordinary ZM finders, there are several differences:
The finish is anodized instead of black paint;
The rubber eyepiece is not interchangeable, unlike the ZM finders, which accept standard Nikon/Fuji/Voigtlander screw-in eyepieces;
Critical: the optics is not up to the ZM level, but charges ZM prices. To put it straight: it seems who ever made the finder (Cosina, who else could it be?) managed to plant the optics of a Voigtlander 35mm metal finder into a ZM finder housing.
Look into the large front element and you'll notice how much space intended for more sophisticated optical paths was wasted. Not that the Voigtlander finder is bad (far from it), it's just not as huge and bright as you'd expect from a ZM finder.
The more I ponder, the more it appears to be a Sony marketing ploy. You are essentially paying $600 for a $200 piece inserted into a Zeiss housing, of which the design is not exactly as compact and (to me) aesthetically pleasing as the cheaper original.
So for the finder choice, just get the Voigtlander metal 35mm finder or the (plastic but excellent) Leica X1 finder and be comfortable with it, knowing that you've already got the best price–performance ratio in class.