Viewfinder Magnifiers-Worth It?
Old 04-03-2018   #1
ktmrider
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Viewfinder Magnifiers-Worth It?

Don't have a Leica store or even a camera store anywhere close so I thought I would ask before ordering one.

I just purchased a Nokton 50f1.1 which I will be using mostly with a MP240 or my M5. We know focus is pretty critical at f1.1 so I am wondering if purchasing one of the Leica viewfinder magnifiers is worth the coin. There are a couple used one's at either Tamarkin or ClassicConnestion. And is the 1.4 better then the 1.25. I would like to see the 50mm frame lines and I do not wear glasses.

Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2018   #2
BLKRCAT
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I don't have my F1.1 anymore but when I used it on the M5 I never had problems with critical focus. The M5 is one of the best M cameras suited to use with the F1.1.

I do remember using it on my M8 when I had it and didn't notice any issues with it either. Though your eyes might be different than mine.
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Old 04-03-2018   #3
Robert Lai
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I find the 1.25X useful for most things. It makes a 0.72x finder into almost a M3 finder (0.72 x 1.25 = 0.9). 50mm framelines are nicely visible, 35mm frame lines will require scanning around with your eyeball. Never mind about the 28mm frame lines. I use it with 90mm and 135mm lenses.

I had the 1.4X finder at one time. However, it sticks out of the camera eyepiece a lot farther than the 1.25 finder. It also gives the feeling of tunnel vision. It does give you a 1:1 view through the finder (0.72 x 1.4 = 1.0). The 50mm frame line fills the view.

To be a real fanatic who only shoots the 135mm focal length, you can combine the two finders together to make a 1.75x finder (1.26X life size). It gives a dim, long tubular view through the finder.
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Old 04-03-2018   #4
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I own both. If I’m shooting with my 50/1.4, I use the 1.25 magnifier. If I’m using my 75mm Summilux or Canon 50/0.95, I use the 1.4 magnifier. I find both magnifiers very useful for critical focusing.

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Old 04-03-2018   #5
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They are worth it if you are shooting rangefinders, especially some later Leica cameras which have a dinky viewfinder "picture" by comparison with early M cameras. I find the M8 to be almost intolerable in this regard and had I considered it more closely perhaps would never had bought it for this reason - it makes sure focusing a crap shoot. More over this same issue compounds the difficulty of nailing focus on fast lenses being shot wide open in my experience though I dont know this would necessarily be a problem with better eyes than mine when shooting an M5. (It certainly wasa not when I was younger when shooting an M3).

I use a magnifier from Japan Exposures http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/a...es/viewfinder/ I think the one I have is this specific one http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/a...r-leica-m.html

These have the added advantage of having a built in diopter adjustment that is fully adjustable within the range -3 to +1.5 diopters. A consideration as you get older. But they typically restrict the exit pupil (so you see less of the finder image) as well as the eye relief (so your eye has to be placed quite precisely). If this does not suit you then its a problem. Having said this I do not know of any that are a particular problem with 50mm camera lenses. They tend to be more of a problem seeing frame lines with wide lenses - 28mm in particular.

The big advantage is that by magnifying the split image screen they act as if they increase the rangefinder baseline length which means greater accuracy in focusing.

I could not do without mine. Though bear in mind, my eyes are now officially - crap.
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Old 04-03-2018   #6
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post
I don't have my F1.1 anymore but when I used it on the M5 I never had problems with critical focus. The M5 is one of the best M cameras suited to use with the F1.1.
I have the same experience. No issues nailing focus with the Nokton 50 1.1. on my M240 or M5 . No external magnifier needed.

I have the 1.4 magnifier, and have just dusted it off to use with my 135 Elmar 2.8.
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Old 04-03-2018   #7
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I have the 1.25 magnifier only, I use it on an MP with VF mag of 0.85% so the result is more than 1:1 But that's my eyes - and they need it.

I mainly use it on 50mm and 75mm lens - which are both displayed in same window - however only the central part of the viewfinder is really affected and that is where the critical focusing actually is.

The 1.25 was on my MP for 7 years, but for past 3 I took it off and oddly enough find no real difficulty now - focusing still good, maybe the camera being a 0.85% viewfinder is what helps the most for me.

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Old 04-03-2018   #8
Ronald M
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It is a magnifier so it enlarges RF patch and frame line size. 1.25 makes it close to M3.

1.25 is for 50 & 75 lenses.

1.4 is for 90 &135 lenses. I would not use them for a 50 as it might move the lines outside the viewfinder.
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Old 04-17-2018   #9
ktmrider
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I just picked up a used 1.25 magnifier from Classic Connection primarily for use with a Nokton 50f1.1. I have had it on the camera for 24 hours and have to say I like it. It is the first time I have used one in 43 years of Leica M photography. Either the eyes are starting to go or that damm depth of field at f1.1 is showing or not showing as the case may be.
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Old 04-17-2018   #10
a.noctilux
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Do you like the x1.25 on both camera , M-P and M5 ?
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Old 04-17-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
I just picked up a used 1.25 magnifier from Classic Connection primarily for use with a Nokton 50f1.1. I have had it on the camera for 24 hours and have to say I like it. It is the first time I have used one in 43 years of Leica M photography. Either the eyes are starting to go or that damm depth of field at f1.1 is showing or not showing as the case may be.
? With a RF there is no DOF. The split image is either aligned or not. I have 20/200 vision in my right eye and can still focus (without spectacles) an M4/M7/M9 with no problems.

A magnifier does enlarge the RF patch making it easier to align the two images. I bought one a few years ago but barely ever used it once the novelty wore off.
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Old 04-17-2018   #12
ktmrider
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I was talking about the lack of depth of field in the photograph and the need for focusing to be spot on. I know there is no depth of field in the rangefinder window.

My distance vision is still spot on although at 65 I am wearing cheaters to read. The magnifier just makes it a bit more precise when aligning the rangefinder images.
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