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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old August 12th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Recently purchased the Varavon GH3 extender loupe. Materials appear well-made, but it will not be usable for me as it cuts off so much of the Right side screen. I wrote to Vitaliy/Personal View dude from whom I purchased concerning this, but have yet to hear anything back.

I'm assuming others w/ this Varavon have a similar problem - and the GH3 really needs something in most situations to glom on. What are your experiences with the available loupes/extenders/et al out there for the GH3?
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Old August 13th, 2013, 05:50 AM   #2
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

How much of the right side does yours cut off? The one I have will shift a little in travel but I can nudge it back so only a sliver of the rightmost screen is obscured at worst.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Same here, you should be able to see OK. I don't know much about the other loupes, but I like this articulating version rather than the ones like carryspeed that just attach to LCD on the back. This one is very much like an ENG viewfinder and allows you a lot of latitude.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

How much cut-off? I'd say at least 5%, perhaps a little more. As reference - most of the battery display (top), and most of the minutes of the hr/min. display below. Way too much cut-off to be usable, without an external monitor - but in that case I wouldn't need the loupe!

Chris, I do like the articulation too, and the camera does need something, especially in bright/exterior light, to read the LCD. But this simply won't work, as framing is always critical, as I assume it is for everyone. My 1st dive into DSLRs, coming from (most recently) a Sony EX1/3. And PLEASE, Panasonic, make the display stay on constantly if one so wishes!!!

Anyone w/ experience with loupe/extenders/etc.other than the Varavon?
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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

As far as I know, nobody makes an articulated loupe except Varavon. Try to contact them as what you describe is too extreme and sounds like your loupe has a defect. I can see the entire battery indicator even if it has shifted.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Keith, just maybe you're not slotting in the loupe quite far enough - it does need a little extra and it does work Ok on mine but maybe not on all models.
I did do a lot of research on the best loupes for filming handheld in daylight and came back to this. But good luck on the search and would like to hear if you find a better one.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #7
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

OK, another chance to give back to DVInfo Net to try to get closer to balancing all the great information I have picked up here over the years.

But this loupe is sweet!!! There's some reviews or more reviews on Amazon and there are a number of Youtube or Vimeo clips about it, but the new Carry Speed VF-4 universal loupe ROCKS with my GH3. Just got it a couple hours ago, and shot some great test footage sooo much more easily with my rig and 1080 60P and the stabilization and different options for focus with the 12-35mm 2.8 Panny. While gathering information I came across this site below which has some nice pics and a nice marketing layout. They also had a really nice $50 discount going a couple days ago. Don't think so now but even with the extender package in case you want to use it with a GH3 battery grip, the cost only comes to $185 compared to a straight back Zacuto Z-Finder for GH3's price of close to $400.

http://www.photographyandcinema.com/...bracket-bundle

This one has NICER features if you check and compare. The optics are excellent and yes you can focus very well manually in bright sunlight. Peaking with this would be killer!!!!! But check all the features and compare to Zacuto's straight back loupe. It's a very tight fit under the EVF but honestly I don't know why you would need to pull it off very often. Easy enough.

Check the easy access to the LCD screen for touch functions to be still convenient when you flip it up, as well with being able to shut a metal iris on it if not in use so you don't fry-like-a-red-ant-with-a-magnifying-glass....your LCD if you somehow had the sun coming through it because you're really stupid. :) :)

If your style or your rig has definite need for the Varavon so that you can use it with the LCD flipped out and tilting and all that then yes get the Varavon. But make sure first with any rig. My rig totally requires a straight back loupe.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

I use a letus hawk that I modified with a 1/4 x 20 hole to mount onto a swing arm that attaches to my rod setup.

Great optics, and the swing arm lets me position it anywhere the lcd can go. The hole is taped in the mounting bracket of the hawk, not the body.

Love this setup.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #9
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

I like the VF-4:

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Old August 18th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Think I've got it figured out - the "articulator" was apparently a little bent from the factory, causing the loupe to heavily favor the L side. I was able to bend it enough so as to properly display, cutting off only a sliver on the R side, and w/ a little force, cutting off nothing.

Appreciate your help & insights - the VF4 does look like a great loupe for straight back viewing.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Why? I use the built-in viewfinder. I do have a Hoodloupe but don't need it.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 01:39 AM   #12
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Had my first trial run with my GH3 today. 14-140 plus Nikkor 80-400 VR lens and Sigma 500 via Novoflex adaptor.

Various things spring to mind, not all relevant to this post. However I used my Swit 7 inch HDMI monitor, normally used with my XLH1 or EX3 as a focussing aid. Big lenses manual of course.

Not as precise as expected, I was thinking, "narrow depth of field" but not necessarily so. I'll need to de-tune the camera's standard settings a bit, sharpness set too high IMHO as is colour. Not sure whether these contributed to a certain lack of precision in the monitor image. I was videoing flocks of birds which were on the ground feeding etc while I was sat up in an elevated hide. Suspect the elevation/angle of view might have contributed to the apparent extended depth of field.

The on camera monitor/touch screen a joke for accurate anything IMHO other than screen info which shown on the Swit anyway (very briefly!). The viewfinder a bit better but not much and uncomfortable for video (wearing specs I was) where you might need prolonged viewing.

As a reason for getting the GH3 was increased mobility, not ideal to have to use the Swit all the time.
A loupe is the answer it seems from reading the above. Are the ones under discussion capable of being used, perhaps via articulation, by both eyes? If I were a loupe designer I'd be thinking about binocular viewing, as I would if designing pro camera viewfinders. But designer I am not.

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Old August 20th, 2013, 07:59 PM   #13
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Halfhill View Post
Why? I use the built-in viewfinder. I do have a Hoodloupe but don't need it.
Why? A lot of us use one type of rig or another which doesn't allow our eye anywhere near the EVF. Many of them to reach over the shoulder with all the benefits that allows not to mention being able to attach other gear that is often needed. Microphone, wireless receiver, small audio mixer, etc.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 04:08 AM   #14
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Jackson View Post
If I were a loupe designer I'd be thinking about binocular viewing, as I would if designing pro camera viewfinders. But designer I am not.
The problem with a binocular viewfinder is that you would have a very restricted view as you would be be blind to anything happening out of shot.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #15
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Re: Preferred LCD loupe/extender?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Halfhill View Post
Why? I use the built-in viewfinder. I do have a Hoodloupe but don't need it.
I'm mostly with Alan on this. Just had cataract surgery and opted for the astigmatism correcting lens implants. With that done I don't have to mess with eyeglasses for distance vision, properly adjusted diopter on the GH3 EVF lets me now use the EVF without the distortion I feel was related to my eyeglass prescription.

But I finally got around to trying this:

Begin quote:
==============Begin quote:=============
"So I ordered another HoodLoupe and HoodMag for a whopping $120 and I was right.
All you need is the Manfrotto 501PL QR plate and you're all set - that's it.

The extended 501 and the existing EVF create a perfect compression fit - I mean better than any system out there, and we've got most of them.
When I first measured the camera I realized that the little ridge to the left of the screen should make a perfect stop and it did (although it doesn't need it.)

It's perfectly light leakless (hey, a new word) and fits snug as if it were part of the GH3.
It weighs nothing and costs just a little more than that.
==============End Quote============

I tried it and it works perfectly just as he described. However I'll still prefer the EVF but will keep the Hoodloupe in the bag (sometimes I hang it me with the neckstrap and hold it in place briefly when needed then just drop it to hang in place).. But the above is really simple and handy.
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