Leica EVF2 (order number 18753) is an electronic viewfinder made exclusively for the Leica M (Typ 240) and the X2.
The resolution of this viewfinder is only 1.4 megapixels. If you discover the electronic viewfinder of the Leica SL has amazingly 4.4 million dots, which is 4 times better, you will ask: does it still make sense to a Leica M user?
The answer is simply yes. Previously my focusing is all but the optical viewfinder, the rangefinder. Wiki defines rangefinder as “a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject distance and take photographs that are in sharp focus.” However, currently the optical viewfinder gives a coverage of roughly 28mm, anything wider needs an external viewer such as the Universal wide-angle finder for the Leica Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21 mm f/4 ASPH, or Bright-line Viewfinder M for wide angle lenses with focal lengths 18, 21 or 24 mm. For anything from 28mm to 135mm, the optical viewer still works although you may find the magnifiers helpful at times for focal lengths 75mm or higher.
I use a Summarit-M 90 mm f/2.5 to discover the optical viewfinder clear and precise.
So why do you need the EVF2? If you ever use the Live View (LV) function on the Leica M, you know how this works. Live View enlarges part of the object and shows the focus peaking (red lines at the edges) when focusing is in action (adjusting the ring). However, using Live View has one drawback. Unless you hold your camera steady or mount it on a tripod, the point of sharpness can never be guaranteed. If you use the lens wide open, there is a likelihood of shifting the point of sharpness when you watch the rear LCD screen through Live View then later to take a snapshot.
In addition to the fact that the EVF2 serves the same purpose of the optical viewfinder, two distinctive features which assist you to focus more precisely:
- It gives the full coverage of all M lenses, from wide to tele focal lengths, also showing instant reviews and the exposure information the same as the rear LCD monitor screen. No matter which focal length the lens is mounted, it gives you the full frame.
- The EVF can be turned upright. That is a big convenience when you focus the object closer to the ground or lower level.
Like what Thorsten Overgaard mentions in his website, the Leica EVF2 is a rebranded Olympus VF-2. In fact, he has already discussed its pros and cons in details. It feels cheap when you compare it with other original Leica accessories (except the Microphone Adapter Set, which is a rebranded Olympus External Mic Adapter EMA-1): made in plastic and not solid enough. It is also overpriced, not a surprise.
Three years later, Leica has made a big improvement to the electronic viewfinder of the late Leica SL.
When you find hard to focus through the normal optical viewfinder, the Leica EVF2 deserves a try. This little gadget can be carried around easily in a small nice case.
One last word. The featured image was taken with the Summicron-M 50 mm/f2.0 at a speed of 1/3000 sec, ISO 200.