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Thread: Using right eye and both eyes open?

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    Using right eye and both eyes open?

    I just realized, when reading the Leica M book by Gunter Osterloh, that I have been using my wrong eye when using a Leica. I've been used to that when using SLRs and I just carried that to my Leica M6 (and now M9); I also keep my right eye closed. However, after reading this book and doing some searches on various forums, it seems like the Leica M cameras were designed with right eye in mind!

    I can probably get used to using my right eye (I can see the advantages, a big one being my nose is no longer in the way!), but I'm finding it very hard to focus with both eyes open. I love the wide field of view, but I can barely see the split image in the rangefinder patch and often there's a second, larger image coming through my left eye!

    Obviously, I can continue to use my left eye as I've always done, but I was wondering how people using right eye and both eyes open focus.

    Thanks!

    Anil

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    I shoot with both eyes open in situations where ... well ... it is helpful to have two eyes open. It takes a little practice, but how it works for me is that I mentally make one eye dominate over the other. While I still recognize an image coming into my cream-cheese brain from my left eye, it is sorta given a secondary importance. Every now and then, I take a hard look at what's happening with my left eye, then back to the right eye.

    Typically I use this tool in action/sport type stuff. I concentrate with my right eye on the action but still keep an eye open looking for that linebacker closing in on me from the left side. When the play reverses on the field, I switch eyes and shoot from the left eye while using my right eye for self-defense.

    Gary

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    This is very interesting Gary. I'm going to try this out and see if I can actually train myself to ignore the larger image from my left eye. I can already see this happening sometimes, where I can see the split image in the RF patch despite the larger image. I guess this needs practice (just like most other things on a Leica) :-)

    Anil

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryAyala View Post
    I shoot with both eyes open in situations where ... well ... it is helpful to have two eyes open. It takes a little practice, but how it works for me is that I mentally make one eye dominate over the other. While I still recognize an image coming into my cream-cheese brain from my left eye, it is sorta given a secondary importance. Every now and then, I take a hard look at what's happening with my left eye, then back to the right eye.

    Typically I use this tool in action/sport type stuff. I concentrate with my right eye on the action but still keep an eye open looking for that linebacker closing in on me from the left side. When the play reverses on the field, I switch eyes and shoot from the left eye while using my right eye for self-defense.

    Gary

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    There is no right or wrong if you want to use your left eye, but logic surely dictates that having the viewfinder all the way over on the left of the Leica M camera it was designed for using the right eye. It allows a convenient place for your nose to go. And the SLR's design, with the viewfinder more or less in the centre, is designed for using the right eye, this avoids poking yourself in the right eye with the film advance lever when winding on. This is how it has always been since the convention for putting the film advance lever on the right and biasing the viewfinder to the left was established. Cameras are designed for right eyed people.

    Steve

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    Anil, there is assurdly no right way to work, if it works for you it works. What I do is compose the picture before I pick up the camera, establish where the point of focus is going to be and how much depth of field I want. Then keeping both eyes open, I use my right eye to find the focal spot, my left eye is just making sure no hurtling or otherwise malicious objects are coming my way. Then I switch to my left eye dominent and all my right eye is doing is making certain that the edges are where they are supposed to be. It allows me to see the scene with my left eye and do whatever timing needs to be employed. But this is strictly for hand held shots where things are moving, Most static things I use a tripod and it is a different technique. The advantage of doing this is this, when you concentrate inside the camera that is where you are, inside the camera. When you concentrate outside, well, you can see the totality and more easily see what you are composing is really a picture. A lot of this comes from shooting in relatively dangerous assignments where being aware outside the camera is important, but some of this has to do with preconceptulizing the image and using the tool to realize your vision. But as I said, everyone has their own comfort level and notions about all of this and do quite well with it. Plus you may very well be left eye dominent and find it quite awkward to use your right eye. So if it works for you continue. I would think though with where your nose is you might get some camera shake, but if it hasn't been a problem then, again think about your comfort level and what works for you. Joe

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    I would love to use my right eye...but I just can't get it to really work for me. I use my left eye. Maybe it doesn't look as cool, but it works for me.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    One eye only. And always my left eye. I find it better because spatially the camera lens is at about the center of my head making parallax easier to judge.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    I used to shoot with my left eye also. Then one day I tried the right - and never looked back. As luck would have it, the right is my better eye... And it also just works better.

    I really like using my .85 M7 with the JE 1.15x magnifier - giving me an almost 1:1 (.97) VF... Which is actually better than the M3 (.91).

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    All:

    Thanks for the thoughtful responses, they have been extremely helpful! I think my dominant eye is my left eye though I'm right handed (that explains what I'm seeing). I'll try out some of the suggestions above and see if I can try myself to use my right eye more and keep the eyes open; but ultimately I can live with just using my left eye as well. I just thought this was very interesting and I wanted to make sure that I'm optimizing my basic camera holding techniques and avoid developing bad habits if I can help it.

    regards,
    Anil

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    I have tried numerous times to change from my left eye dominance. Especially with M9 and my nose print on the screen. But to no avail I can't even seem to close my left eye and keep right one open. Left eye it is for me.
    David
    Auckland, NZ.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    I really like using my .85 M7 with the JE 1.15x magnifier - giving me an almost 1:1 (.97) VF... Which is actually better than the M3 (.91).
    Isn't that the issue? I never understood this both eyes open thing until I shot a Bessa R3A with a 50mm lens. The R3A has a 1:1 finder. Seeing those 50mm brightlines just suspended in the world while looking around was fantastic. Using a modern digital M, right eye shooting is nice to keep my nose off the back, but two eyes open using a 0.68 finder magnification just puts a hurt on my brain.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Isn't that the issue? I never understood this both eyes open thing until I shot a Bessa R3A with a 50mm lens. The R3A has a 1:1 finder. Seeing those 50mm brightlines just suspended in the world while looking around was fantastic. Using a modern digital M, right eye shooting is nice to keep my nose off the back, but two eyes open using a 0.68 finder magnification just puts a hurt on my brain.
    It's all about practice ... Try shooting a 180mm with both eyes open. Using two eyes has literally saved my one and only butt a number of times.

    G

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Isn't that the issue? I never understood this both eyes open thing until I shot a Bessa R3A with a 50mm lens. The R3A has a 1:1 finder. Seeing those 50mm brightlines just suspended in the world while looking around was fantastic. Using a modern digital M, right eye shooting is nice to keep my nose off the back, but two eyes open using a 0.68 finder magnification just puts a hurt on my brain.
    Well yeah, it works best with a true 1:1 setup, but as long as it's reasonably close it's not too bad. With just the .85 it's still doable, but .72 or .68 - yeah, not so good... A magnifier definitely helps in more ways than one if this is your goal.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    Interesting points about the difference in magnification.. I happen to have a 1.25x magnifier for Leica on hand as well and will try it out. I think I may barely lose the 35mm frame lines, but will still be able to use it for 50mm.

    Still want to make the both eyes open technique work for me if possible.

    Anil

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    I use my right eye. The LCD gets less grease on it this way.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    This makes no sense to me, but I just could NOT get the whole right eye focus thing down with my M6. The M8? No problem. For some crazy reason, it is much, much easier for me. Again, I have no idea why.

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    Re: Using right eye and both eyes open?

    What's the magnification on the M8? I tried a 1.25x magnifier on my M9 which made its effective magnification 0.85 (from 0.68) and it was much easier to keep both my eyes open (still not super comfortable though). So, it seems like it gets easier the closer you are to a 1:1 magnification.

    Anil

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