is VF-1 worth $50?

vm666

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
235
Location
Paris
I bought a cheap second-hand E-P5 not long ago. Too bad I'm now stuck at home because of Covid-19 :-/
Anyway...
I have the Oly 17 f/1.8 and I was wondering if a viewfinder like the old VF-1 is good.
I loved the clear viewfinder on Leica M in the old days...
 

vm666

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
235
Location
Paris
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Yes, I know that, but it's not a real problem.
 

vm666

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
235
Location
Paris
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
OK. Basically, you are confirming my first impression.
I could put a VF-4 on the E-P5 but I'm not sure this is a good idea: big, expensive, more or less destroys the purpose of the E-P5 (I already have E-M5 & E-E-M1 cameras)
 

phigmov

Probably Not Walter Kernow
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
4,719
Location
Aotearoa
Ebay has old ones for less but they seem to be from Russia or China - from old Leica rangefinder knock-offs or they're new but probably with sub-par optics. This type of thing
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPER-BRIG...115662?hash=item3d9eac958e:g:bq8AAOSwh~NeXo0q

$50 seems steep for what amounts to a shell and some clear-plastic with frame lines but its actually pretty nice and clear to look through with a large & bright view. I have a vintage zeiss variable viewfinder and while a lovely bit of optical engineering it gives you serious tunnel-vision.
 

retiredfromlife

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
4,040
Location
Sydney, Australia
I have the VF-4 for my EP-5, I either use with or without for VF-4 depending on the size I want at the time.
To me if you want small, a clean camera is best, and if I want the view finder I want the best available. But for an older camera like the EP-5 I would not want to pay full price for the VF-4 as I have found the EP-5 not to be the most reliable.
 

vm666

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
235
Location
Paris
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Ebay has old ones for less but they seem to be from Russia or China - from old Leica rangefinder knock-offs or they're new but probably with sub-par optics.
There are plenty of clear viewfinders on Aliexpress too with different focal lengths. Unfortunately the aspect ratio is not always clear: 3:2 or 4:3?
Although, a long time ago, I tried a cheap viewfinder on a Leica M3 camera and I found that the framing was not accurate at all.

Anyway, I tried to buy a viewfinder on Aliexpress and the seller cancelled the order as he cannot deliver it: the factory is still closed because of Covid-19.
 

retiredfromlife

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
4,040
Location
Sydney, Australia
What problems did you have with the E-P5?
The top dials started skipping, and were replaced by a new top plate.
The rear LCD panel lost it's touch function so I could not select the focus point etc. Rear screen and main board replaced.
Both under extended warranty.
Oly cameras of that vintage often had those problems. To me the PenF was the first really reliable camera.

It seems if you tilt the rear screen a lot the cable can be damaged, but I dont often tilt mine so that has been OK.
Mine does not see much use now and I leave a Fujian manual lens on it for occasional use.
They are a really nice camera to use though and I like the output.

Robin Wong just released a video about his EP-5 rear screen problem, just for interest as he likes his as well
 

ADemuth

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
388
Location
Great Bend, KS
What problems did you have with the E-P5?
I had dial problems as well, and my touch screen stopped responding, and about a year later the rear screen went blank. I replaced the screen flex cable myself and cleaned the contacts on the dials while I was in there with some Deoxit and got them working 95%. Granted, these problems popped up tens of thousands of clicks into its life.

I got an EM5ii because my E-P5 breaking came at a poor time. Having the EVF is nice, like really nice - shooting feels natural and fast. I get sharper shots because the EM5 is better stabilized against my face. When I pick up my E-P5, first thing I do is bring it up to my face to look through a VF that ultimately doesn't exist. The downside to the EVF is that I find I don't get cool shots from unique vantage points like I used to with the flip out screen of the E-P5. Some of my favorite shots have come from my E-P5 because it just seems to natural to stick the camera out at arms length and get a perspective you could never nab with a camera glued to your cheek like overhead, or from the ground, or through a crevice, or even just a foot ahead of your face. I realize my EM5 has a screen, but I instinctively just use the EVF. The flip out screen of the E-P5 is fast and can be done one handed.

My own advice is to enjoy the E-P5 for what it is, and take advantage of the fact that it doesn't have an EVF. It's a really fun camera that I miss taking out now that I'm talking about it.

Additionally, I have made an optical viewfinder for my EP-5 that while it works well and I like it, I don't use it much because I feel like I'm flying half blind. If I were going to spend money on a viewfinder I'd spend a bit more on an EVF.
 
Last edited:

agentlossing

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
4,488
Location
Oregon USA
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
I have a VF-1 and like it, it has a rather small magnification but is bright and crisp. If you are buying it used, watch out for dust. Mine has accumulated quite a bit over the years.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom