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Isotta dSLR Housing Viewfinder Issue

viewfinder bifocal focus

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#1 WetLens

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

Last June, I purchased an Isotta housing for my D500.  I got their standard 60 macro port and a 6.5" dome port plus enough adapters to manage 60, 105, 10.5, 8-15, and 16-85 lenses.  My first trial with the housing was at BHB for a week in June.  One of the things I noticed right away was that I could not see critical focus through the viewfinder.  With macro, I typically get focus close, then move in/out to achieve critical focus on the plane of choice.  Couldn't do it.  I relied on single point focus and putting the spot where I wanted it.  Got results, but really did not like not being able to "see."  I tried several things, but nothing improved.

 

I discussed back and forth with Backscatter over the following months - even sent the housing back so they could see the problem.  Of course, everything looked fine to them.  They lent an Inon 45º finder for a Sea of Cortez trip in September, which worked great - crystal clear focus.  During the trip, I had several other photographers try the rig with Isotta's viewfinder.  Several could focus just fine, others could not.  The difference - bifocals.  Those with long-arm disease could not focus; those with younger eyes could. 

 

Has anyone else seen this problem with SLR housing viewfinders?  My thought at this point is that the Isotta housing creates an apparent image within my "need bifocal" range.  I tried focusing through bifocals and have to say that didn't work out so well either.  The only dSLR housings that I've used to date have been Ikelite and never had this issue (I still have my D610/Ike housing).

 

Backscatter is throwing in the towel.  They've not heard feedback from anyone else with a problem, so it must just be me...  Right now, their solution is for me to buy the Inon finder.  It was nice, don't get me wrong, just don't think I should be forced into that purchase.

 

Thoughts?



#2 ChrisRoss

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 03:03 PM

It sounds like the diopter adjustment changes with that viewfinder and it's simply a matter of "focusing" the viewfinder, of course the standard viewfinder does not focus, so,have you played with the diopter adjustment on the D500 viewfinder?   Try it on land first, do you have the same problem focusing on land (through a scuba mask).  If so trial and error adjustment of the diopter may help, you need to adjust while using the combined D500 viewfinder/Isotta viewfinder.  If the impact is not the same you may need to trial underwater in a pool.    Maybe try pushing it all the way to +1 as a first trial.  I assume you can see the image fine with the camera outside the housing.

 

Otherwise I believe you can buy accessory diopters for the D500:  https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57670560 .  Normally a camera viewfinder is set for mid distant vision, sounds like the Isotta viewfinder pushes that into the closeup range. 

The advantage of course of the INON viewfinder is they normally have dioptric adjustment built in and it's easy to dial in underwater. 



#3 sunnyboy010101

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 03:10 PM

Last June, I purchased an Isotta housing for my D500.  I got their standard 60 macro port and a 6.5" dome port plus enough adapters to manage 60, 105, 10.5, 8-15, and 16-85 lenses.  My first trial with the housing was at BHB for a week in June.  One of the things I noticed right away was that I could not see critical focus through the viewfinder.  With macro, I typically get focus close, then move in/out to achieve critical focus on the plane of choice.  Couldn't do it.  I relied on single point focus and putting the spot where I wanted it.  Got results, but really did not like not being able to "see."  I tried several things, but nothing improved.

 

I discussed back and forth with Backscatter over the following months - even sent the housing back so they could see the problem.  Of course, everything looked fine to them.  They lent an Inon 45º finder for a Sea of Cortez trip in September, which worked great - crystal clear focus.  During the trip, I had several other photographers try the rig with Isotta's viewfinder.  Several could focus just fine, others could not.  The difference - bifocals.  Those with long-arm disease could not focus; those with younger eyes could. 

 

Has anyone else seen this problem with SLR housing viewfinders?  My thought at this point is that the Isotta housing creates an apparent image within my "need bifocal" range.  I tried focusing through bifocals and have to say that didn't work out so well either.  The only dSLR housings that I've used to date have been Ikelite and never had this issue (I still have my D610/Ike housing).

 

Backscatter is throwing in the towel.  They've not heard feedback from anyone else with a problem, so it must just be me...  Right now, their solution is for me to buy the Inon finder.  It was nice, don't get me wrong, just don't think I should be forced into that purchase.

 

Thoughts?

 

A cheap fix to try is to purchase some of the stick-on magnifying lenses for scuba masks. They don't use glue, just water to create a pretty secure adhesion between the lens and the mask. You can get various diopters, but I've found 2.5 is pretty good for me (both land reading glasses & mask).

 

It's pretty easy to peer through the magnifier underwater and that should give you a clearer focus - sort of turning your mask into a bi-focal mask.

 

At any rate it's quick and easy to try, and the cost is about 1/10 (or more) the cost of any bit of photo kit you might buy. :-)







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