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01-27-2012, 06:05 AM   #1
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What's a good focusing screen for slow lenses?

Hey there.

I posed this question a few days ago in another thread & no one responded, so I'll ask in a new thread:

I'm getting a second K-x body with the original screen & want to put a better screen in. I have a split KatzEye Optibrite in my other K-x, & it works very well with my Tair 500mm f8 mirror lens with no blackout. My Chinese split screen on my K100D works, but has some blackout. you have to move your eye to just the right spot to use the split screen with the f8 Tair.

So... is there anything better than the Katzeye? I've been thinking about the Canon EC-A microprism screen, but didn't know how well it would work with a slow lens. Looks like a nice screen. Anyone ever used the EC-A with a slow lens?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

01-27-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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Both microprism and split-image focus aids have to be designed for a small range of lens FL and speed, or they either black out with slow lenses or are ineffective with fast ones.
I think a matt screen (plain groundglass) is the most universal, if your vision is good enough to judge sharpness.
01-27-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
I've been thinking about the Canon EC-A microprism screen, but didn't know how well it would work with a slow lens. Looks like a nice screen. Anyone ever used the EC-A with a slow lens?
Hi

I am using this screen with my DA*300/4 in combination with TCs:
  • Without TCs, the A-screen works perfectly.
  • With a 1,5x TC (equivalent of about f=5,6) the microprism spot is usable if you align your eye very perfectly in the centre of the viewfinder. It is possible to use, but with complications, and not very quick (as you have to center your eye).
  • with a 2x TC (equivalente f=8) the microprism spot is not useful at all. Outside the spot, focussing is somewhat easier as with the stock-screen.

If you are looking for a screen just for the f=8 lens, I am afraid that the EC-A is not the best choice, and the EC-S would bee too dark (I have it, too, and with the TC it is quite a bid darker as the EC-A, and much darker as the stock screen). I don't know if there is a plain or split image screen that works well with this aperture. May be the Katzeyes, but I havn't tried them.

Cheers - Klaus
01-27-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Klaus Quote
I don't know if there is a plain or split image screen that works well with this aperture. May be the Katzeyes, but I havn't tried them.
The Katzeye Optibrite split screen DOES work well with the f8 500mm mirror, with no blackout. The cheap Chinese split-screen works, but as you say, you have to center your eye. I was just intrigued by the Ec-A because I've heard very good things about it.

Is there anything as good as an Optibrite Katzeye for less money?

I'll probably just install a Chinese screen (or maybe a used KatzEye if I can find one at a good price) & be done with it.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

01-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Hey there.

I posed this question a few days ago in another thread & no one responded, so I'll ask in a new thread:

I'm getting a second K-x body with the original screen & want to put a better screen in. I have a split KatzEye Optibrite in my other K-x, & it works very well with my Tair 500mm f8 mirror lens with no blackout. My Chinese split screen on my K100D works, but has some blackout. you have to move your eye to just the right spot to use the split screen with the f8 Tair.

So... is there anything better than the Katzeye? I've been thinking about the Canon EC-A microprism screen, but didn't know how well it would work with a slow lens. Looks like a nice screen. Anyone ever used the EC-A with a slow lens?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
For slower lenses you have the best one already; KatzEye with Optibrite treatment. One better option might be to get another KatzEye w/Optibrite matte screen (no split screen). This way you can retain all three metering modes when available. I've thought about doing so myself except the cost of such screen is a big stumbling block for me.
01-27-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
I've thought about doing so myself except the cost of such screen is a big stumbling block for me.
Yeah, the price is what puts me off the KatzEyes. Great screen, but spendy.
01-28-2012, 02:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
For slower lenses you have the best one already; KatzEye with Optibrite treatment. One better option might be to get another KatzEye w/Optibrite matte screen (no split screen). This way you can retain all three metering modes when available. I've thought about doing so myself except the cost of such screen is a big stumbling block for me.
That's interesting, because my own findings are the other way around. I have a KatzEye with Optibrite for my K20D, and for f4 or slower lenses, it blacks out on me quite often in sunny weather. It was bad enough to pretty much make me forsake buying lenses slower than f4. But maybe I'm doing something wrong.

I also found that my nikon friend's KatzEye without Optibrite was easier to focus with in low light with a voigtländer 58mm f1.4 then mine was with the same lens.

That's not to say I don't like KatzEye products. I love'em. They make MF possible for people who need to look through their glasses like I do, but I am looking at other solutions for the K-5 I just got.
01-28-2012, 08:52 AM   #8
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I just wound up putting a Chinese screen in the K-x. Works fine, but you have to center your eye to avoid blackout on slow lenses.

topace: Are you positive it's a genuine KatzEye? My KatzEye with Optibrite (in my other K-x) doesn't suffer any blackout with any lens I use. (even down to an f8 mirror lens.)

01-29-2012, 02:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
topace: Are you positive it's a genuine KatzEye? My KatzEye with Optibrite (in my other K-x) doesn't suffer any blackout with any lens I use. (even down to an f8 mirror lens.)
I'm quite positive. I ordered directly from their site, and there's no difference comparing with the other two people I know who have KatzEye screens.

It could be that looking at the screen through my glasses, and the O-ME53 changes the angles or something. But I got the darkening with the kit zoom in sunny weather.
02-06-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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Has anyone tried the screen out of Pentax or older Canon film cameras?
Jake
02-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjake Quote
Has anyone tried the screen out of Pentax or older Canon film cameras?
Jake
I tried the screen of my broken mx in the K10D. The grainy structure of the matte suface seemed very rough, and a bit dark, and I didn't like it. The Canon ec-a is much better.

Cheers - Klaus
02-06-2012, 01:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Hey there.

I posed this question a few days ago in another thread & no one responded, so I'll ask in a new thread:

I'm getting a second K-x body with the original screen & want to put a better screen in. I have a split KatzEye Optibrite in my other K-x, & it works very well with my Tair 500mm f8 mirror lens with no blackout. My Chinese split screen on my K100D works, but has some blackout. you have to move your eye to just the right spot to use the split screen with the f8 Tair.

So... is there anything better than the Katzeye? I've been thinking about the Canon EC-A microprism screen, but didn't know how well it would work with a slow lens. Looks like a nice screen. Anyone ever used the EC-A with a slow lens?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
Out of all the screens I've ever tried(6-7 types) , the Katzeye remained consistently as the best of the lot.

PS. I have no affiliations with Katzeye screens and I think they are way overpriced! But... these were my findings nonetheless.
02-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #13
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although i have been tempted to go in for a focus screen for my k-x i feel its auto focusing is quite adequate and gives sharp focus under medium to bright light. for low light i usually use live view
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