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Adjusting the diopter

From: Video Gear Weekly

Video: Adjusting the diopter

Rich: We wanted to come back in Small little adjustments, looks good to me.

Adjusting the diopter

Rich: We wanted to come back in the studio, because there's one particular option on these view finders that you really want to get the hang of, and that's the diopter. Now, it's a strange sounding word. Rob, what's a diopter? Rob: Well, without getting all optical science on you, Rich, essentially it allows you to adjust the focus of what you're viewing based on your eyesight. So, in oth, in other words if it looks soft to you even though you know for sure that the image is supposed to be in focus, and it looks in focus to everybody else. Well, that's your eyes. That's not the focus of the camera. And, so, on a lot of these view finders they have these built in diopters.

And you might have already been familiar with the diopter with your DSLR. A lot of DSLR's just have a small little one. Right here on the side of the viewfinder that allows you to do the same thing. Rich: Yeah. And this is basically a way that if, you're vision isn't that bad, or you have different vision for nearsightedness and farsightedness, to compensate, but it gets a bit tricky. Now this particular viewfinder here. Doesn't have a diopter, there's no dial. This is a early generation, a very basic model, that just snaps on and you saw us use that with the pocket camera, but the one the one that you have in your hand does have a diopter.

Rob: Yeah, and it's this big red ring right here so, as I turn it I can sort of refine sort of the focus to my individual eyesight, which is really nice and, on this particular Zacuto Z-Finder that we have. It's actually a really fine control, so you can just make little minor tweaks to dial in the viewfinder to your preference. Rich: And to be clear folks, this is not focusing the footage. Rob: Right. Rich: This is where it gets tricky. You can have the lens in focus, and the diopter out of focus. And it works against you. And adjusting that does nothing to the lens. Rob: Well, that's my, that's my trick with this Rich.

Is that if I'm you know, guessing whether I'm in focus, here's what I do. I, I flip my camera if it is a still slash video camera. I'll actually flip it over into photomode, and use the photo auto focus, because I find that to be a little bit more accurate than some of the video auto focus modes especially on a DSLR. Or what I'll do is if my camera has auto-focus and video mode I'll try that. But here's a third situation. I ask somebody to come over who has really good eyesight to double check that things are in focus, and if they're still not in focus for me, that's when I go to adjust the diopter.

Rich: Now, I agree with Rob, but I have an easier method. How about you just push the menu button. And bring up the text on the menus,. Rich: And then you focus on the letters, until they look crisp and sharp. It's kind of like e, f, h, Total, indicator test. Rob: Try, try, tried and true method there, because the thing that, the reason that works, the, the reasoning behind that is because, the text is never change distance. It's not going to go in and out of focus, it is what it is on the back of a camera. So that's a, that's a good option. Rich: So yeah you would, I would just adjust that til it's in focus; let me do that real quickly now.

Small little adjustments, looks good to me. But each person's eyes are a little different. Rob: Absolutely and the thing about this is, because these rings are external to the units. They do get bumped around from time to time, so it's something that you want to check. Now Rich there is one more thing I want to mention about diopter, is that they can only get you so far, if you have a serious case of farsightedness. So companies like Zacuto and other manufacturers that make plate mounting systems like this, this little square where the loop can mount on there. They actually make step up plates, so with every successive step-up plate you add to this system.

The viewfinder of the loop itself will get further and further and further away from the camera LCD. In combination with the diopter, this can allow you to sort of adjust the image when you have severe farsightedness. Rich: All right. Well this make a lot of sense. One other thing here is I recommend if it has a strap you use one. If I'm going to hang this off the back here I'll typically take this And attach it somehow to the system and maybe thread this through the camera play here would be good idea. The last thing you want to do is have it fall off and bounce on the ground. Rob: And that will happen.

Rich: It will definitely happen. Rob: Get definitely knocked off for sure. Rich: So yeah, make sure that is safe and secure, so you have a good idea on how to use one of these view finders remember we walked you through the process of which one to pick and some of the options as well as shooting strategies. And we just showed you, diopter, how to use it. Now Rob, how often do you end up using your loupe when you're shooting? Rob: Every day, all the time, yeah, I mean the thing is we said it once, and we'll it again, that everything looks good on the back of a camera LCD screen, if you're not critically looking at the image.

And so these loupes help you sort of, you know, get good focus. They help you you know, sort of, so, analyze your exposure at a closer view and they're an essential tool I think. Rich: And I love that they add one more point of contact for a stable surface. So there you have it. Make sure if you're using a loupe, try some of these tips out, and see if it won't improve your shooting style when using these smaller cameras.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Video Gear Weekly
Video Gear Weekly

89 video lessons · 10477 viewers

Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman
Author

 
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  1. 26m 35s
    1. Professional headphones
      1m 20s
    2. When to use and not use headphones
      4m 39s
    3. Types of headphones
      7m 19s
    4. Additional headphone features
      8m 21s
    5. Why you may want to use multiple headphone types
      4m 56s
  2. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome to Video Gear Weekly
      2m 31s
  3. 12m 22s
    1. What is a Parabolic Slider?
      1m 22s
    2. Building the Slider
      1m 41s
    3. Setting Focus
      1m 4s
    4. Adjusting the Speed of Movement
      2m 13s
    5. Evaluating the Results
      6m 2s
  4. 11m 24s
    1. DJI Quadcopters
      2m 35s
    2. Calibrating the Quadcopter
      2m 12s
    3. Flying Strategies
      2m 48s
    4. Evaluating the Footage
      3m 49s
  5. 26m 53s
    1. Ultra fast primes
      2m 26s
    2. Benefits of using fast primes
      6m 25s
    3. Challenges of using fast primes
      10m 22s
    4. Evaluating the footage
      7m 40s
  6. 6m 57s
    1. Keeping Your Gear Safe
      46s
    2. Keeping Gear Dry
      3m 0s
    3. Using Camera Wraps
      1m 11s
    4. Using Lens Wraps
      2m 0s
  7. 38m 18s
    1. Introduction to the Panasonic GH4
      1m 31s
    2. Beneficial features of the Panasonic GH4
      7m 42s
    3. Drawbacks of the Panasonic GH4
      6m 18s
    4. Menu options of the Panasonic GH4
      13m 59s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      8m 48s
  8. 15m 6s
    1. Making everyone look their best on camera
      1m 30s
    2. What does a makeup artist or stylist do?
      3m 31s
    3. Products used to fight shine
      5m 8s
    4. Applying Anti-Shine
      4m 57s
  9. 16m 49s
    1. The adaptable GoPro
      1m 7s
    2. Stealth
      3m 57s
    3. Adding filters
      3m 1s
    4. Shooting Anamorphic footage
      2m 19s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      6m 25s
  10. 21m 17s
    1. Introduction to the Zoom H4n
      1m 52s
    2. Recording to an iPad or iPhone
      4m 21s
    3. Attaching directly to a camera
      4m 28s
    4. Using a Tascam recorder
      5m 12s
    5. Recording to a laptop
      5m 24s
  11. 11m 23s
    1. DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter
      52s
    2. Beneficial features of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter
      3m 9s
    3. Limitations of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter
      3m 15s
    4. Essential accessories for the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter (Field)
      4m 7s
  12. 7m 59s
    1. Using a loupe
      1m 0s
    2. Attaching a loupe
      2m 18s
    3. Adjusting the diopter
      4m 41s
  13. 16m 2s
    1. Charging on the go
      52s
    2. Starting out fully charged
      2m 24s
    3. Using an inverter
      4m 0s
    4. Using a solar charger
      2m 36s
    5. Using a battery pack
      2m 13s
    6. Strategies to extend battery life
      3m 57s
  14. 23m 6s
    1. Cheap lenses
      1m 40s
    2. Lomography
      5m 28s
    3. Fujian
      2m 26s
    4. LensBaby
      4m 6s
    5. SLR Magic
      2m 26s
    6. Evaluating the Footage
      7m 0s
  15. 20m 1s
    1. Sony a7
      1m 24s
    2. Beneficial features of the Sony a7
      6m 19s
    3. Drawbacks of the Sony a7
      5m 42s
    4. Menu options of the Sony a7
      6m 36s
  16. 12m 11s
    1. What is a Tripod Top Slider?
      1m 8s
    2. Attaching the slider
      2m 17s
    3. Mounting and balancing the camera
      1m 36s
    4. Shoot strategies
      5m 7s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      2m 3s
  17. 14m 8s
    1. Remotely controlling cameras
      1m 5s
    2. Setting up the CamRanger
      4m 18s
    3. Panning with the CamRanger PT Hub
      3m 32s
    4. Evaluating the results
      5m 13s
  18. 12m 38s
    1. What are camera rails?
      1m 26s
    2. Adapting a tripod to hold multiple cameras
      3m 13s
    3. Shooting strategies
      2m 2s
    4. Using a micro rail
      2m 51s
    5. Evaluating the shots
      3m 6s
  19. 10m 26s
    1. What is a micro tripod?
      1m 29s
    2. Mounting a phone to a micro tripod
      2m 15s
    3. Mounting a GoPro to a micro tripod
      2m 1s
    4. Mounting a DSLR to a micro tripod
      1m 54s
    5. Evaluating the results
      2m 47s
  20. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing the Blackmagic 4K
      1m 30s
    2. Beneficial features of the Blackmagic 4K
      5m 7s
    3. Drawbacks of the Blackmagic 4K
      4m 14s
    4. Menu options of the Blackmagic 4K
      7m 5s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      4m 53s

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