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Pentamirror - what a great device!

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#1 wydeangle


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:54 AM

Not sure where this review should go so if it needs to be moved, no problem.

Just got back from a week of diving with my Bluefin Pro/XA10.

KFish saw the pentamirror from XIT404 at DEMA and bought it for me.

They're also available for some still housings too.

SUMMARY: Don't just stand there, get one!

DETAILS: The pentamirror is a boxlike plastic gadget (sorry for all the technospeak ;-) ) that contains two mirrors. It has a small frame that fastens to the L&M housing with two small screws (allen wrench included) at the rear of the housing, using existing tapped holes, and partly surrounds the L&M video viewfinder. For photos, go to their web site: XIT404

In use, the rear of the box is open to allow you to look through the normal viewfinder, which on the L&M housing is tilted about 15 degrees upward. I did not find the mirror box interfered with my normal viewing. You may or may not have the same experience.

I do some closeup video, often requiring looking horizontally at the bottom of say an anemone to video a shrimp or crab. Previously this was frustrating because I couldn't always get low enough to see through the viewfinder. If there was enough bare sand, then, yes I could. But too much of this produces a crick in my neck. Now, all I do is put the housing down flat on the sand and look straight down into the pentamirror - what amazing convenience! The image is exactly the same as looking through the viewfinder, that is, up is up and left is left. As a result I got some shots that were previously impossible for me to get.

Another wonderful feature I discovered was that when nearer the surface on a sunlit day, videoing a tarpon or maybe a diver, sometimes glare would "white out" the L&M viewfinder, making it impossible to frame correctly. I noticed that when the normal viewfinder succumbed to glare, the other part of the pentamirror was perfectly viewable. So now when I encounter glare, I just look down into the box instead of horizontally, and - no glare. A very nice benefit I didn't expect.

Bottom line: If you have either problem, "whiteout" or "viewfinder too low to see through," run right out and get one!

Disclaimer: my wife bought this for me. XIT404 didn't compensate me for this review.


Edited by wydeangle, 12 December 2011 - 11:55 AM.

#2 Drew


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:31 PM

Hey Tom, how about some pics? :)

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#3 wydeangle


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:08 PM

Hey Tom, how about some pics? :)


Here's the link to XIT's photos: XIT's photos of the pentamirror

Here's a few of my unit: Looking at the detached unit with its leash (supplied):Penta_separate_web.jpg
Looking down on the unit:
Looking from the rear:

The view looking downward and the view looking from the rear are nearly identical in size, my awful photos notwithstanding.

Sorry but it's difficult for me to get the "feel" of this thing posted properly.


Edited by wydeangle, 12 December 2011 - 05:10 PM.

#4 r4e


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:37 PM

A nice solution to a problem that actually should not even exist. I do not understand why the housing manufacturers do not give the option to tilt the rear monitor more than 15 degrees. The 15 degree tilt would be sufficient, if the monitor would be located above and/or in front of the handles. The angle of the handles themselves suggest you would be holding the system from a top angle. This is controversial to the monitor being in the back and pointing to the abdomen or fins (depending on trim) of the camera operator. Most of the tubular housings have more or less a similar problem due to the simplistic construction.

I do understand the point of sun glare on the monitor when working close to the surface. Unfortunately/fortunately most of my video shooting is in the dark.


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