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Visoflex users stand up !

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Visoflexes are complicated.

Simply put, shop for a Visoflex 3 with an eye level finder, which will be fine on your M8. A 16464 focus mount should be your next buy. Then you could put 65,90 or 135 heads on the 16464.... also lots of other stuff too. Read this thread carefully, as there is a lot of information, regarding prices etc.

Most modern (current) Leica lenses are not good for the Visoflex, because the front lens group does not screw out.

again, research.

 

here is a biased ... but good (somewhat) .... link

Leica M Visoflex System

 

also good

 

Visoflex II

 

relaxed research is the only way to learn about Visoflexes (IMHO)

good luck

rafael

We do have our own Leica Wiki.

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I am a big fan of the M camera and have always seen it as a "system". OK for the pro they use it because it is quiet, fast to set up, accurate focussing in the range wide to 90mm (maybe 135mm), excellent optics, it is unobtrusive and less intimidating than a SLR .

 

I have the Visoflex III and the Bellows II plus all the adapters for the various lenses . I have Telyt lenses and find them difficult but nostalgic to use. The optics are fabulous of course.

 

In close up mode the pictures shown in this thread speak volumes. The setup is not easy compared to a SLR but the results with care are great. It seems that bellows are not available for most SLR's as manufacturers push in the direction of macro lenses..In my opinion this does not give the level of options that a bellows can provide.

 

One thing I have had difficulty with is keeping the frosted glass screen clean...mine picked up some mildew which so far I have not managed to remove....any ideas?

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One thing I have had difficulty with is keeping the frosted glass screen clean...mine picked up some mildew which so far I have not managed to remove....any ideas?

 

Hi Frank,

 

I would try to get rid of the mildew as soon as possible, before it spreads further into your camera and lens collection. If you can't remove it from your screen, I would strongly suggest replacing the screen.

 

Keeping your equipment in a well ventilated and dry environment will help greatly in preventing mildew. Place packets of desiccant in the storage area too to reduce moisture if possible.

 

This link may be of help in deciding which method may be best to try and remove the mildew from your screen. Mildew Prevention and Removal

 

Good luck.

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Frank,

 

The glass is fairly easy to clean or replace.

 

When you remove the magnifier from the top there are four small screws in the corners around the frosted screen and two tiny ball bearings that keep the magnifier in place. Before you undo the screws find a shoebox of other receptacle that will catch the bearing balls and springs as you remove the top plate that holds the frosted screen in place.

 

Remove the screws one at a time and note which holes the 2 shorter screws came from. When you've removed the screws gentle use a flat screwdriver blade to prise free the op plate, which is positioned on two short posts at the front (that you can see from the top). The presence of the posts means that to free the top plate you'll probably have to prise up each side a little at a time so that the top plate comes off straight.

 

When the top plate is loose enough pull it free with your fingers, and this is why you're using the shoe box because the two bearing balls and tiny springs lurch towards freedom at the first opportunity and immediately try to hide in the surrounding 'countryside'. Mine took instantly invisible refuge in a deep pile carpet and I only managed to find them with the help of a powerful magnet.

 

The screen is not held into the top plate so it can be removed and cleaned or replaced with ease.

 

While you have the screen disassembled you might like to take the opportunity to add a template to indicate the area that corresponds with the M8's sensor (owing to the 1.33x crop factor. You can either mark directly onto the glass with a sharpie or use the clear acetate template in this thread.

 

Once the glass is clean simply reverse the process. I put the top plate upside down on a flat surface, loaded the bearing balls and springs, dropped the screen into its slot (with the M8 template in my case) and lowered the Visoflex body onto the top plate making sure that the posts lined up. Then I turned the whole lot right side up and replaced the appropriate screws in the appropriate holes.

 

Pete.

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Frank,

 

The glass is fairly easy to clean or replace.

 

When you remove the magnifier from the top there are four small screws in the corners around the frosted screen and two tiny ball bearings that keep the magnifier in place. Before you undo the screws find a shoebox of other receptacle that will catch the bearing balls and springs as you remove the top plate that holds the frosted screen in place.

 

Remove the screws one at a time and note which holes the 2 shorter screws came from. When you've removed the screws gentle use a flat screwdriver blade to prise free the op plate, which is positioned on two short posts at the front (that you can see from the top). The presence of the posts means that to free the top plate you'll probably have to prise up each side a little at a time so that the top plate comes off straight.

 

When the top plate is loose enough pull it free with your fingers, and this is why you're using the shoe box because the two bearing balls and tiny springs lurch towards freedom at the first opportunity and immediately try to hide in the surrounding 'countryside'. Mine took instantly invisible refuge in a deep pile carpet and I only managed to find them with the help of a powerful magnet.

 

The screen is not held into the top plate so it can be removed and cleaned or replaced with ease.

 

While you have the screen disassembled you might like to take the opportunity to add a template to indicate the area that corresponds with the M8's sensor (owing to the 1.33x crop factor. You can either mark directly onto the glass with a sharpie or use the clear acetate template in this thread.

 

Once the glass is clean simply reverse the process. I put the top plate upside down on a flat surface, loaded the bearing balls and springs, dropped the screen into its slot (with the M8 template in my case) and lowered the Visoflex body onto the top plate making sure that the posts lined up. Then I turned the whole lot right side up and replaced the appropriate screws in the appropriate holes.

 

Pete.

 

Pete and Nicole many thanks for the feedback. I have removed the screen inn the past so I am up to speed on that...I even spent 30 minutes looking for a ball bearing as you point out!

 

My issue is that I have washed to screen with soapy water and dried it, but have not managed to remove minute specs in the screen. I am tempted to use acid or a liqud or anti algae liquid for the swimming pool. I am also tempted to take the screen to my friend my dentist who has I guess an ultrasonic cleaner. Any ideas?

 

Jaapv once suggested to buy a Leicaflex screen but I am unsure if this is the same size?

 

Any suggestions or feedback is welcome. Thanks

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I suggested using a DMR screen. It works, but needs some trimming. And being made out of plastic, it is vulnerable to scratches.

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I suggested using a DMR screen. It works, but needs some trimming. And being made out of plastic, it is vulnerable to scratches.

What is a DMR screen...for which camera?

 

Would a Leicaflex screen work?

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A DMR screen is a screen for the Leica DMR. I have no idea if a Leicaflex screen would work. I would say you have more chance of finding a Visoflex screen than a Leicaflex screen. It should fit more or less, as everything in the 135 film world has a size of approx. 24x36.

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My issue is that I have washed to screen with soapy water and dried it, but have not managed to remove minute specs in the screen. I am tempted to use acid or a liqud or anti algae liquid for the swimming pool. I am also tempted to take the screen to my friend my dentist who has I guess an ultrasonic cleaner. Any ideas?

 

I'd suggest a soak in a dilute bleach solution would be a good start. I wouldn't risk acid, as that may etch the screen and ruin the ground glass finish. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterwards in clean water to remove any traces of detritus and bleach.

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I'd suggest a soak in a dilute bleach solution would be a good start. I wouldn't risk acid, as that may etch the screen and ruin the ground glass finish. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterwards in clean water to remove any traces of detritus and bleach.

Thanks Nicole I'll try this.

 

Looking through this thread the more I believe in just how great a product the Visoflex was. It is for me amazing that the various outstanding shots shown in this thread (all of which are in the macro world) could be taken with a "M" rangefinder camera back. I remain upset that Leica have not as yet addressed this need. I hope that they do eventually and if they do they will need lenses to suit (or the ability to strip the lens element and use an adapter as was the case with the original lenses).

 

I also think that the Viso opens the door to Telephoto opportunities without the need to buy a new DSLR system.

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... I remain upset that Leica have not as yet addressed this need. ...

Which need?

If it's macro then you have either the Viso or a number of different alternatives with Leica's SLR range of cameras.

 

Pete.

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Which need? If it's macro then you have either the Viso or a number of different alternatives with Leica's SLR range of cameras.

 

Pete.

 

Leica no longer make "affordable" SLR cameras. The digital back for a R8/R9 is only available secondhand.

 

The original Visoflex is a 60 yr old design and this was updated to the Visoflex III which was introduced in the 1960's. It has not been produced for now 20 years or so.

 

My point is that the desire to photograph very small objects (coins, stamps, integrated circuits etc), medium sized items (insects, flowers), or larger ( flower pot, statue) remains but Leica has no way to address this today within their catalogue.

 

I would like to see modern technology applied to address this hole in the Leica M line up and return the "M" into a full capability system camera which it once was.

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Q: Why do you think that Leica haven't made a Visoflex for over 20 years?

 

A: Because there are much better solutions to doing macro shots than using a Visoflex.

 

But, then again, this record stuck in this particular groove several weeks ago.

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Leica no longer make "affordable" SLR cameras. The digital back for a R8/R9 is only available secondhand.

 

The original Visoflex is a 60 yr old design and this was updated to the Visoflex III which was introduced in the 1960's. It has not been produced for now 20 years or so.

 

My point is that the desire to photograph very small objects (coins, stamps, integrated circuits etc), medium sized items (insects, flowers), or larger ( flower pot, statue) remains but Leica has no way to address this today within their catalogue.

 

I would like to see modern technology applied to address this hole in the Leica M line up and return the "M" into a full capability system camera which it once was.

I would say - which it never was.....The Visoflex was and is nothing but a makeshift solution, an attempt to stem the tide of the then still primitive SLR cameras. Well the SLRs got more sophisticated, the Visoflex couldn't, so that was the end of a story.

 

I have a couple of Visoflexes adapted to the M8, bellows, rings, lenses, the lot and it is eminently doable to use it, but I can assure you, as soon as I need to do macro professionally, I grab the Digilux3, kit lens,Olympus 1.4xextender and Olympus ring flash. That is even more practical than the DMR, 100 apomacro and Sigma ringflash I used before that. The Visoflex? I would not even consider it. A new Visoflex? It would probably cost triple my current kit with no visible quality improvement for my use.

Edited by jaapv

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Q: Why do you think that Leica haven't made a Visoflex for over 20 years?

 

A: Because there are much better solutions to doing macro shots than using a Visoflex.

 

But, then again, this record stuck in this particular groove several weeks ago.

 

Andy I agree with you. The old Visoflex III is ptobably no match for a DSLR kit using for example a Canon 5DII with Novoflex Bellows and I guess EOS lenses. The Visoflex is clumsy, and fiddly but can do the job if you accept these limitations.

 

My issue (and sorry I admit I am returning to my well worn record) is that Leica could and should introduce new technology to use the M8 back and build an "adapter / EVF" to allow M8 owners access to the macro world. This would return the M8 and the M7 to being a true system camera and extending the range of its photographic usefulness.

 

By the way a Canon 5DII, with Bellows, plus lenses is also somewhat bulky and not that much easier to use.

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I would say - which it never was.....The Visoflex was and is nothing but a makeshift solution, an attempt to stem the tide of the then still primitive SLR cameras. Well the SLRs got more sophisticated, the Visoflex couldn't, so that was the end of a story.

 

I have a couple of Visoflexes adapted to the M8, bellows, rings, lenses, the lot and it is eminently doable to use it, but I can assure you, as soon as I need to do macro professionally, I grab the Digilux3, kit lens,Olympus 1.4xextender and Olympus ring flash. That is even more practical than the DMR, 100 apomacro and Sigma ringflash I used before that. The Visoflex? I would not even consider it. A new Visoflex? It would probably cost triple my current kit with no visible quality improvement for my use.

 

 

Are you saying that the sensor of a Digilux 3 is an improvement over the M8? Not clear what lenses you use (Olympus or Leica?) . Jaapv I am sure that this takes great photos but am less sure that they are of Leica M8 quality, and am unclear why you are against ways of extending the useful system range of a M8 into the field of macro with a new accessory from Leica.

 

The kit you use compared to a M8 with a Visoflex III and bellows seems as complex to use.

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The sensor is not as good as the M8, but it is adequate, and the rig is far more practical to use in a clinical setting. In comparison the Visoflex/M8 lacks:

1. Flash synchronisation

2.TTL flash

3.Autofocus

4. Responsive shutter release

5. Virtually no VF blackout

6.Liveview

7.Zooming facility

8. Automatic diaphragm

 

No contest.

 

I have used the M8 /Viso for macro, as one of the first to do so two years ago, and the results are excellent, nearly as good as the DMR, but the lack of automatic diaphragm and flash possibilities makes it a lovely plaything, but not something to be taken seriously.

Edited by jaapv

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... My issue (and sorry I admit I am returning to my well worn record) is that Leica could and should introduce new technology to use the M8 back and build an "adapter / EVF" to allow M8 owners access to the macro world. This would return the M8 and the M7 to being a true system camera and extending the range of its photographic usefulness....

Leica already offers the 90 f/4 Macro Elmar and adaptor to satisfy your issue. If that won't facilitate the type of macro photography to which you're alluding then the Leica D-Lux 4 offers a macro facility down to 1 cm.

 

Pete.

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I wonder.

 

Would Frank rather Leica spent their precious R&D Euros on making a better M (M8.3, M9, M10 whatever), or on a new Visoflex, which might allow an M to take photographs a bit like an SLR, when there are dozens of fine SLRs on the market already, making very good macro photographs?

 

Especially since Leica have recently announced that they have no interest in the SLR market? (The S2 does not count as a mainstream SLR, for these purposes)

 

I would have thought that, as a man who claims to turn round failing companies, the answer would be obvious. Don't waste time on a very niche product - work on the product that is going to make you some proper money.

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