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01-15-2013, 11:44 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Carryspeed (Swivi) LCD Viewfinder on the Q

Got the chance today to work on attaching the Carryspeed LCD Viewfinder to my Q. Here are the product links:

ViewFinders | Carry Speed Store
Swivi HD DSLR LCD Universal Foldable Viewfinder Version II SWIVI

Before I begin, I must give credit where credit is due. I followed along with a post on dpreview by member brandrx who pioneered this. I simply followed along with what he did first here.

The main problem with attaching this viewfinder to the Q is the small body size of the camera. The first obstacle is getting the height correct. If you attach the viewfinder as it comes, it is too high by about 3/4". So a spacer is needed under the Q body to bring the body up so the viewfinder will cover the screen correctly. brandrx linked to this plate on ebay that worked for him:

Aluminium Quick Release Plate Arca Swiss Compatible | eBay

Since I have an assortment of arca-swiss plates already, I took a look at them and found one that has the 1/4" threaded socket in it like the ebay one. This one is from a Camdapter Prostrap that I had as an extra. Here is a link to the Prostrap from which I harvested the plate:

Camdapter - Arca Adapter

Getting started, I attached the plate to the Q. It was a little trial and error to see which orientation I needed to have the 1/4" threaded socket since it is offset from the center. This shows the way I have installed that worked correctly:



Next I attached the bottom plate from the viewfinder. Then when checking for clearance with my Fotodiox adapter, I wasn't able to install it because of the tripod foot on the adapter hitting the plate - so off it came. And am I glad I did remove it! I've never used it since I am using lenses that have their own tripod foot, but after seeing how tiny the attaching screws were, and how little they grabbed into the adapter, I'm sure glad I never tried to use it.



Finished putting the rest of the viewfinder together and it looked good. I had a perfect view of the screen and it was tight against the camera. Then when I went to test it out, I found that while I could see the left function button next to the OK button (flash button), I couldn't get my finger on it because the body of the viewfinder was blocking it enough I couldn't get my fat finger to push the button. I use this button a lot on the Q since I will go back and forth using both the 2 second timer and remote - I need to be able to push that button. I couldn't adjust the viewfinder any more to the left. There are 2 thumbscrews on the bottom of the unit where the left/right adjustment is. For a quick fix, I simply removed one of the thumbscrews which allowed plenty of movement farther to the left.



OK - back on the tripod for another test - success!



Because the viewfinder fits nice and tightly against the LCD screen (it does have a rubber gasket around the rim), I don't feel that having only the one thumbscrew holding the left/right adjustment will hurt anything.

When installing the 2 plates, it is possible to have them too far forward that the Fotodiox adapter will hit the plate. In my final installation, I attached the adapter first, then when installing the plates made sure they were just short of touching the adapter.





I am very happy with the viewfinder. I didn't realize how nice it is to view the screen and the help with manual focusing. I am a regular viewfinder guy from years past, and hesitated a long time before buying a Q mainly for the fact of the lack of a viewfinder. This has made a big difference for me. Now on to my next problem....I like to use my Q with the adapter and long lenses of course, but I also like to use the native lenses for a nice little walk around camera. Now the switch back and forth will take a couple minutes and an allen wrench - I think I am seeing why some folks are getting that second Q now.......


Last edited by photolady95; 04-17-2016 at 02:25 AM.
01-15-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Nice kit and TFS - J
01-15-2013, 02:30 PM   #3
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Very nice setup, love tutorial stuff like this especially with pictures
01-15-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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Well, that turned out to work pretty darn nicely. Glad to see it will be put to good use Stan!

01-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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Good work Stan, thanks for the tutorial and pictures.

More important though, do the Teddy Bears approve?
01-15-2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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Thats a really nice set up mate!
There is an actual camera buried in there somewhere right?
01-15-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Good work Stan, thanks for the tutorial and pictures.

More important though, do the Teddy Bears approve?
I don't think they do. Just look at their faces - they are scared to death I might shoot them with that thing!
01-15-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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Thanks for the review, and sorry I didn't read it before asking for your impressions of the Swivi in the "2nd Q" thread.

The "camera" is now just a thin object between lens and viewfinder, kind of the way film used to be...

01-15-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Thanks for the review, and sorry I didn't read it before asking for your impressions of the Swivi in the "2nd Q" thread.

The "camera" is now just a thin object between lens and viewfinder, kind of the way film used to be...
As far as the functionality of the viewfinder, I am so very happy with it. In my younger film SLR days I never had any issues with manual focus. This time around in the digital age for the past 3 years, plus the fact that I now wear eyeglasses, I've been really struggling with manual focus for some reason. Tried quite a few manual focus lenses with my K-5 only to get frustrated to the point of selling them off. I was very hesitant in buying a Q to use with my long lenses because of this fact. Also, I would not buy a camera before this that didn't have a viewfinder whether it be optical or EVF. I was pleasantly surprised of my ability to manually focus with just the LCD screen so far, but this viewfinder brought me to the next level of comfort and accuracy.

It sure looks like a monstrosity, but it works! Also kind of funny that the camera is the smallest part of the package.

I'm going to work on the viewfinder mount some more - I want to try to make it more easy on - easy off with the plates as I like to use the Q with the native lenses as a walk around and want to keep it as small and light as possible.
01-16-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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Great setup and tutorial - thank you for posting!

Just wanted to add that I tried the Arca-Swiss Quick Release Plate by Cowboystudio and it works BUT the location of its mounting screw results in the VF's right vertical brace coming very close to the exposure compensation button, i.e. ~3-4mm more to the right compared to your configuration. The set-up is still usable but access to the Av and green buttons is difficult. I am considering getting the Camdapter plate you are using.
01-16-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by akptc Quote
Great setup and tutorial - thank you for posting!

Just wanted to add that I tried the Arca-Swiss Quick Release Plate by Cowboystudio and it works BUT the location of its mounting screw results in the VF's right vertical brace coming very close to the exposure compensation button, i.e. ~3-4mm more to the right compared to your configuration. The set-up is still usable but access to the Av and green buttons is difficult. I am considering getting the Camdapter plate you are using.
I don't think it's the plate that makes the difference.

I had the same problem with the right side of the viewfinder vertical brace covering those same buttons. If you notice in my third photo, I removed one of the thumbscrews from the bottom of the unit. There are 2 thumbscrews for tightening the left/right slide adjustment. I removed the one on the right - this allows a lot more movement to the left to get it away from the buttons. The photo shows the bottom left/right adjustment with just the one thumbscrew.
01-16-2013, 09:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
...I removed one of the thumbscrews from the bottom of the unit....
Right, I had to remove the 2nd screw as well, and still, a few mm too short of the holy grail. The VF in my configuration is pushed as far to the left as possible w/out hard modifications to the mount.. I just ordered the ebay plate you linked, it seems to work well for the dpreview poster, crossing fingers..
01-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by akptc Quote
Right, I had to remove the 2nd screw as well, and still, a few mm too short of the holy grail. The VF in my configuration is pushed as far to the left as possible w/out hard modifications to the mount.. I just ordered the ebay plate you linked, it seems to work well for the dpreview poster, crossing fingers..
Ok - I took a better look at the Cowboy Studio plate and it looks like the mounting screw is offset more while the 1/4" threaded hole is about centered. Just curious if you tried the Cowboy Studio plate in both orientations (hard to visualize it it would help or hinder if the plate was installed one way or the other).
01-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Ok - I took a better look at the Cowboy Studio plate and it looks like the mounting screw is offset more while the 1/4" threaded hole is about centered. Just curious if you tried the Cowboy Studio plate in both orientations (hard to visualize it it would help or hinder if the plate was installed one way or the other).
Looking at the Cowboy plate I think it would make no difference, unfortunately.
01-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #15
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I've confirmed that the Cowboy Studio plate is exactly the same as the Aluminium Quick Release Plate. On those two plates, the distance between the slotted hole and the threaded hole is about 15mm on center - no good. The generic plate on ebay has a better spacing between the two holes - 13mm, so still no good. It appears that the only plate discussed so far with the correct distance between the two holes (about 11.5mm, estimated) is the Camdapter Arca XT Adapter. It's also the most expensive plate mentioned here, at $43+. The distance between those holes affects the position of the right edge of the VF3 frame relative to the right edge of the LCD, i.e. you either have access to the green button and to the exposure comp. button (11.5mm hole to hole distance) or not (larger distance).
Just my 2 cents..
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