Today I purchased two pieces of gear from Hoodman (via Adorama, as they were the only folks that seemed to have them in stock).
I got the Hood Eye (for Nikon cameras with square viewfinders), and the HoodLoupe 3.0.
The original idea for these purchases came from Joe McNally. While reading his newest book, the Hot Shoe Diaries - in which Joe talks a lot about how he makes the shots he does; naming names, and highlighting the specific pieces of gear by make and model. It's written in a very candid, frank style, as if Joe was narrating a documentary on "the making of.." the particular shot on the page.
In one of the "entries", he makes mention of how useless the LCD on the back of your camera is if you're shooting in bright/direct sunlight. Not a situation I find myself in often, but it has made things difficult for me in the past.
His solution - the HoodLoupe.
So I paid a visit to Hoodman's website (which has a charming, late-90's feel about it), and checked out some of their products, along with the little videos about each one. Pretty cool.
The one that really spoke to me was the HoodEye.
When I was first starting out as a photographer, my dad gave me a Nikon FM2 for my birthday. I became obsessed with Nikon gear at that point, and immersed myself in all of the various models of cameras, lenses, and oh, the accessories. Nikon really knew what they were doing when it came to appealing to the gearhead. Their higher-end cameras were so modular, and they made all of these great different special purpose products. Way more than what's available today, I'd say.
Anyway, since the FM2 was a pretty low-end camera, it didn't really have a lot to offer in the way of pimping out - only a few different focusing screens (hey, at least they were interchangeable, right?), a motor drive, and some other generic stuff. But the one thing that really jumped out at me was the rubber eye-cup. This little fellow really rocked when it came to seeing what's in the finder clearly.
Recently, I got my hands on my dad's old F3 (which also had an eye-cup), and I was surprised but just how much bigger, brighter, and clearer that camera's finder is than that of both my D70 and D90. It was like, a 50% difference, at least. I could actually focus the lens without any issues, whereas manually focusing on the DSLRs was a total pain/crap shoot.
So when I saw the HoodEye, it just jumped out at me, and I knew I must have it. And now I do!
Even though I haven't taken it out shooting yet, I'm very excited about it. I've caught myself many times bringing my left hand over to my eye and blocking out whatever glare or light was prohibiting me from getting a clear look into the viewfinder. Never again!
So that's the exciting news for today.