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rayanthony

Do you prefer a 45 or 180 degree viewfinder?

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Which is your preference or do you have both? I own a 180 degree for my Nauticam but find myself wishing for a 45 degree viewfinder…almost always!

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It's worth a Wetpixel search on this as it has come up many times.

I've been using a 45-degree one almost 14 years and think it the best u/w gear investment I have made.

For macro they are ideal as they allow you to get very low and shoot upwards. For mid-water, fast-moving creatures they take some practice as the view angle isn't quite where you expect. But like all things, practice makes (almost) perfect.

I guess maybe it depends to a degree on what type of photography you do. But, for macro, they are unbeatable.

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A 45 degree viewfinder for me is preferable for macro shooting.  I use a Nauticam 45 viewfinder, with an adapter, in my D7200 and D500  dSLR housings. 

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Probably something wrong with my brains wiring but I did not like the 45 degree.  I just had trouble framing a shot.  I switched to the straight and was much happier.

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I have only tried the 45 degree - it took a few dives to get used to but now it is second nature. I really like it!

Cheers

John

 

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I like using the 45 better than the standard. It's especially helpful for low shots. For macro it takes some time to get used to finding/positioning the subject. But you can practice out of the water to get used to using it. Because you can rotate the finder verticals are easier as well.

 

Jon

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I use 180 in my NA-D850.   Only viewfinder I've used, but I've wondered about a 45 degree.   Seems easy enough to swap them if going from wide to macro, but I'm not sure whether I'd like it enough to justify getting (and packing) one.  I have to say that it would be a lot more convenient than having to find locations where I can lie on the sand, or get into a crack somehow.   Fortunately for me, I do a lot of wall dives so get convenient situations for hanging vertically and shooting into a wall crevice.

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How robust is the mechanical connection between the viewfinder and the housing?  Would anybody be hesitant in doing a back roll with immediate negative descent with camera on a drift dive with the view finder attached? Or is this an accessory that is more appropriate for controlled conditions?

EDIT:  I just purchased a 45 degree VF for my NA-D850 housing.  My next scheduled dives are drift dives on the windward side of Bonaire where I shoot wide angle exclusively.   I have the opportunity to do some pool and beach dive practice before then.

Edited by Redwing
Clarification

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11 hours ago, Redwing said:

How robust is the mechanical connection between the viewfinder and the housing?  Would anybody be hesitant in doing a back roll with immediate negative descent with camera on a drift dive with the view finder attached? Or is this an accessory that is more appropriate for controlled conditions?

EDIT:  I just purchased a 45 degree VF for my NA-D850 housing.  My next scheduled dives are drift dives on the windward side of Bonaire where I shoot wide angle exclusively.   I have the opportunity to do some pool and beach dive practice before then.

I'd mainly hesitate over a backward roll entry due to it being one more thing I need to look after and prevent it smacking into me or smacking into or being smacked by your neighbours tank- on top of holding my my mask and reg in.  If you've done it with your housing before it's probably fine. 

The connection is relatively robust in Nauticam housing, you can wiggle it around but it would be hard to pop it out.   I've done shore dive giant stride entries with mine, where I have to time the leap with the swell coming in and it seems to handle it fine.    I usually hold it in my right hand by the lanyard and lift as I hit the water.  I only do that when handing me the housing is not feasible.

I can see why backward roll entries are done but I've always thought they can't be the only option for starting a drift dive, for example why can't the people with cameras hang on to the side of the boat and all let go together, guess it depends on the currents.

I would add I would only think of doing it with a vacuum system in use, the vacuum means the seating in force on the viewfinder will be around 5kg. 

 

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I never used a 180° viewfinder and do not want to try out. I switched from backscreen to 45° and like it a lot. Especially for macro (it spares the neck muscles a lot), but I take it now for everything...

 

Wolfgang

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I use the 45 degree viewfinder for both my D850 and D500 in Nauticam housings... I've been shooting exclusively with this viewfinder for years and couldn't imagine shooting without now (for both macro and w/a).

 

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Guys

Interesting discussion on the water entry but now WAY off the original issue.

Can you hold any further water entry comments please and I'll move this all to a new Topic. I'll post  details of it here shortly (just eating my lunchtime sandwich :P

OK, the water entry topic is now here:

 

 

Thanks!

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On 11/29/2021 at 10:09 AM, rayanthony said:

Which is your preference or do you have both? I own a 180 degree for my Nauticam but find myself wishing for a 45 degree viewfinder…almost always!

Sorry for hijacking your thread regarding water entry.  

I just purchased a 45 degree VF and plan to put it through its paces over the next six weeks doing macro and wide angle.  I've been contemplating this purchase for years now.

I went with the 45 degree after seeing a video of me photographing a large southern sting ray resting on a sandy bottom.  It is very difficult to photograph a subject resting on the bottom and attempting to get an upward angle with a sunbeam and getting a diver properly composed in the image while being respectful of the reef or sandy bottom.  I observed myself too far off the bottom to execute the image and hope that a 45 view finder will give me enough relief to pull these images off more consistently.

The other thing I saw was me struggling to check all four corners of the optical view finder as I was attempting to compose the image.  I was moving the camera up-down-left-right trying to nail the composition.  In this case I was using a fisheye lens so it can be really discouraging to think you nailed the shot only to find that your sync chord, lanyard or diver buddy's fin dive bombed you.  I think this will be a secondary benefit.  But I won't know, till I know.

 

 

 

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Well with all the comments on a 45, that's me off to buy one. I have been wondered about the best viewfinder for a while and with all the positive comments I am sold. The handy hints are also extremely helpful. 

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38 minutes ago, PinkOctopus said:

Well with all the comments on a 45, that's me off to buy one. I have been wondered about the best viewfinder for a while and with all the positive comments I am sold. The handy hints are also extremely helpful. 

Good call. And good luck with it.

Do let us know how you get on.

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I bought my Nauticam 45 viewfinder 2 years ago based on the recommendations from folks here. It's great and I really love it! I use it for both macro and wide angle. On my last trip I decided to move from Nikon to Sony mirrorless and had to go without my viewfinder as the adapter didn't come in time, and I really missed it (was a wide angle destination too). I couldn't go back to the standard tiny viewfinder and shot mostly on LCD screen, and it was definitely a lot harder to get low. 

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Newbie here, sorry to add to the discussion but does anyone use the 45 or 180 viewfinders with a FF mirrorless setup?

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4 hours ago, nellietee said:

Newbie here, sorry to add to the discussion but does anyone use the 45 or 180 viewfinders with a FF mirrorless setup?

I'm sure there are, Nelson. Have you done a Search as there has been discussion of this?

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11 hours ago, nellietee said:

Newbie here, sorry to add to the discussion but does anyone use the 45 or 180 viewfinders with a FF mirrorless setup?

Some of the newer mirrorless viewfinders have quite a wide angle of view and Nauticam has developed a new line of viewfinders for them.  I have the  original Nauticam 45 deg for my EM-1 MkII and it is a little soft at the edges, but still quite usable and the Sony A7RIV was reported not to work so well either.   So it likely depends on the characteristics of camera the viewfinder in question.

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for some inane reason I have been a real duh in using the 45 degree viewfinder so have stuck to the straight. Somehow originally being a terrestrial photographer, it seems more comforting.

Maybe the 45 takes some time to get used to ?

Diggy

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2 hours ago, diggy said:

Maybe the 45 takes some time to get used to ?

Yeah, it does, Diggy. Especially when sort-of panning to frame wide-angle or mid-water shots. But you do get used to it. I've had mine coming up on 15 years so am getting the hang of it....:rolleyes: I'd never leave home without it now. 

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22 hours ago, TimG said:

Yeah, it does, Diggy. Especially when sort-of panning to frame wide-angle or mid-water shots. But you do get used to it. I've had mine coming up on 15 years so am getting the hang of it....:rolleyes: I'd never leave home without it now. 

You won't believe how embarrassing it was for me when I had arranged an underwater lesson on a dive for a relative newbie. He had a Sony system if I recollect correctly with a 45 degree viewfinder. Guess what ? I could just not find the proper frame or subject looking through it and had to abandon the lesson :angry: So much for experience and teaching !

Will definitely give it a try again. Thanks Tim.

Diggy

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I am a 45˚ person. Persuaded to get my first by the Wetpixel forums. I know have 4 - which is a bit excessive!

 

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2 hours ago, diggy said:

Guess what ? I could just not find the proper frame or subject looking through it and had to abandon the lesson :angry: So much for experience and teaching !

Brilliant!!! 

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20 hours ago, Alex_Mustard said:

I am a 45˚ person. Persuaded to get my first by the Wetpixel forums. I know have 4 - which is a bit excessive!

 

Thanks Alex,

Some very valid and pertinent points made. Sadly now I will may be looking to buy a 45 degree viewfinder. But before that will borrow one for a trip and see where I am at. Last I tried using one was a COMPLETE disaster.

Diggy

 

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