What does a 100% viewfinder mean?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Mattearoadie, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. Mattearoadie

    Mattearoadie Guest

    I am trying to decide between the Eos 3 and Eos 1V. The eos 3 has a 97%
    viewfinder and the 1V is listed as having a 100% viewfinder. I am not sure
    what that means. What are the benefits and or disadvantages of the two?

    Mattearoadie, Sep 13, 2003
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  2. Mattearoadie

    John Miller Guest

    A 100% viewfinder lets you view all of what will appear on the 35mm frame.


    John Miller

    The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core --
    Scratch a lover and find a foe!
    -Dorothy Parker, "Ballad of a Great Weariness"
    John Miller, Sep 13, 2003
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  3. Mattearoadie

    Dallas D Guest

    Something I've been unable to fathom is why many DSLR's don't offer 100%
    frame coverage.

    Beats me.

    "Get up, get out & do something, how will you make it if you never even
    Macy Gray
    Dallas D, Sep 13, 2003
  4. Mattearoadie

    Alan Browne Guest

    Not really, the FL and the aperture will give you a VF image that is
    close to 100%, but not exactly 100%. See the manual.
    When beginning with a first 100% VF, one tends to fill the frame a
    little more that they might have really wanted...
    Alan Browne, Sep 13, 2003
  5. Mattearoadie

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    I found this to be true with my 97% EOS 3. I was used to the Elan (about 90%
    I think) and found that I wasn't giving my subjects quite enough "breathing
    room" anymore. I adjusted pretty quickly though.

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    Tony Spadaro, Sep 13, 2003
  6. There are two factors for viewfinders, area and magnfication.
    Generally, both aren't 100%. It's a tradeoff between getting close to
    100% and phyiscal size, and fitting it into the camera body. A true
    full size, 1:1 viewfinder makes for a larger, heavier camera, and are
    normally only found in the top end cameras. Overall, the small loss
    is workable if you know your camera.

    Scott M. Knowles, Sep 14, 2003
  7. Same reasons. However they could offer it as an option if they wanted.
    I suggest that there is not much demand for it. It is not on my top ten
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 14, 2003
  8. It should not make much difference in the size and weight of the camera.
    The difference would be minimal. However since one part that needs to be
    larger is the mirror, on those cameras with moving mirrors it would add the
    need for just a little more clearance behind the lens and a little increase
    weight to that moving mirror, both of which are important.
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 14, 2003
  9. Mattearoadie

    John Miller Guest

    Don't forget the prism.
    John Miller, Sep 14, 2003
  10. Mattearoadie

    Dave Guest

    When speaking about area, a difference of 3% is negligible. It is very
    unlikely you will ever notice the difference.
    Dave, Sep 14, 2003
  11. Mattearoadie

    bruce Guest

    Not Flameing you .Please explain about breathing room
    bruce, Sep 14, 2003
  12. Mattearoadie

    Alan Browne Guest

    He was used to about 5% margin of film around the edges what he could
    see v. the larger area on the film. With the EOS 3 he fell to near
    1.5%. It takes a while to adjust and stop "filling the frame" to

    Alan Browne, Sep 14, 2003
  13. Mattearoadie

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Tony Spadaro, Sep 15, 2003
  14. SAVE MONEY? No, it's deliberate. I've used 100% viewfinder cameras
    (Nikon F) and it's disconcerting to find your carefully cropped image
    is missing something. It should be an option or something.
    Michael Scarpitti, Sep 15, 2003
  15. Mattearoadie

    Mxsmanic Guest

    The benefit of a 100% viewfinder is that you see exactly what is
    projected onto the film. The disadvantage is that this is unlikely to
    be what actually appears on a print or in a mounted slide, as both tend
    to crop the outer edges of the exposed image. Also, a 100% viewfinder
    raises the price of a camera body.
    Mxsmanic, Sep 16, 2003
  16. Mattearoadie

    JIM Guest

    Perzacktly. Also, until you become used to "shooting wider" with a 100%
    viewfinder because you get "machine" crops of the negative, you will be
    frustrated getting most places to bring back lost parts of feet or ears even
    though they appear on the negative (just at the edges). Some of the more
    professional places will do it, maybe for more $$; however, most will just
    tell you the machine isn't able to do it. Heard somewhere, many years ago,
    "shoot wide, crop in the enlarger."

    As noted, the 97%, if that's what the 3 does, viewfinder is probably very
    close to what you end up with on the print. Now, those 92-94% jobs were
    famous for folk saying "hmm, I didn't know that so-and-so was in there!" I
    like the 100% view; however, it is difficult (still) when trying for a tight
    shot to make that allowance:)

    Shoot'em up, framed tight or not, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all the rest will
    love you for it!!

    JIM, Sep 17, 2003
  17. It's almost impossible to get commercial printing or slide mounting to
    show all the way to the edge of the frame. Taht's why the 95% approach
    was developed in the first place. When I'd use the yearbook's Nikon F,
    I'd always lose part of the image. Pissed me off!
    Michael Scarpitti, Sep 17, 2003
  18. I don't think any of my cameras has a 100% finder -- a quick
    peek at <http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/> says that my bayonet-mount
    bodies range from 92% to 95% (I'm not sure where to look up
    my screwmount bodies, so I'd have to photograph a sheet of
    graph paper or something). That's not impressive coverage
    by any stretch of the imagination. Still, I've gotten used
    to framing in the viewfinder when I can. (Sometimes it makes
    more sense to say, "I'll crop later.")

    And labs still kept cutting off not just ears, but entire
    halves of faces on the edges of group shots. I know I was
    careful to get everyone inside the frame, and on the negative
    there's even a little space, but the prints kept coming back
    with people cut in two. That was the final straw that drove
    me to professional labs instead of bulk labs and one-hour

    At Wal-Mart I was told, "Oh, the machine doesn't print the
    whole frame because your viewfinder doesn't show the whole
    frame. It only prints what you see in the finder. Uh ...
    say what? Riiiiight. In his universe, all cameras have
    the same coverage, and it's something like 85%. At Ritz,
    they made faces and muttered under their breath, twiddled
    things to get me as much as their machine would print,
    then explained that that was as far as their machine could
    go. (Unsatisfactory results, but at least they didn't try
    to pacify me with a line of bull about my camera.)
    I use two pro labs. One told me, "Oh, our machine won't
    print the entire frame, but it should print more than _that_.
    If you want the whole frame we'll have to charge you for
    hand printing." Sure enough, their minilab prints showed
    what I'd framed. And when I really do need 100%, well it's
    the same price as anything that needs dodging or burning.

    The other lab doesn't do machine prints. Everything is
    hand printed on an enlarger.
    That certainly gives you more options in the printing
    stage, so it makes sense for more reasons that just
    the limitations of minilabs. But there's something
    nifty -- a perverse pride in doing things the hard
    way -- to getting it framed Exactly Right on the neg.
    So sometimes I want to do that, and other times I want
    to leave myself room for tweaking the composition
    different ways later. (Of course, if the composition
    doesn't fit the aspect ratio of the film format, one
    absolutely must expect to crop.)

    I really think that I would enjoy using a 100% finder
    once I got used to it.
    D. Glenn Arthur Jr., Sep 18, 2003
  19. Mattearoadie

    JIM Guest

    Without a doubt;) And, as I noted, it 'still' is difficult to make that
    mental adjustment with the finder when obsessing about getting a tight shot.
    One of the reasons I now own a film scanner of me own - just worn down
    asking a machine op to please give me the end of some foot/ear, human or
    other.......nice to know that at least something isn't going to stick its
    nose in there that you can't see!

    Shoot'em up, get it all or not, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all the rest will love
    you for it!!

    JIM, Sep 19, 2003
  20. Mattearoadie

    Dave Guest


    The variance of the lab can be dramatically worse than the variance of
    the camera, so ironically the 90% viewfinder is often closer to what they
    are doing. Even with my Elan IIE (90%), I have had problems with the lab
    cutting off details. A full size viewscreen would make that worse.

    Since area is the product of the side length, the difference isn't all
    that great when one looks at edges (one side only). 90% area translates into
    95% length/width. Cropping is easier and cheaper than arguing with staff to
    do something over.

    Dave, Sep 20, 2003
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