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02-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #1
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ME Super viewfinder vs. LX vs. Nikon F3HP

I like the viewfinder on my ME Super, however, I wear glasses and they can get a little aggravating when using the camera. I read that a Nikon F3HP has a viewfinder that allows the user some eye relief to accomodate eyeglass wearers. I also read, during my research, that the Pentax LX has as nice a viewfinder (at least in one person's opinion) as the Nikon F3HP, but I saw no mention of it having any eye relief feature. I handled a Canon F1 with some sort of special viewfinder, I think called their "Speedview" finder (the owner called it a "sportsview finder", that had a very wide view as well as a lot of eye relief, but that camera is totally mechanical and I need at least an automatic Av priority capability to offset my meager talents.


I have no plans to get rid of my ME Super (or my K10D), which I bought new many years ago, but I would like to hear about alternative film cameras that might be a little more user friendly to eyeglass wearers.

I would appreciate any input or direct experience about the Nikon F3HP or the Pentax LX regarding their viewfinders' compatibility with eyeglasses.

Thanks.

02-06-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
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The Pentax LX offers several unique viewfinder options.
Check out the FB-1/FC-1 combination and the FF-1 waist level finder:

Link: B. Dimitrov K-mount pages Pentax LX interchangeable viewfinders

Chris
02-06-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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Chris,

thanks for the link and I have read most of that very valuable information. From what I see of the FB/FC-1 "Action Eyepiece" under interchangable viewfinders for the LX, which gives an eyepoint measurement of 60mm, I interpret that as having a fair amount of eye relief when compared to the other viewfinders. Am I correct in my analysis of that information?

If that is the case, then I would think that an LX with that viewfinder would be easier for an eyeglass wearer to use compared to my ME Super, which has virtually no eye relief. Logic would also lead me to believe that an LX so equipped would offer an eyeglass wearer similar benefits as Nikon was touting with their F3HP HIgh Eyepoint feature. What say you?

Thanks!
02-06-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
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Have you considered the diopter adapters for your camera? Pentax made a pretty wide range and they are not too hard to find at a reasonable price (<$20). It is a bit of a pain (off with the glasses, on with the glasses), but would be cheaper than an LX + finder.


Steve

02-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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Steve,

That is an alternative. I haven't really investigated that avenue fully but will do so. Removing my glasses is a real pain because they are extremely lightweight with very light, flexible temples. This makes them hard to fold up and store anywhere and constantly removing them is not something I really look forward to doiing. Maybe a different screen in my ME Super would help cure the problem, as you suggest. Looking at the price of used LX cameras is a little off-putting, and the Nikon F3HP' s are even worse! Thanks!
02-06-2011, 02:00 PM   #6
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I need eye correction myself -- I can relate to the nightmares of photography with glasses! Have you considered getting contact lenses? I generally prefer eyeglasses myself, but I put the lenses on when I go shooting.

Last edited by asaru; 02-06-2011 at 02:29 PM.
02-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NRV Shooter Quote
Removing my glasses is a real pain because they are extremely lightweight with very light, flexible temples.
Silhouette frames? If so, I have the same problems! You can't exactly just slip them into a pocket!


Steve
02-06-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Silhouette frames!!...thanks, coundn't think of it...

02-06-2011, 03:37 PM   #9
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I have the LX FA-1W viewfinder which has an extended range of dioptre adjustment and the FB/FC action viewfinder which allows one to keep your eye away from the actual glass and is thus very good for people wearing glasses. The ordinary FA-1 finder does allow adjustment to -2 dioptres. The FF-1 finder, which is like a mini version of using a TLR finder, looks cute but is generally pretty unusable as the screen is so small compared to a TLR. Although I love my ME Supers (and my MX, LX and quite a smattering of other Pentax SLRs), the LX is still, in my opinion, the best of them all and the one I trust the most for critical work.

BTW, if anyone has the FA-2 or the FD-2 viewfinders for a reasonable price, please let me know!

Thanks, Kris.
02-06-2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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The Pentax LX FB1/FC1 viewfinder can be viewed comfortably from several inches.
In addition the FC1 rotates, so it allows you to view above, below or at eye level.

The LX is very highly regarded and the topic of numerous threads in Pentaxforums.
This website has much useful information: Link: mir.com Pentax LX pages

A clean used F3HP body will cost you less than a good working LX with FB1/FC1,
but you will likely spend more replacing your current Pentax lenses with Nikkors.

As mentioned a cost-effective option would be to try a correction eyepiece "diopter".

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 02-06-2011 at 04:13 PM.
02-06-2011, 06:35 PM   #11
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Kris,

Thanks for the feedback. That tells me I can get the same benefit with an LX and the right viewfinder as with an F3HP.

Chris, thanks for the link, it will provide me with more than I will ever be able to understand about an LX!

I have an M50mm 1:1.4 and an M28mm that I use with the ME Super, along with several Adaptall-2 lenses; of course they all work fine with my K10D. I don't relish the idea of starting over with a whole new wardrobe of lenses!

Both a used F3HP and a used LX are quite expensive, as I have discovered. I'll look into changing something on the ME Super first and see if I can make it work to suit me. But it nice to know that Pentax offered something like the F3HP after all.

Thanks so much for the information and suggestions!

S.
02-07-2011, 08:19 AM   #12
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Hi S, I was able to 'trade' the use of some adaptall len's that I have,with a friend
who shoots F3(HP)'s and other nikon bodies last summer,for the use of one of his F3hp's.
Wonderful thing about those adaptalls is dont have to throw them away should you switch.
Believe HP prefix is "high eyepoint" as you mention,lets you hold off of
viewfinder a little.In my case was maybe an inch(23mm) or so.Its handy for
2 eyed shooting,telephoto's and macro in particular.Have had an LX for awhile and recently
added action finder/eyepiece(whatever prefix,think I listed FC1 as FG1,didnt have my glasses on,oops!)
You state 60mm as hold off,Ive had no problem at 4,5 inches(100-125mm).In addition allows for 2 eyed shooting
where conditions dicate.Friend gave me a canon long eyerelief viewfinder adapter,which after I carved up considerably
was able to fit on various pentax bodies including ME super.Only analog I can offer is looking thru a magnifying lens
held at arms length.Would of never bought to do that.
All being said,F3 series is fine offering,but I think LX does outperform it,except when it comes to overall numbers sold.

Been able to fit pentax OM-53 magnifying eyepiece on my ME super with no modification required,does a nice job,
I get to keep my glasses on.One other thought is if you could find a newer body such as ZX-L,
has integral diopter adjustment and works great with OM53. Picked up 2 recently for combined price of under $100.
Can shoot in same manner as ME super,gives me a chance to give "the old geezer" a breather.
02-07-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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Thanks Bill! I might try the OM-53 magnifying eyepiece.
02-07-2011, 09:09 PM   #14
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Had to get my ME spr. out just thinkin about it Steve,Worlds not "right" without it.
OM-53 fits on ME spr. pretty good,pick em up for like $25 if ya google it.
Can use it on your K10D also,fits even better than on ME
Dig that ME's crazy data back!

Bill
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02-08-2011, 08:15 AM   #15
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Bill,

That OM-53 looks like it will help the situation a lot. I shot some yesterday with the Super and it is really not as bad as I thought, especially after researching current prices on used LX's and F3HP's! Your data back looks like mine, except I usually forget to put anything in there.

I'll find an LX and an F3HP to handle sometime, and see if they would really make a $300-400 difference; given the extent of my film photography career, I seriously doubt it.

Now off to find an OM-53. Thanks so much for the feedback!

S.

Last edited by NRV Shooter; 02-08-2011 at 08:18 AM. Reason: misspelling!
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