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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:09 AM   #31
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Hi Nigel,

Is that the 5DMKII battery grip? Does it give full functionality or is it limited like the inexpensive, non-Canon batteries are?
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Old May 18th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #32
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Yes, it has all the extra buttons on it so that you can turn the camera through 90 degrees & still have the shutter, AF-On etc. at the top right hand side. Useful if you are taking stills but less useful for video. When you have genuine Canon batteries in it they do communicate with the camera. It is beautifully made & while I have never handled a genuine Canon grip this one looks & feels the part right down to the instruction leaflet. At less than half the price of the genuine article I am very pleased with it.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #33
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That's great to know, Nigel. Thanks!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 04:58 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
Hi Vladimir, any updates on the comparison?
Hey Sean, yes, I have the Hoodman and it definitely does help you focus, and just being able to press it against your eye while shooting gives you another point of contact for more stable shots. I also recently did get the Zacuto Z-Finder it really is noticeably better in terms of magnification and sharpness, and it also seems a bit brighter, and the eye cup is very compfortable--I really like it.

Sure it's more expensive, but if you're spending all day shooting a wedding I think it's worth the investment. I'm using the Z-Finder with a Red Rock Micro shoulder mount and it's a good combination (although I think Philip Bloom used just the z-finder for his cool Sofia's People movie)
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Old May 21st, 2009, 09:20 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Joseph Stunzi View Post
My velcro didn't fall off after four days of constant show use (not to mention shooting in the desert with Philip Bloom). Don't be mistaken... it's not just a Schneider loupe... it's specifically optimized for the 5D2.
Joseph, thanks for that info. It's good to hear you did have any issues. Users on the other forums seems to be a bit more skeptical so I still don't really know what to make of it. The kind of work I do takes me into some pretty extreme situations, for instance it wouldn't do to have a finder falling off a camera while hanging out of a helicopter, it might hurt someone! I'm not sure I or Zacuto would like any ensuing law suit. I think I'll wait until the v2 is released to be sure.

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Originally Posted by Joseph Stunzi View Post
I dunno about other users out there making this... but I do know that Zacuto released the first version to rapidly get it to the market to meet users demand. However, the second version of the Z-finder is supposed to be much improved. The skirt is shortened... the lens tube is longer (to help ppl like me with extreme nearsightedness). I found a picture on their website. Zacuto USA 888-294-3456 | Prototypes I also read that Steve will replace your V1 optics for V2 as well!
I'm really glad I didn't order the V1 because shipping and import duties to China are pretty high. In fact can I make a plea to all companies who update products so quickly to spare a thought for international customers who pay a high price even if there is a 'free' upgrade from the manufacturer it doesn't really help too much.

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Originally Posted by Joseph Stunzi View Post
There's a very high tolerance interface coupler that gives you a fairly exact distance in order to get a sharp image. It's my understanding that without that correct distance, the optics will not be crisp and sharp.
This bit mystifies me a little, my experience with the sock loupe that people like Phil Bloom and myself use with the Sony EX-1 is that the tolerences are not that tight. The glass on the sockloupe just flops around and you never really get the same position twice.

I know the LCD is a mm or two behind the LCD protector but all photographic loupes were designed to used with slide film and negatives. Slides are generally housed in plastic or card mounts and these vary alot in thickness. A professional loupe should have enough lattitude (depth of field) to deal with this and still render a pin sharp image

If this really bothers then you could slowly sand down the loupe plastic bit until it matches better.

Dan
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 09:27 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
If this really bothers then you could slowly sand down the loupe plastic bit until it matches better.

Sand down? No sir! That's not the way to go.

Regardless, you still have to find a way to mount the eyecup onto it!

What makes that one nice is that it blocks out the light and gives you access to a large LCD. It appears to be no different in function than a Hoodman to me. What distinguishes the Z-Finder from the others is that it's trying to provide your eye with a full view of the screen and provide the amount of detail necessary for focusing full frame SLR glass with precision.

Do what works for ya in the end I guess.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:31 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Joseph Stunzi View Post
Sand down? No sir! That's not the way to go.

Regardless, you still have to find a way to mount the eyecup onto it!
Joseph,
Someone has to play around with this stuff sanding and glueing, but I understand its not for everyone. If you want to buy an off the shelf solution thats fine but please don't frown on people who DIY, its how progress is made. BTW - Mounting an eyecup is quite easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Stunzi View Post
Do what works for ya in the end I guess.
Zacuto by their own admission were not thinking about a loupe solution when the camera launched, then they after others started using loupes they went out and made a better version. All credit to them and I hope they sell loads. I'll be happy to buy one when they have their mkII sorted out.

I am happy that I did what works for me first because I've had six months of easier shooting with the modified hoodloupe and sockloupe already before Zacuto got to market.

Dan
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Old May 24th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladimir Chaloupka View Post
Hey Sean, yes, I have the Hoodman and it definitely does help you focus, and just being able to press it against your eye while shooting gives you another point of contact for more stable shots. I also recently did get the Zacuto Z-Finder it really is noticeably better in terms of magnification and sharpness, and it also seems a bit brighter, and the eye cup is very compfortable--I really like it.
Sure it's more expensive, but if you're spending all day shooting a wedding I think it's worth the investment. I'm using the Z-Finder with a Red Rock Micro shoulder mount and it's a good combination (although I think Philip Bloom used just the z-finder for his cool Sofia's People movie)
Thanks a lot for the update! Definately a good reference for me to put my $. I have also been deliberating over the redrock micro kit. Do u find the kit a little high up for shooting? I only require 5-8sec shots for rack focusing normally. I simulated a redrock rig and found that my arms will get tired pretty quickly compared to something like the Zacuto sharpshooter rig. I like the solution below but I am thinking of making do without the loupe sometimes.

http://www.redrockmicro.com/cartpics...20_0271_lg.jpg

I saw the rig photos from Glenn Elliot and I think he is right about having the handles at a position that is slightly higher than waist instead of chest level. I like to listen to your feedback on the comfort of using the redrock micro shoulder kit without the z finder. Thanks again!

Could you make a comment on this as well?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #39
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Dan,
I remember a link to a company that sold the comfy eyepieces to attach to the hoodloup a little while ago but now I can't find it. Was it you who posted that one, and if so could you let me know the link again please? I'd quite like to get one I think.

many thanks and also for the fine work that inspires us all here.

Avey
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Old May 24th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #40
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Wayne,

Did you mean these i-cuff Purchase

Mike Tapa sells them on his site in the UK MTF Services Ltd

Or did you mean the rubber Sony eyepiece that I use?

Dan
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Old May 25th, 2009, 05:01 AM   #41
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That's the boy!

Cheers Dan, iCuff. Briliant.

Avey
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #42
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Z-Finder Feedback

I just wanted to report that after two weeks of shooting with the Z-Finder, I am extremely happy with it. I only noticed two factors that would keep me from giving it a perfect 10. The first factor is that when shooting in extreme heat and humidity, the Z-finer can fog up a bit. But to be honest, this can happen with any eyepiece and I found that just breaking my eye slightly away so that the eyecup wasn't sealing airtight around by eye socket was a good remedy.

The second opportunity is the Velcro. I used Steve Weiss' recommendation for affixing the Velcro the 5D MKII body, no problems with that, it has not pulled up or off or become loose, just as Steve said it wouldn't. But the top quadrant of the eyepiece does have a tendency to become slightly looser than the sides or bottom quadrant. It doesn't come all of the way off but it does sometimes become a bit looser than the rest. It is remedied by just using a lot of force and really pushing the Z-Finder down hard to the back of the 5D MKII. It is not bad, totally usable and not a deal breaker. Just in case, I have ordered the Hoodman rubber band strap which can also be used on the Z-Finder. So far I have not needed it but if I am on the road and the Z-Finder does begin to flop around and get too loose, I have a backup to hold it in place.

The optics are superb. The field of view is spacious, you can easily focus and see all of the detail you need to in order to focus using Nikon manual focus lenses like I am shooting with.

I hate to be visually so boring but making the V2 Z-Finder housing all black and or gray would make it stand out much less than the silver that the main housing is made of now makes it. I was stopped by almost every photographer who saw me at a music festival I shot at last weekend, asking me, "what is that eyepiece you are shooting with? Why are you using it? Can I look through it?" Ughh, what a nuisance. Make it all black and or dark gray.

I am very happy with the Z-Finder and if the V2 is going to improve on the V1, it will by far be the best solution out there for the 5D MKII.

Dan

Last edited by Dan Brockett; May 26th, 2009 at 12:30 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #43
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Thanks for that Dan, I picked up a Schneider loupe the other day to have a play and I do think it is very fine quality. I'm still a little worried about the velcro but in the end I guess I'll end up just sticking gaffers tape all over it to create a more solid mount to the camera.

I'm going to wait for the v2 Z-finder now.

Dan
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #44
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Dan,

Thanks for the report. Despite my initial scepticism that the Z-finder was worth the money I am being talked around:-) I need to use one before I am fully convinced but the more that I use the Hoodloupe the more I dislike it.

There are good & bad points to the Hoodloupe. The dioptre adjustment is excellent (a point that is weak on the Z-finder apparently). I am short-sighted & wear glasses full-time. I can view the LCD screen on the 5DII really well by taking off my glasses & pressing my face right up to the screen. However I then cannot see anything except the screen until I put my glasses back on & then I cannot see the screen without holding the camera at arms length. After adjusting the Hoodloupe I can view the screen through the loupe with my right eye & the scene with my left eye at the same time.

At first glance the optics of the Hoodloupe seem OK when looking directly straight through the loupe but if you are looking at any slight angle then distortion is very evident. You can see the centre of the LCD screen well but as you move towards the corners the view is very poor because of the distortion. So focusing is improved but framing the shot is worse. The loupe also does not let enough light pass so the image is dimmed even with the brightness cranked up to maximum.

From the photos I have seen it looks like the Schneider loupe that is the basis for the Z-finder is much larger than the Hoodloupe so I am guessing that the glass is bigger & more light passes.

My home-made mount with the Hoodloupe glued to the frame of an LCD shade sounds like a more satisfactory solution for fixing to the camera than the velcro or rubber band of the Z-finder. Perhaps all I need to do is glue a Schneider loupe to an LCD shade frame to have the best of both worlds? Adding the i-cuff for extra comfort.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:28 AM   #45
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It looks like a DIY loupe is the only option for the next couple of months.

From the Zacuto site
Quote:
Due to an overwhelming response, we are now sold out of our version one Z-Finder! We have taken customer recommendations and we are working on a version two Z-Finder which is due to release in 10 weeks.
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