If you are like me, you love photography and being in the field taking pictures as often as you can. But the more you take pictures ( specifically digital ) the more you become frustrated and annoyed at two common problems. One, not being able to see your LCD in daylight and two, your camera strap constantly falling off your shoulder.
I had seen advertisements for the Hoodman Loupe in the photography magazines to which I subscribe , but because I am cynical and skeptical and because I am cheap ( let’s say value conscious ), I never really looked into it. One day I decided to e-mail the company to make sure I could return the Hoodman if I was not happy with it. They assured me I could return it for a full refund. So I ordered it.
When it came I wasn’t too happy with it because I normally have a pair of glasses hanging around my neck and that is where you wear the Hoodman. So I had to carry my glasses elsewhere. The second problem I had was finding a way to use it so it was comfortable and second nature to me. After using it a few times I found that comfort zone.
Until someone designs a LCD screen that can be seen clearly in daylight the Hoodman Loupe is the best thing to view your pictures. Just place the loupe over the LCD screen ( It’s made for all the most popular DSLR’s ) which blocks out the light allowing you to look through the eyepiece to see the screen. The eye piece has a + / – 3 diopter adjustment so you can adjust it for your eyesight and see the screen clearly and sharp. After using it, I don’t know how I got along without it. My pictures are definitely better because I can make immediate adjustments based upon what I see whether I am using the histogram or the LCD screen.
Recently, I was on vacation visiting Grand Teton, Glacier, and Yellowstone National Parks ( pictures to be on my website shortly ). If I had a supply of Hoodmans in my car trunk I could have easily sold 10 to 15 of them. Other photographers saw the Hoodman hanging around my neck and asked what it was. I took it off and let them use it and voila another sale. Everybody went wild over it and wanted to know how to get one.
So there you have it. This blog and my website is not about endorsing products but when you find something that works and solves a problem you have to let people know about it. Try it. If you don’t like it, you can return it. I doubt you will. The website address is www.hoodmanusa.com. You have to order on the web. To my knowledge it is not available in retail stores.
The second outstanding product addresses the camera strap falling off your shoulder. It is called Upstrap because it will keep your strap UP.
Many years ago, I took a course with Jay Maisel, outstanding professional photographer. I have a lot of respect for Jay, so when I saw he was endorsing the Upstrap I decided to look into it. As with the Hoodman, I e-mailed the company to make sure I could return it for a full refund if I was not happy with it. They assured me I could.
On the Upstrap website ( www.upstrap-pro.com ) there are a variety of testimonials about the Upstrap. Michael Reichman of Toronto said “…. The best damn strap in the world. Period. End of story. “ I agree. The damn strap won’t fall off your shoulder. Michael’s right. Enough said.
The key part of the Upstrap is a thick and very pliant polymer pad with little nubs all over it. It is meant to distribute weight over a larger surface area than a thin strap and grab onto fabric aggressively so that it stays put. And it does !
Just like the Hoodman Loupe you have nothing to lose and everything to gain with the Upstrap.