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ZoneView: Give your imagination a little help.

Tim Gilbert

Back in September we had a blog post on building your own viewing filter (Filter Hack). We even posed the question: how hard could it be?
Harder than we expected! We experimented with dozens of different filters in untold combinations. Finally deciding to replicate the defacto standard: the Wratten #90. Of course, we could have just bought the genuine filter material from Kodak but what fun is that (besides, it's expensive.) Instead, we came up with our own version.
It's very similar to previous implementations but with several differences:
1.  The ZoneView allows a bit more blue/green light to pass through. (We felt that the Wratten filter eliminates too much blue, resulting in artificially high contrast.) Here's a sample, of course, it will appear differently in real life.
2.   The filter material is not “optically clear" since we don't expect anyone to be photographing through it. There also may be a minor defects in the filter material but they shouldn't affect use.
3.   It's a lot cheaper! Cheap enough that you won't cry if you drop it in a mountain stream. (It's made from heavy cardstock with a water resistant coating.)

Note that the aspect ratio of the cutout matches 4x5 sheet film. For a “normal” view, hold it about 1” in front of your eye, move it further away to simulate longer focal length lenses. (You’ll need to experiment to get the feel of it.)

It’s light and thin and fits in a shirt pocket, so you can carry it anywhere, anytime. It can help you get a quick preview of potential scenes without having to lug your camera around.
You can find the user's guide on our webpage:
Here's a link to the store page: Zoneview


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