I should say "favorite viewfinder". What's your favorite viewfinder for manual focusing? The viewfinder, IMO, is one of the most important components of a camera. The only pro bodies I've tried are F2A and F4s, both with P screens. I like the F2 better. The F4 is brighter, but it's harder to focus, the split prism is not as distinct as it is in the F2 (I need a +1 diopter adjustment on my viewfinder, so the screw-in diopter on the F2 vs. the adjustable diopter on the F4 might be an factor).
So at this point the F2 has my favorite viewfinder. But I'm curious about what others think, and about the other cameras (F, F3).
I use mainly "regular" primes, 28, 50, 85 and 105mm.
#1. "RE: Best viewfinder?" | In response to Reply # 0anabasis Nikonian since 26th Sep 2003Tue 14-Feb-12 06:28 PM
I will talk about the overall best view through the finders.
First the F-series tops the heap because of the 100% view finders.
The F-series then can be graded on viewfinder information So from worst to best:
6) F3. Not a bad view, but the location, size and visibility of the LCD screen makes it my least favorite
5) Nikon F. Nice but with no ADR or Shutter speed read out, it's pretty spartin. Also with the TN finder, there was no indication of under or over exposure, you had to know which way was which when the needle was off center
4) F4. Need an external light to see it in the dark, and the three locations for information requires your eyes to dart around.
3) F2 (AS). Very simple, but it's all there. LED indicators for exposure like the FM2 make it a breeze to use.
2) F5 Much better presentation than the F4 with all of the information there. The poor focus sensor selection indicator design is the biggest drawback.
1) F6. Just fantasitic. Everything you need is there and easy to find with the eye. I also like how the exposure scale goes away in modes where it's not necessary.
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#4. "RE: Best viewfinder?" | In response to Reply # 1Kilted_F3_nut Nikonian since 29th Jun 2004Fri 17-Feb-12 05:23 AM
5) F FTn has shutter speed readout, but no aperture readout, so much like Nikkormat FT series.
4) Flip the switch in front of shutter speed dial. If camera is fully functional, green LEDs illuminates both LCDs.
2) Not much of a difference, compared to F4 - F4 does have a better selection of screens. Wish there was a window that'd illuminate LCD during daytime, so the LED doesn't function all the time.
1) too expensive to experience at the moment - have had a D2x, so pretty similar experience, except for the tunnel vision.
Focusing screen-wise, in order of preference: P, L, J, K, R, A, E, B... Don't have a lot of experience with the specialized screens.
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#6. "RE: Best viewfinder?" | In response to Reply # 0
Daytime use...1:1 viewfinder. Nothing like it to keep both eyes open. So which body(ies) have this? I love the Nikon RFs.
Darker/nighttime use...anything with lights, the needles are a pain.
So, overall...it would have to be the F6.
Affordable MF camera? I don't know yet...haven't gotten my FM2N yet.
Other camera brand:
Leica M3 hands down. It is all manual so no need to worry about low light and the RF patch is bright enough down to 1/8 second for me.
That being said...I am loving the FE2s. First time I ever had two of the same body where I can use the (C)hrome body for (C)olor and the (B)lack body for (B)lack and white film...or change up with ISOs for each body. I find the viewfinders quite nice with decent light.