35 viewfinder needed for M3

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by christopher_a._junker|1, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. I've been given a nice early M3 together with a 35 Summaron f2.8 lens. I need a good 35 finder for the shoe, but the 35 Leica bright line finders are expensive. Can anyone recommend a less expensive but bright viewfinder for someone who wears glasses?
  2. As Martin has mentioned, the KMZ Turret Viewfinders are available on Ebay. I have purchased 3 of these over the last 6 months & all are in good shape & perform excellently. Originally manufactured for the Fed & Zorki viewfinders, they fit in the hot shoe atop the RF cameras. You might find a "real" Leica finder, but expect to pay 3-4x the $50-$70 (delivered) from various Ukraine or Russian seller. Bill
  3. V2.2 is doing it's PITA error out thing. Hopefully this 4th attempt will put the picture up. Aloha, Bill (No dice, even after dumping & reloading the site.)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  4. SCL


    I've been using a Voigtlander one for the last 2 years, works great and definitely less expensive than the Leica ones. As an aside, I also gutted a charity shop $5 P&S, removed the viewfinder, which was 35mm, epoxied a base and aluminum cover onto it, and have used it on my Leica as well...smaller and almost as bright, but no framing marks. At 35mm I don't care as there is usually a touch of cropping anyway. There's also a generic Japanese made one sold under a variety of brand names which regularly appears on Ebay for about $30 which has frame lines for 35mm & about 85mm, which was a popular item in the 1960s for use with many 50mm fixed lens bodies which were accompanied by auxiliary telephoto & wide angle lens attachments...I still have a lightly chipped one - not anywhere near as bright as the Leica or CV ones though, but still useable - size about the same as the Leica ones.
  5. Seems my last post went "poof". If you do get a KMZ unit, make sure the seller has the hard plastic case with it. The KMZ has a "strange" shape & will rattle about most cases. Aloha, Bill (weird, ever thing went in!) 2k17-zorki-DSCF0168 ces3 rr.JPG
  6. SCL


  7. I should have mentioned two options; both presenting problems. My Imarect finder has 35 framing, and can correct for parallax. However it is bulky, dim and the image is small. A more obvious choice is to mount the lens on my CL. The viewfinder is squinty compared to a bright line finder and a CL does not focus as accurately as the M3. The CL has another plus, namely accurate spot metering through the lens. 40 is close enough to 35 so I'll try it. I've always liked using the Leica 90 and 135 bright line finders which is why I looked at the 35 version. But $$. Thanks for everyone's input.
  8. There are 35mm finders on eBay starting at around $20. They go up from there.

    Voigtlander made a plastic (glass lens) finder some years back which was very good and relatively inexpensive. But they're very hard to find now
  9. Cosina Voigtlander advertises an external 35mm finder for $200.00 on Cameraquest. I had a Nikon 35mm finder that was excellent and you may be able to find one used. The Leitz 35mm bright line version was the best but may be priced high if/when you find a used one. Good luck
  10. Wouldn't a 35 Summaron configured (with specs) for M3 be a bit cheaper than the one you have, which would have been made for M2, and therefore every M thereafter. Maybe you could sell yours and buy one, or somehow do a swap. It's a bit heavier, but at least combines focusing with view, and I think it focuses closer than the 1m that most of those earlier lenses do.
  11. J E has a valid point. However I've used a "goggled" Leica 135 and the added weight and size were awkward. To minimize size and weight, I can use the CL, but I prefer the focusing of the M3. Or go out and buy a used M4-2, lots of choices. The 35 finder is also suitable for low light framing and moving subjects.
  12. Not quite fair. Admit it's a lump, but there is no ungoggled 135, and it's a full stop faster than most other 135s. The goggled 35s (Summaron 3.5, 2.8, Summicron and summilux) are all pocketable. I would try one on before making my mind up maybe.
  13. Fair comment JE. The goggled 135 is massive compared to the goggled 35. The goggled is at least worth a try.
  14. I believe the whole viewfinder on an M3 is very close to a 35mm frame line. That's what I've always done. I never considered rangefinder frame lines all that accurate anyways.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  15. It is close. Actual framing accuracy would be slightly less than pre-war ltm viewfinder, and the need to press eyeball to viewfinder.
    M3 frame lines are reasonably accurate. When Leica lenses were made at 1m closest focus, rather than the later .7m , it was easier to make a pan-focus viewfinder frame maybe.
  16. Seriously, you have been given an M3 with a f2.8 summaron! Why skip and not get the Leica viewfinder; it is the best.
  17. I've read that the M3 finder shows the view of a 28mm lens. See if you can locate a Turnit finder for the Voigtlander Prominent. It shows the field for 35mm and 50mm. Finders get no brighter than that one.
  18. If Steve meant to type "skimp", I agree with him. My first M3 served me for seventeen years with a SBLOO,and the Cosina-Voigtlander finder I had later was almost as good.
  19. James Ravilious used M3s and Imarect finders, ignoring the M3's built-in finder because he liked the way he could see the image through the finder as it would look in the print, with a sharp edge, nothing outside, from a bit of distance. I tried it, and though it's a bit of a pain, it's true that this is a nice way to get a real feel for what your going to get.

    Ravilious became one of my favorite photographers after a friend mentioned him. There are thousands of his photos on this site, and eventually you can figure out how to see them all, which took me a couple of days. Amazing work, perfectly composed: Beaford Archive : James Ravilious photographer of rural North Devon life
    The opening slide show is about 10 shots, then refresh the page and you'll get ten mostly different ones.

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