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Guest guy_mancuso

Having fun with the Visoflex and M8

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I saw a vertical finder go locally on eBay for almost €200, so that seems to be a good price. Crazy. It is more expensive than my Visoflex itself, with 4x prism finder

 

I will take more pictures with the 280/4.8 tomorrow when it is light out again. Close focus is 3.5m = 10'. I am bringing it to work where I have a view for miles. So far it seems surprisingly sharp. To give you an idea of the performance, the MTF charts are very similar to those of the 135/2.8-R. A little better wide open, a little worse stopped down, but quite close. Not shabby, and definitely worth not needing to schlep along an R9/DMR + 280/4 if you don't need the extra sharpness. As I said: zoo duty

 

When I checked the Leica Pocket Guide, it seemed that this lens was the best, and the huge pistol-grip 400/560 modular kit was also good, with the 400 being better. That is too large for me, but this one is 1.2kg = 2.5lbs (significantly lighter than the Apo-280/4-R). I can handle that for zoo duty, and the occasional trip, and it was cheap! All versions are identical, optically. There is an earlier version for around €300 at Leica Berlin:

 

Leica Berlin: Telyt 4,8/280mm

 

There is another one on their Visoflex page, but that is the one I bought

The above earlier version is actually lighter, at around 800g = 1.5lbs.

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OK my interest is piqued.

 

How does this contraption work? How does the mirror sync with the shutter?

 

Also, is there any difference between the Visoflex III and the Micro-Visoflex? If I were to start looking for these, which kit would you recommend (I know there's the vertical finder and the horizontal one and a few with bellows).

 

-n

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OK my interest is piqued.

 

How does this contraption work? How does the mirror sync with the shutter?

 

Also, is there any difference between the Visoflex III and the Micro-Visoflex? If I were to start looking for these, which kit would you recommend (I know there's the vertical finder and the horizontal one and a few with bellows).

 

-n

 

It's dead simple, as you press down on the adjustable shutter release it swings the mirror up. Then continued pressure fires the camera shutter. The micro Viso has interchangeable screens that can be easily exchanged with a pull out tray like holder. For M8 Viso III so 90 degree finder will clear the body and whatever Viso lenses strike your fancy -macro or tele.

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Just got e-mail from Tamarkin about the 5x vertical finder they have one for 125 bucks. I nailed it. In business now

Question 1: Do any of you considering or using the Viso own a DMR? If so, what do you see as the advantage in using the Viso as compared to the DMR with a macro lens (or some extension rings / bellows)

Note: Do you realize that prices for the Viso on ebay have suddenly gone up since this thread has started. A few months ago you could get one for $100-150:D

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learning a bit more about the Visoflex, I came across this excellent site

Lot 49 with much useful information about the Viso as well as a photograph of no less than Che Guevara holding one

even if you are not warm to Che's politics, you might find this site a good visit

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I saw a vertical finder go locally on eBay for almost €200, so that seems to be a good price. Crazy. It is more expensive than my Visoflex itself, with 4x prism finder

 

I will take more pictures with the 280/4.8 tomorrow when it is light out again. Close focus is 3.5m = 10'. I am bringing it to work where I have a view for miles. So far it seems surprisingly sharp. To give you an idea of the performance, the MTF charts are very similar to those of the 135/2.8-R. A little better wide open, a little worse stopped down, but quite close. Not shabby, and definitely worth not needing to schlep along an R9/DMR + 280/4 if you don't need the extra sharpness. As I said: zoo duty

 

When I checked the Leica Pocket Guide, it seemed that this lens was the best, and the huge pistol-grip 400/560 modular kit was also good, with the 400 being better. That is too large for me, but this one is 1.2kg = 2.5lbs (significantly lighter than the Apo-280/4-R). I can handle that for zoo duty, and the occasional trip, and it was cheap! All versions are identical, optically. There is an earlier version for around €300 at Leica Berlin:

 

Leica Berlin: Telyt 4,8/280mm

 

There is another one on their Visoflex page, but that is the one I bought

The above earlier version is actually lighter, at around 800g = 1.5lbs.

 

I am happy to know there is people who appreciate the 280 4,8 : on my M4, I have used my one for more than 15 years... the right REAL TELE for a M user; I have also 400 and 560: fine, but dramatically different in practice: 280 is rather light, rather portable, and If you have light, can go "no-tripod" at 250-500: that is practically impossible with the 400/560, unless you really want to put together all the gear of the shoulder support arm and... frankly... you feel someway ridicolous, not to mention that the (fine) support is other hardware to be carried with you...

 

Attached is a shot with 280, in a early morning of September, Italian Alps, freehand... we are in the "Digital Section" ...well is digital only for is a (roughly) scanned print... taken with M4...

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In 1987 when I was in Sudan and some fighting had broken out in Khartoum , I used the 280/4.8/viso on an M6. Perhaps it was due to the harsh sunlight but I was very disappointed in the quality of the pictures (no longer have them). The images were soft and suffered from the sun rays in such a way that the pictures weren't usable. Perhaps since then there is a better version of this lens..

regards,

Etienne

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How much can I expect to pay for a Visoflex?

 

Will it work on Epson R-D1?

 

For a Viso II or III (better the III) you can expect to pay from 150 to 350 Euros depending on model (II is generally cheaper), conditions, viefinder etc. CONDITIONS are important expecially regarding the "glass" parts: mirror (can be dirty) ground glass (can be scratched), prism unit (can be "dirty" or with some kind of cracks in the massive glass unit). For me a FINE Viso III with prism is worth in the range of 300.

With Epson there is not optical problem : mount Viso with finder +proper lens it is usable: surely, one and maybe two mech problems:

 

1) The arm that, depressed, flips up the mirror AND acts on the camera body button for shutter firing, is tightly calibrated to the dimensions of Leica M bodies: I suppose in Epson is not the same: as with Leica CL, You have to flip the mirror acting on the arm (or on the proper button to the right of mirror box) and instantly afterwards fire the shutter, tipically with another finger... seems complicated, but for my experience with Leica CL, not so much, unless you pretend (innatural) use of the Visoflex in situations where a quick SLR is definitely THE RIGHT CHOICE.

 

2) the PRISM viewfinder of course protrudes back towards the camera body : in Leica Ms, it results gently "almost-adherent" to the body top, in Leica CL it results a little elevated on the body top, in Epson... don't know... Epson is apparently no higher in top of BM flange to top of body than a Leica M, but is better to verify: if, strangely, it would result higher, the prism simply cannot be mounted: you have to use vertical finder, it exists, can find in the market, but is all another way to work with Visoflex: good for Macro, excellent with bellows on tripod, good with strong Tele Lens (400 and so) absolutely on tripod, not so good in the standard use as a "simil-reflex" .

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For a Viso II or III (better the III) you can expect to pay from 150 to 350 Euros depending on model (II is generally cheaper), conditions, viefinder etc. CONDITIONS are important expecially regarding the "glass" parts: mirror (can be dirty) ground glass (can be scratched), prism unit (can be "dirty" or with some kind of cracks in the massive glass unit). For me a FINE Viso III with prism is worth in the range of 300.

 

If you are patient a Visoflex III in mint condition with 90 degree finder can be had on eBay for around $165.USD. I paid 169. for a Viso III + 90degree finder mint in the box with instructions on eBay just a few weeks ago. There are a lot of expensive Viso items on eBay now because they have all been posted by Photo-Arsenal. They always have pristine stuff listed but at full retail prices. I would be surprised if they were able to get those prices on eBay. Retail expect to pay the 150 to 350 Euros or more quoted above.

 

The Black 65mm lens is a different story and you might have a problem finding a black lens for less then the going retail price which is North of $700.USD.

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I saw a Viso IIA locally with a 90 mm Kilfitt macro lens...looked interesting. Altho the lens was stiff, from lack of use.

 

For the M8, does one get a Viso III prism to use, and is that all that is needed?

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Guest guy_mancuso

There are actually 2 prisms that will work with the M8 the 5x Vertical Chimney Prism which will allow acess to your hot shoe than there is a 90 degree no step prism. i got a little ripped off . I bought a Visoflex 3 for 225 but had the step prism which won't fit the M8. Than 2 days ago i found the 90 no step for 100 dollars which Imay sell now since I hopefully just got a Vertical chimney for 125.00 this one is hard to find. But i need to use strobes with mine so I will keep the vertical and probably sell the 90 . The 90looks easier to use just like a DSLR but i will wait until i get the vertical next week. I would like to try and change my focusing screen, need to look into that part yet.

 

Peter yes i have the DMR but this is so much fun with the M8 , maybe not as practical but I been thinking about MF lately and the M8 system as my future. Hard decisions

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Guest guy_mancuso

Great just got confirmation my vertical chimney was shipped.

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Great just got confirmation my vertical chimney was shipped.

 

Guy

 

I know you realize you have lost your mind. A DSLR is much, much, more suitable for macro or tele. But you know that.

It does sound like fun

 

Rex

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Guest guy_mancuso

For the tele work no question. The macro work i do very little of and this is more for fun and i am still deciding what to do about a MF system so don't want to put more money in the R just yet. The 100 macro is around 1800, so right now 400 is good enough. have other things I need more.

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LOL. Guy, I just called Tamarkin and picked up the Visoflex and a stovepipe and asked also about tabletop tripods. He said, "What is this, a repeat of yesterday?!"

 

On the hunt for a 65mm with a focus adapter now.

 

As of 12:07PM EST, he's got one more Visoflex w/right angle viewfinder, excellent + for $199.

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Guest guy_mancuso

I think we started something, no Visoflex is safe anymore from the M8. LOL

 

I'm shooting my extra parts for e-bay now

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I think we started something, no Visoflex is safe anymore from the M8. LOL

 

I'm shooting my extra parts for e-bay now

YOU'VE SAID IT, GUY ! And I repeat a concept I already expressed: if M8 REALLY TAKES ON , wait and see and someone like Cos/Voigt will put in production a NEW VISOFLEX ! Damn I think that if there had been patents on the VisoIII, is time they have expired... or even someone in Solms could think of searching into there archive and evaluate if...

LONG LIFE TO THE VISO

 

Look, girl of my dreams

How my muscles flex

when I screw on

my Visoflex!

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Yeah, I'm super busy right now, but you guys have piqued my interest (damn it! : -)

 

Rummaged around the old gear closet for the Viso and 200/4 that forum member Jerry Pfile gave me a couple of years ago as a bonus for doing some restoration work.

 

Took the Viso apart and cleaned it, tried some macro work but wasn't as successful as others here. Then slapped the Leitz 200/4 on it, and I'll be damned if it isn't more lens than I thought it was.

 

I've got an old 135/2 around here somewhere and I'm going to unscrew the front of it and mount it in place of the 200 front end (which also unscrews). Hope it works because a 135/2 would be something.

 

You guys going to make a mask to correspond to the M8s crop factor?

 

Not much time to be playing now, so I did a few grab shots in the yard with the 200 @ 640. I definitely need a diopter for the viewfinder, so forgive the focus errors ... the last one is a crop from the shed photo before it ... pretty sharp lens for an old-timer : -)

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