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12-08-2017, 09:18 AM   #1
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Bresson Focusing Screens???

Has anyone changed the focus screen on their DSLR for the traditional film era split micro edge type screen for improved manual focus?

One of the big advantages of DSLR over the smartphone is the ability to easily fine tune focus manually, but the standard matte focusing screen leaves a lot to be desired when locking down a precise focus.

I came upon Bresson by chance, and wondered if anyone had tried there products.

12-08-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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We had a number of threads about focusing screens on this forum over the years. You can search for them Mostly people bought the Focusing screens com (think these guys just recut a high end Canon screen) and KatzEye, and then the JinFinance brand screens. I am not sure if all of these are still in business. Then you have a myriad of noname Chinese screens on the ebays and similar sites. You have to get the one for your camera, because other ones might be the wrong size or shape. You also have to be careful to get one of the type that you want (split prism, matte) and with the markings you want (rule of thirds, centre marking, no markings at all..).

You can install it yourself, but you have to be super careful, because just touching the screen can leave a fingerprint smudge. And it might be impossible to remove the smudge. There are many videos and tutorials about this online. I remember seeing one where the guy made all sorts of mistakes while trying to film the tutorial and ended up with a smudged focusing screen.. You might also have to use shims, which can be annoying. Shims make sure the screen is the correct distance and shows accurate focus. If the shims are wrong, then the screen might show front or back focus (will be inaccurate). I know some users here sent their camera to one of the above mentioned businesses and had them install the screen and calibrate, shim it.

I would only recommend you buy a third party focusing screen if you use fast primes. Focusing screens are usually made to improve Manual focus with fast aperture lenses, but they are not as amazing with slow aperture lenses. For example, you will see in and out of focus areas more clearly when using f1.4 lenses, but the viewfinder will be darker than with the stock screen if you use a lens that only goes to f4. So consumer zoom lenses become less useable on a camera with a focusing screen for manual focus lenses. Some users buy two cameras and dedicate one to fast primes (with installed focusing screen) and the other to zoom lenses or slow primes (left with the original screen). I think quite a few users got focusing screens back in the day.

You might also be interested in viewfinder loupes. These make the viewfinder bigger. They have some drawbacks (they are bigger, stick out, they might cut off some of the viewfinder data), but they also help with manual focus (they magnify the frame). The loupes do not affect focus at all.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-08-2017 at 09:46 AM.
12-08-2017, 11:20 AM   #3
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One thing which attracted me to Pentax was that they still offered interchangeable focusing screens on the K70... problem is that the ones offered by Ricoh although offering various markings are all matte rather than offering split or microprism.
12-08-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
Has anyone changed the focus screen on their DSLR for the traditional film era split micro edge type screen for improved manual focus?

One of the big advantages of DSLR over the smartphone is the ability to easily fine tune focus manually, but the standard matte focusing screen leaves a lot to be desired when locking down a precise focus.

I came upon Bresson by chance, and wondered if anyone had tried there products.
Do you have a link where these are sold, Steve? I did a cursory search on Google and didn't find a sales point for Bresson, although there's some discussion in various Sony, Nikon, etc forums about using Bresson. Thanks!


Last edited by yucatanPentax; 12-08-2017 at 11:57 AM.
12-08-2017, 01:44 PM   #5
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Oh, just remembered the forum has a review section for these!
Viewfinders and Screens - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
12-08-2017, 02:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
I came upon Bresson by chance, and wondered if anyone had tried there products.
There is a review on this site.

Bresson FS-45DS Split Image Focusing Screen reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I too came up empty on attempts to find focus screens under that brand name.


Steve
12-08-2017, 03:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There is a review on this site.

Bresson FS-45DS Split Image Focusing Screen reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I too came up empty on attempts to find focus screens under that brand name.


Steve
Only have a phone number for ordering direct from China... but the web site does list prices. May need to talk with a family member who speaks the language to give them a call.

They have an interesting Web Site as it has various warnings regarding being careful with purchasing as their are various 'cheap Chinese imitations' of their Nikon screens flooding the market.

12-08-2017, 03:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
Only have a phone number for ordering direct from China... but the web site does list prices. May need to talk with a family member who speaks the language to give them a call.

They have an interesting Web Site as it has various warnings regarding being careful with purchasing as their are various 'cheap Chinese imitations' of their Nikon screens flooding the market.
Am I missing it? What is their website? Was it mentioned and my tired eyes cannot see it? Maybe that's it.
12-08-2017, 08:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
Am I missing it? What is their website? Was it mentioned and my tired eyes cannot see it? Maybe that's it.
Sorry. There Web Site is:-

http://www.bresson.com.cn/Product/7608322821.html
12-08-2017, 11:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
Some of the photos on that page have been lifted from the focusingscreen.com Web site.

Focusing Screen Comparison


Steve
12-09-2017, 06:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Some of the photos on that page have been lifted from the focusingscreen.com Web site.

Focusing Screen Comparison


Steve
Or is it the other way around? Bresson is a Chinese manufacturer - do they manufacture some of the screens sold by
Focusingscreen.com?
12-09-2017, 11:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
Or is it the other way around? Bresson is a Chinese manufacturer - do they manufacture some of the screens sold by
Focusingscreen.com?
Focusingscreen.com is in Taiwan. I can't remember the term used, but it was something akin to a home factory. They cut down their screens from readily available product from Nikon and Canon for the most part. It is not clear where they source the FSB, FSL, and FSX blanks. In any case, they use the same setup for example photos for all their screen types. Perhaps Bresson sources from focusingscreen.com? Given the quality difference in the example photos, my guess would be that the source was not Bresson.


Steve
12-18-2017, 05:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Focusingscreen.com is in Taiwan. I can't remember the term used, but it was something akin to a home factory. They cut down their screens from readily available product from Nikon and Canon for the most part. It is not clear where they source the FSB, FSL, and FSX blanks. In any case, they use the same setup for example photos for all their screen types. Perhaps Bresson sources from focusingscreen.com? Given the quality difference in the example photos, my guess would be that the source was not Bresson.


Steve
Good point regarding quality of images. Got hold of Bresson (or rather friend did as language barrier) and told minimum order was 25 screens.
12-18-2017, 06:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
Good point regarding quality of images. Got hold of Bresson (or rather friend did as language barrier) and told minimum order was 25 screens.
Hah, well now you can start taking orders and re-sell them individually
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