Review: DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x Zoom Viewfinder Eyepiece Magnifier

One of the biggest reasons for my moving away from DSLRs has to do with seeing through the diopter, but the DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier has made me want to give them a genuine second try. If you’ve been a reader of the Phoblographer for many years, you’ll know that I’m legally blind and that my vision has been degrading over the years (both a blessing and a curse in some ways.) This is a big reason why I went to EVFs–because they’re capable of giving me a histogram, a high resolution image in a small area, and other smart previews like white balance and ambient light in the scene. Sony, Fujifilm and a number of others have done a fantastic job with EVFs though at times it’s easy to miss seeing exactly what’s in front of you and not a digital readout of it.

With medium format DSLRs it tends to be much easier; but when you work with full frame and APS-C DSLRs, it’s tougher overall to peer through that little viewfinder. But the DSLRKit Zoom Eyepiece is changing my opinions.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Pretty simple to install.
  • Built very well.
  • Intuitive if you play with it a bit at first and know how to work with diopters.
  • Though I need to take my glasses off to use it, I can successfully manually focus a lens without AF confirmation and achieve accurate results.
  • Amazingly affordable

Cons

  • Tough to shoot with glasses on
  • Needs quite a bit of calibration or it will otherwise give you a type of vignetting in the eyepiece

Gear Used

The DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x Zoom Viewfinder Eyepiece Magnifier was used with the Canon 6D, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Di VC USD, Sigma 85mm f1.4, and Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art lens.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Amazon listing

  • This zoom viewfinder magnifier is specially designed for DSLR photographing. Its ratio can reach 1.08x to 1.60x, which can greatly improve the eyesight of photographer who is with glasses or with ages.
  • It is improved based on previous series, and comes with bigger lens which can better solve the vignette.
  • This Viewfinder Magnifier adjusts the viewfinder’s image by a ratio of 1.08x-1.60x and makes the viewfinder’s image larger. Magnifying the viewfinder image helps obtain accurate focus with ease. It also greatly enhances focusing accuracy. You need not worry about the brightness of the viewfinder’s image being affected after installation, as this magnifier does not affect the brightness of the viewfinder’s image at all. This magnifier does not create vignetting affect.
  • Suitable for: Canon:D30/40D/60D/300D/350D/400D/450D/500D/550D/1000D/10D/ 20D/30D/5D/5D2/7D/EOS1 Nikon:D40/D50/D70/D70S/D80/D90/D100/D200/D3000/D5000/D7000/D1H/D1X/D2H/D2X/FA/F6/F75/F80/F801S/F90 F100 Pentax:K-M/K7/KX/K10D/K100D/K20D/K200D/*ISTDL2/*ISTDL/*ISTDS/ ISTD Sony: a100/a200/a350/a450/a500/a550/a700/a900 Olympus: E-300/E330/E410/E500/E510 Fujifim: S2PRO/S3PRO/ S5PRO Samsung: GX10/GX20 Sigma: SD10/SD14 Minoltaz: ɑ5D/ɑ7D/x-700
  • How to use: 1.remove the original viewfinder eyecup. 2.install the adapter on the viewfinder of the camera. 3.screw the magnifier on the adapter suitably.

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (1 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.0

The DSLR Magnifier is quite a piece of kit. It’s going to surely make that area of the DSLR just a bit more bulky, but if you’re visually impaired then it’s also going to make a whole lot of sense. In the image above you see the configuration that I put it into with a very round eyecup. For me, this is most comfortable and if you’re a Nikon shooter, then this will only make sense.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (3 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

From the top of the camera, you see just how much it juts out from the back. While standard viewfinders are kind of just there, this one isn’t once the diopter magnifier is attached.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (8 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

The magnifier has a couple of pieces: a rubber eyecup, a piece that attaches to the viewfinder and another section that tightens the adjustment that you’ve done in place.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (6 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

Without the attachment to put it onto a viewfinder, this piece here is the main section of the magnifier. You’ll want to keep this piece of glass clean.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (7 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

On the side, you’ll see how it screws into a diopter attachment, the wheel that tightens or loosens everything and the overall body.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (4 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

From what I can tell, there isn’t a single piece of plastic in the build construction of this magnifier. It’s all metal and glass.

Ease of Use

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (5 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

Basically what happens if you use the magnifier with one of the diopter attachments that suits your camera and one of the provided eyecups. It gives you a load of customization options.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x zoom viewfinder eyepiece magnifier product images (9 of 9)ISO 8001-125 sec

Then when it’s attached you move the diopter magnifier in and out. You’ll be best served with adjusting your diopter to begin with. Usually if you need something like this, you’re at one extreme or the other.

Once you’ve got the diopter magnifier to a setting that you like, you turn the wheel that I’m gripping in the image above. This tightens the magnifier and keeps it in place.

The results? I’m -8.5 in the left eye and -8 in my right; so my diopter is usually turned all the way to the negative setting. Then you attach the magnifier and everything becomes much easier to read and see. In fact, I can accurately focus telephoto lenses wide open without AF confirmation. Granted, I can only really do it with my right eye because my astigmatism is far worse in the left. However, I get it pretty close overall. I can’t really read what the text says on the bottom of the screen clearly, but I can make it out.

To be honest, it’s a blessing–a big one at that. I haven’t been able to do that since my early-mid twenties and my vision has been taking quite the downwards turn. This, however gives me hope.

Conclusions

So do I recommend the DSLRKIT 1.08x-1.60x Zoom Viewfinder Eyepiece Magnifier? Of course I do! If you’re a visually impaired photographer and you find yourself moving the diopter of your DSLR to one end or another, then this is a no-brainer. Thank goodness for autofocus, but at least now you’ve got some extra confirmation on your part that you’ve accurately got the subject/scene in focus.

This isn’t an item that everyone needs; but instead it’s something very specifically for those of us who suffer from eye problems and that don’t want to use something like a loupe that goes over the DSLR LCD screen.

Instead, you should totally give this one a try.