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Wednesday, 09 November 2016


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I'm puzzled by Rob's comment. My mirrorless cameras definitely do not give the view at the taking aperture. Does he mean when using rangefinder lenses? But that's an issue when mounting them on SLRs, too.

"OVF = optical viewfinder: typically (though not exclusively) the direct view through the lens rectified by an SLR prism and eyepiece.

"EVF = electronic viewfinder, a display like a miniature TV screen inside the camera eyepiece."

OVF on an SLR is not a "direct view" through the lens. It is a view of a miniature screen, with an image projected on it from behind. Both OVF and EVF use miniature screens. Just different sorts. At least according to some guy named Mike Johnston:

"Viewing screen, or just 'screen': This is the piece of plastic between an SLR’s mirror-box and prism, on which the lens’s aerial image is cast. Also sometimes referred to as ground glass, since that’s what screens used to be made of (and still are, on some view cameras). Think of a slide projector. When the projected image is in the air, you can’t see it; but when it hits the projection screen and reflects back at you, then you can see it."


Thanks and best regards.

Hi Mike, There are several articles about EVFs that I wrote for you sitting in the archives. No search function?

It's sort of an "edge case," but one issue that might affect a few people is the problem of polarized lenses on EVFs. (Maybe these exist on OVFs too, but I've only seen it in EVFs.) It's only a problem if you wear polarized sunglasses. Put those two together and you get a situation where you can barely see the EVF image because the cross-aligned polarization basically blacks-out 80% of the view (and it's very splotchy).

This happens with my Oly OMD-EM5. I simply can't use it when I'm wearing my sunglasses. It even happens on the back LCD screen. The problem does NOT happen with my Fujifilm X100s.

FWIW, my sunglasses are prescription, and it's highly annoying to have to lift them up every time I want to take a photo; it also means I have to do a diopter adjustment for looking through it without my corrective eyeglasses. As a result, I don't use the Oly on sunny days.

@kirk tuck:

Every website essentially has a search function. Plug this into Google:

site:theonlinephotographer.typepad.com "kirk tuck" evf

The "site:x.com" (no spaces; x = the URL) limits a search to that website.

I didn't see anyone write about this and I'm somewhat hesitant to admit it for fear of sounding a bit wack-a-doodle, but when I use an EVF I always feel a tiny bit seasick - or dizzy - or something. I've heard this from a couple of other folks over the years, but it seems to be a fairly rare response. Have any TOP readers ever noticed this? I'm just curious. The seasickness has never been severe enough to stop me from using an EVF.

Other than that little drawback I think the EVF/OVF choice is a tossup. Both EVF and OVF have their pros & cons.

I was just made an offer on the original Fuji X100 that I could not refuse. I did own one before and regretted selling it. Best of both worlds. One click and I have either a evf or ovf. What's not to like? Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Considering that all video and TV broadcast cameras use EVFs, I really don't think EVFs should be maligned. I would never go back to an OVF camera.

I can handle both. With my M6, it has to be OVF.

Then when I use my Leica Vlux4, the EVF is no issue. Zooming from 24mm - 600mm (35mm equivalent) at a constant f2.8, The latter is now my favourite travel camera.

The OVFs of my Fujifilm X100 and X-Pro cameras have live histograms ... best of both worlds? If I want a live preview of the image, I flick a switch on the front of the camera. Perfect solution? No, the hybrid solution has compromises too, parallax being a major one for me, also the blocking of the OVF on the X-Pro by the bigger Fujinon lenses. But overall I find it more user friendly than the OVF of my Nikon of the EVF of my X-T10.

Andrea B., yes. I don't know if it's what I'd describe as seasick but it's that dizzying feeling when the image quickly changes when you move the camera slightly (as is bound to happen whenever it is handheld). And forget about panning with an EVF camera. I've considered EVF cameras many times - Fuji XT-1/2 in particular has camera controls and lenses that strongly appeal to me - but as long as that remains an issue for me with using EVFs, I will continue to haul around a heavier, bulkier DSLR. I am only a hobbyist and if I don't get any joy out of shooting (which would be the case with EVF cameras), I'd just hang up my camera gear and find another hobby.

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