89 votes
Accepted

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

Through-the-lens focusing cameras had focusing screens — usually ground glass or fresnel lens (related: What is a focusing screen?). View cameras (the old-style large cameras with bellows) projected ...
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  • 31k
25 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented? Pretty well for those willing to learn how to do it with the tools we had at at the time. The same is true now. The only difference is that ...
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  • 167k
11 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

There are diferent topics here. 1) A toy camera, and some new cameras, for example survilance cameras, some phone cameras do not need to focus because its focus range is very extense. Normally this ...
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10 votes

In 2016 are optical viewfinders on Point and Shoot now dead?

What you're missing is that most compact cameras will use an electronic viewfinder, rather than an optical one, if they have a viewfinder at all. Apparently a lot of folks don't mind composing and ...
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8 votes
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In 2016 are optical viewfinders on Point and Shoot now dead?

Are optical viewfinders on point and shoot cameras now dead? Probably, yeah. I notice that in the 2011 answer to the other question you link, Itai suggests that they were then a "dying breed", and ...
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  • 140k
8 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

The current answers explore manual through-the-lens focussing and fixed focus cameras, and do a good job of explaining them, but they miss another approach - distance estimation. For example, my old ...
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8 votes

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an electronic viewfinder vs. a DSLR's optical finder?

Electronic viewfinder Pros: Potentially smaller and lighter camera bodies and lenses (particularly wide angle lenses) Can zoom in to verify precise focus and depth of field Can see (almost) exactly ...
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  • 2,135
8 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

To suppliment the answers on focusing aids in SLR cameras meant to be manually focused, let me give you a link to hyperfocal distance which is used in fixed focus cameras. My parents’ (later handed ...
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7 votes
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What's the advantage of a DSLR's "previewer" viewfinder, since I have observed that mirrorless cameras appear to have the same thing?

DSLRs have a direct, optical path through the lens. (Well, a reflected direct path.) You are seeing the scene with your eyes. Mirrorless cameras with a viewfinder actually use a small LCD screen — ...
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6 votes
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How does the viewfinder overlay work?

I know how the focus points are painted on the mirror.. Not really, because I've never seen focus points or anything else (intentionally) painted on a reflex mirror. It would be out of focus. ...
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5 votes

Why did I see sunlight reflection in viewfinder but not in final image?

Without having more information on how exactly you took your image, and without the possibility to reproduce this effect, one can only guess. I see three possible causes for a sun reflection that is ...
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5 votes

How do you keep white balance from killing the color?

I believe there is a misconception here. Doing a manual white balance, will not preserve the look of the lighting, it will try to neutralize the light and thus the rendition of color. How white ...
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  • 3,374
4 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

The simplest camera you can have, something you can easily build at home, is just a cardboard box with a pinhole. You'll get a focused image right on the film (albeit inverted). This also works with ...
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  • 249
4 votes

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an electronic viewfinder vs. a DSLR's optical finder?

An optical viewfinder can never have any lag, since it's optical it operates at the speed of light. On the other hand with an optical viewfinder you will not see exactly what you will get in you image ...
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  • 41
3 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

We made an awful lot of bad photos. Shooting candids, I figured that between bad exposure and bad focus that 60% printable shots was par for the course. Auto exposure cut the rejects in half. AF ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Do I need to cover my DSLR's viewfinder when using the LCD display?

The light entering the camera from the viewfinder will only affect metering when the mirror is down. When the sensor is exposed, either to take a picture or to enable Live View, the mirror will be up ...
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3 votes

Is the effect of a fisheye lens visible in an optical viewfinder or Live View?

As with any lens on a dSLR, the viewfinder and liveview will show you any lens effects. The lightpath into the camera travels through the lens first before it is reflected by the mirror up into the ...
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3 votes
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How do you keep white balance from killing the color?

Let me try to swing a not-too-technical explanation of this… Start out with "what do I want to achieve?" Accurate colour, or a more 'emotional' representation of what the scene feels like to be there....
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3 votes
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Why does my eye lose white balance and feel exhausted when I use my viewfinder?

We see using a combination of eye and brain. Our visual response is so complex, many aspects are still not fully understood. Light receptors imbedded in the retina are divided into two types. Highly ...
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2 votes

I scratched the glass on my Canon 550D's optical viewfinder — what can I do about it?

You probably can, and a Canon service centre would be able to do it, but it would be worth weighing up the cost, if it's in the optical viewfinder, then it won't affect any images because the mirror ...
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2 votes

Is there an interchangeable-lens compact with an optical viewfinder?

Aside from the Leica Ms, there is one very notable MILC with an optical viewfinder, which is the Fuji X‑Pro 1. Its fixed-lens little brothers, the X100 series of cameras, also sport ...
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2 votes

What are the advantages of using the optical viewfinder over live preview to take photos on a DSLR?

The optical viewfinder does not require any power. Take a look at the numbers in the "battery" section of each of the following links (at the very end of the article): http://www.imaging-resource.com/...
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2 votes

What are the advantages of using the optical viewfinder over live preview to take photos on a DSLR?

re: Why anyone would want to hold even the lightest camera out at arm's length baffles me. Some people, it seems, can't envision the boundaries of the frame when looking through the classic ...
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  • 4,272
2 votes

How does the viewfinder overlay work?

This is answered in detail in another post: How are the red focus point indicators displayed on a DSLR's focusing screen? However, all of the DSLR cameras I am familiar with (OVFs) use an ...
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2 votes

Why do I see the moon as two objects through my DSLR viewfinder if I use eyeglasses?

You may have astigmatism that is insufficiently corrected by your glasses. Astigmatic eyes have multiple focus points that create double images. The high contrast of the moon against a dark sky makes ...
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2 votes

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an electronic viewfinder vs. a DSLR's optical finder?

Manual focusing needs to be handled differently with an EVF. Since most EVF are much lower in resolution than the sensor, it is hard to judge best focus by sight, requiring the use of focusing aids ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Fit LCD to prism based viewfinder

Seems like an arduous project: The viewing screen of the SLR is ground glass. This is liken to etched glass (roughened surface). Its job is to provide a toothed translucent surface that captures the ...
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