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Old October 5th, 2002, 08:09 PM   #1
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How sweet is the B&W EVF

I shot a CD release party yesterday for the great and powerful Paul Sedillo, and with camera to my eye for about an hour at a time without a break, my eye started to get dazzled by the color viewfinder. I was thinking about buying the black and white viewfinder as an antidote for this (not that I'm sure it would help, maybe looking in any viewfinder for a long time freaks out your eye), but I want to know a few things about it, as it is so expensive.

Does it show the entire frame? By that I mean the underscanned or overscanned portion (I get em confused) as well?

Does it have ground glass markings denoting title and action safe areas?

I've heard it's larger than the color one. How much so?

I've heard it's heavier as well. How much so?
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Old October 5th, 2002, 10:54 PM   #2
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Re: How sweet is the B&W EVF

<<<-- Does it show the entire frame? By that I mean the underscanned or overscanned portion (I get em confused) as well? -->>>

Yes, it shows the full frame.

<<<-- Does it have ground glass markings denoting title and action safe areas? -->>>

No.

<<<-- I've heard it's larger than the color one. How much so? -->>>

Yes it is larger, since the head houses a CRT.

<<<-- I've heard it's heavier as well. How much so? -->>>

Quite a bit heavier, mainly because the main housing is metal rather than plastic and the crt just weighs more than an lcd. An XL1s loaded with a b&w head, MA200 and BP945-size battery weighs in at just barely under 11 lbs.

I cannot say that the b&w head would relieve your eye; that's not really its purpose. I can tell you that it's much higher resolution makes critical focusing easier. It's also designed to be much easier to see the viewfinder with your eye a moderate distance from the eyepiece.

But, with the b&w viewfinder running at around $1500 you should really think long and hard regarding the true value for your particular needs and budget.
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Old October 6th, 2002, 12:27 AM   #3
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The B&W CRT viewfinder is a great tool for the right kind of shooter. The question is, are you that kind of shooter. Basically what that B&W viewfinder is for, is all the guys who are used to shooting with the big iron... Beta SP and other shoulder-mount cams. This is the type of viewfinder they're used to. And that's who the viewfinder is intended for. At more than $1700, it's actually priced right where it should be. After all, it's just an Ikegami viewfinder tricked for the XL1, and the price falls right in line with all the other Ikegami viewfinders out there. It's no more expensive than any other pro B&W CRT viewfinder.

Back in the mid-'90's, I used to shoot all-night raves with a Canon L1 Hi-8mm camcorder. It had a B&W CRT viewfinder. No brightness control, either. After a few hours, my eyeball would feel fried by that thing. The color LCD viewfinders are actually a lot easier on your eyes.

If it's giving you trouble on long night shoots, then get your face out of that eyecup. Switch the viewfinder to the "far" position, take advantage of the couple of inches of eye relief built into that viewfinder setting, and it'll be much more comfortable for you. Hope this helps,
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Old October 6th, 2002, 03:21 AM   #4
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Wouldn't it be harder to keep the framing if I had it in the far position, shoulder mounted/handheld, that is? I find it harder to see the tiny image that the far look produces than the larger close view.

Maybe that telextender thing is the right thing for me . . .one the one that lets you stand back from the viewfinder by magnifying the image. How much do those puppies run?
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Old October 9th, 2002, 07:05 PM   #5
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For some REAL eye relief, how'bout trying one of those TFT monitors like VariZoom makes, it'll be just like having a studio V/F with no eyestrain or neck cramps. This is why I kind of like the GL1 and Sony DSR250, which have the swing-out LCD screen (although much smaller than the VZ monitor).
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Old October 9th, 2002, 08:00 PM   #6
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Got one of those TFT puppies.
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Old October 9th, 2002, 08:29 PM   #7
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So, how is is working out for you? (is it a Varizoom?) Have you tried using it to solve this problem? Have you found it needs a hood to keep the glare down?
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Old October 10th, 2002, 03:26 AM   #8
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It works fine. Added weight to the camera, of course, and not easy to use in conjunction with an SP7/mediapro shoulder rig. . .or anything else where the camera's on the shoulder.

got a varizoom hood for it for $20. I believe they have a kit that includes the hood, but I didn't get it when I bought the monitor. Also, mine tends to slide around on the adapter shoe dealy, no matter how much I tighten the bastard.
A good solution, but hard for shoulder mounted work. Plus, you have to have a battery or power supply, either of which involves more cables (though I though I heard there was some way to get the monitor to feed of the camera's battery). The battery I have is a fairly heavy one, and I have to put it in my pocket. Also need an RCA cable to connect the camera to the monitor. Suffice to say, not friendly to handheld work. That's why I was curious about the viewfinder magnification device, whose real terminology escapes me at this time.
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