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Beast Mode: A Sony RX1 with a Russian Turret Universal Optical Viewfinder



Disappointed that the full-frame Sony RX1 compact camera doesn’t come with an optical viewfinder? Don’t worry: you can use the camera’s hot shoe to attach a sweet/strange-looking universal turret viewfinder! That’s how DSLR Magazine customized theirs in a recently published review.

Universal viewfinders were created decades ago to allow photographers to carry around a single viewfinder that can be used for a number of prime lens focal lengths. Instead of swapping viewfinders at the same time as lenses, you could simply adjust the viewfinder every time you switch out a lens.

Zeiss and Leica were the pioneers in developing these strange-looking turret-style viewfinders, but after World War II, the USSR cloned the viewfinder designs for their own rangefinders.


The viewfinders offer five different focal length frames, rangefinder-style (you can see the frame-lines that roughly show how your photo will turn out, along with some extra space on the outside edges of the frame).

You can find a more detailed history of the universal viewfinder over on Alfred’s Camera Page. Want to pick up one for yourself activate beast mode on your own camera? You can find them being sold over on eBay for between $80 and $120. Not a bad deal, considering the fact that Sony’s official optical viewfinder for the RX1 costs a whopping $600!

(via DSLR Magazine via sonyalpharumors)

Image credits: RX1 photo by DSLR Magazine, Kiev 4a and Lenses by Yasuhiro_S