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ClearViewer Viewfinder/LCDViewer
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
ClearViewer Viewfinder/LCDViewer on 10/26/2009 16:48:53 MDT Print View

Responding to a camera search thread, Rick Dreher mentioned the ClearViewer as a possible solution to my desire for an optical viewfinder, which is becoming an endangered feature in the compact camera world.

So I ordered one that mounts to the tripod socket for my Sony W170, and it has potential. It places a 3 diopter lens about 1.5 inches (4 cm) from the LCD screen and allows you to view the screen in good detail. There is significant 'pincushion' on all four sides, but for this application that does not matter. I can see all four corners easily, plus any shooting information I display on the screen. I'm nearsighted, so don't need to wear my glasses to do this.

More significantly, with my head this close to the camera, the LCD screen is Very readable, even with the sun directly behind me. In the worst case scenario, with the sun to my left glare can sneak in from the side, but it is easy to block by bringing my left hand up to shadow the screen as the space between my face and the camera is less than 2 inches (5 cm).


By flipping the lens over the viewer folds to the LCD screen for stowage, adding less than 0.5 inches (1 cm) to the depth of the camera.

If this elegant kludge works well enough, it opens the door to many compacts (e.g. Canon S90) that lack an optical viewfinder.

Additional details can be found at ClearViewer. Gary Robertshaw at Clearviewer had not made one of these for my camera but was ready and willing to do so. It took 10 days from payment to delivery. He was a pleasure to work with.

I'll post again after a bit of time in the field.

Edited by greg23 on 10/26/2009 22:01:52 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: ClearViewer Viewfinder/LCDViewer on 11/05/2009 11:27:38 MST Print View

Hi Greg,

Thanks for posting this followup with your experience. This simple gadget looks very promising! Now that screen resolutions are creeping upward it's becoming easier to check focus accuracy, and a magnifier/shade such as this makes a lot of sense.

How well do the ClearView and camera travel together in a case? (Are they easy to stow and remove? Any potential for scratching the magnifer or LCD?)

Thanks again for posting,


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: ClearViewer Viewfinder/LCDViewer on 11/21/2009 11:46:52 MST Print View

Here are interesting mods to the Clearviewer.

Comments on the first page of the above thread cover use and impressions.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: ClearViewer Viewfinder/LCDViewer on 04/02/2010 19:28:06 MDT Print View

The Viewer shown above, for a Sony Cybershot W170, needs a home.

The tripod socket is ~ 0.25" to the left of center of the LCD screen, and 0.625" in from the back of the screen. Even if your camera is a little different, it will work pretty well.

If this is of interest to you, PM me and I'll send it along. Or go direct to greg at smgm dot org. Please be sure to include your address.

Edited by greg23 on 04/02/2010 19:30:43 MDT.

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
lcdf on 04/08/2010 12:01:38 MDT Print View

This will work much better as it blocks light. It also works to stabilize your shot when you press your eye against it.

lcdf viewfinder

Edited by michaeltn2 on 04/08/2010 12:05:13 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: ClearViewer Viewfinder/LCDViewer on 04/19/2010 03:50:04 MDT Print View

And another 'loupe' solution

ebay item 380179855882

Has diopter adjustment too!