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Is the IIIC viewfinder too squinty?

Bruce Robbins , Nov 04, 2012; 06:30 p.m.

I've been thinking about buying a IIIC but I haven't looked through one yet and I'm concerned the viewfinder (I'm not too bothered about the rangefinder window which I believe is pretty good) might be so small as to be difficult to use. Just how useable is the viewfinder? Can anyone compare it to the likes of an Olympus XA2 or a Mju (Stytlus), two cameras I am familiar with.


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Martin Tai , Nov 04, 2012; 07:52 p.m.

I have a Leica IIIc and an Olympus XA2. The viewfinder of IIIc is smaller than Oly XA2, but this does not bother me.

David Bebbington , Nov 04, 2012; 08:00 p.m.

It's very much the same as any other LTM body (except the IIIg). Leitz apparently wanted to make their cameras as small (pocketable) as possible, hence the small VF. The answer is a supplementary VF, which has a suspended frame - you can look outside this to see things coming, which is one of the unique advantages of a rangefinder camera.

John Shriver , Nov 04, 2012; 08:29 p.m.

You don't "have" to squint. But it makes the edges of the finder sharper. Don't view it as anything precise. If you want something more precise and pleasant, mount a 50mm brightline finder in the shoe.
I have a IIIa, it's finder may be a tad brighter since there aren't two reflections through a prism.

Bruce Robbins , Nov 05, 2012; 04:49 a.m.

I'm a little surprised that it's smaller than the XA2's but I suppose the bottom line is whether or not it's easy to frame the shot. There's no substitute for experience, though, so I'll have to try one out.

Martin Tai , Nov 05, 2012; 08:58 a.m.

As a matter of fact, the IIIc finder is inferior to the Minox subminiature cameras of the same period, such as Minox A, Minox B. The Minox camera is only 1/10 of the weight of IIIc(70g vs 710g),yet the Minox B has a viewfinder with bright line frame and parallax correction, the IIIc viewfinder has no parallax correction, nor bright line frame. When you slightly shift your eye position to the left or right, the object position changes in the IIIc finder, but stay put inside the Minox B brightline frame.

Kent Staubus , Nov 05, 2012; 11:00 a.m.

I have a IIIc and a IIIf, and use both. I haven't had a problem. When using a 35mm or 90mm lens I pop on the VIOOH finder anyway.

Kent in SD

Juan Bonet , Nov 05, 2012; 12:13 p.m.

I use two IIIf, one BD and one RD. It's true that the image trought the viewfinder is very small and not very sharpness. Even, the lenses how the Summitars and Summicrons appears into the viewfinder but I use it.

Mukul Dube , Nov 05, 2012; 12:27 p.m.

The VIOOH was how Leitz met two needs. Not so good as separate bright-line finders, but the obvious choice if you have just one camera for different focal lengths. [edit] Sorry, despite all the super-wides, I still think in the "Leica range" of 35 to 135.

Stuart Moxham - Finland , Nov 05, 2012; 04:46 p.m.

I don't mind my IIIa viewfinder. It is small but it works well enough.

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