Right-angled viewfinders

This may seem an obvious thing to say, but a right-angled viewfinder changes the angle of view by 90 degrees, from your eye to the camera body to which it is attached.

Both Colin and I use Nikon DSLRs so this review is solely to do with products that would suit the Nikon camera body range.

In this review I will be talking about my personal experiences with a Seagull right-angled viewfinder.

The reason for using this particular viewfinder as opposed to the Nikon DR-5 is primarily down to two things, experience and value for money.

My Seagull right-angled viewfinder has the facility to magnify the image on my viewfinder screen by either 1x or 2.5x.

I primarily use this on the 1x setting although if I am really struggling to pull focus I will change it to 2.5x, fix the focus point and then change the magnification to confirm my overall composition of the image I am about to take.

This is much the same as the older style TLR (twin lense reflex) waist-level cameras used to use.

So the question would be, if finances allowed for a new Nikon D850 with its touch focus screen that can be rotated upwards to 90 degrees, much the same as the right-angled viewfinder, would I still use my Seagull right-angled viewfinder?

I do not think I would use my current right-angled viewfinder any longer.

Advantages of right-angled viewfinders

  • The main advantage for me personally is the ability to shoot and compose pictures at a low angle without having to either crawl around on my hands and knees, or lie prostrate on the ground.  I can do both, but I do not enjoy being covered in mud, and with a painful knee it is not good for my wellbeing.

  • The second advantage is obviously that you see things differently when you are not looking straight through a viewfinder; you see different images.


Disadvantages of right-angled viewfinders

  • Right angled viewfinders can be extremely fiddly to install and remove due to the fact that you will need to safely remove and retain whichever Nikon eye cup that your camera body uses.

  • Another disadvantage for “Live View” users is the fact that you cannot use this facility and its magnification particularly easily.

The reason why I do not use the genuine Nikon DR6 or DR5 is primarily due to the cost and the fact that I do not use a right-angled viewfinder permanently.  Another reason why I use the Seagull right-angled viewfinder is because it is also possible to purchase the right-angled viewfinder adaptor Nikon Round.  This means that I am able to use just one product with both styles of viewfinder instead of having to own two individual units from Nikon.

I purchased the Seagull equipment from the very helpful people at speedgraphic.co.uk

My conclusion has to be that I enjoy the ability to be able to use my right-angled viewfinder on occasion for close-ups / macro work and for use in my copying work in the studio.


                              Right-angle finder with viewfinder mounting ring removed

                             Mounting ring fixed in place

                           First part of adapter ring in place

                           Main adapter mount now fitted

                           Right-angle finder fully mounted

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