Fun DIY project. The KnopTop 2.0 Version.

Couple of days ago I went up to the ski slopes for some spring skiing and I brought my camera along. With not a cloud in the sky and all the reflective light off the snow I can barely make out what it on the screen. So shooting video in this condition or even trying to chimp after taking a photo is near to impossible exposure or focus and some times even composition.

So I remember Knoptop’s DIY DSLR View Finder video he did a while back, so I emailed to see if there has been any revisions and he said there was. KnopTop had found a cheap loop that can be used from Harbor Freight Tools so I picked up a box set for only $5.

DIY Procedure

Then I picked up black spray paint for $3 that is made just for plastic.

Then I found an old baby powder container, if you can believe it from 1985.

Next up I had to figure out which loop power would work the best. Knoptop was right they all fit the container perfectly.

I used the ear muffs from a pair of pod-casting headphones that I hated and was not using and it fit perfectly.

Back to figure out which one was the best I tried the 3X and it was perfect right off the bat, but I wanted the view finder shorter. I marked the side to find which lens would have what length of the view finder. I did this for all of them from 3x to 10x.

The 10x made the finder the shortest, but then I was concerned if it was too short I would not be able to see all the screen so I marked the outer edges of what I could see. I found out that the 5x was the one I want to use to fill the frame, the others did not feel the frame.

I then measure the 5x height and marked it on the container.

And then I cut the container, for me scissors didn’t work well so I used a utility blade. I used the blue tape as a guide.

I cleaned out the rough edges so the loop would fit better.

I painted it black.

With View Finder

Without View Finder

Using a hot glue gun I glued it in place and then flipped it over to add more glue, the blue tape was to protect the lens.

I put the ear phone muff on and tie rapped it in place.

I had this idea to add chopsticks to make a nice rectangle frame, but it didn’t work well and I used tape so it wouldn’t scratch the screen.

I added the hair ties and I was all done.

Works really well.

Check out my bonus videos.

Thanks Knoptop!

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Products Used In This Video

iPhone 4s – Most shots at ski resort.

Canon T2i Close up shots of view finder on my desk.

Nikon D800

 

Nikon D800 – Shots of me talking in my office only.

10 comments

  • Hey Dave,

    Great post and as a new DSLR video user I absolutely love your site. How do you feel your DIY finder compares to the Zacuto you reviewed previously? Also what’s your initial opinion of the D800?

    Thanks much!

  • Ha Ha! I like the product placement in the office shot.

    Looking forward to those reviews.

  • Hi Dave,

    Nice videos, great dedication. After the DIY build I was kind of looking forward for the review itself of the viewfinder. Maybe next time. Although a Zacuto wouldn’t be a luxury with a D800, which leads to the question. How did you came about getting a D800? Judging by your videos, I would have thought a 5D would have been the logical “jump”. How do you find the whole Nikon video experience?
    Thanks and keep up the great work…

  • @Tony I am really considering both for my next camera. I am not that invested in Canon glass so if the D800 wins out then I will go with it.

  • Hey Dave!

    I built one of the Knoptop versions a while back and still use it. In fact, it’s the reason I haven’t bought a “real” one.

    Every time I take it out, someone has to know what it is and where I got it. When I tell them it’s a baby powder bottle, they look at me a little strange.

    But there’s no denying it works like a charm – and cheap too!

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