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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Barry,

I only saw the thread and pics now - thanks.

It really looks good; very compact and and the right height. Congrats!

PS. The Spider doesn't seem to have a wist belt on their web page, yet you're using one - could you enlighten me?
Piotr - thanks for clarifying - VERY helpful. If you look back at the post Barry referred to, he actually responded to my question there and includes a comment about the belt - that it is from Shape-WLB, just not on their website. He mentioned you might have to call them.

Thanks again for the info - although I really like the "clean look" of the RR system, based on your thoughts it might not be the right solution for me - I don't have a need for rails right now nor any immediate plans for a matte box / lens adapter, so I'm probably going to narrow down my "quest" by considering the DVTec MultiRig and the Shape-WLB Spider (or one of its ilk)...
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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
I can only add a bit here. With the Hoodman Loupe and my 'naked' EX1 I was able to shoot handheld for the first time. My right arm ached for days after though.

I'm going to take onboard Serena's suggestion about the Eazyrig. All it really needs to make the EX1 comfortable is to take some of the load off the right arm and the torsional load off the wrist. I'm thinking to have a go at rolling my own.
Bob - I certainly would concur about the aching right arm with the HoodLoupe - I found, however, that the Hoodman WristShot - while not perfect- transfered more of the weight to the forearm and could be tolerated for longer periods of time. Can't use it with my present rig - Nanoflash and all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Barry,

I only saw the thread and pics now - thanks.

It really looks good; very compact and and the right height. Congrats!

PS. The Spider doesn't seem to have a wist belt on their web page, yet you're using one - could you enlighten me?
Piotr -

I had actually put that info on the "Flash XDR/Nanoflash forum" - the belt is a very new addition to their line - it had just been introduced about 10 days ago and I was able to order it over the phone. It is very useful
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Old September 27th, 2009, 09:11 AM   #48
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SHAPE-WLB Rig gets even better

Yesterday, when I was testing my new rig out at the soccer game it felt sort of natural to rest my hands (or maybe just one hand considering "hands free") on the rubberized grips of the Spider II rig. I thought at the time - wouldn't it be nice to have control of the zoom, rec, last clip played functions right at the handle level - especially since the Nanoflash has a 4 second buffer and reaching up and seating my hand on the camera as per usual seemed out of place. Well - here is the solution - I took the Manfrotto 521EX remote off my tripod handle and clamped it very securely on the Spider II handle and voila! - zoom control (that does not stutter and has a variable speed adjustment), fast zoom in and out, record, and last clip review buttons all at my fingertips. The extra wiring was coiled and ziplocked securely inside the front bracket of the shoulder mount. This does not affect the ability of these handles to be rotated (by pushing a button) in a 360 degree arc. Have an order in to B&H for another one to put back on the tripod.
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Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-dsc03493.jpg   Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-dsc03492-2.jpg  

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Old September 27th, 2009, 06:00 PM   #49
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Very cool, Barry! Is this your choice for LANC for the EX1, or is it just the one that you have available and thus decided to use it as-is?
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Old September 27th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mitchell View Post
Very cool, Barry! Is this your choice for LANC for the EX1, or is it just the one that you have available and thus decided to use it as-is?
I didn't try out the other options - had this one available but I do like it a lot - the zoom is smooth and the speed of the zoom can be adjusted. I expecially like the playback last clip button.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #51
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I received the Hoodman on Saturday. It's well built and not too heavy to be of concern as weight on the LCD hinge. I'd say that the risk of damage from banging the LCD with your hand is worse than your head applying pressure to hinge via the Hoodman. The Hoodman has a stable diopter focus wheel, and overall, the focus is better than the Hood-Pro Sock Loupe, the latter of which flops around and requires frequent adjustment. The Hoodman extender has some rubber feet that will give way if too much face pressure is applied.

I haven't tried the Hoodman outside. The Hood Pro is a little blacker, but the light leakage due to the incomplete sock or buckling cardboard sides kills the improvement in contrast. The Hood Pro's felt always shed, so the LCD and eye pieces required frequent dust removal.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; September 29th, 2009 at 02:21 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #52
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I just received my Hoodman EX1 kit this evening - earlier than expected after Hoodman had notified me that it was backordered. Awesome!

I threw it on and filmed the prerequisite "kid playing" shots before he went to bed, and overall it looks like it's going to be an impressive addition for critical focus via the built-in LCD. The eye cup is not quite as comfy as my XL2 used to be, but it is big enough to not feel too "tight" on my eye and keeps light leakage out (supreme test to be done outdoors at some point soon - will report back).

The LCD looks big and bold through the Loupe - a REALLY nice surprise. The data on the screen is clear and easy to read. I noticed that I wasn't able to keep the entire screen in focus at all times without lifting my eye from the cup a bit and moving it around to "catch" one corner of the screen or another. However, probably a full 85%+ of the screen was in focus at all times.

I didn't have to struggle to get the Loupe onto the camera - the camera strap was firm but not *tight*, so you really just have to flatten the LCD screen (parallel to the ground) and lay the loupe on top while you strap it on from below - no stretching, pulling, or other wrestling required. Quite nice.

The included case is nice but it won't fit anything but the actual Loupe itself - unless I missed something by not fiddling with it more, I think the riser would have to come off, and perhaps the eye cup as well. The riser shouldn't be a big deal but I wouldn't want to take the eye cup off very often.

More impressions later, but so far, I'm happy with the purchase - I was even able to take what I'd *almost* consider a shoulder-mount shot, with the camera held in a position like my XL2 used to be, just without the nice support I'd have from having the camera on my actual shoulder. Perhaps the Spider II is the answer to that... :)
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Old October 1st, 2009, 04:47 AM   #53
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Dissenter

My 1/2d worth: Please don't flame me, but I don't like the Hoodman EX1 Hoodloupe OR the Hood-Pro Sock-Loupe!

I bought the Hood-Pro first and liked the large, sharp, well-shielded image but thought that the floppy sock thing was just silly, so I removed the lens and mounted it in a plastic flap fitted to the hood so that it would hinge out of the way when I wanted a distant direct view of the LCD. (Similar action to Betacam eyepieces). The soft feel of the sock was pleasant, but I didnít need that as I fit an eyepiece Chamois over rubber eyecups anyway.

I agree with other people's comments about the flimsy build and poor appearance of the Hood-Pro and my modifications make it look even less 'professional', but the view of the LCD is superb as the lens is very good indeed. The experience is more like looking at a medium-sized monitor at a comfortable distance, rather than squinting into a small viewfinder.

(As I never used the EX1 rear viewfinder and it got in the way, I removed as much as possible of it and covered the 'stump' with PVC tape.)

I was looking forward to the Hoodman EX1 kit as I hoped it would be better built, look more 'pro', and be shorter, moving the camera CofG back towards the body.

When the kit arrived, I was impressed by the neat appearance and ruggedness of the build (although it is twice the weight of the Hood-Pro), liked the dioptre adjustment and the short barrel length; but I was shocked how poor the lens is compared with the Hood-Pro! The LCD image is significantly smaller allowing less detail to be seen, and most annoyingly, the eye has to be in the exact centre of the lens otherwise the whole image is very distorted. With the Hood-Pro, you can move your eye all around the eyepiece aperture and still get a sharp image. With the Hoodman, as others have reported, even when the centre is in focus, the corners of the LCD look soft and warped. Also the insides of the Hoodman do reflect more light than the Hood-Pro, making the image less easy to assess.

I now have two viewfinder attachments I don't like, but I'll probably go back to using my modified Hood-Pro as the image is so large and sharp.

What I would like is the build quality, adjustability and short length of the Hoodman, with the excellent lens quality of the Hood-Pro, PLUS the added ability to flip the lens out of the way when the camera has to be held away from the eye. I think it would be great l if Hoodman and Hood-Pro could get together on this !!
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Old October 1st, 2009, 05:18 AM   #54
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Danger in Using any Magnifier!

You WILL burn your LCD screen when using any Magnifier when outside in sunny conditions. I did 2 times I must confess. It only takes one second for this to happen and the results of this are pictured here: How to Replace Your EX1?s LCD

as well as a little video on how to replace your LCD screen, a $500.00 mistake!
Replace at your own risk.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 11:39 AM   #55
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Peter,
Can you post some pics of your modification and instructions. It sounds like a good idea.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 03:12 PM   #56
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Blue Peter anyone?

I did warn that it isn't a good-looking mod...

Components: Hood-Pro hood, Hood-Pro eyepiece, ~72x64mm rectangle of black plastic cut from an old betacam cassette box, 2 small tie-raps, sticky Velcro, double-sided Velcro, epoxy adhesive, chamois eye cup cover.

Cut ~42mm hole in centre of plastic rectangle for rubber lens tube.
Glue lens tube in hole with epoxy adhesive.
Drill 2 holes in Hood-Pro and plastic rectangle to attach tie-wrap hinges.
Attach sticky Velcro to rectangle & hood to allow double-sided Velcro to hold flap shut.

Refinements: 1/ Soft Velcro patch on corner nearest nose. 2/ Extra 16mm plastic strip glued to flap to make tighter fit inside hood when flap closed. 3/ A bead of soft plastic around the wide end of the hood to make it more lightproof and help keep it in place against the LCD. 4/ Velcro loop patch stuck to opposite side of hood to allow its elastic strap to be kept out of the way for occasional use of hood as a traditional hand-held loupe.

My lack of mechanical skills prevented me making anything better looking, but I'm now thinking about trying to fit the excellent Hood-Pro lens to the well-made Hoodman hood by adding a longer tube...

I completely take Steve Cahill's point about screen burn, but since reading about that hazard in a thread explaining Sock-Loupe floppyness a while ago, I have been prepared to take the risk and just try to remember to angle the viewfinder down when not in use. Camera operators were advised do that even in the days of monochrome CRT viewfinders.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #57
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When I saw the Hoodman prototype at NAB this year, I commented that I wished they would make a cover to replace the rear viewer. I think it looks a little silly with 2 view finders on the camera. Now that I have my Hoodman viewer, I'm sitting here watching the Tampa Bay Bucs losing to Washington, and an idea pops into my brain. I take one of the plastic cases that came with one of my SDHC cards, split it at it's hinge, and try it on my EX-1. With very little trimming... it works! It slides into the eyepiece mounting tracks very snugly, so I'm not worried about it coming out on its own. I covered it with a piece of black gaffer's tape to block light from hitting the little lcd inside. I'm happy with it. Since the Hoodman viewer won't fit in its case anymore, I put the Ex-1's rear eyepiece in it for protection.
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Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-sd-card-case.jpg   Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-ex-1a.jpg  

Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-ex-1b.jpg  
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Old October 5th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #58
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another EX1 hood

I wasn't going to post this because I presumed that the Hoodman loupe was meeting everyone's needs, but maybe there is still some interest in DIY versions. For some time I've been using the hood shown in the attached and find it very satisfactory. It has milled channels to slide onto the LCD and built-in auto-shutter to close out the sun when not in use. The eyepiece can be flipped up for viewing the LCD directly and the hood folds up for storage. All of those aspects are easily constructed. The tricky bit is that I added a circular rail to relieve any added pressure on the LCD, and that might be a deterrent for DIY. If anyone wants more detail, email me.
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Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-my-ex1-viewfinder.png   Hoodman EX1 KIT for improved LCD viewing-eyepiece-flipped.png  

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