The Hoodcap Hood HD-1 is as good at cutting glare as it is funny to look at. The soft rubber, collapsible hood for the Nikon D1/X/H rear LCD monitor, the latest digital camera accessory from Hoodman in Redondo, CA, is effective at knocking down the unwelcome effects of moderately bright ambient light on the camera's 2-inch viewing screen, even outdoors. It's sure to be equally effective at attracting attention to the photographer using it.
Hoodcap HD-1 riding shotgun on a Nikon D1X
The US$40 Hoodcap Hood HD-1 is designed to remain in place while shooting; push your nose up against it and it mashes fairly flat. There may well be few field photographers who choose to use it this way, however, since the combination of even a modest nose and the Hoodcap make it somewhat awkward, though not unworkable, to peer through the viewfinder for extended horizontal shooting in particular. Whether it's left in place or not, photographers with sensitive noses can take comfort in the fact that the Hoodcap Hood is made with hypo-allergenic, FDA-approved silicon rubber, identical to the material used in the drop-down oxygen masks found in passenger jets.
Fortunately, the molded edges of the Hoodcap Hood attach and detach from the US$20 Hoodcap clear screen cover (a separate and required item) with ease. It's so easy, in fact, to remove and replace the Hood that I've been using it like a loupe, bringing it to the screen as needed, then dropping it out of the way afterwards. As I think about it, I might just get a neck strap and small "Schneider 8X" label for the Hoodcap Hood to complete the theme.
Hoodcap Hood HD-1 can hang from
the included lanyard, tethered to the
camera's shoulder strap lug
The left and right flanges on Hoodman's
Hoodcap (a separate and required item)
serve as the anchor points for the
Hoodcap Hood HD-1. The clear Nikon
screen supplied with the D1X does
not hold the Hoodcap in place properly.
Does the Hoodcap Hood HD-1 provide enough of a benefit to make its purchase worthwhile? While some cupping of hands around the hood is still required in direct sunlight, and a bit too much glare comes off the glossy Hoodcap its attached to (a problem only in intense light), overall this product has made it much easier for me to view the D1X's rear LCD monitor. In everything up to the brightest light, this product seems like a sure bet.
The Hoodcap Hood HD-1 is shipping as of today. Hoodman's Bob Schmidt indicates that all pre-orders will be filled by June 15, while US dealers should have their allotments in house by the middle of next week.