GR II Viewfinder Options - Walk With Me...

Discussion in 'Ricoh GR (APS-C) Forum' started by gryphon1911, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    707
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    So, I like what I have seen so far with the GR II. Not strong in JPG over ISO 1600. I still need to play with the RAW files and see what I can do.

    One thing that I'm not sure that I can get over is not having a viewfinder.

    Looking to solicit your opinions for those that like/require viewfinders.

    What I've found so far is 2 things.

    1) There are a few places I've found that make some inexpensive optical viewfinders that sit on the hotshoe. I'd leave the AF point in the middle and just trust that the GR would grab focus most of the time and get the shot. No EVF lag, just good old frame lines that may or may not be 100% accurate...but it is what it is.

    2) For about the same price or less than a hotshoe OVF, I could get an LCD loupe. You get to see what is on the LCD, so kind of like a "cheater" EVF. I don't have to worry about the screen getting washed out in bright sun. A few have attachment points to the tripod socket. The issue I see is that this makes the pocketability of the camera moot.

    In my head, I like having the information from the LCD and am leaning that way(LCD loupe). I would however, love to hear if others may have gone this route, the other or if I should just stop pondering the viewfinder thing all together and just embrace holding the camera out in front of me and looking at the big, beautiful 3" LCD. :)

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and participation.
     
  2. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    The GR's screen is really quite good IMO - so a loupe might really be interesting, but the ones I have held in my hand were all big and bulky. As far as the finder goes, I only own a less-than-ideal dedicated OVF, the Ricoh GV-2, which I can't recommend for glass wearers, and a big Leica one that can be switched between 21mm, 24mm and 28mm framelines; it's optically very good, but really huge. One of the really big bonus points of the GR is its size, and any OVF (let alone a loupe!) takes away from that. That is the reason I kept the GV-2 - it's really small. Even so, I don't use it on a regular basis - another indication of how good the LCD really is. I often miss a finder on the E-PL7 (whose screen is no slouch either), but rarely on the GR.

    The GV-2 not only lacks accuracy, but it's also all metal, no eye-piece whatsoever. I'm always wary of scratching my glasses. The only OVFs that are still manufactured that are fully equipped, comfortable and optically superb (apart from the Leica ones) are the Zeiss ones - but they're big and also *really* expensive - I think they cost almost the same as the camera (same goes for Leica)!

    YMMV, of course - good luck finding a compelling solution.

    Oh, and the RAW files are very, very nice btw. :)

    M.
     
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  3. lakemcd

    lakemcd SC Rookie

    18
    Feb 7, 2016
    Gary
    I have a brand new GV-1 that I've never used should you be in the market.
     
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  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    See if you can find a secondhand Helios multifinder. It is small, relatively inexpensive and has multiple brightline framelines. They are not made any more so you will have to haunt eBay but they are ideal for your purposes.
     
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  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    707
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I just stumbled across another thought. I might try a DIY approach. There are plenty of thrift stores about. Found a Youtube video where a guy removed the viewfinder from a disposable camera(which just so happens to be a FOV of 28mm), built a housing around it and a hotshoe.

    I'm generally not that big of a DIY guy...I like my fingers attached where they are and my hands to be fully functional...but...I might just give it a try anyway. If I go that route, I'll let you all know how that turns out...every bloody detail. lol :D
     
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  6. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I have one of these and it does what it says on the box. It does block the battery/card door on the GR but with Wifi on the II that would not be a problem.

    CLEARVIEWER
     
  7. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I did a similar extractio
    Thanks for reminding me - I was unable to remember the name of that one, but had seen it before. How good is it? I mean, it doesn't shield the LCD from incident light in any way - so, does it really help?

    btw. I've ordered anyway. Should be at least interesting - and maybe a real asset.

    M.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  8. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    It is an improvement in sunshine particularly as the GRs lend themselves to shading the VF with the left hand. The optical quality is acceptable for the price (I bought the better lens version). Oh! it magnifies any dust or fingerprints too.
     
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  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I received a very nice order confirmation and will have the loupe before spring takes off, so I'll give it a thorough try once the light gets more intense.

    M.
     
  10. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    The loupe's arrived - and I'm a bit underwhelmed so far, but I'll test it out more thoroughly in bright/harsh light soon to see how well it does then. My main complaint is that the whole contraption's made out of plastic - it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, to be honest. The design's actually quite neat - but I wear glasses, so I can't really see the corners of the screen without squinting, and I also find it a bit annoying that there's no way to fix the loupe itself in its ideal position, so it's prone to tilting. Quality-wise, the glass lens is quite okay. It's not a bad buy if you consider what a - much less accurate - optical viewfinder will cost you, and it folds neatly down to the back of the camera. But I would have been more happy with a slightly sturdier construction with a tiny additional notch ... We'll see how it goes in real use, i.e. sunlight in the winter.

    M.
     
  11. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    I also had a Clearviewer attached to my GR when I owned one. I found it to be the best method (for me) out of all the other options I tried. I had the tripod screw mount version. I’m sure mine is made from some sort of alloy. I didn’t have any build quality complaints. I’ll dig it out and have a look.
     
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  12. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    If it's metal, it's extremely light and somewhat brittle - I think it's plastic. But it's still okay since it's functional and small enough (I also have the screw mount version). I'm just not sure if it's offering enough of an advantage, but with the dreary weather we had over the last couple of days, I had no way of checking.

    M.
     
  13. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    You are right. Plastic/polycarbonate?
    Very high quality though. I can say that in bright sunshine it does work very well. As I no longer own the GR if anyone in the EU is looking for one feel free to contact me. I won’t be bothering to list for sale. I did have it up on eBay for some time with no interest.
     
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  14. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Thanks a lot - I'll test it as soon as conditions allow.

    M.
     
  15. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I used mine throughout the SiJ and found it workable - I sometimes needed my left hand to shade in full sun.
     
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