Sony NEX 16mm optical viewfinder
Sony offers this bright optical viewfinder for the 16mm pancake lens as an aid for people that don’t like using the LCD in bright sunlight, or other reasons I suppose. The FDA-SV1 is part of the ‘smart accessory terminal’ system that currently includes the new EVF and two flashes.
This viewfinder is only for the 16mm F/2.8 lens, and will not provide the right field of view when using any other lens, or the two converters for the 16mm F/2.8 lens.
Magnification; approximately 0.49.
Optical configuration; 5 elements in four groups.
Construction material; glass optics and plastic housing.
Size; 35.5 x 38 x 33 (1.45″ x 1.5″ x 1.3″)
Weight; 34.5g or 1.3oz.
Type; Albada type inverse Galileo lens.
Actual coverage; 81%
Eye relief; 15mm.
Multi-coatings; magenta and cyan.
Made in Japan.
Very simple to use, just line up the pins and screw it down like the flash unit.
It’s very bright and clear, even in bright sun light or dim evening light.
The outer guide frame is for general composition, the lower segregated line is for close range correction, use this when you’re about 66cm from your subject. Place the subject just below the lower guide marks. The manual says if you’re closer than 66cm, use the LCD!
Eye glass wearers will probably need to touch their glasses to the optics to see properly.
In super bright light, there are some reflections from the guide marks, but you can still see quite well.
The FDA-SV1 optical viewfinder is useful if you’re using the NEX 16/2.8 lens in difficult viewing conditions, or like to see the real image instead of the LCD generated version, which may include blotchy color in low light, slow refresh rates, and poor highlights.
If you have a NEX camera with the EVF, or the add-on version, I’d pass on this rather expensive optical viewfinder as it really has limited value in my opinion, and makes the small NEX camera system more bulky when attached.