Solution to scratched eyeglasses on M3 viewfinder ring?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by thomas_t, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. I've tried everything from foam to large O-rings around the viewfinder
    of my M3 to prevent the hard metal ring from scratching my eyeglasses.
    The patch work foam looks hideous and doesn't stay on. The O-ring
    falls off and I am hesitant to use any sort of adhesive for fear that
    it might seep into the actual mechanism (like pliobond). Anyone have
    a cheap and elegant way to protect your glasses? I'm sure some
    tinkerer far more creative than I am has figured this one out. Oddly,
    my M6 seem to scratch my glasses less, although the ring seems equally
    hard, oh well. Thanks in advance. cheers :)
  2. go here they sell rubber bumpers for the viewfinder....not cheap though.
  3. One of the donuts from Camera Quest works for me, but I've recently found one that
    also looks nice from Luxecase. Google them up.
  4. The problem with one of these eyecups will be additional eye relief, especially with glasses.
  5. On my older M's I just bite the bullet and have had Don or Youxin Ye put an M6 type piece on them. But I'm not sure if those fit on M3's. I do know they will fit on the M2's and M4's.
  6. Get harder glass perhaps? My previous glasses were made of some plastic and scratched without even using a Leica. When I got replacements (the ones I use know), I put priority in getting hard glass. I cannot detect any scratches some 8 years later and I have used an M2 for a couple of years during that time.
  7. Bought 3 of the hard rubber ones from DAG. Problem is they are a force fit on and he has to have the camea to fit it. $15 seems high, but it is cheaper than new glass or the M6 change.

    I brought my cameras to a show where he was exhibiting.

    They work as does the M6 change
  8. See the four options I discuss in the M3 topic in the Leica FAQ I maintain:
    When I had my M3, I used the Liquid Electrical Tape option, carefully painted around the eye ring. When it dried it created a soft black cushion which worked well and could be easily removed at a later date.
  9. "Anyone have a cheap and elegant way to protect your glasses? "

    Elegant yes, good value yes, cheap no.

    I found a current-style correction eyepiece (diopter) second hand for $25 (I've seen them range up to $45, new they are $75). These diopters are clad in the same tough rubber as the M6-style eyepiece (which BTW will not work in an M3, not even the 0.85 eyepiece, due to the different finder magnification). I then punched out the glass and removed all the pieces. It threads solidly into the existing eyepiece, is quite thin (has not increased my eye relief noticeably), and looks very OEM. Not exactly cheap, but compared to $15 for a little piece of snap-on plastic (I tried one, it's hard enough to still scratch plastic eyeglasses)or a stick-on piece of vinyl, IMHO the value is definitely there.
  10. PS, if you go this route, make _certain_ it's of the current type which has the hard rubber cladding. The older diopters (recognizable because the edge is finely toothed/serrated)are bare metal and obviously would not be of use in this situation.
  11. Liquid Electrical Tape. It is black and dries into a semi hard rubber like substance. Just paint it on the ring around the eyepiece. If done neatly it is very hard to notice and will not scratch your glasses. It also works well replacing small areas of vulcanite. It can be had at big box hardware stores like Lowe's and any electrical supply store. Costs a few bucks.
  12. I have 1 of the stick-on protectors sold by Stephen Gandy ( on my M3. FWIW, it's lasted over 3 years of pretty heavy use & looks fine (i.e., non-descript).

    However, since it's been coming off a bit @ the edges finally, I recently ordered a set of new protectors from Aki Asahi (, which are much cheaper than Gandy's. I guess I'll have to see if they work as well.

    I'll probably try the Liquid Electrical Tape for some of my other old timey cameras.
  13. I used to use a couple of neoprene O rings glued together but finally settled on Lutz Konnerman's protector for my M6. For my IIf I punched a couple of holes in a piece of foam mounting tape, stuck it on the eyepiece and blacked it with a Sharpie. I haven't gotten around to my Kiev or Feds, but the foam tape seems the best bet. Hard glass spectacles are particularly difficult to obtain -- seems no one wants to grind glass anymore. I have excellent vision since cataract surgery but I still have double vision that requires prism correction that cost almost as much as a Leica lens. The opticians redid my perscription several times befor advising that they just couldnt do it with glass and I would have to accept polycarbonate. Progress?
  14. In fact, the M3 and .85 eyepieces are fully interchangeable and work perfectly.

    I have a .85 VF camera with an M3 eyepiece on it (don't ask why) and the viewing and focussing is perfectly exact. I can see no reason why the reverse wouldn't be equally good.

    It was DAG who pointed this out to me and, as usual, he is a very reliable source of info on everything Leica.
  15. I use shrink tubing on my FED. Perfect solution. Have been looking for some with large enough diameter for my Retina II and IIa. Have planned to try the liquid plastic, but haven't had time yet.
  16. Emmanuel, it was DAG who pointed out to _me_ in no uncertain terms that the 0.85 eyepiece is _not_ the same as the one in the 0.91 M3. He said quite clearly "they're close but it'll still be a little off". What he said to me makes sense given the math. It also stands to reason that the amount "off" would be in opposite direction for an M3 eyepiece on an 0.85 body. So it might depend on a person's vision as to whether the mismatch would be worse or even better than the correct eyepiece. If you're satisfied with it, that's all that matters.
  17. I won't waste time quibbling.

    I have corrected 20/20 vision and use an M3 eyepiece on a .85x viewfinder camera and the view is perfect -- same as with the original eyepice.

    The RF's are certainly different magnification internally but the eyepieces appear to be identical in practice.

    A person with an M3 and with a problem with scratched glasses lenses may use a .85 M6 rubber-clad eyepiece.
  18. Lutz Konermann's rigid plastic protector @ $6 (SCOOP), and in my case I can even use a diopter correction lens with it!

Share This Page