Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Started Jan 26, 2013 | Discussions
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

zenit_b wrote:

Robert Anderson wrote:

I have to tilt my head back and view through the bottom part of my glasses. I

With the LCD screen I cannot tell if my distant subject is smiling or if their eyes are closed.

Then DON'T look through the camera, look over the top!

Best detailed view finder ever..

Golly! I am amazed anybody needs to be told this!! 

Both excellent points Robert to which I wholeheartedly concur. Its harder I think for younger people to understand because they are still under the illusion they will have perfect eyesight for ever

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Baz
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9VIII Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

ljfinger wrote:

KyleSlamchez wrote:

Now I understand that many screens can get washed out in bright sunlight. As far as I can tell, this is the only disadvantage. Is there something I'm missing here?

Yes...try shooting all day with a big lens that way, and try keeping it stable. Which looks more stable and comfortable to hold for, say, about 10 hours? Having that left elbow against your body is almost like having it on a monopod from a support standpoint.

Now stick a swivel screen on that and hold the camera at chest height.

I don't think anyone will ever prefer the EVF for daylight sports, that is an obvious weak point... Which may make the whole point of stability with a long lens irrelevant, but I digress.

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EternalOne
EternalOne New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?
1

I shank my viewfinders and lcd screens with an icepick until they are destroyed. Then i make cross hairs with fishing line and a toilet paper tube and glue it to my hotshoe. Gives me perfect shots everytime.

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,498
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?
2

Barrie Davis wrote:

zenit_b wrote:

Robert Anderson wrote:

I have to tilt my head back and view through the bottom part of my glasses. I

With the LCD screen I cannot tell if my distant subject is smiling or if their eyes are closed.

Then DON'T look through the camera, look over the top!

Best detailed view finder ever..

Golly! I am amazed anybody needs to be told this!!

It's often not so simple.  My camera's resolving power at around 35mm is about the same as my bare eyes.  So, if I'm shooting at, say,  200mm (which is extremely often for me) I can't see enough detail "over the top".  Further, looking "over the top" means losing your attention on framing which usually means missing the shot.

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Lee Jay
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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,498
Re: You are lucky your close range vision is still good ..
1

Barrie Davis wrote:

zenit_b wrote:--

ok .. what you will find when you get to your late forties/early fifties is that your close range vision How close do you hold your LCD Screen ? Mine has to be around 18" for me to be able focus comfortably. Then its quite small of course and I cant see all the detail.

I've never been quite able to work out why people feel they need actual detail in an arm's-reach style LCD viewfinder. Surely, all you need it for is framing of the main subject masses... [??]

If you need the most detailed view of what is actually happening IN your shot...

... surely you simply look over the top of the camera. (shrugs)

Note: This is what users of large format have been doing since the 1840's. They don't even have a choice. At the point of exposure there is no viewfinder to view with, as the ground glass screen is replaced by the darkslide holding the film.

Fine for stationary subjects at wide angle.  Heck, that's nearly 1% of my shooting!

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Lee Jay
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Bill Force
Bill Force Veteran Member • Posts: 6,607
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

But, do you use your "good eye" or the other one?

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EternalOne
EternalOne New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Bill Force wrote:

But, do you use your "good eye" or the other one?

I got tired of choosing eyes.....so i used said icepick to also jab out 1 eye and taped fishing line crosshairs over my only eye so i could compose shots even if i don't have a camera on me.

Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

ljfinger wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

zenit_b wrote:

Robert Anderson wrote:

I have to tilt my head back and view through the bottom part of my glasses. I

With the LCD screen I cannot tell if my distant subject is smiling or if their eyes are closed.

Then DON'T look through the camera, look over the top!

Best detailed view finder ever..

Golly! I am amazed anybody needs to be told this!!

It's often not so simple. My camera's resolving power at around 35mm is about the same as my bare eyes. So, if I'm shooting at, say, 200mm (which is extremely often for me) I can't see enough detail "over the top". Further, looking "over the top" means losing your attention on framing which usually means missing the shot.

I wouldn't consider using a 200mm lens to shoot with an LCD viewing camera. Not a suitable combination.

And I am not a sneak-shot paparazzi, either, so I wouldn't really use such a long lens to shoot human subjects even with an eyelevel finder.

Hmm.... just thinking...

....the longest lens I have ever used for a fashion shoot was 180mm, and THAT was on 2¼" square...(Hassy). Even so, the models were so far away they couldn't hear me in the traffic noise of a city street, so I had to relay my posing directions via mobile 'phone to an assistant stationed just out of shot.  
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Baz
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RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 29,213
glasses

KyleSlamchez wrote:

Not only that, but because I wear glasses,

No, it is because you wear glasses. If you ever use an optical device such as an optical camera viewfinder or a telescope you have to not wear glasses if you want to see through it well.  It is fully because you wear glasses.

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,498
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Barrie Davis wrote:

ljfinger wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

zenit_b wrote:

Robert Anderson wrote:

I have to tilt my head back and view through the bottom part of my glasses. I

With the LCD screen I cannot tell if my distant subject is smiling or if their eyes are closed.

Then DON'T look through the camera, look over the top!

Best detailed view finder ever..

Golly! I am amazed anybody needs to be told this!!

It's often not so simple. My camera's resolving power at around 35mm is about the same as my bare eyes. So, if I'm shooting at, say, 200mm (which is extremely often for me) I can't see enough detail "over the top". Further, looking "over the top" means losing your attention on framing which usually means missing the shot.

I wouldn't consider using a 200mm lens to shoot with an LCD viewing camera. Not a suitable combination.

My SX260 has no viewfinder and goes to 500mm.

And I am not a sneak-shot paparazzi, either, so I wouldn't really use such a long lens to shoot human subjects even with an eyelevel finder.

My 70-200 is my primary portrait lens.

Hmm.... just thinking...

....the longest lens I have ever used for a fashion shoot was 180mm, and THAT was on 2¼" square...(Hassy). Even so, the models were so far away they couldn't hear me in the traffic noise of a city street, so I had to relay my posing directions via mobile 'phone to an assistant stationed just out of shot.

I do it all the time from just 5-30 feet away.

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Lee Jay
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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 42,832
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

If it works for you great. I won't tell you that you're wrong. I have cameras with both LCD only (Sony RX100) and ones with both EVF and LCD (Sony A55 and A65). I grew up with Film SLR's and optical viewfinders dating back to the 60s. I find that it is easier to hold the camera steady while looking through the eye level finders which allows me to use lower shutter speeds in hand held low light situations.

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AlbertTheLazy
AlbertTheLazy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,892
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?
1

I've used most sizes of film camera in my time -- the biggest one took 15x12 INCH negatives. I've also (once) shot an air show with a 5x4 MPP micro-press (with viewfinder and rangefinder) and used Rolleis, Hassleblads, Bronicas, Nikons, Pentaxes, Canons, Exactas, Sinars  and a few you've probably never heard of.

Nowadays I mainly use a Fuji X-E1 and and an elderly Canon PowerShot 720.

Personally, I would never have a camera for hand-held use that didn't have a viewfinder I can put my eye to. I occasionally use my wife's little Pentax digital and have to hold it out to see the rear screen. I hate that. I find it difficult to see the screen clearly in bright light, hard to keep the camera still. My arms hurt and my eyes complain.

If you are one of the people who is happy with the rear screen and don't like viewfinders then that's your choice. What I don't understand is the number of people I see holding DSLRs out at arms length, rather than using the V/F. There is no way that you'll realise the potential benefits of a DSLR using it that way. And why lug all the weight and bulk associated with a DSLR around if you are not going to use it finder?

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Hen3ry
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy? Undoubtedly, but...

…there's room for you in the world! LOL

Seriously, it's the picture that counts, not how you composed it. I posted a picture the other day that turned out to be beautifully composed and only half a degree off horizontal -- which I took shooting totally blind,  pointing the camera back over my head in a speeding boat!

But I do love my EVF!

Cheers, geoff

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Bill Force
Bill Force Veteran Member • Posts: 6,607
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Ditto that!  I used a Speed Graphic for 8 years and a variety of other cameras over a 20 year period and have to have a viewfinder of some type.  I also pick up my wifes little Nikon P&S and laugh at myself because it has no viewfinder but I still attempt to hold it up to my eye first before I realize I have to hold it at arms length to see anything, old "fire house dog".

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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 12,772
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Not a fan of cameras without viewfinders.   Maybe it's a generational thing but...I hate composing with just an LCD.  There are no downsides to OVFs and maybe EVFs will catch up sooner or later.

Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 25,849
I respectfully disagree
1

RedFox88 wrote:

KyleSlamchez wrote:

Not only that, but because I wear glasses,

No, it is because you wear glasses. If you ever use an optical device such as an optical camera viewfinder or a telescope you have to not wear glasses if you want to see through it well. It is fully because you wear glasses.

I've worn glasses since my first SLR.  Inconvenient maybe, but I can see well enough - but I'd never trade an optical VF for going LCD only.

Mark

Digirame Forum Pro • Posts: 36,711
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Using a viewfinder, allows the photographer the ability to anchor the camera to the face, making it more steady.  Using a LCD and holding it out gives us more camera shake.  That's important for us photographers that use the long end of a telephoto lens in low light with low shutter speeds (that don't use a tripod).  Also it depends on your eyesight.  Some of us are so nearsighted that we can't see the image in the LCD when using glasses for things in the distance.  The viewfinder has a diopter adjustment, however there's no such thing on the LCD.

Boris
Boris Veteran Member • Posts: 9,257
Re: Not A Fan of Viewfinders. Am I crazy?

Even a peep finder is better than using a LCD....in my humble opinion.

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RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 29,213
Re: I respectfully disagree

Mark B. wrote:

No, it is because you wear glasses. If you ever use an optical device such as an optical camera viewfinder or a telescope you have to not wear glasses if you want to see through it well. It is fully because you wear glasses.

I've worn glasses since my first SLR. Inconvenient maybe, but I can see well enough - but I'd never trade an optical VF for going LCD only.

I was not at all saying that using the LCD is better, never said that.

And if you've always only used glasses, you argue that using glasses isn't an obstacle to using a viewfinder.  I wear glasses and also use contact lenses.  Whenever I'm going to use an SLR camera, I use contact lenses.  The difference is that significant.  You don't know what you're missing if you've never had the chance to use a viewfinder as it was meant to be designed.

GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 13,913
Re: So many viewfinders; all have their merits.
1

Barrie Davis wrote:

I'm thinking of large format cameras (sheet film, say, 10x8" and 5x4" ) with a ground glass for composing on. With this type of camera the image is large but also upside-down and very dim...

I am also quite sure that you are fully aware of the fact that large format cameras are not a part of this discussion.  Hence not included in the 'any' part of my comment.

and please, don't bother responding.

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