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M8 Eyecup – Making a Prototype

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When making photos in very low light, I find that I miss the use of an eye cup on my M8. I used one on my Nikon F-2 years ago and found it helpful.

 

While composing a shot in the dark it seemed beneficial to mask most of the peripheral light entering my right eye, allowing only the viewfinder light to get through. This now seems especially true with my older eyes.

 

With this in mind, I thought I would develop and Eye Cup for just the M8. To accomplish this, I choose to model my design on my computer using a 3D modeling program, and then make some paper models to see how they look and feel and fit.

 

I hope to hear some feedback from like minded Leica M8 users who might find merit or, otherwise, with this idea. Next step will be to make a molded rubber prototype when the design is complete. If that works well I will produce them.

 

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Hi Tim,

 

I'm delighted that you've now turned your attention to this issue! It has long baffled me why camera (not just RF) users don't demand such eye cups. I've been using high-end binoculars (currently Swarovski) for a very long time, and the difference in the brightness of the image with and without eye cups is remarkable. In fact, I'd argue that they are most useful in bright light!

 

Your early design appears to me to be a bit wider than necessary, though I'm not certain of it. Also, are you planning on including a plastic threaded piece which will screw into the existing VF (like the magnifiers)? That would be great, albeit perhaps not necessary. In any case, I will be very grateful if you do refine and produce a product along those lines, and look forward to using one in the not too distant future!

 

Best regards,

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I like the idea and there may be existing products that will work as a prototype. I plan to check out Anshutz target rifle peep sights as these Olympic rifles use eye cups for the same reason.

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Always used eyecups on SLR's for the reasons stated above. Makes absolute sense for the rangefinder as well. In fact I was surprised when I entered the world of Leica several months ago that this was not an accessory already!

 

Tim, where did you get that awesome covering for the M8? Was this camerleather.com?

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Tim - absolutely not wanting to rain on your parade (and you're look better), but this: What makes for a Scoop...? is already on the market...

Best

 

Chris –

 

In my opinion, Tim's parade is in no danger whatsoever. The accessory to which you linked does not block sufficient peripheral light to be comparable to that which (I expect) Tim's design will be able to block.

 

In fact, I don't think that one can accurately characterize that device as a true eye cup or eye shade.

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Tim

 

I don't have any practical suggestions..... but I'd buy one if it was available.....

 

LouisB

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Tim,

 

Please don't forsake us left-eyed shooters.

 

A left-eyed eyecup could include a nosecup attachment to keep nose grease off the LCD screen!

(Before anyone asks, no, I'm not being serious about the nosecup.)

 

Pete.

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...Tim, where did you get that awesome covering for the M8? Was this camerleather.com?

I think Tim's picture is produced by 3D modelling software so the covering is a 3D rendering.

 

What do you call the rendered covering, Tim, 'Axminster Sunset' perhaps?

 

Pete.

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I would like to second the request for you to consider a model for eyeglass wearers.

I have destroyed two pairs of eyeglasses due to the scratching that occurs when focusing the M8.

At a minimum, Leica should have rubberized the end of the metal socket of the viewfinder.

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HI Tim,

I certainly will follow the production, provide - as Tony C mentioned - that you include a metal/plastic piece which screw onto the Leica eyes piece.

As usual, good idea and engineering.

BTW, nothing new about "Franken II Charger"?

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Hi Tim,

looking at your images, i can not tell if the rubber cup is intended to accept the screw in eye correction lenses. Not sure if my eye correction lense has a thread in it to allow fixing of the rubber eye cup...will hav a look tonight. But yes, i would definately have one.

 

Regards

 

Ali

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There are a wide variety of good design points already raised on this thread. Thanks to you all. Once again the effectiveness of open dialog on LUF proves most constructive. I will post a few more photos to better display the proposed size of the M8 Eye Cup. This is my version 19 and I hope that it is close to my final shape.

 

William, The design models I show here are mounted as close to the M8 camera body as possible. That may benefit us eyeglass wearers. Also, the material from which I will mold the Eye Cup will be flexible. This means that an eyeglass user can press the M8 Eye Cup into a new shape to conform to the shape of his glasses. Glasses come in so many shapes, it will be unlikely the Eye Cup design will fit them all in the same way, but I hope the flexibility will serve in this manner. If you have another feature to benefit eyeglass users that I have overlooked, please let me know William and thanks.

 

Tony C, Thank you for the encouragement. I too have used binoculars with flexible eye cups and I feel that experience influenced my thoughts throughout the design work. Eye Cups are not for everyone, but you are correct about the difference in perceived brightness. As a guideline for the width and height of the M8 Eye Cup design, I used the width of my first finger. By looking through the viewfinder and placing my finger on the top of the M8, I found just about the right about of my peripheral vision was blocked. The same seemed true for the left side of the camera. That dimension, about 19mm, was added to the camera body outline as a sort of boundary for the edge of the Eye Cup. Of course this is adjustable should we determine that more is needed.

 

Dan Panko, I look forward to your feedback. I too have used rifles with scopes and found that their scope eye cups are normally symmetrical in shape. The M8 viewfinder of course has a sort of right handedness about it. I feel the shape of the M8 Eye Cup should address this asymmetry, since a good part of the camera blocks light coming from the right. With my long nose, a good deal of light is blocked from the left too, but still much light gets in my eye in between my nose and my eye and from above the camera body. Curving the eye cup back away from the camera body is essential. I know this is stuff we all know already, but I am inclined to describe the design points I considered here. I initially thought the M8 Eye Cup design might be relatively simple, until I started to measure where the light was coming from that found its way into my eye. Dan, you no doubt have much more experience than me with rifle sights so I welcome any input you can offer. My own experience is very dated and I am most interested in the current trends. I was surely not on anyone’s Olympic rifle team!

 

Chris Tribble, Thanks for the link to the Scoop. I tried a Sling before designing the Thumbs Up and I know there are some products there that are most useful for some. Looking at the Scoop eyecup design, I feel that it does not do much in the way of blocking the peripheral light with which I have trouble. I will continue on my own design course for that reason. No rain fell on the parade sir, but it is pouring outside here in South China today.

 

Big Louis, you are my newest best friend!

 

Pete Farnsworth, Wow, you really have me thinking on that one. I had not considered left eyed users and I know there are many. It would not be difficult to adapt a better shape for their use. I would have to tool up my mold to accommodate a left-handed shape at the same expense as a right handed one, but I will have a close look at the costs. As for the nose cup….perhaps some Duct Tape would serve.

 

In my 3D modeling program I can select a texture and then change its density and alignment and color. There is no preset name for it. The pattern I chose is a version of a Canvas Weave. Looks like I have a way to go to get something as beautiful as an Axminster Sunset:

 

JPlomely, Yours is about the finest compliment I have ever had for one of my 3D virtual models and I much appreciate your question / remark. In fact, I have considered recovering my real M8 and CameraLeather is just where I will go. With CAD of course, almost anything is possible and that is what makes it fun. I try to stick close to the look that Leica intended with my 3D models. In this case I changed to some lighter colors tones to make the Eye Cup easier to see.

 

Brad, Thanks for the kind remark about Thumbs Up CS and for using one too. You are my newest best friend Brad…of course you too Big Louis! I don’t want to ruffle any feathers with anyone with a ‘Big’ as part of their name.

 

Howard French, The current M8 viewfinder has a rubberized ring around the viewing aperture. In fact this is a key point as I intend to mount my Eye Cup in this same position by removing this original rubberized ring. If you press on this ring with your finger, you will feel that it is not as hard as you may have thought. It can be removed which reveals the really hard frame of the eyepiece. Still, I understand your frustration and need for a soft material here. The original Leica rubberized rings are attached with adhesive. It is not difficult to remove them.

By keeping the Eye Cup close to the camera body and not screwing it into the viewfinder aperture, I hope to optimize the viewfinder function by keeping the viewfinder threads available for magnifying lenses or Diopter lenses.

 

Marcel, I had not intended to use a thread to hold the Eye Cup in place, but rather, use the same fit as Leica uses for their protective ring. This will keep the threads free for Diopter of Magnifiers. It will also keep the aperture free of any reduction in diameter and maximize the light coming through. One additional benefit will be to allow eyeglass users and those without eyeglasses to get as close as possible to the viewfinder, as with the original Leica configuration. Marcel, I am most interested to know if you feel the thread are essential.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3153/2620164409_3c24a92e23_o.jpg&key=589c9adb8765ed1bf87abf5bb826342c45291c0669aa14ae946a99dc2f3c9933">

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3229/2620988886_7a9074a755_b.jpg&key=168759b853ab99dd3a15bdc041d4d61af5610e3bd761b2082bf47a491d05dea6">With this CAD image I am trying to show the size of version 19 Eye Cup.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3140/2620137983_aeea33b623.jpg&key=13784131217d5f372158dc8269cdc54792315a555121a5968bda2ad4a12d07a6"> This sectioned view shows the interlocking ring that mounts to the viewfinder in the same way as the current Leica rubberized ring on the M8.

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Great idea. I tried the Leica goodies cup and it was useless as an eyecup.

 

Only comment. Does it need to be so large? If yes for functional reasons I can live with it for the benefit.

 

If you did make left and right eye versions then it would not have to be symetrical? It looks like the symmetrical design would interfere with your nose. Something more like the old Hassy eyecup:

 

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Tim,

I can assure you that my M8 has no rubberized ring on the eyepiece, and I can't in fact remember it ever having had one, even when new.

Does anyone know how to find a replacement?

Thanks, Howard

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Great idea, I too have wondered why Leica doesn't offer one. Personally, I would much prefer a smaller, less obtrusive version, with a circular shape. This large an eyecup would make it hard to shove the camera in a bag without folding or ripping it.

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After adding all these accessories (the eyecup, thumbs up, grip, extra view finder for WA lens, etc.), M8 won't be a little camera any more.

 

How about another baseplate with additional battery compartment? Just kidding.

 

-tanka

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My 2¢: I love the large size design...with all that light being blocked from my "shooting" eye, I think it will be much easier to keep my left eye open, thereby making it easier to fully see the scene I'm shooting. I think the only reason I usually keep my non-shooting eye closed is an almost involuntary reaction to the brightness of the overall scene while trying to focus my vision on the framelines in the viewfinder.

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