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04-30-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
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Waist Level Viewfinders

Pentax can steal the thunder from the likes of the Canikons by introducing waist level viewfinders along with the standard eye level ones in their DSLRs. As a manufacturing engineer I should think that this will not be too difficult. As a boy of 10, I used to own a British Ensign Full View Flex Camera. I could remove the waist level finder with just (4) screws. And this all metal camera costed peanuts.
I should think our Pros should be the one clamoring for this feature. Why not?
Regards.
Nanhi - from that far away enchanting land.

04-30-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Waist Level Viewfinders
Aye, I had them before on my LX.

My last FF Pentax.
04-30-2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Pentax can steal the thunder from the likes of the Canikons by introducing waist level viewfinders along with the standard eye level ones in their DSLRs. As a manufacturing engineer I should think that this will not be too difficult. As a boy of 10, I used to own a British Ensign Full View Flex Camera. I could remove the waist level finder with just (4) screws. And this all metal camera costed peanuts.
I should think our Pros should be the one clamoring for this feature. Why not?
Regards.
Nanhi - from that far away enchanting land.
You mean articulating LCD's? It's about time that Pentax put one on a DSLR...

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04-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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No not articulating LCD screens Adam, though these would be welcome on all future DSLRs. A true removable waist level finder like the one pictured below. You can remove it & replace with the standard pentaprism viewfinder.
A waist level finder - emphasis waist - changes the perspective of your photo - like the TLRs of yore. I swear the photos looked better from the waist level finders on these cameras.
Regards.
Nanhi.

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04-30-2013, 10:52 AM   #5
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It would be possible, but afford a complete re-design of the body.

Including a new kind of AF system (actually removing the prism means removing the AF sensors).
Including a new kind of metering, may be from sensor reflections, with pre-shot metering probably with a sensor in the bottom, splitting some light from the mirror path.
No onboard flash anymore.
A lot of the internal cabling would have to move from the top to the bottom plate.
Way more difficult to get WR (keep in mind that CLA with the LX costs about twice as much as for MX - there is a reason for that).

I think it would mean to develop a new kind of body from scratch - and a rather complicated one.

But as I used Exa/Exacta SLRs back in the seventies, one of them with interchangable viewfinder systems, I appreciate the possibility of waist level VFs.
But you would probably have to decide which one to use for each trip.
I would not like to risk getting too much dust inside when changing the systems on the road.

EDIT
Thinking about it again: I guess the body would cost more than the FF bodies of Canikon, at least three times of the K-5 price.
And, considering the small share of the market compared with development cost, it could well be even more expensive.

Last edited by RKKS08; 04-30-2013 at 11:03 AM.
04-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
It would be possible, but afford a complete re-design of the body.
As mentioned, the Penta (prism/mirror) includes both metering and auto-focus on current bodies. Plus an LED readout, plus a hot shoe, plus a flash needed if nothing else for communicating with current Pentax flashes. That is a lot of circuitry for which to find a new home. Maybe there would be room in a larger FF body to do this.

I side with Adam that the shorter-term and far less expensive solution is an articulating rear LCD display ....
04-30-2013, 11:50 AM   #7
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I own a Hasselblad 500cm MF film camera with a waist level viewfinder, it gives a different perspective and shooting style which is great. I would love to see one on a Pentax DSLR....maybe it's possible, maybe not. Retro is definitely in right now, maybe they offer an analog-esque camera.... a digital remake of Pentax 67 with manual focus and a waist level finder that reports an EV value that corresponds to the lens....similar to the Hass system. That would be pretty sweeeet.

In reality I would be very happy with a simple articulating LCD....I had and Olympus C8080 with one almost 10 years ago.....not sure why every DSLR doesn't have one.
04-30-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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I used my 6X7 almost always with the folding finder. It saved weight and allowed me to meter off the focusing screen using a fiber optic probe. Given today's tech, though, an articulated LCD makes more sense.

04-30-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
I used my 6X7 almost always with the folding finder. It saved weight and allowed me to meter off the focusing screen using a fiber optic probe. Given today's tech, though, an articulated LCD makes more sense.
Great minds......
04-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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Back in the day I had occasion to use my father's AsahiFlex IIb, the one with speeds 1/2 to 1/500. It had a waist level finder, plain ground glass and a flip out magnifer. It worked okay for leisurely shooting, but... poor light was no fun, it had a condensor glass but no fresnel. Frankly, the image was too small to use at "waist level," unless you were willing to bend waaaay over! Shooting verticals was really difficult, as the image was inverted!

I also used a Komaflex S SLR which had a waist level finder. Since the screen was about the same size as the 127 film it was pretty useable at waist level. The 120 Ricohflex was fine at waist level. All these cameras come into their own when shooting casual portraits, when you can focus, compose and then engage the subject face to face without that hunk-o-metal and glass obscuring your face, while still maybe maintaining your composition. And since these were square formats no problem with verticals.

For my LX I bought the magnifying finder which is good for ground level work, and later the REF converter which is even better. It fits on my K10 and K5. BTW it also fits my Olympus OM 10, which suggests that the Olly converter would fit Pentax.
04-30-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
No not articulating LCD screens Adam, though these would be welcome on all future DSLRs..
It sounds like an expensive experiment for a camera company. The articulating LCD is always there attached to the camera. No need to remember to bring an accessory along.
04-30-2013, 12:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
As mentioned, the Penta (prism/mirror) includes both metering and auto-focus on current bodies. Plus an LED readout, plus a hot shoe, plus a flash needed if nothing else for communicating with current Pentax flashes. That is a lot of circuitry for which to find a new home. Maybe there would be room in a larger FF body to do this.

I side with Adam that the shorter-term and far less expensive solution is an articulating rear LCD display ....
That's not true. the top includes the metering but not the AF module.

Check this link out. The lightmeter is somewhere by the prism but the AF module is the one down bellow the mirror. Light gets through the first mirror and reflected on the second one down to the lenses bellow.
Pentax K-5 - Falk Lumo's Photos
04-30-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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Not sure if that type of thing is possible, but I do know an articulating LCD is possible, and no doubt easier to implement. I'd like one of those.
04-30-2013, 01:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
That's not true. the top includes the metering but not the AF module.

Check this link out. The lightmeter is somewhere by the prism but the AF module is the one down bellow the mirror. Light gets through the first mirror and reflected on the second one down to the lenses bellow.
Pentax K-5 - Falk Lumo's Photos
Hmmmm... I wonder if something akin to the LX and other contemporary professional grade SLRs - the Olympus OM 4 and the Nikon F3 et al come to mind might be considered. They metered off the film during the exposure, so no viewfinder blind was needed; indeed the finder had no influence on exposure. Remember, the first Pentax DSLRs metered flash during exposure, just as does the LX, so why not non-flash exposure?
Such a system might enable metered exposures responsive to changing light measured in many, many minutes, even hours. Of course, sensor heating might be a problem, but........

Last edited by grhazelton; 04-30-2013 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Lost the last sentence.
04-30-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
but I do know an articulating LCD is possible
I own a camera with this feature (Canon G2) and can testify that the design is inherantly fragile, not to mention the additional weight and difficulty for adding water resistence.


Steve
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