I'm not one of those people hung up on age, so I don't have a problem telling you that I'm 47. Getting older really doesn't bother me although there is one thing that is driving me a little crazy. My eyes just aren't what they used to be.
I've worn glasses since the second grade, so I'm plenty accustomed to not having perfect vision. But this feels like it happened overnight and now I don't seem to see things up close very well. If there isn't adequate light, it's gets even tougher. So, I try to remember to schlep reading glasses around, but more often than not, I forget. My iPhone has proven it's worth once again as it makes a dandy way to shine some light on a menu in a dark restaurant so I can read the damn thing.
Now why am I boring you all with this on this blog post? Well, I'm here to tell you that this is no fun for a photographer. It's made verifying focus, checking for blown out highlights and reading camera settings pretty darn hard. There are even times when verifying a good facial expression is difficult. The good news is I'm also here to tell you about an awesome product delivering me from the blur of middle age eyesight. I give you the Hoodman Loupe!
This isn't a new product, but in my view it had always seemed a bit of a luxury. One of those must haves for the overly indulgent gear head or the thing to get the photographer who had everything. But with my 40-something eye challenges, I can also tell you it is making me want to look at my camera LCD again. I can see!
The loupe features a diopter like you find on a binocular so that you can dial in a sharp view of the LCD. It has the added benefit of blocking glare to make viewing the LCD a better experience than it's ever been... even when I had the eyes of a 30 year old. I can easily verify sharp focus, validate a great composition and check for blown out areas and poor exposure. I have to say that the Hoodman Loupe is allowing me to once again walk away with confidence knowing that I got the shot. While not technically true, it makes the back of my camera look like high def. It even has a nifty lanyard to hang it around your neck so you don't lose it. Which is great because you know what goes after your eyes? That's right... your memory!