Film SLR's with diopter adjustment

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ray ., Dec 5, 2012.

  1. I'd like to find a film SLR with a built in diopter adjustment
    on the viewfinder. I know some of the Leica R's have it, and
    the later Olympus OM's, but would like to avoid putting out
    as much cash as those cameras still go for.
    What about the Contax models, or any others?

  2. I can't tell you about anything else but, my Minolta Maxxum 9xi and Maxxum 9000 both have adjustable diopters.
    Mike : D
  3. Pentax LX. Standard FA-1 finder has a moderate range of adjustment, the FA-1W finder has a wider range of adjustment, at the cost of slightly lower magnification. I love my LX. Not particularly cheap, especially after the probably-needed overhaul by Eric.
    The Pentax ZX family (US) and MZ family (rest of world) have adjustable diopter in most models. Certainly the MZ-3, ZX-5n, ZX-5, ZX-7, and ZX-M do. They don't have great finders for manual focus, however, rather low magnification. (The 3, 5, and 7 are 0.8X, the rest are even lower.) If you want to manual focus a 3 or 5, swap in the screen from a ZX-M. The 3 and 5 have a very nice traditional user interface, I very much like my MZ-3. Except for the MZ-3, these cameras are dirt cheap. Yeah, the gear on the mirror motor is failure prone, but just buy another one. One cost problem is feeding it CR2 batteries. (Or get the AA grip for $15.)
    The Pentax *ist also has adjustable diopter, but even worse finder, crippled KAF2 mount, really only suitable for autofocus lenses. Should be cheap, but shows up infrequently, so some sell for silly prices.
    Pentax autofocus zoom lenses are cheap, some are really pretty good. The autofocus Pentax-F and FA primes are hard to find and pricey.
  4. lwg


    The Nikon N80 and F100 have adjustable diopters. Both are fairly cheap, with the N80 being very cheap these days. But it doesn't work with the MF lens.
  5. lwg


    The Nikon N80 and F100 have adjustable diopters. Both are fairly cheap, with the N80 being very cheap these days. But it doesn't work with the MF lens.
  6. lwg


    The Nikon N80 and F100 have adjustable diopters. Both are fairly cheap, with the N80 being very cheap these days. But it doesn't work with the MF lens.
  7. John, the LX looks like a nice camera but it's indeed up there in price. I like the look and price of the ZX-M, but
    if I understand correctly, you're saying the finder is inferior to the ZX-3 or ZX-5.

    Either of you wish to hazard an opinion as to how Nikon fixed manual focus lenses 28, 35, and 50mm
    match up against Pentax?
  8. The only film SLRs that I know have diopter adjustment are the OMs (3 and 4) you mentioned and the Nikon F4. I tried corrective eyepieces for a while (I'm shortsighted), but it meant having to take off my specs whenever I wanted to look through the viewfinder - became a pain in the arse. I decided to keep my specs on and look for the best viewfinder I could. Ended up with a couple of OMs and a Nikon F3HP. A much better approach for me.
  9. SCL


    Ray -The Contax RX has a built in diopter adjustment, as does the Nikon F4 & F5.
  10. It's not clear to me whether your real goal is specifically (as you said) to find a camera with built-in diopter adjustment, or to be able to shoot without glasses, or, more generally, to be able to see the whole image in the viewfinder.
    If the former, then I have little to add because none of my film SLRs have adjustable diopters built in (or if they do, I haven't noticed).
    Most Nikons with round eyepieces can take screw-in diopters, which aren't too hard to come by online.
    Then there's the Nikon F3 HP, which has a high enough eyepoint that you can still see everything easily while wearing glasses. Wonderful camera.
    Still another possibility, though it involves a different approach to shooting, is to use a right-angle finder attachment. I have vintage Canon, Minolta, Nikon, and Olympus angle finders, and all of them have adjustable diopters.
  11. Craig, it's to shoot without glasses. A screw in diopter would indeed work, but I didn't think of that
    because screw in diopters seem to be difficult or impossible to come by with most film SLR's. I'd get one for
    my OM-1n if I could find one, but they seem to need to be custom made for that camera. As far as Nikons go,
    I never was too impressed with the handling of the FM2n I had, although it was durable for sure.
  12. The Nikon F3, FM, FE, FA all have diopters that screw onto the viewfinder window. They are interchangeable. The F4 onwards have external adjusters
  13. If you wear glasses, a screw in diopter is going to make seeing the whole frame impossible on most any camera. Shoot, I can't see the whole view in nearly all cameras w/ my glasses on. My Nikon N80 had a diopter, but it also had a darker, smaller viewfinder than most other SLR's, so that's probably a moot point. The Leica R-5 has one too, and a good viewfinder in most other respects. These have gone down in price lately. The Leicaflex SL doesn't have a diopter, but I never needed one because of it's uniquely designed focus area. Things just pop into focus for me on those cameras. One thing you may consider is using an AF camera for a MF camera. I usually shoot my Leica R glass on Nikon N8008s and N90s cameras (both superb cameras, especially the N90s). Their BIG, bright matte screens are a joy for me to work with, I can see the whole viewfinder w/ my specs on, and the focus confirmation lights in the finder guarantee things are sharp.
  14. Leica R5 ,R6,R7
  15. The Canon EOS Elan 7/7E and EOS 1/1N/1V have built-in diopter adjustments.
  16. Nikon diopters are easy to find on ebay and elsewhere. A camera with a built-in diopter adjustment can be handy but the range is often limited. If more than one person used the camera and if both had eyesight within the range then the built-in adjustment would be more helpful. I needed a round Konica diopter for the older T/A series cameras. These are hard to find. My solution was to send an empty Konica eyepiece and a Nikon diopter to Ken Ruth at Photography On Bald Mountain. He installed the Nikon diopter glass into the Konica eyepiece. Now I can enjoy using these cameras again. No glasses or contact lenses are needed and I can see the whole field. I liked it so much that I recently sent him another set to work on. The Olympus diopters are particularly hard to find. If you find an empty Olympus eyepiece and a diopter from another manufacturer which looks right when you look through it next to the eyepiece then you can probably get Ken Ruth to remove the glass from the diopter and install it into the empty eyepiece.

    Based on the Nikon diopters being so much easier to find than the others I would recommend that you find a Nikon which is to your liking and go from there.
  17. I ran out of adjustment on my Nikon F5 so I have to wear glasses. I think most cameras in the AF era have diopter adjustment built in.
  18. mva


    As said above, the EOS 1n (that I have) has a good diopter adjustment (if I am not wrong it even goes to -3). I keep it at -3 and use it without glasses, but if I want I can leave the adjustment untouched and view through it with the glasses on and the viewfinder is still quite well visible.
  19. Nikon diopters are pretty easy to find, and B&H has a good selection last time I looked. The F100 has a built in diopter and also a high eyepoint finder with threads that take the HP diopters and accessories, a nice combination with or without glasses, and even if your eyes are so odd they need more than the built in diopter gives.
    BuBu, the Nikon chart is confusing, but there are actually only two different thread sizes for round eyepieces: 19 and 22 millimeter. The smaller one fits Photomic F's, Nikkormats, F2's and non-HP F3's. The size that began with the F3HP, 22 mm., should fit the F4, 5, and 6 also as well as the F100, N90 and 8008.
    Last time I was at Lezot's camera in Burlington, Vermont, looking for a square diopter for an FM10 which they did not have, they came up with a number of other ones, including, as I recall, some Olympus ones, so it's possible that an Olympus user could email them and find out what is available. They have lots of little boxes of used stuff. Unless they restocked, they do not have any positive diopters for Minoltas, though. I got 'em both!
  20. Nikon makes an adapter which allows the use of round diopters with cameras that have rectangular eyepieces. I use one of these with a Nikon N2020.
  21. Just picked up a clean looking Olympus OM4 for $127. If it's in good working order, or even if it needs a
    tune up, that should do the trick.

    Thanks everyone..
  22. The Nikon F4's standard prism has a built in diopter.
  23. Yeah Les, I haven't shot a roll with it yet but it seems fine. Body looks almost unused!

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