ALE - the ambient light effect

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
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Tom Caldwell
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ALE - the ambient light effect
9 months ago

GXRuser introduced me to the Clearviewer and I have been talking about is since.

I have no commercial interest in the product and have bought my own Clearviewers but have sent a modified design proposal to Gary at Clearviewer to use or not use as he thinks fit.

Meanwhile I might try and dispel some of the myth about the device that might have accumulated around it.  The device does appear like a lens on a stick that might be a poor excuse for a proper evf.  It is probably seen as "an open-work turn your lcd into a form of evf" device.  It does do that but it uses a quite different principle.  In my opinion the device does not eliminate the glare that every LCD-alone user might worry about.

Many probably cannot work out why a device such as this held up to the eye could work as it is not fully enclosed and the obvious solution would be one of those monstrous "hoodman" style loupe contraptions that exclude all light and therefore might work if you could be bothered carrying one.

The reason why the lens on a stick does mysteriously work better than it would seem is that it uses the ambient light principle to trick your eye.

Just as a torch at night seems to shine brightly and seems much less bright in daylight so the human eye adjusts on a bright day to the surroundings and no level of brightness on the LCD is going to compete with natural daylight.  By putting your eye to the Clearviewer device your eye only sees the lcd and adjusts to the light it emits.  All of a sudden the screen becomes easier to see.  But the glare and reflections are still there - that is why if the reflection alone now seen is still overwhelming enough a judicious hand placement of the brim of a hat can assist. It can only be perfect by 100% exclusion of ambient light, but this would require the hoodman style loupe.  As it is the Clearviewer is a compromise that makes an LCD more useable without too much extra baggage to be carried.

The second benefit of course is that it encourages a better grip and stance as the eye is necessary at the Clearviewer finder and using it like any attached optical or evf.  Larger lenses become easier.

An evf simply puts a small lcd inside a fully enclosed light excluded space.  An ovf also excludes external ambient light but the ambient light through the ovf itself is natural and again relies on your eye to adjust to it.

If you have an evf or ovf you should use it but if your rely on the LCD the Clearviewer is a useful, if not perfect, accessory.

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Tom Caldwell

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