Eye Level Prism for Mamiya C330, f, s...?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by eric_m|4, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. Howdy all,

    I know waist level finders have a magnifying loupe to view the image on Mamiya TLRs but I was wondering if anyone knows if the eye level viewer would also magnify the image. Thanks.
  2. I 'd call prism and folding WLF with loupe out "a wash" and won't stop praising the benefits of the centerspot magnifying additional loupe of the chimney finder; really nice to have.
  3. I don't recall the porroflex finder to enlarge the image. I only looked through it once and found it dull, probably because it is not a prism, but mirrors.
  4. I know waist level finders have a magnifying loupe to view the image on Mamiya TLRs but I was wondering if anyone knows if the eye level viewer would also magnify the image. Thanks.[/QUOTE]...
    ...the image from the pentaprism is slightly smaller than when using the WLF and flip-up magnifier. The pentaprism is very heavy and impairs the camera's balance. For hand-held work you will appreciate using a side-grip. The porrofinder is much lighter than the prism. The image is smaller and dimmer. The camera's balance is less disturbed than when using a prism, though a side-grip will still be useful.
  5. I don't think the porrofinder magnifies or provides any benefit other than being an eye-level device and having a meter that, I think, needs mercury batteries to be accurate.
  6. Thanks for replies everyone. Yeah, I kinda figured it that way but I was hoping somebody knew of some finder that gave me as good a view as the waist level finder. I enjoy using waist level finders more than eye level but so many portraits are often angled up at subject - not always what I want.
  7. Mine uses a 357 silver oxide battery. Not tough to find. No magnification, per se, but the image is "larger", since you're effectively putting your eye up to the focusing screen. It's a little hinky since the eyepiece is hanging off the edge of the camera slightly, but it does work nicely as a spot meter.
  8. None of the prism finders available for any of the medium format camera systems offers the huge magnification of their waist level finders with flip up magnifier, which are typically around 4.5x with fairly flexible eye placement. MF prisms typically run between 2.5x - 3x with limited eye placement. Some outliers like the Hasselblad stovepipe 90° prisms get close to 4x but have very poor eye relief: OK for normal vision bare eye with their variable diopters, but totally useless for eyeglass wearers (who can barely see the center 20% of the screen).

    I've owned the Mamiya TLR 90° prism twice, and sold it each time. These tall cameras are not well suited to a top-heavy 90° prism, and Mamiya's version has a smallish eyepiece not friendly to eyeglass wearers. The side grip helps, and many wedding photographers made do with that setup, but it isn't fun or comfortable to use.

    The Mamiya Porrofinders are an interesting option, being inexpensive and very light weight (barely heavier than the WLF). The cameras are not top-heavy with the Porrofinders, handling well with or without the side grip. But the Prrofinders are large, with a small off-camera eyepiece. The view of the focus screen is quite a bit smaller than the WLF, perhaps half the magnification. Its also rather dim due to the use of lightweight mirrors vs a solid glass prism: usable with the 80mm f/2.8, tolerable with the 65mm/105mm f/3.5, but unpleasant with the slow f/4.5 55mm, 135mm and 180mm. Plus there's an odd sort of optical illusion going on in the Porrofinder: you get an unreversed image like a prism, but the screen markings appear reversed.

    The best MF prism finder I've ever used is the common, old style Hasselblad NC2 (below on my 220f) which has a nice wide-diameter soft rubber eyepiece, good brightness and reasonable 3x magnification. It is fairly compact and light for an MF prism, and the 45° angled eyepiece feels more natural when holding the tall Mamiya TLRs without a grip. The problem with the NC2 is it needs to be adapted to fit a Mamiya (or Rolleiflex). I've jury-rigged various temporary methods to secure the NC2 on several different 6x6 system, but for outdoors street use you really need a more secure modification.

    Baier fototechnik used to sell a custom adapter to fit Hasselblad (and Kiev copycat) prisms on Rolleiflex and Mamiya TLRs, but the company seems to have stopped production and their website went zombie on the Rolleiflex adapter. The Mamiya adapter seems like it might still be available if you inquire, but probably not. An adapter template for 3D printing is available here. It is also possible to disassemble a beater old-style Mamiya WLF, remove the mount from the NC2, screw the NC2 into the Mamiya WLF base, and have a very secure fit.

    Mamiya 220f Hass NC2.jpg
    cameragary likes this.

Share This Page