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SLR with big and bright viewfinder
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: SLR with big and bright viewfinder Reply with quote

Hi Guys,


Since I can't try everything in person. What camera can you recommend having the biggest and bright viewfinder ?

Is there a camera that the viewfinder is like Fuji XT1 ? I mean, not EVF but it's one of the biggest VFs Ive used.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: SLR with big and bright viewfinder Reply with quote

gat3keeper wrote:
Hi Guys,


Since I can't try everything in person. What camera can you recommend having the biggest and bright viewfinder ?

Is there a camera that the viewfinder is like Fuji XT1 ? I mean, not EVF but it's one of the biggest VFs Ive used.


Just curious:- Why is it so important? Is it your intention to get lenses after you choose the camera body?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume bigger and brighter viewfinder will help me in determining if my subject is in focus. My style is to shoot wide open as possible.

I shoot portraits most of the time.

I dont have plans to gather lots of lenses. One or two will be fine. A wide lens and tele portrait lens.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gat3keeper wrote:
I assume bigger and brighter viewfinder will help me in determining if my subject is in focus. My style is to shoot wide open as possible.

I shoot portraits most of the time.

I dont have plans to gather lots of lenses. One or two will be fine. A wide lens and tele portrait lens.


Just noticed...are we talking about 35mm film SLR's as you are in the "film SLR/TLR cameras" title?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Re: SLR with big and bright viewfinder Reply with quote

gat3keeper wrote:
Hi Guys,


Since I can't try everything in person. What camera can you recommend having the biggest and bright viewfinder ?

Is there a camera that the viewfinder is like Fuji XT1 ? I mean, not EVF but it's one of the biggest VFs Ive used.

The X series Minoltas (X-370, X-500, X-700) had some of the brightest viewfinders in the industry in their day if memory serves. They are really cheap today.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is true about the 80s Minoltas. They were famous for their bright viewfinders back then, in fact. The earlier XD-11 is pretty good, too.

The X-series camera to get is the X-570. It has a great, fully-coupled manual mode that the X-700 lacks.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course Minolta had bright viewfinder screens of their proprietary Acute-Matte design, famous in Hassleblads. How do these compare to other manufacturers in reality, I don't know! Is the screen of the X-700 brighter/more advanced than the XD series before it? Again I don't know. I'm curious.
Minolta viewfinders though, I believe, are not the largest - but I've no complaints! We are talking less than 5% nominal differences between screen specifications between brands. There are 3 factors to consider. Brightness, coverage, magnification. I think they are also all related, so that a screen with 100% coverage is perhaps not as magnified as one with less coverage, or not as bright.

These are probably the main cameras worth mentioning that you can research further: https://www.photrio.com/forum/index.php?threads/mechanical-slr-camera-with-100-viewfinder-beside-nikon-f-f2-f3.83989/

I don't think it is at all important compared to the brightness and magnification. If you don't understand magnification with regards to a viewfinder then it's simply the magnification given by a 50mm lens (usually). I can't say for sure as it's different for all SLR's but with my Minolta SRT, 1x magnification is given with a 60mm lens. This means that looking through the viewfinder is no different to seeing the subject with my own eye - they appear the same size. It's very comfortable to view through, and closing my left eye isn't necessary. With a 50mm lens, everything appears smaller than it does naturally, which makes small details harder to see and ultimately it is slightly more difficult to focus on these outside of the central focusing aids.

I thought all of this should be secondary to the specifications of the camera and viewfinder (LED/meter system, signals, exposure information and setting) and the lens ecosystem that interests you the most, and is most affordable to you.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if using WO the maximum lens aperture is important for brightness, also with old cameras it helps if the VF lens, prism and mirror are clean. But looking through my cameras from 1960 if you are not going to use it in very low light (where the brightest VF would help) it doesn't matter what camera you use, and what's more useful is some cameras are better to "snap in" focus than others.
Anyway looking at the subject using a medium format camera and you might not want to use 35mm Wink


PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My SLR camera collection isn't very big and I haven't actually handled that many cameras in my time but for what it's worth, the biggest and best viewfinder I've seen in an SLR is on the prism finder of my Arax CM (modded Kiev 88 ). It's so huge I can't see the entire frame at once. I actually have to move my eye to look around the frame to be able to see everything there is to see in the finder. Also the central focusing aids make it very easy to focus acurately.

In the 35mm world, the best viewfinders I've seen are on my Minoltas. I have the SRT-303, XD-7 and X-700. They all look very similar to me and they're all superiour to all other SLRs I've owned (garden variety Prakticas and Zenits and a Chinon) to varying degrees. The worst viewfinders I've seen in film SLRs though have been in more modern plastic AF cameras of late 80's and 90's, namely various more or less consumer targeted Minolta Maxxum/Dynax models. Still much bigger and brighter than for say modern DSLRs (especially APS-C format) just not as nice as in the manual focus cameras of the 60's to early 80's.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys...

Thanks you for your input. Appreciate it.


Now regarding minoltas, what is their top of the line ? is XD series better than SRT or X700s ?


PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gat3keeper wrote:
Now regarding minoltas, what is their top of the line ? is XD series better than SRT or X700s ?


The best MF Minolta is the X-500 / X-570. It's definitely my most favorite one hence I have 2 of this model (among several others).
It is very good described here: http://www.rokkorfiles.com/X-570.htm


PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the biggest viewfinder image ever was on either the Pentax MX or the OM-1. Their lesser cousins were pretty big too.

Thats for 35mm cameras of course, as MF SLRs viewfinders can get pretty seriously large.

I dont think they were the brightest, possibly, but the image was huge.

Even pro system 35mm cameras had smaller viewfinder images than that Pentax line and the OMs.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This discussion has gotten me curious. It's late at night now, so I can't really do any testing. But after I've gotten a cup or two of coffee in me tomorrow morning, I think I'm going to conduct an informal (and very subjective) test. I have a very good selection of 35mm SLRs, mostly manual focus ones dating from the 70s and 80s. I'm curious how my Canon F-1s with their laser matte screens stack up with my Minolta with its laser matte screen. I know from previous experience not to expect much from the Nikon F3 and probably the F2. The F3's screen simply cannot compare to Canon's New F-1's laser matte screen (I had the opportunity to look through both cameras with 300mm f/2.8 lenses attached and the differences were stunning). But I'll bet the FE and FE2 fare much better. Anyway, it's gonna be interesting pitting my Pentax MX against my Contax 139Q and my Minolta X-570 and my Canon AE-1P, etc.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: SLR with big and bright viewfinder Reply with quote

gat3keeper wrote:
Hi Guys,


Since I can't try everything in person. What camera can you recommend having the biggest and bright viewfinder ?

Is there a camera that the viewfinder is like Fuji XT1 ? I mean, not EVF but it's one of the biggest VFs Ive used.


Try the Fujica ST801, I think it has the brightest viewfinder in it's class. Take a look through one.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree about the fuji st801. The Contax 167mt also has a very bright viewfinder


PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
This discussion has gotten me curious. It's late at night now, so I can't really do any testing. But after I've gotten a cup or two of coffee in me tomorrow morning, I think I'm going to conduct an informal (and very subjective) test. I have a very good selection of 35mm SLRs, mostly manual focus ones dating from the 70s and 80s. I'm curious how my Canon F-1s with their laser matte screens stack up with my Minolta with its laser matte screen. I know from previous experience not to expect much from the Nikon F3 and probably the F2. The F3's screen simply cannot compare to Canon's New F-1's laser matte screen (I had the opportunity to look through both cameras with 300mm f/2.8 lenses attached and the differences were stunning). But I'll bet the FE and FE2 fare much better. Anyway, it's gonna be interesting pitting my Pentax MX against my Contax 139Q and my Minolta X-570 and my Canon AE-1P, etc.


Any news bout your testing ? Smile


PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
This discussion has gotten me curious. It's late at night now, so I can't really do any testing. But after I've gotten a cup or two of coffee in me tomorrow morning, I think I'm going to conduct an informal (and very subjective) test. I have a very good selection of 35mm SLRs, mostly manual focus ones dating from the 70s and 80s. I'm curious how my Canon F-1s with their laser matte screens stack up with my Minolta with its laser matte screen. I know from previous experience not to expect much from the Nikon F3 and probably the F2. The F3's screen simply cannot compare to Canon's New F-1's laser matte screen (I had the opportunity to look through both cameras with 300mm f/2.8 lenses attached and the differences were stunning). But I'll bet the FE and FE2 fare much better. Anyway, it's gonna be interesting pitting my Pentax MX against my Contax 139Q and my Minolta X-570 and my Canon AE-1P, etc.


Though it might not have been the brightest, cannot say if I found a viewfinder to better that of the Nikon F2AS though I never tried the Canon F1N. In my experience, the F2AS viewfinder was better than the F1. Of course, the F1 was used but it was around 1980, so it could not have been used much. An irrelevant aside: it was olive green.

I was a regular Pentax MX user from 1981 till film processing took a dip in India. I must say that I did not find the viewfinder overly bright. The Olympus OM1 and OM2 had clearer viewfinders showing more of the picture than did the MX.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After about 1976 or so Canon began offering laser matte focusing screens for the old F-1 and that's what the New F-1 came with. These screens are significantly brighter than the older ones. The newer ones are labeled as such.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, not much minoltas are avail in my area (Philippines)

My choice now thorn between Nikon F2 / Fm2n / FE2 ... FE2 the most expensive among the 3.


Any thought bout their viewfinder ?