I’ve had a couple of messages lately asking me about the Voigtlander 28/35 mini finder, specifically whether or not I think it’s worth the fairly large amount of cash they go for on ebay and the like. So to answer the question, I thought I would write a very brief review.
The Voigtlander 28/35 mini-finder, is possibly the most expensive piece of camera equipment I own, at least when you divide the cost of it by it’s weight – it cost me £170(ish) and only weighs about 18g.
But of course, it’s tiny weight is just a reflection of its minuscule size. As you can see in the pictures, when mounted on the top of a thread mount Leica, it adds little to the size of the camera…
…And this was precisely the reason I wanted one. I love my little Leica iiia, and the Voigtlander 28mm f/3.5 is nothing short of a gem. Combined, they make a tiny, very enjoyable to use pocketable little combo. The last thing I would want to do would be to add a great big viewfinder to the top. The Voigtlander mini-finder allows me to use my Leica iiia and 28mm with complete comfort, as indeed it will when I get my 35mm.
Before I picked up my Voigtlander 28/35 , I was quite sceptical about it. It struck me that something so small must have a small feeling view. Combine with this a pair of frame lines and I predicted that there would be a sense of compromise when using it; I expected the convenience of the small size to be outweighed by a small and cluttered view. When I eventually got one, I found my predictions and concerns to be almost wholly ill founded.
The view through the finder is actually not that small feeling at all. Quite the contrary in fact, it actually feels quite a large finder to look through, at least larger than you might expect. That said, its not perfect. The frame lines can disappear sometimes depending on the light, and the view itself is a touch barrel distorted.
I have tried to capture a view through the finder that shows both the frame lines and barrel distortion. It proved quite hard, and for one reason or another, the frame lines themselves appear to be curved in the photo I managed to take. In reality this is not the case, nor is the darkening of the outer edges of the view when you have the finder to the eye. In short, this is not the best demo of the finder, but what with its tiny size, its not exactly easy to show off properly.
As to the question of Voigtlander 28/35 being worth the money… Well, its a hard question to answer. For my money I am very happy with it. I wouldn’t swap it for anything else now. The size makes it the perfect choice for me, and considering the very high quality build of the thing, I don’t think I’ll even need another 28mm or 35mm finder… That is assuming I don’t loose the thing!
Cheers for reading,
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