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21mm viewfinder, is the new one better than the old version?


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I have the old Leitz 21mm viewfinder.. I guess it is more than 25 years old.. (the first photo)

In some photos I have taken with superelmar 21 using this old viewfinder the composition does not seem to be right.. for example although I have the whole body of my model inside the viewfinder, in the actual photo taken I can not see the feet of him or her.. I guess that’s why it does not have any proper frame lines inside..

Now I consider to buy the new brightline leica 21mm viewfinder which is approximately 800 euros.. (the second photo)  Do you think the new version will help me to make the correct composition with the help of the frame lines inside the viewfinder? All advices and thoughts appreciated..

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I see, from your profile the you have an M10.  You can check the difference in view by looking at the live view screen. I highly suspect that your old viewer  is identical to the new one. Save yourself 800 Euros and just make an allowance for the inaccuracies in framing. All external finders are essentially just guides, 

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I have about six of these 21 mm finders, they do vary a little, but the way you need to look round the view with your eye and how close you hold the finder to your eye can make a difference as well. Not forgetting some parallax difference.

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32 minutes ago, Pyrogallol said:

I have about six of these 21 mm finders, they do vary a little, but the way you need to look round the view with your eye and how close you hold the finder to your eye can make a difference as well. Not forgetting some parallax difference.

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Is the new viewfinder’s buttom side tight enough to mount it securely on the hot shoe? Or does it get loose by the time? 

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Instead of the 21mm VF have you looked at the EVF - VISOFLEX (TYP 020) or the new one - it will cover all the focal lengths? Should be cheaper too. Just a suggestion.  

Obviously won’t be any good for the film Ms..

Edited by OThomas
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Have you considered the Voigtlander 21/25 round metal viewfinder?

Good quality, small - and if you have a 24mm it solves that requirement too. Still relatively pricey, but far less than OEM.

As previously mentioned above, they are more of a ‘guide’ than an absolute, however this one is reasonably good with the 21mm SEM, but I do resort to live view when accuracy is essential. 

Also - you may need a thin plastic shim to sandwich under the foot for a snug fit in the hot shoe (my experience with M10 and M10R). To the best of my (limited) knowledge, nobody is currently making simple viewfinders with a locking foot, yet even the cheapest flash manufacturers can do it...

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6 hours ago, MyLeicaWorld said:

Is the new viewfinder’s buttom side tight enough to mount it securely on the hot shoe? Or does it get loose by the time? 

None of mine are new. I use them on screw cameras mostly and it is the camera accessory shoe more than the finder foot that determines whether it is loose or not. Early cameras do not have the spring clips in the accessory shoe to grip the finder. If it is loose then just add a tiny slip of paper to tighten up the fit.

I also have a Zeiss turret finder that has a 21mm setting and a Voigtlander finder that comes with a 21mm lens in Nikon/Contax bayonet, that finder is very bright and clear.

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Edited by Pyrogallol
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On 11/8/2022 at 8:06 AM, Luke_Miller said:

I use the finder designed for the WATE (AKA Frankenfinder).  It allows for parallax corrections and uses frameline masks like the rangefinder rather than etched framelines. I find the etched lines will wash out in some lighting conditions.  

Functionally the “Frankenfinder” is by far the most accurate and versatile, even including 28mm frame lines for my M4. Many object to its size and look of course, but I personally don’t find it any more objectionable than the Visoflex EVFs. The bubble level is very handy with super wides as well. 
 

It is too bad the use of an external viewfinder and Thumbs Up are mutually exclusive on digital Ms. I ordered the version with an additional cold shoe for my M9 but the Frankenfinder doesn’t fit in it for some reason. Oh well!

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Am 7.11.2022 um 21:45 schrieb MyLeicaWorld:

In some photos I have taken with superelmar 21 using this old viewfinder the composition does not seem to be right.. for example although I have the whole body of my model inside the viewfinder, in the actual photo taken I can not see the feet of him or her.. I guess that’s why it does not have any proper frame lines inside..

The problem you describe is parallax: the viewfinder looks from a position which differs from the lenses position. So you get two different angles of view, which don't give you an identical frame of view.

Though usually the problem will be that the viewfinder's higher position gives you a frame of view which is too high for the lens, so you run the risk to cut off heads. If you cut off feet, it may be that you compensate for the parallax - which is recommended - but lift the lens too much. So training how much to compensate might help.

The new Leica optical viewfinders have two different frames, since they were in use for the M8 with a smaller sensor and tighter frame for the different focal lengthes. The new 21mmm has inner frames for 28mm. So if you use the inner frame, you will never risk to cut off anything even with parallax. If there is too much around your motive you may crop. 

With some  more sophisticated finders like the old one for the Contax shown in #11 or the "Frankenfinder" (Universal Weitwinkel Sucher) for the WATE, you can adjust the finder's tilt according to the distance of your motive. This compensates parallax (it is a simple version of what the rangefinder of the M does when you focus). 

It is right that the viewfinders (more or less all of them) are too loose in the hotshoe of the M10 etc. This is caused by the hotshoe which is less tight to take the plastic shoe of the Visoflex. It helps to put a small peace of adhesive tape under the foot of the finder, this compensates for the wider shoe. 

 

Edited by UliWer
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vor 1 Minute schrieb tappan:

The rubber has fallen off of my eyecup

Yes, general problem of viewinders with rubber protection. They are good if you wear glasses but they don't like to be "rubbed". The only way to avoid this is to keep the viewfinder off the camera, when you carry it around your neck or over your shoulder.

Customer Care may fix a new rubber protection, but you might start a discussion about the price... 

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19 minutes ago, UliWer said:

The problem you describe is parallax: die viewfinder looks from a position which differs from the lenses position. So you get two different angles of view, which don't give you an identical frame of view.

Though usually the problem will be that the viewfinder's higher position gives you a frame of view which is too high for the lens, so you run the risk to cut off heads. If you cut off feet, it may be that you compensate for the parallax - which is recommended - but lift the lens too much. So training how much to compensate might help.

The new Leica optical viewfinders have two different frames, since they were in use for the M8 with a smaller sensor and tighter frame for the different focal lengthes. The new 21mmm has inner frames for 28mm. So if you use the inner frame, you will never risk to cut off anything even with parallax. If there is too much around your motive you may crop. 

With some  more sophisticated finders like the old one for the Contax shown in #11 or the "Frankenfinder" (Universal Weitwinkel Sucher) for the WATE, you can adjust the finder's tilt according to the distance of your motive. This compensates parallax (it is a simple version of what the rangefinder of the M does when you focus). 

It is right that the viewfinders (more or less all of them) are too loose in the hotshoe of the M10 etc. This is caused by the hotshoe which is less tight to take the plastic shoe of the Visoflex. It helps to put a small peace of adhesive tape under the foot of the finder, this compensates for the wider shoe. 

 

Thank you for the great explanation.. will try the new one first before getting it..

Edited by MyLeicaWorld
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On 11/8/2022 at 2:17 AM, MyLeicaWorld said:

Is the new viewfinder’s buttom side tight enough to mount it securely on the hot shoe? Or does it get loose by the time? 

I have the current Leica finder and it fits snugly to the hotshoe of my M3 and MP, but not my M10R.  I used the finder on the M10R this morning and it was so loose I think a strong breeze would have knocked it off.  Next time out I'll use a paper shim.  

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40 minutes ago, RayD28 said:

I have the current Leica finder and it fits snugly to the hotshoe of my M3 and MP, but not my M10R.  I used the finder on the M10R this morning and it was so loose I think a strong breeze would have knocked it off.  Next time out I'll use a paper shim.  

Maybe the retaining springs at each side of the hotshoe are flat(ter).

Have a look

 

Same function with springs on M3 are hiden under the cold shoe and very strong, never needing "repair",

seen here two vertical bars

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on M10

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