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01-04-2010, 03:08 AM   #1
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Question about focusing on film SLRs

Disclaimer: I have never used a film SLR. I have used a MF film camera, but that was a long time ago.

Since there is the common opinion about center-focus recompose issues with DSLRs.
I did some of my own calculations, and as long as the recompose is not massive, the issue is small.

But that made we want to ask the question: When focusing with a split-prism, you also have to focus in the center. And while the sides show the focus to some extent, I understand the split-prism to show it best.
But then you have to recompose as well.

What strategies did/do you use for MF with film bodies? Or is the viewfinder so big, that after the recompose the fine adjust is possible without the split-prism?

01-04-2010, 05:07 AM   #2
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My answer is: it depends.

1) depending on the camera, some have better ground glass then others do - and I can focus using the ground glass, especially if I'm not shooting wide open. In these instances the split prism is a distraction (I prefer the microprism).

2) if I need critical focus, yeah, I center-focus-recompose.
01-04-2010, 06:37 AM   #3
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The first thing I always did was replace my focusing screen with one that didn't have a split image or microprism.
End of problem.
01-04-2010, 06:47 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies, very interesting.

Do either of you shoot MF with a current DSLR? If so, did you replace your focusing screen and with what?


Last edited by Diffusion; 01-04-2010 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Forgot to add the second question.
01-04-2010, 07:02 AM   #5
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I put a Chinese split screen in my K100D. AFAIK it's the one made from a K1000 screen. Works well enough, but with my eyes the ground glass is not as useful as on a film SLR, due to the small size of the screen.
01-04-2010, 09:55 AM   #6
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Personally, when I focus with any camera I use center point then recompose. Since most of my work lately has been closeups with lots of detail, shot almost wide open I usually have to fine tune the focus a little more at this point.
It gives me the results I want.
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