Digital SLR maual focus screens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dave, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?

    Thanks for your time and I'll wait to see what develops (ha! ha!)

    Dave (or is it just a picture?)
    --
    e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm
    Dave, Dec 9, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Dave

    Guest

    On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    <> wrote:

    >Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    >35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    >because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    >focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    >right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    >question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    >focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?


    http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/
    , Dec 9, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Thank you me, but it looks like using this device requires camera
    surgery, which I don't want to do (unless some cameras have
    interchangeable screens and it is just a matter of replacing the
    current one).

    I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    focusing aides of 35mm cameras?

    Dave,


    wrote:

    > On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    >>35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    >>because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    >>focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    >>right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    >>question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    >>focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?

    >
    >
    > http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/



    --
    A good newsgroup response is one that is truly helpful
    and sticks to the subject. All the rest is just useless
    noise!

    e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm
    Dave, Dec 9, 2007
    #3
  4. Dave

    frederick Guest

    Dave wrote:
    > Thank you me, but it looks like using this device requires camera
    > surgery, which I don't want to do (unless some cameras have
    > interchangeable screens and it is just a matter of replacing the current
    > one).


    Some do have interchangeable screens.. AFAIK the "surgery" required to
    fit Katz eye screens is minor and 100% reversable. Only slightly less
    trivial than with a dslr with interchangeable screens.
    >
    > I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    > focusing aides of 35mm cameras?
    >

    You seem to have missed the period when 35mm cameras had auto-focus, and
    screens similar to today's dslrs. (except for the size related to crop
    sensor dslrs)
    For critical focus for use for macro etc - unless for copy work, then
    split screen / microprism screens also present the problem that for
    typical composition (thirds), the focus aid is usually in the wrong
    place - although the matt glass is probably better for focus than the
    screens of typical AF slrs. The digital rangefinder with movable focus
    points is still probably more accurate - so long as you've got enough
    focus points and they're in the right places.

    > Dave,
    >
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    >>> 35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    >>> because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    >>> focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    >>> right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    >>> question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    >>> focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?

    >>
    >>
    >> http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

    >
    >
    frederick, Dec 9, 2007
    #4
  5. Dave

    John Bean Guest

    On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:50:01 GMT, Dave <>
    wrote:
    >I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    >focusing aides of 35mm cameras?


    Nothing to do with digital vs 35mm, all to do with AF vs MF.

    Manual focus 35mm SLRs had focus aids, AF 35mm SLRs
    generally did not. All digital SLRs are AF, so...

    I recommend you choose a dSLR make/model that has
    interchangeable focus screens and buy a screen that has
    focus aids to replace the original.

    --
    John Bean
    John Bean, Dec 9, 2007
    #5
  6. Dave

    l v Guest

    Dave wrote:
    > Thank you me, but it looks like using this device requires camera
    > surgery, which I don't want to do (unless some cameras have
    > interchangeable screens and it is just a matter of replacing the current
    > one).
    >
    > I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    > focusing aides of 35mm cameras?
    >
    > Dave,
    >
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    >>> 35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    >>> because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    >>> focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    >>> right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    >>> question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    >>> focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?

    >>
    >>
    >> http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

    >
    >


    Canon's 40D offers interchangeable focusing screens however it may not
    be what you are looking for. Page 162 of the manual provides minimal info.

    --

    Len
    l v, Dec 9, 2007
    #6
  7. Dave <> wrote:
    >Thank you me, but it looks like using this device
    >requires camera surgery, which I don't want to do
    >(unless some cameras have interchangeable screens and it
    >is just a matter of replacing the current one).


    Generally, all it takes is replacing the current one.
    That may not be true of all cameras, but it certainly
    is for some (e.g., the pro models).

    >I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's
    >don't have the focusing aides of 35mm cameras?


    I doubt that any of them have the old style optical aid
    (microprisms and split screen). They almost certainly
    will all have something in the viewfinder which
    indicates correct focus has been detected by the AF
    mechanism, and that will work with MF lenses. The
    problem with the indicator, in my experience, is that it
    is (on Nikon cameras for example) located down in the
    left hand corner and except for static scenes (I don't
    mind it when the camera is on a tripod and I'm using a
    bellows for photomacrography) it is very distracting to
    switch from looking at the scene to looking at the
    indicator.

    I've used a Katzeye screen on a Nikon D2x for some time,
    and am very satisfied with it. I'll probably want
    something like that for the new D3, but it'll be awhile
    before they are available.

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Dec 9, 2007
    #7
  8. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Dave wrote:

    > Thank you me, but it looks like using this device requires camera
    > surgery, which I don't want to do (unless some cameras have
    > interchangeable screens and it is just a matter of replacing the current
    > one).
    >
    > I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    > focusing aides of 35mm cameras?
    >
    > Dave,
    >
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    >>> 35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    >>> because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    >>> focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    >>> right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    >>> question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    >>> focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

    >
    >
    >

    I guess I should have explained that I have been using a completely
    manual 35mm for over 20 yrs. I tried a Canon AE-1 (I believe) in the
    70's and hated the automatic stuff. I would like to continue with a
    manual camera since all of my lenses are manual as well. So from what
    some of you are saying I need to look for a DSLR that has
    interchangeable screens. I did a very quick and see that the D300 has
    interchangeable screens, but I didn't find any Nikon brand screens for
    it. Not that I'm hung up on Nikon, so other suggestions welcome.

    Thanks again.

    Dave,


    --
    e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm
    Dave, Dec 9, 2007
    #8
  9. Dave

    Jim Guest

    "Dave" <> wrote in message
    news:ds_6j.654$1p.488@trndny01...
    > Dave wrote:
    >
    >> Thank you me, but it looks like using this device requires camera
    >> surgery, which I don't want to do (unless some cameras have
    >> interchangeable screens and it is just a matter of replacing the current
    >> one).
    >>
    >> I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    >> focusing aides of 35mm cameras?
    >>
    >> Dave,
    >>
    >>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    >>> <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>> Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my 35mm
    >>>> SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at because
    >>>> the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring focus or
    >>>> micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus right unless
    >>>> there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My question is if anyone
    >>>> knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual focus screen - one that a
    >>>> manual 35mm film camera owner would love?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

    >>
    >>
    >>

    > I guess I should have explained that I have been using a completely manual
    > 35mm for over 20 yrs. I tried a Canon AE-1 (I believe) in the 70's and
    > hated the automatic stuff. I would like to continue with a manual camera
    > since all of my lenses are manual as well. So from what some of you are
    > saying I need to look for a DSLR that has interchangeable screens. I did
    > a very quick and see that the D300 has interchangeable screens, but I
    > didn't find any Nikon brand screens for it. Not that I'm hung up on
    > Nikon, so other suggestions welcome.
    >
    > Thanks again.
    >
    > Dave,
    >
    >
    > --
    > e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm

    The AE-1 had automatic exposure control; it was still a manual focus
    machine.
    No AF camera has split image screens like you are discussing. The last
    Nikon camera
    which has such a screen was the F3. I used an E screen on my F3. The K
    screen is
    around here somewhere.

    Subsequent Nikon cameras (F4, F5, F6, N90, D1, or
    D2) had versions of the B screen and sometimes the E screen. The D70 and
    later models
    have an electronic version of the E screen.

    Jim
    Jim, Dec 9, 2007
    #9
  10. Dave

    Paul Furman Guest

    Dave wrote:

    > wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:23:53 GMT, in rec.photo.digital Dave
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    >>> 35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    >>> because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    >>> focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    >>> right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject...

    >>
    >> http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

    >
    > Thank you me, but it looks like using this device requires camera
    > surgery, which I don't want to do (unless some cameras have
    > interchangeable screens and it is just a matter of replacing the current
    > one).


    You can pay them to install it. I put one in, it's not brain surgery but
    not that easy either.


    > I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    > focusing aides of 35mm cameras?


    I'm not 100% sold on the split prism + collar approach, it only really
    works with good contrast also and interferes with the view. I think the
    better approach may be a more heavily frosted ground glass but that
    makes the view dimmer & most DSLRs are already dimmer due to being
    smaller. There are more expensive focus screen replacements too. And
    more expensive full frame DSLRs.

    If you like old school MF you will enjoy old lenses metering on a
    D200/300 as I do. It just takes some getting used to.
    Paul Furman, Dec 10, 2007
    #10
  11. Dave <> wrote:
    >>> http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/


    Go back, and look at the listings for Nikon. (But just
    for references, as they don't have them yet for the D300
    or D3. But no doubt they will have them eventually.)

    >I guess I should have explained that I have been using a
    >completely manual 35mm for over 20 yrs.


    Really? I doubt it. ;-)

    I've never seen one that didn't automatically flip the
    mirror up and down, for example. And I don't recall an
    SLR that didn't do automatic diaphragm stop down, though
    there might have been some.

    There was once upon a time when auto-diaphragm was a big
    deal..

    >I tried a Canon
    >AE-1 (I believe) in the 70's and hated the automatic
    >stuff.


    I'm not much into programmed exposure, if that's what
    you mean. Didn't it have a manual mode? I assure you
    that Nikon DSLRs can all be used in manual mode very
    nicely.

    But, note that the rest of that fancy stuff is just
    plain *nice*. For example, if you try auto focus for a
    couple of weeks, I'll bet you can't live without it.
    For anything where the subject moves (kids, dogs,
    sports, ...), it's the only way to go.

    >I would like to continue with a manual camera
    >since all of my lenses are manual as well.


    But when you invest in new gear, don't think so much
    about the past as you do about the future.

    The next lense you buy will have AF. You won't be
    sorry. That of course does not mean you need to discard
    all of your old favorites, because if you do it right
    they can be useful too.

    >So from what
    >some of you are saying I need to look for a DSLR that
    >has interchangeable screens. I did a very quick and see
    >that the D300 has interchangeable screens, but I didn't
    >find any Nikon brand screens for it.


    They probably only sell two (that is true of the D3, and
    if I remember right was true of the D1 and the D2 series
    too). Neither of those screens of course has a focusing
    aid like you are thinking of.

    >Not that I'm hung
    >up on Nikon, so other suggestions welcome.


    Go back and look at the Katzeye screens. I use one on a
    D2x, and as soon as they have them available for the D3,
    I'll order that too. It works great. And old manual
    lenses work great too.

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Dec 10, 2007
    #11
  12. Dave

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <J1Z6j.1255$sf.682@trndny04>, Dave <> wrote:

    > Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    > 35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    > because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    > focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    > right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    > question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    > focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?


    I never cared for split-image screens, but preferred microprisms. Those
    days are gone though with digital. But I don't really miss 'em. I can't
    remember the last time I really wanted to manually focus. How you gonna
    keep 'em down on the farm after they've used autofocus?
    Mr. Strat, Dec 10, 2007
    #12
  13. Dave

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <dqZ6j.652$1p.33@trndny01>, Dave <> wrote:

    > I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    > focusing aides of 35mm cameras?


    They're not needed. Once you use autofocus, you won't want to do it
    yourself.
    Mr. Strat, Dec 10, 2007
    #13
  14. Mr. Strat <> wrote:
    > In article <dqZ6j.652$1p.33@trndny01>, Dave <> wrote:


    >> I guess this situation begs the question of why DSLR's don't have the
    >> focusing aides of 35mm cameras?


    > They're not needed. Once you use autofocus, you won't want to do it
    > yourself.


    So you never took photographs in conditions where the autofocus didn't
    work precisely enough.

    --
    Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 10, 2007
    #14
  15. Dave

    Mardon Guest

    Dave <> wrote in news:J1Z6j.1255$sf.682@trndny04:

    > My question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    > focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?


    Like others have said though, if you have auto focus lenses, you won't find
    much need to manually focus with a modern digital SLR. Since your existing
    lenses are manually-focused and you want to keep them, you should read this
    article before you plan on using them on a modern dSLR. Your new camera
    might not even meter properly with those old lenses.
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm#mfrex.

    If you want a modern camera with option focusing screens, Canon offers up
    to 11 optional focusing screens for its EOS-1 series cameras. See here for
    images of what these screens look like:
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2lo24o
    Mardon, Dec 10, 2007
    #15
  16. Dave

    Chris Savage Guest

    On 2007-12-10, Mardon <> wrote:
    > Since your existing
    > lenses are manually-focused and you want to keep them, you should read this
    > article before you plan on using them on a modern dSLR. Your new camera
    > might not even meter properly with those old lenses.
    > http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm#mfrex.
    >


    Or, if you prefer not to base your decisions on vague, hand-wavy FUD,
    just read the facts on your prospective new body.

    For instance, I use a Nikkor 85/1.4 AI on a D200 with no loss of
    metering.

    --
    Chris Savage Kiss me. Or would you rather live in a
    Gateshead, UK land where the soap won't lather?
    - Billy Bragg
    Chris Savage, Dec 10, 2007
    #16
  17. Dave

    tomm42 Guest

    On Dec 9, 4:23 pm, Dave <> wrote:
    > Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my
    > 35mm SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at
    > because the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring
    > focus or micro prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus
    > right unless there is fairly good contrast in the subject. My
    > question is if anyone knows of a DSLR that has a really good manual
    > focus screen - one that a manual 35mm film camera owner would love?
    >
    > Thanks for your time and I'll wait to see what develops (ha! ha!)
    >
    > Dave (or is it just a picture?)
    > --
    > e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm



    Dave,
    I have a D200, the first lens I got for it was a 24 f2, I was
    surprised how hard it was to focus at first, and I'm used to a matte
    screen. Now it is much easier, just something to get used to. I shoot
    medical images for work and do a lot of macro work. I have never had a
    problem with a D200 and macro, the D70 is another matter, the
    difference between the mirror viewfinder and a prism viewfinder is
    extreme. I mostly use a 105 Nikor micro. If the D300 has
    interchangeable screens, it will just take Nikon a little time to get
    them out, sometimes Nikon requires patience. I probably shoot my D200
    80% on manual, just what I'm used to, but I do use auto focus with my
    lenses that have AF. Photographed a work party Friday night, used a
    17mm Tokina AF lens and a 25 year old Metz thyristor flash with the
    D200 set on manual. Shot in RAW and exposures were mostly right on.

    Tom
    tomm42, Dec 10, 2007
    #17
  18. Dave

    MaryL Guest

    "Dave" <> wrote in message
    news:J1Z6j.1255$sf.682@trndny04...
    > Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my 35mm
    > SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at because
    > the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring focus or micro
    > prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus right unless there is
    > fairly good contrast in the subject. My question is if anyone knows of a
    > DSLR that has a really good manual focus screen - one that a manual 35mm
    > film camera owner would love?
    >
    > Thanks for your time and I'll wait to see what develops (ha! ha!)
    >
    > Dave (or is it just a picture?)
    > --
    > e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm


    I have been following this thread because it discusses one of the features I
    would love to have. I have a Nikon 8800 and am considering a Nikon d40x or
    d70 (if I can still find one). I have found that some pictures are not in
    focus when I use the built-in telephoto, even when it is not extended to any
    great length. Years ago, I had a film SLR with split focus screen. I loved
    that. It was more difficult when I upgraded to a film SLR with microprism
    screen (not quite the term that was used then, if I remember correctly). I
    have astigmatism, and it was much easier for me to bring the split images
    together than to work with the prism. Of course, *neither* is necessary
    with digital as long as I am satisfied with auto-focus. However -- as I
    said earlier -- I have had instances when auto-focus simply does not seem to
    create a really sharp image, especially if lighting conditions are poor.

    MaryL
    MaryL, Dec 10, 2007
    #18
  19. Dave

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <>, Chris Malcolm
    <> wrote:

    > So you never took photographs in conditions where the autofocus didn't
    > work precisely enough.


    Yes I have. But those situations are in the less-than-1% category.
    Fortunately, my vision is not so totally shot yet that I can still
    focus with the fine screens that they give you with digital cameras
    these days. Maybe it's through years of experience using soft-focus
    lenses in the studio or using view cameras.
    Mr. Strat, Dec 10, 2007
    #19
  20. "Dave" <> wrote in message
    news:J1Z6j.1255$sf.682@trndny04...
    > Yesterday I was looking at a couple of digital SLR's to replace my 35mm
    > SLR (a 'mart store). I was disappointed at the two I looked at because
    > the manual focus screen is not like a film 35mm (split ring focus or micro
    > prism), and the cameras don't seem to get the focus right unless there is
    > fairly good contrast in the subject. My question is if anyone knows of a
    > DSLR that has a really good manual focus screen - one that a manual 35mm
    > film camera owner would love?
    >
    > Thanks for your time and I'll wait to see what develops (ha! ha!)
    >
    > Dave (or is it just a picture?)
    > --
    > e-mail: d boland 9 (all 1 word) at fastmail period fm


    The high-end Canon DSLRs have interchangeable focusing screens.
    The low-end DSLRs don't have interchangeable screens - probably because
    their users wouldn't appreciate their usefulness.
    I bought a few screens for my EOS620 from a large photographic retailer in
    the UK East Midlands and had to explain what they were and why they were
    useful (comparing them to interchangeable lenses sort-of helped).

    Regards,

    Ian
    Nottingham, UK.
    Fred Anonymous, Dec 10, 2007
    #20
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