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Thread: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

  1. #1
    Chuck A
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    I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    I guess that you can't teach an old dog new tricks after all. I spent 30 years photographing with an SLR or rangefinder using a the viewfinder to frame my images. I have been trying to get used to the new digitals that use the LCD as the viewfinder and am getting frustrated. Have others run into this problem?

    I recently bought a Panny LX2 to have a small take everywhere camera that does RAW to compliment my K10D. While I like the output of the camera, I dislike using it. It makes me feel very disconnected from the work to try to frame on the LCD. Also I am in my 50s and need reading glasses to even focus on the LCD. This kinda takes away from some of the spontaneity and if I am not wearing my readers I can't really see to photograph. It is just a pain. I have gone back to using the K10D for now.

    Most of the small and light digitals with built in optical finders have horrible finders. So I guess that I am going to have to take another look at the Ricohs and other cameras that have a hot shoe to accept optical finders. Even an EVF would be preferable to the LCD.

    Does anybody have some helpful hints?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Sorry, no suggestions, I just want to offer my sympathy; I feel pretty much the same as you on the subject. I usually use an SLR, but on the occasional times I'm using a viewfinderless digicam, I usually hold it up to my eye and wonder why I'm not seeing anything, and it takes a few seconds for me to figure out why. I must look awfully silly!

    Lisa

  3. #3
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Chuck,

    Here's something I did on my Leica D-Lux 2... glued a CV 28/35mm minifinder onto the top of it. I use the camera almost exclusively at the 28mm focal length although I do have a marking on the underside of the lens barrel to show 35mm (extend the lens out to the mark and then use the 35 lines). Works very well and, yes, the flash still opens when needed.

    Attachment 2259

    Cheers,
    Last edited by simonclivehughes; 15th February 2009 at 10:03.

  4. #4
    Chuck A
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa View Post
    Sorry, no suggestions, I just want to offer my sympathy; I feel pretty much the same as you on the subject. I usually use an SLR, but on the occasional times I'm using a viewfinderless digicam, I usually hold it up to my eye and wonder why I'm not seeing anything, and it takes a few seconds for me to figure out why. I must look awfully silly!

    Lisa
    Pretty good Lisa. I have done that as well.

    I am usually holding it front of me saying I hate this thing!

  5. #5
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    No help from me, Chuck, because I find that I prefer shooting by framing with the LCD because it leads me to a looser, more fluid style. I also need reading glasses, but it doesn't matter because I don't use them for shooting: I use the LCD only to establish the edges of the frame and look at the subject, not the LCD, when pressing the shutter.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    No help from me, Chuck, because I find that I prefer shooting by framing with the LCD because it leads me to a looser, more fluid style. I also need reading glasses, but it doesn't matter because I don't use them for shooting: I use the LCD only to establish the edges of the frame and look at the subject, not the LCD, when pressing the shutter.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    I agree totally with Mitch, he inspired me try that style

  7. #7
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    I agree totally with Mitch, he inspired me try that style
    And here is yet another "LCD lover". Even with my old Canon G3, I never used the optical viewfinder, nor do I use the EVF on my Digilux 2 if I can help it.

    For some reason I do find the Dlux 3 screen less easy to see in strong sunlight than the one on the Digilux 2 (and the hi-intensity setting doesn´t help much). But I´m not interested in putting an extra viewfinder on it, esp. as it would work with only one aspect ratio, and at best a couple of zoom settings.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pollobarca's Avatar
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    I had the same trouble until I got a c5050 with the flipout lcd.With this I keep the camera at waist height or at least rarely at head height.Now when Oly make another camera like this I'll be first in the queue!

    With the Ricoh Gx100 I can do much the same even without the flip out lcd.The lcd is good enough to see at pretty sharp angles.

    Then if you really need it it has the EVF ,which I reckon is better than many
    of the optical viewfinders on PnS cameras.In the VF kit its a reasonable price to pay.All the info of the lcd is in the EVF and the image is fair.
    If not the new Oly sp570uz should be pretty good-apart from the lack of
    choice in memory cards.I've used the 560 and thats not bad.I prefer the Ricoh
    though !its all a question of personal needs.

    all the best

    paul

  9. #9
    Chuck A
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    No help from me, Chuck, because I find that I prefer shooting by framing with the LCD because it leads me to a looser, more fluid style. I also need reading glasses, but it doesn't matter because I don't use them for shooting: I use the LCD only to establish the edges of the frame and look at the subject, not the LCD, when pressing the shutter.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Are you saying that you don't focus at all on the LCD? How far in front of you do you hold the camera?

    I will have to try this. I am trying to visualize how it would work in practice but am too busy right now to go out for some shots.

    Thanks Mitch.

  10. #10
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    For street photography the autofocus is much to slow and it's much better to prefocus so that there is no shutter lag. I started by prefocusing using the SNAP setting, which, at f/2.4 has a huge DOF, from 1m. But I often shoot very close up to people, at distance of about 1m, in which case the subject will be sharper if you focus at 1m. What I now do is to set the focus on MF and change between prefocusing manually at 2.5m and about 1m. In framing the picture you hold the camera at the distance you would read a book.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  11. #11
    Super Duper
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    On the Leicasonics, use the MF setting and prefocus, which is dead easy to do, since you get a DOF slider right there on the screen.

  12. #12
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Another thing, Chuck, is that with an optical VF on top of the camera you're "flying blind" much more since you would have to look at the LCD to see any of the camera settings.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  13. #13
    Chuck A
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Thanks folks. You are correct about the AF being too slow in many situations. I use the pre-focus method all of the time with other cameras. Mostly rangefinders. I just feel so much more comfortable with the camera at my eye, even if it is only there briefly. I will try out your style though.

  14. #14
    veriwide
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck A View Post
    I guess that you can't teach an old dog new tricks after all. I spent 30 years photographing with a rangefinder using a the viewfinder to frame my images. I have been trying to get used to the new digitals that use the LCD as the viewfinder and am getting frustrated. Have others run into this problem?

    Does anybody have some helpful hints?
    You already have the solution, Chuck.. the GR with a OVF mounted is not much different than what you would have done in the past with a film range finder camera.. I find that my GR and OVF reminds me totally of my old M4/21mm SA and OVF. I do on occasion use the LCD for composing but find that I do not always see as much as I would like. Using the LCD to set up the options and then turning everything off other that the instant playback works very well for me and I find the GR to be a delight to use that way..... thats how it was designed to be used in my opinion.

    Bernard

  15. #15
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: I can't get used to not having a viewfinder!

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    Chuck,

    Here's something I did on my Leica D-Lux 2... glued a CV 28/35mm minifinder onto the top of it. I use the camera almost exclusively at the 28mm focal length although I do have a marking on the underside of the lens barrel to show 35mm (extend the lens out to the mark and then use the 35 lines). Works very well and, yes, the flash still opens when needed.

    Attachment 2259

    Cheers,
    That is indeed the solution for a D-Lux.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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