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Using Leica M10 only with Visoflex


trequartista
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The Visoflex is used in live-view mode, so it adds quite a delay for the shutter to close before reopening to make the exposure. While it does allow fine focus with long or macro use, normal (35-90) lens use is much better using the optical finder. As others said, the SL is much better for EVF use.

I use a Sony A7 for long lenses, my Leica R lenses as well as other old SLR lenses, and it gives a more pleasing experience than the M10-Visoflex, but of course has edge issues with shorter M lenses, which is why the SL is preferable.

With normal and wide lenses the M10 RF gives faster and more precise focus.

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Well, I had a M262 for quite some time, but then I got frustrated and I sold it. Mainly because I might was not ready for range finder and manual focusing. I remember myself being on a reportage in Central Asia with M262 as main body and Q as second body, after I missed several shots with my M263 body in situations with motion, I continued to only shoot with Leica Q. Since I now mainly work as a photo editor, I kinda have more patience and I would try again a Leica M.

 

The thing is that I rather would like to skip awfully bad expensive lenses for the first moment and try out 3rd party lenses, like the ones from Voigtländer or Zeiss. Then again, I heared terrible stories about focus shift on some of these lenses and even with my old M-lenses which I sold, like Summarit 75mm, I experienced focus shift issues. So, I actually would like to use the rangfinder, but I see the problem of focus shift and maybe not always be able to focus as quick as needed.

 

So there comes the Visoflex as a utility to support me in these situations, although I know it is technically far behind the digital viewfinder of Q / SL / CL.

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Battery life can be very short when Visoflex 020 is used.

 

I think that Visoflex is only for use to complete the RF but not to be used full time on M10.

 

100% d'accord!

 

I use the visoflex on my M10 only with focal lengthes below 28 and above 75/90mm

In general I use it rarement.

 

Sometimes, especially with my beloved Apo-Telyt 3.4/180, I'm happy to own it ...

Edited by cp995
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Hey!

 

What do you think about this idea: Buy a Leica M10 but mainly using the Visoflex for easier and precise focusing.

Is the Visoflex that good and the idea not completly mad?

 

I think the Visoflex is pretty good (almost as good as the CL . . but not as good as the SL)

. . . so, fine . . (and I've read your second post too). 

 

I think you should go for it . .but practice and practice at shooting with the rangefinder with a limited number of lenses (and 3rd party is fine). Focus shift is relevant, but if you know your lenses and have practiced then you can get the hang of what to do with each lens. 

 

Shooting with a rangefinder when you've gained confidence is such fun (and the M10 rangefinder is better than the 262). Well worth the effort of learning . . . and you can use the visoflex in the meantime!

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Unlike most here, my visoflex is glued to the camera.  In situations where speed is not necessary I focus and rough compose with the OVF then switch to the EVF for final framing and exposure correction.  In cases where it is, step 2. to goes by the boards.

 

Now, why focus with OVF not the EVF?  Well, the issue for me is accuracy with the lens stopped down. The EVF isnt so detailed that I trust it over the OVF except on long lenses when open.  Peaking, if you enable it, can be particularly misleading when the lens isn't wide open.  For long lenses or tricky situations, say repeated patterns, as I have my EVF focus set to Zoom, I typically focus via the OVF and then switch the EVF without touching anything so I'm still zoomed in and can confirm I got it right.  Working this way when not under any time pressure, my hit rate is easily as good as any AF system I've ever used, maybe better.  YMMV, and I sure many are horrified by this, but AFAIC the combination of OVF/EVF usage is a key strength of the system.

 

All that said, if you can't  deal with the schizophrenic nature of using two VFs, which did take a little getting use to, you need to consider if you spend a lot of time between f4-f11 whether or not opening and stopping down every time you want to refocus is something you can live with.  One of the reasons that while I seriously considered an SL to pair with my 240, I went with an M10 instead.  That and the reality that I can't get over the psychological hump of having spent 10s of thousands on optics only to wind up mounting them via an adapter. 

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Originally I bought the Visoflex only as I got one cheaper. I rarely used it - just for a 135mm lens where it is certainly superior to the optical viewfinder.

 

Lately I tried to use it with a 21mm lens to look whether I‘d prefer it to the additional optical finder. Focus aid which is very useful for long lenses didn‘t help since everything seemed in focus. With harsh contrasts the shadows were too dark and the highlights blown out. I got very very slow with it.

 

It felt like a big relieve to come back to the way of using a camera with optical finder which was my main reason for having an M.

 

People who prefer EVF - for good reasons - will be better off with the SL. Those who don‘t like the design of the present SL may wait until Photokina in September and may be surprised or disappointed, who knows. Still time to think again afterwards.

Edited by UliWer
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I'm in the same boat as most. I use my M10 without the EVF 99% of the time. Even at night in near darkness, finding an edge to line up with the rangefinder is preferable to the   slow, blinking, and seasickness inducing EVF. I thought I would love using the EVF but the experience is just too unnatural. And the damn thing eats batteries.

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People who prefer EVF - for good reasons - will be better off with the SL. Those who don‘t like the design of the present SL may wait until Photokina in September and may be surprised or disappointed, who knows. Still time to think again afterwards.

I suspect the next SL is more likely due in 2019, on a 4 year cycle, consistent with a possible new S this Photokina. I would expect the S to remain the MP leader.

 

But we shall see.

 

Jeff

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I'm assuming the OP is using or wants to use M lenses and is thinking of a Visoflex for speed of focusing on things in motion, yet people are recommending the SL, odd that?

 

I've had an SL and yes indeed its EVF is very good, but using it with M lenses and for precise focusing you need to open the aperture to maximum each time or you end up 'seeing' the DOF and not the actual focus point. So at f/2 you have minimum DOF so can focus on the actual thing, at f/8 the actual thing is masked by the increased front and back focus from the DOF.  Same as if you use the focus assist, at f/8 on a wide lens it tells you everything is in focus no matter how near or how far, but only tells what thing is focused on if you open up to f/2. Obviously just like hyper focal focusing there will be a level of 'acceptable sharpness' at f/8 in front of and behind the actual focus point, but you can read that off the lens scale and don't need an EVF for it. As a reminder an SLR overcomes this problem by opening the lens aperture to focus and closes it on operating the shutter.

 

Clearly the problem of focusing on the exact point of focus while stopped down will exist whether it's a Visoflex or the SL's EVF, so if the OP wants to use M lenses why recommend the OP changes the camera to an SL or CL, it gets him nowhere? The real conclusion is that it isn't possible to accurately focus quickly with M lenses using an EVF with an M or any alternative camera unless the aperture is fully opened to focus, but it is possible to see the general area of focus when stopped down. But as focus changes opening the aperture, focus, close the aperture, recompose, each and every time through the EVF is a very cumbersome exercise. 

 

M lenses and EVF's are for more leisurely and perfectly accurate focusing and an EVF ticks the box mightily. For speed with an M camera use the rangefinder, it's as fast as the camera and lens combination can go, there is nothing to 'mask' the actual focus point, and if it isn't fast enough then that is when a different camera is needed.

Edited by 250swb
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This whole thread summarizes very well my issues with the M10 + Visoflex 020: the damn EVF is just terrible. It's great optically, has a nice high resolution, and the feature-set is brilliant, but:

 

 - long blackouts 

 - punch-zoom-in-to-focus still has a frame rate of ~5-10 FPS and is basically unusable, even years in 

 - the GPS takes literal minutes to get a lock 

 - it's massive 

 

Why couldn't they just get this right? It feels like a sloppy afterthought, and the SL shows Leica can do it well. Frustrating. 

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So the decision is between a CL or a M. I want to decide in the next days. Actually it‘s stupid to buy a range finder camera for 4000 more than a CL and then not really being fond of the range finder. So, what should I do?

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You could do it, but I wouldn't want to, it's a...provisional use of the tool. It's not using it what it excels at. 

 

For me, the whole point of the M is the rangefinder - it's the way of seeing the world. The M lenses are nice too, but it's really the way of looking that makes the M worth it.

 

If you want to use an EVF, buy an EVF camera. If you want full frame, get a Sony, which is a much better value anyways, I have 2 different models and they are the best photographic tools for the price on the market (just my opinion, though I've used many current bodies and owned a fair share over the past decade). The files are excellent for the cost and they are very versatile and actually quite user friendly if you ask me (I say this because people like to complain about the menus, but you set them up and you're on your way to making whatever pictures you want with ease). If you want a red dot get an SL I guess, though I really don't think they're worth the money. 

 

It also seems like you're somewhat price sensitive (seeing your comment on lenses) - so this reiterates the point I think. And if you don't need full frame then Fuji and Olympus both have great options too, and with that budget you'll have a much more complete kit. 

Edited by pgh
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So, what should I do?

 

First and foremost consider the lens family you are most interested in buying into.  Bodies come and go, glass is for a lifetime. Sensors will improve, EVFs will get faster, sharper, better in low light, etc over time.  If in the end, you simply have to have a 200mm f2, or TS or do a lot of macro work, its not likely that the M is for you.  

 

I came to Leica in no way an RF aficionado. Quite the opposite really.  I was drawn in by the glass and the simplicity of operation. Over the past few years, I've grown to appreciate the advantages of RF and equally have learned to appreciate as strengths what other seem to view as limitations when comparing the M to alternate mirrorless systems.  Its the results that matter, and on that score I'm quite satisfied.  But it has taken commitment and a measure of compromise to get there.  There is no perfect system, nor ideal photographic tool for every eventuality. 

 

So, IMO, the solution is to list and  prioritize those aspects of operation and performance that are critical for the how, where, what and when of your shooting style. If the M system checks the most important boxes, you have your answer. If not, look elsewhere, be it CL, SL or...    

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