A good viewfinder for the 14-45mm lens?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by timothysoong, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Few days ago while I was on vacation, I tried taking lotta scenery pictures and realized most pictures taken on the day time was messed up as I couldn't get a clear look at my LCD. Btw, I used a GF2, with the 14-45mm lens.

    And I googled the problem, and the only solution was to get a viewfinder. And I also discovered those optical viewfinders are set for specific lens not all lens. So Im here posting this thread and asking, I normally carry the 14-45mm lens with me.. So which viewfinder suits best? I heard the LVF1 isn't that good.

    Thanks in advance..

  2. marz

    marz Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Pyrenees, France
    I have encountered the same issue with my newly aquired GF1, which I bought mainly for the included 20/1,7 lens. I found, not really to my surprise that I have great difficulty shooting with an LCD. After sniffing around on several forums I found that the best EVF option for me was buying a used G1 body. I tracked one down on a general "for sale" website here in France and ended up paying just 105 euros. I am very happy with the quality of the G1's EVF, although it has obvious consequences for the portability, cause now I have two bodies to bring along with my, rapidly expanding, lens collection. But still the whole kit weighs (and coasts) less than the Canon EF 70-200/2,8 L that I sold to finance the m43 outfit.

    Have fun with your new camera!
  3. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Purchasing a G1 is not an option for now. Because I just bought my GF2 1-2 weeks ago.. Any other alternatives though?
  4. Bizzarrini

    Bizzarrini Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    The Netherlands
  5. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2011
    Real Name:
    Optical viewfinders were never meant to be used with zoom lenses, There are plenty of OVF available, just bear in mind :
    1/ they are not cheap
    2/ they will USUALLY have bright frames for 3*2 format (35mm film) not 4/3 format
    3/ they will be for a specific focal length only

    The LVF1 (electronic viewfinder) is NOT that bad (but could be MUCH better :) ), at least what you see is what you get + having the camera up to your eye helps stability.
  6. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    There are add-on lens-shades for the LCD panel.

    As for me I wear a hat - it helps as well to block light off of the rear LCD panel..
  7. marz

    marz Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Pyrenees, France
    It wasn't an option for me either untill I discovered that the EVF1 costs more than a used G1... But than again you can get a fair number of hats for 100 euros ;-)
  8. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    This may not be the most desireable solution, but it should provide a considerable amount of help for many shots. You may want to make or buy a hood for your LCD. Hoodman and others offer a variety of hoods or they used to do so. A hood on an LCD acts the same way a flag acts on a lens and the improvement in results is astoundingly positive. I use a hood on my LCD when editing photographs. This little device is a wonder when it comes to screen apparent uniformity and glare reduction.

    Best regards,
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Panasonic LVF-1 is "not that good" compared with the Olympus VF-2, which is 1.44 million dots in resolution as opposed to 202k dots for the Panasonic LVF-1.

    Compared with your choices of optical viewfinders however, the LVF-1 is a much better choice! Non-TTL optical viewfinders are just for compositional aid. They don't show your focus like an OVF for a TTL system (like an SLR). The Electronic Viewfinder will show you focus, composition, exposure, color balance, and even zoom in for manual focus.

    Oh, and I just noticed you are getting this for your 14-45mm zoom lens. That definitely puts optical viewfinders out of the picture, as they only work for one focal length (or you can get finders with multiple focal lengths, but then you'll have to change it yourself along with the zoom). So they are only really good for prime lenses.

    Also, one problem many people will have when choosing an appropriate OVF for a prime lens on m4/3 format is incorrectly using the 2x crop factor (if the OVF doesn't have aspect ratios marked). That 2x Field of View is derived from the overall diagonal, but doesn't account for the difference in aspect ratio at 4:3 instead of 3:2 like 35mm film. So instead, you should be using a 1.6x or 1.7x crop factor (almost the same as Canon APS-C) then crop off the edges instead. Either remember the crop, mark it somehow, or even tape off the edges. Using an OVF at 2x the focal length will give you a much tighter crop than you'll capture on an m4/3 sensor. Here's an example why...


    Which means the image yielded on an APS-C sensor at 1.6x crop will look like this:
    While the same image on Four-Thirds will look like this:

    So the composition of the Four-Thirds image is essentially the same as the Canon APS-C (1.6x crop factor) but with the long edges cut off. So if you have a 20mm lens for instance, you could use a 35mm OVF (1.7x crop) and cut off the extra edges.
  10. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Could it be that you just bought the wrong camera? If you really want a VF I'd consider selling the GF2 and replace it by a Panny G or GH or an Olympus Pen+VF-2 (expensive :frown:). As said, a used G1 is not expensive so you might even end up getting some money from the exchange.

    BTW, if you like the zoom lens I'd hold on to it, you won't find a better one with this zoom range.
  12. NaturalWoman

    NaturalWoman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 8, 2011
    new jersey
    Real Name:
    not a bad idea. i don't do a lot of bright sun light shooting, but some times i'm out there and something cheap will do, like this.