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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for its intended use
Having been brought up a fair number of cameras with external viewfinders including the current Panasonic LX3 this is far better than most and a fraction of the cost of current competition.
The main problem I have with most small modern digital cameras is that they do not have a viewfinder and I cannot see LCD screens clearly without glasses. This viewfinder was one...
Published on 11 Mar 2010 by Iveljay

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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth thinking about.
As a long term SLR user I find it more natural to hold a camera to my eye. Also performance of the E-P1 LCD screen is a little weak and in bright sunlight it becomes somewhat useless.

So I thought a detachable viewfinder would be useful. It has known limitations in that it has no electrical contact with the camera and its field of view only matches the 17mm...
Published on 22 Jan 2010 by I. BARRETT


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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth thinking about., 22 Jan 2010
By 
I. BARRETT - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
As a long term SLR user I find it more natural to hold a camera to my eye. Also performance of the E-P1 LCD screen is a little weak and in bright sunlight it becomes somewhat useless.

So I thought a detachable viewfinder would be useful. It has known limitations in that it has no electrical contact with the camera and its field of view only matches the 17mm Olympus lens.

However there is no way of accurately lining your eye up with the viewfinder. So if you are looking at a slight angle to the camera then the photo you get is not what is expected. Also the viewfinder probably has a 25-30mm field of view with markings etched on the viewfinder glass to show what is the frame. Most of the time these markings are all but invisible.

The lack of communication with the camera is also an issue in that you don't know what the camera is focussing on. Where a lens has a large aperture (as have the Olympus 17mm or the Panasonic 20mm) then focussing using the screen and then using the eyepiece to frame the photo won't get the expected item in focus. In short the viewfinder would only be useful when using a tripod. And why would you want to?

Remember too that this viewfinder uses the flash hotshoe so illuminating your subject becomes impossible.

Finally the device feels of very low quality. It is an all plastic device that weighs nothing and looks like the toy that it is.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for its intended use, 11 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
Having been brought up a fair number of cameras with external viewfinders including the current Panasonic LX3 this is far better than most and a fraction of the cost of current competition.
The main problem I have with most small modern digital cameras is that they do not have a viewfinder and I cannot see LCD screens clearly without glasses. This viewfinder was one of the main reasons for going for the Olympus Pen series as it would at long last replace my aging film Hexars and Leica with a useable option.
Photography using this type of viewfinder camera combination is very different to the approach I have with an slr and I can see why some slr users can't adjust.
Shooting with this is faster, and allows far firmer hand held shooting tham the lcd.
The combination of this viewfinder with the EP-1 will get results almost as good as the new Leica X1 for half the cost and give you the option for interchangeable lenses. The Leica also has a similar external viewfinder.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Price and problem, 1 Oct 2013
By 
M. Smith "booklune" (england kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
Seems expensive for exactly what the old fashioned empty lift up metal frame would do.not even rough frame for zoom settings.also not secure enough fitting. Immense help in bright sunlight which is ok. Would help with small case as when it drops off camera can see scratches will spoil it. Despite price would still buy it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars does what you should expect it to do, 13 Aug 2013
By 
A. D. Hall (wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
Reading other reviews I get the impression some people have unrealistic expectations of what this viewfinder can do. It is an optical viewfinder (as it says on the tin) it won't therefore 'communicate' with the camera, provide you with setting info (as per an electronic viewfinder) or enable you to focus through it like an SLR viewfinder. Given it's name, description and specifications, anyone who expects it to fulfil these functions is deluded and unrealistic. However, as an optical viewfinder (such as you would find on any high end compact)it appears to fulfil it's role admirably, enabling you to more in touch with the composition and framing of the shot than the LCD, much like my original Olympus Trip of 40 years ago! The only question being 'for what focal length lens?', and this is the only area where I believe purchasers may have grounds for complaint. I gather this unit is designed for a 17mm lens, but I use it (when light dictates)in conjunction with a Lumix 20mm on my Oly E-PL2 and it seems to provide a fairly accurate field of view for this lens, so may be found wanting for the 17mm but have not used it with one so cannot provide an informed opinion. It is usually only called into service when taking pics in bright sunlight when I can only guess what my LCD is showing, so it's not in constant use, but for those occasions when needed it does the job. Admitedly an electronic viewfinder would be preferable, but got this for under 50 (90 does seem a touch excessive for such a simple device) when EVF-2 is nearer 200, so I'll accept this item for what it is without complaint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good thing, 1 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
I like it!
it is very useful and I usually take it to go outside!
that is very kind !
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless accessory, 14 April 2013
By 
Eddie Wilkinson (Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
It it not connected to the camera and is of no help when trying to take photographs. It is a useless and VERY expensive accessory. The E-PL1 camera is VERY disappointing having no viewfinder and very difficult in bright light to get accurate photographs!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A useful afterthought, 13 Jan 2011
By 
Michael Shea (Algarve, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder (Accessory)
It's worth reiterating that this viewfinder is external and does not talk to, or get any messages from the camera. Therefore you won't get any information whatsoever about your metered exposure, or more importantly what the camera has focused on. But the VF-1 is still in my opinion worth having, because it enables you to compose your image well, even if you use a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. I understand that the field of view offered with the latter is more accurate than the cropped reading given by the viewfinder when Olympus's own (inferior) 17mm f2.8 pancake lens is attached. Also, I am firmly of the old-fashioned view that a viewfinder helps considerably to stabilise the camera, and having it as close to the eye as possible feels like a much more natural position for the camera to be.

I recently also purchased a medium sized, retro styled carrying bag for my E-P1 camera and unfortunately the addition of the VF-1 causes space issues when it's attached in transit. However, it's very simple to take the accessory on and off and therefore like practically everything else, there's a way around the problem.

For a relatively experienced photographer, the lack of a viewfinder seriously detracts from the basic Olympus E-P1 camera. If like me you're accustomed to having one at your disposal, you will certainly regret the omission. This one is by no means perfect, but it's much better than nothing.
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Olympus VF-1 External Optical View Finder
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