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EE-1 Dot Sight

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Lcrunyon, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    758
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    Finally, Olympus released the EE-1 Dot Sight, and I just got mine on Friday. I know a lot of folks are thinking it is too expensive for what it is, and I was prepared to give it a try and return it to B&H if I didn't find it useful. I haven't had a chance to try it in the field (long couple of weeks at work and I just lazed around this weekend), but I wanted to share my initial thoughts.

    Build-wise it is quite nice, hitting my personal gear/techie buttons. With the housing collapsed and on the E-M1 it looks like a beefed-up FL-LM2. The website says it is splash proof, and indeed the battery casing is quite secure, but with the collapsible casing and thin front element I wouldn't call it durable. There are three small dials, one to turn it on and control brightness, and two for calibration. The site sits tightly on the hotshoe by screwing in place, with no noticeable play. It weighs almost nothing.

    Calibration was easy. On my tripod, I focused on something far away at maximum focal length and adjusted the dials until the red dot hologram was on the same spot. I assume that due to parallax, reducing the focal length without recallibrating would cause the dot sight to be aimed above/beyond the lens focus point. While at long distances the issue would likely be minor, I think this gadget would fit best with the 300mm (or any other such) prime. It would have been nice if the site received focal length information from the camera and adjusted automatically, but there are no electrical contacts on the device.

    Again, I've only played with it a little, but using it I found that it does indeed help tremendously with tracking small, distant subjects. I could keep both eyes open and have no difficulty at all locking in on them, whereas with the viewfinder I had to hunt around due to the tight field of view; or zoom out, lock-on, and zoom in again. For bird photography this is a significant advantage in getting the shot before the opportunity flies by.

    There are two things I am concerned about with it - or maybe it's one thing manifesting in two different ways. Because I am holding it a little bit away from my face, and at a different height, stability may be compromised. I'm not yet sure by how much. Furthermore, the hologram moves within the screen based on my inconsistent eye position. Unlike with an EVF, I am not holding my eye to a cup. I'm not yet sure if this floating dot feature is aiding me by compensating, or just hurting me by throwing me off. If it's the former, awesome, but if it's the latter, it means consistent form will be very important. At closer ranges (say, 150mm), I'll still likely be in the right general area, but at 300mm I'm thinking this could be a serious problem. While using a tripod or monopod would probably help, I'd prefer not to have to use those for bird photography, for which I prefer mobility and agility. There may be ways to overcome this with technique; I'll just have to try out some things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
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  2. PhotoDmiK

    PhotoDmiK Mu-43 Regular

    83
    May 26, 2015
    Do you need to calibrate it every time you mount it?
    Does it power off automatically?
     
  3. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    758
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    I think that if it is screwed tightly it should seat in the same position every time. I'll test it and let you know.

    The manual does not mention an auto shut-off, but then, the manual hardly says anything at all...
     
  4. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
  5. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    758
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    I'll take it out this weekend if the weather is good and give it more practice. For my initial tests, I was nailing shots hand-held at 150mm, while my wife was shooting high (which suggests calibration depends a lot on how you hold it). But 150mm is not 300, so we'll see how it goes.

    Even if hand-held proves unreliable, I may still keep it. I've been looking for a good option for my spotting scope, and I'm not a DIY guy, myself. If it does still work well with a tripod, I'd still have a use for it.
     
  6. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    For my macro stuff I use a 75-300 @ 300 with 26mm of extensions tubes. The problems are the same for nailing the subject at 40 ins with high magnification as they are at 400 ft....one can't locate it.
    I have re-calibrated my gun sight for my macro stuff, it's a great help, even hand held.
     
  7. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    758
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    Makes sense. I do macro too, although I reserve the hotshoe for a master flash unit.