Thursday, May 29, 2008

REVIEW: Hoodman Pro LCD SCreen Loupe

Today I got a new toy - a Hoodman Professional LCD Screen Loupe that I had read about in The Digital Photography Book. As the weather is getting more and more sunny in Seattle these days, I find myself needing to crank up the brightness on my LCD to see anything. However the problem with doing this is that I frequently judge my exposure by what I see on the LCD (yeah, I know I should use the histogram ...). When I turn up the LCD brightness too much it causes me to underexpose shots so I decided it was time to do something about.

Well I've heard Scott Kelby and other photographers rave about this little widget, and I'm now officially a fan of this little gadget. It works great (although I wish it was bigger for the large LCD on my 1D Mark III), is compact, and travels nicely thanks to a neck strap and carrying case.

As you can see in the image below, I've attached mine (inside of its handy carrying case) to the outside of my ThinkTankPhoto Glass Taxi and attached the strap to my bag so I can't lose it.


Now when I need the loop, I just reach and grab it out and use it. In fact, when I'm done I've just let it dangle until I need it again. I'm sure if I damage it I might change this practice, but this device seems to be really well built so it seems like it would take a lot to damage it.

At first I scoffed at the $65 price tag for this thing because it seemed like nothing more than a plastic cover, but after getting it I see why it isn't the $15 I thought it should be. It is made of a really good rubber that won't damage your LCD, a nice piece of glass that doubles the image size which sure made my LCD seem better than it has looked before, and features +/- 3 adjustable diaopter. After using it in the sun today, I'd say it is priceless. I won't be shooting outdoors without it again - period!

Here's another shot of this device taken from Hoodman's web site (but order it from B&H to save money):

Cost: $65 USD (on 5/29/08)
Value: Overpriced, but very well made
Recommendation: Get it - you'll wonder how you lived without it on your first sunny day shoot

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Murali said...

This is a great device. It also has other use cases. When I am shooting landscapes, I use it to preview a scene before I take out my camera. It weighs less than my Nikon D300 and it is a bit brighter than the viewfinder.

Ron Martinsen said...

I used this to review about 4500 pictures (out of 6000 total taken) during the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal earlier this month and it was a great tool to have. I had to delete about 1000 pics in the field because I was low on disk space, so it was really nice to be able to use this instead of having to suffer eye strain on super sunny days (for most of the time I was using it). I love the 2x magnification and stretchy necklace material because it made it easy to use to review pics from both of my camera bodies quickly and easily.

Bala said...

There is the newer version of the loupe for 3" screens that I love for my D700. You should check if that works better for your Mark III. I find it a big improvement over the previous version!

Ron Martinsen said...

I've written an updated review for the 3.0 here