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02-04-2021, 10:19 AM   #1
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Anyone views on GV-2 viewfinder?

I sometimes struggle with LCDs in bright light and I don't particular like the composing at arms length - preferring a viewfinder. So the GV-2 should be a obvious choice, albeit an ridiculously expensive one. However, as I thought about its potential usage, I began to question is actual usefulness. On fully auto mode, composing through this optical viewfinder would be nice, but I don't use auto modes - being a manual/AV type of person, particularly attached to point focussing. This suggests that without any feedback in the viewfinder, I'd struggle, especially achieving focus. Yes, I could adapt, I suppose, but that's not really the point. Are users finding this optical viewfinder helpful, very rarely, occasionally, frequently ... I think you get the question?

Any actual in-use feedback welcome.

Many thanks

02-04-2021, 11:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I had the gv1 and sold it. Even though in theory i would have preferred a viewfinder, since i like using one on my other cameras, with the gr it wasn't so. One thing to consider is that it doesn't have a rubber cup, I'm wearing eyeglasses and it's annoying to have a metal/plastic viewfinder scrape against them. Maybe also due to eye relief, because on other cameras it hasn't been an issue.
02-04-2021, 12:20 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
I had the gv1 and sold it. Even though in theory i would have preferred a viewfinder, since i like using one on my other cameras, with the gr it wasn't so. One thing to consider is that it doesn't have a rubber cup, I'm wearing eyeglasses and it's annoying to have a metal/plastic viewfinder scrape against them. Maybe also due to eye relief, because on other cameras it hasn't been an issue.
Good point. I guess another glasses one is that I use weak reading glasses, so it is helpful to have a dioptre adjustment, which the GV-1 doesn't have. Fine if in auto mode, but not otherwise.
02-04-2021, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I sometimes struggle with LCDs in bright light and I don't particular like the composing at arms length - preferring a viewfinder. So the GV-2 should be a obvious choice, albeit an ridiculously expensive one. However, as I thought about its potential usage, I began to question is actual usefulness. On fully auto mode, composing through this optical viewfinder would be nice, but I don't use auto modes - being a manual/AV type of person, particularly attached to point focussing. This suggests that without any feedback in the viewfinder, I'd struggle, especially achieving focus. Yes, I could adapt, I suppose, but that's not really the point. Are users finding this optical viewfinder helpful, very rarely, occasionally, frequently ... I think you get the question?

Any actual in-use feedback welcome.

Many thanks
I have the GV-1 and use it on and off. The green focus confirmation led is "visible" when looking through the viewfinder. I use spot focus and recompose (in addition to snap etc). I have no issues focussing with the viewfinder. I quite like the experience of looking through a dumb piece of glass and having only focus confirmation as additional guidance. It makes the camera wonderfully basic.

The GV-1 is a very nice viewfinder, only issues are size and a fair bit of barrel distortion. The GV-2 is smaller but lack the wide field of view.

Depending of how I feel i use the GR with or without the viewfinder. In some ways the camera is better without a viewfinder. The 28mm equiv lens favours close ups and unusual angles and so does lcd shooting! Don't underestimate how lcd shooting frees you up with such a small camera. The viewfinder locks you down to normal viewpoints and sensible distance from your subject which can be an asset or a disadvantage. My feeling is that I get more keepers with the lcd but enjoy the viewfinder.

02-04-2021, 08:16 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I have the GV-2 and find it very useful. I grew up with film cameras like the Minox 35 GS and the Rollei 35, so I'm used to the parallax the viewfinder can produce. Composition with the viewfinder is easy unless you get closer to your subject. The way to do it, is to choose the focus point in the middle of the frame. When you are looking through the viewfinder, you can see the camera's focus confirmation light out of the corner of your eye. So you know the camera acquired focus.
The viewfinder also helps to preserve power as you can turn off the screen while shooting. That can be important because of the battery life on the GR3.
The GV-2 is nice and bright to look through and is great in bright sunlight.
The size of the GV-2 is great and a good fit for the camera.
I also use the GV-2 on a Sony RX1 (since it has a 35mm lens it works perfectly), so if you ever want to buy another camera you can use it with that one as well. You might not think about it now, but it might be handy.

Negatives:
- Although the GV-2 is supposed to be 28mm equivalent field of view, the bright lines are almost exactly the equivalent of 35mm. You will always get more in the photo compared to what the look through the viewfinder suggests. Not as big of a deal now as it was in the film days. If you shoot in 35mm crop mode, it's a great fit. This is the case for most optical viewfinders unfortunately.
- The GV-2 is older in design and its frame lines are designed for a 4:3 aspect ratio. So you have to adjust there a bit as well.
- It's not indented for critical framing.

I love to use the viewfinder despite its shortcomings. It's expensive, but good quality. I recommend it, but I also understand that you have to be a certain type of user to enjoy it. I don't wear glasses, so I can't comment on that.

Hope that helps.
02-05-2021, 12:27 AM - 1 Like   #6
dms
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I have not tried it but it appears to have a magnification of 0.5 which is good for 28mm optical finder.
-- I use them a lot with my Q and Kodak Retina (no rangefinder), and usually w/ zone focus.
-- And on my dslr's when photographing theatre productions, as it is fast, bright, and lets me see what is about to enter the frame.
-- For street shooting they are great, no problem in sunlight and always on, but if wider aperture you need to be able to judge distance if you don't have a rangefinder or its not a slr.
I have FF equivalent: 35mm, 40mm, and 50mm ones, and am currently looking for two others, so obviously I like them a lot.

About glasses, I don't know as have not used that one, but I wear glasses and depending on the eye relief I may not wear them. I found w/ the 35mm and 40mm finder glasses were OK, and w/ my 50mm I take my glasses of. Actually since you are not focussing w/o glasses and blurry is not bad--helps in some ways.

But you likely can look for Voigtlander 28mm (look at Camerquest) to see what the spec's are and wait till you see a good price. Used I have gotten them for less that $100, new they are about $200.

BTW vis-a-vis reading glasses, you are looking at infinity basically so you may not wear the glasses.

Last edited by dms; 02-05-2021 at 12:43 AM.
02-05-2021, 09:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for some useful input, especially the green light/peripheral vision note.

DMS, fair point about infinity focus.

As House says, using the LCD frees up user and who therefore ends up shooting in a different style, I get this. Maybe this is the key point against the viewfinder. Maybe I've too often been in the mindset the GR is a mini-dslr and used it accordingly, ie careful framing and doing all the things I do with a large camera, especially when it's on a tripod. Probably, a viewfinder would inhibit this more 'freehanding' style. I know I need to experiment more...

02-05-2021, 12:54 PM - 1 Like   #8
gbl
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How about something like that to see if you like it? It doesn't break the bank and if you like it you can upgrade to the GV-2.

Professional Optical Viewfinder 28mm OTW28 for Ricoh GR GR? GRD2 GRD3 GRD4 | eBay
02-05-2021, 03:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbl Quote
How about something like that to see if you like it? It doesn't break the bank and if you like it you can upgrade to the GV-2.

Professional Optical Viewfinder 28mm OTW28 for Ricoh GR GR? GRD2 GRD3 GRD4 | eBay
Certainly worth considering. Thanks.
02-12-2021, 01:46 PM   #10
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I had it recently, got rid of it. For my use, the magnification is so darn small that it's hard to compose anything through it, and the eye relief wasn't ideal for glasses. Not impossible to see framelines, but very difficult. I think the GV-1 might be a better option for visibility, though it's much larger.
04-01-2021, 08:53 AM   #11
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You can also try the clearviewer dot com magnifying glass. Itís basically a very low quality evf but it works surprisingly well.


07-01-2021, 02:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbl Quote
How about something like that to see if you like it? It doesn't break the bank and if you like it you can upgrade to the GV-2.

Professional Optical Viewfinder 28mm OTW28 for Ricoh GR GR? GRD2 GRD3 GRD4 | eBay
You get what you pay for
I bought one to gain more intimacy with the GRIII
Shooting with LCD simply gives me the same feeling of using a phone, I don't see/feel the scene, eventually you shoot more, but with fewer (none) keepers compared to a SLR

I am trying to use this little finder to gain more pre-visualization
I have to say it is a bit too plasticky, with huge barrel distortion at the edges (like watching through a glass of water)
No lines suggesting FOV and parallax correction
Most probably I should accept the GRIII for what it is: light portable camera slightly faster than a phone.

In a sense this little finder suggests me I won't be happier with a GV-2
07-01-2021, 03:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Norpa Quote
You get what you pay for
I bought one to gain more intimacy with the GRIII
Shooting with LCD simply gives me the same feeling of using a phone, I don't see/feel the scene, eventually you shoot more, but with fewer (none) keepers compared to a SLR

I am trying to use this little finder to gain more pre-visualization
I have to say it is a bit too plasticky, with huge barrel distortion at the edges (like watching through a glass of water)
No lines suggesting FOV and parallax correction
Most probably I should accept the GRIII for what it is: light portable camera slightly faster than a phone.

In a sense this little finder suggests me I won't be happier with a GV-2
The GV-2 is a great, bright viewfinder. By nature, it can't display things like an electronic viewfinder or a SLR can. It depends also a bit what you are used to as a photographer. If you ever used uncoupled viewfinders from cameras from the 50s, 60s and 70s you will like the GV-2.
By the sounds of it, a GR3 is not really the camera for you in the first place and you might be a lot happier with one of the Fuji X100 Series.
07-01-2021, 03:32 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I decided to go with the GRiii in its pure form using the LCD rather than the viewfinder. I'm glad I did.

As I think I said I was not overly happy with the original GR, but the GRiii is a big improvement in many areas. The shake reduction helps and I programmed the LCD brightness to be easily controlled. So I'm finding one handed use works well. This is probably a key difference to a phone camera. The little GR fits so nicely into the hand and is easily controlled one handedly. This changes the style of shooting from an SLR. Yes, I do use it in a more traditional manner sometimes and then the LCD screen is a little frustrating at times, but increasing the brightness works in all but extremely bright light. So in conclusion, I'm glad I did not buy the viewfinder.
07-01-2021, 03:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbl Quote
The GV-2 is a great, bright viewfinder. By nature, it can't display things like an electronic viewfinder or a SLR can. It depends also a bit what you are used to as a photographer. If you ever used uncoupled viewfinders from cameras from the 50s, 60s and 70s you will like the GV-2.
By the sounds of it, a GR3 is not really the camera for you in the first place and you might be a lot happier with one of the Fuji X100 Series.
Well I am happy with my Canon 5D since 2006, basically my first and only digital, I don't see myself happier with a Fuji, honestly.

I went for the GRIII on 2019 for the reasons I mentioned above: small, light, not pretending to be a rangefinder (Fuji).

As said, I should simply accept it for what it is, a P&S camera with plenty of automatism.

GV-1/GV-2 frankly they are too expensive, we can argue they are high quality and they will return what the promise (not as the plastiky ebay version), but the price stopped me.

Eventually I am glad the small experiment with the plastiky finder proved the investment for the GV-1/GV-2 was not going to solve my itch.
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