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Thread: Bright viewfinder = Good focusing???

  1. #1
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    Default Bright viewfinder = Good focusing???

    Hi All.....

    Currently....from all the posts i have seen here in CS......no one seem to compare on the view finder brightness.....which is part of a good focus.

    Most of the time, it seems that the solution is to have a FAST lens. Which means lens which have say f2.8 or better.....max aperture.

    Well....just wondering ...putting aside AF...(I'm not an AF freak though)

    If based on the current camera bodies in the market, if the SLR body have a poor brightness .....couple with a bright lens would this be back to square one. Trying to manual focus in a low lighting condition is still difficult.

    However if you have a bright viewfinder, coupled with a so so (F4.5) lens this would still as bright as a poor view-finder + fast lens.

    Well...lets see some opinions on this....

    regards,
    me

  2. #2

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    True, but the main problem here is that not many are concerned about manual focusing in the first place. And trying to manual focus in low light without a split image or microprism is still rather difficult even with a brighter viewfinder.

    Also, most of the current AF cameras have a viewfinder with a smaller view ratio (~0.75) compared to MF SLRs.

    Apart from those top AF cameras with interchangeable focusing screens, most AF bodies are better off relying on AF rather than attempting MF on them...unless the lighting is good.

  3. #3
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    i never found any issue MF focusing with modern day SLR. Even with f/4 or f/1.8 lenses, i don't find the difference that tremendous as some tend to claim. I do MF, but maybe not in almost total darkness?! I still believe the main thing (for me at least) is to have good eyesight and experience. Using so called "brighter viewfinder" or f/2.0 lenses don't help me much. If anything, the point and shoot cams have brighter viewfinders than SLRs!

  4. #4
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    Hi

    to answer sulhan's qn, no, bright viewfinder != better focusing.

    on the other hand, contrasty viewfinder = better focusing!

    i am someone who cannot manual focus with the modern SLRs, especially with the wider angle lenses. Ok, maybe i can manage with the viewfinder of say, a 1v, but only just barely!

    the modern SLRs have their viewfinders tuned more for brightness than contrast - this is because with AF systems there isn't a pressing need for many pple to do manual focus. Compared this with the viewfinder of the pure manual focus bodies, which are optimised for contrasty viewing to help with manual focus. The difference is clear - it is a pure joy to manual focus on say, a R6 than a 1v.

    On the other hand, rangefinders that have contrasty, bright rangefinder patches i have no problem with - plus they are more accurate for wider angle focusing.......
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by Red Dawn
    Ok, maybe i can manage with the viewfinder of say, a 1v, but only just barely!
    The 1v allows you to change the focusing screen to one that is more suitable for manual focusing, doesn't it?

    On the other hand, rangefinders that have contrasty, bright rangefinder patches i have no problem with - plus they are more accurate for wider angle focusing.......
    I thought rangefinder viewfinder is optimised for a small range of focal lengths only?
    (void *) &NHY;

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    For the EOS 3 and Iv, there are a series of interchangeable focusing screens, even with microprism and split screen ones.

    Recently, I changed the focusing screen in my EOS 3 to the new laser matte screen which is about 1 stop brighter that the standard issue. Though manual focus isn't really what I had in mind, the brighter screen now helps me a lot when I'm doing low-light photography. I can see more shadow details which actually helps me in my composition.

  7. #7

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    most of the time AF does its work pretty darn well.

    and in low-light conditions, it will be difficult for some to do MF even if using a fast lens + bright viewfinder.

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    Originally posted by Prismatic
    For the EOS 3 and Iv, there are a series of interchangeable focusing screens, even with microprism and split screen ones.

    Recently, I changed the focusing screen in my EOS 3 to the new laser matte screen which is about 1 stop brighter that the standard issue. Though manual focus isn't really what I had in mind, the brighter screen now helps me a lot when I'm doing low-light photography. I can see more shadow details which actually helps me in my composition.
    Is your laser matter screen an orginal Canon one ?
    Was thinking of change to a split screen (orginal Canon) one for my EOS 3 for some of my manual lenses (Russian).
    Was wondering if u have tried n maybe can share experience.

    Thanks..dark

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    Yups.... mine is the Ec-R New Laser Matte, the standard one is the Ec-N. But you have to wait a long time for some screens because most shops will not have it in stock. Canon has to bring it in specially for you if you order. And if you are using the EOS 3, the eye-control wouldn't work for some screens. The screens cost around $50 to $60.

    And Russian lens on a EOS 3? How do you do that? You mean there are Russian lens with a Canon mount? Or mount adaptor?

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by Prismatic

    And Russian lens on a EOS 3? How do you do that? You mean there are Russian lens with a Canon mount? Or mount adaptor?
    Most probably a Zenitar or Jupiter M42 screw mount lens on a M42->EF mount adaptor.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Prismatic
    Yups.... mine is the Ec-R New Laser Matte, the standard one is the Ec-N. But you have to wait a long time for some screens because most shops will not have it in stock. Canon has to bring it in specially for you if you order. And if you are using the EOS 3, the eye-control wouldn't work for some screens. The screens cost around $50 to $60.

    And Russian lens on a EOS 3? How do you do that? You mean there are Russian lens with a Canon mount? Or mount adaptor?
    Yeah..use via a M42 screw mount to EOS adaptor.
    With standard screen Ec-N, its quite hard to focus manually w/o split prism. Hence I was thinking of changing to screen which has prism to aid manual focussing.
    Incidentally, I've yet to test if the metering still works on the EOS 3.
    Metering is off by 3 stops accordingly to buddy of mine on the EOS 30.
    Will test it soon.

    thanks..dark

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    For screens like the microprism (Ec-A) and split-screen (Ec-B), you have to switch custom function CF0 from O to 1. This readjust the exposure meter to fit the screen. Also I think only spot metering at centre and centre-weighted average metering can be used.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Prismatic
    For screens like the microprism (Ec-A) and split-screen (Ec-B), you have to switch custom function CF0 from O to 1. This readjust the exposure meter to fit the screen. Also I think only spot metering at centre and centre-weighted average metering can be used.
    thanks..unfortunately not tried as have not decided if I shd purchase Ec-A or Ec-B.

    Mounted a manual lens onto the EOS 3 and tested the metering, comparing same subject w a Nikon F90X body w same manual lens (which I know meters correctly as tried before) and the EOS 3 gives wrong reading. Compared same subject with EOS 2 mounted w 28-70L and readings are different.

    Seems to be 2-3 stops off. *sigh*
    Seems that I can't use my EOS 3 for manual lenses liao.
    Can only conclude that Canon bodies are quite proprietory & dont support 3rd party stuff.
    Nikons seem to be more friendly.

    Hence may not buy the Ec-B after all.

    Is it worth the $50-60 for Ec-R ?
    Are all metering modes available on the EOS 3 body when using the Ec-R ?

    Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.

    darkavgr

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    Well, the exposure metering works on measured light through the lens and I don't think manual lens work for the EOS 3, because the exposure algorithm is based on the information relayed to the camera by the EF lens contacts. All the functions work on the Ec-R, which is visually brighter that the Ec-N. It's also clearer as it is without the wide-area oval containing the 45 AF points. There's only a small circle in the spot metering position.

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