Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Glasses and viewfinder (was: Question: wich M6TTL to choose?)
From: Rick Dykstra <>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 10:11:30 +1000
References: <> <00b001c0095e$940475f0$> <> <>

Hi Dennis (and Jean-Claude - hope your getting some useful views here).

The difference between my 0.72 (non TTL M6) and 0.85 (TTL M6)
viewfinders is in the tendency to flare once the eye is off centre. Note
that both are beautifully clear and accurate when the eye is centered.

If the eye is off centre with the 0.72, the rangefinder patch flares out
very noticeably.  So I get centered and focus away.  I don't have a
problem with this.

My 0.85 doesn't flare so noticeably when my eye is off centre, its just
less clear.  Therefore I find I am less aware that my eye is off centre.
 And when I was first using this body, I misfocussed from time to time.

Dennis, perhaps you could try the procedure below with your 0.85 and
tell me what you see.  I've just done it, and the misfocussing happens.
It's predictable and repeatable.  Yes, it results from not using the
viewfinder skillfully, which means it's a trap for the unwary.

Find a poster or something with a fine horizontal black line. Leave the
lens off and stand about 1.5 meters back; the rangefinder should be
sitting at about that range.  Hold the camera vertically, shutter up,
and look through the viewfinder but with your eye way too high, so much
so that the rangefinder patch is almost at the top of the viewable area. 

If I do this and then progressively centre the eye I am aware of the
point where the secondary  rangefinder image becomes visible, as well as
the primary. The secondary is feint, certainly not as sharp as when the
eye is properly centered, but it's there.  By moving back and forth
slightly (or by focussing if a lens is attached) it's possible to align
the primary image and the feint secondary.   If I then centre my eye,
the lines are no longer overlapping.  I need to move back (or focus the
lens closer) to achieve proper focus.  Also, by moving my eye up and
down slightly I can see the primary and secondary images moving apart
and back together again.  Not ideal really.

I found this little trap when the first few batches of portraits taken
with my nice new 0.85 TTL were too often focussed behind the eyes.  I
had been used to using my 0.72 where the viewfinder would flare if I was
off centre. The lack of flare when off centre with the 0.85 caused me to
fire away happily, not realising that I wasn't properly centered and
focussed.  I think the problem arose because of the slightly different
hand hold, face positioning and eye angle that resulted from using the
0.85 with a diopter, instead of the 0.72 with spectacles pressed up
against the viewfinder.  All amidst the hurly burly of busy sportsground
photography.  In the end, a learning experience.

As I said before, I like using both bodies, I just have to be a bit more
careful with the 0.85.  It's a thoroughbred while the 0.72 is a good ol'
fat 'n' happy farmhorse.  :)


Rick Dykstra

Replies: Reply from Dennis Painter <> (Re: [Leica] Glasses and viewfinder (was: Question: wich M6TTL to choose?))
In reply to: Message from "Dan Honemann" <> (RE: [Leica] Question: wich M6TTL to choose?)
Message from "Jean-Claude Berger" <> ([Leica] Glasses and viewfinder (was: Question: wich M6TTL to choose?))
Message from Rick Dykstra <> (Re: [Leica] Glasses and viewfinder (was: Question: wich M6TTL to choose?))
Message from Dennis Painter <> (Re: [Leica] Glasses and viewfinder (was: Question: wich M6TTL to choose?))