This is a quick review of the Tenpa 1.22x magnifying eye piece for Nikon cameras. This is also available in a 1.36x but as I have glasses they recommend the 1.22.
This was a 2nd attempt at a magnified view after a failed attempt using genuine Nikon parts. The basics of this can be found here. Though be warned it’s harder than it looks and it’s easy to get glue on the eye piece as I found out.
I ordered my kit from Roxsen on eBay for £29.20 delivered from Hong Kong. This makes it more expensive than a DK-17m and DK-22 sourced from a UK company. However the big plus is you get a nice big solid adapter to mount the lens to the camera, along with a big rubber eye cup like the one some pros seem to like for their D3s.
The lens it’s self is clearly a rip of of the Nikon DK-17m, with a few minor differences. The lens it’s self sits proud of the mount body meaning you have to be careful putting it down, but it does make it easier to clean. This comes fitted with a rubber eye guard similar to the Nikon part and once mounted I can’t tell the difference. The optical quality seems to be identical as best as I can tell, which was honestly quite a shock. Both vignette slightly, especially at the bottom of the frame meaning the flash and focus indicators are hard to see with out moving my eye up. That said I haven’t found this to be an issue yet, time will tell on this one.
The big eye cup fits nicely on both the Tenpa and Nikon lenses with no issue. It seems to work well to exclude side light but if I’m honest I don’t really like this style of cup.
Here’s a few shots taken using my iPhone to show the sort of magnification on offer.
You can clearly see the difference the 1.2x makes, but you can also see next to no difference between the Nikon and the Tenpa.
The extra 1.22 does seem to make a difference and is quite nice but is by no means world changing. The vignetting is a touch annoying but so far seems to be a small issue. This small magnification won’t help much in manual focusing either I suspect as some have made out.
If I ever want a 2nd one of these I honestly see no benefit of the Nikon lens over the Tenpa. The quality of the view is now so close the extra £22 just isn’t worth it as it may have been in the past.
Update 1 August 2012
I actually ended up taking it off and I haven’t used it for a few months now. The inability to see the LED readout in the viewfinder proved too annoying. I suspect if I didn’t wear glasses and could get that bit closer it would be fine but as I need them to see this wasn’t an option. I might sell this on but for now it’s sat on my shelf.