Here’s quick review of the excellent Hoodman Hoodloupe 3.0 which I’ve just started using. One of the problems with digital cameras of all types is the difficulty in see detail or even anything on the rear screen in bright light. I always use the histogram to check exposure but often with architectural or interior photography you might choose to overexpose a bit of the scene, such as the view from a window where the weather is poor or the view’s a bit disappointing. Or you may be using off camera fill flash and worried about creating hot spots which can be a bit tricky to see on the histogram. The Hoodloupe gets round all of these problems by giving you a consistent 3x magnified view of the rear screen, which lets you quickly review the image whatever the lighting conditions. It also allows you to check focus and depth of field much more effectively than looking at the rear screen with the naked eye. All this adds up to a quicker shoot and removes some of the need for taking a lot of bracketed shots, just to make sure you get a decent exposure. The centre of the image is a bit sharper than the corners but if you move your eye around you can then see the corners at full sharpness.
The loupe is small and lightweight so that you can wear it round your neck on the supplied lanyard without it becoming a pain. It also has an adjustable dioptre to accommodate different eyes and this allows it to be used with an extension hood to cover a 4” screen, making it fairly future proof. It all comes in a well made compact black carbon effect pouch.
The only downside to the whole package is the price, which is currently £75.99 from Amazon, which initially seams a bit steep, but after you’ve used it is grudgingly acceptable. I lent it to another pro-photographer last weekend and despite being a bit sceptical initially he was very impressed and ordered his own on Monday. Cheep Chinese copies are available but these don’t have the adjustable dioptre or the optical quality.