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Thread: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

  1. #1
    Tony_Spencer
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    GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Hello strangers,

    Plunging right into this most erudite (well, sometimes anyway ;-) of forums – after having read up on a cornucopia of viewpoints re: the GRD 1 & II.

    Previous ecstatic owner of a GRD 1, I added on the pricey GV-1 viewfinder for more precise framing etc. and was somewhat underwhelmed by the accuracy. (Mind you, this is comparing it to an Imarect Finder that sits on top of my old Leica IIIF with micro-parallax adjustments etc.)

    The Ricoh literature was vague and I was initially unclear why the GV-1 could not track close-shooting -- especially in macro mode. I took my questions to Ricoh directly who nicely emailed back to say that the viewfinder was designed primarily for snap mode (around 8 ft. + or –) and did not function in macro etc. I can buy that but I'm also not sure how accurate it is and there did not seem to be any adjustments for parallax etc.

    I've read previous posts here and elsewhere about the design compromise of the GRD viewfinder placement vs. the flash. But that does that mean the viewfinder will always be imprecise or am I missing something.

    I ask because I'm contemplating a new GRD II and wish to figure out which way to go -- GV-1 / GV-2 or au naturel LED? BTW: Just to complicate matters, I notice that Popflash is offering a GRD II kit with the 40mm lens and 40mm Voigtlander viewfinder. Has anyone tried that combination and while we're at it, will Ricoh ever create one viewfinder for all their lenses or am I right out in left depth of field?

  2. #2
    veriwide
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Welcome aboard Tony. You might benefit from a 'OVF' search of this site and bone up on the issue before you ask any specific questions. I for one, can not imagine using the GR without a OVF.

    Veriwide

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Like and use the CV mini 28/35 as it appears to be much smaller than the two Ricoh options and I can use the 35 on my M3 and IIIG.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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  4. #4
    Super Duper
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Tony,
    The OVF of any camera will always have a degree of imprecision in framing.
    Even with parallax correction, the relation of your subject to the back ground will have varying degrees of inaccuracy.
    It will be worse up close.
    This is because the OVF is NOT looking through the lens.
    OVF's are great for fast shooting, especially in difficult lighting, but not so good for close up work.

  5. #5
    Player
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Tony, I have the Voigtlander VTVF40 and it's a beauty, very bright and sharp, with parallax lines, but as Lili says, it will never be as accurate as looking through an SLR.

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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    One more point about the 40mm: I found that the 40mm flares a lot, but is great otherwise. The flare can be avoided by using the screen in color, since it shows up. For me this is a big enough advantage that I wouldn't consider using a viewfinder with the 40mm.

  7. #7
    Tony_Spencer
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Thanks muchly for the generous feedback and exposition of the pros and cons. I was not familiar with the OVF acronym and will now research accordingly.

    From what you're saying, the OVF works fine under the right conditions – particularly in SNAP and difficult lighting. I guess the differences between the GV-1 and GV-2 are more about form than function.

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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Spencer View Post
    From what you're saying, the OVF works fine under the right conditions – particularly in SNAP and difficult lighting. I guess the differences between the GV-1 and GV-2 are more about form than function.
    these OVFs work fine in *all* conditions -- if you like using them. some people prefer to bring the camera to their eyes, others like the looser style of shooting from the LCD. some people (like me) tend to mix it up and shoot with either depending on the circumstances.

    you just need to be aware that framing with the OVF is *not* exact and learn to work with it.

    the GV-1 is bigger than the GV-2, brighter, easier to see through, yada yada. it also offers lines if you get the 21mm lens attachment. the GV-2 is 28mm only and fits beautifully in the new Ricoh leather case so there's almost no reason to ever take it off.

    i have all 3 OVF's discussed and use the 2 bigger ones when i'm using the additional lens so size isn't really a factor then. for normal, every day use, i just keep the GV-2 attached when using the camera naked. some days i don't bother to even use it, just shoot from the hip. but i'm always glad i have it on if i need it and that wasn't the case with the GV-1 (the bulk was just too much to carry all the time).

  9. #9
    Tony_Spencer
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    these OVFs work fine in *all* conditions -- if you like using them. some people prefer to bring the camera to their eyes, others like the looser style of shooting from the LCD. some people (like me) tend to mix it up and shoot with either depending on the circumstances.
    Truly insightful, thanks. The subtleties are unending but it really helps to know.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Y.B.Hudson III's Avatar
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    Re: GRD External Viewfinders – Accuracy Issues?

    The GV-1 frame lines are off-set to the right to allow the flash to pop-up...They do not correspond to the recorded image. I use Voightlander view finders for 21mm & 40mm and a Leitz for the 28mm; these will prevent the flash from opening, but they do correspond to the exposed image more or less...I find in bright light the LCD is useless.

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