Classic SLRs Series :
Finder Group of accessories
The viewfinder is one of the most important features of a single lens reflex camera because every photographic subject is turned into a visual image by means of the finder. More importantly, there are a wide range of interchangeable lenses of different lens types and focal length available in a SLR system, these come with varying view points and perspectives which makes a good viewfinder design critically important in providing a comfortable focusing and ease in photo composition.
A top class camera cannot be expected to fulfill its essential function without the provision interchangeable finders or at least, focusing screens. The OM SLR bodies have omitted the interchangeability of Finder feature in a way to retain its unique compactness and of cause more importantly, to reduce the cost of production and assembly of parts. What I said earlier, viewing through the viewfinder in an OM1 and OM2 series bodies can be quite an experience. Probably one would never imagine such a compact body size can project such an large, bright and contrasty image inside the finder. In this sense, the impressive optical design of achieving an 0.94X viewfinder magnification at infinity with standard 50mm lens while maintaining a high 97% finder view field* with its extra-large reflex mirror, silver-coated wide vision pentaprism housing and in certain way, the focusing screen play a great role in enabling such an optical achievement.
Comparatively, I enjoy the viewfinder of an older OM1(n) or OM2(n) body more than the newer series of OM3 and OM4 models. Well, it is a matter of personal preference, because the OM3/4's finder projects a smaller viewfinder image due to adopting a popular High-Eyepoint design to enable better eyes-relief for eyeglass wearers.
Further, the OM3/4 has more features incorporated such as the built-in Dioptric adjustments. Besides, personally, I enjoy fair amount of a pretty good eyesight, despite my old age...hehe. OLYMPUS claimed it was a more sensible to omit the Interchangeable pentaprism design because it is more troublesome to use and harder to maintain. But such design has its advantages because it may enable many prism designs such as those High-Eyepoint ** type Speed Finder or the waist level design or a High-Magnification types which provides more comfortable viewing in situation such as with a helmet on, using a camera on a microscope stand or when using an underwater housing etc. Anyway, Olympus adopted an interchangeable focusing screen design which has a total of 14 types in total. While the focusing screen has another specific section detailing its various applications and compatibility, we will still focus on the viewfinder eyepiece section. OLYMPUS Finder Group provide a number of very functional accessories to improve comfor and accuracy in focusing, like the unique Varimagni Finder with a magnification selector, the earlier Eyecup 1 that accepts a variety of Dioptric Correction Lenses, and the Dioptric lenses 2 with eyecup built-in for later models and also the Eye coupler for use with the Varimagni Finder and for when the eyecup 1 is required to use together with the 250 Bulk Film Back 1 etc.
NOTE * Image is "trimmed" slightly at the edges. The reason for this is that a small section of the image area is always lost when slides are framed. When you look at the unframed slide you will see a touch more than what appeared in the viewfinder. When you look at the framed slide, the picture and viewfinder image are more alike. Not many 35mm SLRs offer a true 100% viewfield. ** Primarily designed for eyeglass wearer, providing a viewing distance of around 15-25mm away from the eyepiece and yet still able to view the entire viewfinder including all the information in the exposure display. Actually, "High-Eyepoint" means smaller projection of a viewfinder image - all at the expense of viewfinder magnification and it generally falls around 0.75 or 0.85X magnification as compared to, say OM-1&2's generous 0.92X ! )
Varimagni Finder This unique unit functions as both a high quality angle finder and as a magnifier, and allows direct correction of individual diopter values. The Olympus Varimagni Finder is quite innovative, it combines the two functions of angle finder and magnifier, incorporating a 9 lens elements optical composition and a reflector. It fits over the camera's eyepiece, and can be adjusted for individual eyesight. Its eyepiece tube is ratable through 360°, for use in low level and 90° angled shots.
Note: The Eye coupler is required when the Varimagni Finder is used in photomicrography.
The two-stage, one-touch switching system offers both a 1.2x magnification image covering the whole screen, and a 2.5x enlargement of the central portion for critical focusing. For photo-micrographic use, insert the Eye coupler between the camera and Varimagni Finder. In effect, it does the most of the tasks like an interchangeable pentaprism design, but with far less hassle more economically. The Eye coupler is required when the Varimagni Finder is used in photomicrography.Well, during the eighties, the Pentax has designed a system finder for their flag ship model, the Pentax LX which is by far the most innovative among all that I have seen, the FB-1 system finder which has three couplers to suit your needs.Although such an design is from a different camera manufacturer but nevertheless, the principle is good enough to inspire a Company like OLYMPUS to take good look at its Varimagni Finder design which has been around for quite a while now since the OM-1n during the early seventies and has not been seeing any appropriate upgrade.
A main drawback of the Varimagni Finder in practical use is, the image in the Varimagni Finder is reversed in a normal viewing situation. But it is still useful in many difficult photographic situations. For example, when shooting at very close to the ground level or when the camera is on a repro stand during copying work. Note: The Eyecoupler is required when the Varimagni Finder is used in conjunction with Focusing Screen 1-12 for photomicrography.
Dioptric Correction Lens Available in 8 diopter corrections: +2, +1, 0 (for hypermetropia); - 1, - 2, - 3, - 4, - 5 (for myopia). Used to correct the photographer's vision, and especially necessary in fine focusing for high magnification, Fits into the Eyecup 1.
NOTE: Not applicable for OM-3 (Ti) and OM-4 (Ti) as all these bodies have a built-in dioptric adjustment.
Number engraved on Dioptric Correction Lens (final diopter in comjunction with OM body)
Initial diopter of each Dioptric Correction Lens
Hyperopes & presbyopes
(or those who wear glasses of visual acuity from +4 to +2 diopter or glasses of focal length from +10 to +20 in.)
(with glasses of from +1 to -1 diopter or +40 to -40 in.)
(with glasses of from -2 to -3 diopter or -20 to -15 in.)
Eyecup 1 Attached by sliding over the OM Body eyepiece. With its attached rubber hood it prevents stray light from entering through the eyepiece.
It is an essential requirement in manual light metering or especially useful for auto exposure control in an unmanned situation such as self timer operation where it prevents glare and loss of contrast caused by stray light hitting the viewfinder eyepiece and accepts any of the eight Dioptric Correction Lenses 1. The Eyecup 1 is provided with a slot for Dioptric Correction Lenses adjustment of individual eye acuity. The eyeshade is detachable from the inner socket of the Eyecup for mounting a Dioptric Correction Lens. The Eyecoupler is essential when the 250 Film Back 1 and Eyecup 1 are used together. The number engraved on each Dioptric Correction Lens indicates the final diopter in conjunction with the OM body.
Dioptric Correction Lenses 2 (with Eyecup) A full set of lenses that attach to the camera eyepiece to correct the photographer's vision and assure the finest possible command of the subject.
Eyecup 2 To prevent stray light entering from the eyepiece. Features a slot for insertion of dioptric correction lenses. Eyecup 1 has circular shape and is made out of metal frame and rubber. Eyecup 2 is rectangular and shape like a standard viewfinder eyepiece but it is lighter because it is made of plastic and rubber instead.
Eye coupler This is a convenient unit to connect various components of the Finder Group to the viewfinder eyepiece. For use of the Varimagni Finder in photomicrography, this unit fits in between the viewfinder eyepiece and Varimagni Finder. It ensures full coverage of the finder's field of view. When the 250 Film Back 1 is used together with the Eyecup 1.
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Olympus OM-1(n): Main Index Page (5 Parts) | Camera Operations (6 Parts)
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Shared Resources: Supplementary Articles:
TTL Metering, Depth of Field, Shutter Speed & Aperture
Motor Drive and Power Winder: Main Index Page (4 Parts)
Motor Drive 1 | Motor Drive 2 | Winder 1 | Winder 2
Flash Photography: Main Index Page (4 Parts)
T45 | T32 | T20 | F280 | S20 | Qucik AUTO 310 | QA300, 200, 200S
Macro-Photography: Main Index Page (3 Parts)
Manual for Photomicro Group (3 Parts) NEW upload !
Macro Flash Units: T10 Ring Flash, T28 Twin, T28 Single, T8 Ring Flash
Accessories: Databack 1-4 | Screens | Finder Accessory | Remote | Cases
Zuiko Lenses: Slowly developing..
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