Sometimes, you find a product that is perfectly designed to meet a specific, but important need. I found that with the MEA-17M. Here’s the story. I do a lot of macro photography. This requires a lot of squinting through the viewfinder, trying to focus on something tinier than a eyelash. And let’s face it, I’m getting older (sigh) and my eyes are not getting better. So I’ve been trying to find products that will enlarge the magnification on my viewfinder. I first tried the Nikon DG-2, a 2x magnifier that attached to your viewfinder. Unfortunately, I found that it enlarged things too much. The very center of the viewfinder was magnified, but everything outside of the center was slightly warped. For macro work, this is no good, since most of the time the point at which I am trying to focus on is not in the center. I then tried the Nikon DK-17M, which only enlarges the view just a little (1.2x) to let you see things more clearly, without distorting the view. But I ran into a problem. It’s made to fit the D2X camera. I thought this wouldn’t be a problem, because I already own a little adapter for fitting D2X accessories to the viewfinder of both my Nikon D100 and my Kodak SLR/n. But once I got the magnifying lens home I discovered that unlike all the other accessories, THIS lens doesn’t fit on the adapter either. ARGH!
I thought I was out of luck. As a last ditch effort, I did a google search on “fitting DK-17M on a D100”. I figured that I couldn’t be the first person to run into this problem. And sure enough, I found one match. This company in Japan, IRCube, made a second adapter called the MEA-17M that fit between Nikon’s adapter and the DK-17M. The webpage was poorly translated into English, and a little confusing, but I thought I’d give it a chance. I wrote to the company and asked them about the product. To my delight, I got a fast and pleasant response. I paid the money through Paypal, and crossed my fingers. And two days later, a package came from Japan. Two days! Faster than ordering something from a local shop! And sure enough, the adapter worked. The perfect solution to my quirkly little problem. And now, my Kodak SLR/n has the DK-17M eyepiece, and focusing for macro work is much easier. Everything is enlarged just enough to better see the details in my subject. These old eyes are happy, and send a big thanks to Abe-san at IRCube in Japan.
To summarize: here’s how to enlarge the viewfinder on a Kodak SLR/n or Nikon D100. You need:
- Nikon Eyepiece Adapter: to attach to the viewfinder ($4)
- IRCube’s MEA-17M: to attach to the eyepiece adapter ($26)
- Nikon DK-17M: the magnifier lens, which attached to the MEA-17M ($42)
Added 10/30/06: A poster on the Kodak forum on DPReview described his method of connecting the DK-17M to his D200.Â