I have long considered a loupe as just another gadget that gear-heads carry around to look cool. For those that are not aware, a loupe in this sense is a device that is placed over the LCD display on a camera to allow an improved view of an image.
With less-than-perfect eyesight I finally splurged on a Hoodman loupe to see if that could help in the field, and man, am I glad I did.
By blocking extraneous light and distraction the loupe allows you to see the display much clearer, and although I haven’t yet used in bright sunlight i feel in that instance it would almost be a necessity. Having relied on the optical viewfinder and ‘guesstimating’ from what can be barely seen in such conditions I think this will reduce those ‘almost’ shots as I can analyze better what has been taken.
Used on a recent waterfall shoot the loupe improved my review of each image both before and after shooting, helping confirm focus points and evaluate an exposure time that would best bring out the the flow of the falls. In addition the loupe aids in identifying distractions that may be acted upon rather than discovering in processing.
Is a loupe needed? Definitely not, but if you use an LCD display a loupe will certainly help clarify what the camera is seeing, and especially so in bright sunlight. A minor investment (more so if you buy used) that for me is well worth the cost.