On Exactness (or – less brain, more heart)

I have found quite a few commentators on the internet referring to how they have started to use the electronic viewfinder more than the optical viewfinder on their Fujifilm X-Pro1s. The main reason stated seems to be the desire to frame more exactly and precisely.

I find this interesting. I have, in general, the exact opposite experience. I can’t help but feel that I make better compositions when I’m not framing so precisely. When using my micro four thirds camera, I often can’t help but fuss over the exact and precise placement of the frame. There always seems to be 1000 minute variations possible, and at the time of the exposure, I can’t really make up my mind which is the most effective. This is tedious at best, and for so-called decisive moment situations, totally unsatisfactory. Generally, I find myself taking several photographs, where in rangefinder terms, I might only take one or two frames.

Having thought about this quite a bit recently, I can only conclude that with a rangefinder, such as my M6, I know that my framing will not be exact, so subconsciously I don’t become too hung up on it. I think what happens is that I feel the composition more, and analyse it less. This I think helps me to make better compositions. Less brain, more heart.

A few days ago I was once again at K’s Denki, once again fondling their demo model of the X-Pro1. I had my two young children with me, and I took several portraits of them. Viewing them on the rear LCD screen, I was, if I may say so with a resounding lack of humility, astounded at the clarity of my compositions. They seemed so much better than anything I’ve taken of them for a very long time. Specifically, they reminded me of the best of my portraits of them with my rangefinders.

Analysing this, I see two, nay three, no belay that, indeed four possibilities. Firstly, perhaps just by the simple fact of using something new and thus exciting, I’m enjoying the experience more, and hence springs a more spontaneously creative situation. Secondly, for the above stated reason of newness and excitement, I’m perhaps seeing the compositions through rose tinted contacts (coloured contact lenses are a big business in Japan after all). Thirdly, mayhap in a fit of justification, I’m simply inventing or overstating. Finally, I may have indeed been letting go, subconsciously unbound from the need for exactness, and reaching out unconsciously, though my eye, with my heart.


One thought on “On Exactness (or – less brain, more heart)

  1. Hi
    I’ve had an X-Pro1 since August. I too have read about some using the EVF more. My guess is that a couple of things are at work:
    1. The web will always feature complainers. People who are happy rarely post of their happiness.
    2. Many with the X have not used such frame-lines before, and are not taking the time to understand the implications and learn to use the frame-lines to advantage.
    3. They may be coming from a DSLR or M4/3, where the framing and focus experience is very different.

    Personally, I prefer the OVF. I like a natural picture. I have not had trouble framing. This camera has a learning curve. It’s worth the effort.


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