The optical properties of Mg-TM (TM: Ni, Co, Fe; Mg:TM ≈ 2) thin films during hydrogenation are investigated using reflection and transmission measurements. Mg-Ni and Mg-Co show an unusual behavior upon exposure to hydrogen. The nucleation of the hydride starts at the film substrate interface and not - as intuitively expected - at the Pd covered top side of the film. Consequently, a double layer structure is formed. Reflection measurements are used to identify the loading behavior as the double layering yields to an remarkable optical black state at intermediate hydrogen concentrations. Photometric measurements on samples loaded at H2-pressures of 10 5 Pa show that in Mg-NiHx and Mg-CoHx the complex hydrides Mg2NiH4 and Mg2CoH5 are formed, whereas in Mg-Fex the formation of MgH2 is prevalent.