The DK-2 eyecup attached to the DK-33 on the Z 9

An essential piece of camera gear for my photography is the eyecup. It is the shock absorber between the camera body and the eye/forehead permitting me to use proper hand-held technique so I can get sharp images panning or at ridiculously low shutter speeds. The DK-33 that comes on the Z 9 because of the bone structure of my eye socket just isn’t comfortable for me so since I received my first Z 9, I’ve been on the quest for the “perfect” eyecup. With the introduction of the Nikon F3HP and its DK-2 eyecup in 1980, that has the only eyecup I have used (including the D1 through the D6). Natively, it won’t fit on the Z 9, (at least not at first glance). Finding one for the Z 9 that provides the same comfort as well as “shock absorber” qualities as the DK-2 has been a challenge. The first two I tried were OK at best. Then the thought crossed my mind … what if …

The needed pieces and leftover piece creating my final Z 9 eyecup

I ordered a dozen DK-33s to experiment with as I knew I would be “breaking” them in the process of making my own Z 9 eyecup. There was the first challenge in this quest, receiving the DK-33s. With those in hand came the experimenting. The issue you see is the diameter of the DK-33 and Z 9 viewfinder pupil exit hole is larger than your standard viewfinder. This is to accommodate the eye sensor (which you need to keep clean) to know if your eye is pressed against the viewfinder or not for the LCD preview or EVF to display. I have pile of eyecups in my drawer that wouldn’t work because they would either block the sensor or simply not fit. Then the thought dawned on me (why too long, the obvious is not always obvious to me) to try to make my beloved DK-2 work. What is it about the DK-2 and me? The DK-2 is a “thicker” rubber than any other eyecup and that additional thickness permits me to really press the camera against my eye comfortably.

The first part of this process is to “break” the DK-33. That’s to say, the small rubber ring that is on the DK-33 is removed and then with a screwdriver, unsnap the plastic ring that this process reveals (those two pieces are above in the lower left corner). It’s takes seconds to do this. The next truly difficult process is acquiring the DK-2 eyecup which has been long discontinued. A number of years ago I was at my friends’ Gray’s store. He had a drawer full of DK-2s which were shortly there after in my luggage coming home with me (the box in the top left corner of the photo above). With the metal retaining ring removed from the DK-2, I just stretched it over the DK-33. Well, it wasn’t quite that simple as it took a little of time getting it to stretch but it does and fit and that tightness keeps it in place. No cutting, no modification of any sort was required to make the DK-2 work! I’ve now shot with this eyecup for two weeks, field testing it in Australia and with all that shooting, one popped off once when I was putting back into the MP-2v2 and that’s it. Comfort and shock absorberwise, it rocks! My personal quest for a Z 9 eyecupe is over. I have three spares in my kit so if I loose or damage one i can be back in business.

Does the DK-2 block the EVF eye sensor? So far, I’ve not had an issue but in playing with it, I can see if it started to come off, it might. Will other rubber eyecups do the same thing? I have no clue as I’ve not tried them all but this is the only one I’ve found that works. I wanted a solution that delivered that comfort I require with NO modification of the eyecup, none what so ever. And with that, phew … the Z 9 eyecup, the search ends!

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