D600 vs. F/F2 Viewfinder Magnification Difference

Spy_BlackSpy_Black Posts: 79Member
edited April 2013 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
Does anyone know what the magnification value of the original F and F2 eyepieces are? Comparing the .7x D600 magnification to (say) my F2, the F2 has a larger magnification view, although I'm not sure what it is. It may be 1x for all I know. Aside from the split-image/microprism focusing aids, it's just so much easier to see and focus MF lenses on the F/F2 than the D600 (using two 50mm f/1.4s for comparison). I noticed that the D600, D800, D3, D4, etc. all list their viewfinders at .7x magnification. I'm at a loss as to what the point of this is. Over at the the DP-Review pages on the D600, I noticed the old Canon EOS-1DX had a significantly larger .76x viewfinder, although the newer MK IIs and MK IIIs have a .71x finder.

Looking around, I noticed Nikon listed the old DK-21M magnifying eyepiece as compatible with the D600: http://tinyurl.com/c4fo4f5
It's listed as having 1.17x power, which would bring the total magnification to .819x on the D600. Another option is to shoehorn a DK-17M magnifying eyepiece into a DK-22 eyepiece adapter for 1.2x magnification, bringing total magnification to .84x on the D600. Hopefully this would bring the D600's viewfinder near or at the old F/F2 finder magnification.

Frankly, I find this lower magnification annoying, I don't understand the point of it. The original F and F2 eyepiece views are so great compared to the modern Nikon bodies. I plan to replace the screen with a split-image/microprism focusing screen for my MF lenses, but overall viewfinder mag is bothersome. I went through this with the D5100, much worse of course, but helped at least by having a split-image/microprism screen. The situation is certainly better on the D600, but no match for the old Nikons. WTF?


  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited April 2013
    Do I understand you are going to replace the screen on your D600?

    On my "F" body, a 35mm f/2.0 Nikkor-O looks to be very close to the size of the image in the viewfinder as my D4 with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Both have a full ground glass screen as that is what I liked for manual focus on the "F" bodies.

    One difference I noted was the Sigma FOV on the D4 appeared to be about 5% wider than the f/2 Nikkor-O. Maybe this is a difference in viewfinder coverage.....
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • Spy_BlackSpy_Black Posts: 79Member
    I will eventually be replacing the screen. My concern is the image magnification in the viewfinder. Using two 50mm f/1.4 Nikkors, I see a smaller magnification on the D600 than my FTN or F2SB as I quickly switch between cameras. This basically confirms my initial suspicion that the D600 viewfinder image is a reduced magnification view. Brightness seems about the same, although the D600 viewfinder seems yellowish compared to the film Nikons.

    You can't compare a Nikkor to a third party optic, because their field of views will not be identical, even though their stated focal lengths and/of Fs are identical. You need to have two identical optics on each camera body.

    The smaller magnification makes it difficult to manually focus, regardless if you have a split-image/microprism focusing screen or not. It's just harder to see what you're looking at. Most people nowadays don't pay attention to focus because they believe their AF lenses will focus where they want it too, which actually isn't always the case, but that's an entirely different topic.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited April 2013
    There's no such thing as a free lunch, right?

    When designing the viewfinder, there are tradeoffs between all of the following factors:

    1. Magnification
    2. Coverage
    3. Eye-point
    4. Info area (the numbers/meter visible under the viewfinder)
    5. Cost

    E.g, if you want high magnification and coverage, then probably the eye-point will suffer (bad for people who wear glasses).

    Post edited by Ade on
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