Strap On Your Hoodman Loupe
Easy-to-make straps with clips

Hoodman Loupe with pouch
     One of my Christmas gifts this year was a Hoodman Loupe. The first thing I noticed when I opened it was the lack of any sort of attachment straps. Holding it against the LCD screen with one hand is almost practical enough for reviewing shots, but I knew that would not work so well while trying to shoot video and manually focusing with the Hoodman. Both hands would need to be on the camera in that situation. So my first project after the holidays was to come up with a practical means to strap the Hoodman onto the camera when needed.

Cinema strap
     There are already various products available to accomplish this task. The closest I found to what I wanted was the Hoodman Cinema Strap. However, I could immediately see an issue.... at least for how I wanted to use it. The Cinema Strap was not designed to go on while you have a camera neckstrap attached to the body. You would have to remove your camera strap first, and that would be an issue of time and hassle, even if your neckstrap had clips or buckles to make the task easier. That was going to be a problem I would need to find a way around if I made my own straps for the Hoodman.

     Luckily the solution came to me quite easily. The Hoodman has a strap with a plastic clip buckle which looked very familiar to me. It just so happened that I had a couple of neck straps from some old USB thumb drives that had black plastic clips exactly the same as the clip on the Hoodman (see photo). The clips were designed for a 1/4-inch strap, and I had some 1/4-inch black elastic I had already considered for the task. These clips would solve the issue of using elastic straps to mount the Hoodman onto a camera that also had a camera strap attached.

Almost everything you need      
     It makes absolutely no difference whether your clips are a match for the Hoodman clip. The fact that I recognized my old clips as being the same as the Hoodman's clip was simply what sparked the idea in my head. You can use any sort of small clip similar to these to accomplish the same thing. The important point is that using the clips allows you to snap on the elastic straps without having to remove your camera neckstrap.

Unfinished eyepiece ring
     First I gathered my materials. I already had several packs of black 1/4-inch braided elastic, three of which are shown in the photo at left as examples. Brand doesn't matter, but use black as it will be less visible. To make a "ring" to go around the eyepiece and connect the straps I used a scrap of black ripstop nylon, cut about 2-1/2 inches by 6-1/2 inches. I rolled up one edge of the long length into a triple thickness hem and stitched it. Next I folded it in half the long way and stitched the ends together to form a cylinder slightly larger than the eyepiece. Then I cut four slits in the un-hemmed end almost down to the rolled hem, spacing them equally apart around the cylinder as shown in the photo at right. This would become the harness around the eyepiece.

     I used ripstop nylon because it does very little fraying on the cut edges when cut like this. It's also very strong and dries quickly if it gets wet. Like the black elastic, I use black ripstop nylon for many other projects, so I had some scraps on hand, and again, black fits the color scheme. You can use some other method if you wish to make a harness for the eyepiece to attach the straps. I'm just using whatever I have on hand that I think will do the job.

Fold tab edges & stitch into a "V" as in right image
     Next I folded over each edge of each squarish "tab" and stitched them to form a "V", shown in the images at left. This then slips over the eyepiece and is what the straps will be attached to. Now it was time to prepare the clips and elastic straps.

Test attachment of female clips
     I started by removing the blue nylon straps from the male ends of the clips. The string on the female end of one clip was broken, so I replaced the string with some heavy duty nylon suture that I knew would be very strong. A note here: using two clips alike allows you to criss-cross the straps if you find that it works better for your camera instead of being forced to clip the right to right and left to left. Next I sewed the female clip ends with the string to the two upper tabs. My reasoning was that clipping the straps would be easier on top instead of underneath the Hoodman. Then I sewed a length of 1/4-inch elastic to the other two tabs. I looped the elastic ends into the male clips and pinned the connection temporarily to test the length.

Elastic attachment Test fit to 7D body
     When I slipped the Hoodman onto my Canon 7D (which shoots most of my video) it was immediately obvious I would need to move the clips farther away from the body and closer to the eyepiece. The right clip was directly in the way of the video button next to the viewfinder. Except for this issue, the fit looked good. The Hoodman was very snug and held in position very well. I could even use the Hoodman as a handle and it would hold up the camera in any position without slipping. At least I was on the right track.

Modified harness parts
     I removed the harness and took out the stitches holding the two clips by their strings. Then I snipped the two upper "V" tabs down to short stubs, folded the stubs under the main ring and stitched them to avoid fraying of the cut edges. I next covered the clip strings by wrapping a small piece of ripstop nylon around each and stitched them to make short "straps" over the strings as in the right photo. I then sewed the two female clips by their straps onto the main ring as close as I could get them. At this point I did another test fit, shown in the photos below. Now the clip was no longer in the way of the video button, and the elastic easily flipped edgewise into the gap between the mode knob and the viewfinder housing. The elastic fit well in the front too. This was going to work out okay.

Modified harness test fit, top, bottom and front views
     All that was left to do was stitch the elastic straps where they looped through the male clip ends. I loosened the tension a tiny bit on the elastic before stitching, then removed the pins that held them temporarily. I installed the harness once again to test the final fit and that was it. In the end I decided to use the clips on the bottom side, though the harness works just as well either way. All I need do to change it is simply spin the harness ring around the eyepiece to rotate the clips to the top or bottom as desired.

     The location of buttons and controls on your camera body will affect how, or even whether you can attach a Hoodman using straps like this. In my case, this worked out quite well on my Canon 7D. It also works as well or better on my 5DmkII. However, the shape and height of my 1DmkIV precludes any chance of lashing it to that body, or likely any gripped pro body for that matter. I can still handhold the Hoodman to preview shots on the MarkIV though, which is fine with me. I don't know that this harness is better than commercial items, but it certainly solves the problem of strapping a Hoodman onto a camera without first removing the camera neckstrap. That certainly makes it worthwhile for me.