Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/15

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Question About Viewfinder for 24mm M lens
From: Guy Bennett <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 08:34:07 -0800

>When I use the 24mm lens and the viewfinder, I find I'm constantly
>taking my glasses on and off.  A total pain!
>Has anyone explored whether it is feasible to just forget about the external
>viewfinder and use the built-in viewing frame for 24mm?  If I did that and
>just assumed the whole viewing frame roughly reflected a 24mm view, how far
>off would I be?
>I want to simplify my shooting experience if possible?


The issue has come up repeatedly, and I'm sure you'll find detailed
discussions of the subject in the archives. (If I were John Collier, I'd
scrounge up the posts in question and link to or quote them here, but what
would we do with two perfect people on the LUG?)

To summarize the debate: some felt that the frame of the in camera VF
window (0.72 view) appromixated the 24 focal length and claimed to frame
and shoot successfully w/out the external VF. The same claim has been made
about the 0.58 VF. I use both magnifications, and have tested for myself
the view of the external and internal VFs (by literally looking through
both external and internal VFs and visually comparing the coverage).

My conclusion: neither magnification VF comes close enough to presenting
the 24mm view as displayed by the external finder for me to be able to
compose accurately. I like to frame my shots as precisely as possible and
therefore use the external VF, though it represents a slight loss of
convenience, IMO. What can you do to determine whether or not you should
abandon the external VF?

Test for yourself as I have done. Put the VF on the camera (and mount the
camera on a tripod, if you like). Look through both VFs - internal and
external - and compare the coverage. (I try to aline a door frame, a pole,
a bookshelf, etc., with one side of the VF, and see how wide the view runs
in the other direction.) If the internal view is close enough for you,
abandon the external finder and shoot away. If it is not, live with the
inconvenience of the external finder *or* do what many 24 users seem to be
doing: abandon the 24 in favor of the new 28 Summicron, for which the
brightlines of the 0.58 are visible even to wearers of glasses (myself