The Movo VF-40 Pro Universal 3X Loupe for mirrorless cameras.
The Sigma fp camera, especially when used with the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN lens is a wonderful camera for photographers who enjoy wondering around snapping images of cool stuff. Especially cool stuff that doesn't move around a lot. But it has one flaw for people like me. Those would be people who like to use a camera with an EVF or an OVF. It has NO-VF.
You have to do all your focusing and composing on the camera's rear LCD screen. But it's churlish to complain about that now since I knew about this limitation before I bought the camera. I figured I would purchase the Sigma Loupe and everything would be dandy.
But then the (built from unobtainium) loupe went on eternal back order and after I used the naked LCD screen in the Texas sun I thought it would be smart to find something to use to elevate the view from the back, in the interim. Since I had already ordered the Sigma version (and it's pricy at nearly $300 USD) I didn't want to spend a lot of cash on a short term alternative. I looked though Amazon and found a loupe by a company called Movo. The loupe is all plastic, with plastic optics, but it mounted pretty well to the camera and it only cost about $50. The single magnifying lens is plastic but it serves its purpose... medium well.
It was a workable solution. The Movo had one feature that I wish had been duplicated on the vastly more expensive Sigma version; there is a hinge between the eyepiece and the body of the loupe which allows the operator to flip up the magnifier and use the body of the loupe as a hood for the finder. This way you can look at the full frame on the back of the camera but without needing the magnifier in the viewing path. In this configuration the body of the loupe works well to largely reduce reflections from glancing light rays. It make the screen readable to me even in bright sunlight. But you still have the big magnifier hinged up over the top and it's cumbersome. Inelegant.
The Sigma VF-XX loupe finally showed up and I put it on my camera. It increased the overall size of the camera package by 2X. It's a great loupe, optically, but it's really big. And if you want to see the naked screen, without magnification, you have to disentangle the entire thing from the camera. After a few weeks I stopped using the VF-XX and put it in a drawer. I figure I'll use it on more controlled studio type shoots but never as part of a walk around system.
And this renewed a desire to just have a hood. No big magnifier, just something to shield the rear screen enough to make it highly usable in sunlight. I kept looking at the Movo....
Then I got an e-mail from a reader by the name of Bob Autrey. We talked about loupes and he told me he'd modified the same model Movo loupe to make it serve the very purpose I was pining for. I asked how and he gave me instructions. A little while later I took a hack saw to the Movo and finally ended up with the product I didn't know I wanted all along. A nicely compact hood for the rear screen that doesn't interfere with the camera's buttons and provides all the light shielding I could ask for while keeping the overall camera package small and light.
I am appreciative to Mr. Autrey for providing the necessary push and the guidance. Now the Sigma fp is one step closer to perfection. It's a great package to carry around and, since firmware 2.0, I'm trusting the camera's autofocus with the 45mm to the point where I'm not using the rear screen to check on that.
It's strictly an exposure and composition device. And that works. So, $50 for a perfect camera hood that fits just right over the screen but above the necessary camera buttons. Seems like a bargain to me.
Now looking for other stuff to saw.... There is a danger I could get carried away with hack saw power. Is that bezel around my iMac Pro a bit wide? I might be able to fix that.....
Sigma fp now good to go.
Final accessory for full control of reflections?
A black, cotton baseball cap with a nice, dark brim. Perfect.