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Filming with Viewfinder Open


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#1 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:36 PM

I recently sold a Sony betacam to a guy, and now he is complaining that when you open the viewfinder it comes off (the hinge doesn't hold it on when you open it up but it stays on when it is closed) So do any of you guys film with the viewfinder open on a camera and think this is a valid complaint? I never opened it so this all seems like nit picking to me. He says he considers the viewfinder broken but I don't feel that way. This is his only complaint since the camera is in good condition, white balances fine, and has no dead pixels. So what should I do try to replace the viewfinder, or is this guy trying to scam me?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:49 PM

I recently sold a Sony betacam to a guy, and now he is complaining that when you open the viewfinder it comes off (the hinge doesn't hold it on when you open it up but it stays on when it is closed) So do any of you guys film with the viewfinder open on a camera and think this is a valid complaint? I never opened it so this all seems like nit picking to me. He says he considers the viewfinder broken but I don't feel that way. This is his only complaint since the camera is in good condition, white balances fine, and has no dead pixels. So what should I do try to replace the viewfinder, or is this guy trying to scam me?

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Well, he should have been warned that this was a feature of this camera before buying it since it shouldn't just come off (I don't think at least -- it's been a few years since I used a betacam), not that I think it's worth fixing. But some DP's do flip that thing up and down during a shoot. I guess the danger of it coming off is misplacing it then. Personally, if he got a good deal on the camera, he probably should live with this little defect, but it's never a good thing to buy something with a part broken and not be forewarned because he might have wanted to shave some more off of the price for that.

On some cameras, doesn't it come off instead of hinge anyway?

Was there any sort of contract that said you were responsible for any defects? Or was this "buyer beware"? And are you worried about an unhappy customer?
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#3 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:57 PM

"On some cameras, doesn't it come off instead of hinge anyway?"

Yeah I thought about that too. The viewfinder in question is a Sony DXF-501

"it's been a few years since I used a betacam"

That must be sweet having to only choose between HD or 35mm Hmmmmmm....
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#4 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:33 PM

I very regularly use the viewfinder flipped open and it would be a pain if it was not permanently attached. His is a valid complaint.
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#5 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:34 PM

I very regularly use the viewfinder flipped open and it would be a pain if it was not permanently attached. His is a valid complaint.

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What is the point of having it flipped open?
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#6 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:51 PM

If for some reason you want to see the actual picture the camera is taking when it isn't on your shoulder.
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#7 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:01 PM

If for some reason you want to see the actual picture the camera is taking when it isn't on your shoulder.

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Can't you do that with viewfinder closed though? Were viewfinders designed to be used open in certain circumstances?
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#8 sneeze proof

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:08 PM

Isn't that something you would notice when you check out the camera before buying it?
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#9 Sam Javor

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:37 PM

I use an old Panasonic WV-F250 which is an MII camera ... it's viewfinder is supposed to come off or swing on the hinge... if it comes off easially it may be a problem... I am trying to remember why I take it off though... I think it's when I'm going a moving camera shot so I can't easially have my head next to the camera and the glass has a glare on it. ... or if I have to stand in a awkward position off to the side and can only see the screen inside the viewfinder that is before the mirror...

oh! I remember... the cap has a magnifying lens in it so if it is cranked all the way up the tripod the image will be distorted/not fit in the viewfinder or something like that.

It can be taken off to prevent it from flipping back down.
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#10 Tim J Durham

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 11:02 PM

Can't you do that with viewfinder closed though? Were viewfinders designed to be used open in certain circumstances?

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No, because the eyecup is round and magnifies the image slightly, so you wouldn't be able to see the whole frame unless it was pressed up to your eye. Viewfinders flip open for that reason. When I shoot stuff on a tripod but for some reason I can't see the monitor (producer hogging it for instance) I will flip up the viewfinder so I can stand (or sit) normally and not lurch forward all the time.

Now, If I got to fully inspect the camera and missed it, I'd probably suspect you knew it was broken and hoped I wouldn't catch it. From your perspective, I guess you'll have to let your conscience be your guide.

By the way, the older viewfinders came straight out and could be removed completely. They were held in place by a collar sort of like a lens mount. Camera manufacturers changed to the hinged viewfinder due to customer complaints, no doubt.
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 12:17 AM

No, because the eyecup is round and magnifies the image slightly, so you wouldn't be able to see the whole frame unless it was pressed up to your eye. Viewfinders flip open for that reason. When I shoot stuff on a tripod but for some reason I can't see the monitor (producer hogging it for instance) I will flip up the viewfinder so I can stand (or sit) normally and not lurch forward all the time.

Now, If I got to fully inspect the camera and missed it, I'd probably suspect you knew it was broken and hoped I wouldn't catch it. From your perspective, I guess you'll have to let your conscience be your guide.

By the way, the older viewfinders came straight out and could be removed completely. They were held in place by a collar sort of like a lens mount. Camera manufacturers changed to the hinged viewfinder due to customer complaints, no doubt.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I often shoot with the thing open, especially when I have to shoot for a prolonged period of time in one shot. Switching beween having the eyecup on your eye and having the viewfinder open helps keep my eyes from getting tired as fast. Switching the place I focus on helps that for some reason, I guess eye muscles can get stiff like any other muscle.

I think his is definately a valid complaint.
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#12 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 11:53 AM

Thanks for all your input guys. What should I do give him money back , find a new viewfinder,etc... ?
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#13 Tim J Durham

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 12:06 PM

Thanks for all your input guys. What should I do give him money back , find a new viewfinder,etc... ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'd just cover the cost of the repair to the hinge. Not likely to need an entire viewfinder.
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