How Useful is the OVF on the Leica X1?

26th May 2015
Questions often arise from new owners of the popular X1 camera regarding the need for an external viewfinder. There is no provision for coupling an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) such as those designed for later X cameras, so the only option is to consider an optical viewfinder (OVF).

Leica produced a Bright Line Finder matched optically to the 36mm equivalent focal length of the Elmarit lens on the camera. (18707) Despite having a plastic body, the finder gives a bright and clear view for framing a subject. There are lines marked to allow parallax correction at close ranges. It cannot match an EVF or LCD for framing accuracy. So it rewards the user to practise often and adapt your technique for optimum results. I rarely use it at close ranges.

I have always found an OVF useful when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight. It also encourages steadier use of the camera by using the forehead as extra support to damp movement at time of exposure. Camera shake is minimized with this technique. It is certainly steadier than holding the camera at arms length when framing with the LCD monitor.

The OVF can be stored safely in your camera bag when not needed or ultimate compactness is a priority. On balance, it is a valuable accessory which should not be discarded without reason.

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