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01-04-2018, 06:54 AM   #1
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Beattie Intenscreen?

This morning's not-obsessive-at-all-why-do-you-ask? search for P67 gear on KEH turned up this aftermarket focusing screen:


Beattie Intenscreen Plus Focusing Screen For Pentax 6X7 at KEH Camera Store


I'm curious if any of y'all are running these screens, and what you might think about them. Since I'm a chimney finder/tripod guy, I've not had too many focusing problems, but I could imagine, say, the 75/4.5 being a bit more pleasant to shoot with an optimized screen.

01-04-2018, 08:38 AM   #2
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I haven't had the chance to play with a Beattie screen in an MF camera, but I've seen them in use on various 35mm cameras (usually Nikons). And from my evaluation, I can say what they say about them is true: they do genuinely boost brightness over a plain old ground glass, like you'd see in a Pentax 67.

There seemed to be less difference when comparing a Beattie to a more advanced focus screen, like those molded from laser cut patterns.

However, it's also true you don't get something for nothing. All that extra brightness costs you a bit in focusing precision. With the Beattie, it's a little bit harder to judge precise focus on the ground glass area. It's hard to beat a traditional matte screen for seeing a contrasty image snap in and out of focus. Beattie's are brighter, but there's a bit less snap.

I would say the best use of a Beattie is with a split image rangefinder in the middle for getting focus precise, and the brighter surrounding area makes composition easier.
01-04-2018, 09:07 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
It's hard to beat a traditional matte screen for seeing a contrasty image snap in and out of focus.

Excellent info, thanks! With the chimney finder and a fast lens (e.g. 105/2.4 or 165/2.8) I find that I can focus as well with my P67 than as I do with Live View on my K5. Time will tell, I guess, if I start to rely on filters for my B&W work.
01-04-2018, 03:26 PM   #4
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My understanding, not as an actual user as I am quite happy with the native focusing screen, is that the Beattie screens produce an overexposure in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 stops. This must be accounted for when using a native P67 TTL meter, which has an exposure range of 5 stops from zero.

After exchanging a focusing screen a collimator is used to calibrate for correct focus at 3 points.

A better investment would be to buy a faster lens over the 75mm f4.5 and others of its ilk: slow lens of f4+ are always going to niggle people, very much so once they slap a polariser on the front! The 75mm f2.8AL comes to mind (others are the 90mm f2.8 and the 105mm f2.4); it is expensive, but its benefits outweight the initial hip pocket hit and it is a delightful lens to use in the field.

01-04-2018, 04:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
it is expensive, but its benefits outweight the initial hip pocket hit and it is a delightful lens to use in the field.

And you would be willing to testify to this in a (divorce) court of law?


At any rate, the 75/2.8 AL ticks off all the boxes, but for the price they go for on the used market these days I wouldn't be able to justify the outlay unless there was a tangible ROI in the offing.
01-04-2018, 04:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
And you would be willing to testify to this in a (divorce) court of law?
Try me.

QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
but for the price they go for on the used market these days I wouldn't be able to justify the outlay unless there was a tangible ROI in the offing.
If you're looking at Japanese dealers, expect gouging on a grand scale. The lens, sometimes making an appearance locally, could be snared for around $1,000 unmarked (but not mint/NIB/NOS).

I would expect that long-established and experienced photographers have embraced this lens with the full expectation of achieving quality imaging from it. That's what I see and continue to see. Those 'togs are not beginners nor middle-of-the-road amateur users. There is money to be made in quality photography, not grasping at straws for the next incarnation of a 645Z.

If you're serious, consider the 75AL. It is a very sharp, contrasty and sparkly lens that is far removed from the performance of the ordinary, everyday stalwarts such as the 45mm, 55mm, 90mm and 105mm lenses. It is probably true that people looking for a quick hit and chest beating would come away very disappointed after outlaying a thousand dollars-plus, unless they can push themselves on and on to produce the sort of photography that sells (repeatedly), rather than sitting idly in ring binders. I could never live with myself if that is the sort of photography I can or only do. Stuff must be created, printed, framed and sold. And I still do all this with print under one arm, invoice book under the other and an immense amount of charm!

Last edited by Silent Street; 01-04-2018 at 04:44 PM.
01-04-2018, 05:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
It is a very sharp, contrasty and sparkly lens that is far removed from the performance of the ordinary, everyday stalwarts such as the 45mm, 55mm, 90mm and 105mm lenses

Ha, that's about all of 'em...except for the M* 300, which I suppose lands me in another kettle of hot water. At any rate, I'll keep busting brush here in the Southern Appalachians this upcoming year and hope that talent--not to mention "charm"--makes its long deferred appearance.
01-04-2018, 05:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
Southern Appalachians
Hmmm. Humboldt County??
A friend down here travelled from SFO to Seattle and I recall him photographing a road somewhere there. Or it could be my imagination playing on some other unrelated mention of the Appalachians. Whatever... Now, I must fire up the barbie, don the budgie smugglers, crack a beer and celebrate lunch. Keep warm (while we struggle to keep cool...).

01-04-2018, 06:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
Humboldt County

Ha, that's beautiful country (known especially for its ancient redwoods and more modern, potent marijuana cultivars) but the Appalachian Mountains are in the eastern US--perhaps the best Australian analogue would be the Great Dividing Range.


Appalachian Mountains - Wikipedia


Eliot Porter is probably the best known photographer of the region--his Appalachian Spring remains a classic.
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