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Author Topic: techniques for two-eyed composing (on the rear screen)?  (Read 3986 times)
BJL
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« on: May 17, 2013, 09:10:01 AM »
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Let me start the ball rolling by asking for discussion, and if possible illustrations, of techniques for composing on the rear-screen. For now, I use the rear-screen sometimes, and love the freedom from eye-strain of working with both eyes open rather than squinting through a VF peep-hole all day, but I end up using the EVF of my E-M5 most of the time, in part out of decades' long habit.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 09:32:59 AM »
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I really don't use the rear lcd on my Fuji X-Pro 1 much, often in bright light it is too hard to see or is washed out and by the time I get close enough to look at details I am having to take off my glasses, so I pretty much always use the viewfinder in either optical of electronic modes. More practical in the long run, but my wife prefers the lcd, she says it is easier for her to look at the screen than to use the viewfinder. It is probably more about habits than anything else, I have always used dslr and she has always used point and shoots, even though her XE-1 has a good EVF.

I think another issue is I get smears and nose prints so it makes it less clear as well, so back to the VF. Not much help for techniques.  Smiley

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 01:55:53 PM »
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I also constantly smudge the left edge of my OM-D5's LCD with my nose. But I prefer not to use the screen for taking pics unless the camera is on a tripod (not often) or set up for re-photographing slides & negatives (w/ Olympus 60mm macro and stacked Heliopan lens hoods) so I tend to keep a cleaning cloth near at hand.   Wink  I never got on with most "digicams" precisely due to the lack of a proper VF. No problems with eye-level EVFs, though...been using 'em on video cams since the late 1980s.

-Dave-
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 07:55:45 AM »
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There is no EVF (yet) on the Oly E-PL1 that I use from time to time but I wonder whether I could use the Oly EVF like I can use the rangefinder on my old Iskra folder camera; one eye open on the rangefinder, one eye open at the scene. Scale 1:1 is needed then. I did read that the Nexus 7 with a 45mm lens is giving that.

Ernst
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adrian tyler
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 02:47:16 PM »
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i had a fuji x100 and now a sony rx1 and use(ed) the screen while i am working with people. the beauty of the the screen - for me - is that it enables me to lower or highten the angle of the shot without crouching or standing on a chair. once i have the picture "framed" on the screen i can then engage with the person/people in the frame - glancing back and forth to the screen - not exactly the same but not un-similar to engaging with people when using a large format camera.
also the non-phalic nature of these machines seems to help a lot - for me - in portraiture, especially when working with non professional subjects!!!

http://adriantyler.net/photography_and_painting.html
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BJL
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 08:38:24 PM »
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... I wonder whether I could use the Oly EVF like I can use the rangefinder on my old Iskra folder camera; one eye open on the rangefinder, one eye open at the scene. Scale 1:1 is needed then.
The new Olympus VF-4 external EVF is "1.48x at 50mm", so is only 1:1 at 50mm/1.48 = 34mm; a rather narrow FOV.

It would be technically possible to offer increments of EVF magnification to give 1:1 at any focal length below 34mm, but I doubt there are enough "two-eyed" rangefinder users like yourself to make it commercially worthwhile. (It is the sort of odd-ball thing that Fujifilm might try!)
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 08:07:14 PM »
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Loved using the read screen with my E-P1 and now RX-1. I really like the flexibility of the camera position and how you can change that quickly. No particular technique, at least not from any camera I have used--one hand supports the camera from below and the other steadies it and fires the shutter.

I do like having a grid displayed over the live image like on the ground glass of a view camera. I like the level on the display too. The RX-1 display is nice as the exposure information is off the live view and those other icons can be turned off.

I do have an optical finder for the RX-1 for when the light levels are too low to use the live image. In sunlight, I usually can see enough detail in the image to compose.
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AFairley
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 12:53:06 PM »
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Even though the LCD on my RX-100 has a boost feature that makes it the most viewable in bright light I have ever seen, I still can't see enough detail in it to effectively use it for composition.  My technique is to "compose" by looking directly at the scene (fortunately I have some practice at this from back in view camera days) and then use features at the edge of the LCD image to set the amount of zoom and the framing.  In lower light, of course, I can just look directly at the LCD (with reading glasses on).
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Remo Nonaz
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 03:46:19 PM »
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Perhaps it's because I'm very nearsighted, or perhaps it's because I'm getting old and seeing up close does not work as well as it used to, but viewing the rear panel LCD of my GH2 with my glasses on or off can be difficult and viewing the EVF with my glasses on does not give me a 100% view and usually smears my glasses. Fortunately, the EVF of the GH2 has a +/- 4 diopter adjustment. This allows me to use the EVF perfectly without glasses. It's an important feature for me and I've overlooked several cameras in the past because they did not have this adjustment.

I've learned to carry a glasses chain (actually a string) so that I can drop my glasses and put my eye to the camera and have both hands free. This is much easier than putting your glasses in a case or pocket. I've also learned, that even with my bad eyesight, I can use the 'free' eye to watch the live action, in action shooting situations, and avoid the delay caused by the EVF. With some practice this is quite effective when tying to hit those 'top of the action' shots.
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I really enjoy using old primes on my m4/3 camera. There's something about having to choose your aperture and actually focusing your camera that makes it so much more like... like... PHOTOGRAPHY!
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 08:24:23 PM »
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One of the great features of the often maligned Canon EOS-M is the great 1,040,000 dots Clearview II touchscreen LCD. It is bright with a 170 degree viewing angle. Although it is a fixed 3" screen, it is very easy to both compose and focus with.

With no viewfinder you are forced to learn a new method of taking photos. Having both touch focus and a touch shutter (that you can turn off) on the screen, you can hold that little camera pretty steady with no shake from pushing the mechanical shutter on top. The focus is not nearly as slow as rumored. With the EF-M 18-55mm stabilized lens using spot focus,there is no problem.

My progressive lens glasses allow me to see the LCD clearly.
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Gerald J Skrocki
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BJL
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 10:47:26 AM »
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Having both touch focus and a touch shutter (that you can turn off) on the screen, you can hold that little camera pretty steady with no shake from pushing the mechanical shutter on top.
I have been experimenting with a similar technique for inconspicuous photography, using the tiltable screen of the E-M5 in that "touch screen to focus and release shutter" mode: holding the camera at waist level, supported by the left hand with the left forearm resting on the hip, the screen tilted up so I can look down on it to compose, and then taking the photo by touching the screen at the desired focus point. With no finger going near the shutter release button, my hope is that I will pass for just fiddling with setting or reviewing photos.

But it had not occurred to me that the touch screen shooting can actually help to reduce camera movement! Let the debate start as to how this compares to the practice of bracing the camera against one's brow! Though frankly, in most daytime shooting at normal to wide FOV, the combination of three or more stops of IS and the lower f-stops needed in smaller formats to get a given DOF make it easy to attain very safe shutter speeds at base ISO speed, leaving little need to agonize over optimal hand-holding technique. For longer focal lengths and higher shutter speed needs, I still prefer working with the camera to my eye.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2013, 05:25:28 AM »
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The new Olympus VF-4 external EVF is "1.48x at 50mm", so is only 1:1 at 50mm/1.48 = 34mm; a rather narrow FOV.

It would be technically possible to offer increments of EVF magnification to give 1:1 at any focal length below 34mm, but I doubt there are enough "two-eyed" rangefinder users like yourself to make it commercially worthwhile. (It is the sort of odd-ball thing that Fujifilm might try!)

The VF 2-3-4 models differ on the magnification. The diopter setting changes the magnification somewhat too so there are some basic choices + a possible adaption of the EVF magnification in software. I do not know whether it is so odd to use the two eye method. There are several optical viewfinders that aim(ed) at that use.

Ernst
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Hulyss
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2013, 08:19:49 AM »
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You guys know nuthing about it, period !!! I'm Arch Master in rear screen focusing, look at my head with the DP3m Smiley  Grin

« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 08:22:03 AM by Hulyss » Logged

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gerafotografija
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 10:57:15 AM »
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I find the cross-eyed look in the picture above pretty much sums up how nonoptimal getting detailed composition, exposure and focus right without a decent EVF or OVF is.
 Undecided

In any position without eye strain, the LCD or OLED screen is going to be a small part of your FOV compared to immersing one eye in the entire scene from edge-to-edge of vision with an EVF/OVF and retaining normal if optically induced focus relief. Plus you don't need to keep your arms stretched in front of you for additional upperback and arm strain.

The great thing about the rangefinder style viewfinder placement is that you nose doesn't get in the way and your other eye naturally has an unobstructed view of the same scene. This is probably old hat to most on the forum, but if you haven't tried it before, you owe to your eyes to try this old school method correctly. Ideally, start with the VF on the right eye like you see in the Leica, and more recently in the Fuji ads.

Open both eyes, and let your cortical cells readjust to overlaying the scene through both eyes (one natural view and the other through the viewfinder) until they merge. Now you have the equivalent of a fighter jet's HUD display overlayed on you FOV. All the details are going to be there up to the limit of your vision if you have a high quality EVF or OVF. This is ideal for wide and normal or near normal telephoto lenses, for me, it seems to be harder to do with a long telephoto.

I was whale watching from Goat Rock Beach a couple weekends ago and could not have stood there for an hour or more scanning for broaching humpbacks and then getting focus and composition right for fleeting shots without this technique.

It would be interesting to know if others do this as well, and if you have any additional tips? The general rule seems to be that you should learn which is your dominant eye and then set up the viewing window in a position in front of it that allows the scenes from both eyes to merge (most firearm instructors can walk you through that in a minute or two, since this is how it works with sighting a weapon without squinting one eye and losing your peripheral vision).

I attached a picture of my reflection with the OMD in the closest equivalent position to what I do much more efficiently with my X20 (same position works for X100s, XPro, Leica M, etc.). Since the center mounted EVF is not ideal, I find myself longing for the Fuji camera whenever it is not with me.
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minhhich
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 10:22:20 PM »
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Try to avoid composing with rear screen as much as possible especially in low light condition because the way you hold the camera will make it easy to get camera shake. Cheesy
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BJL
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 09:32:24 AM »
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Try to avoid composing with rear screen as much as possible especially in low light condition because the way you hold the camera will make it easy to get camera shake.
That depends on which way you hold the camera: there is more than one option.

What you say is true for people who hold the camera in the most common lazy snap-shooter style, way out in front of their faces. But it is also possible to hold the camera quite steady, with upper arms braced to torso, at the cost of the screen being a bit below eye-level, and too close for some older people with vision problems. Some people have recommended combining this method with a short neck-strap, so that you also brace the camera through your neck by pulling away slightly, but I have not tried that yet.

Also, with a tilt screen, there is the option to hold the camera at waist level, with forearms braced to body, screen tilted up. This can be useful for taking photos discreetly. And when you can sit down to take photos, the camera can be rested on your left hand which in turn sits on your lap, a very stable position.


P. S. I still use the eye-level EVF the majority of the time, but want to set the record straight on other options.
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2013, 04:10:00 PM »
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The great thing about the rangefinder style viewfinder placement is that you nose doesn't get in the way and your other eye naturally has an unobstructed view of the same scene. This is probably old hat to most on the forum, but if you haven't tried it before, you owe to your eyes to try this old school method correctly. Ideally, start with the VF on the right eye like you see in the Leica, and more recently in the Fuji ads.

Spoken like a true right-eyed person.  Pity those of us who are dominantly and determinedly left-eyed and whose noses are permanently bent left or right from the back of our determinedly right-eyed VF cameras.  The "old-school" method works only if your right eye is sufficiently corrected to make use of the OVF (mine is not).  So I am stuck with either much nose grease on the LCD, reversing it to avoid this, or composing (and/or focusing) with the LCD. Fortunately? I am severely near-sighted and can, without glasses, hold the finder almost to my face, which gives me two-eyed focus without the crossed eyes previously mentioned.
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Greg D
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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2013, 07:08:01 AM »
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I recently got a Canon eos-M and have discovered one good thing about using the screen for composing.  I guess most people don't use neck straps on small cameras like this, but I do, and I found that with the strap adjusted to arm's length I can see the screen fine - with trifocals Smiley - .  Putting just a bit of tension on the strap allows me to shoot at slower shutter speeds than I ever could with my SLRs.  The idea that a viewfinder allows one to stabilize the camera against one's face doesn't really work if you're wearing glasses.  Haven't tried this with a long lens yet, though.....
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2013, 03:47:38 AM »
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I recently got a Canon eos-M and have discovered one good thing about using the screen for composing.  I guess most people don't use neck straps on small cameras like this, but I do, and I found that with the strap adjusted to arm's length I can see the screen fine - with trifocals Smiley - .  Putting just a bit of tension on the strap allows me to shoot at slower shutter speeds than I ever could with my SLRs.  The idea that a viewfinder allows one to stabilize the camera against one's face doesn't really work if you're wearing glasses.  Haven't tried this with a long lens yet, though.....

For years I use a chainpod on older, larger cameras without IS, one foot on a freight belt that is attached to the tripod hole and then tensioned just before shooting.
http://www.pigment-print.com/Fotografica/Iskra/target0.html
Functions as a shoulder strap too for that camera. And I put a small lens it the camera's viewfinder, shooting with glasses on never worked for me.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
July 2013, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.

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BJL
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2013, 05:57:04 PM »
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... I found that with the strap adjusted to arm's length I can see the screen fine - with trifocals Smiley - .  Putting just a bit of tension on the strap allows me to shoot at slower shutter speeds than I ever could with my SLRs. ...
Thanks! I have heard this recommended one other time, and now I will try it. (I currently do not have a neck strap on my EM5, only a wrist strap, which is why I have not tried yet.)
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