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Larry C

Inon 45 degree vs. Nauticam 45 degree viewfinder

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Anyone using the Inon Nauticam viewfinder on their DSLR housing?  Is it worth the extra $500 to have the easy o-ring removal of the one Nauticam sells, compared to the ring nut mounted Inon that fits everything and is adapted to the Nauticam?  How much tariff are we paying on goods shipped directly from China?

 

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Thanks Bill.

 

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I have three viewfinders for my Subal housing:
the standard viewfinder that came with the  housing,
A Subal 180 viewfinder, and
a Nauticam 45 degree viewfinder.

I prefer the Nauticam 45 degree for macro as it gives an excellent view and allows me to hold the housing a bit lower to get straight on, or a bit angled up, shots.

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I also have all 3 viewfinders for my Nauticam housing. I shot with standard one for a while, then upgraded to the 180 degree viewfinder, then upgraded to the 45 degree viewfinder. The 45 degree viewfinder is a huge plus when shooting macro (as @Kraken de Mabini mentions), but I now use it to shoot W/A as well because I've gotten so used to it. Shooting W/A with it takes quite a while to get used to, but it's now become second nature for me. 

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1 hour ago, oneyellowtang said:

I also have all 3 viewfinders for my Nauticam housing. I shot with standard one for a while, then upgraded to the 180 degree viewfinder, then upgraded to the 45 degree viewfinder. The 45 degree viewfinder is a huge plus when shooting macro (as @Kraken de Mabini mentions), but I now use it to shoot W/A as well because I've gotten so used to it. Shooting W/A with it takes quite a while to get used to, but it's now become second nature for me. 

I'm with you on that (although, sorry Larry, we are getting slightly off-topic). 

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I have both the Inon and the Nauticam and use them pretty much interchangeably, the Nauticam is a bit brighter but it is not clear to me that one is way more better than the other.

Bill

 

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Can somebody explain how a 180 degree VF works?

 

180 degree says to me that I can turn the camera around for selfies, which I am sure is not what it's for. Looking at pictures of them, it looks like they just stick straight out the back of the housing, so you can hold it up to your mask while having room for your regulator or whatever between your face and the housing. If that is what it does, then why is it called a 180 degree? Why not call it a 360 degree? Or just a VF Extender?

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LOL - interesting thought, Stuart!

If you look at it a different way: a 45 degree viewfinder is 45 degrees of the horizontal image plane. Or maybe 135 degrees. As you say the 180 degree one sticks straight out so is 0 degrees off the film plane - or 180 degrees :rolleyes:

And I blame that explanation on almost three weeks of self-isolation.

:crazy:

 

 

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@TimG

So the 180 really is just to let you be a little further from the back of the housing itself? Otherwise, it's just the same angle as looking through the built-in VF?

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I have read many people say that one of their best purchases was a 45 Veiwfinder.  I have also read that the first several dives with them are very frustrating.  Outside of when you want the camera down low and cant get your body into position to see the live view screen are there other benefits I am not considering to them?  Are there settings you can see in the VF that you cant see on the screen?  What makes them so frustrating at first?

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I can see a 45 being very handy. I've had lots of shots where I was wanting to shoot at a bit of an upward angle and couldn't really do it and see my LCD screen very well. For shots where the 45 was not good (say, wanting to shoot at a downward angle), I could still just look at the LCD screen.

 

But, I am thinking one of the nicest things might be that I could use the diopter adjustment so that I could really read/see the viewfinder well, instead of needing to having corrective lenses in my mask... When I'm shooting on land, that is what really got me to using the VF most of the time, instead of looking at the screen on the back.

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1 hour ago, stuartv said:

@TimG

So the 180 really is just to let you be a little further from the back of the housing itself? Otherwise, it's just the same angle as looking through the built-in VF?

That and generally a larger and clearer view through the finder.

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10 hours ago, stuartv said:

@TimG

So the 180 really is just to let you be a little further from the back of the housing itself? Otherwise, it's just the same angle as looking through the built-in VF?

It's the same angle, yes. But magnified.

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10 hours ago, aviator8 said:

I have read many people say that one of their best purchases was a 45 Veiwfinder.  I have also read that the first several dives with them are very frustrating.  Outside of when you want the camera down low and cant get your body into position to see the live view screen are there other benefits I am not considering to them?  Are there settings you can see in the VF that you cant see on the screen?  What makes them so frustrating at first?

I'm one of the 45 degree supporters. I should say too that I NEVER use Liveview.

For macro use they are superb. They allow you often to shoot slightly upwards without hitting the reef or attempting to achieve some form of pretzel yoga position. Macro image framing becomes way easier and, I'd suggest, more composition-friendly.

The frustration kicks in initially for wide-angle shooting. Shooting a horizontal, wide-angle subject with a 45 degree viewfinder just takes a bit of adjustment. Initially at least, getting and keeping a subject in the viewfinder - especially if its moving! - is a little tricky and frustrating for a few dives. The tendency is to look too high in the water. It must be something to do with hand/eye coordination and brain interpretation of the setup expecting a straight-through view rather than 45 degrees.

But I would not want to over-egg this. As I say, a bit frustrating initially but once you know this frustration can/will happen, it only takes a few dives to get over it.

I've written before that the 45 degree viewfinder and a vacuum valve are the two best purchases I've made for my system over the last 10-15 years.

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Thanks, @TimG and @ChrisRoss

 

A 45 degree VF is going on my shopping list.

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45 minutes ago, stuartv said:

Thanks, @TimG and @ChrisRoss

 

A 45 degree VF is going on my shopping list.

A decision I am positive you will never regret

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I cannot comment on the difference between Inon and Nauticam VF, but I see this has become a general tread about viewfinders. Here my personal opinion as a Nauticam 45 degree VF owner:

The domain of an extra VFs are DSLRs, when photographers want to see the optical image of the OVF. Having a look through the OVF with the diving mask on, without an extra aid is very difficult, so the extra VF is a big advantage. Mirrorless photographers, like me (Oly EM1II), normally use the back screen in live view mode. I see no advantage of looking through the EVF compared to the back screen, to the contrary, the back screen is bigger and better visible. A 180 degree VF would be useless for me...

The 45 degree VF is very good for taking Macros, as others have already stated. It is good for sparing the neck muscles and spinal cord, really very comfortable. If I would only go for Macro, I would definitely always have the 45 degree VF on my housing. For WA, however, I dislike the 45 degree VF, it is always in the way, when I want to have a look at the backscreen. Because of this, I seldom use the 45 degree VF, as I would have to mount and dismantle it almost every day on the housing, what I find not comfortable...

 

Wolfgang

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An interesting point there from Wolfgang.

As I explained above, I'm not a Liveview user (having a D500 DSLR) so the position of the 45-degree finder is not an issue in relation to the rear screen. 

I can see though with a Subal housing that you could use Liveview without the finder obstructing the screen if you hold the housing up slightly above the usual eye-level position.

But Wolfgang makes point well worth bearing in mind if you're thinking of the 45 degree finder route. Check the screen view on your housing - and is that important to you if slightly blocked.

 

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@Architeuthis I have been shooting an Oly E-M10 for the last few years. I have always only used the LCD screen on the back. 

 

I have had many occasions, when shooting WA, where I was trying to shoot something at an upward angle and something was below me, making it where I really could not see the display. I.e. I want to rest the camera on the bottom, pointing at an upward angle.

 

I was shooting my E-M10 in a Meikon housing, so adding a better VF was not an option. Now, I have moved up to a Sony a7r4 in a Nauticam housing. Based on the many times I wished I could see my display and hold the camera below me at the same time, I think a 45 degree VF will prove quite useful to me.

 

Something that may or may not be related, but prior to my new Sony, even for land photography I would always use the Live View on the back of the camera. I would only use the VF if bright sunlight made it hard to see the LCD on the back or something like that. Since I got the Sony, I have found that I started that way but have gradually transitioned (not really a conscious decision) to using the VF almost all the time. I am a bit surprised at myself and how that has worked out. But, it contributes to my feeling that I will be quite happy with a 45 VF for my u/w housing.

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Live view also known as the stinky baby way to hold the camera (far in front of you).

The 45 takes a bit of time to get used to but once you do it is hard to go back. On a recent trip, I borrowed a camera with no 45 and couldn't find the darned critters.

Bill

 

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Bit the bullet. Backscatter has a sale this week and even though I can’t dive right now due to health issues and coronavirus closures, I ordered one. It’ll be shipped when they get the next batch in. Thousand dollars here, thousand dollars there, pretty soon this UW photography stuff will start costing real money.


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I have the 180 Nauticam.  One thing I particularly like about it is the ease of installation.  In order to pack my rig, I have to swap out the 180 for the standard viewfinder so it will fit in the bag.  (I've never used the standard viewfinder).

I bought the 180 for a high eyepoint, so I could see to the corners more easily with a mask on.   It succeeds there, but an added benefit is the 3rd point of stability when I hold my rig and press the eyepiece to the mask.    I shoot both macro and wide angle this way, but I have to admit that a 45 degree could be very handy when down near the bottom.  I'm fortunate to do a lot of wall shooting and sometimes cna just hover straight up and down with a subject at eye level.

 

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Installation was about the easiest I've had on an accessory.  Pull the O-Ring, slide the old one out, clean a bit, put the new one in and replace the O-Ring.  Everyone who said "you'll hate  it for the first five dives", you ain't kidding.  Trying to use it with a snoot was all but impossible.  I turned on my other strobe to ttl and got about 3 pictures in an hour of diving.  I was often a foot above my subject, trying to find it in the viewer.  Once, I knocked a poor Nudi right off his rock.  Hopefully, I get the hang of this after a few more dives.

 

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No-one said life was easy, eh Larry? 

A new 45-degree finder AND a snoot?? You're a brave man :P

It will get easier though for sure!

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