Gear reviews

I thought I might do something different today and review a one of my new items in my kit that I am very happy with. I am not aligned with any shops, nor am I sponsored by these shops.

The first item is my Zacuto View Finder which I bought about 6 months ago.

I am extremely happy with this purchase and with my fading eyes especially in glair conditions, I find it almost impossible to focus without the Zacuto View Finder. I was advised by my good mate Flembot to go for the stick on clip frame rather than the heavier and more cumbersome attachment you can buy that screws into the tripod mount at the bottom of your camera and I agree that the stick on type is the way to go.

The Zacuto View Finder then simply clips into place and lets no light in and you are away. I went for the x3 magnifier and there is the option for a x2.5 as well. I would stay with the x3 as it works very well.

With this attachment you can get your focus point exactly right and you can also review the shot taken very easily and scrutinise the histogram. When Stitching I tend to get my focus and exposure where I want with the Zacuto and then unclip to do the stitch.

The only negative I have found with the Zacuto is that the rubber attracts sand like flies to a honey pot for some reason. I have found though that after a sand dune shoot or something where the Loupe does get impregnated with sand, simply pull it apart and wash in soapy water and the sand comes off very easily.

Tomorrow I will review my new tripod and head…stay tuned!

26 thoughts on “Gear reviews

  1. Glad you’re enjoying the Zacuto viewfinder buddy. It’s called a viewfinder as it’s made for video, but it works fine as a loupe for stills as well 🙂 I use mine always for video where it’s amazing, shot a 14 hour day session with it for a music video a few weeks back.

    Oh, you have the 2.5x version, there’s a 2.5x version and a 3x version and the 2.5 is the one for most people.

    btw wait till you try the Zacuto on a camera with a decent screen 🙂

  2. Thanks for the correction little buddy! I actually think I have the x3 version now that you mention it as I went for the highest one on advice from their people.

    1. ah right, so yes you have the 3x.

      Btw wait till you read the review of Markie’s tripod – coolest feature is how it actually announces “Tripod is level” when you leveled your tripod. It really is a polite tripod. Only worry is it lost a shoe on day one in the Kimberley!

      1. Very funny mate…and yes it does announce the ‘level status’ quite well and thanks for the reminder about the shoe…I shall not forget to ping them on that one!

  3. I bought one off Rod Thomas that he only had a short while. They are good thats for sure. I use mine with the fixed bracket and find it easy to put on and off. They are a must have for video and handy for stills. I was playing with macro and Helicon Focus the other day and it was perfect for that.

  4. It would indeed be perfect for macro and focus stacking Merv. I don’t have a Macro lense yet, but I do a lot of stacking using the Zaguto.

    Pleased to hear that you are impressed with yours as well!

    1. …and mine is the 3x as well , gotta have that for old eyes.

      I only have a Sigma 105 Macro , I should really get the Canon.
      I find my Canon 85 1.2 does a good job with flowers combined with Helicon Focus.

      1. for video (handheld usually) the 3x is too much though I find. The image is so magnified the eye has to scan around the entire scene and that is no good for handheld video.

        1. I haven’t had any problems with it like that , but I have only shot limited video. It is very good though as it really helps steady the camera handheld with it held tight against the eye,

  5. I use my 28-300 at the moment but its ‘Hacksville’ me thinks!

    Need to get a dedicated Macro before this spring so that I can woop your but on the wild flower comp this year! 🙂

    1. You had better switch to Nikon and get the 105mm VR if you want to win the wildflower comp with Merv this year Mark, one of Nikons sharpest and craps all over the Canon version. ha ha. (so I’ve heard )

      1. Hi Peter, I have actually been think about a possible switch to Nikon, but I am not there yet! If Canon don’t release something new in the 5D or 1D stakes soon then it could become a reality! It is ridiculous that the new 1D is not out yet!

        1. New Nikons late August according to official site, can’t wait as I think they are sure to really kick arse when teamed with their great lenses.

        2. Markie
          Let’s compare notes when the new FX Nikons arrive as I’ll be a buyer! I’m really impressed with their glass, especially my latest, the 200-400mm F4, and the brilliant 2010 releases of a 16-35mm and a 28-300mm (superb walk-around lens).
          I hope Hodge is right about late August release. Am not sure what site you mean, Hodge?? I read rumours of a D4x replacement for the D3X, with around 32MP but there are so many rumours, and Nikon is notoriously coy. There are also rumours of a D4 in addition to a D4x), with less MP than the X model. Who knows.
          Interestingly, the 2011 catalogue from our mates at Really Right Stuff (released Nov 2010) said they would have a plate for a Nikon D4 to be released in “mid 2011”. However assuming that was correct, the tsunami after effects may delay release until early 2012.
          Waiting, waiting …

  6. Great idea posting your thoughts on your gear by the way, I am in the market for something like this as my eyes are rooted as well so your thoughts are much appreciated.

    1. No worries Peter…pleased I was of some assistance!

      I hate carrying glasses around when shooting and they don’t fix the glare problem when shooting in hi glare situations in any case whereas the Zaguto view finder solves the eyesight and the glare issue in one! They also have a cool little clip that enables you to attach it to your belt inbetween shoots when you unclip it.

    2. Pete, just shoot wearing your welding helmet……..there should be no dramas then!!

  7. Interesting idea to use the Zacuto for stills. I do a lot of video with my 5D and have considered it for that purpose, but then I realized that I do very few shots at eye level, plus I like to move the camera around during the shot. So I’ll probably have to go with a small external monitor instead.

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