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Stoo

Viewfinders: 45 or straight?

Viewfinder preference?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Assuming you use a viewfinder, which do you prefer?

    • 45 degree
      16
    • straight
      7
    • Either one is better than nothing....
      8


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Hi all,

 

I am considering adding a viewfinder to my Aquatica/D7000 rig. I'd appreciate comments from users on the merits of each style. I have had a brief conversation with Jean and he felt that there were benefits to both. Unfortunately, I am only going to buy one!

 

The one concern I have about the 45 version, is that it seems to block the camera LCD display.

 

Anyway, your thoughts would certainly be helpful!

 

Thanks!

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Hi Stoo,

 

I've owned the 180 finder and appreciate the magnified image it provides.

I haven't owned a 45 but will eventually and from my research it takes some

adjustment to how you point the camera (tend to point high) so not as easy

for action shooting.

 

Both make for a bit of a PITA when packing as you have to accommodate

the protruding finder which makes for awkward housing placement in the

bag sometimes.

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As Cary said, the 45 needs some getting used to. With the Aquatica Aqua View Finder, it's recommended to take it off the housing when traveling and treat it like you would treat your lenses, so packing the housing shouldn't be a problem.

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A straight viewfinder is somewhat of a packing problem. Taking it off the housing (Seatool), however, was too hard. It took me some time getting used to the straight also.

 

Tom

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I have both (Inons) and, if you dive a lot, get the 45º because you will get used to it and framing will become second nature. If you don´t dive regularly get the 180º because it will be a great improvement from the start.

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I do prefer a 45 but either is better than nothing. Way, way better. The poll doesn´t allow this combination of answers. It is true that the 45 takes some adjusting, but once you are there it is really great. The straight is much better than no extra viewfinder, but I found it significantly harder to get really low for macroshots with subjects on sand. The 45 is much better in such a situation. I dive a couple of weeks every second or third month, and use a couple of dives to get into framing with the 45.

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I have both. I bought the straight one when I bought my AD7000 and when the 45 came out bought that one too. The 45 will take you a few dives to get use to, it's hard to find what you are shooting at when you are use to a straight view finder, macro is the worst. Pretty hard finding that little thing you are trying to find. But, once you get use to it I feel the 45 is a lot better, especially when you are wanting your camera on the bottom you don't have to lay right on the bottom and damage coral or silt the place up in the sand.

As far as being able to see your LCD it's really not much worse then the straight one and if you really need to see it well you can turn the 45 a 1/4 turn and see it better then you can with the straight one. IMHO.......

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My research led to the same conclusions as others here. The 45 takes time to learn and if you do not dive often not such a good selection. That fit my situation so I got the Nauticam 180 and really like it. It also removes for easy transport and packing. The Nauticam could be added to my Nexus housing and can be added to your Aq. housing as well, based on the Naut. website. The Nauticam 180 has a 'shift' rather than straight out like the Inon 180, for example. This makes it easier to use near the bottom when wanting to angle the housing up but not as easy as a 45, most likely.

I am not suggesting the Naut. is better, its just the one I bought and like. Never tried others.

Here is a link to an article on viewfinders. Search for more on this site as there are other threads for it.

You need no tools to remove the Naut. viewfinders. Just take off an oring by hand, easily, and it slips out/in.

Viewfinder review

 

dave

Edited by diver dave1

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A straight viewfinder is somewhat of a packing problem. Taking it off the housing (Seatool), however, was too hard. It took me some time getting used to the straight also.

 

Tom

 

We have Subal housings and take the view finder off for travel and storage.

One lock nut with two small spanner holes.

I use a cir-clip pliers for a pin spanner tool.

No problemo! :P

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We have Subal housings and take the view finder off for travel and storage.

One lock nut with two small spanner holes.

I use a cir-clip pliers for a pin spanner tool.

No problemo! :P

 

Good to know. Thanks.

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I use both 180-degree and 45-degree viewfinders regularly. I pick the viewfinder I will mount depending on the subjects I expect to find and shoot on a particular dive.

 

If I am shooting subjects that are generally more macro in nature, subjects that are typically on the bottom or near the bottom and moving relatively slowly or not at all, I find the 45-degree viewfinder helps me keep the housing low to the substrate and gives me a more direct shot of the animal's face, rather that a view looking downward onto it.

 

But if I expect to be shooting fish or other subjects that are normally up in the water column, I find following their movements is much easier with the 180 degree finder. Especially if you want to try for vertical shots. If I were going on one of Jim Abernathy's shark trips, I would expect to do almost all of my shooting with the 180-degree finder. The faster or more frequently a subject moves, the easier it is to locate it and frame it with a 180-degree finder, which "aims" directly in your line of sight. And the eye not on the viewfinder can help you lock onto the subject in the finder.

 

That said, if I am shooting very small subjects at higher magnification, such as at 1:1 or greater, it can be considerably more difficult initially finding them with the 45-degree finder and there the 180-degree finder can make things faster and easier again.

 

I would find it very difficult to be restricted to only a 180-degree or 45-degree finder.

 

Fred

Edited by divegypsy

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Another vote for both. The difficult part is which to buy first!

Edited by Tom_Kline

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I definitely go with the 45s and find no problem with locating subjects, either macro or in the water column. I chose INONs and have excellent custom mounts for my Nauticam's made by Ken Sullivan. But if I were to buy again I would probably get the Nauticam 45s as the image they project seems larger and brighter. It would be luxury to have 180s too!

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I held out getting the Aquaview thinking that I didn't need the optic and my (now) 44 year old eyes could still see. But, putting it on was a revelation! As many have said, if you're shooting a lot of macro, then the 45 would likely serve you best once you've put in the time to get used to it, camera movements will be a bit counter intuitive since you have to pivot the camera around the viewfinder whereas if using the 180, the movement is natural as your body basically acts as a gimbal mount for the system.

 

The Aquaview is very easy to install, it takes 1 oring to lock it in place, comes with a carrying bag (or optional hard case).

 

You'll win with either one.

 

S.

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I have used both 45 and 180 from Inon and Nauticam. Because I shoot lots of macro I lean towards the 45 and sometimes use live-view (on mirrorless body) for panning fast moving subject.

 

You can read my article on using these viewfinders with EVF cameras in the current issue of UWPMAG.com.

 

Would be interesting to hear from the builders if the sales of viewfinders matches the votes above.

 

Phil Rudin

 

 

Some equipment used for testing on loan from Reef Photo

Edited by Phil Rudin

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Thank you for all of these thoughtful comments. As I suspected, "both" is clearly the answer. Ugh... Although it's nice to read that anything is better than nothing.

 

As for getting used to the 45, I managed to squeeze in about 140 dives last year and had my camera on virtually all of them. A lot of these "photo dives" served little more purpose than just logging hours on the camera and getting better with it... Most of the diving I do up here in the Great Lakes tends to be deepish (110'-180') and since I am too cheap to buy mix, learning to use the camera whilst moderately "narc'd" adds a whole new level of fun! So many buttons... :P

 

Thanks also for the links to more reading. I'll definitely check those articles out.

Edited by Stoo

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Well, I'm now the proud owner of a nice Aquatica 45 Viewfinder.

 

Thanks to you all for your advice. I'll get it in the water this weekend a few times to see what I see!

 

Many thanks to Jean @ Aquatica for his guidance!

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Stoo....

 

How did you go with the new viewfinder?

 

Cheers,

John

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I just got the Inon 45 degree viewfinder. I had read that I should expext it to be a frustrating experience for the first few dives, but I really didn't believe it. Well, my first dive with it, which was a macro dive (Canon 7d, with canon 500d internal diopter) WAS frustrating. Even when concioisly keeping in mind that I was probably tilting the housing 45 degrees upward, I had trouble finding my subjects. Adding to the frustrtration, the very first thing I saw when hitting the water was an elusive nudi that I have actually never seen before and I would have absolutely loved to get a great image of. I did get images of it, they were not great. I did however figure out that in the beginning the trick is to look around the subject, memorize some "landmarks" and your subjects position in relationship to them, so you can "navigate" to your subject from what you see in the viewfinder. Also, first "backing up" to see a bigger view, and moving closer once you see your subject, helped. My second dive was considerably easier, and about 10 dives later, the viewfinder feels "natural" and a clear improvement over a regular viewfinder. So I would say, the learning curve is fortunately short. As for wideangle, it posed no problem, not even on my first wa dive. Getting low and shooting up was immidiately incredibly easy.

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I was also in doubt which one to buy, but I think for 45 degree is more usable (at least for me) and if it gets in your way to see the LCD you can always rotate it...

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HI,

I use the Seacam S45 viewfinder which once you have got use to it is very very good.

I did find it quite hard when I first started to use it but now its easy to use.

Andy

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I use the Seacam S45 viewfinder...

 

... I have to, because it takes my mind off the food that I can no longer afford to put on the table after buying a Seacam S45 viewfinder!

 

;-)

 

Tim

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You have expensive food tastes Tim if you spend as much on food as a S45 viewfinder, in one go.

 

Andy

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HI,

I use the Seacam S45 viewfinder which once you have got use to it is very very good.

I did find it quite hard when I first started to use it but now its easy to use.

Andy

This mirrors my last 3 years experience (with the Subal equivalent) - tried a 180 recently and it just felt ... wrong!

 

R

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