Waist Level Viewfinder for Your DSLR: Reviewing the H-RAV Professional Right Angle ViewfinderFitness Gear & Equipment
Like most freelancers who have embraced the digital revolution, I would never think of going back to shooting film again. The DSLR and the digital darkroom have too many advantages for most to even contemplate going back to film cameras. Still there are some things about my old film cameras that I miss from time to time when shooting with one of my DSLRs.
One of those things was the waist level viewfinder on my old twin lens reflex cameras and on my medium format SLR cameras. Like most photographers, I’m willing to do almost anything to get the shots that I want to get, even if it means getting down on my belly and wallowing in the mud. The problem with that, besides having to listen to my non-photographer wife complain about my muddy laundry, is that the older one gets the harder it becomes to get down in the mud and get up again. With my old twin lens reflexes and medium format SLRs, all I had to do was kneel down and lean forward at the waist instead of stretching out prone infantry man style.
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw an advertisement in one of my photography magazines for the H-RAV Professional Right Angle Viewfinder kit. Hoodman Corporation, a company known for their unique digital camera accessories since the company’s founding in 1986, was offering it. Like most of our “toys” this one carried a hefty price tag, $129.99 plus S&H but Hoodman was known for quality toys and this one looked like one that every DSLR owner needed to have in his or her gadget bag. the H-RAV comes in its own leather storage pouch so it's easy to store neatly in any gadget bag.
I waited impatiently for it to arrive but it was worth the wait. The H-RAV surpasses all the claims made about it. The H-RAV is designed to fit all major brands of DSLRs. It comes with four adapters that slide over the camera eye level viewfinder. These four adapters fit all cameras except for Pentax, Olympus, and Sony DSLRs but adapters for those cameras are available for separate purchase for $19.99 plus S&H each.
The H-RAV was designed with us old guys with less than perfect eyesight in mind. It offers 1X and 2.5X magnification that is a God sent in low light situation and a continuous adjustable find diopter eyepiece. If all that isn’t enough to make the H-RAV a must have, it also rotates a full 360 degrees. If you do any type of reportorial work or candid work, with the H-RAV you can actually shoot around corners. All you do is ease the camera out while you remain concealed from view.