D70s / D50 dim viewfinder?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Kunta Chen, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. Kunta Chen

    Kunta Chen Guest

    I went shopping for a new D70s or D50 today. I first stopped at Circuit
    City and looked at their D70s and D50 which both had very dim
    viewfinders. I mean extremely dim, like it was turned off. I checked at
    the new D80 and it did not have the same problem.

    Then I went to Best Buy and noticed the D70s was just a dim but the D50
    was normal.

    My question is does the D70s and D50 need power to lit the viewfinder?
    How else can it be so dim?

    Kunta Chen, Oct 7, 2006
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  2. Kunta Chen

    Bill Guest

    Yes, the viewfinders need power supplied to the camera for the finders
    to be at normal brightness. If there is no battery or AC power, they
    will be very dim.
    Bill, Oct 7, 2006
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  3. Kunta Chen

    tomm42 Guest

    If they can't bother to power up their cameras, I wouldn't buy from
    them. You want to see what is in the viewfinder and get a little
    instruction on how to set the menus. I know at best buy they have a
    problem of folks stealing the batteries, but there has to be a way of
    putting the camera on AC.

    tomm42, Oct 8, 2006
  4. Kunta Chen

    Scott Speck Guest

    I know that if there is no memory card in my D50, then, when I look through
    the viewer (with an uncapped lens attached to the camera), I see an
    incredibly dark gray/GRAINY image when I power up the camera. At first I
    assumed that my camera was defective, but I inserted a memory card,
    repowered the camera, and then I saw a reasonable image in the viewer. This
    must be Nikon's memory-card equivalent to "remove the lens cap". I'm not
    saying that this is what you're seeing, but the gray/grainy image that I saw
    was so profoundly awful that I assumed either the camera was defective, or I
    (as the user) was doing something wrong.

    Scott Speck, Oct 8, 2006
  5. Kunta Chen

    Guest Guest

    then something is wrong.
    there is absolutely NO requirement that a memory card be inserted in a
    d50 for a bright viewfinder - it only needs a battery installed to not
    be dark. in fact, there is a custom function (cf #4) to enable the
    camera to take pictures without a memory card inserted. many camera
    stores have it set that way for demonstration purposes and to avoid
    theft of the memory card.
    Guest, Oct 8, 2006
  6. Kunta Chen

    Scott Speck Guest

    to show how forgetful I was, I tried a test, removing the battery and/or
    memory card, and it was indeed the lack of a BATTERY, not a memory card,
    that caused the dark, grainy gray viewer. My only plea for leniency in
    being so mistaken is that I seem to have caught the flu this year before
    anyone else that I know of, and I'm in a mildly fevered (and thus
    delirious!) state. ;-)
    Scott Speck, Oct 9, 2006
  7. Kunta Chen

    Rudy Benner Guest

    You are forgiven ..... this time only.

    Chicken Soup. Lots of it. And copious quantities of Tequila.
    Rudy Benner, Oct 9, 2006
  8. Kunta Chen

    Alan Browne Guest

    The "viewfinder" being the optical viewfinder can be dimmer if the lens
    attached to it is small aperture (say f/4.5) on one camera v. f/2.8 on
    the other camera. Or, it may have been in stopped down view mode (DOF
    preview) and that can look dim if the selected aperture was small.

    If you're talking about the display on the back, then the settings may
    have been set to low brightness to save battery power.
    Alan Browne, Oct 10, 2006
  9. Kunta Chen

    cjcampbell Guest

    All the Nikon DSLRs need power, but it is not really for the
    viewfinder. The power is needed to hold the aperture of the lens wide
    open to make the viewfinder brighter. If you remove the batteries, the
    lens stops down to its smallest aperture and the viewfinder appears
    very dim indeed.
    cjcampbell, Oct 11, 2006
  10. Kunta Chen

    cjcampbell Guest

    Nikon G series lenses are automatically stopped down to their smallest
    aperture all the time. They do not even have an aperture ring. A D
    series lens has a lock on the aperture ring that locks the lens at the
    smallest aperture for use on Nikon's newer SLRs (not just the DSLRs).
    This enables the camera to control the aperture instead of setting it
    on the aperture ring. Since the lens is locked at the smallest
    aperture, the camera opens the lens to the widest aperture for viewing,
    focusing, and estimating exposure. It needs power to do this.
    Otherwise, you are looking through the viewfinder and seeing the same
    image that you would, essentially, see with the lens at the smallest
    aperture that it has and with the depth of field preview button pushed.
    cjcampbell, Oct 11, 2006
  11. Kunta Chen

    cjcampbell Guest

    I should amend that slightly. The viewfinder appears slightly brighter
    when the battery is installed than when it is not, even with no lens
    attached. This is probably due to the focus areas being lit up; they do
    not appear without the battery, and other things having to do with
    autofocus and viewfinder information. Even though it appears brighter,
    however, does not necessarily mean that it actually is brighter. It is
    probably just a little clearer.
    cjcampbell, Oct 11, 2006
  12. Kunta Chen

    Robert Brace Guest

    Have you actually thought through your last two posts for this thread. More
    to the point, have you used the D2 series at all. If so you would realize
    that none of your "dim viewfinder" explanations apply to the D2 series, be
    it battery in, battery out, dead battery or fully charged battery.
    I can't comment on the D70s & D50 not having used them but I can on the D2
    series and can assure you the viewfinders do not dim as per your
    explanation. Therefore, the reference to "all the Nikon DSLR's" in your
    posts doesn't apply.
    Robert Brace, Oct 11, 2006
  13. Kunta Chen

    Paul Furman Guest

    The D200 gets much dimmer at any aperture.
    Paul Furman, Oct 11, 2006
  14. Kunta Chen

    Guest Guest

    nope.. try it and listen to the lens - nothing moves. in fact, take
    the lens completely off and insert/remove the battery. the difference
    is clear.

    the reason for this is that there is an lcd overlay in the viewfinder.
    without power, it is much darker.
    Guest, Oct 11, 2006
  15. Kunta Chen

    Guest Guest

    nikon g lenses lack an aperture ring - that's all. they are only
    stopped down when off the camera; when attached, they are wide open.
    no power is required to keep them open, since the linkgage is
    mechanical. try it.
    Guest, Oct 11, 2006
  16. Kunta Chen

    Bill Guest

    nikon g lenses lack an aperture ring - that's all. they are only
    stopped down when off the camera; when attached, they are wide open.
    no power is required to keep them open, since the linkgage is
    mechanical. try it.[/QUOTE]

    I can't believe the amount of misinformation in this thread - all
    explanations above are incorrect, as are all the other wild guesses.

    Nikon G lenses are ALWAYS wide-open at the smallest aperture number
    for the lenses' focal length setting (be it f/2.8 or f/3.5 or 5.6 or
    whatever), whether mounted on the camera or not.

    The aperture does NOT stop down when the camera is powered down, and
    it does NOT stop down when removed from the camera body.

    The aperture stops down ONLY when the shutter button or DOF preview is
    depressed. At all other times the lense is always wide open.

    I believe only one person got the info right - the reason the
    viewfinder darkens when the battery is removed is due to the LCD
    overlay in the viewfinder darkens when there is no power supplied to
    its circuit.
    Bill, Oct 11, 2006
  17. Kunta Chen

    Robert Brace Guest

    And as I've said, the last paragraph DOES NOT apply to the D2 series at all.
    Why people insist on spouting off about the operation of equipment with
    which they have absolutely no experience remains one of life's mysteries.
    Robert Brace, Oct 11, 2006
  18. Kunta Chen

    Bill Guest

    Perhaps, but since the topic at hand is the D70s/D50 models, it's not
    really applicable here. Although I understand another person claimed
    all Nikon models did this.

    I don't believe the D2 series have on-demand grid lines that can be
    turned on/off through the custom menus but use a screen change
    instead, so they don't have an LCD overlay?
    Bill, Oct 11, 2006
  19. Kunta Chen

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    It does stop down when removed from the camera body. Just look at
    one to see. A G lens is essentially always set for minimum aperture,
    so it will stay stopped down unless the camera is holding it open,
    which it will do whenever it's mounted.

    It doesn't stop down when power is removed, though; that is entirely
    mechanical. And the D2-series cameras don't have the LCD overlay in
    the viewfinder, so they don't get dimmer at all when power is removed.
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 11, 2006
  20. Kunta Chen

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    No power is required to hold the aperture open, and it certainly
    doesn't stop down when power is removed.
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 11, 2006
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