View Full Version : Chinese folding reflex viewers

29-Dec-2011, 13:58
Before throwing 250 out of the window: has anyone here tried one of these chinese "Folding Monocular Magnifying Reflex Viewer" from ebay?

Thomas Greutmann
29-Dec-2011, 15:29
I got one of these for my Linhof Technika not too long ago. My first impressions are:
- mechanical quality seems to be quite good and it looks quite robust, made of solid materials.
- it folds quickly and is very compact when folded - that was the main reason I gave it a shot, I was tired of assembling/disassembling the original Linhof reflex viewer when setting up the camera, and storing the original reflex viewer takes up space in a backpack. The folding viewer is compact and fast.
- optical quality is ok, it works well for image composition and for focusing. Some light falls in around the edges, though, the optical quality of the original Linhof reflex viewer is better overall.

Overall rating: for me it was money well spent.


29-Dec-2011, 15:47
thank you thomas! i`ll give it a try.

Ken Lee
29-Dec-2011, 18:15
Does it reverse the image ? Does it magnify the image ?

Thomas Greutmann
30-Dec-2011, 01:21
It magnifies the image slightly, which is good enough for focusing in most cases. For detailed focusing you will still have to use a loupe.

The image is reversed if the rotating back is set to horizontal. When you rotate the back to vertical the viewer rotates as well and the image is upside down, like on the groundglass.

30-Dec-2011, 14:15
Simply a personal opinion:

I've used several incarnations of monocular/binocular viewing devices and found that they are really only good for two things:

1) working with people where using a dark cloth and/or a loupe can sometimes break that personal connection you are having with your subject.

2) if you have trouble composing off the ground glass because things are upside down and backwards.

Otherwise I find them to be not that effective and often more cumbersome. Esp the monocular versions where you are looking through a peephole and where it's sometimes hard to see the corners.

For me, focusing with a loupe off the ground glass is more efficient overall. General framing works fine with just a regular folding hood type back (that normally comes on the metal field cameras.)

There is a back available for the Wista that has a sliding metal grid system which holds a moveable loupe (if you find it annoying to hold a loupe in the hand while focusing and/or making adjustments.) I personally found it to be more effective than a binocular or monocular viewer.