One tip that instructors often pass onto the beginning photographers is to use their dominant eye (i.e. the eye they prefer seeing with) to look through the viewfinder. If you want to find out which of your eyes is the dominant one, here’s a quick test you can do: extend your arms straight out and form a small triangle with your hands. Looking through the triangle with both eyes open, frame something nearby (e.g. a doorknob) and place it in the center of the triangle. Then close your eyes one at a time without moving the triangle — your dominant eye is the one that placed the object in the center.
Interestingly enough, many people (myself included) choose to use their right eye for their viewfinder even though the left one is dominant — likely because it’s the way they started shooting from the beginning.
Here’s an interesting idea by Oregon-based engineering consultant Paul Anderson called The Daylight Viewfinder. The patent pending invention, which is in the process of raising $44,000 on Kickstarter, is a suction mountable, sun blocking viewfinder/app combo that allows you to take great pictures with your phone (currently iOS only) even in bright daylight. Read more…
Greek silkscreen printer Manolis Angelakis was recently tasked with designing a new set of business cards for close friend and photographer Alexandra Stamopoulou. Given her profession, he decided to create a stylish card that emulates the viewfinder of an old Zenit camera. The simple but effective design was silkscreened onto sheets of transparent vinyl. Read more…
While many photographers swear by optical viewfinders, it’s clear that much of the camera industry is shifting over to electronic — or hybrid — ones to offer high-tech features such as overlaid information displays. Thankfully, many of the old problems that existed with EVFs (e.g. low resolution) are starting to disappear. Case in point: French company MicroOLED has just announced a new microdisplay that packs 5.4 million dots into the highest pixel density viewfinder ever seen. To put that into perspective, the highly-reviewed viewfinder found in the latest Sony mirrorless cameras are only 2.4-million dots. MicroOLED is said to be targeting professional cameras with the display — as well as military and medical purposes.
Olympus has something big up its sleeve. In an interview with Impressjapan, manager Mr. Ogawa revealed that the company is working on a new mirrorless camera that features an “epoch-making” viewfinder — presumably one that’s even more advanced than the hybrid viewfinder found on the Fujifilm X100. The upcoming viewfinder sounds like it’ll also be some kind of fusion between electronic and optical. There’s not much that’s know about the technology at the moment, but we should be hearing more about it very soon.
Nikon is developing an X100-esque hybrid viewfinder for DSLR cameras. A recently published patent filing by the company describes and shows a DSLR with a viewfinder that can switch between optical and electronic modes. The purpose appears to be for providing the photographer with an optimal view of the scene — if the scene is too bright for the photographer (e.g. the camera is pointed towards the sun), then the camera switches to an electronic view that provides the user with a view that’s more suitable for their eyes.
Unlike the X100′s viewfinder, however, there is no electronic image overlaid on the optical one when in OVF mode.
Barcelona-based design studio low ink created this unique business card for freelance photojournalist Hugo Fernandez. It’s a viewfinder with a see-through focusing screen and the photographer’s contact information in the information readout at the bottom!
Want a DSLR viewfinder but don’t want to pay big bucks for a professional one? Photojojo has a tutorial on how you can build your own DIY version using a lens from a pair of magnifying reading glasses and some plastic/foam board. It’ll definitely draw some weird looks but hey, it works!
Street photographer Eric Kim generated some buzz last month by recording himself shooting on the street with a GoPro mounted to his Leica M9. Now, he’s back again with an even cooler point of view: through the Leica M9′s viewfinder itself. This 10 minute video of Kim doing street photography in Santa Monica was recorded using a HTC EVO 4G smartphone stuck to the back of his camera.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if this kind of footage existed for all the iconic photographs taken throughout history?
If you’ve never used a rangefinder camera before, this video provides a visual look at how focusing works (a Leica M2 is used). Basically you’re given a second (smaller) image of the scene, and your goal is turn the focus ring until the two images match up for the subject you’d like to have in focus. Read more…