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Why would people want changeable viewfinder?
You really should add a little more information regarding your question. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to you but your question is a bit vague to me. Do you mean the ability to change (or in most cases add) a focusing screen? Or do you mean an articulating LCD screen?Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comments (13)

Like the Chef, I too think your question is a bit vague. I'm going to read it literally and assume that you know what a viewfinder is. I'll also limit my discussion to dSLRs, as lesser camera systems sorta preclude something as complex as a changeable VF..

My original SLR, from the 1960's, the Nikon F had a changeable VF. My first F had the "standard" VF for the time...a simple pentaprism sans any frills. I soon replaced it with one that had a built-in exposure meter. My second F body came with a better VF, as it had an improved metering system. With a removable VF, I was able to try several different focusing screens to find one that workd best for me. I also bought a waist-level VF, but didn't use it much..

The above description is typical for camera "systems"...they are built in a modular way, so that it can be changed to fit specific users needs...or the needs of specific jobs..

I'd like more dSLR choices with removable VF. It's tough on modern cameras becaue they are MUCH more complex inside the VF. But it WOULD be nice if the cost was not too high..

Like how about the option to have either an optical VF, an electronic VF, or a VF with both modes? .

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #1

If you are talking about interchangeable focusing screens on SLRs, that was for when focus was manual and different screens helped with different use. Some was just matte, some with etched horizontal and vertical lines, etc. but we have most of those digitally superimposed nowadays on DSLRs as well as very precise auto focus, even virtual horizon level..

Yin..

Comment #2

Some focus screens (changeable viewfinders?) make manual focusing easier and more precise than others..

In some applications manual focus still rules because it works better than auto focus. An example is macro photography, where depth of field is only a tiny fraction of an inch and camera position is not easily changed to align focus points with a precise spot on the subject.JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #3

The F3 had a changeable viewfinder. The selling point was to have a modular camera. For example, the F3HP had the "High Eye Point" version of the finder, which eyeglass wearers found useful. Even those who did not wear glasses liked the larger view..

Having a swappable finder was a fine idea back in the days of film. Now with a digital sensor being ultra sensitive to micro particles of dust it is impractical to have such a finder on a modern camera. An LCD on the camera back has also eliminated the desire to have a finder with a large view...

Comment #4

JerryG1 wrote:.

In some applications manual focus still rules because it works betterthan auto focus. An example is macro photography, where depth offield is only a tiny fraction of an inch and camera position is noteasily changed to align focus points with a precise spot on thesubject..

I agree, Jerry, but on some late camera designs (like the D300, 40D, etc.) your example is wrong..

1) LV uses the primary sensor to perform Contrast AF..

2) The focus point can be put ANYWHERE in the image, not just where the fixed Phase AF sensors are located.3) Contrast AF on these cameras is VERY precise..

Thus, there is no need to change focus screens in order to make MF more accurate. Besides, with the SLR concept, there is always a possiblity that the focus screen/mirror is out of alignment, rendering images in focus at a different place than the sensor. This is one BIG improvement for things like macro-photography..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #5

Chuxter wrote:.

I agree, Jerry, but on some late camera designs (like the D300, 40D,etc.) your example is wrong..

Well you're right Charlie. I completely forgot about live view. I guess it exists even though I don't own it .

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #6

Many thanks for the answers..

To clarify my question,I am mainly referring to DX / FX, film SLR/ dSLRViewfinder as in the eyepiece that I stick my eye to,on e.g. my Nikon D300.I mainly refer to optical.I am not referring to the "electronic viewfinder" ason a point and shoot superzoomprosumer Sony DSC-H5.

Are there any other viewfinders, besides the eye piecethat we put our eyes to? (Honest question)Is the LCD monitor also referred to as the "viewfinder"?(which I do not)..

On my old Minolta XG2 film SLR, the belt came with a "cap"that can close the viewfinder/eyepiece. It's useful for self-timertripod shots, I wish I have it on my Nikon D300. Apparentlythe D700 has got a "shutter" for the eyepiece/viewfinder.

On my Nikon D300 dSLR, I can push the "eyepiece" out,but I don't have anything to change with, so I haven't reallydone it..

I don't understand what the focussing screen is.I have never used a medium/large format..

So, to ask my question properly.What do the interchangeable viewfinder eye piece do?Do they magnify more?Do they add "grid lines" to aid composition of the photo?.

Many thanks again. I like history, and yes, I wonders whythe Nikon F would need interchangeable viewfinder..

Comment #7

KennethKwok wrote:.

Many thanks for the answers..

To clarify my question,I am mainly referring to DX / FX, film SLR/ dSLRViewfinder as in the eyepiece that I stick my eye to,on e.g. my Nikon D300.I mainly refer to optical.I am not referring to the "electronic viewfinder" ason a point and shoot superzoomprosumer Sony DSC-H5.

Are there any other viewfinders, besides the eye piecethat we put our eyes to? (Honest question)Is the LCD monitor also referred to as the "viewfinder"?(which I do not)..

Yes, lots of uninformed people call the LCD on the back of their compact cameras a "viewfinder". I'm glad you know better..

On my old Minolta XG2 film SLR, the belt came with a "cap"that can close the viewfinder/eyepiece. It's useful for self-timertripod shots, I wish I have it on my Nikon D300. Apparentlythe D700 has got a "shutter" for the eyepiece/viewfinder.

Your D300 came with a cap too..

On my Nikon D300 dSLR, I can push the "eyepiece" out,but I don't have anything to change with, so I haven't reallydone it..

On mine, I swapped it for one with a better eye cup. There are LOTS of choices..

I don't understand what the focussing screen is.I have never used a medium/large format..

The focusing screen is what you actually see the image of your intended pic projected on. Take off your lens and look inside your camera. It's the frosted piece of plastic above the mirror..

So, to ask my question properly.What do the interchangeable viewfinder eye piece do?.

OH! Are you just asking about the external "eye cup" thingie? Not the entire pentaprism/screen/eyepiece assembly? Why didn't you say so? .

Do they magnify more?.

The PRIMARY benefit is that you can get customized lenses that insert in eye cups that correct for your astigmatism. In this way, you can avoid using eyeglasses..

Do they add "grid lines" to aid composition of the photo?.

Not in the eye cup. That's inside the VF..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #8

Ah....

Many thanks.I would go look for the eye cap in the D300 box then..

Ah.. I didn't know the pentaprisms and the focussing screens on themirror can be changed..

So, the view finder would mean the black rubber/plastic,plus the glass that it holds.Nothing more or less, right?And the Nikon F allows "interchangeable" viewfindermainly to accommodate short sight, long sight, astigmatism....

Chuxter wrote:.

On mine, I swapped it for one with a better eye cup. There are LOTSof choices..

So, to ask my question properly.What do the interchangeable viewfinder eye piece do?.

OH! Are you just asking about the external "eye cup" thingie? Not theentire pentaprism/screen/eyepiece assembly? Why didn't you say so? .

Do they magnify more?.

The PRIMARY benefit is that you can get customized lenses that insertin eye cups that correct for your astigmatism. In this way, you canavoid using eyeglasses..

Do they add "grid lines" to aid composition of the photo?.

Not in the eye cup. That's inside the VF..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #9

KennethKwok wrote:.

Ah....

Many thanks.I would go look for the eye cap in the D300 box then..

Ah.. I didn't know the pentaprisms and the focussing screens on themirror can be changed..

Prolly just a typo, but the focussing screen is ABOVE the mirror..

So, the view finder would mean the black rubber/plastic,plus the glass that it holds.Nothing more or less, right?.

No the viewfinder as implemented in SLR/dSLR cameras is the WHOLE bag of parts that reside in the "superstructure" on top of the body..

And the Nikon F allows "interchangeable" viewfindermainly to accommodate short sight, long sight, astigmatism....

Plus, you can add a right-angle accessory that lets you see through the VF when the camera is on the ground (as an example). And you can add a magnifying accessory that lets you see focus more accurately. etc....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #10

Hi,.

Here's a proper (Ideal Format) camera with the viewfinder removed:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Here's the screen removed:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Here's the screen showing lines on it for panoramic shots with a special 35 mm back:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Hope this helps..

Regards, David.

PS Sorry the pictures are so dreadful, I'm supposed to be helping my wife do something and not playing with cameras.....

Comment #11

Thanks so much.It helps a lot.Thank you everyone..

David Hughes wrote:.

Hi,.

Here's a proper (Ideal Format) camera with the viewfinder removed:..

Comment #12

That's just one of the parts that make up the viewfinder and is referred to as the viewfinder "eyepiece"..

The optical viewfinder in a DSLR is the whole mechanism that allows us to view the image reflected from the mirror, and includes: the eyepiece (interchangeable on some DLSRs), the focusing screen (interchangeable on some DLSRs), the cap that block the light when you use the self-timer (a separate plastic thingie that you slide over the eyepiece or built-in on some DSLRs), the rubber eyecup, possibly an AF sensor, possibly a Live View sensor (as in the Sony DSLRs),....

There is usually a diopter correction wheel or lever beside the viewfinder to allow those who wear glasses (short-sighted) to obtain a clear image on the viewfinder. I would guess the interchangeable eyepieces are for those who are far-sighted and don't want to wear glasses to see close???.

KennethKwok wrote:.

So, the view finder would mean the black rubber/plastic,plus the glass that it holds...

Comment #13

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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