Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

  1. #1
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Long and short of it - if you shoot with glasses or prefer not to because of the limitations, the Walter RX Eyepiece is the miracle you've been waiting for.

    I don't wear glasses to shoot (face it, it sucks) but need them to read. I often struggled to focus in darker conditions. This ingenius little device works and works well!

    http://lavidaleica.com/content/walter-rx-eyepiece

  2. #2
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,928
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    An interesting solution for some, I'm sure, but I've been wearing glasses full time since I was in second grade ... This kind of thing would not help at all as I would have to be taking my glasses on and off to use the camera.

    I've never found the Leica viewfinder difficult to use for focusing with or without my glasses anyway! Seeing the 28mm frame line on the M6 was always useless, however, so I just fitted an accessory viewfinder with more eye relief for that, the 24 or 21mm.

  3. #3
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Okay, that's fair. If you need to wear glasses for distance vision as well then perhaps this is a mixed bag. But if you only wear glasses when reading as I do, this is indeed a "miracle."

    Either way, shooting without glasses is better as you can actually see the outer framelines without moving your head around.

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    I bet it works well. But it ought to for $479...hmm.

  5. #5
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Granted, it doesn't work in every person's situation. But in a case like mine where I should wear glasses to shoot but don't, and only need them for reading otherwise (I'm still in denial that my distance is slightly affected also)... It's a great solution.

    I have the 1.15x magnifier which has variable diopter adjustment, but it's a bit of a tunnel, darkens the VF slightly and doesn't do a damn thing about astigmatism (which it just magnifies). Sure it helps, but not like this. Though I'll still use it with my .85 M7 as it makes for a nearly 1x VF (and I have no 28mm framelines to worry about either).

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    I bet it works well. But it ought to for $479...hmm.
    Pppssshhh! Mere pocket change for the Leica Man toting a $29k Ti M9...

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,928
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Granted, it doesn't work in every person's situation. But in a case like mine where I should wear glasses to shoot but don't, and only need them for reading otherwise (I'm still in denial that my distance is slightly affected also)... It's a great solution.
    It's a little odd that you need glasses to see the viewfinder if you can see at distance well. The optical correction for the standard M viewfinder is for about a 1m distance focusing point, which is about double the distance for what is a typical reading glasses' correction.

    Your vision must be at in-between point.

    This happened to me about age 42 or so. That's the point where I moved to progressive lenses as I could no longer focus close enough to read comfortably at 18 inches or so when holding a book. Nowadays, I can see at distance well enough (in daylight) to drive and seeing the coincident rangefinder focus patch and frame lines is no problem at all on the M without my glasses .. I leave my glasses on because it's too much hassle to take them on and off all the time. I'd rather just use an optional viewfinder for the wide framelines when needed, it's simpler.

    Where I really need my glasses for viewfinder use is for SLR/LCD/EVF viewfinders ... in these cases, what I need to do is determine how sharp the lens' image is and where, not use match up a coincident RF double-image. That takes a lot more acutance than the RF focusing method.

    The Walter RX is an interesting device, but I would be concerned that its rotating action will over time be slowed by dust accumulating in the mechanical bits.

  7. #7
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Ha! I'm definitely "in between" - on my last eye exam (about a month ago) the optometrist did mention that my distance vision was starting to go as well... And I just turned 44 ten days ago.

    I don't "need" glasses to focus or read the LEDs. I haven't thus far. But once I tried the eyepiece, it most definitely helped with discerning fine detail and contrast - making focusing easier and more accurate. So I guess I should use my glasses to shoot, but I always found that a pain as I don't need them for distance (so much). Perhaps the opposite situation you're in.

    Long term wear, I agree - that remains to be seen. But the way it is now you can give it a good flick and it'll spin like mad for many seconds. There's a video of this actually on their site.

  8. #8
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    i will be giving it a try, need near lenses and have astigmatism, plus i have a devil of a time with the rangefinder patch, even with a diopter and i don't like the magnifiers...too much image degradation

  9. #9
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    i will be giving it a try, need near lenses and have astigmatism, plus i have a devil of a time with the rangefinder patch, even with a diopter and i don't like the magnifiers...too much image degradation
    Sounds like you're a perfect candidate then, John.

  10. #10
    swamiji
    Guest

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    My vision is not bad, but fine detail of focusing is a challenge. About 15 years ago I had cataract surgery (when I was 40). The doctor set my vision for between 1 and 4 meters. So the intent was to need glasses to read or to drive. In practice it's better than that, but without my glasses i have eye strain. The primary issue is the inability to focus. My eyes are now have a fixed focus. A secondary issue is that the doctor did such a fine job, that I ended up with the same astigmatism as I had before the surgery. I sent my prescription to Jean-Louis, and got confirmation that it would work. So now I wait for one to be delivered.

    By the way, why is it called the Walter? Why not the Jean-Louis?

  11. #11
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Quote Originally Posted by swamiji View Post
    My vision is not bad, but fine detail of focusing is a challenge. About 15 years ago I had cataract surgery (when I was 40). The doctor set my vision for between 1 and 4 meters. So the intent was to need glasses to read or to drive. In practice it's better than that, but without my glasses i have eye strain. The primary issue is the inability to focus. My eyes are now have a fixed focus. A secondary issue is that the doctor did such a fine job, that I ended up with the same astigmatism as I had before the surgery. I sent my prescription to Jean-Louis, and got confirmation that it would work. So now I wait for one to be delivered.

    By the way, why is it called the Walter? Why not the Jean-Louis?
    Looking forward to hearing how it works out for you.

    Walter is the guy that invented it, Jean-Louis is the PR man.

  12. #12
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    I just added an image that demonstrates the accuracy somewhat. Hardly a scientific test, but works for me...

    Basically able to focus a Summilux-M 50mm f/1,4 ASPH wide open on the screen at 3' where the DoF is 2mm accurately enough to see clear pixels on the LCD.

    In another test, I focused on the stem of a leaf with an angled background to see if there was any front/back focus in the lens, because of the eyepiece, etc. and I didn't even need the background... Focus was nailed right on the stem.

    So I can conclude that either the lens, body and vision are all in relatively darn good alignment - or some things are off and fixed by others enough that it's just the same. In the end; perfect focus.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    384
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Farsighted here, with slight astig. in focusing eye, and I love the original Leica diopters for M viewing. I smell a scam here. If it's benefitting near-sighted users to see LEDs or camera info, without being at least a bi-focal or progressive, it will not help in the field/distance. It also looks monstrous.
    My Photography Blog here

  14. #14
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    You don't need correction for distance in the sense that your eye is focused on the patch(es) and LEDs, which are at a "1m" distance, visually. Not sure if this applies to the rangefinder itself, because unlike a focusing screen you're actually looking directly at your subject, etc.

    I don't know - I need reading glasses and technically should have distance correction as well (but it's not that bad yet and I'm denying it as long as possible). But I don't wear them to shoot... So the eyepiece is awesome in my case.

    It's also not quite as big as it looks, but yeah - it's much larger in diameter than your average magnifier. There are reasons for it. One, is to allow the outside to be egg-shaped and heavy in one spot so that when it freely rotates on its ball bearings - will automatically sit in an upright position. Secondly, so that it doesn't constrict the optical path through the stock VF - which a) gives you tunnel vision, and b) diminishes brightness and the ability to see into the wider framelines (e.g. 28mm). The latter is a problem especially when wearing eyeglasses to shoot.

    Is it for everyone? Not necessarily. Personally? I think it's most fly.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    384
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    With my eyesight (R eye is about -2.5) I do either need my glasses or a -2 diopter (both with Leica M, and SLRs) to see clearly through the VF and focus accurately at about 3m to infinity. -1.0 would work in a pinch, but if there weren't -1.0 available, I'd resort to my rx glasses with -2.5.

    The times I don't need correction is with EVFs, or of course, chimping on the back of a digital screen. In fact if I'm wearing glasses, I have to take them off (I don't have or need progressives, just need correction for distance).
    My Photography Blog here

  16. #16
    swamiji
    Guest

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    I was impressed by this device, so much so I did my own review:


    When I was 40 I developed cataracts. During the time that the cataracts developed, I gave up photography. After the surgeries, and all the various treatments were complete, my vision started to settle down, and I started to shoot again. At this point I felt my vision was pretty good, and since I had always enjoyed rangefinders, I bought my first Leica. I have used the Leica Correction Lens and the Leica Viewfinder Magnifier, with minimal success. Basically, I simply wore my Glasses. The problems with glasses with rangefinder cameras are well known to all who wear glasses. You have a choice of seeing the frame-lines or see in focus, especially for lenses 35mm or wider. But even then, there is a sense of distance from the entire viewfinder experience.

    My vision is not bad, I can pass the drivers test and read a menu without glasses. But to focus accurately requires glasses. My right lens on my glasses is severely scratched from my M9. I have tried to train myself to focus without glasses, but the photo's always came out soft. Even with glasses, if I focus with the wrong part of my lens, the image was out of focus (progressive lenses). So it was always a struggle with accurate focus. This is the "Lot" of poor vision with a rangefinder camera... So I thought...

    Over the last month or so I have been hearing about a new eyepiece, called WalterRX, which correct not just for the diopter, but for astigmatism. So after emailing a copy of my prescription for my shooting eye, I ordered one. Apparently production and sales are quite separated. Walter is the inventor and the optician in the background, and Jean-Louis Beek is the person is the person in charge of sales. Jean-Louis is wonderful to work with, and most accommodating to most any reasonable request. Jean-Louis Beek also runs another web business called http://www.cameratique.com/ while the WalterRX can be found at http://walterrxeyepiece.com/

    So after a several weeks, I received the eyepiece. There are two reasons it took so long. The first is that it takes time to create the custom lens, and the second is the business is out of South Africa, and I live in Central China. Installation is simple, after cleaning your viewfinder window, you slip the eyepiece over it. Tighten the screw slightly just so it grasps the rim of the viewfinder window without putting pressure on it, and your done.

    Using the eyepiece is also simple, just shoot. One caveat, don't expect to have accurate vision while standing on your head while shooting. The special part of this eyepiece is the ability to keep the eyepiece tilted vertically no matter what position the camera is in. So as long as you stay vertical, your vision will be corrected accurately. The build quality is excellent, the bearings are smooth, and it rotates effortlessly.

    So the first day, I went out to my usual haunts shot the events that were my usual, except no glasses. This day I had my Summilux 75mm, and Summilux 35mm. I was shooting mostly portraits and street. The lens I started with was the 75mm, and I notices two things, first I could see the focus patch more clearly, and it took less time to find the sweet spot. The photos were sharp, better than I had seen with the 75mm Lux. I had always accepted it as a soft lens, but now I found out it was me.... Argh. The 35mm frame lines were well within the viewfinder window, and performed as always. The Summilux 35mm is a pretty accommodating lens.

    The second day, I took out my f/1 Noctilux and my 135mm Tele-Elmar. Both of these lenses can be focusing nightmares, in there own way. Again without glasses, to the usual haunts, and again the fine detail of the focusing patch were made clear. I was able to see with greater accuracy than even when I was wearing glasses. I think this due to the narrow focus patch of the progressive lenses.

    The third day, I took my Macro-Elmar 90mm with adapter to the park to shoot some flowers, primarily to see how the eyepiece would work with the goggles on the adapter. I found the vision clear, and focusing accurate. Each one of these test was done over several hours of shooting, not just a few minutes. I found my keeper rate greatly improved.

    The experience of using the WalterRX eyepiece, is much like using the Leica viewfinder magnifier, except there is no reduction in the viewing of the frame-lines, and of course no magnification. There is a very slight reduction in brightness, but is offset by the increased sharpness. Like using the Leica viewfinder magnifier, under certain circumstances there is a slight tendency to fog, but simply wiping off the eyepiece with a lens cloth, and your off and running.

    This eyepiece is expensive, but for glasses wearer, it's a godsend. To help offset the cost, it's designed so if your vision changes, it can be updated by your optician. It is simple and built to last. Yes, I sound like a fanboy... I know it, but if you struggle with vision issues, and find a simple and elegant solution you would too.

  17. #17
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Still using (and loving) it. It has since started to brass around the edges.

  18. #18
    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,575
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    4

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Just got mine after a longer than advertised wait. I can finally use a rangefinder with a lens wider than 50mm! I have too much astigmatism for the stock diopter correctors (I've tried a few). The Walter works almost flawlessly. It gives a *slightly* smaller field of view, but I can just make out the 28mm frame lines. For anything wider, I'd use an attached viewfinder, or just pretend it's a tech cam and guess. Anyway, it now lives on the camera and I'm very happy with it.

    Best,

    Matt

  19. #19
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Cool, Matt!

  20. #20
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    i finally just got an updated eye exam and have contacted Walter.

  21. #21
    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,575
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    4

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Alas, my love affair with the Walter eyepiece was very short.

    It fell off my camera a few times. No problem, I thought, it's easy to put back on. I'll adjust the screw at home. About 50 yards later, I noticed that the viewfinder was quite blurry. The prescription lens had fallen out. An hour of path retracing later, I have to give up on it and accept the loss. And I was just getting to like the M system.

    Matt

  22. #22
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    damn...I placed my order and will be very closely examining mine. they do say you can have your own optician replace the lens; does that seem possible?

  23. #23
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Ugh, sorry to hear that Matt. Yes, the set screw should be snugged up to where it begins to tighten and a tiny bit more. But it is compressing against rubber, so a good knock might take it off. Real bummer that you lost the optic though! As Jim mentions, you can have your favorite optician make a new one - or contact Walter/Jean-Louis about it and see if they might help you out.

    On mine, I have to admit - the inner/outer part separated due to glue failure (likely due to me mounting/unmounting it many times during review). I just added a fresh couple of dabs of contact cement (in more places than just two) and put it back together. It's held great since, with quite a bit of carrying/jacket stuffing. I think they use the glue conservatively so you can get inside to update your prescription later on - but perhaps a little too much so.

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Mechelen, Belgium
    Posts
    22
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    Some observations regarding the Walter Eyepiece:
    If you wear glasses you will have to take these off when using the Walter eyepiece. After shooting you will have to put your glasses back on again for looking at the LCD and for possible camera adjustments. Kind of complicating the use of the M9!
    If you use a leather half case the eyepiece will sit tight and not automatically move when changing from horizontal to vertical shooting. One can cut away part of the leather material but I would hate doing this!
    I also feel that the price for what is offered is high.
    I am notwithstanding the above considerations still thinking about a purchase but would first like to read about the practical use of this eye piece.

  25. #25
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    ^ Indeed, good points. It won't be the best solution for ALL eyeglass wearers, but for me it's the perfect solution (I only need glasses for reading). As for the half case, yeah - it wasn't meant to be used with one, though I do. I just rotate the eyepiece by hand as needed. I'll probably mod my Luigi case (enlarging the radius around the eyepiece).

    If you want more info - read my review as linked to in the first post.

  26. #26
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    received mine today, took about 14 days from SA to NY.

    seems to work well! you can hold the camera still and rotate the adapter and watch your astigmatism correction come into play.

    at first glance, however:
    the unit is held to the leica eyepiece with one tiny screw on one side only. in my opinion, this is not enough, there ought to be three screws. not much room, so the screws are tiny, but the gizmo can pop off pretty easy. even better if there was a slightly larger mating groove in the leica eyepiece to lock in the screw tips.

    also heard from a leica dealer that Lecia had made one of these rotating eyepieces to correct for astigmatism and orientation. Ha.

    I may have to do some tweaking.

  27. #27
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    My eyepiece which came before Christmas clearly did not have enough cement holding the lens on as it came off as soon as I took it out of the box. I took it up to my optometrist for re-cementing but they didn't do a great job. It also didn't seem to rotate properly. I contacted Jean-Louis and he was extremely helpful, asked me to send it back and a new one is now on its way. It's required a bit of patience, but when you have to order fairly bespoke items from offshore that's the deal. I guess I'll see how it works when the new one arrives, but it seems to be a great little product and the service from Jean Louis and Walter has been second to none. So, if you had any problems I'd be minded to get in touch with them first about how to proceed.

  28. #28
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Walter RX Eyepiece Review

    They do seem to go light on the glue - my inner piece separated from the outer - probably as a result of mounting and unmounting it repeatedly. I just applied some contact cement and re-glued.

    I can understand why though - as your prescription changes, you'll have to "get in there" to change the lens sooner or later. Nevertheless...

    Glad to hear wattsie, and I'd have to say that I'm sure Jean Louis and Walter will make things right if you approach them with concerns.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •