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Thread: Eye Relief

  1. #1
    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Question Eye Relief

    What camera is easiest to use with glasses?

    Ok, live view and ground glass are obvious winners. I have yet to find an optical viewfinder that doesn't require peering around the edges to check composition, with the exception of a rangefinder and 50mm or longer lenses.

    What is your experience?

    Best,

    Matt

  2. #2
    MarcoVenturiniAutieri
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    Re: Eye Relief

    I have several cameras, some easy to use with eyeglasses, some not. I do wear eyeglasses!
    Bronica SQ-A: not easy. True, there is a vertical viewfinder that you can view in full from "far away", but if you want to use the magnifying lens, it can become a little tricky to view the full frame.
    Nikon FM2n: not very good with eyeglasses.
    Olympus XA: not good at all.
    Contax 167MT: fantastic view with eyeglasses.
    Canon EOS 5: good view with eyeglasses!
    Ciao,
    Marco

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Eye Relief

    Pretty much all of the crop DSLR's allow this as the viewfinder is small, some describe it as looking at a postage stamp at the end of a tunnel but at the end of the day, with glasses, it does make it easy to view everything in one go.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Eye Relief

    Marco and Ben,

    Thank you! This is difficult information to get. I may spend a day at B&H and then write up a guide.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: Eye Relief

    I went to B&H and had a look at the possibilities. There is astonishingly little difference among the Canon/Sony/Nikon viewfinders as far as visibility with glasses goes. Having said that, I liked the Sony's best.

    They were reticent to bring out any MF bodies, but steered me away from them and swore that the viewfinders were no better than the 35mm bodies. I found that a bit strange, but there you are.

    Finally, one of the salesmen suggested that I get a custom viewfinder correction lens made. Not a bad idea.

    Regards,

    Matt

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    Re: Eye Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    What camera is easiest to use with glasses?

    Ok, live view and ground glass are obvious winners. I have yet to find an optical viewfinder that doesn't require peering around the edges to check composition, with the exception of a rangefinder and 50mm or longer lenses.

    What is your experience?
    I have worn glasses all my life. What's easiest to use, however, is a bit too personal and qualitative to declare for all users ... But here's my experience:

    Because of the viewfinder, my favorite 35mm SLR of all was the Nikon F3/T with High Eyepoint finder. The viewfinder optics were superb and it allowed me to see everything at a glance, clearly and crisply.

    Having worked with a number of different Canon, Pentax, Nikon, Panasonic and Olympus DSLRs, from "full frame" to FourThirds, in the past decade, the one that brings what I loved in the Nikon F3hp back to me is the Olympus E-5. It has just about the same relationship of superb optics, magnification, and information displays, and screen quality. It is very easy for me to see critical sharpness with it when focusing manually.

    Leica M optical viewfinders also work well for me in general, although I prefer the older four frameline version of the viewfinder (35, 50, 90, 135 mm) over the later six frameline versions (28, 35, 50, 75, 90, 135). The latter seem cluttered and there's not enough eye relief for me to see the 28mm frame lines with glasses on.

    The current generation of EVFs now used in the Panasonic Lumix G models with built in finder, the Olympus VF-2 for the Pen line, and the Ricoh VF-2 for the GXR also work well for my eyes: I can see the image in the viewfinder clearly and see the critical focus point snap in and out accurately. The newer, higher resolution ones in the Sony NEX 7*and (optional) for the NEX 5n sound great.

    I had good experiences with Hasselblad, Mamiya and Pentax medium format SLR viewfinders too.

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    Re: Eye Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    What camera is easiest to use with glasses?
    Hi Matt
    I don't think any are that good . . . and if you can possibly wear contact lenses it makes things soooooo much easer and better. I used to wear vari-focals . . . . . now I wear different strength contacts in each eye - it's splendid - not just for photography, but generally. It might not suit everyone, but if you haven't tried it yet you owe it to yourself to give it a go.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Eye Relief

    Godfrey,

    Thank you for your experience. The Nikon High Eyepoints are widely praised. If only they were as widely imitated!. I agree about the Leica finders. The 28 frame lines are impossible, and they're the ones I would use the most. I may get used to EVFs. I believe they are probably more useful, but I had a visceral dislike to the one I saw today on a Sony (55?). That may be not up to current spec. It reminds me of playing an electric keyboard vs. a "real" piano. The former feels like playing on a table top and not like a musical instrument. I'll get over it.

    Jono,

    I have three times tried contact lenses for this very reason. Alas, I do not tolerate them. Each time, the ophthalmologist claims that "these lenses will work on dry eyes!" Each time, he is wrong. It is an excellent suggestion and would solve all difficulties.

    BTW, the wonderful sales guy at B&H, while saying that he didn't think any viewfinders currently in production would help much, DID offer to tell my wife that only the Leica S2 would save my eyesight. Now THAT's service.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: Eye Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Godfrey,

    Thank you for your experience. The Nikon High Eyepoints are widely praised. If only they were as widely imitated!. I agree about the Leica finders. The 28 frame lines are impossible, and they're the ones I would use the most. I may get used to EVFs. I believe they are probably more useful, but I had a visceral dislike to the one I saw today on a Sony (55?). That may be not up to current spec. It reminds me of playing an electric keyboard vs. a "real" piano. The former feels like playing on a table top and not like a musical instrument. I'll get over it.

    Jono,

    I have three times tried contact lenses for this very reason. Alas, I do not tolerate them. Each time, the ophthalmologist claims that "these lenses will work on dry eyes!" Each time, he is wrong. It is an excellent suggestion and would solve all difficulties.

    BTW, the wonderful sales guy at B&H, while saying that he didn't think any viewfinders currently in production would help much, DID offer to tell my wife that only the Leica S2 would save my eyesight. Now THAT's service.

    Best,

    Matt
    Hi Matt
    Sorry about the contacts - I use the 'moist' variety, and although not perfect they do fix my problem.

    EVFs are different - nasty electronic stuff . . . . but if you can get over your natural distaste they have certain advantages (being able to assess the exposure/white balance / etc.) On balance I like them - especially when they have focus peaking!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Eye Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Thank you for your experience. The Nikon High Eyepoints are widely praised. If only they were as widely imitated!. I agree about the Leica finders. The 28 frame lines are impossible, and they're the ones I would use the most. I may get used to EVFs. I believe they are probably more useful, but I had a visceral dislike to the one I saw today on a Sony (55?). That may be not up to current spec. It reminds me of playing an electric keyboard vs. a "real" piano. The former feels like playing on a table top and not like a musical instrument. I'll get over it.
    For the Leica M, I always used an external accessory finder for 21, 24 or 28mm lenses. (Usually just bought either the 21 or 24 mm and approximated ...)

    The image in an EVF lacks the "feel" (for lack of a better word) of an optically formed image. But as Jono said, they have several advantages which become more and more useful with smaller formats. Live histogram, focus magnification and "peaking" focus assist, the ability to amp up brightness in low light (depending on the implementation) ... I can see well enough to focus accurately much more easily with the Panasonic G1 or Ricoh GXR EVFs in low light than I can with even a very fast lens on the best optical SLR viewfinder ... and even in some circumstances better than with the Leica M optical tunnel rangefinder.

    I just let go of my need to see a "beautiful" image in the viewfinder and concentrate on its primary function: to focus and to frame the exposure. The beautiful image I see later when I put that exposure on my 27" display or make an 11x17 inch print. :-)

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