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Old 15/01/13, 01:50   #1 (permalink)
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Default Universal Viewfinder

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Can anyone provide information or user comment on accessory slip-on viewfinders suitable for an old Leica 111?
I'm told the early (1930's) Leitz variety, which still sell for a goodly amount, simply crop the view and because they used only one prism, the view is laterally reversed. The Soviet variety cost less and are laterally correct, but suffer from dirt and haze and can be rather difficult to keep on the shoe.
I have come across a Foinix type that was a postwar German piece, but unfortunitly, I can find very little info on this as to how it might perform?
Many thanks.
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Old 15/01/13, 12:04   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

All the variable Leitz viewfinders - Vidom, Imarect etc - are a compromise. On the other hand the fixed length brightline finders - eg SBOOI for 50mm or SBLOO for 35mm - provide the best, clearest, least-cluttered view of any viewfinder, vintage or modern, optical or digital. Even with a finder fitted the III is still a small camera compared to the M8/M9 and a veritable miniature alongside a DSLR, yet with the right lens it is capable of superb results that the owner of either would envy. I may be biased as the owner of several Barnacks but with an SBOOI even an early III is a very viable machine if you are using film.

Last edited by SideB; 15/01/13 at 12:07.
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Old 15/01/13, 15:28   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

I'm certainly not an expert in viewfinders but have a VIOOH which works rather well, I find. I also have a TUVOO attachment though I rarely use it because 2,8cm is so wide and easy to aim.



So I only use the VIOOH with the 9cm Elmar or my 13,5cm Hektor.

The VIOOH does slow down operation a bit because one has to adjust the parallax lever at the foot for precise framing. But it possible to learn approximately how much the view changes depending on the distance so with a bit of use it is possible to get by without the VIOOH. In fact, I have discovered that the view through the RF window corresponds (very) roughly to the 9cm focal length (parallax un-corrected naturally) and that it is good enough for framing in most situations (unless the subject is closer), esp when one wants the lightest possible kit.

As I understand it the VIOOH is pretty much just a tube with a mask the size of which one adjusts by selecting focal length. Pretty straightforward and easy to use. Mine is no 89383 and while I don't know what year it was made it does have minor amounts of dust inside but not so much that operation is affected.

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Old 15/01/13, 15:40   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

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Old 15/01/13, 15:54   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

Btw, nobody seems to have noticed over the years that FODIS is mounted the wrong way around on that page:
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Old 15/01/13, 18:24   #6 (permalink)
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Default AW: Universal Viewfinder

Though mounted like this it gives you some idea about the importance of parallax correction.
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Old 15/01/13, 19:25   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SideB View Post
All the variable Leitz viewfinders - Vidom, Imarect etc - are a compromise. On the other hand the fixed length brightline finders - eg SBOOI for 50mm or SBLOO for 35mm - provide the best, clearest, least-cluttered view of any viewfinder, vintage or modern, optical or digital. Even with a finder fitted the III is still a small camera compared to the M8/M9 and a veritable miniature alongside a DSLR, yet with the right lens it is capable of superb results that the owner of either would envy. I may be biased as the owner of several Barnacks but with an SBOOI even an early III is a very viable machine if you are using film.
Without a doubt including the 85,90, & 135 . Add the 21` and 28 metal finders also. I have the whole set and use them on reflex cameras in mirror up mode to minimize vibration and for quiet operation.

The frame edges on my Imarect are very accurate, more accurate then M cameras, and can be adjusted for close and far angle of view changes plus parallax compensarion , but the pic is usually gone by then .

The down side is uncoated optics that give a low contrast view.
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Old 15/01/13, 22:46   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
Btw, nobody seems to have noticed over the years that FODIS is mounted the wrong way around on that page:
An error that JC obviously didn't make....
FODIS_on_Compur.jpg

But there is also someone who mounts it so that one must measure the distance with the lens towards himself... maybe thinking that is easier to transfer the measure to the lens....
FODIS_wrong.jpg
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Old 15/01/13, 23:06   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baybers View Post
Can anyone provide information or user comment on accessory slip-on viewfinders suitable for an old Leica 111?
I'm told the early (1930's) Leitz variety, which still sell for a goodly amount, simply crop the view and because they used only one prism, the view is laterally reversed. The Soviet variety cost less and are laterally correct, but suffer from dirt and haze and can be rather difficult to keep on the shoe.
I have come across a Foinix type that was a postwar German piece, but unfortunitly, I can find very little info on this as to how it might perform?
Many thanks.
If you want an original classic multifocal, VIOOH , though bulky, is the way to go.... adding the TUVOO for having the field of 28mm makes it even bulkier... but an elegant and funny setup (VIDOM, its predecessor had the laterally reversed image). Original single focal finders are usually very good,, expecially the SBLOO for 35 and the "modern" 21 & 28 (though, I still use a lot an old 28mm folding SUOOQ as 21mm finder for my M8... is very compact) : for teles, when I used my IIIf I liked a lot the folding finders (SEROO / SYEOO... compact, better usable than the brightline SGVOO / SHOOC when one has spectacles)

If you don't care about original Leitz finders, don't forget that Cosina Voigtalnder has many good finders not too costly... including an interesting multifocal 15 to 35.

Lot of years ago I bought a Soviet "revolver" 28 to 135 (Zeiss copy)... it was, frankly, very bad in use.

Last edited by luigi bertolotti; 15/01/13 at 23:11.
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Old 16/01/13, 02:11   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

Many thanks guys.
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Old 16/01/13, 07:55   #11 (permalink)
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To get the full 1930s experience you really should try a VIDOM with its laterally reversed image. For action photography* it's somewhere between rather frustrating and almost useless, but for more considered work the way it distances you from the scene can be a compositional advantage (a bit like using a Rolleiflex or Hasselblad with waist-level finder). And for landscapes the reversed view actually makes it easier to get the horizon dead level.

*Instead, try the RASUK/RASAL sports finders.
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Old 16/01/13, 15:16   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

I have a couple of the turret finders, one Russian and one German with different focal length ranges, and they are opposite handed too, the Russian one is left handed Leica style and the German right handed for Contax. I don't find them too bad to use, better IMHO than either Leica one, VIDOM or VIOOH (which I also have).
I also have a Braun multi brightline finder with 35, 50, 90 & 135 frames all in view at the same time, could easily be more confusing than my M6!
The best multi finder I have is a TEWE zoom one, but none of them is as nice as the individual brightline finders, either Leica or Voigtlander, which I have from 15 to 75mm.

Gerry
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Old 16/01/13, 17:47   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipus View Post
As I understand it the VIOOH is pretty much just a tube with a mask the size of which one adjusts by selecting focal length. Pretty straightforward and easy to use. Mine is no 89383 and while I don't know what year it was made it does have minor amounts of dust inside but not so much that operation is affected.

Cheers

how the VIOOH works , including the negative lens TUVOO :
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File Type: jpg vioohcut.jpg (52.4 KB, 132 views)
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Old 19/01/13, 19:38   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

Something worth searching for is an Alpex zoom finder. A friend gave me his 1950s Leica collection, and it had this finder, which is really nice. It is a true zoom, covers 35 to 200mm, and has parallax correction. I've never seen one before...
Alpex Finder.jpg
Alpex Zoom.jpg
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Old 19/01/13, 20:24   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Universal Viewfinder

Looks pretty well identical to me TEWE finder, and I think I read that it is a 'clone' of a Nikon one.
There is a 28mm attachment for the front but its like looking for hens teeth to find one

Gerry
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Old 19/01/13, 20:57   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyoung View Post
Looks pretty well identical to me TEWE finder,
Gerry
I have the same in TEWE (also 35 200) they made this viewfinder for ROBOT cameras also
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Old 20/01/13, 17:24   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyoung View Post
Looks pretty well identical to me TEWE finder, and I think I read that it is a 'clone' of a Nikon one.
There is a 28mm attachment for the front but its like looking for hens teeth to find one

Gerry
Yes , it's clearly almost exactly like the TEWE...
TEWE.jpg
but I'm not sure that Nikon made one that went to 200... apart a VIOOH clone (hereunder), they did a "zoom" one which strongly resembles the TEWE/ALPEX (with a 28 additional unit, too) but I think that, though made in variants including focals like 105 and 75, it never went over 135 (but don't pretend to be a Nikon expert )
NIKON_Viefinder_VIOOH.jpg

NIKON_Viewfinder_35to135.jpg

Last edited by luigi bertolotti; 20/01/13 at 17:30.
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