Most people, it seems, are either left-eye-dominant (LED) or right-eye-dominant (RED). If youíre LED then you will intuitively try to use an SLR camera by looking through the viewfinder out of the left eye. Iím LED and have always struggled to feel comfortable with a camera, and always wondered how other people can find them intuitive, and Iíve always wondered why if they are so uncomfortable the evolution of the camera didnít take another form. The trouble for us LEDís is that the viewfinder is on the left side of the camera body, so when the left eye is pressed to the viewfinder then the vision through the right eye is obscured by the camera body and the right hand as it reaches for the shutter button. Further, you have to look through the viewfinder at an angle which is more oblique to the camera body because the face and nose are pressed against the unyielding camera body. This automatically makes it less intuitive to line up against a subject, and means that more of the subject is seen by peripheral vision then by central vision.
For REDís the situation is a lot better. The body of the camera is largely to the right side of the face. This means the left eye can be kept open when tracking an image (though most users will want to close it before taking the image when an uncluttered view is required), the face can be aligned more perpendicular to the subject, and your nose is not squished up against the controls. Presumably RED's are the majority of the population and cameras are largely designed to accommodate them.
Iíve done web searches and found plenty of comment by people on this issue but mostly they are talking compact cameras or standard lenses. Naturally, they mostly conclude itís not really a big problem. However where it does become a big problem is when doing flight shots and when using long lenses. Itís a problem with flight shots because you cant track the bird without moving the camera away from your face Ė and naturally its easy to miss the shot when you are repeatedly moving the camera to and away from your face as the bird is closing in. It becomes a problem with long lenses because getting the subject in view becomes incrementally harder as the lens gets longer and the field of view gets narrower. This is naturally exacerbated if the ergonomic relationship between you and the camera is compromised, for example by having your head turned further sideways or a greater reliance on peripheral vision.
Iím curious to get some more information on this Ė particularly other peopleís experiences. What Iím wanting is answers to these questions:
1. how many of you are left eye dominant
2. if you are an LED, have you thought about this, and if so do you find it an issue.
3. have you tried to train yourself to use the right eye.
4. If you are RED, do you keep both eyes open when taking photos, tracking moving birds, or whenever.
5. If you are RED, do you (this is what I anticipate) track with your eye to the viewfinder, keep both eyes open but concentrate more on the vision through the left eye, and then close the left eye moments before taking the photos while concentrating on the uncluttered vision through the right eye.
Cheers, and thanks for responding