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06-24-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
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Micro-prism instead of split screen?

I recently got my Spottie back from CLA and realized that I didn't think to address the screen. It has the standard micro-prism screen which I am not NEARLY as confident with as a split prism. Does anyone use the micro=prism type effectively? Hints? Suggestions?

06-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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OTOH I find the split image a PITA to use; you must always hunt for a distinct vertical line.
The microprism collar (surrounding the split image) on the stock screen is practically useless.
I prefer the coarser texture of the microprism-only screen; it snaps into focus much more decisively.
I installed microprism screens in my LX and MX; Eric changed the one in my KX when I sent it for CLA.

FWIW no focus aid is particularly easy to use with wide angle lenses; fortunately focus isn't as critical.

Chris
06-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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I also never liked a split image focusing aid; I prefer either the microprism dot only or a simple groundglass with no focusing aid. I find myself just using the groundglass anyway.
06-24-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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In my experience:
When you're young and have a good eyesight, the microprism is fine. When you get older you start appreciating the split image even if you have to hunt for vertical lines!

I agree with the other posters that the ground glass outside of the microprism area actually is a damn good focusing aid and I tend to use that more and more!

06-24-2009, 06:34 PM   #5
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I'm fond of a good microprism, myself, anyway. I think if I could have a custom screen, particularly for autofocus cameras, I'd want a little matte spot for precision with a nice fat ring of microprism-for-fast- lenses around it. I call the idea the 'Ratzeye' screen.
06-24-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
OTOH I find the split image a PITA to use; you must always hunt for a distinct vertical line.
Mate, that's why I love Ricoh's focusing screens: their split-image is at 45 degrees - so no having to tilt the camera to focus on, say, a tree trunk or a windowsill, etc.

It's one of those "Duuuh...it's bloody obvious, now I think about it" ideas that everybody should've done.
06-24-2009, 09:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Mate, that's why I love Ricoh's focusing screens: their split-image is at 45 degrees - so no having to tilt the camera to focus on, say, a tree trunk or a windowsill, etc.

It's one of those "Duuuh...it's bloody obvious, now I think about it" ideas that everybody should've done.
They're pretty cool, (My old Mamiya 645 has a screen like that) though, given an actual vertical line, sometimes they're just a little less positive. (I'm guessing that's why they didn't catch on too much, ) But, you only ever have to tilt 45 degrees or less that way.

I still tend to prefer the microprism, especially with the faster lenses I use (they tend to get dodgier with slower ones, unless specially made for that. A good microprism is what I call 'explodey,' ...stuff that's not in precise focus dances around, very positive where you're hitting, even when focusing quickly on someone's face. The split type are a little more something you actually have to stop and look at.
06-25-2009, 04:28 AM   #8
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I grew up using microprism only and still think this split prism thing is a nice gimmic ... far less useful with slower lenses where you have to position your eye just so to avoid (as long as possible) the dreaded half blackout.

With the microprism, you just look for minimum shimmer. All in all the most civilized way to go.

06-25-2009, 09:27 AM   #9
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I have the rare Saturday morning with no wife and kids this weekend...I will have to practice.

The "Ratzeye" -- too funny.
06-27-2009, 10:52 AM   #10
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Pentax LX SA-23

There is one on eBay.

Pentax LX Focusing Screen #SA-23....W/Box...NEW on eBay.ca (item 280362096883 end time 22-Jul-09 21:36:32 EDT)

I was really tempted if not for the practice of this vendor. The shipping USPS to Canada is $20 non negotiable when the true cost of shipping is less than $5 (I just purchased a similar item).

Cheers,

Luc
06-27-2009, 04:34 PM   #11
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Thanks for the link lbenac...but this is for a Spotmatic. I have a split screen in my LX now (it was a grid screen). I went out this morning and put a roll through the Spottie and took a few shots with the LX as well. We will just have to see what the final product looks like.

Cheers,

Adam
06-28-2009, 08:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I'm fond of a good microprism, myself, anyway. I think if I could have a custom screen, particularly for autofocus cameras, I'd want a little matte spot for precision with a nice fat ring of microprism-for-fast- lenses around it. I call the idea the 'Ratzeye' screen.
That sounds a lot like an optional screen Pentax had available for the K2 & KX in the late 70s for photomicrography. It is the one on the far right of their early M lens catalog/brochure page 49, and it is also in the K lens catalog on page 39 and is the bottom one.
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