Viewfinders!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DB4, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. DB4

    DB4 Guest

    Hi
    On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and medium
    format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    Regards
    Dennis
    DB4, Jul 17, 2006
    #1
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  2. "DB4" <> wrote in message
    news:C0E18DBB.4347%...

    > Hi
    > On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and
    > medium
    > format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    > shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    > surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    > area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    > such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    > Regards
    > Dennis


    A more expensive body will generally have a better viewfinder and the 30d is
    quite a bit more expensive than the d70s.
    Adrian Boliston, Jul 17, 2006
    #2
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  3. DB4

    Ed Ruf Guest

    On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 18:55:55 +0100, in rec.photo.digital DB4
    <> wrote:

    >Hi
    >On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and medium
    >format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    >shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    >surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    >area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    >such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?


    Apples and oranges comparison. A more fair comparison would be the
    D200 vs. the 30D.
    ________________________________________________________
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://EdwardGRuf.com
    Ed Ruf, Jul 17, 2006
    #3
  4. On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 18:55:55 +0100, DB4 <> wrote:

    >Hi
    >On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and medium
    >format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    >shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    >surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    >area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    >such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    >Regards
    >Dennis


    Try the Canon 5D if you want to have a great viewfinder (and
    camera...)


    --

    Scott in Florida
    Scott in Florida, Jul 17, 2006
    #4
  5. "Scott in Florida" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 18:55:55 +0100, DB4 <> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi
    >>On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and
    >>medium
    >>format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    >>shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    >>surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    >>area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    >>such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    >>Regards
    >>Dennis

    >
    > Try the Canon 5D if you want to have a great viewfinder (and
    > camera...)


    If I had the serious money for a 5d i'd probably save that little bit extra
    and get a "pro body" d2hs!
    Adrian Boliston, Jul 17, 2006
    #5
  6. DB4

    Peter Guest

    Ditto. I would too.

    1D Mk II would be worth spending a bit more for, unless you were worried
    about size/weight.


    "Adrian Boliston" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > If I had the serious money for a 5d i'd probably save that little bit
    > extra and get a "pro body" d2hs!
    >
    Peter, Jul 17, 2006
    #6
  7. DB4

    tomm42 Guest

    DB4 wrote:
    > Hi
    > On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and medium
    > format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    > shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    > surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    > area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    > such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    > Regards
    > Dennis


    The Canon uses a prism and the Nikon uses mirrors, makes a big
    difference, the Canon probably has some magnification too. The D70
    should be compared to the Rebel XT, also has a mirror based prism, and
    the 30D compares to the Nikon D200. I bought the D200 cause I couldn't
    stand the D70 viewfinder.

    Tom
    tomm42, Jul 17, 2006
    #7
  8. DB4

    Guest

    Hello,

    I haven't compared with the Canon 30D, but if you want a nice
    viewfinder (with interchangeable focusing screen) in the price range of
    the Nikon D70s maybe you might check the Pentax *istDS.

    The image in the viewfinder is larger than the one in the D70s, what
    makes it easier to manual focus, and nicer to compose.

    I'm very satisfied with mine. Totally compatible with old Pentax
    K-mount lenses, too. I even have an old second hand TTL flash (the
    AF280T) that works just fine.

    Regards,

    Javier

    DB4 ha escrito:

    > Hi
    > On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and medium
    > format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    > shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    > surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    > area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    > such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    > Regards
    > Dennis
    , Jul 17, 2006
    #8
  9. DB4

    Jim Guest

    "DB4" <> wrote in message
    news:C0E18DBB.4347%...
    > Hi
    > On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and
    > medium
    > format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    > shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    > surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    > area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    > such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    > Regards
    > Dennis
    >

    If, as I suspect, the Canon has a pentaprism, then the answer is easy. The
    D70s uses mirrors in the viewfinder which are cheaper but not as bright as a
    pentaprism.
    Jim
    Jim, Jul 17, 2006
    #9
  10. DB4

    Pete D Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I haven't compared with the Canon 30D, but if you want a nice
    > viewfinder (with interchangeable focusing screen) in the price range of
    > the Nikon D70s maybe you might check the Pentax *istDS.
    >
    > The image in the viewfinder is larger than the one in the D70s, what
    > makes it easier to manual focus, and nicer to compose.
    >
    > I'm very satisfied with mine. Totally compatible with old Pentax
    > K-mount lenses, too. I even have an old second hand TTL flash (the
    > AF280T) that works just fine.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Javier
    >
    > DB4 ha escrito:
    >
    >> Hi
    >> On the brink of investing in my first DSLR (currently using 35mm and
    >> medium
    >> format) I've been handling and comparing the goodies in my local camera
    >> shop. In comparing the Nikon D70s and Canon EOS 30D I was somewhat
    >> surprised to note such a significant differeance in the apparent viewable
    >> area through their respective viewfinders. How do Canon manage to create
    >> such a big usable 'easy on the eye' viewfinder?
    >> Regards
    >> Dennis



    I also one of these and they are brilliant and such good value and have
    every feature the others are missing and a better focusing system to boot.
    :)
    Pete D, Jul 18, 2006
    #10
  11. tomm42 wrote:
    > The Canon uses a prism and the Nikon uses mirrors, makes a big
    > difference, the Canon probably has some magnification too. The D70
    > should be compared to the Rebel XT, also has a mirror based prism, and
    > the 30D compares to the Nikon D200. I bought the D200 cause I couldn't
    > stand the D70 viewfinder.


    Wrong. The D70 uses a pentaprism. The only Nikon DSLR using viewfinder
    mirrors is the D50.

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    Steffen Kluge, Jul 24, 2006
    #11
  12. Steffen Kluge wrote:
    > tomm42 wrote:
    >> The Canon uses a prism and the Nikon uses mirrors, makes a big
    >> difference, the Canon probably has some magnification too. The D70
    >> should be compared to the Rebel XT, also has a mirror based prism, and
    >> the 30D compares to the Nikon D200. I bought the D200 cause I couldn't
    >> stand the D70 viewfinder.

    >
    > Wrong. The D70 uses a pentaprism. The only Nikon DSLR using viewfinder
    > mirrors is the D50.


    Wrong again! I guess I deserve this for relying on information on the
    'net (dpreview in this case)... Ah, well.

    To clarify, both the D70 and D70s viewfinders use penta-dach-mirrors
    which perfectly explains why they are so dim.

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    Steffen Kluge, Jul 24, 2006
    #12
  13. "Steffen Kluge" <> wrote in message
    news:OUZwg.10292$...
    [ . . . ]
    >
    > To clarify, both the D70 and D70s viewfinders use penta-dach-mirrors which
    > perfectly explains why they are so dim.


    I don't find the roof-mirror viewfinder systems to be "so dim," either in
    the D70s, the Maxxum 5D, or a couple of my Maxxum 35s that use that
    arrangement. With the same or similar lenses the mirror systems look just
    about as bright to me as glass pentaprisms. The early "penta mirror" systems
    I understand were noticeably dimmer, but I never had one of those.

    You want to see *dim* you should look in the Maxxum 700si. That has a solid
    glass pentaprism, but it also has an LCD overlay on the focusing screen that
    is the reason for its dimness.

    Neil
    Neil Harrington, Jul 24, 2006
    #13
  14. DB4

    Bill Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:

    >> To clarify, both the D70 and D70s viewfinders use penta-dach-mirrors which
    >> perfectly explains why they are so dim.


    For anyone who is curious, the "penta-dach-mirror" is merely a mirror
    inside the top of the viewfinder chamber and not a prism. The word
    "dach" is German for roof.

    Why Nikon chose German wording is beyond me though...

    >I don't find the roof-mirror viewfinder systems to be "so dim," either in
    >the D70s, the Maxxum 5D, or a couple of my Maxxum 35s that use that
    >arrangement. With the same or similar lenses the mirror systems look just
    >about as bright to me as glass pentaprisms.


    I think a lot of people are abusing the term. The viewfinder appears dim
    because there is less viewable area and total amount of light that hits
    your retina is less. The light transmission is about the same as a
    prism.

    When I first used a DSLR I too thought it was dim. But when I took a
    piece of cardboard and made a FOV crop for my film body eyepiece, and
    compared them side-by-side, I found they were the same.

    Besides, you get used to it. The only time I find it a problem is in
    very dim light using a slow lense.
    Bill, Jul 24, 2006
    #14
  15. "Bill" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Neil Harrington wrote:
    >
    >>> To clarify, both the D70 and D70s viewfinders use penta-dach-mirrors
    >>> which
    >>> perfectly explains why they are so dim.

    >
    > For anyone who is curious, the "penta-dach-mirror" is merely a mirror
    > inside the top of the viewfinder chamber and not a prism. The word
    > "dach" is German for roof.
    >
    > Why Nikon chose German wording is beyond me though...
    >
    >>I don't find the roof-mirror viewfinder systems to be "so dim," either in
    >>the D70s, the Maxxum 5D, or a couple of my Maxxum 35s that use that
    >>arrangement. With the same or similar lenses the mirror systems look just
    >>about as bright to me as glass pentaprisms.

    >
    > I think a lot of people are abusing the term. The viewfinder appears dim
    > because there is less viewable area and total amount of light that hits
    > your retina is less. The light transmission is about the same as a
    > prism.
    >
    > When I first used a DSLR I too thought it was dim. But when I took a
    > piece of cardboard and made a FOV crop for my film body eyepiece, and
    > compared them side-by-side, I found they were the same.


    That's interesting. I never tried anything like that, but with my 35s I have
    compared identical and/or similar lenses on the Maxxum 5 (which has the roof
    mirror system) and Maxxum 600si (solid glass pentaprism), and could never
    see any significant difference in brightness between them.

    >
    > Besides, you get used to it. The only time I find it a problem is in
    > very dim light using a slow lense.


    I was somewhat surprised with my first digital SLR by the smaller viewfinder
    image. I never expected that -- of course I knew the film-plane image would
    be smaller, but I expected the viewfinder system to increase magnification
    to compensate for it. I guess there must be some reason why they couldn't do
    that. But as you say, you get used to it.

    Neil
    Neil Harrington, Jul 24, 2006
    #15
  16. Bill wrote:
    >>> To clarify, both the D70 and D70s viewfinders use penta-dach-mirrors which
    >>> perfectly explains why they are so dim.

    >
    > For anyone who is curious, the "penta-dach-mirror" is merely a mirror
    > inside the top of the viewfinder chamber and not a prism. The word
    > "dach" is German for roof.


    It's an arrangement of mirrors, otherwise you wouldn't get an upright
    side correct image in the viewfinder. As far as I can twist my mind
    around it you'll still need three reflections on mirror surfaces, just
    like you need three total reflections on a pentaprism's glass-air
    boundaries. Metallic reflections are far more lossy than total
    reflections. Anyone who ever swapped their mirror diagonal for an
    expensive prism diagonal in their telescope knows that.

    > Why Nikon chose German wording is beyond me though...


    Well, after all they started out as the Nippon version of Zeiss Ikon ;)

    >> I don't find the roof-mirror viewfinder systems to be "so dim," either in
    >> the D70s, the Maxxum 5D, or a couple of my Maxxum 35s that use that
    >> arrangement. With the same or similar lenses the mirror systems look just
    >> about as bright to me as glass pentaprisms.


    Cropping doesn't affect the surface illumination, only the size of the
    illuminated area. The total mount of light coming out of a 100% 35mm
    viewfinder is larger than that coming out of a 100% DSLR viewfinder, but
    it is spread over a larger matte area.

    > I think a lot of people are abusing the term. The viewfinder appears dim
    > because there is less viewable area and total amount of light that hits
    > your retina is less. The light transmission is about the same as a
    > prism.


    No, prisms have better transmission than mirrors, as long as their
    non-reflecting sides are properly coated.

    > When I first used a DSLR I too thought it was dim. But when I took a
    > piece of cardboard and made a FOV crop for my film body eyepiece, and
    > compared them side-by-side, I found they were the same.


    The D2H finder is brighter than the FE2 finder, and substantially
    brighter than the D70 finder. Prism vs mirror is only part of the story,
    I suppose. The matte screens will be different, too.

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    Steffen Kluge, Jul 25, 2006
    #16
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