Leica MDa and finder/lens alignment

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Hassasin

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Looking at MDa for use with some wide angle lens and top mounted finder. One thing I noticed, cold shoe is NOT on lense axis. Looking at very Leica finder, they all appear to be on center with cold shoe, and as such finder optical axis is not over the lens's. How does work in real life? Mind adjustment when framing ? I'm not sure how far off these lines are, but looks from pics like good 1/4 inch or more.

Let's not talk about Visoflex, not my area of interest.
 
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Radost

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Wide lenses who cares?
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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Wide lenses who cares?

Really, I don't shoot off the hip, if that is what you mean. I simply asked if users think about this at all. Surely it's a rather minor issue, but also strange that Leica would place cold shoe not over lens's axis.
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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I also am not one who just takes a photo then claims everything in the frame was meant to be captured.
 

Radost

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Really, I don't shoot off the hip, if that is what you mean. I simply asked if users think about this at all. Surely it's a rather minor issue, but also strange that Leica would place cold shoe not over lens's axis.

Range finder is not over the lens ether. MDA is a lab camera for microscopes. I am sure the germans back then had a reason to do it
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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Range finder is not over the lens ether. MDA is a lab camera for microscopes. I am sure the germans back then had a reason to do it

Mda has same top plate as any M. Rangefinder is corrected for lens placement.
 

Ballinderry-Michael

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The offset is about 8mm on my MDa, my II and my IIIf. I have to say that I've used all three happily with separate viewfinders and haven't noticed any problem. As the rangefinder isn't used for composition, it isn't really relevant in this context. Maybe Leitz's criterion for its placement was either aesthetic or just a matter of fitting everything neatly together.
 
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Hassasin

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The offset is about 8mm on my MDa, my II and my IIIf. I have to say that I've used all three happily with separate viewfinders and haven't noticed any problem. As the rangefinder isn't used for composition, it isn't really relevant in this context. Maybe Leitz's criterion for its placement was either aesthetic or just a matter of fitting everything neatly together.
Thanks this helps. I was trying to make a fuss about Leica design, just noticed the offset from where all external finders are actually mounted. Once could assume Leica made some correction for this in own finders, but other makes ??? Anyways, I think I'm good to go without worries.
 

MattKing

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Thanks this helps. I was trying to make a fuss about Leica design, just noticed the offset from where all external finders are actually mounted. Once could assume Leica made some correction for this in own finders, but other makes ??? Anyways, I think I'm good to go without worries.

For subject distances greater than ~ 10x the focal length of the lens in use, a small offset in the position of a properly aligned separate viewfinder won't matter very much.
If the finder is displaced by 8 mm, the framing will be off by 8 mm - a trivial difference at anything other than close-up distances.
The alignment is the critical issue.
After all, the built in finders on Leica rangefinders that have them built in are offset by more than 8 mm.
 

250swb

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Leica offset accessory shoes are why you can buy offset finders and depending on which way to want to explain it the foot is offset to the right or the head is offset to the left. Most if not all Leica accessory viewfinders for M cameras are designed this way with an offset and I think both Voigtlander and Zeiss offer an option for an offset viewfinder to centralise the axis on a Leica body. Whether they are necessary is more to do with how neat you want everything to look on the camera. There is so much leeway involved in framing with an accessory finder the best bet is to find one with extra relief around the frameline (like a Voigtlander finder) so you can see more of what isn't in the frame and learn to use that information if you find the actual frameline inaccurate. There are Leica finders especially for ltm bodies that give very little extra view through the window and these aren't very useful for guesstimating.
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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Leica offset accessory shoes are why you can buy offset finders and depending on which way to want to explain it the foot is offset to the right or the head is offset to the left. Most if not all Leica accessory viewfinders for M cameras are designed this way with an offset and I think both Voigtlander and Zeiss offer an option for an offset viewfinder to centralise the axis on a Leica body. Whether they are necessary is more to do with how neat you want everything to look on the camera. There is so much leeway involved in framing with an accessory finder the best bet is to find one with extra relief around the frameline (like a Voigtlander finder) so you can see more of what isn't in the frame and learn to use that information if you find the actual frameline inaccurate. There are Leica finders especially for ltm bodies that give very little extra view through the window and these aren't very useful for guesstimating.
I agree with everything. Wat I'm looking at Voigtlander Helier 15 for use on Leica MDa, and that with VOitglander dedicated finder, which does have enough in view outside of the frame lines
 

guangong

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Range finder is not over the lens ether. MDA is a lab camera for microscopes. I am sure the germans back then had a reason to do it

Nobody wants to hear a common sense reply.
 

MarkS

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You want 100% finder accuracy? Nikon F, F2, F3, probably a few other SLRs.
 
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Dali

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You want 100% finder accuracy? Nikon F, F2, F3, probably a few other SLRs.

Yes, as the finder (being additional or not) is never in the lens axis with a Leica M... {moderator deletion}
 

MattKing

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Moderator hat on:
Folks - lower the temperature a bit please.
Hat off.
 

madNbad

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Reveni offers some 3D printed viewfinder adapters. There is a double shoe mount and an offset for Barnack’s. They don’t cost very much so it may be worth trying.
 
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Hassasin

Hassasin

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Range finder is not over the lens ether. MDA is a lab camera for microscopes. I am sure the germans back then had a reason to do it

What does rangefinder have to do with anything here? Besides in M it’s optically aligned anyways and auto compensates. Let alone the fact how rangefinder works and how, by that alone, cannot be over the lens.

Top plate and shoe location is same across Mx, M and variants included.
 

Nitroplait

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Besides in M it’s optically aligned anyways and auto compensates.
Viewfinders will always be an approximation of what the lens captures.

Even the moving parallax compensating framelines build into Leica M (less MDx) are notoriously imprecise.

They are not even the same size from model to model i.e. the 35mm frame of an M4 is not showing the same as in an M6.
When Leica introduced the 28mm frames in the M4-2 0.72 finder, they reduced the area covered by the 35mm frame lines.

I would like to add that although SLR's may give the illusion of precise framing, they are mostly 8-15% off, and often not even symmetrically so! - but that is a discussion for another thread.

For your specific wide angle use-case, it is really a non issue. If you use the camera/lens combo frequently you will quickly learn a given combination's small framing quirks and compensate accordingly.

Precision framing comes with experience and familiarity with the tool not the actual finder.

I frequently use my MDa with 12mm and 21mm finders and have no problems - and don't remember that I ever had.
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