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Carterofmars
17-Jan-2013, 16:38
Are there any drawbacks to a reflex viewer? I'm sure they're not as good as peering at the glass with a loupe, or is my assumption incorrect? I'm considering one and wanted some opinions/insights/recommendations.

Thanks in advance.

Thomas Greutmann
18-Jan-2013, 06:17
I am a big reflex viewer fan, I would not want to go without anymore. I wear glasses and without a reflex viewer composing the image is a real pain for me. I do most of the composing and focusing (landscape and architecture) with the reflex viewer. Only for images where real fine focusing is required (e.g. tilt applied combined with shallow DOF) or for night shots with super wide angle lenses I will switch to GG/loupe.

Greetings, Thomas

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Ken Lee
18-Jan-2013, 07:22
I have one for my Sinar P, and note that the camera must be positioned lower, or the photographer must be positioned higher than normal. Otherwise, a delight to use. I almost never use a loupe anyhow, so don't miss it: there's enough magnification already. Perhaps loupes are more popular among shooters of short lenses, where it's hard to determine best focus.

Dan Fromm
18-Jan-2013, 07:55
You might want to consider a "straight through" monocular viewer. I have monocular reflex and straight through viewers for my little 2x3 Cambo, also use the straight through on my 2x3 Graphics -- the reflex can't be attached to them -- and in general prefer it. I sometimes point the camera straight down, in that position the reflex viewer is sometimes very hard to use. I have no experience with binocular reflex viewers.

Bob Salomon
18-Jan-2013, 10:54
Part of your answer will depend on what camera you have. In the case of a Linhof 45 or 23 Reflex Finder the eye piece is at a 45 angle and you can rotate the eypiec to be on top, the left, the right or the bottom of the back when the camera is set up. Some other camera companies do not allow this rotstion. In addition the eyepiec section on a Linhof 45 or 23 can be removed which lets the base act as a straight through viewing hood. Furthermore the Linhof housings are hinged to the bottom of the GG so by flipping a lever the entir assembly will swing down if you want to get a loupe onto the GG.

All reflex viewers for view cameras are mirrors, not prisms. First you must make sure that they are front surface mirrors, otherwise you probably will have a focus shift equal to the thickness of the mirror.
Next, since they are mirrors the image is right side up but reversed left to right. Lastly if the reflex system allows you to see the entire GG then you really do not have enough magnification for critical focusing as that optical system in the reflex will only be, at most, about 2x magnification. For critical work 4x or above is generally preferred.
So many pros used to consider the Reflex finder an Art Director's aid as it let them pre-visuallize the shot right side up when they could not easliy adjust to the upside down image on the Gg itself.
To use a reflex hood you will need a Fresnel screen to eliminate any hot spot and to assure even illumination across the entire gg area and to eliminate black outs when you do movements or when your eye is not centered through the center of the lens.

Carterofmars
18-Jan-2013, 16:59
I have the Chamonix 045N-2. I use a Nikon W 210mm 1:5.6.

Peter De Smidt
18-Jan-2013, 17:40
I used a Sinar reflex viewer with a Sinar P for years. I loved it. Later I tried using the Sinar binocular reflex viewer with a Sinar A and a Sinar F. In both cases the weight of the viewer caused the rear standards to bend a bit. For the last couple of years, my main camera has been a toyo field camera. I have a reflex binocular viewer for it. I never use it. The viewer is way too bulky to be worth the gains for field use. I also have a monocular viewer, but I prefer to simply use the ground glass. I have a Maxwell screen, and in many situation I don't need a darkcloth.

So...as Bob says, it really depends on your camera, the viewer, and what you want to do with it. If you shop wisely, you could sell the viewer for little or no loss. As such, I recommend that you try one and see if it works for you.

Armin Seeholzer
20-Jan-2013, 09:04
I have the Horseman Bino for my Sinar F&P and it is not so bulky and can get pushed together for transportation. But most of the time I use it in my small studio!

Cheers Armin

Bernice Loui
20-Jan-2013, 11:15
My opinion.. I don't like them.

Recently got an Arca Swiss 6x9 system that included a reflex viewer. Tried it a few times and gave up on it. I simply could not see the GG image properly using the reflex viewer regardless of what the focal length of the lens used. Proper focus and checking of the image post camera movements was not possible for me using the reflex viewer. This required the old fashioned method of using a magnifier on the GG without the reflex viewer.

Years ago, my first Sinar 4x5 system included a reflex viewer which was used for a while until the process of learning how to see/interpret/understand the upside down/backwards image on the GG became more comfortable and "normal".

One of the basic skills of using a view camera is learning how to see/interpret/understand the upside down/backwards image on the ground glass. IMO, reflex viewers can be an obstacle more than an aid in that process. Another one is learning how to use a magnifier on the ground glass which includes tilting the magnifier to check focus at the edges of the GG when using a wide angle lens.


Bernice



Are there any drawbacks to a reflex viewer? I'm sure they're not as good as peering at the glass with a loupe, or is my assumption incorrect? I'm considering one and wanted some opinions/insights/recommendations.

Thanks in advance.