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06-10-2019, 09:15 PM   #1
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Hotshoe mounted viewfinder for fast moving birds?

I noticed in a field where I walk around, the swallows are flying around over the grass again.

I tried last year with one of my 300mm zooms to get shots of them in flight but it was just too hard to have that much magnification and try and acquire and track them.

I was wondering would a hotshoe mounted viewfinder (like from a rangefinder camera), work for this application?
I could definitely track them at lower magnification.

6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
I noticed in a field where I walk around, the swallows are flying around over the grass again.

I tried last year with one of my 300mm zooms to get shots of them in flight but it was just too hard to have that much magnification and try and acquire and track them.

I was wondering would a hotshoe mounted viewfinder (like from a rangefinder camera), work for this application?
I could definitely track them at lower magnification.
You might be better to try a shorter lens, because unless you can see them in the same field of view as the main view finder they will not begin the frame.

A short per lens and crop is likely the only way to go.

I have considered a hot shoe mounted view finder for really long tele shots, 400mm+ on a Pentax Q, but that is to find stationary objects within the ridiculously narrow field of view offered by a 2000mm+ full frame equivalent

You should look at some of the shots by lmcfarrin. He describes somewhere in a try read his BIF technique

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 6 Days Ago at 03:48 AM.
6 Days Ago   #3
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Take a look at red dot sights.
6 Days Ago   #4
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Swallows at close range are hard to see, let alone photograph. Good luck!

Chris

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Probably find a spot they frequently pass through, prefocus and just fire away when they're passing through. Trying to follow them is probably a fool's errand.
6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #6
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Just do an engine search on "Hot Shoe Viewfinder" and you'll find plenty of accessories.

Or you could pursue your "Curse you Red Baron!" fantasies and 3D print a ring sight affair as was used in WWI and WW2:

6 Days Ago   #7
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Even a rangefinder-style viewfinder is difficult in that the FOV would still be narrow. A so-called (wire frame) sportfinder may work, though they are relatively rare for miniature format (24x36mm) and smaller or for longer lenses. For awhile, there was something called "Ikodot", but it was a short-run product. Good luck!


Steve
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Try shooting with both eyes open, using the non-viewfinder eye to get a wider view and track the general position and direction of the subject, and you should fine it easier to keep the subject in the frame using your viewfinder eye. So when the subject leaves the frame you see where its gone with the other eye and know which direction to move the camera. Takes a bit of practice but I do this a lot with moving subjects.

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Hi,

I use Olympus EE‑1 DOT SIGHT with 150-450.

It help me a lot when I try to find a bird in the sky (with my camera lens)

You can follow BIF with this and make photos without looking thru the lens.
The dot brightness can be regulated. It is bright enought in a very bright day or dim enough at dusk.

When you put in on your camera you have to calibrate it first (left/right up/down).

Just remeber to turn it off when you do not use it.
6 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossed-up Quote
Try shooting with both eyes open, using the non-viewfinder eye to get a wider view and track the general position and direction of the subject, and you should fine it easier to keep the subject in the frame using your viewfinder eye. So when the subject leaves the frame you see where it's gone with the other eye and know which direction to move the camera. Takes a bit of practice but I do this a lot with moving subjects.
This is what I do. No extra gear required, just a bit of training.

I do have a red dot sight for aiming the Q7 + DA*300 at my intended target, but that's another level altogether.
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
Hotshoe mounted viewfinder for fast moving birds?
There was a old finder type called a frame finder which was two frames or one frame with or without crosshairs plus targeting aid. A big rectangular frame made of massive wire combined with targeting aid is called sports finder, it was comparatively easy with this type of finder following fast action.

A modern plastic variant of this finder can be bought as accessory for underwater cameras, so this might be a good place to start your search.
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