Voigtlander 28/35
Accessories

Voigtlander 28/35 mini-finder micro-review

January 16, 2016

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…

_DSC7599

…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.

Voigtlander 28/35 - view through the finder

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,

Hamish

More here about this finder on Camera Quest

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Daan
    January 7, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Hamish,
    I’m not sure if you will see this, but if you are: I’m wondering, when you use this mini-finder while wearing glasses / specs can you see the 28mm framelines without trouble?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      No, you have to get your eye right into the mini-finder :/

  • Reply
    David hill
    May 12, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    I am fond of this little thing, and am in agreement with your evaluation here — though I’m just a tiny bit startled to see your value of “£170(ish)“, as I’m quite certain it was fairly dear but never quite so dear as that. Nevertheless… I’ve been going through my things with an eye towards thinning the gear down, and this gem came up. I no longer have a 28 so rarely ever use it, but if(when) I get a LTM 28, the task of finding another of these little devils seems so onerous that I think I’ll hang onto it. Figuring out its value has been a challenge—there’s not a single one on ebay, and I can’t find one anywhere else either, or even any indication at all that it exists — but for THIS review by yourself. So if nothing else, Hamish, you’ve righted my sense of balance in the world by validating the existential essence of this bit of glass and enameled steel in its pale green box ..

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      May 14, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      Haha, they were only ever delivered by fairies – you realise that, right?

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