My NEX-5 EVF is here...

Started Apr 3, 2011 | Discussions
headofdestiny
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My NEX-5 EVF is here...
Apr 3, 2011

I've managed to come up with a NEX EVF alternative that works incredibly well for me.

While I've been a big proponent of the Clearviewer, it does have limitations. I just made something tonight in about 15 minutes that, IMO, surpasses everything that I've seen so far, and it only cost me about $65. Surely, someone could probably source parts for cheaper, but this is my first implementation of the idea.

Essentially, I've taken my Clearveiwer, cut off the end that attaches to the tripod socket, and glued it to my made-for-NEX LCD shade. The result is a slim, cheap EVF alternative that adds less bulk than a bulky hotshoe EVF like for the Olympus EP-2.

Here are the urls for the Clearviewer and LCD shade:
http://clearviewer.com/Products.html

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pop-up-LCD-Hood-Cover-Screen-Protector-Sony-NEX-3-5-/330540572383?pt=UK_Photography_DigitalCamAccess_RL&hash=item4cf5c0dedf#ht_2902wt_907

First, I cut off the tripod attachment end of the Clearviewer and sanded it down slightly to smooth it out a bit. I'd bet the guys at Clearviewer would make a custom piece, for those that don't want to ruin their own Clearviewer:

Second, I slightly sanded out the inside edge of the Clearviewer hinge, so that it opened up fully to 90 degrees:

Finally, I used some super glue to attach the Clearviewer to the top of my LCD shade. Piece of cake!

The design adds a bit of extra depth, but it isn't very noticeable.

I can still open the shade and view the LCD sans magnifier:

Flip down the magnifier, and you've got a shaded EVF equivalent:

Want to shoot waist level? No problemo, this tilts with the LCD:

Want to shoot without it at all? No problemo, it pops right off of the camera easily, because the shade attaches with the four corner attachments made for the Sony LCD protector:

All in all, this works so well that I'm not sure that I'd want a real, add-on EVF, because it would likely be expensive and add a lot of bulk to the top of the camera.

The Clearviewer's main caveat is that there is some distortion of the screen (even with the premium version Clearviewer lens that I have,) but it isn't enough to bother me much at all. Also, the hinge of the magnifier does extend a couple of millimeters below the tripod mount, so that may bother some and get in the way, but my leather case adds enough height to negate the issue, and one could just tilt the LCD slightly up to attach to a tripod while using this "EVF," if they have clearance issues.

I'm thrilled with this thing, and it works like a charm! What do you think?

p.s. if you try this, make sure to line up with the LCD properly. Because of the info panel at the right of the NEX screen, the center of viewfinder is slightly offset to the left.

jasby
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

BRILLIANT !!!!!!!!!!! When do you go into production ???????
John

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headofdestiny
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to jasby, Apr 3, 2011

Ha! Well, since I'm basically just gluing together two products from other vendors, I think my options are limited, but it was a fun, easy home project. It certainly makes more sense than putting one of these on NEX, IMO:

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PhillipA
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Great stuff....
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

.. I ale=ready have a Clearviewer (love it) and have just ordered the LCD shade - Superglue - here I come !
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Mike Fewster
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

Brilliant. I'm going to have to have a go. Thanks for the work and photos.
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string cheese
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Quite nice, thank you for sharing (nt)
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011
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KEITH-C
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Re: Quite nice, thank you for sharing (nt)
In reply to string cheese, Apr 3, 2011

Interesting idea & the only quarrel that I have is the suggestion that your device is less bulky than a hot-shoe mounted EVF ? It is however a better solution than having no EVF or just having a 16mm capable VF.
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headofdestiny
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Re: Quite nice, thank you for sharing (nt)
In reply to KEITH-C, Apr 3, 2011

Thanks. I do think this is less bulky, because it doesn't add length to the shortest dimension of the camera. Anytime I use the 16mm OVF, I have to remove it before I put the NEX-5 in any one of my various bags. The same could be said about the ep-2 EVF:

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GodSpeaks
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That is NOT an EVF
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

And like most bolt-ons, destroys the one advantage the NEX has... small compact size.

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headofdestiny
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Re: That is NOT an EVF
In reply to GodSpeaks, Apr 3, 2011

GodSpeaks wrote:

And like most bolt-ons, destroys the one advantage the NEX has... small compact size.

Which requirement of "electronic Viewfinder" doesn't it meet? I guarantee that any add-on accessory EVF will add more noticeable bulk. This thing I made has a pretty slim profile, and it hasn't changed its handling capacity one bit. Plus, you can pop it off and throw it in any pants pocket, if the extra millimeters of depth bothers you. Honestly, there is nothing about this that is "like most bolt-ons" that I've seen.

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headofdestiny
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

Added a bit of Hasselblad synthetic leather from cameraleather.com to spruce it up a bit:

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headofdestiny
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

Here is one more pic of my "nexviewer" off camera. The LCD shade adds about 7mm of depth to the camera, and the Clearviewer piece adds another 10mm in the center. Considering how much lens length various for users with NEX, and this unit only adds to that dimension, the extra size really isn't very noticeable, and it is very lightweight. It certainly adds less bulk than most lens hoods or attachable EVFs that I've seen:

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GaryW
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

It's painfully obvious that it is less bulky than an EVF add-on sticking up on top. You're always going to have some contrarian opinions (especially from Keith! ).

Sure, I'd like an official Sony EVF, but it would add bulk and eliminate any chance of easy pocketability, whereas this contraption would probably still fit in most of my (non-jeans) pockets (and if not, would be more easily dealt with).

It looks like one could design a unit that was even thinner than this.

headofdestiny wrote:

Here is one more pic of my "nexviewer" off camera. The LCD shade adds about 7mm of depth to the camera, and the Clearviewer piece adds another 10mm in the center. Considering how much lens length various for users with NEX, and this unit only adds to that dimension, the extra size really isn't very noticeable, and it is very lightweight. It certainly adds less bulk than most lens hoods or attachable EVFs that I've seen:

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Gary W.

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headofdestiny
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to GaryW, Apr 3, 2011

GaryW wrote:

It's painfully obvious that it is less bulky than an EVF add-on sticking up on top. You're always going to have some contrarian opinions (especially from Keith! ).

Sure, I'd like an official Sony EVF, but it would add bulk and eliminate any chance of easy pocketability, whereas this contraption would probably still fit in most of my (non-jeans) pockets (and if not, would be more easily dealt with).

It looks like one could design a unit that was even thinner than this.

Absolutely. I would imagine someone could shave quite a few millimeters off of the design, if it was all one unit. This was more of a proof of concept. BTW, some that try this may want to use velcro, rather than clue, to attach the unit, so you can take it on and off.

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headofdestiny
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

I wanted to add that all of the above pics were taken with the iPhone at close range, and so the distortion makes the unit look bigger than it is. In person, it looks pretty well integrated with the camera.

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anaksatawo
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Re: My NEX-5 EVF is here...
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 3, 2011

very impressive. if i have the chance (and time), i will try this DIY project. thank you for the share.

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Mike Fewster
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Clearviewer say they will provide the modified lens on request!!!!
In reply to anaksatawo, Apr 3, 2011

I contacted Clearviewer and referred them to your post and suggested they might look at providing the viewer alone. They say they will be able to do this so the price of the viewer on its own would be about $25 and would save having to cut it off. They tell me they will be able to provide these shortly and I have ordered one.
Just how critical is the distance from the lens to the screen?

Great piece of work HOD.

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Mike Fewster
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headofdestiny
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Re: Clearviewer say they will provide the modified lens on request!!!!
In reply to Mike Fewster, Apr 3, 2011

The distance is critical, but it works out just right with the LCD shade that I ordered.

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photo perzon
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UAS: ugly as sin.
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 4, 2011

ugly

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npires
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Re: UAS: ugly as sin.
In reply to photo perzon, Apr 4, 2011

photo perzon wrote:

ugly

Anything else constructive to add? No? Didn't think so. Back to topic. The idea is sound. However as others have said could do with refinement.

You could get a manufacturer on board and there would be potential to make a variant with the magnifier incorporated in the LCD shade without the need for an additional flip down magnifier. This would help reduce the bulk of this current concept.

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