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11-16-2011, 04:36 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by feilb Quote
E More importantly, it does not use a micro-array of honeycomb shaped lenses, it has a true matte (ground glass) finish.
so this example of Ec-A from focusingscreen.com is incorrect ?



because it clearly shows a microprism array in the center - that is not a ground glass

11-16-2011, 07:46 PM - 1 Like   #17
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deejjaaa, you are correct, there is a microprism array in the center. What I was speaking about in the quoted text was the rest of the screen. The area around the microprism center extending to the edges I have called the "matte" area. It is this area that sets this screen apart.

If you look at the two links I posted in my original post, you'll see up close images of the Ec-A and a couple other Canon screens, including the EE-S. The EE-s and other modern DSLR focus screens have the "matte" area made up of an array of tiny hexagonal lenses. The Ec-A has a very fine, irregular finish to it's matte area, very similar to that of ground glass (used in waistlevel viewfinders in medium format cameras, for example) though it's actual material is still plastic.

The hexagonal lenses direct incident light toward the eye, giving greater brightness, but a less direct impression of what is in focus. The very fine, ground-glass-like finish of the Ec-A is dimmer for slower lenses, but gives a much more accurate impression of focus. Most modern DSLRs use the hexagonal array type screens to better accommodate slower (read: kit) zooms. Most older SLRs used a ground-glass texture as faster prime lenses were more popular.

The difference between the Ee-S and more standard screens is the precision with which the array is formed.
11-16-2011, 09:05 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by feilb Quote
Here's a couple diagrams to offer some help.

The first shows the relative positions of each relevant part.



The second shows the flange where the spacers get placed. The screen is then placed on top of the spacers (assuming you are holding the body upside down).
Thank you for the detailed diagrams ... I just might give it a go !
This really looks like prestidigitation to me though.

JP
11-16-2011, 10:27 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by feilb Quote
That is until you try to focus them.
That may be the case for many people, but you shouldn't generalize so easily. It really depends on how you use the viewfinder. My manual focusing technique was shaped by the use of rangefinders. When I finally got to use a split prism focusing screen on film SLRs (very late - some time after getting my DSLR), I actually felt it got in the way. My impression is that people use two methods to manually focus:

1 - turning the focusing ring until the area you want to focus on appears to be clear in the rangefinder
2 - scanning back and forth to determine the focal plane position - like you did on old radios when you were manually tuning to a station (another experience that is getting lost these days)

If you're doing 1, you really need a focusing screen. If you're doing 2, you can do without. The difference between the two is in what you're looking for in the viewfinder.

11-16-2011, 10:38 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
If you're doing 1, you really need a focusing screen. If you're doing 2, you can do without. The difference between the two is in what you're looking for in the viewfinder.
I'll agree that each may have his own technique. I think some combination of the methods you describe is necessary. Depending on the position of the target relative to other positional references, it can be difficult to judge just exactly where the focal plane is .

I wouldn't take my statement as a generalization. More a bit of tongue-in-cheek storytelling about my experience.
11-17-2011, 01:39 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
That may be the case for many people, but you shouldn't generalize so easily. It really depends on how you use the viewfinder. My manual focusing technique was shaped by the use of rangefinders. When I finally got to use a split prism focusing screen on film SLRs (very late - some time after getting my DSLR), I actually felt it got in the way. My impression is that people use two methods to manually focus:

1 - turning the focusing ring until the area you want to focus on appears to be clear in the rangefinder
2 - scanning back and forth to determine the focal plane position - like you did on old radios when you were manually tuning to a station (another experience that is getting lost these days)

If you're doing 1, you really need a focusing screen. If you're doing 2, you can do without. The difference between the two is in what you're looking for in the viewfinder.
FWIW, my early photography days were always with a K1000 with microprism (no split) and I've found myself going back to the stock screen on my DSLRs. I had a KatzEye in my K20D (I even sent it in to be calibrated after it needed shims), and a Jinfinance screen in my K-7. The KatzEye was nice enough but I never really fell in love with it. I really liked the double diagonal split in the Jinfinance but the ground glass outside the center was much darker than I'd like, and after a couple months, I put the stock screen back. On my K-5, I've just left the stock screen in. I've considered trying the Jinfinance one again (presumably it should fit the K-5 fine) but haven't yet...

Ultimately, the negatives (primarily metering differences, which varied depending on lens and the metering mode, and the inability to see focus anywhere except dead center) did not outweigh the positive (somewhat better accuracy with MF, but even that was no guarantee.) I would love a modern focusing screen with microprism and/or split image, but as far as I know, such a thing doesn't exist...
11-18-2011, 12:58 AM   #22
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Groucho, you should really try a EE-S screen...
11-18-2011, 08:31 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
Groucho, you should really try a EE-S screen...
I think you're right - I wasn't familiar with it, but reading the other thread. it sounds like a winner. If only it wasn't a Canon product. Maybe I'll order one after my K-5 gets back... (finally sent it in for those pesky sensor stains.)

Like I said, I love the double-diagonal-split of the Jinfinance screen, but there were just too many headaches - I got tired of constantly changing exposure compensation and not being able to see anything outside of the center.

11-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #24
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So after reading this thread again and the other about the Canon ee-S, one wonders which one is actually the best one to use on a K7/K5 when using fast manual lenses such as those I own:

Zeiss T*Planar 85/1.4
Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 1:2 Close Focusing
Cosina 55/1.2

There seems to be two different "camps" as to which one would be the best fit and that is becoming confusing.
I'd sure like to know before I invest and fiddle with something I have never touched before.

What I really need is:

1. a screen allowing for ACURATE manual focusing with those lenses, especially wide open.
2. A screen that will be bright.
3. A screen which will not fool the metering system with underexposure, etc ...

Any thoughts?

JP
11-25-2011, 12:24 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote

1. a screen allowing for ACURATE manual focusing with those lenses, especially wide open.
2. A screen that will be bright.
3. A screen which will not fool the metering system with underexposure, etc ...
1. KatzEye Split prism focus screen.
2. KatzEye Split Prism focus screen with Optibrite treatment.
3. No such thing - it's the camera metering system that's getting fooled by the prism. You would think that if cameras that are 20+ years old could spot meter with a split prism screen, a DSLR would surely have no trouble - what an effing letdown, eh!?
11-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
1. KatzEye Split prism focus screen.
2. KatzEye Split Prism focus screen with Optibrite treatment.
3. No such thing - it's the camera metering system that's getting fooled by the prism. You would think that if cameras that are 20+ years old could spot meter with a split prism screen, a DSLR would surely have no trouble - what an effing letdown, eh!?
Thanks for the reply.

I have read quite a bit on the KatzEye focus screens and they seem to be OK for most people having used them.
I gather you did too?

What I am wondering is how do they compare with the Canon-type screens discussed on this thread.

I will for sure get a screen to fit my K7 (keeping the K5 "virgin" at the moment) but I want to make sure I am taking the right decision.
I am still afraid to mess up the camera with the involved fiddling and possible "shimming".

JP
11-25-2011, 02:43 PM   #27
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As I mentioned in the other screen discussion I've ordered a Katzeye with the Optibright treatment. Still waiting for it's arrival and need to obtain some spare shims from Pentax in case it needs adjustment but I'll try to report back once it's up and running.
I'm quite happy with manual focusing using the stock screen, I can get good results but it's not a fast way to focus, as another poster mentioned it's a bit like tuning the old radio in, bit one way, bit the other, then fire.
11-26-2011, 02:12 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mychael Quote
As I mentioned in the other screen discussion I've ordered a Katzeye with the Optibright treatment. Still waiting for it's arrival and need to obtain some spare shims from Pentax in case it needs adjustment but I'll try to report back once it's up and running.
I'm quite happy with manual focusing using the stock screen, I can get good results but it's not a fast way to focus, as another poster mentioned it's a bit like tuning the old radio in, bit one way, bit the other, then fire.
Oh, you will still be doing that (micro adjusting the focus ring) but where Optibrite will shine is shooting in low light conditions. I have KatzEye screen w/o Optibrite and I didn't need to shim other than the stock shim that cushioned the stock screen in the K20D. When I do finally upgrade to a K-5 I think I will try the Canon screen that some forum members are raving about.
11-26-2011, 02:25 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
Oh, you will still be doing that (micro adjusting the focus ring) but where Optibrite will shine is shooting in low light conditions.
Cool, I'm looking forward to getting mine fitted. I still remember the split prism with my old 35mm Pentax, never had problems focusing with that.
11-26-2011, 02:28 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Thanks for the reply.

I have read quite a bit on the KatzEye focus screens and they seem to be OK for most people having used them.
I gather you did too?

What I am wondering is how do they compare with the Canon-type screens discussed on this thread.

I will for sure get a screen to fit my K7 (keeping the K5 "virgin" at the moment) but I want to make sure I am taking the right decision.
I am still afraid to mess up the camera with the involved fiddling and possible "shimming".

JP
As much as I am curious about the Canon screen, I don't think I will invest in another screen - I already have KatzEye and the Pentax LL-60 for my K20D. I don't understand your trepidation about replacing screens - you really cannot "mess up" - you can always put back the stock screen and the original shim and you will be back to square one. If you "mess up", I will buy the Canon screen from you as I will surely get a K-5 in the near future and I am thinking that I should acquire all of the extra components that I have used on my K20D beforehand.
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