Eyepeice Blind for EOS 5D Mark-III
As I mentioned in my article Stepping Up to the Mark-III, Canon’s third incarnation of the EOS 5D, the Mark III, still lacks a proper eyepiece blind or eyepiece shutter. This really should be standard on a professional camera in this price range and seems like a pretty serious omission. Instead Canon have provided a rather inadequate piece of rubber which comes affixed to the Canon strap. The 5D Mark-III uses the much larger EG Eyecup, as opposed to the smaller EB eyecup used on the previous models. Thus the rubber Eyepiece Shutter (Canon’s rather inappropriate terminology not mine) is much wider than it’s predecessors, yet is made of the same flimsy rubber, so is a complete waste of time. Mine won’t even slide on properly. I don’t use the Canon strap either, so having this attached to the strap by default is another rather poor design option.
Long Exposure Light Bleed
If you’re into your long exposures and use a LEE Big Stopper in your landscape photography then you’ll know how important it is to block out all of the light from your eyepiece. If you’ve ever ended up with a darkish band down one edge of your image and flare on the opposite side then it’s most probably due to light that entering via the eyepiece during your exposure. This can be particularly problematic when you have bright sunlight behind you at an acute side angle, and low on the horizon too, but sometimes can even occur in what may appear rather dull or light.
In the field I tried using rubber EG Eyepiece Shutter on my 5D Mark-III but it just wasn’t up to the job and just didn’t seem to fit properly. I ended up having to make do with an array of cleaning cloths draped over the camera instead; it worked but was hardly ideal. On many occasions I’ve simply shaded my eyepiece from the sun using my hand, but you really don’t want to be doing that for 4 or 5 minute exposures. There had to be a better and easer solution than this surely?
The Homemade Remedy
I’ve now come up with a simple and cheap homemade remedy which seems to work quite well. The new EG Eyecup on the 5D Mark-III is at least easy to remove (not like the previous incarnation), so why not make a blanked-off version to use for long exposures?
Replacement eyepieces can easily be obtained from eBay or Amazon so there is no need to buy an expensive Canon replacement, in fact I’d specifically avoid the Canon one. I chose the Maxsima Eyepiece from Amazon which cost only £5.99 and unlike the Canon model, the back plate is attached by two small screws. This allows easy removal of the back plate so I could slip the end of a small lanyard around one of the screw holes, before re-attaching the back plate. The lanyard allows me to hang the eyepiece around my neck ready for use on long exposures.
To blank out the window in the eyepiece I simply used of a small piece of gaffer tape and some black felt. I cut a small section of gaffer tape to fit over the front of the eyepiece window, then I cut a small rectangular piece of felt to the exact size to fit the opening and attached this to the sticky side of the gaffer tape which shows through the back. It took me as couple of attempts to get it done neatly. I used the standard grey gaffer tape on my first attempt, but later got hold of some black gaffer tape which made the job look a lot neater.
I’m sure there are far more elegant solutions and perhaps better materials to use but this is an easy fix which won’t hurt the wallet. Let’s hope the 5D Mark-IV arrives with a proper built-in shutter blind … but I guess that’s a long way off!