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Thinking about acquiring a viewfinder

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I'm thinking about adding a viewfinder to my housing (Nauticam D7100). So obviously the choice is between the Nauticam 45 degree and the straight one.

 

I'd go for the 45 since it seems it would be a much better position for shooting, but reading some reviews everybody seems to say it's quite hard to get used to, am I an idiot for thinking I'll get used to it?

 

I am also wondering why the straight one is more expensive, it seems the 45 is more complex and should be the one that costs more, does it have improved image quality over the 45?

 

Would love to hear feedback from people who've switched to either of those viewfinders.

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Howdy,

I have been using the 45 for a couple of years now and don't know how I ever shot without it. As you say it puts you in a much better position for normal shooting situations. I love it for macro in places like Lembeh, it keeps me off the bottom and lets me get the low angle without disturbing the sand. I loved it for snorkling with big animals like whales and whale sharks. It allows you to stay in a swimming position and still be able to frame and shoot on the move. It took me a couple of hours of practise in the pool to get used to where it was pointing the camera. If you wait till you're on a big trip, with beautiful images dancing in front of you it could be frustrating until you get used to it. A little practise goes a long way.

The only problem I have is forgeting to rotate the viewfinder for portrait shots, I still have that issue occasionally and find myself looking sideways trying to frame. If I'd just remember to rotate the finder it would be no problem. The other situation is shooting splits/ over unders. You need to get your head higher out of the water and the tendency is to point up instead of even with the surface. The finder will also be half full of water which can be tough. If you remember to rotate it 90 the problem goes away. I guess I could use the screen on splits but I've never tried it.

 

Good luck!

Steve

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So how about somebody makes an adjustable viewfinder for the best of both worlds eh Steve! :yahoo:

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I have the 180 degree (sorry, no experience with the other) and agree with the Mod that they are the best thing since the invention of fish sticks. If I did a lot of macro I would have looked over the 45 but I mainly do medium to large animals, wrecks, etc. I would say that most divers I see have the 45. I would think about the type of photography you do and lean in that direction (macro v larger animals). No idea on the cost difference. That puzzled me too. The only thing that bugs me about the Nauticam is the diopter adjustment knob. It is big and it's placement makes it easy to move - thus - loss of focus. I just got mine in the perfect position and then used a paint pen to put a silver mark on the body of the viewfinder and the knob. that way I know if it has been moved. All in all - the 45 appears to be more convenient for shooting low but a straight one does not preclude it.

Edited by megtooth

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I'm with Steve. I've had my 45 degree Subal finder since 2008 and love it.

 

Yes, it takes a bit of getting used to and maybe isn't the easier of the two for bigger animal photographs. But near the bottom, macro etc, unbeatable!

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Everything Steve says is spot on. I have had my 45 degree (Inon on Aquatica) for about three years and would never dive without it - wide angle or macro. I found aiming it a pain to start with and also kept banging it on my mask due to it projecting rearwards quite a way. The one thing I have never quite mastered is viewing vertically downwards - say to get a view of the body shape/camouflage of a flatfish resting on the bottom. Fortunately this happens rarely and the full frame, bright image, low angle advantages make the whole thing very worthwhile.

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I have used my INON 45 degrees for approx 8 years or so and I love it.

In my opinion it has a downside in Split shots. Apart from Splits it is the better choice in my opinion.

For Splits you need to twist it 90 degrees in order to avoid water in the Cup. It is a bit awkward, but no big issue.

 

 

/Erik

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I have a 45 as well, and really love it shooting macro. To be fair, it does take a bit of getting used to, especially trying to find a pygmy seahorse. The dive guides in Lembeh did a great job of pointing to tiny stuff with a muck stick, allowing me to follow the stick to the critter. Larger subjects, like a nudi, are quite easy to find. Once I got a few dives under my belt, it became much easier to use. I can't imagine doing macro without it.

 

My next trip is Socorro, so maybe a 180 would be better for that, but what I have will work.

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Another vote for the 45, when I don't have it I find I am aiming the camera at the wrong things.

Bill

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That's great feedback! Thanks to all who answered, anybody else wants to add anything?

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I use a 180 for my wide angle work, and a 45 for macro. I find the 45 more difficult to see sublect that are below me and

to track fast wide angle action, but it allows shooting up on macro subjects. I think if I could only have one, I think I would buy the 180.

Edited by diverdoug1

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I have both straight and 45 INONS and I now only use 45 for everything, although both are a huge improvement over standard housing viewfinders.

If you dive regularly I would choose 45, if you don´t (say only two or three weeks a year) maybe the 180 will be more straight forward (no pun intended :P ) to use.

I, on the other hand, find the 45 great for splits taking off the protective rubber (5 seconds on the INON).

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Did you ever thought about a external monitor?
The solve problems with eye weakness and mounted on top of the camera make a nice big orientable viewfinder!
Chris

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I shoot 100% macro and use a 180 on my d300 and af-105-vr with and without a subsee +5 and +10. I have enever had a problem on the bottom or shooting up. In fact, with practice you can back off a couple inches and still see the image. I only dive a couple of trips a year and figured the 45 would forever be a pain.

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I agree with David’s point. Unless you are shooting all the time underwater it is not a good idea to be switching back and forward between the two. I really know the angle between my 45 degree viewfinder and my handle and when shooting super macro I can just aim it and I find my subject exactly where I am expecting - none of that hunting around.

 

Even when I switch to another housing with a 45 degree finder I am not as accurate with this aiming. There is a lot to be said for getting one option and sticking with it.

 

Alex

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The 45 is not a pain unless you are trying to shoot downwards, then it is a huge pain. I guess I am a slow learner, I dive with mine 3 times a week, and I still prefer to shoot WA with the 180 (I even tried leaving the 45 on for 6 months and still liked it when I tried the 180 for WA). Different strokes for different folks I guess.

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Thanks to all who answered for the feedback! After giving it more thought I went with the 45 deg. Had it in the water and wow!! I'm loving it, absolutely no regrets there!

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atom I am also looking at getting either the inon straight or 45 degree viewfinder did you find that the 45 degree was hard to get use to and also how did you find the 45 blocking the lcd screen and being able to see your settings e.g.:-shutter speed aperture and so on?

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Am looking to find info on how the inon viewfinder compares to the other high end viewfinders out there e.g.:- nauticam and aqua view and more in respect to image magnification and sharpness?

I prefer comments from people who have tried inon and one or more of the other viewfinders as well so i can get a fair comparison

does the inon straight and 45 viewfinder have the same magnification or slightly different

and also is the inons a big impovement on the standard ikelite viewfinder?

any info would be most appreciated

Edited by scuba-s

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Haven't tried both but haves look at http://wetpixel.com/articles/thoughts-on-viewfinders-and-mini-review-nauticam-45-degree

 

Yes they are a big improvement on the standard ikelite viewfinder. My Inon does block the lcd a bit. If you want to review your picture under water you have to rotate it 90 degrees. My settings are on the top camera lcd so no problem there.

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atom I am also looking at getting either the inon straight or 45 degree viewfinder did you find that the 45 degree was hard to get use to and also how did you find the 45 blocking the lcd screen and being able to see your settings e.g.:-shutter speed aperture and so on?

 

I got the Nauticam viewfinder so I can't comment about the Inon one, the Nauticam one block the LCD a bit if viewed "from above" but a slight tilt of the housing let me view it (it's not that big).

 

Personally I found the 45 degree angle quite natural to use, although I just recently transitioned from compact to DSLR so maybe I hadn't got time to get used to having it point straight in front of me :)

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I got the Nauticam viewfinder so I can't comment about the Inon one, the Nauticam one block the LCD a bit if viewed "from above" but a slight tilt of the housing let me view it (it's not that big).

 

Personally I found the 45 degree angle quite natural to use, although I just recently transitioned from compact to DSLR so maybe I hadn't got time to get used to having it point straight in front of me :)

 

Thanks for the info Atom and Cerianthus, most appreciated, have been agonising which to get 45 degree or the straight inon viewfinder ,I dive every second weekend so should be able to get use to the 45 degree but the straight would be better for wide angle at the moment i do about 40%Wide-60% Macro am doing some macro diving in manado indonesia in May am also going from a 7D to the 7D mk2 which will keep me busy getting up to speed with till the trip

 

Edited by scuba-s

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Scuba-s, If you are shooting macro in Manado, I hope you get to go the Lembeh Strait, (less than a 2 hour trip).

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I am staying at bangka island about an hour by boat north of lembeh there is surpose to be a lot of macro diving at bangka and I will be doing a couple of day trips to lembeh as well, looking forward to it.

Edited by scuba-s

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