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Visoflex - Really Worth it?


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I'm wondering if the Visoflex is 'really' worth the cost of them?

I use LV a lot on my M10-P when out with my tripod when I'm out shooting woodland and forest stuff.  I use a 35mm, 50mm and I'm thinking next year I'd like a 28mm & 75/90, but given the amount of time I'm looking at the back of the screen, I was wondering if the Visoflex would serve a purpose as opposed to constantly looking at the back of the camera and focussing off that. 

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Since Visoflex tilts, it is practical when the tripod is low. Also, in bright light, the visibility is better with Visoflex than with rear LCD.

For a waist or floor level shot peering 90 degrees, it's the only way. Was able to take pictures I would normally give a pass. Think animals and children, reflections off puddles etc.  

I don't use mine very often but useful when I do for specific situations. For landscapes off a low tripod and at 90deg is one use, and seeing 'line' of grad filters clearly another. Also hitting focus with macro shots. I would not use it or rear screen for general photography (I have half-case with rear flap). What is the point of having a rangefinder if you do?

If you use LV a lot then in my opinion it is definitely worth it. I would check Leica store Miami, Leica.com, Tamarkin to see if you can find a used one to save some money.

there are some advantages as I find the glare off the back of the screen can make it hard to see at times. Also, when handholding you can get a lower view by tilting the EVF up 90 degrees.

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Strictly speaking it is not, but more convenient for the occasional use tele or macro lenses than a second body. 2nd hand prices recently increased, approaching prices for a 2nd hand Sony A7. It blacks out during continuous shooting, like LV and like the classic Visoflex III. 

I used a 2nd hand hoodman LCD loupe as temporary alternative, designed for DSLR in video mode. On a tripod the extra bulk doesn't matter. With a rotating tripod collar it's even better. There are cheaper brands from Asia. 

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1 hour ago, erniethemilk said:

I'm wondering if the Visoflex is 'really' worth the cost of them?

I use LV a lot on my M10-P when out with my tripod when I'm out shooting woodland and forest stuff.  I use a 35mm, 50mm and I'm thinking next year I'd like a 28mm & 75/90, but given the amount of time I'm looking at the back of the screen, I was wondering if the Visoflex would serve a purpose as opposed to constantly looking at the back of the camera and focussing off that. 

If you use LV a lot then the M series is probably not the correct camera for you. I only use the Visoflex for non rangefinder coupled lenses and very seldom even look at the rear screen.

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1 hour ago, erniethemilk said:

I'm wondering if the Visoflex is 'really' worth the cost of them?

I don't use mine very often but useful when I do for specific situations. For landscapes off a low tripod and at 90deg is one use, and seeing 'line' of grad filters clearly another. Also hitting focus with macro shots.

I would not use it or rear screen for general photography (I have half-case with rear flap). What is the point of having a rangefinder if you do?

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Critical focusing with lenses like Noctilux, Summilux 75 and Summicron 90 wide open..  yes a Visoflex comes in handy.

Wider than 24 mm, yes the  Visoflex is better than gazing at the rear screen.

Lenses like the Thambar, R lenses like the 100 Macro or 180 Telyt... no go without the Visoflex

The M is primarily a manual focus camera optimised for the 28 to 90 range, but the Visoflex opens lots of opportunities, albeit you sill have to deal with it’s limitations. And there are fare more better cameras that will handle the +90 mm range with autofocus et all.  But for the Thambar for example the M with Visoflex is the best choice. And for the Noctilux as well. 

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erniethemilk - I bought the Visoflex when I bought the M10. A mistake in my case: I don't like using it, especially when I try focus peaking with a magnified view — the unstabilized image jumps all over the place, which I find annoying. I've ended not using it at all. Whenever I need accurate framing, as with macro shots, I prefer looking at Live View on the LCD.
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I'm not sure that its worth it to purchase new. At 500, its very costly for an old tech. Bad refresh rate, bad image quality, and bad colors. I also think its too big and ruins the design of the M. 

That being said, since I got very used to focus M lenses with an EVF on my SL, I was happy and didn't hesitate when I found one in mint condition for 250 two weeks ago. I enjoy using it on my M10P as it gives me a higher success rate, but I don't have it on by default. Only if im really really going out for the sole purpose of taking street photos. 

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23 minutes ago, Steven said:

...Only if im really really going out for the sole purpose of taking street photos. 

Interesting, but I never use it for street photography: I do that using zone focusing for wide-angle lenses; with my  DR Summicron-50, I start off with zone focussing, say at 2m, and adjust it as necessary. I just find it counterproductive with the image jumping around in the electronic Visoflex. But I don't shoot street with the aperture wide-open, which I gather you do.
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When you use the EVF the camera switches over to spot metering and that is a nice surprise. I use the EVF for critical focusing of my 90mm

for portraits - (make sure those eye lashes are sharp!!) and I like it. The latest EVF is the only one, IMHO, that is good enough to really use without frustration and complaint.

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2 hours ago, howard_cummer said:

When you use the EVF the camera switches over to spot metering and that is a nice surprise. I use the EVF for critical focusing of my 90mm

for portraits - (make sure those eye lashes are sharp!!) and I like it. The latest EVF is the only one, IMHO, that is good enough to really use without frustration and complaint.

In live view you can specify Spot metering, Center-Weighted or Multi-Field metering. Without live view, only "mostly center-weighted metering" is used.

Live view has also a very nice live histogram implementation.

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On 12/22/2020 at 1:55 PM, erniethemilk said:

I'm wondering if the Visoflex is 'really' worth the cost of them?

I use LV a lot on my M10-P when out with my tripod when I'm out shooting woodland and forest stuff.  I use a 35mm, 50mm and I'm thinking next year I'd like a 28mm & 75/90, but given the amount of time I'm looking at the back of the screen, I was wondering if the Visoflex would serve a purpose as opposed to constantly looking at the back of the camera and focussing off that. 

If you are shooting with a tripod, I would honestly not see what the Visoflex would add versus focusing/framing from the back screen. Handheld, obviously a different story.

On a separate note, and as I went through the same process, buying a Visoflex for shooting 75mm and then moving into 90mm, I quickly realised the limitation of the Visoflex. I understand there maybe a budget issue but at some point the SL system will be the solution, specially if you will be shooting a lot with a tripod and on 28mm and 75-90mm. Second hand SL cameras might be reasonably affordable now that the SL2 is out. And buying the Vario-Elmarit SL 24mm-90mm could be better than buying 28mm, 75mm and 90mm M lenses, unless you want to shoot wider than f/2.8-f/4.

Edited by Hanno
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25 minutes ago, Hanno said:

If you are shooting with a tripod, I would honestly not see what the Visoflex would add versus focusing/framing from the back screen. Handheld, obviously a different story.

<snip>

Since Visoflex tilts, it is practical when the tripod is low. Also, in bright light, the visibility is better with Visoflex than with rear LCD.

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One of the reasons I upgraded from the M9-P to the the M10-P, was the possibility of using the Visoflex to take low level shots and for more accurate framing with wide-angle lenses (15-21).

After the upgrade, I bought a second-hand Visoflex. Having used it for several months, here's my feedback.

  • At half price for a near-mint used Visoflex, it's still expensive, as I use it only on 5-10% of my shots. I prefer the rangefinder experience.
  • Easy to use and work with. Especially with Live View. Never though I would need it, but it does come in handy on occasion. No issues with the resolution as it is sufficient. 
  • Build quality could be better. For an expensive product, better rubber/plastics and more robust mount would be desired.
  • Keep mount clear of dust. The Visoflex will not work with even the smallest dust build-up on contacts. Keep a small cleaning brush handy.
Edited by rramesh
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