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Thread: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

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    Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    This message is based on the fact that I'm buying myself one of these things. A sort of Christmas present to myself. I know there are at least one or two people here on CiC that use them. Richard (rpcrowe) has, I think, a Seagull unit and Colin has the Canon unit.

    My question for those who have and those who don't who might be able to help is about diopter adjustment.

    I read somewhere (and of course I can't find it now) that when using the angle finder you should put the diopter adjustment on the camera to '0' and adjust using the adjustment wheel on the angle finder.

    What I find annoying about that, if it's true, is that I'd then have to readjust the diopter wheel on the camera when I then went back to using the viewfinder. So, I'd be adjusting that setting back and forward all the time.

    So, the main question is - Is it correct that I need to set the camera adjustment to '0' and use the angle finder adjustment wheel?

    If so, why can't it be the other way around - use the camera adjustment wheel? (This question may reveal my complete ignorance about optics).

    It's waiting for me in my office (I always get things sent there - It's easier), so I'll be trying it out tomorrow evening.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Cannot help with your questions but would like to know your reasons for buying it.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Cannot help with your questions but would like to know your reasons for buying it.
    Lying flat on the ground in damp conditions for that vital shot that needs to be captured from a low angle (a few inches off the ground), is a game for young people. I no longer qualify.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Sorry if I kick in a spanner in the works here, but just that is the main reason why I feel I cannot live without a tilting screen. Of course my filmless camera does not have a mirror, so I am not hampered by the slow AF procedures of hybrid cameras colloquially called DSLR.

    Long ago, when I was younger, I had one of those angle finders for my Olympus Pen F, and it worked well for low shots, even if I often had to lie down on my belly to get them. So the angle finder isn't really a help when you don't want or when you cannot lie down. In the gulch where I shoot those water snakes, lying down is unfeasible, even if I am still rather supple on more than one count. It is simply so much easier to use the tiltable screen for focusing and composing, and it can be done without upsetting the snakes that I want to photograph. I want them to continue fishing and showing their catch to me.

    And I also used medium format cameras for some years and for all of them, I just loved the 45 prism finder, but often I just used the vertical loupe for finding focus or the matte screen for composition. I feel that I can do something similar now with the articulating screen, and better still, on the OM-D, I can even use it for focusing and shooting, by the touch of a finger. As long as I have a screen that does all I want, I won't go back to an angle finder. YMMV.
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 10th December 2012 at 06:02 PM.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    I find a truely flexible LCD is a lot better, a million times better, than a right angle finder. When I have used mine, a rare occasion I just clipped it on the camera [ Pentax SLR and then Canon DSLR ] and tried to use it. Others I know think they are wonderful
    You still have to kneel down in the mud to get your eye down to the right angle finder even if not your chin

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    I'm grateful for the suggestions about a tilting/flexible screen being better, but I don't have a camera with a flexible LCD.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I don't have a camera with a flexible LCD.
    You are not living

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I read somewhere (and of course I can't find it now) that when using the angle finder you should put the diopter adjustment on the camera to '0' and adjust using the adjustment wheel on the angle finder.
    Bollocks.

    I have a significant diopter adjustment applied to the camera and the angle finder adjusts just fine (it has a big adjustment range and a very fine control) (about a million times easier than adjusting a camera).

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I find a truely flexible LCD is a lot better, a million times better, than a right angle finder.
    The BIG problem I have with using liveview (with or without a flexible LCD screen) is that liveview is USELESS for low-light photography ... which is pretty much how I take ALL of my landscape shots.

    Viewfinder 1; Liveview 0

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    The BIG problem I have with using liveview (with or without a flexible LCD screen) is that liveview is USELESS for low-light photography ... which is pretty much how I take ALL of my landscape shots.

    Viewfinder 1; Liveview 0
    I find it amusing how people can get so attached to the hybrid SLR viewfinder even now that EVF sometimes is at par or better in most respects. I think I might never go back to SLR.

    The main objections to EVF were that it is slow to update and that you always see your scene a step behind, and that AF used to be slow. Now that AF is often faster than with a DSLR, it is also always more reliable. Of course it depends a bit on subject matter. If you are shooting sports some of the hybrid cameras (DSLR) are still faster, and it is undeniable that you see what happens just as it happens, but alas, that is in GOOD lighting conditions. In poor lighting, a good EVF is worth its salt, and the screen is brilliant in low light.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Bollocks.
    I understand that this advanced technical terminology, which will only be understandable to those of us with significant photographic knowledge and experience, advises that what I read may be a tad inaccurate!

    Thanks Colin. That's what I needed to hear.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkanyezi View Post
    I find it amusing how people can get so attached to the hybrid SLR viewfinder even now that EVF sometimes is at par or better in most respects. I think I might never go back to SLR.

    The main objections to EVF were that it is slow to update and that you always see your scene a step behind, and that AF used to be slow. Now that AF is often faster than with a DSLR, it is also always more reliable. Of course it depends a bit on subject matter. If you are shooting sports some of the hybrid cameras (DSLR) are still faster, and it is undeniable that you see what happens just as it happens, but alas, that is in GOOD lighting conditions. In poor lighting, a good EVF is worth its salt, and the screen is brilliant in low light.
    All I know is that when I'm about to execute a multi-minute exposure, I can still see through the viewfinder when liveview has long since "packed up and gone home for the day".

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    I have a right angle finder, but rarely use it, the image is just not so good now the viewfinder is full of so much information. In the "Old" days I had a Canon F1 with a speed finder which did the same job. Now I just plug my tablet into the camera, have a bright 10inch screen and full control of the camera at the end of a usb cable. I am sure a suitable tablet can be had for less than Canon would charge for the right angle finder, and you can stay standing when taking your ground level pictures.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I know there are at least one or two people here on CiC that use them. Richard (rpcrowe) has, I think, a Seagull unit and Colin has the Canon unit.

    So, the main question is - Is it correct that I need to set the camera adjustment to '0' and use the angle finder adjustment wheel?
    You can add me to the list of owners (Canon), and I've never changed the diopter adjustment on either body (30D and 5DII) when using it - just the adjustment on the angle finder.

    Glenn

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    +1 canon angle finder C. Diopter adjustment on camera stays put while focus at the finder barrel to match/synchronize the two.
    I use the finder often doing landscapes with the camera on tripod-it's easier in bright light to shield the viewfinder and for critical focus there is the option of 2.5x magnification. Something too about looking down into the viewfinder is oddly satisfying-or maybe reminiscent-used also the Canon F-1 and speed finder-miss those interchangeable prisms.
    CHEERS and Seasons Greetings!

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Thank you folks. All of the above has been helpful. I've just arrived at my office and am about to open the packet containing it, which arrived yesterday.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    I just love you guys that wade in to answer a simple question with suggestions that the wrong equipment is being used or newer and better is available.
    There are those amongst us that neither have the resources nor the desire to change what we use and simply wish to accessorise our existing equipment. I really don't find such replies particularly helpful under those circumstances.
    Sorry.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    I just love you guys that wade in to answer a simple question with suggestions that the wrong equipment is being used or newer and better is available.
    There are those amongst us that neither have the resources nor the desire to change what we use and simply wish to accessorise our existing equipment. I really don't find such replies particularly helpful under those circumstances.
    Sorry.
    For some reason, I think you've got reason to be sorry.

    And those "suggestions" that you might think are not so helpful, may indeed be so, but YMMV. Maybe you find them inadequate to the OP, but a forum is read by many more people, and alternatives are helpful to anyone who's perhaps thinking about getting new equipment, by just telling what is useful and sometimes what is not so useful. In fact, I wouldn't have known how much I would love the touch screen control of my present camera before I got it into my hands, and it might have been good if someone had mentioned it. Now it was more as an accident that I got the new camera, as the old one broke down.

    And that is something that might happen to all of us. The day you need to get a new camera might arrive sooner than you think, and then it is not unhelpful to know the advantages or disadvantages of certain solutions. For example, the purported superiority of DSLR over other solutions is mostly moot, and if nobody dares challenge the paradigm, how would you know that maybe the right camera for you would not be a DSLR?

    So other solutions to the underlying problem might indeed be helpful. In a forum like this, threads often wind on as a friendly chat, and other aspects sometimes surge from the original question, as the one in the post that I did answer, out of many yaars experience with an angle finder. It was useful, particularly in the studio working at tabletop shots, and also in some circumstances in crammed positions, where the camera had to be close to an obstacle that impeded looking into its peek-hole. However even if it also served for low angle shots, it cannot help you from getting your belly wet when shooting small flowers, earthworms and such, as suggested in the post that I did answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Lying flat on the ground in damp conditions for that vital shot that needs to be captured from a low angle (a few inches off the ground), is a game for young people. I no longer qualify.
    And I still think that it might be good to know the advantages of other solutions, the day the camera decides to go for a long vacation or just die. And the original poster is not the only one that might be interested in the matter. So what to you seems not so helpful as an answer to a simple question, might have many more implications than what at first appears to be "simple".
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 11th December 2012 at 08:40 AM.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Bollocks.
    Like the man said.

    Got it this morning. Have it mounted up and playing with it as I write. No problem getting very clear views using it. Very solidly built. Feels good. Works perfectly. Just exactly what i wanted.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkanyezi View Post
    For some reason, I think you've got reason to be sorry.

    And those "suggestions" that you might think are not so helpful, may indeed be so, but YMMV. Maybe you find them inadequate to the OP, but a forum is read by many more people, and alternatives are helpful to anyone who's perhaps thinking about getting new equipment, by just telling what is useful and sometimes what is not so useful. In fact, I wouldn't have known how much I would love the touch screen control of my present camera before I got it into my hands, and it might have been good if someone had mentioned it. Now it was more as an accident that I got the new camera, as the old one broke down.
    (..)
    Problem with answering the questions that are not posted is that it adds noise, making it more difficult to stay on subject, and more difficult to get at the answer to the original question.
    And in this case, the question was very specific, and the item under discussion already ordered (and received).

    Nothing stops you from starting another thread discussion the wider question of (e.g.) how to deal with 'impossible' camera positions.

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    Re: Angle Finders/View finders and Diopter Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkanyezi View Post
    For some reason, I think you've got reason to be sorry.
    As you wish. Life's too short to get embroiled to this extent and it is of no consequence. I'm off out with my camera.

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