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Old February 5th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #1
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Z-Finder Dissapointment

I have read countless reviews on the Z-Finder, most were great... So, I saved my cash and bought one this week. I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. Let me first preface this by saying that the actual product is very nice, build quality is excellent.

Where I'm having the issues is the actual use... First, the magnification of the LCD screen seems to just highlight the actual pixels... Almost too magnified. I find my eye having a hard time focusing between the content and the actual outline of the pixels. The adjustment (in or out) seems to have very little effect, and I'm having a hard time just seeing a good image. I'm using Canon L lenses... The menu looks tack sharp :)

I can see how this will be useful in harsh light, but keeping my eye on this thing seems to be more of a strain than gain. Bottom line, I am not yet seeing an advantage in focusing, and a little bummed... I want to love this thing, I just don't. Maybe more use?

Anyone have similar feelings or some tips..? 400 bucks would have gone a long way in a stabilizer :(
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Old February 5th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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I do like mine-having got used to the fact that you are infact magnifying a low resolution LCD camera screen.
However they hadn't initially allowed for those of us wearing glasses and the adjustable focus knob, as you point out, hasn't enough adjustment. I believe they later shipped with two mounting plates, giving the option of moving the viewer further from the LCD Wish I'd been given the option of that.
It is lots better in my view to the Hoodman though, as at least I can see to focus and being a spectacle wearer I don't suffer too much with the Z-Finder steaming up.
Even better of course is fitting the SmallHD 7" monitor...but that was even more money and can only be used in very 'controllable' situations!

David
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Old February 5th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #3
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I do wear glasses (for nearsightedness)... But the menu is always in focus, seems the adjustment has no effect. Again, it may just be that my eye is having a hard time focusing. Maybe I will try the riser and see if getting it further back helps... those blown up pixels just give me fits.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 04:12 PM   #4
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zacuto finder

Scott, I too wear glasses, with bifocals, and it took a bit to get used to the finder, but I find it works really well. If you hit the magnify button, once is 5X, twice is 10X, the image in the lcd enlarges and I use that to adjust my focus and then hit the record button and the image goes back to the original size. I use a 5D to shoot highschool football at night for the paper I work for and found it works well. Not ideal, but for carrying one body and a couple of lenses as opposed to a video camera in addition to my still stuff, I like it very much.

I did some research and contacted the Zacuto people and was told the adjustment with that focus ring on the finder is minimal. So you won't see much difference. But using the electronically enlarged image to focus and then going to to record, you can get a certain rhythm down and make it manageable....

jerry
sioux city, iowa
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Old February 5th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #5
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Scott,
Don't forget the additional stabilization you get with it. I find that I can shoot handhed with the Z-Finder attached. I also wear glasses and find it very easy on my face even with my glasses on.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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Scott, what type of filming are you doing? For indoor work I found it only marginally better than magnifying glasses ie, the kind you wear for reading. I'm using a Hoodman though so its not a direct comparison. I use the AF button mostly to get focus which works in most situations where the subject is sufficiently isolated as to not confuse the camera. However I will be buying a SmallHD as soon as funds become available. Yes, this may not work perfectly outdoors but then if you are filming event stuff or let's say not a 'Hollywood drama' where shallow depth of field is a must, I have more latitude so its not as critical. In some ways, its good that not everyone is a fan of the x-finders. They seem to help most people though. Seems like a refinement is in order.

Maybe I should have looked at the link you had!

Last edited by Peter Damo; February 5th, 2010 at 10:43 PM. Reason: missed etails
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Old February 6th, 2010, 06:57 AM   #7
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Get the taller mounting frame. I am farsighted and the taller mounting frame gave me that extra ability to get better focus with the Z-Finder's focus ring, without wearing glasses. Without it I had to have the focus ring fully extended (out) and the focus was not sharp. With the taller mounting frame I had to turn the focus ring back in, (not as extended) I am now happy with the results. The camera's LCD could be a higher rez, but instead of looking at pixels, try to focus the image vers at a pixel level, also the 5x and 10x camera mag is also your best friend as well.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #8
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I suspect that this is a question of the OP training his eye to see the picture & not the pixels. In a related fashion I at first found it impossible to use a loupe to see the dust & clean the sensor on a Nikon D70. I just couldn't visualise the correct plane but my wife had no problems at all. However one day I somehow focused differently & could see the dust & ever afterwards I had no problem using the loupe. It's rather similar to those 3D stereogram posters that have an image that is invisible initially but suddenly pops into focus when you look at it just right.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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I do think it is getting my focus to relax or something along those lines, because I can't imagine this product being popular if others experienced what I am. I am for sure going to get the riser just for some added distance.

The other thing that is really throwing me off is having a bright image in one eye, closing the other... when I pull away after a few minutes my vision is all out of whack for a few mins :)
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Old February 8th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I suspect that this is a question of the OP training his eye to see the picture & not the pixels. In a related fashion I at first found it impossible to use a loupe to see the dust & clean the sensor on a Nikon D70. I just couldn't visualise the correct plane but my wife had no problems at all. However one day I somehow focused differently & could see the dust & ever afterwards I had no problem using the loupe. It's rather similar to those 3D stereogram posters that have an image that is invisible initially but suddenly pops into focus when you look at it just right.
Now I will show my age for a sec, LOL. This reminds me of trying to focus a developer when making still prints. I forget the name of that little device used to fine focus the lens down onto the paper, but sometimes I would have the hardest freakin' time getting my eye to focus on the grain (focus the grain, and you know your good to go to expose the paper). Some people have a really hard time with that, but it's been a while since I've been in the darkroom, heh...
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Old February 8th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Aubuchon View Post
The other thing that is really throwing me off is having a bright image in one eye, closing the other... when I pull away after a few minutes my vision is all out of whack for a few mins :)
I have that all the time. A full day's shooting with a loup can make the drive home somewhat 'interesting'

Avey
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