Product Review: Hoodman Loupe 3.0 & HoodMAG 3.0

You’ve just taken the perfectly composed image – or have you? The moment could be lost, so you need to review the image on your camera’s LCD screen before you leave your location. But the bright daylight is glaring off the screen. You twist and turn your body or put your hands around the screen, all in an effort to shade it from the light, but you still can’t see it clearly. Maybe you can just take a few more images, just to be sure. When you review your images on your computer, your thinking, “I’m bound to have one great image!” Nope!

Too many times there are distracting elements too near your subject or on the edge of the frame, the exposure just wasn’t set quite right, or the image is blurry, because you couldn’t see through the glare on the screen to review your creations.

To the Rescue: The Hoodman Loupe 3.0 & HoodMAG 3.0

Its purpose is to provide you with glare free viewing and it does exactly that! You merely grab the easy to grip, rubberized body of the loupe, place it over your LCD screen, put your eye up to the rubber-coated eye cup, adjust the diopter to your vision requirements and enjoy the view. Now you can easily check that image for good composition, exposure and clarity to be sure it’s a keeper. It’s that simple!

But why wait until after you click the shutter button. If your camera is on a tripod and your subject is relatively static, get your camera ready to go and set up your composition using Live View. Grab your Hoodman Loupe and closely inspect the details of your proposed image, including seeing you camera setting with clarity. Readjust if necessary – CHECK AGAIN AND CLICK!

Another real positive to the loupe is that everything appears more crisp and clean on the screen as you look through the loupe. The colors appear more brilliant. It’s quite pleasing to the eye.

As I was working with the Hoodman Loupe with the attached HoodMAG 3X magnifier, it was convenient to carry around my neck by its lanyard, especially since I carry my camera sling-style. When I attached my camera to a standard neck strap, it was in my way as I lifted my camera up and down.

Now, as I was crouched and bent down low, working with a subject that was lying in the sand on the beach, the loupe was swinging in the sand – oops! I needed to stop and get it cleaned off so I wouldn’t get sand on my camera and screen. From that experience, I’ll need to find a way of tethering it to my camera belt or strap. Same as with my remote shutter release pouch, a retractable key holder should do the trick. I could just detach the lanyard by the quick release buckle and attach the key holder. If I wanted to use the lanyard again, I could quickly reattach it.

Photo by Hoodman Corporation

The specifications:

1.) Measurements: 2 ¾ inches wide x 2 ½ inches deep x 3 3/8 inches tall and fits up to a 3” LCD screen. It’s small size and light weight makes it an easy item to stow in your bag.

Note: For those with a 4” screen, Hoodman makes a HoodRiser to accommodate your screen.

2.) It utilizes precision German glass optics with a 1:1 ratio. Now we know why there is such a clear view of the image on the camera’s screen.

3.) It is well constructed and the full rubber coating provides comfort near your eye, an easy grip and protection for the loupe.

4.) You’ll focus clearly when you adjust the binocular style +/-3.0 diopter ring.

HoodMAG 3.0 – 3X magnifying eyecup
Photo by Hoodman Corporation

Should you want to see even closer, Hoodman has a HoodMAG 3.0 – 3X magnifying eyecup that enlarges the LCD screen image by 3X by simply removing the original eyecup and installing the 3x in its place. It has the same rubber coating that provides comfort and protection. It sports a slip ring, so it stays in position as you adjust the diopter. It does take up a bit more space in your camera bag, since it doesn’t fit in the carrying case that comes with the loupe, and it doesn’t come with its own carrying case or pouch, but it’s worth it seeing the image up that close.

5.) It hangs around your neck with a 21 inch detachable lanyard. If Hoodman created an alternate means for carrying it in the field, it would be a great addition to the product.

6.) It comes with a form-fitting, padded carrying case with a two inch wide belt loop on the backside, so for at least those who wear a belt, they wouldn’t need to store it in their camera packs.

In Conclusion

It performs just as it should and this is one great accessory for The Photographer’s Toolkit. You should never leave home without it being included with your gear.

Here’s another great holiday gift for the photography lover you know, or what the heck, just buy one to treat yourself.

Be sure to check out the Hoodman website.

by Marla Meier, APM Editor
Review and photos: © 2012 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

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