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View Full Version : do reflex hoods work well?



stradibarrius
27-Sep-2014, 05:17
I have a Sinar F2 4x5 and live in the Atlanta area. It is hot and humid here and being under the dark cloth can be brutal. I wondered if a reflex hood would be a good option and allow fine detail focusing?

When I get close enough to use my loupe to fine focus, it's tough. This may seem like a stupid issue so if you have ideas please help.

biedron
27-Sep-2014, 05:52
When I had my Toyo 45AX I had a reflex hood for it, primarily for the issue you mention. I really liked using it, but: 1) it is bulky (not heavy) so it takes up a lot of room in the pack and 2) you can't use a loupe to fine focus with the hood in place. The Toyo one swings out of the way easily (don't know about other brands). I think most reflex hoods provide some amount of magnification, so that might be enough if your eyes are really good - mine aren't

Bob

AlexGard
27-Sep-2014, 06:12
I sold mine. I did not find it very practical especially carrying it around. Perhaps if you were shooting long landscapes without too much critical foreground.

Ken Lee
27-Sep-2014, 06:21
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/reflexhood.jpg

http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/reflexhood2.jpg

I have a Sinar Reflex hood and it's very good.

Because it contains a pair of magnifying lenses, it's easy to perform critical focusing. No more dark cloth required, no loupe, no reading glasses.

You have to be standing above it so that you can look down into it. For most scenes that works fine.

stradibarrius
27-Sep-2014, 06:27
The magnification issue is one I have to consider for sure! Ken, it's obvious after you pointed it out but I hadn't thought about having to be taller than the viewer...
Is the problem of being steamy under the dark cloth just one of those things you have to live with???

Ken Lee
27-Sep-2014, 06:38
The magnification issue is one I have to consider for sure! Ken, it's obvious after you pointed it out but I hadn't thought about having to be taller than the viewer...
Is the problem of being steamy under the dark cloth just one of those things you have to live with???

One of Fred Picker's tricks which probably came from Ansel was to use a dark cloth which is white on one side, and black on another. This helps keep things cooler, but won't keep out the steam and heat if the air itself is steamy and hot. Using a reflex hood will certainly minimize that.

Searching the auction site for "Sinar Reflex Hood", you'll find some which are monocular, but from what I can tell you still need to examine the image from above.

Dan Fromm
27-Sep-2014, 06:47
Barry there are also "in line viewing hoods." I'm not familiar with the Sinar system so don't know whether one is available for your camera.

Ken Lee
27-Sep-2014, 06:54
One other advantage of a viewing hood (the Sinar anyhow) is that the image is no longer inverted vertically. It appears right-side up. To me, that's a great advantage, aesthetically.

The image is still reversed left-to-right, but I find that far less of a problem.

Another nice feature of the Sinar version is that the magnifying lenses flip away with the turning of a lever (which you can see in the image below: there's a lever on both the left and right side to accommodate left and right-handed users). Additionally, there is a knob on both sides, towards the bottom, which lets you adjust the mirror. This is handy when using shorter lenses which project a "bright spot" at different parts of the ground glass.

I'm glad you asked your question, you've reminded me just how nice it is !

stradibarrius
27-Sep-2014, 07:05
Ken do the magnifiers come in different values and if so are they available?

stradibarrius
27-Sep-2014, 07:07
One other thing...thanks for the great response and good info. I was expecting more cynical responses.

Timothy Blomquist
27-Sep-2014, 07:48
I too have the Sinar reflex viewer for my 4x5s, and I have used it inside and outside, but never for critical focus. I have put it on the camera for a quick composition set up, allowing me to easily scan the image and decide focus points, then I take it off, use the dark cloth and proceed traditionally. Nice tool to have in your shooting arsenal.

Bob Salomon
27-Sep-2014, 08:34
Go over to PPR and look at one and decide for yourself.

Randy Moe
27-Sep-2014, 08:47
I recently bought a Horseman 4x5 Mirror box with stereo magnifiers.

The magnifiers do not work with my vision and I cannot use it at all.

I will need to find different magnifiers and with Horseman that will be difficult.

mdarnton
27-Sep-2014, 09:10
I have both the straight-through and reflex Cambo finders, and find them ideal for the way I work. They are just as magnified as they can be, given the field of view they need to cover. If you think about it, it's virtually identical to using a 35mm SLR: the most magnified view compatible with seeing the whole frame. As such, the ability to focus should be no better or worse, but for the relative slowness of LF lenses relative to 35mm making things proportionally darker, which they are. Looking through the Cambo finder is not that much different from using the Hasselblad chimney with the slower Blad lenses.

Of course, as Randy notes, like 35mm finders, they assume you have normal eyesight. If not, just as with any other finder camera, it won't work as well and you'll need to find a solution. But that isn't a problem with the finder. I don't know how it is on other LF finders, but for my Cambo finders it would be easy enough to have my eye doctor cook up a drop-in correction lens if I needed one.

Randy Moe
27-Sep-2014, 09:29
Even with progressive lenses, I need to set and reset the diopter adjustment on 35mm cameras. My eyes change, often.

I am afraid my experience with ophthalmologists has not always been fruitful.

It would be a costly trial and error selection process to find my exact and ever changing diopter for the Horseman.

The fixed box on my Horseman mirror does not allow me to get close enough to the mirror.

When focusing on any GG, I need to remove my glasses and stick my eyeball right on the GG. Loupes don't work.

I took a chance that this Horseman box would help. :(

I sure am digging the snappy autofocus on my D750.

Now where is that grain focuser! :)

djdister
27-Sep-2014, 10:06
I don't have a reflex hood, rather the Horseman binocular magnifier hood for my Horseman 45FA. The magnifiers are about 3x power, and although I wear glasses, I take my glasses off when using the hood. I do like this device, but there are limitations:

Shooting verticals and using it sucks. You have to cock your head sideways and so its very awkward.

Although the magnifiers allow good focus, I find that I don't see the entire frame as well, and have been surprised by objects at the edge of the frame.

It does add some bulk at the back of the camera, and of course in transporting the gear, so more "stuff" for field packing.

So those are some drawbacks, but overall I've liked using it about 80% of the time. But again, this is not a mirror reflex hood.

stradibarrius
27-Sep-2014, 10:34
I had a Cambo SC and also had a monocular hood. you could turn it to view from directly above or 90deg. It worked fairly well and I think that the diopter could be changed. I sold it when I sold the camera. The sinar hood is a binocular unit and the the magnifier can be flipped up and down. Currently I have a hood that fits around the back standard with elastic. you stick your head inside and can close up the bottom with velcro. It blocks the light really well but is very hot and will smother you on a hot day.
Maybe a good solution would be to just get a silver/black focus cloth.

stradibarrius
27-Sep-2014, 10:42
This is what I currently have. other than being hot it works great! http://www.viewcamerastore.com/4x5-btzs-focus-hood-dark-cloth/

Jac@stafford.net
27-Sep-2014, 11:57
Some have commented upon the size and fixed orientation of their reflex viewers.

Linhof has a monocular reflex viewer #002628 that breaks down into two parts so that one fits inside the other for storing or packing. Being two-pieces it can also be used in vertical or horizontal positions, keeping the viewing port upright (or wherever you wish it to be.) The magnification is 2X.

See one here. (http://www.digoliardi.net/linhof-reflex-1.png)

Personally I find it best to use it when a fresnel is in place.
.

Randy Moe
27-Sep-2014, 12:01
I see they are giving them away. :)

I tried the Horseman with and without factory fresnel.

I have a couple ideas, to try yet...


Some have commented upon the size and fixed orientation of their reflex viewers.

Linhof has a monocular reflex viewer #002628 that breaks down into two parts so that one fits inside the other for storing or packing. Being two-pieces it can also be used in vertical or horizontal positions, keeping the viewing port upright (or wherever you wish it to be.) The magnification is 2X.

See one here (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&docid=GtzpHutvst6rcM&tbnid=18f8k_DJeAeimM:&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.leicashop.com%2Fvintage_en%2Flinhof-002628-right-angle-reflex-attachement-4x5-sku22243-9.html&ei=xgcnVK6VBMqayATMiYKgCA&bvm=bv.76247554,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNGoc2cT_AmIgDOuWDsVmf8xLB9jNQ&ust=1411930429734617).

Personally I find it best to use it when a fresnel is in place.
.

Jac@stafford.net
27-Sep-2014, 15:10
I see they are giving them away. :).

Yea, it is crazy. I gotta wonder if they sell ten a year outside of government deals.

neil poulsen
27-Sep-2014, 18:28
Taking a workshop long ago from Norman McGrath, he used something like the following on his Arca.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?100825-Sinar-Binocular-Viewer-on-Arca-Swiss-Camera

The Arca system was very expensive, so I was able to use less expensive Sinar parts instead. There ought to be some way of using the same Sinar parts with a Sinar. (Seemingly.) The Sinar viewer shown snaps right into a Sinar bag bellows.

The lever on the right of the viewer (4th photo) positions a pair of magnifying lenses in front of the eyes while in use. It's possible to replace these magnifying lenses with prescription ground to get idea magnification for a given individual.

Randy Moe
27-Sep-2014, 18:34
I need to find my Polaroid MP3 copy camera viewer, I have miss-placed it.

It may be my solution.

neil poulsen
27-Sep-2014, 18:38
. . . You have to be standing above it so that you can look down into it. For most scenes that works fine.

You can invert the binocular viewer before attaching it to the back of the camera and be standing below it while in use. This can enable one to compose an image with the camera raised several inches above normal height. But then, one still needs to have the camera low enough to check the focus with the loupe. To solve this problem, position the camera at it's highest point that still permits checking the focus, and then crouch a little while composing the image using the inverted binocular viewer.

neil poulsen
27-Sep-2014, 21:58
I recently bought a Horseman 4x5 Mirror box with stereo magnifiers.

The magnifiers do not work with my vision and I cannot use it at all.

I will need to find different magnifiers and with Horseman that will be difficult.

I would investigate getting a prescription and having new one's ground. I worked with my OD to get a prescription for my eyes at just the right distance for a viewer I have and will find an optical company to grind the lens that I need. (My viewer has only a single optic.) Think of the advantage. Regardless of which viewer (Sinar, Horseman, etc.), the manufacturer has assumed the same correction for both eyes.

You have to find the right OD to do this. And, they have to have a pair of special technical eye-glasses into which they can insert different optics, so that they can optimize the prescription for a particular distance. I found one that has the special eye-glasses and was willing to take the time.

Peter De Smidt
28-Sep-2014, 07:58
I've used both a Sinar viewer and a Toyo. Both are bulky for field work, but using them is a joy. One thing to be careful with is the stress they put on the rear standard. With a Sinar P, it was no problem, but with an A1, similar to the F, the weight of the viewer caused noticeable flex in the rear standard.

I have a straight line monocular viewer for my Toyo. It works well with longer lenses, as they have less fall off on the ground glass. While it is somewhat flexible, it's too stiff to get a good view from the corners of the ground glass.

So....when I'm inside, I use the reflex viewers, but when I'm out I use a scouting "director's" viewfinder to scout out shots and then the old loupe on the glass to fine tune. If you mainly use longer lenses, a monocular could be a good choice.

stradibarrius
28-Sep-2014, 11:10
If you have never used something before, in this case a viewing hood, you don't think about all the things that is maybe off on the idea that you have. That is why I asked this question. I hadn't thought about having to be above or below the camera to use the hood, nor had I thought about the bulk. I think I will just continue to use my BTZS dark "hood" and call it good. The "viewer has to many issues to make it right for "me".
Thanks for all the good information and helpful attitudes!

Peter De Smidt
28-Sep-2014, 13:25
Sinar, right? You can also use a bag bellows and a viewing frame. The bag bellows will attach to the back of the camera. It is super flexible, and the 2x binocular viewer was good enough for me to find focus. The image is still upside down, but it is very, very bright, as no ambient light gets let in. You do have to remember to take the elastic strap from the viewer off when you walk away. :) I seem to remember doing this...but it's been 15 years or more, and so check to make sure whether you need anything special to mount the bellows on the back.

You'd need: sinar Binocular Magnifier 471.21, a binocular light hood 531.51, and a wide angle bellows 1 455.34

See: http://www.matrix.cz/profifoto/PDFS/Sinar_system_katalog.pdf page 24 and 26.

Ken Lee
28-Sep-2014, 14:10
For the record, the Sinar reflex hood will attach correctly whether you're shooting horizontal or vertical images.

pierre506
28-Sep-2014, 16:53
Reflex is good if carrying wasn't a problem.

VictoriaPerelet
28-Sep-2014, 18:09
I use reflex hoods on Sinar and Arca. Both are very helpfull when used with wide angle lenses and center filters (i use 72mm xl and CF a lot).

Sinar has knob and Internal mechanism to adjust mirror angle, Arca has gear and knob to do the same. Changing mirror angle lets me see image on whole GG compensating falloff. When working with people (not so much time) I do rough focusing and tilts with hood on and then remove hood and do final focusing using loupe.

Sinar unit is big and bulky, Arca unit is pretty compact. Also, Arca mirror fixed to hood while Sinar mirror moves - that makes mirror more prone to breakage, I broke few.

I used rigid Linhof mono viewer with TK, no comparisin with above 2, one of main reasons why I gave up on TK. Also using bellows and binocular viewer is not as convinient as 2 above - you have to keep proper bellows extension to have GG in focus, which occupies at least one hand.

AtlantaTerry
29-Sep-2014, 01:04
I have a reflex viewer for my Cambo cameras. It works great for horizontals but is a pain in the butt for verticals because I had to stand to the side of the camera. Then since one is looking into a mirror to view a groundglass that has an upside down image it gets very confuzzling where left / right / up / down are concerned.

Ken Lee
11-Oct-2014, 17:16
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/2014-10-02a.jpg
Rose, October 2014
Sinar P, 135mm Tessar
4x5 TMY, D-23

Thanks for the inspiration to take my Sinar reflex viewer off the shelf and use it again. I'm hooked !

stradibarrius
11-Oct-2014, 17:59
very nice

Peter De Smidt
11-Oct-2014, 20:28
That's a lovely photo, Ken.

Bruce Barlow
12-Oct-2014, 00:38
i use a cheap ($3) black t-shirt from Walmart. Size XXXL. The neck circles the back of the 4x5, and I use the other end like a dark cloth. It works fine, is lighter, more compact, and cooler. My sister sewed up the sleeves, and I ran a shoelace and a lace-lock around the hem at the bottom.

I reverse it for 8x10, lace-locking it around the camera, and poking my head in the neck. It stays on my face.

I don't use a loupe, but that would be a good reason not to sew the armholes, which, unused, don't cause light problems.

If you're picky, splurge and double-up to 2 shirts, black on the inside and white on the outside.

I'm a staunch believer in keeping the image upside-down, and wish I had a way to do that with my DSLR. I 'll contend that most folks make better-composed, more thoughtful images when the image is composed upside-down.

pierre506
12-Oct-2014, 04:37
Added Polaroid MP-4 reflex viewer onto Cambo WIDE.

Dan Fromm
12-Oct-2014, 05:46
I have a reflex viewer for my Cambo cameras. It works great for horizontals but is a pain in the butt for verticals because I had to stand to the side of the camera. Then since one is looking into a mirror to view a groundglass that has an upside down image it gets very confuzzling where left / right / up / down are concerned.

Is your viewer monocular or binocular? I ask because my monocular viewer rotates.