Wednesday, September 1, 2021

If it's good enough for a Large Format camera; then it's good enough for my Canon M3

Once you get into photography you begin to look at the various categories of equipment. From large format film cameras down to point and shoot digital technology.

From my perspective, with a bias towards the science and technology of photography, I'm always interested to look backwards for 'new' ideas, ie ideas that we can exploit today.

This post is about one of those necessities from the large format, view camera world, that is virtually ignored today. Namely a dark cloth, which is also called a focusing cloth or hood, The dark cloth being a piece of light-proof material that covers your head and the back of the camera. It eliminates stray light to allow for proper viewing of the relatively dim image on the camera ground glass during framing and focusing.

Although today's digital cameras don't require us to inspect focus on a piece of ground glass, we often find ourselves looking at the LCD screen , eg to read camera info, carry out focus peeking or, in my case, drive Magic Lantern or CHDK.

But try and look at a camera's LCD screen in bright sunlight, or if your eyes are 'getting older', as mine are.

I've tried various 'solutions', but I found all of them lacking at some level. Plus things can get complicated if your camera has an articulating screen, rather, say, than the fixed screen on my 5D3.

Also, as a photographer who likes getting low, I envy the cameras of old, where you can look down into the camera:

As my 5D3 has a solution in the form of the Swivi S5 (see below), I decided to 'hack' my M3.

As I didn't wish to buy more 'stuff' I decided to use what I had and not to compromise my base Canon M3 configuration, which looks like this:

That is any solution needed to fit around a cage and a handle, and enhance my low level photography needs, when I have the screen deployed like this:

The base set up ended up looking like this, where I adapted a collapsible Hoodman Loupe, with a diopter adjustment, via a cold shoe mounted, miniture ballhead:

But this base arrangement still suffers from light hitting the screen.

The final configuration benefited from me having a wife who is an expert sewist. She quickly knocked up the following Mark 1 version of my idea, which will likely end up the final version for me. Thank you Jean :-x

Here we see my 'dark cloth' for a DSLR :-)

So far it's a 100% success: allowing me to use the camera in bright sunshine, low on the ground, whilst focus peeking and controlling CHDK scripts.

As usual I welcome any feedback on this post or any of my posts.

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