Nice Loupededoop – The $2.25 Photo DIY Replacement for a Hoodman Loupe

Have you ever looked at a photo you just took on the back of your camera? Of course you have. How about in the field all hunched over, the afternoon sunlight turning your LCD screen into a mirror? Now instead of seeing your model’s lovely face — YIKES! All you see is your own ugly mug staring back at you. And it don’t look happy….

The way I see it, you got yourself just a handful of options to fix this age old problem.

  1. You could run off into the shadows, hunt for the perfect spot to reveal a clear image on the screen so you can check the image for focus and expression – if there are shadows around and you also want to look totally lame.
  2. You could pull your black T-shirt up over your head and get all 1900’s view camera on your clients’ ass. Hmm, on second thought they might see your hairy back and call animal control.
  3. You could just not check the image. Cross your fingers and hope everything just worked out great. Heck, if that’s your attitude, good for you! I’ve got the number of a great therapist who specializes in depression. Let me know when you need it.
  4. Kill yourself. This is the least desirable way to deal with the situation and is NOT endorsed by Nice.
  5. You could get a Hoodman LCD screen Loupe. My review of the Hoodman Loupe? Works great. Looks totally pro. Well, as pro as this sort of device can look. And it’s only $64.95 at B&H or Adorama.

Hold on. $65 smackers? Hey, if you want to look pro, spend the dough. Otherwise, look below.

6. Make a Nice Loupededoop. Cost: $2.25.

Here’s what you’ll need:

One 12″ x 9″ black sheet of Foamies – you know the 2mm foam that looks like a piece of paper. They cost around a quarter and are big enough to make 3 Nice Loupededoops. Make some for your friends! It’ll become a trend. I swear.

Credit card sized magnifier. It’s a plastic Fresnel lens about the size of a credit card. You can usually find them at drugstores, bookstores, some grocery stores even have them. They’re around $1.95.

A couple cents worth of gaffers tape finishes off the supply list.

You’ll also need some pretty major industrial tools like a pair of ordinary house scissors and/or an x-acto blade. Ruler would be nice, but you could eyeball it.

If you want to get really fancy you could add 2 feet of cord or string so you can wear the thing around your neck. If you go that route, you’ll also need a hole puncher or acute laser vision. Since you’ll keep checking the back of your LCD screen like it’s going out of style, wearing it during the shoot (or out on the town) is probably the way to go.

Measure your screen. My 5D is around 2″ x 2.3″. I know it’s a G9 in the picture. If the 5D was in the picture I couldn’t have used it to take the picture. Back to the DIY. Cut 2 pieces of the black Foamie sheet to measure 4″ by however wide your screen is. Then cut 2 pieces that are 4″ by however tall you’re your screen is.

Now tape the 2×4 together with the 2.3×4 along the 4″ side. MAKE SURE you leave about an 8th of an inch between the pieces so it can fold later. Should look like so:

Tape that to the next 2×4 piece. Make sure you don’t tape 2 of the same size pieces to each other or the whole world might blow up.

Now close it up. Nice job. Take a break here, you deserve it. It’s been a long, hard road. Okay, recovered? If you’re going to put a hole in your Nice Loupedydoop for the cord, now’s a good time to go for it. I fold a piece of gaffers tape over where I’m going to punch the hole to make it stronger and help resist it tearing out. How much does it actually help? Helps me sleep at night. That’s how it helps!

Got it? Anyone lose a finger? If so, get to the hospital. If not, put the cord through the hole and tie it up.

Since each magnifying card could be slightly different, you’ll have to do some of the work here to figure out where to cut the slit in the foamie. Here’s how. Display an image on the back of your camera. Hold your eye 4″ from the back of your LCD screen. Is it in focus? If you can comfortably focus on the back of your screen from that close you don’t need to use the magnifier. You are also a freak. We love you. If, however, you are human, put the magnifier in between your eye and the screen and figure out at what height it lets you to focus on the LCD. That’s how high up the foamie you are going to cut a slit to slide the magnifier in.

The big bonus to doing it this way is now you can pull out the magnifier half way and fold it flat to put in your gear bag.

Try that with a Hoodman Loupe.

Here it is in action:

Use: When using this in the field, you’re going to want to put your mug all the way up to the contraption so that your face creates a light tight-ish seal. Otherwise you’re just going to see your reflection. Even on the brightest days, if you push your face over the do-hicky to completely cover it you shouldn’t have any problems. Okay, maybe you still have bleeding gums and your underpants don’t fit anymore and your 12 year old neighbor beat the crap out of you just for fun and you’re scared to leave the house because she’ll probably do it again. But as far as checking the LCD screen on the back of your digital camera in broad daylight, you shouldn’t have any more problems.

If anything doesn’t make sense or if you try it and you like/hate it, think I’m an idiot, or offer a body guard service, let me know in the comments below.

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10 Comments

  1. Sweet….Hate the LCD glare outside (too often I was a #3 from above, w/o the depression), loved the idea of the hoodman loupe….couldn’t quite come to terms with the $65 price.

    $2.25?…I can swing that. Viva la DIY!!!

    ML

  2. I WILL do this. Thanks.

  3. I’ve gotta try this.

  4. Perfect! Will do this in the near future. Nicely done.

  5. Wow, Thank you for this, I was thinking along the same lines but my idea was waaay more complicated than this, thank you. I can’t feel good about shelling out £50 for a bit of plastic, so this is a great alternative.

    I’ll be making one as soon as I can source one of those magnifiers…

    Nips off to the library :)

  6. This is perfect for my mother whose eyesight isn’t so great anymore. She has trouble seeing all the tiny icons on her camera LCD; this looks more like an important camera gadget rather than an old-person squinting at a magnifier which she will appreciate greatly!

  7. Hi Olivia,
    That’s a great use for it that didn’t cross my mind. Nice!

  8. Hi Mr.K
    This is great. I definitely want to give it a try. Can you clarify the width of the foamies sheet you used? In the article you said 2mm but the link you gave was for a 6mm sheet.

  9. Hi Drew,

    I used the 2mm. The 6mm should work, I’d think. They are both very flexible.

    Have fun!

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