Seagull Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder
Probably one of the least known, least used, but one of the most useful tool for the outdoor photographer is the Right Angle Viewfinder. An indispensable tool for shooting low to the ground or when in complex situations while shooting Macro. It even comes in handy when shooting landscapes just below chest level. The Right Angle Viewfinder alleviates strains on your neck by allowing you to compose your scene without contorting your neck in twenty different unnatural positions.
I’ve used the top name brand Right Angle Viewfinders (Nikon, Canon…) costing upwards of $250.00. I was curious as to how the bargain brand units compared. At one sixth of the price the Seagull Right Angle Viewfinder gives you plenty of bang for the buck.
The unit itself is smaller and lighter than the name brand units. The Seagull Right Angle Viewfinder also weighs less while still feeling sturdy and reliable. The diopter is smooth and optical quality at 1X is impeccable with minimum loss of luminosity. You still maintain close to 100% of your viewfinder information displays. The diopter is adjustable +/- 3 by rotating the eyepiece. The eyepiece itself also rotates 360 degrees allowing you to choose just the right angle for viewing.
When switching to 2X the optical quality suffers and luminosity decreases. The difference with the name brand units becomes more apparent. This however is within what I consider to be acceptable and useable in the field. While switching from 1X to 2X you will have to readjust the diopter as it’s not constant between the two modes.
Seagull Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder ships with a set of universal adapters for almost any basic SLR / DSLR. You can also find a more expensive kit that includes adapters for higher end cameras like the Nikon D4s, D4, D3, D3s, D800 and D700 which uses a round eyepiece adapter. The difference in price between the two packages is generally under $5.
Older versions of the Seagull Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder shipped with metal adapters. The new adapters are made of plastic and give the impression of being a little more flimsy than they should be. The unit has a little more flex when mounted to the camera than I expected. I’ve used the Seagull Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder all summer and I haven’t managed to break anything. Therefore I believe it should be fine for most users who take basic care of their equipment.
Once you start using a Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder in precarious situations you just won’t leave home without it. You’ll quickly realize that all those years of straining your neck just weren’t necessary. I truly recommend the Seagull Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder. If you’ve been shying away from a Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder due to budget restraints the Seagull Right Angle (90 Degree) Viewfinder will give you quality features found in more expensive units without breaking the bank.
- Quality Built Unit
- Large Diopter Range
- Great Optical Quality
- Low Optical Quality at 2X
- Loss of brightness at 2X
- Flimsy Feeling Adapters
UPDATE DECEMBER 2014: I have now been using the Seagull Right Angle Viewfinder for over 3 years without any issues. The unit has been used in warm humid climates as well as sub zero temperatures and it still functions like new.