Looking for 35mm slr with great viewfinder for poor eyesight

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by sixby45, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. cb1

    cb1 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Location:
    D/FW, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    don't forget the Canon AE1-Program. It has a very bright viewfinder.
     
  2. Hey Rick, given that you have a preference for manual focus 35mm SLRs, I'll toss out a couple for you to think about. However, the Nikon F3 won't be one of them. I've never thought of the F3 as having a particularly bright finder. At least not compared to its main competitor, the Canon New F-1. The F-1, with its laser-matte screens, has an impressively bright finder. Another camera series that was known for its bright finders was the Minolta X-700 and perhaps the X570 as well. The X700 is a sexy little camera, with subtle ergonomics. I prefer the X570 though because it has a superior manual focus mode. It lacks the X-700's program mode, but big deal. Anyway, those are the two, possibly three, I'd recommend for consideration. Good luck whichever way you choose.
     
  3. John51

    John51 Member

    Messages:
    364
    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a similar problem as I need reading glasses due to age. Can't see the camera settings without the specs but they get in the way of taking the pic. On off, on off, it can get tiresome. The only camera I have that I can use while wearing my reading glasses is a TLR. The wlf magnifier plus glasses makes focusing easier for me.

    With my OM1n, The standard focusing prism lines up pretty good even without being able to see so well. Even if it seems a bit blurry, there's lined up blurry and not lined up blurry. It could do with a cla. I have a Praktica BX20 and the viewfinder is just as large but noticeably brighter. Maybe just because it's cleaner.

    If my eyesight does deteriorate too much, I'll stay with the TLR and my rangefinders. An slr option for me would be the Canon EOS ?? that focuses on whatever part of the frame that you're looking at. fwir, not everyone takes to that but it seems worth a try when focusing gets too difficult for me.
     
  4. guangong

    guangong Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,081
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Contact lenses. But contact lenses are only comfortable if worn throughout the day, every day. You will have more free time wearing contact lenses from the time saved by not having to remember where you last put your glasses.
    I agree with Leicaflex SL2 having a very bright screen.
    By the way, if screens seem dim, perhaps cataracts.
     
  5. images39

    images39 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I realize that you specified manual focus, but I suggest taking a close look at the Nikon F100. For these reasons:

    -- It has an eye relief viewfinder. If you're shooting with glasses on, I strongly suggest getting a camera with eye relief. It allows you to see everything in the viewfinder, even when wearing glasses. The F3HP has eye relief as well, but I prefer the viewfinder readout of the F100.
    -- It has a large, bright viewfinder.
    -- Although it is autofocus, you can easily use it in manual focus mode. It aids manual focusing by means of a rangefinder, which provides a green dot to indicate when you've achieved focus. I use this camera with manual nikon lenses all the time; it works great, and I don't miss focus.
    -- The F100 is very well built and reliable.
    -- It's not as bulky and heavy as the F4 or F5. I can't see using the massive F5 unless you need 5 frames/second.
    -- F100's are plentiful and can be had at very low prices now. You can easily find them for around $200.

    Dale
     
  6. CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,439
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Location:
    USA CA 94585
    Shooter:
    35mm
    In the end, i suppose you simply need to try whatever you can get your hands on.
    If your local store has one.......Canon AE1-P has a "bright" finder and the meter has a fairly large LED Display.
    As other members have said, having the optional eye-cup attached would be helpful.
    good luck
     
  7. Lee Rust

    Lee Rust Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Another vote for the Pentax MX... Big, bright viewfinder image in a reflex camera body that's small enough to fit in the same space as a rangefinder.
     
  8. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,308
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jonesboro, G
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    I have the Nikon F3HP and it does offer good eye relief, but I don't care for the viewfinder display. I also have the Pentax LX, which has a large, bright screen, offers diopter adjustment, and a LED display of exposure info. I far prefer the LX viewfinder and display to that of the F3. The LX also offers interchangeable VFs, among which is a VF base and a rotating long-relief attachment - if you can find it!
    I also enjoy the VFs of the Pentax MX and ME Super. Both very large and bright. Both take 2fps winders. Additionally the ME Super can be found very inexpensively.
     
  9. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,383
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here is my rather oddball suggestion: Nikon 8008s aka F801s. It has a HP finder (just like the F3) but adds built in motor and rewind, AF, focus assist for non-AF lenses, multiple exposure modes and multiple meter patterns. It also syncs at 1/250th second rather than the F3's pokey 1/90. TTL flash, too. It also uses standard AA batteries rather than a special lithium battery pair. I will say the AF is pretty slow compared to modern cameras but I find I'm using more AI and fewer AF lenses so it's a non-issure for me.
     
  10. film_man

    film_man Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,004
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As a glass wearer myself I found that the F3HP has the best viewfinder of them all when it comes to seeing everything and brightness. It is impossible to see the exposure info in the night though, the backlight button must have been a practical joke that slipped through to the final design. The Leica R8 has an incredibly bright viewfinder too but with glasses you have to move around a bit.
     
  11. macfred

    macfred Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,921
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lots of good suggestions - since I suffer with worsening eyesight I really enjoy using a WLF with Corrective Diopter for the pop up magnifier (Rolleiflex 3.5F) without glasses.
    I know this is a little ''off topic'' because the OP asked for 35mm SLR.
    I use corrective diopters on my 35mm Nikon F2 but I'm not quite satisfied.
     
  12. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,606
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    The best viewfinder of any of the cameras I have is the Contax ST. Could be the Zeiss lenses, but it is very easy to focus. I also wear glasses and it is the only camera that I can see the entire frame no problem and almost see all the exposure info on the side and bottom. I can see a little more than half. Requires very little movement. The camera is pretty amazing too.

    I used to wear contacts too but found them to be more of a pain than they are worth.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    28,076
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    HINT: Try different cameras yourself. You are the one who has to be satisfied.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    3,803
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not that odd ball, any good AF can be used in MF mode, along with the Nikon 8008a I would think about the Minolta A7000, very bright view finder, dirt cheap, lots of good Minolta and 3rd party A mount lens. Nikon has the advantage of using most AIs lens.
     
  16. apoglass

    apoglass Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    As previously commented, you can make it much easier to tell if the lens is in focus by using magnification. If you need a little help, attach a mild magnifier to the viewfinder - with many Nikon SLR's, the Nikon DK17M Magnifier Eyepiece. If you need more help, like me, instead attach a 2x flip down magnifier to use while focusing – Nikon DG-2 with Nikon DK-18 Eyepiece Adapter. A 2x flip down magnifier is what I use and likely what you need. (If you need even more magnification to see clearly, an optically superb 6x magnifying eyepiece can be used with earlier Nikon bodies that have interchangeable viewfinders, such as the DW-2 6x Magnifying Viewfinder for the Nikon F (with "Nikon" nameplate unscrewed) or F2, the DW-4 for the Nikon F3, or the DW-21 for the Nikon F4.)
     
  17. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Any of the later Minolta models X300, X500 or the X700 all have Minolta's Acute Matt screen with a split image finder. They were accredited with having the brightest viewfinders of any manual focus cameras at the time.The X700 and possibly the X500 (I am not sure) also had the facility to change the screens as well although they will not be easily found in good condition nowadays. I always found them terrific.
    A more modern camera is, as suggested befor is the Nikon F100.They are good cameras and will not give you any problems with focussing and the viewfinder is not far behind that on the Nikon F6 which is still in limited production.
     
  18. Over on this side of the pond, the X500 is known as the X570 for some ineffable reason. I just checked, and I see no easy way to remove the focusing screen in my X570. There are two tiny clips that appear to secure the back of the screen, but they would be very difficult to operate without scratching the screen.

    The X570 is one of my favorite Minoltas, mostly because of its excellent manual mode, but also because of its Acute Matte screen. Very bright -- as bright as ambient light. It also has the same subtle but effective ergonomics found on the X700. A very fun camera to use.
     
  19. CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,439
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Location:
    USA CA 94585
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I enjoyed using my Canon A-Series cameras. I shot a few thousand frames with my A-1.....but i sold the A-1 and AE1-P after i got my Minolta X-570.
    It is a wonderful camera if you need something of that type. For the last year, i have used mine for color slides. It has done a fine job.
    Minolta really made some fine 35mm cameras.
     
  20. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,383
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bright finders are not always the best. I prefer contrasty to bright. Even with my old eyes. And, since I wear glasses, it's nice if I can see all the corners without moving my head around.
     
  21. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,475
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    !!! 'bright' can mean 'not as precise for focusing'...lookit at focus screens in dSLR as examples of that point.
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    18,188
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But modern manual focus SLRs offer focusing aids, lacking in autofocus SLRs.
     
  23. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    209
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    .
    I use corrective diopters on my 35mm Nikon F2 but I'm not quite satisfied.[/QUOTE]

    For 35mm photography I had Bill Maxwell use his process to "enhance" the red dot screen from an F3 and fit it to my F2. Seems to have helped.
    Recently though I have been using N70 and N75 autofocus cameras in manual mode with focus confirmation.
     
  24. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    18,188
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But is not one of the ideas behind manual focusing to be sure of what to focus on? With the focus confirmation one again relies on the camera (even if there is only one focus patch on the screen).

    (By the way, I got a manual focus SLR with focus confirmation, but not yet really tested it.)
    .
     
  25. This is especially true with APS-C DSLRs with their squinty little viewfinders, like my Canon EOS XS, for example. What I discovered with this camera, and after a fair amount of research to back me up, is that the focusing screens in cameras like mine are engineered to make the finder as bright as possible with slower lenses, say f/4 to f/5.6. The downside to this, though, is when you mount a fast manual focus lens to the camera, say a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 with the appropriate adapter, you'll find that apertures of about f/2.8 and wider result in a crapshoot. The focusing screen may show something to be in focus, but that doesn't mean it's in focus at the sensor. The workaround, of course, is to shoot in Live mode, but this isn't always doable or even convenient.

    I don't own a full frame DSLR, but from what I've read, this is less of a problem with theses types of cameras. Or maybe people swap focusing screens for ones that work better with fast lenses -- not sure which it is, but I'm sure that someone here will know.
     
  26. rwl7532

    rwl7532 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Location:
    Everett, WA,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Glaucoma is robbing some of my center vision. I have switched to Olympus OM-2N and OM-1. Also viewscreen 1-4 which is basically ground glass focusing. Making lots of use with a 24mm Zuiko f/2.8 and the depth of focus the wide angle provides.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.