MF noob: WLF has inverted image?

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hankchinaski

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Having gotten my first camera (Rolleiflex 6008) with a 45 deg finder, I had not realized that an MF camera has got an inverted image in the WLF (left <-> right).

Please bear with me: how in the world am I supposed to compose my image if it is inverted? Am I so bad that I mounted my WLF the wrong way? It's super difficult to center an inverted image and focus at the same time...

I must be doing something wrong.
 

Peltigera

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In a waist-level camera, the viewfinder image should be the right way up but mirrored left to right. Composing is easy once you get used to it as is keeping verticals vertical. I find waist-level finders are a good aid to composition (not because of the reversing thing) as a direct result of the viewfinder image being further from your eye and not dominating your vision. Stick with it.

Composing and focusing are entirely separate operations. To focus, I use the viewfinder magnifier and bring the camera to my eye. Once focused, I drop the camera to my waist and compose. If you are photographing action with a waist-level finder (not their strong point), use zone focus (the numbers on the lens) and a small aperture.
 

Sirius Glass

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I always found the left right or right left reversal of the TLR and SLR cameras very obnoxious and so I have added a prism to my Hasselblad at the time I bought it and the WLF has never been placed on the camera since.
 
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hankchinaski

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In a waist-level camera, the viewfinder image should be the right way up but mirrored left to right. Composing is easy once you get used to it as is keeping verticals vertical. I find waist-level finders are a good aid to composition (not because of the reversing thing) as a direct result of the viewfinder image being further from your eye and not dominating your vision. Stick with it.

Composing and focusing are entirely separate operations. To focus, I use the viewfinder magnifier and bring the camera to my eye. Once focused, I drop the camera to my waist and compose. If you are photographing action with a waist-level finder (not their strong point), use zone focus (the numbers on the lens) and a small aperture.

Thanks - what about shallow DOF?
 
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hankchinaski

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I always found the left right or right left reversal of the TLR and SLR cameras very obnoxious and so I have added a prism to my Hasselblad at the time I bought it and the WLF has never been placed on the camera since.

Well, yes, but wlf has a larger image so it's easier to focus?
 

Sirius Glass

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But will your first heart attack be your last? What is the quality and proximity of high quality health care and hospitals?

++ An acquaintance retired to the coast of Mexico a number years ago. A medium size town. He suffered a massive heart attack soon after, died during the hour-long ambulance ride.

Well, yes, but wlf has a larger image so it's easier to focus?

Not for action! For action shots you will need to depend on depth of field as focusing manually will take so long the action will have moved.

What do you do for portraits?

For portraits, you ask the subject to sit still while you focus. Then you can have as slight a depth of field as you like.

The viewfinder is the same size for the WLF as the prism. Some prisms have higher magnification. I found WLF impossible for sports or action, even just taking photographs of my children at play.
 

MattKing

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Sirius,
It looks to me like you are talking to yourself in the post above :smile:.
But I'm not going to have a heart attack about it. :whistling:
 

MattKing

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As has been posted above, the WLF should give you a right side up image flipped left to right - in landscape orientation.
And yes, most people get used to it, and can even use it for relatively slow moving subjects.
If you try to use a WLF with a non-square format camera in its non-native orientation (e.g. a Mamiya 645 in portrait orientation), the image will then be both upside down and flipped left to right.
 

Pieter12

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Using a WLF is a matter of getting used to the right/left inversion. After a while you learn to move the camera in the opposite direction of what you'd think by looking in the WLF. A prism finder eliminates that issue, usually has a bit of magnification and you can add corrective diopters. But it comes at the price of being heavy (quite heavy) and expensive. The WLF will have a pop-up magnifier that gives greater magnification than the prism finder, so it can be more accurate for checking focus. And the greatest advantage of the WLF is since you are not holding the camera up to your eye, you can have eye contact with the subject, something that often leads to better portraits. The depth of field issue has nothing to do with the finder, but the longer focal length of medium-format lenses. Most MF SLR's (including your 6008) have a depth-of-field preview button allowing you to judge that. TLRs do not.
 
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hankchinaski

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As has been posted above, the WLF should give you a right side up image flipped left to right - in landscape orientation.
And yes, most people get used to it, and can even use it for relatively slow moving subjects.
If you try to use a WLF with a non-square format camera in its non-native orientation (e.g. a Mamiya 645 in portrait orientation), the image will then be both upside down and flipped left to right.

Thanks Matt - what about the Mamiya 645 AF?
 

MattKing

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What Pieter12 says.
A built in, eye-level prism finder on the 645AF - meaning no flipping or inversion of the image.
Auto-focus as well, of course - with AF lenses at least.
The AF isn't as fast as most 35mm AF cameras, but it is still AF.
I was out with my Mamiya 645 Pro this morning. Not AF, but it is designed for use with its prism finder, and the total package is quite reasonable in size and weight.
I use it with the prism finder at least 90% of the time, but the WLF is a sometimes useful accessory, that takes very little space in the bag. There aren't many of those WLFs on the used market though, and their price can be high.
 

250swb

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Having gotten my first camera (Rolleiflex 6008) with a 45 deg finder, I had not realized that an MF camera has got an inverted image in the WLF (left <-> right).

Please bear with me: how in the world am I supposed to compose my image if it is inverted? Am I so bad that I mounted my WLF the wrong way? It's super difficult to center an inverted image and focus at the same time...

I must be doing something wrong.

LOL.
 

bdial

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If you want a real challenge use a 645 back on your WLF Hasselblad and make a portrait orientation photo.😆

Getting used to the right to left reversal isn’t too hard, it becomes automatic eventually, but switching viewing systems is hard.
 

tdjenkins

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The inverted image is something you get used to.

My first 35mm camera was a Praktica with a so-called waist-level finder (I always used it with the focusing magnifier, holding it at eye level but looking down.) I got the camera when I was starting high school in 1960, and used it for shooting sports for the yearbook and later for auto racing. I adjusted very quickly to following the wrong-way action. I would pre-focus where I expected the action to be and stopped down as far as possible - a pretty common technique even for pros back then.
 

BMbikerider

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When I submitted two panels of B&W prints for my Distinctions with the Royal Photographic Society, all were made with either a Mamiya 330, or a Mamiya 645 and a few with a Minolta Autocord. Ones that did not compose well when enlarged, on a few of them I flipped the negative over and printed them back to front and that saved the day. I find looking down at an upright, but reversed negative is far easier than an Eye Level Finder. But there that is me.
 

Arthurwg

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I'm getting used to this myself with a Mamiya RB67. I'm finding that if you like the compositions you see when reversed, you'll like it the right way round as well.
 

Sirius Glass

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Sirius,
It looks to me like you are talking to yourself in the post above :smile:.
But I'm not going to have a heart attack about it. :whistling:

Yes, that way I have a more intelligent audience. :whistling:
 
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