Viewfinders on DSLR's

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dosferatu, May 21, 2008.

  1. dosferatu

    dosferatu Guest

    Just getting into looking at DSLR's.
    Looking thru, anyway.

    So DSLR's, I assume, don't have focusing screens? Is that why looking thru
    the viewfinder everything is in focus?
    Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder or do you have
    to go to the lcd display?



    --
    Pat Lundrigan
    http://dandyfunk.typepad.com/
     
    dosferatu, May 21, 2008
    #1
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  2. dosferatu

    Bigguy Guest

    dosferatu wrote:
    > Just getting into looking at DSLR's.
    > Looking thru, anyway.
    >
    > So DSLR's, I assume, don't have focusing screens? Is that why looking thru
    > the viewfinder everything is in focus?


    They do have focussing screens; not everything is in focus - try a long
    (tele) focal length lens or a closer subect...

    > Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder or do you have
    > to go to the lcd display?
    >


    As above; my D70 has a DOF preview button that works (mostly)...

    Many 'prosumer' DSLRs do not have very nice viewfinders; typically they
    are mirrors not pentaprism, are not very bright, do not show 100% of
    frame (?) and are 'challenging' to use for critical focussing...

    They also have an LCD overlay for the focus point indications etc., when
    the camera has no battery installed this darkens the viewfinder further.

    Pro models are somewhat/much better.

    >
    > Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder or do

    you have to go to the lcd display?

    Only after taking the shot - most DSLRs do not have LCD live preview



    Guy
     
    Bigguy, May 21, 2008
    #2
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  3. dosferatu

    Steve B Guest

    "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > What is Depth of field preview ?
    >



    Press the DOF preview button and the aperture goes from wide open, as used
    for focusing and framing the shot, to your selected aperture. The VF will
    now 'preview' what's really in focus/not in focus at that aperture and focal
    length. The main problem is that it will get dark in the VF at small
    apertures.
     
    Steve B, May 21, 2008
    #3
  4. dosferatu

    Paul Furman Guest

    dosferatu wrote:
    > Just getting into looking at DSLR's.
    > Looking thru, anyway.
    >
    > So DSLR's, I assume, don't have focusing screens? Is that why looking thru
    > the viewfinder everything is in focus?
    > Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder or do you have
    > to go to the lcd display?


    Perhaps you are comparing to memories of film SLRs which have larger
    viewfinders (most DSLRs have smaller sensors) and used to come with a
    fast (bright) 50mm lens versus the slow kit zoom lenses common these days.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, May 21, 2008
    #4
  5. "dosferatu" <> wrote:
    >So DSLR's, I assume, don't have focusing screens?


    They do have focussing screens. And there are even companies like e.g.
    CatzEye Optics who make custom replacement focussing screens for special
    requirement

    >Is that why looking thru
    >the viewfinder everything is in focus?


    Well, it isn't. Quite the opposite actually. Under 'normal'
    circumstances the apperture will be wide open, giving you a narrow DOF.

    >Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder


    You just close the apperture to the working size, typically by pushing a
    small button near the lens mount.

    >or do you have to go to the lcd display?


    Wouldn't do you any good because almost no DSLRs have what is called
    'live preview'.

    jue
     
    Jürgen Exner, May 21, 2008
    #5
  6. dosferatu

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Jürgen Exner
    <> wrote:

    > >or do you have to go to the lcd display?

    >
    > Wouldn't do you any good because almost no DSLRs have what is called
    > 'live preview'.


    actually quite a few do. nikon, canon, sony and olympus all have at
    least two models each. pentax's depth of field preview actually takes
    a photo without writing it to the card and displays it. not exactly
    live view, but it's not the traditional dof preview either.
     
    nospam, May 21, 2008
    #6
  7. dosferatu

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Alfred
    Molon <> wrote:

    > In article <210520081528134895%>, nospam says...
    > > pentax's depth of field preview actually takes
    > > a photo without writing it to the card and displays it. not exactly
    > > live view, but it's not the traditional dof preview either.

    >
    > Are you saying that for instance the Pentax K20D has no live video feed
    > to the LCD?


    i haven't seen a k20d yet, but i was referring to how depth of field
    preview is implemented. however, it looks like pentax does both
    methods now, at least on the k10d. i'm pretty sure the *ist series
    only did the digital preview.

    <http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk10d/page5.asp>

    The K10D also provides a 'digital preview' option so that this lever
    position instead takes a preview shot which is representative of the
    final image in depth of field, white balance and exposure. This
    'digital preview' image is shown on the LCD monitor but not saved.
    This feature is also available when selecting white balance.
     
    nospam, May 21, 2008
    #7
  8. dosferatu

    sgtdisturbed Guest

    On May 21, 8:33 am, Bigguy <> wrote:
    > dosferatu wrote:
    > > Just getting into looking at DSLR's.
    > > Looking thru, anyway.

    >
    > > So DSLR's, I assume, don't have focusing screens? Is that why looking thru
    > > the viewfinder everything is in focus?

    >
    > They do have focussing screens; not everything is in focus - try a long
    > (tele) focal length lens or a closer subect...
    >
    > > Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder or do you have
    > > to go to the lcd display?


    >
    > Many 'prosumer' DSLRs do not have very nice viewfinders; typically they
    > are mirrors not pentaprism, are not very bright, do not show 100% of
    > frame (?) and are 'challenging' to use for critical focussing...



    My Nikon D80 uses a Pentaprism and the viewfinder is large and bright,
    unlike the D50 that I owned before it.
     
    sgtdisturbed, May 21, 2008
    #8
  9. dosferatu

    Matt Ion Guest

    Jim Townsend wrote:
    > dosferatu wrote:
    >
    >> Just getting into looking at DSLR's.
    >> Looking thru, anyway.
    >>
    >> So DSLR's, I assume, don't have focusing screens? Is that why looking thru
    >> the viewfinder everything is in focus?
    >> Do any DSLR's have Depth of field preview thru the viewfinder or do you have
    >> to go to the lcd display?

    >
    > Originally, SLR cameras allowed the user to look through the lens.
    >
    > - The light passing through the lens was reflected by a mirror onto a
    > focusing screen.
    >
    > - The image on the focusing screen was directed to an eyepiece by means
    > of a pentaprism or (penta mirror). The pentaprism was used to orient
    > the image correctly so it was right side up and not backwards.
    >
    > Today the principals above have been discarded by many and as such are
    > meaningless when describing an SLR camera.
    >
    > Modern cameras provide a live through the lens view through the sensor
    > and LCD display. If you add advanced features like shutter and aperture
    > priority, then you have a SLR. Many of these cameras have a fixed zoom
    > lens, so someone decided to call them ZLR cameras. This hasn't really
    > caught on. It's mostly a source of confusion.



    Functions like aperture and shutter priority have nothing to do with a
    camera being an SLR.

    The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs. separate
    picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S (particularly film
    P&S) or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to the action of flipping
    the mirror out of the way to to allow the light through to the imaging
    device (be it film or digital sensor).

    A number of P&S cameras are single-lens (live-view display only, no
    optical viewfinder), but no reflex action; these are not SLRs. Many
    models also have aperture and shutter priority and even full
    manual-exposure modes; these don't make them SLRs either.

    By the same token, some old SLR cameras don't have through-the-lens
    metering, or any form of auto-exposure modes (Program, Aperture, or
    Shutter priority), but are manual-exposure only. They are still SLRs
    for the fact that they are a Single Lens Reflex design.
     
    Matt Ion, May 22, 2008
    #9
  10. dosferatu

    Jeff R. Guest

    "Matt Ion" <> wrote in message
    news:g12mf1$ms9$...
    >
    > The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs. separate
    > picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S (particularly film P&S)
    > or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to the action of flipping the
    > mirror out of the way to to allow the light through to the imaging device
    > (be it film or digital sensor).


    Does it?
    What then, does "reflex" mean in a TLR camera, such as the Rollei or Mamiya?

    Isn't it the *presence* of the mirror (disregard pentaprisms here) rather
    than the action of flipping it?

    --
    Jeff R.
     
    Jeff R., May 22, 2008
    #10
  11. dosferatu

    m II Guest

    Jeff R. wrote:
    >
    > "Matt Ion" <> wrote in message
    > news:g12mf1$ms9$...
    >>
    >> The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs.
    >> separate picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S
    >> (particularly film P&S) or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to
    >> the action of flipping the mirror out of the way to to allow the light
    >> through to the imaging device (be it film or digital sensor).

    >
    > Does it?
    > What then, does "reflex" mean in a TLR camera, such as the Rollei or
    > Mamiya?
    >
    > Isn't it the *presence* of the mirror (disregard pentaprisms here)
    > rather than the action of flipping it?



    It is. The twin lens reflex mirror doesn't move. I suspect 'reflex' is a
    mutation of 'reflects' or some such. That is just a guess but there may
    be something to it.



    mike
     
    m II, May 22, 2008
    #11
  12. dosferatu

    Jeff R. Guest

    "m II" <> wrote in message news:%E7Zj.3517$Yp.1727@edtnps92...
    > Jeff R. wrote:
    >>
    >> "Matt Ion" <> wrote in message
    >> news:g12mf1$ms9$...
    >>>
    >>> The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs.
    >>> separate picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S
    >>> (particularly film P&S) or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to
    >>> the action of flipping the mirror out of the way to to allow the light
    >>> through to the imaging device (be it film or digital sensor).

    >>
    >> Does it?
    >> What then, does "reflex" mean in a TLR camera, such as the Rollei or
    >> Mamiya?
    >>
    >> Isn't it the *presence* of the mirror (disregard pentaprisms here)
    >> rather than the action of flipping it?

    >
    >
    > It is. The twin lens reflex mirror doesn't move. I suspect 'reflex' is a
    > mutation of 'reflects' or some such. That is just a guess but there may
    > be something to it.
    >
    >
    >
    > mike


    Apologies.
    I was being deliberately obtuse.

    The "reflex" does indeed refer to the the action of reflecting the light up
    onto the ground glass viewfinder. Same in both configurations, SLR & TLR.

    --
    Jeff R.
     
    Jeff R., May 22, 2008
    #12
  13. Alfred Molon wrote:
    []
    >>> What is Depth of field preview ?

    []
    > Oops... and there are DSLRs which cannot do this? I thought it's a
    > basic feature of DSLRs that they will show you in the viewfinder what
    > is in focus and what is not in focus. How else otherwise could you
    > creatively compose the shot by choosing the right amount of
    > background blur?
    >
    > I'm starting to think that the only DSLRs with a usable optical
    > viewfinder are the expensive ones. The ones I might buy (Sony 350 or
    > Pentax K20D) have pretty pathetic viewfinders.


    When you can just look at the shot moments after taking on the LCD at the
    back, real-time DoF preview become slightly less useful so, yes, horror of
    horrors, it is omitted from some cameras.

    I compared the viewfinders of the DSLR brands I was considering when I
    bought my first one, and concluded that Nikon was slightly better than
    Canon in showing a bright image. They are both /way/ better than any
    compact camera I have used in terms of image quality, although they lack
    the "gain-up" feature of some compact cameras which can help for extreme
    night-time shots.

    Yes, if you pay more you may get a better viewfinder, but even that of the
    Nikon D40 is eminently usable. Try looking through the viewfinders for
    yourself.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 22, 2008
    #13
  14. dosferatu

    Jeff R. Guest

    "Yoshi" <> wrote in message
    news:483560bc$0$12915$...
    >
    > "Jeff R." <> wrote in message
    > news:4834ef1c$0$30465$...
    >>
    >> "Matt Ion" <> wrote in message
    >> news:g12mf1$ms9$...
    >>>
    >>> The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs. separate
    >>> picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S (particularly film
    >>> P&S) or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to the action of flipping
    >>> the mirror out of the way to to allow the light through to the imaging
    >>> device (be it film or digital sensor).

    >>
    >> Does it?
    >> What then, does "reflex" mean in a TLR camera, such as the Rollei or
    >> Mamiya?
    >>
    >> Isn't it the *presence* of the mirror (disregard pentaprisms here) rather
    >> than the action of flipping it?
    >>
    >> --
    >> Jeff R.

    > Geeeze... go buy a book on photography and read it. All these noob
    > questions are annoying.



    Sure.
    But first - *you* buy a newbie book on USENET and read it. Idiot!

    --
    Jeff R.
     
    Jeff R., May 22, 2008
    #14
  15. dosferatu

    tomm42 Guest

    On May 22, 5:22 am, Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > In article <U49Zj.7488$>, David J
    > Taylor says...
    >
    > > Yes, if you pay more you may get a better viewfinder, but even that of the
    > > Nikon D40 is eminently usable. Try looking through the viewfinders for
    > > yourself.

    >
    > I remember briefly using a couple of years ago a Nikon D70. And wow,
    > what a viewfinder.
    > Recently I checked instead the Sony 350 and the Pentax K20D and was very
    > unimpressed. It's good that these two cameras come with live preview, so
    > you can use that for framing.
    > --
    >
    > Alfred Molon
    > ------------------------------
    > Olympus 50X0, 8080, E3X0, E4X0, E5X0 and E3 forum athttp://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/http://myolympus.org/photo sharing site
     
    tomm42, May 22, 2008
    #15
  16. dosferatu

    tomm42 Guest

    On May 22, 5:22 am, Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > In article <U49Zj.7488$>, David J
    > Taylor says...
    >
    > > Yes, if you pay more you may get a better viewfinder, but even that of the
    > > Nikon D40 is eminently usable. Try looking through the viewfinders for
    > > yourself.

    >
    > I remember briefly using a couple of years ago a Nikon D70. And wow,
    > what a viewfinder.
    > Recently I checked instead the Sony 350 and the Pentax K20D and was very
    > unimpressed. It's good that these two cameras come with live preview, so
    > you can use that for framing.
    > --
    >
    > Alfred Molon
    > ------------------------------
    > Olympus 50X0, 8080, E3X0, E4X0, E5X0 and E3 forum athttp://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/http://myolympus.org/photo sharing site



    Sorry to double post.
    I have a d70 at work, and a d200 (own a d200 too). The D200 viewfinder
    is so much better than the D70s it isn't funny. The other photographer
    here has a K10D and says the same about its viewfinder, much better
    than the d70. Could be you were looking through an f2.8 lens on the
    D70 and an f5.6 on the Sony and Pentax, or was your lighting
    different. What is true is that the viewfinder on the d200 and d80
    (same mirror box) are 95% viewfinders and the focusing screen isn't
    very textured making manual focusing a bit of a challenge, especially
    with wide angles. I use mostly macro/micro lenses on the cameras,
    focusing at 1:1 with the D200 is so much easier than with the d70.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, May 22, 2008
    #16
  17. On May 21, 10:57 pm, "Jeff R." <> wrote:
    > "Matt Ion" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:g12mf1$ms9$...
    >
    >
    >
    > > The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs. separate
    > > picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S (particularly film P&S)
    > > or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to the action of flipping the
    > > mirror out of the way to to allow the light through to the imaging device
    > > (be it film or digital sensor).

    >
    > Does it?
    > What then, does "reflex" mean in a TLR camera, such as the Rollei or Mamiya?
    >
    > Isn't it the *presence* of the mirror (disregard pentaprisms here) rather
    > than the action of flipping it?
    >
    > --
    > Jeff R.


    The mirror itself is what gives it the "reflex" name. For instance, a
    Twin Lens Reflex has a mirror in the viewing system, but the mirror
    does not move. Think reflex = reflection.

    The reflection can also be accomplished by a prism, which acts like a
    series of mirrors.
     
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, May 22, 2008
    #17
  18. dosferatu

    m II Guest

    Jeff R. wrote:

    > Apologies.
    > I was being deliberately obtuse.



    Obtuse? Wouldn't that depend on the angle of the 'reflex' ?




    mike
     
    m II, May 22, 2008
    #18
  19. dosferatu

    Matt Ion Guest

    Jeff R. wrote:
    >
    > "m II" <> wrote in message news:%E7Zj.3517$Yp.1727@edtnps92...
    >> Jeff R. wrote:
    >>>
    >>> "Matt Ion" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:g12mf1$ms9$...
    >>>>
    >>>> The term SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A single lens, vs.
    >>>> separate picture and viewfinder lenses as found on most P&S
    >>>> (particularly film P&S) or rangefinder cameras. "Reflex" refers to
    >>>> the action of flipping the mirror out of the way to to allow the light
    >>>> through to the imaging device (be it film or digital sensor).
    >>>
    >>> Does it?
    >>> What then, does "reflex" mean in a TLR camera, such as the Rollei or
    >>> Mamiya?
    >>>
    >>> Isn't it the *presence* of the mirror (disregard pentaprisms here)
    >>> rather than the action of flipping it?

    >>
    >>
    >> It is. The twin lens reflex mirror doesn't move. I suspect 'reflex' is a
    >> mutation of 'reflects' or some such. That is just a guess but there may
    >> be something to it.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> mike

    >
    > Apologies.
    > I was being deliberately obtuse.
    >
    > The "reflex" does indeed refer to the the action of reflecting the light
    > up onto the ground glass viewfinder. Same in both configurations, SLR &
    > TLR.


    You're correct.

    The point remains, it's the mirror that makes an SLR, not the presence
    of advanced user controls.
     
    Matt Ion, May 22, 2008
    #19
  20. dosferatu

    Guest

    On Thu, 22 May 2008 07:16:04 GMT, in rec.photo.digital "David J
    Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-bit.co.uk>
    wrote:

    >I compared the viewfinders of the DSLR brands I was considering when I
    >bought my first one, and concluded that Nikon was slightly better than
    >Canon in showing a bright image. They are both /way/ better than any
    >compact camera I have used in terms of image quality, although they lack
    >the "gain-up" feature of some compact cameras which can help for extreme
    >night-time shots.
    >
    >Yes, if you pay more you may get a better viewfinder, but even that of the
    >Nikon D40 is eminently usable. Try looking through the viewfinders for
    >yourself.


    ? The D40 has autoiso. See p.76 of the fine manual, Custom Setting 10.
     
    , May 22, 2008
    #20
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