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Thursday, March 22, 2012

POOR MAN’S IMARECT FINDER


There has hardly been any accessory for the Leica cameras that hasn’t been offered by Leitz in one form or another and still, other companies have made a variety of accessories that proved to be a valid alternative to their Leitz made counterparts.

One such accessory is the adjustable Braun Universalsucher (Universal Viewfinder).  Just like the Leitz Imarect finder the Brown offers adjustable viewing fields for 35/38mm, 45/50mm, 85/90mm and 135mm and parallax correction in meters and feet from 0.35 meters (1.5 feet) to infinity.

Braun Universalsucher
   
Focal Length and Parallax Adjustments

Viewfinder set for 85/90mm

Unlike the Leica M cameras, the Leica screw mount cameras had no adjustable viewfinders and therefore lack any possibility for previewing focal lengths other than 50mm.  Here too the Brown viewfinder, just like the Imarect, can be used to do so by simply adjusting the viewing frame of the finder.

It is definitely not as sophisticated as the Imarect, but that doesn’t diminish its usefulness at all.  I used one for many years on various Leica screw mount cameras with lenses from 35mm to 135mm. 

Even today I use it occasionally with my Leica Digilux 2 for night shots.  While the electronic viewfinder of the Digilux 2 is not at all bad under normal lighting conditions, it is virtually useless at night.  Framing is almost impossible.  With the help of the Braun adjustable viewfinder I am able to cover the focal length range of the Leica DC Vario Summicron with the exception of focal lengths wider than 35mm.  Even with the lens at 28mm the finder has proven to be useful in aiming the camera correctly.

Thus this little accessory from years past still is of value beyond that of a collector’s item and I am glad to see that it still works just as well as it did when it was first made.



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