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Right Angled Finders

A right angled viewfinder is a great aid for macro, high and low level photography as well as for copy photography when you are trying to take pictures of paintings or similar. It attaches to the camera eyepiece and allows you to have the camera at the right position, but without the need for you to be an acrobat and have to tie yourself in knots, or needing a pair of steps to be able to see through the cameras viewfinder.

A right angle finder is an L-shaped optical accessory with a mirror or prism mounted at 45 degrees. It attaches to the camera's viewfinder eyepiece. The eyepiece tube has 360 degrees of rotation, click stopped at 45 degree intervals, allowing you to look downwards, upwards or from either side, into the viewfinder rather than the usual direct view. It also has an adjustable dioptre eyepiece, making it also suitable for people who wear glasses, and allowing you to correctly focus the view so that the image is correct for your eyes. A rubber eye cup helps to keep external light out of view. There is a switch on top to change magnification usually 1x and 2x although some manufacturers have also used 2.5x. This magnifies the viewfinders display so the elements around the edge of the viewfinders window also becomes larger to view.

Nikon DR-6 in normal position

There are various models available, with both Nikon and Canon manufacturing their own for their range of cameras. Both Nikon and Canon models are made to their normal high standards and the optics are clear and crisp. Nikon make different versions for their rectangular eyepiece, the DR-6 (D300) and the DR-5 (D2X) for their circular eyepiece mount and for this reason they fit nice and tight. The Nikon viewfinders also come with a ??? on the side so that it can be attached to a camera strap or some other system to make it secure, at around 200 you don't want to risk knocking it off and loosing it. Canon on the other hand produce one model, the Canon Angle Finder C, but provide adaptors so that it will fit all their EOS range of cameras.

Nikon DR-6 in at 45 degrees

Click on smaller images to see larger versions

Nikon DR-5 = D2X (circular eyepiece),  retails for around 199.50
Fits D2H, D2X, D700, D3, D3X
Reproduction ratio changeable between 1:1 or 1:2
Lens construction at 1:1 is 7 elements in 5 groups (including Dach-Prism). At 1:2 is 8 elements in 6 groups (including Dach-Prism).
Diopter adjustment at 1:1 is -8.0 to +3.8m-1. At 1:2 is -5.0 to +6.0m-1.
Dimensions (WxHxD) is approx. 48 x 81.5 x 62mm (1.9 x 3.2 x 2.4 in.)
Weight is approx. 90g (3.17oz)

Nikon DR-5 + pouch for circular viewfinders

Nikon DR-6 = D300 (rectangular eyepiece),  retails for around  199.50
Fits D40, D40x, D50, D70, D80, D90, D100, D200, D300
Reproduction ratio changeable between 1:1 or 1:2
Lens construction at 1:1 is 7 elements in 5 groups (including Dach-Prism). At 1:2 is 8 elements in 6 groups (including Dach-Prism).
Diopter adjustment at 1:1 is -8.0 to +3.8m-1. At 1:2 is -5.0 to +6.0m-1.
Dimensions (WxHxD) is approx. 48 x 81.5 x 59.5mm (1.9 x 3.2 x 2.3 in.)
Weight is approx. 90g (3.17oz)

Nikon DR-6 + pouch for rectangular viewfinders

Canon Angle Finder C retails for around 198,  it's magnification is 1x and 2.5x. The one model fits all EOS range of cameras via the use of supplied adaptors.

There are also versions made by Seagull and Hoodman USA. Their function is the same and they to rotate 360 degrees, have magnification of between 1x and 2.5x. They mount on the camera in the same way but they come with adaptor shields to fit the various different sizes of viewfinders on all cameras. For this reason on the Nikon cameras they do not normally fit as snugly as the Nikon ones, although on their plus side they are a lot cheaper.

Seagull Right Angle Finder 
price 03/2009 at www.speedgraphic.co.uk   79.95

1x and 2.5x magnifications.
9 element, 5 group glass roof prism construction.
2.5x centre image enlargement.
+/-4 dioptre adjustable eyesight correction.
Supplied with slot-on adaptors for:
Nikon 22mm rectangular, Canon 18mm rectangular, Canon 22mm rectangular, Pentax, Leica.
Plus blower brush, and pouch case.
You can also purchase an extra adaptor for the Nikon round eyepiece for 4.95

Seagull Model

Click on smaller images to see larger versions

Hoodman H-RAV Universal Ring Angle Finder
retails in the UK for around 105 in 03/2009 available from www.newprouk.co.uk
  • Fits Nikon, Canon, & Fuji Digital SLR Cameras
  • Adjustable eyepiece Dioptre
  • 1x & 2.5x Viewing magnification
  • 360 Degree Rotation
  • 5 adaptors for Universal Mounting
  • Carry case Included
  • Approx dimensions 88x69x38mm
  • Weight 113g

The supplied mounts with the Hoodman include:

Nikon 22mm rectangle for the D50, D70s, D70, D100, EM, FG, FG20, N50, N55, N60, N65, N70, N75, N80, N2000, N2020, N4004, N4004s, N5005, N6000, N6006 and Pronea 6i.

Canon 22mm for cameras such as the EOS3/30/33, EOS50D/50E/55.

Nikon round 22mm for the D1, D1H, D1X, D2H, D2X, F3HP, F4, F5, F6, F100, N90, N90s, N8008 and N8008s. Universal 19mm. It doesn't say what this fits but fits snugly on Konica Minolta's Dynax 7D and the Sony Alpha 100

Canon 18mm for models such as Canon EOS10D, EOS20D, EOSD30/D60, EOS300D, EOS350D, EOS400D, EOS10, EOS66, 88/88QD, EOS100, EOS300/300V, EOS500/500N, EOS700/750, EOS850/888, EOS1000N/1000FN, EOS1/1N/1D/1V.

Hoodman H-RAV Universal Viewfinder

Click on smaller images to see larger versions

In conclusion I use the Nikon viewfinders on our Nikon cameras and they are really nice to look through, you get a clear crisp image, and the change between magnification is not apparent. I have attached a small chain to the DR-6 so that when I have it in use I can attach it to another part of the camera body, that way should it come off the viewfinder mount it will not get lost. I love it when doing macro photography, particularly when close to the ground as I don't have to lay down beside the camera to see what I'm getting. It is a permanent addition to my camera bag.  At the recent Focus on Imaging Show (2009) I took the opportunity to look through and handle the Hoodman and I felt it didn't fit snugly, it slips onto the eyepiece of camera, you also have an extra layer of a conversion plate, which was metal but the one at the show was said to have been yanked off by someone and wasn't fitting problem. Okay I might be finicky but I was concerned that if that could happen then with a lot of use, like I make it probably wouldn't last very long. The plate and attachments on the Hoodman are metal and the metal springs on the plates that grip hold of the finder are thin and easy to bend. This design doesn't work as well on a reverse column tripod as the weight of the finder lets it slip easily out of the adaptor plate, when the camera is upside down. It needs some form of lock. There was also no hook to allow it to be secured to the camera when not in use or heaven forbid it should come off when using it. I didn't think the display through the eyepiece was as clear and crisp as the Nikon I use, it was dirty and had a yellowy tinge. When I put it into 1x magnification it made the viewer smaller and put black edges around which I found off putting, at 2x you got the full viewfinder view. If it had a plus side then I suppose price is it, although you would only have to loose it once before you spend as much as you would for the Nikon version.

DR-5 mounted on Nikon D2x

 

Page Ref: right-angled_viewfinder Classification: Accessories Last Updated: 03/2009
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