The coolest little photo accessory you probably didn’t know you already have
If you shoot long exposure photography with your DSLR, this tip is for you, because one of the things you have to deal with (especially with exposures longer than 1-minute) is “light leak.” That’s light that enters your camera through your viewfinder during long exposures and it can totally mess up your shot. So, you need a way to cover that viewfinder completely, and that’s the tip — you probably didn’t realize that you already have an accessory that’s actually made for that very thing — covering your viewfinder to keep out any extraneous light.
Now that you know you probably have this “eyepiece cover,” where do you find it? They come with most DSLRs, but if you’re a Canon user start by looking on your camera strap. See that little rubber piece attached to it that you never knew what it was for? That’s it — that’s your eyepiece cover. (well, it’s there on most Canon camera straps). You just pop off the viewfinder cover (on mine, you just press up from the bottom and it pops off), and then you take that part of your camera strap and just slide it right over your viewfinder opening (you don’t take it off the strap — this will make more sense when you try it yourself). When you’re done with the shot; pop off the rubber cover; snap the eyepiece cover back on, and you’re done. That’s it — it’s always with you, and takes just 5-seconds to use.
Here (below) is a great youtube video from ZY Productions that shows how this cover works (and I have it set to start right where he shows how it’s done). This will help a lot.
Note: Some high-end DSLRs, like my Canon 1Dx, and the Nikon D3, D4, and so on, have an “eyepiece shutter” which is a level you engage and it literally covers the viewfinder for you.
Nikon Users: Your accessory for covering the eyepiece on your DSLR is called the Nikon DK-5 Eyepiece Shield (shown above), and it’s probably still in the box from when you bought your camera, but if you can’t find yours, you can pick up a replacement from B&H Photo — they’re only $3.50
Sony shooters or any camera brand the doesn’t have a custom-made eyepiece cover: you can use a piece of gaffers tape (which is what I did before I learned this tip). I just wrapped a long piece of gaffer’s tape around my tripod’s leg (above where they expand and collapse), and then when I need a piece to cover my viewfinder, I would just tear a little piece from that leg, and boom — done.
Hope you found that helpful. :)
We’re less than a month away from the Worldwide Photo Walk
There are nearly 800 walks in cities all over the world – if you haven’t signed up to join a free photo walk near you (it’s Saturday, October 6, 2018), then head over to worldwidephotowalk.com and click the “Find a Walk” button. Lots of fun, awesome prizes, and a chance to make friends and make some cool pictures.
Have a great weekend, everybody – I’ll catch ya here on Monday. :)