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06-09-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Split screen viewing limitation qestion

Hi all, i have a question about split screen, i have several old SLR cameras(ME Super and KS Super II), one has horizontal split screen, one has diagonal split screen. And i have one of those ebay horizontal split screen on my DSLR. Looks like at any aperture over f8, it's not usable, even under very bright lighting. Is that true for all split screen, if so, is there any solution to this issue? thanx

06-09-2009, 09:42 PM   #2
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Yes, that is pretty much the case. The Katz Eye screen resists black out better than most, but is not completely immune. The big question is why anyone would want to be focusing at those narrow apertures.

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06-10-2009, 05:17 AM   #3
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Doesn't the split screen on your film cameras do the same thing? That's always been an issue with split prism screens; it's the reason they added the "micro-prism" collar back in the sixties. The only "cure" is to either better align your eye in the finder, or use a faster lens (I'm assuming you're using a long telephoto lens and f/8 is already your max aperture).

Last edited by Duck Dodgers; 06-10-2009 at 08:16 AM.
06-10-2009, 06:50 AM   #4
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As others have stated the Katz Eye screen is reported to be better, but the problem has always existed, that is why I bought my KX specifically with a ground glass screen, so I could easily focus my 1000 mm F10 Mirror

06-10-2009, 07:11 AM   #5
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Old School Answer

QuoteOriginally posted by winglik Quote
Hi all, i have a question about split screen, i have several old SLR cameras(ME Super and KS Super II), one has horizontal split screen, one has diagonal split screen. And i have one of those ebay horizontal split screen on my DSLR. Looks like at any aperture over f8, it's not usable, even under very bright lighting. Is that true for all split screen, if so, is there any solution to this issue? thanx
The simple solution is suggested by... years of experience with manual cameras.

My Nikkormat FT2, all my Nikon Fs and several other cameras, including a Spotmatic I have with a split screen, ALL black out around f/8, and I'd guess that if your older cameras don't its because they use open aperture metering. Hint, hint. "Open Aperture."

Read any Pentax manual of the Spotmatic era. Refer to the section where they discuss "Bright Field Focusing."

The idea is... focus with the lens wide open, then stop down. This is particularly easy with Auto Takumars, because in essence you set it to Auto, focus, set it to manual, meter and shoot. The truth is that at f/8 it is hard to focus anyway. Do it old school.

Quoting:

"Bright field focusing

1. You can start viewing and focusing before and after cocking the rapid wind lever. When the preview lever is in "A" (automatic) position, and the meter is at "OFF the diaphragm is fully open except for the moment of exposure.

2. Turn the distance scale ring until your subject image is clearly in focus. It is not always necessary for you to view and focus with the diaphragm fully open. In bright sunlight, you can easily focus with diaphragm closed to f/5.6 or f/8, and still observe the depth of field. It is easier, however, to focus with the diaphragm fully open as your subject image is much brighter. When the letter "M" appears beside the lever, the lens is in manual position; when "A" appears, it is in automatic position. " Please see: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/pentax/pentax_spotmatic/pentax_spotmatic.htm

woof!

Last edited by woof; 06-10-2009 at 07:23 AM.
06-10-2009, 07:45 AM   #6
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Thanx all for the info.
06-10-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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How do you use micro-prism collar, by th way?
06-10-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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Using the microprism ring just takes some practice. Similar to the split prism, you basically adjust until you can't see it any more.

PentaxPoke has a great review of the KatzEye screen here that shows the effect.

06-10-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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Yeah, the micro-prism collar is "kinda" like coarse ground glass/matte screen. Kinda. It will black out, too, but normally after the split-prism does.
06-11-2009, 04:05 AM   #10
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I tried all of them. Went back to OEM screen with a viewfinder magnifier......ahhh..the peace AND ...I can see what I"m looking at....:-)
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