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#15134

Tests are done.   Both the Canon T2i and 5D Mk III have brighter viewfinders than Nikon’s FM 10.  The FM 10 is, however, smaller and lighter.

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I put the 28-135 zoom on the 5D, thinking that would be comparable to what was on the FM 10, but when I dug it out, I discovered it has a 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 lens on it!

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The rebel has Sigma’s 18-250 f/3.5-6.3, which I find great for general use.  Their new version is even smaller and lighter

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So, anyway. not trusting my eyes, I set up a continuous fluorescent in a softbox at the edge of my desk, placed each camera in turn about the same distance from the softbox and used a Sekonic light meter to measure the light coming through the viewfinder.  I set ISO to 8000 and shutter to 1/20th.  Here are the apertures the light meter suggested:

At the shortest zoom settings

Rebel — 5.0

FM 10 — 5.6

5D — 6.3

At 70 mm, give or take

Rebel — 5.6

FM 10 — 5.0

5D — 5.6

Also, I put a Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 on the 5D, which resulted in a reading of 9.0, so as expected, if you use faster lenses, you get a brighter viewfinder.  Canon’s 24 mm f/1.4 on the 5D scored 8.0

For giggles, I put the Sigma 85 on the Rebel.  To my amazement, it also scored 9.0, so its viewfinder is not too shabby!  Although, it only shows 95% of the scene so things tend to creep into the edges of the frame.