Miranda Sensorex removable Viewfinder

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by frbeausoleil, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Hello! I recently acquired an old Sensorex and I've been having trouble with the Viewfinder prism. I removed it while inspecting it and now, it won't snap back.

    The elevated edge of the viewfinder doesn't go over the rim of the camera, but the rails are well aligned. Wondering if it's a known problem or if I am, in fact, the problem.

    Pretty much every video I've seen on Youtube show people just sliding it back on and it clicks back.

    I was thinking of buying another prism (perhaps waist-level viewfinder) to replace it, see if it fixes the problem, but they're not exactly cheap and I want to make sure it fixes the problem.

    Anyway I can send some pictures if it helps, any suggestion is welcome!

    Thank you!
  2. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.


    The subject of Miranda viewfinders is a bit complicated, as there are are different finders that fit different models over the years. The nomenclature for the finders is somewhat confusing as well.

    Below is a picture of my Sensorex with the eye-level prism finder and the VF-3 critical focusing finder (right). The prism finder should just slide all the way forward smoothly until it clicks into place. It has a "lip" on the front edge, which fits over the fascia plate on the front of the camera. The VF-3 also slides forward until it click into place, but doesn't have the "lip" on the front edge. The button to the left of the viewfinder slides to the left for removal.

    I wonder if the previous owner tried to mount the wrong kind of finder to your camera. The prism finder for the later Auto Sensorex EE will slide in, but not all the way forward, since it won't fit over the fascia plate the same way. If you have a picture, maybe we could take a look.


    This older thread might be worth reading as well:

    Miranda Sensorex Waist Level Viewfinder - Which one?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  3. m42dave said:
    This may be a dumb question, frbeausoleil, but have you checked to make sure the lip and/or the fascia are not bent or distorted? I've just had the prism finder on and off my copy and I can't find any obvious potential obstruction. Have you tried opening the release catch as you slide the finder into place? One would think that, if was seated properly in the first instance, it should fit back again.
  4. The camera itself seems to be alright but there is a slight curve in the lip of the finder. But it WAS over the fascia when I got it so I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

    It looks like the stock viewfinder for the Miranda, but I could be wrong. Let me know if you need more pictures or if a video would be more helpful. The rails on the viewfinder and the camera look smooth, but I really don't want to force anything.

    20180708_220436.jpg 20180708_220504.jpg 20180708_220511.jpg 20180708_220644.jpg 20180708_220701.jpg
  5. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    That looks like the correct finder. In the next-to-last photo, though, it almost looks like the center of the lip is hitting the fascia. It should fit over it with a little gap, enough to slide a piece of card in between.

    Also, on the camera body where the finder slides in on the left side, there should be a spring clip to keep the finder in place firmly. It should slide in without any play or looseness.

  6. frbeausoleil, judging by the photographs I would say the finder has definitely been crushed down. It probably happened while the finder was on the camera, and it may have been a little difficult to remove. You can see the dip in the top centre line on the front section of the prisim where the dent has occurred. You may be able to straighten it out with careful bending and re-shaping.
  7. Since the camera itself looks in good condition, I'm going to try and order another type of viewfinder.

    Thanks everyone for helping out! I'll you know if it fixes the problem!
  8. With some fiddling, I can now slide it on and off. I shot my first rolls with it and the camera seems to be working perfectly!

    I'm thinking of getting the VF-3 critical focuser but I've seen two models of the VF-3 finder online, there seems to be one without the little posts/studs sticking out like Dave's model.

    Do they both work on the Sensorex?
  9. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Hello again,

    Glad to hear your camera is working well and that you are able to use your viewfinder.

    I like the critical focusing finder better than the waist-level finder, since you can still use it at chest level and it gives full-frame 5x magnification.

    As for the different models, this is where it gets a bit confusing. :confused: My VF-3 (with the studs) came in its original box that says, "for Sensorex."

    The later Sensorex II and Auto Sensorex EE had similar finders, called VFE-1 and VFE-3 (however, the Auto Sensorex EE manual still refers to these as the VF-1 and VF-3). The VFE-3 looks quite similar to my VF-3, but without the studs. The Sensorex II manual also states that the VF-1 and VF-3 finders from the older Sensorex cannot be used for flash synchro photography, suggesting that they are interchangeable, though I can't confirm this.

    The Sensomat cameras also had their own series of viewfinders (also named VF-1 and VF-3) though they have a different shape. See the link in my first post above for photos of these.

    To be sure, the best bet is to get one that looks like mine or with the original box.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  10. Here are the viewfinders supplied as accessories to the Sensorex. I've not come across one without "the little posts"...

    Miranda Viewfinders


    There is a wealth of information here:

    Miranda 35mm SLR cameras
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  11. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    And here are the VFE finders for comparison.

  12. Those viewfinders with the "VFE" prefix were for the Sensorex II, EE and EE-2.
  13. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Correct, as I noted above. They do look quite similar.
  14. Great to know, thanks a lot! I knew something was up when I compared them.

    I'll make sure to order one with the posts then!

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