A loupe is a close focusing magnifying glass in a shield, we use two, one that can be put onto the front of the camera with the lens removed and shutter open to look at the sensor filter for dust, this loop has a light in it. The second loupe is the Hoodman Loupe, that is used to look at the rear panel of the camera in detail. This article looks at the Hoodman Loupe.
The Hoodman loupe is a set of lenses in a rubber covered tapered tube shaped shield, that has an end that fits just over the rear LCD panel of a camera. There are several sizes available. It has a neck strap and comes in a case. The eyepiece adjusts to suit your sight. The eyepiece is large and very clear.
3 inch Hoodman Loupe is ideal for Nikon D300, it is used in contact with the back of camera.
The advantages are no glare, and a magnified image. Ideal for indoor or out, outdoors it does allow you to see clearly the screen when it would normally be difficult.
As its the same proportions as a digital image, you can also use it to look through to see what scene and framing possibilities exist, similar to the way a film director looks through a similar device. Used this way, the 3 inch version, gives about the same view as you would get with a Nikon DX lens at around 24mm. You just need to change the eyepiece focus slightly when used in this way.
When the 3 inch model is used in combination with the Delkin professional pop-up shade, with the shield removed (clicks off quickly), the loupe goes up against the left and bottom guides for the shield, and does not then need holding, allowing you to use the cameras magnify and move about controls to see the focus in detail.
Loupe being used with
Delkin professional pop-up shade
with hood clipped off,
I have also found that I can use Liveview and this arrangement, and then looking through the loupe I have a viewfinder view of the image I am taking, that is very much brighter and larger and I can see far more before I take the image. As I wear glasses the loupe is trapped between the camera and my glasses so I still have both hands available. This is not something that perhaps I will use a lot, but there are occasions where it has proved a very useful way to be able to see exactly what the cameras view is going to be before I have taken the image. As you can use the screen magnify function in Liveview this, in combination with the loupe, allows really good focus checking when involved in macro photography and not using a right angled viewfinder .
Although I have found it can be used in several ways, its primary use is in getting a magnified glare free image of your rear camera LCD screen, and this it does very well. The idea is that you carry it around your neck so its available when required.
I don't think the magnification is very much, it is far more a case of allowing your eye to focus when closer and therefore allowing you to see all the detail and being black inside and cutting out the external light and glare makes the images very bright and clear.
It is said you can use the 3 inch model with smaller screens, and when trying it with a D200, I found it difficult to use the normal way around as it got in the way of the display controls, however rotating it through 90 degrees overcame this problem.
The Hoodmam loupe comes on several sizes the 3" model costs £76 (03/2009) from www.newprouk.co.uk.
There is an optional cinema strap available, this is an upmarket version of some connected elastic bands and allows the loupe to be held in place over the rear display panel for those cameras that can produce movie filming, and use the rear panel as the viewfinder. Another version of bands is the camcorder mount strap, this allows the loupe to be fitted to a flip out viewer panel on a small video camera.
You can click on smaller images to see larger versions.