Focusing Cloth

Is anyone using a dark cloth to help cut out the light on the lcd screen when focusing?

There are times when I virtually can’t see any details on the screen when I’m focusing. Today I tried to stretch my sweatshirt hood over the camera to hide the glare but still the reflection of my face on the screen was so strong that I couldn’t see it’s contents.

How are you dealing with this problem? If you’re using a dark cloth then what brand are you using?

Thank you.

I haven’t used one, Igor, but I’ve thought about it. I’d just go to your local fabric store and look through ghe “remnants” until you find something pretty opaque and soft enough to drape well. I think some of the synthetic fleeces would work well and they’re light weight.

There are visors available as well as magnifying loupes that fit entirely over the lcd. I’m forgetting the manufacturer of the latter, but they work pretty well.

I think Dennis is referring to Hoodman Loupes.

I’ve been using a Hoodman Loupe for a few years now and it works very well in the bright light. It’s small and easily fits in my bag, plus it has an attached cord so you can wear it around your neck so it is always available.

Steve, does it feel look you’re looking through a view finder?

Them’s the ones. One of those senior moments.

Yes, to a point. I don’t use it unless the light is harsh and makes it difficult to see the screen. It does provide some magnification which is helpful, but you are looking through a viewfinder to see the screen.

I’ve experimented with several on other people’s cameras, and for me the experience was much like looking through the viewfinder on the camera, but of course examining a captured file rather than a living scene. If I used my LCD screen for more than viewing histograms or working from the menu for camera adjustments, I’d have one in a heartbeat. But I don’t do “live view” or whatever it’s called, and I’m reliant on the story in my viewfinder for critical decisions and adjustments before taking a shot. Yeah, I admit it. I’m a geezer. :wink:

1 Like

How do you focus your image, Hank? Are you using auto-focus?

In general I only use auto-focus for moving subjects. The DOF preview button is an old friend, and I use that in concert with manual focus for landscapes or to set what I call “photo traps” for moving subjects within a larger landscape view- I.e., selecting and setting a focus for the larger scene, within which the subject is moving. Due to the darkening through the viewfinder when pressing the DOF preview and closing down the aperture, I’m much more inclined to put a hood on the viewfinder. It’s really critical for my methods in selecting apertures for specific DOF. For folks who rely on their screen for critical image adjustments, I’d see the same value in a Hoodman Loupe.

Dunno if my explanation makes a bit of sense. But in this recent example of very close California gray whales, I was able to “pattern” their movements and appearance and pre-focus on the spot (effectively setting my trap) while waiting for the whale to make it’s brief appearance. A quick adjustment for framing and I was done. Autofocus was simply too unreliable, what with all the moving water and problematic DOF adjustments to keep the whole whale in focus.

You can make a dark cloth yourself for very little money, Igor. I’ve used them a lot in the past but haven’t lately. Shooting on our white sand beaches is darn near impossible without a dark cloth or Hoodman because it’s just incredibly bright. Personally, I like the dark cloth better than the Hoodman even though it’s more bulky and heavier. One problem with a dark cloth in a climate like Florida (very hot and VERY humid) is that using a black dark cloth is unbearably hot. My wife is making me a dark cloth that is black on the inside and white on the outside to reflect heat. I’m hoping that will solve that problem.

I need to marry someone like that, Bill.

Igor, It would probably be a lot cheaper to just pay a seamstress to make you one! :rofl:

If you’re sewing challenged, one white cloth, one black, one stapler. Crude, but it will work.

One thing worth noting for focusing cloths to be used on SLR cams, especially on hot or windy days:

They don’t have to be huge, covering the whole upper half of your body so you can stand back and view a big ground glass. Something about the size of a kitchen towel or face towel that just covers your head is dandy. And lots more comfortable to use. Not to mention easier to pack and have on hand when you need it.

My fave is in fact an old black terrycloth face towel I rescued from the rag bag.

1 Like