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Which external optical viewfinder (OVF) are you using with your Micro 4/3 camera?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm looking into buying an OVF for my new E-P3. Some options I'm considering are the various CV 28mm finders, Ricoh GV-1, Ricoh GV-2, Sigma VF-11, and Olympus VF-1. I'm primarily going to use it with my Lumix 14/2.5 lens and anticipate shooting mostly in 4:3 aspect ratio but also interested in how the VFs work for the 17mm and 20mm (35 and 40mm equivalent) angle of view.

    Looking for any feedback on these OVFs or any other options.
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I have the Oly VF1 (purchased used for $50). It's actually more comfortable to use with Panny's 20 than Oly's 17. The Oly 17 image actually fits the entire window, the Panny 20's image actually fits inside the bright lines, which is kind of what you'd expect. I bought the 17mm recently, and one reason I sold it was just because the VF1 worked better with the 20!

    I'm awaiting the PL25, and I think it will be good for that, too, as the FOV isn't that much more narrow.

    Adorama suggested using Panny's LX5 viewfinder for the Oly 12mm. I didn't try it myself, but it might work for the 14 (just a guess).
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The LX5 viewfinder sounds like an option. Thanks for pointing it out. Leaning towards the Ricoh GV-2, but I'm not sure I want to spend $200 on an OVF right now...
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I also have the 17mm and VF-1 OVF
    I find it slightly less extreme.
    The brightlines are indeed inside the frame upon taking the shot, but there is also space around the shot. i.e. the OVF sees more than the 17mm lens, but the brightlines are a bit too narrow.
    I still enjoy looking throught the OVF though, it is very good.

    Close-ups are LCD only because of parrallax, the usual story.

    Definitely worth having, although the retail price is hilarious!
    I got mine from Bruto on the forum and I've been totally satisfied with it.
  5. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    The Olympus VF-1 is a perfect match for the Panasonic 20mm.

    I bought the Lumix 24mm viewfinder for the CV 12mm. A 21mm VF works better with that lens. The Lumix viewfinder is also a 3:2 aspect ratio. I am not sure if the cropped 12mm CV actually is wider than the Olympus 12mm, so I don't know if the Lumix VF will work better with the Olympus 12mm. I will be hanging on to the VF in case I pick up the Olympus 12mm.

    The Voughtlander zoom finder is costly, but if you want a group of single focal length VF, it may work out to be cheaper. Type B is for m4/3, but 3:2 aspect ratio:

    The Photo Village :: Cameras & Photo Gear :: Digital & 35mm Film Cameras :: 35mm Film Cameras :: Voigtlander 35mm System :: Voigtlander Rangefinder Cameras :: Cameras & Accessories :: Viewfinders :: Voigtlander 15-35mm Variable Viewfinder -- B Type

    Voightlander also has some dual frame line finders like a 21/25mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I would also go to ebay. Accessory viewfinders have a long history. You may find and nice Tewe zoom finder. Leica and a few others had zoom and multi frame finders. You could also look for finders that use a mask. Those are mostly for large format and while they have a great image, they are big. Check some Nikonos finders, some of those used a mask. You can alway make your own masks for you lenses.
  7. trisberg

    trisberg Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 14, 2009
    I tried the Sigma VF-11 for the Panasonic 20 but I found the framing was way to tight and returned it. Much happier with the framing accuracy of the CV 28/35 mini-finder where the 35mm frames are a close match for distant subjects using the 20. Close up you get a little less in the frame than the finder indicates but you also have to deal with parallax at this point.

    The 28mm frames of the CV mini-finder and the frame lines of the Ricoh GV-2 both show a little less than what the 14mm lens actually captures but it's close enough.

    Most frame line based finders seem to be optimized for closer shooting distances and show less than what is actually captured. Any Leica view finder does the same.

    Just think of the money you are saving by not buying the VF-2 and use some of that to get a great OVF ;) 

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