What are good 35mm/28mm viewfinders for soviet rangefinder cameras?

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cayenne

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Hello all!

Ok, I have a Zorki 4 and a Zorki 1 camera....

I recently acquired what appears to be very nice Jupiter 12 35mm lens I want to use on them.

Can someone recommend a good quality 35mm view finder I can hang on the cold shoe on these cameras when I want to use this lens? Something that has frame lines, good quality glass, etc.

I have seen for sale some multi-focal length viewfinders and a good quality one might work as that I have a nice 28mm lens I would like to some possibly too, but from the look at these multi-viewfinders they appear to be bulky and maybe not the best quality out there.

Anyway, right now, just looking for the 35mm one.....I'm guessing if you know a good make of 35mm, they likely make a good quality 28mm one too.

Thank you in advance!!

cayenne
 

E. von Hoegh

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The Soviet finder for that lens (forget the designation, it's an ugly plasticky thing) is actually pretty good. A good J12 is pretty nice. Just watch for sun in or just outside the frame, those things can flare impressively. Keep that in mind and they're very nice.
 

Donald Qualls

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I bought a Leitz 35-135 viewfinder for my Kiev 2 and Kiev 4 bodies -- it covers my Jupiter 12 as well as the Jupiter 9 without guesswork. Despite the prestige name, it wasn't terribly expensive ($60 or so, IIRC) -- and in addition to quick/easy "zoom" selection of focal length, it includes a parallax correcting wedge (which apparently assumes the viewfinder is directly above the lens, but that's close to true on a Kiev/Contax rangefinder body -- can't say for a Zorki).
 

Sirius Glass

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Any of an number of inexpensive 28mm and 35mm viewfinders made in China.
 

cramej

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The Kodak 35/80 finder is a good, (still) cheap finder. 35mm view is native and 80mm is a flip down mask inside the finder. Easy to find on the auction site.
 

henryvk

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The Yashica/Petri "Tele-Wide Finder" is ubiquitous and cheap. It's approximately 35/75 mm iirc (opinions seem to differ so frame more loosely...) but maybe give it a miss if you wear glasses since the 35 mm frame lines can be hard to see.

PS: Almost forgot. You can find an *excellent* ~35 mm VF with tons of eye-relief inside cameras like the Canon Prima series. I hacked one into the housing of a cheap China-made VF: https://www.photrio.com/forum/threa...ese-made-axillary-finders.186386/post-2463555
 
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eli griggs

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The FSU multi lens turret viewfinder is very good, when cleaned of any dust bunnies, and despite being a bit larger than the above.
 

guangong

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On my ltm cameras I prefer the Voigtlander 35/28 finder sold by Camera Quest. While bright, due to its very small size does not really change a cameras profile. Opposite in size is the Russian finder. Other finders are in between regarding size.
If you are considering adding other lenses, you might consider a multi finder,although they are much larger. Such finders were made by Leitz, Zeiss, Nikon, etc as well as by independent finder makers. However, if out with a single lens I prefer a dedicated finder because of smaller size.
 
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cayenne

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Thank you everyone!!

I'm searching and exploring the possibilities now!!

That voigtlander 35/28 sounds promising and I've ordered lenses from Camera Quest before and Like them....

But looking at all the great suggestions made here...thank you all!!

C
 

abruzzi

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The FSU multi lens turret viewfinder is very good, when cleaned of any dust bunnies, and despite being a bit larger than the above.

Agreed, it’s actually really nice and covers most of the lenses for the Kiev, but it is bulky.
 
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cayenne

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On my ltm cameras I prefer the Voigtlander 35/28 finder sold by Camera Quest. While bright, due to its very small size does not really change a cameras profile. Opposite in size is the Russian finder. Other finders are in between regarding size.
If you are considering adding other lenses, you might consider a multi finder,although they are much larger. Such finders were made by Leitz, Zeiss, Nikon, etc as well as by independent finder makers. However, if out with a single lens I prefer a dedicated finder because of smaller size.

Hmm.

Well, I contacted Steve Grande at Camera Quest...he said that one was discontinued about 10yrs ago and is rare...if he had one, would be about $800.

SOO.......looking at the alternate suggestions on the thread here...

I'd prefer not to be bulky....and keeping with the small zorki cameras, especially the Zorki 1.

cayenne
 

GregY

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This Voigtlander is very nice....maybe more than you want to spend....but is metal w a metal shoe. (I have a black one).
.
Currently you can find the 28/35 for $650 on ebay.....but as cool as it is...it's squinty to use being so small. & it's super easy to lose the little rubber insert & (irreplaceable...ask me how i know) then your glasses get scratched....
 

M-88

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The FSU multi lens turret viewfinder is very good, when cleaned of any dust bunnies, and despite being a bit larger than the above.

Ditto. It's got 28, 35, 50, 85 and 135 mm viewfinders and it's a copy of Zeiss "436/70" turret finder (as with many other Soviet photographic things), so quality is adequate as well.
 

henryvk

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Hmm.

Well, I contacted Steve Grande at Camera Quest...he said that one was discontinued about 10yrs ago and is rare...if he had one, would be about $800.

SOO.......looking at the alternate suggestions on the thread here...

I'd prefer not to be bulky....and keeping with the small zorki cameras, especially the Zorki 1.

cayenne

Voigtländer, Zeiss and Leitz finders are expensive.

Affordable options include:
  • Yashica/Petri Tele-Wide
  • Kodak Retina 35mm/80mm
  • KMZ Universal turret
There's probably a couple more oddballs out there. I had a 35-50-90 mm finder for the East-German Altissa Altix rangefinder camera. There's a tele-wide finder for the Argus C3 but it looks bulky and must be somewhat rare.

Because it hasn't been mentioned here: Those Chinese finders on Amazon etc. are not great. At least the one I got was very poorly made, worse than on a disposable camera from the drugstore. But you can easily reuse the housing and put a finder in there that is actually good, like from a Canon 35 mm point-and-shoot.
 

guangong

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I have a Nikon multi finder of a telescopic design that sits about as high as most 35 finders.
Not one who wears spectacles, I never noticed that the 35/28 had a ring to avoid scratching lenses. Nor that finder is squinty. Perhaps squinty if unable to get eye close up to finder.
 

Donald Qualls

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Voigtländer, Zeiss and Leitz finders are expensive.

Not always. As I noted above, my Leitz "zoom" finder (covers 35 to 135, including parallax correction) was around $60-$65. The eyepiece is small and the view isn't overly bright, but it does work and doesn't need me to buy additional ones for multiple lenses.

Now, if I get a wider lens for Contax RF mount, I'll be guessing again on the frame edges, but for the lenses I have at present (J-8, J-3, J-12, and J-9), this works fine.
 

henryvk

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Not always. As I noted above, my Leitz "zoom" finder (covers 35 to 135, including parallax correction) was around $60-$65. The eyepiece is small and the view isn't overly bright, but it does work and doesn't need me to buy additional ones for multiple lenses.

Now, if I get a wider lens for Contax RF mount, I'll be guessing again on the frame edges, but for the lenses I have at present (J-8, J-3, J-12, and J-9), this works fine.

That's right, the VIOOH is another one. I guess I'm prejudiced against these large acessory finders because I like my camera to have a smaller profile.

LEI0260_197_Leica_IIIa_-_Sn._206617_1936-M39_Front_view_-_Zusatzsucher_VIOOH_Lyre_Skape-Bearbeitet.jpg
 

Donald Qualls

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the VIOOH is another one.

That may be the one I have. I don't recall the Leitz model, but it looks much like that.

I take if off when I have a 50 mm mounted; I really only need it for the 35 mm J-12, since the 135 mm J-9 FOV is just a bit bigger than the RF patch in the built-in viewfinder.
 

henryvk

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I really only need it for the 35 mm J-12, since the 135 mm J-9 FOV is just a bit bigger than the RF patch in the built-in viewfinder.

Fair enough, you do get to know your camera and it's idiosyncrasies. For rangefinder cameras with 50 mm framelines the edges of the VOF may well enough correspond to 35 mm.
 

GregY

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I have a Nikon multi finder of a telescopic design that sits about as high as most 35 finders.
Not one who wears spectacles, I never noticed that the 35/28 had a ring to avoid scratching lenses. Nor that finder is squinty. Perhaps squinty if unable to get eye close up to finder.

When I use the finders I'm often shooting from the hip. The bigger finders, like the Leitz SBLOO make it very easy to raise the camera to your eye .....there's a larger eyepiece, so you don't have to centre it quite as precisely. I had several of the 28/35 finders when i had a 1934 Leica lll.....they suited the small camera and looked just right. I suppose my comments about the 28/35 would apply equally to the Barnack eyepieces (other than the lllG). In any case I really like the Leitz finders and equally the metal Voigtlander (separate) 28mm and 35mm finders and prefer them to the tiny one. The rubber ring on the 28/35 is barely visible and is in fact inset into the eyepiece with just a tiny edge showing.
 

guangong

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I must admit that I frequently mount the small 50mm finder on my ltm Leicas. Nice bright view, even though the finder and rangefinders of my ltm cameras are bright and clear.
 

guangong

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Basically, the problem lies in the fact that there are so many choices.
 

eli griggs

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I have a Leica Sports Finder, no optics, but it worked fine on the IIIc I had at the time.

Perhaps you can find such a folding sports finder made for your camera and the Jupiter 12, there's nothing squinty about open frames.
 
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