Waist Level Finders, do you get used to them?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by abruzzi, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    did you acclimate to the mirror image, if so how quickly?

    Did you ever find yourself driving home from a shoot, veering into traffic?

    (Ok, the last question isn’t really serious.)
     
  2. mrosenlof

    mrosenlof Subscriber

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    I think there are a few levels of "used to it". I've used waist level finders since the mid 80s, so take that factor into account.

    Compose effectively? -- yes, was never a problem
    Follow action that is zig-zagging toward me? -- probably not great.
    be surprised that my photo is flipped from what I composed? -- regularly.
    Be annoyed by the L-R flip? -- practically never.
    Veering into traffic? -- Never :smile:

    I do large format also, so there you get upside down to deal with.
     
  3. WilmarcoImaging

    WilmarcoImaging Member

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    Not really. I prefer prism finders.
     
  4. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Subscriber

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    I've been shooting TLRs since I was about 12 years old. Back then, I shot mostly action shots of my brother and other kids in the neighborhood. Nowadays, my 'Flex is a walk about camera that I use to shoot landscape/natural scene during hikes. Never had any issue with the flipped view in either case. I, also, have shot LF for many years so, perhaps, I'm just used to "odd" views. :wink:
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Yes... got used to them very fast. I’d say within the first roll of film. But I must admit that it may not be like riding a bicycle... if I don’t use one for a long time I feel like I’m starting all over again.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... and to answer your second question: yes, when transitioning from countries that drive-right vs drive-left.
     
  7. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

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    No, sold all TLRs, even one with prism finder :smile:
    Here is nothing wrong with it, I have seen by myself people who can't use RF.
    One was not able even to look at it and another was never able to focus it.
     
  8. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    When using a WLF I'm composing static subjects, so the LR image reversal doesn't matter to me. It may actually help, because I'm inclined to be more careful.
     
  9. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    When I got my Mamiya RB67 30 years ago, I thought I was going nuts with the WLF. So I bought an eye level viewfinder and saved my sanity. I still will use a WLF if I'm shooting closeup and low down like a flower.
     
  10. saman13

    saman13 Subscriber

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    Someone told me this when I bought my first TLR and it helped me start to use the WLF more intuitively: move the camera in the direction you want your subject to go in the frame.

    So, if you’re focused on something in the middle of the frame and decide you want it on the left side of the frame, move the camera to the left. The subject will move that way too! It helped me until I got more used to it.
     
  11. Dennis-B

    Dennis-B Subscriber

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    I used them for years when I owned TLR's, and my first RB67. However, as some have mentioned, trying to catch action was a testament to futility. I kept the Mamiya TLR's and converted them and the RB67 to prism finders. I bought a Hasselblad in the mid-90's, and it came with the WL and Prism finders, I don't think I ever used the WL.

    Fast forward to current day, and I've again accumulated MF SLR's and another Mamiya C330s. All have prism finders. The only thing I really have to work on, is the 6x6 format of my C330s, another Hasselblad, and a just-acquired Bronica SQ-A. After editing a lot of digital images, I found out that thinking in square format was far easier than in my pig-headed rectangular format past! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  12. OP
    OP
    abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    Thats an interesting way to internalize it. I was doing pretty good until yesterday. I was going for a walk, and came across someone walking their pet goat. I tried to take a picture of the goat, and I couldn't even begin to keep the goat in frame.

    I usually shoot static subjects, and with that the only issue I have had was with leveling the horizon. I've shot, maybe a half dozen rolls with the WLF, and I was just curious if its always a conscious effort, or if it starts becoming natural.
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    I use the sports finder on my Yachica 124 and d.
     
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  15. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    you do, yes.
    unless you don't.
     
  16. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Entered in error
     
  17. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Get used to them? I actually prefer them, especially when used on a twin lens reflex!
     
  18. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Subscriber

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    The only occasional difficulty I have with them is in focussing while holding the camera by hand. Otherwise they are straight-forward enough.
     
  19. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

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    This !
    Though I have prisms for my Rolleiflex 3,5F as for the Broni ETRSi, I prefer using the WLF (except for some special treatments).
     
  20. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    I'd still rather shoot myself.
     
  21. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Yes I got used to it quickly. Do I like it? Hmmm....yes and no. I find it unsuitable for close-up portraits as you end up shooting up people's noses, unless you are standing on higher ground (or they are sitting down). However I find how much I like them a function of the camera involved. I never really got on with the WLF on the Bronica or Hasselblad, the RB67 though was much nicer and while I can't say I particularly liked using the WLF on the Mamiya TLR I find the Rollei works very well. I think it is mostly down to how well you can handle the camera with one.

    Saying that, can't beat a WLF when I'm sitting down and photographing the kids.
     
  22. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I just love the focusing experience with the RB's WLF (dual action with magnifier). It's huge and bright and really easy for me. Framing can take a minute - I feel like my brain "flips over" and then there's less thought. But it can be a pain to try to level a low-angle shot and keep the framing I want sometimes.

    I have the model-2 prism, it's pretty and makes the camera look extra-cool - but it seems like 2 stops darker to me. If I'm shooting people in the studio with the prism and strobes, I'll throw a 300 watt fresnel up as a focusing light, makes a big difference. I do lots of digital video and have gotten spoiled by the focus-peaking in electronic finders and panels. Push a button and get a zoomed in view, and watch eyelashes and pores turn into bright red spots - it's awesome.
     
  23. saman13

    saman13 Subscriber

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    Kids, and pets. I’ve gotten the best pictures of my dog using a WLF.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes and no. With all my TLRs over the years I've been fine using their WLFers, never wanted a prism. But with my Mamiya 645s I've switched to a prism when using a camera with a WLF, 2 cameras and just one prism.

    Probably psychological to do with the size of the GG screen with a WLF, but then I didn't like the RB67 cameras with a WLF. How strange that I've always loved the 6x6 cameras with a WLF and have a few I use now, and more importantly get great exhibition prints from them

    Ian
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    You can get used to a WLF no doubt, however you can get used to lots of things that aren't exactly enjoyable. I didn't really enjoy using my Rolleiflex WLF for several years, then I got a prism. Now my favorite camera and I don't find myself flopping negatives in printing nearly as much.
     
  26. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    When I was working with a Rolleiflex daily, I got used to it, though I did use the sports finder quite a lot.

    If you can frame a shot holding the camera over your head, you've arrived.
     
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