500C/M focusing improvements - screen and/or viewfinder?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jackbaty, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    Just got a nice 500C/M (my first) with a WLF and I'm having the darndest time focusing the thing. I've had a Bronica SQ-A for a while now and find it easier to focus than the Hasselblad.

    The 500's focusing screen has faint grid lines with a circular center area that looks like a microprism, but the prism-ness (for lack of a better word) of that area is almost imperceptible. Even with the magnifier I can barely tell when things are in focus. It's also rather dim.

    I'm wondering if a newer screen would help. From what I've read, the Acute-matte D screens are supposed to be quite nice and much brighter. Also thinking that one with a microprism and split-screen would make things easier, but I'm worried about cluttering up the viewfinder. Will the Acute-Matte D screens fit the 500C/M?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes, the Acute-Matte D screen will fit. I had an Acute-Matte D screen with the split screen that came with my 503 CX. I found that on the longer focal length lenses that it could be hard to see the ring if my eye was not properly lined up or the scene was dim. I brought an Acute-Matte D screen without the split screen and I am much happier.

    YMMV

    Steve
     
  3. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    These things are pretty personal I suppose. I have an A-M D screen with the split screen on my 503 and find it very bright and easy to focus. I don't find that it clutters up the viewfinder.

    Ian
     
  4. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    The split prism and acute matte with make things a lot easier where focusing is concerned.
    I have a 503cxi and it has the Acute matte with grid and split prism. These are hard to find (read: expensive) but mine came with the body when i bought it.
     
  5. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    Thanks all, I just ordered one with the microprism and split screen from keh. You're right, they're not cheap! Looking forward to trying it out.
     
  6. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    You'll love it. I swear that the image on the screen looks brighter than the actual scene.

    Peter Gomena
     
  7. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    Good work. Let us know how you go. It certainly works wonders for me!
     
  8. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Acute-Matte screen by all means - there are 4 different ones that I am aware of. Are you using the waist level viewer? Check out a prism viewfinder PM5. There are also eyepieces for it with vision corrections. You might even locate a reflex viewfinder RM2 which gives a 3x but unreversed image and can be focused +/- to adjust for your vision.
    Jeffreyg
     
  9. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    Kiev/Arsat screens fit H'blad bodies: I replaced my Acute Matte D with one on my 503CW. Very inexpensive and excellent quality IMHO!
     
  10. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Hi Philippe,
    would you have a source for Kiev/Arsat screens? Just checked the price tag for original Hasselblad screens, and they are outside my price range:mad:.

    Thanks
    Søren
     
  11. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    Yes: www.araxfoto.com. Gevorg Vartanyan (the boss) is a very nice fellow: feel free to use my name if you like!
     
  12. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    There are many sources for used equipment in excellent condition but be sure that they are reputable. For example, a couple of years ago I purchased 30 year old 350mm Hasselblad lens that is excellent from a dealer in NY (with a return policy) for $750 - a new one was about $7000.
    I immediately checked that the apertures and shutter speeds were accurate and they were right on. Do some homework you might get very lucky.
    Jeffreyg
     
  13. Bertil

    Bertil Subscriber

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    Had no problems for more than 25 years with the standard screen on my 500C. Heard about the new Acute-Matte being something extraordinary. Asked my repairmen if he could fit in such a A-M screen (500C having no interchangeable screens, came with the C/M model). He wasn't very impressed by the A-M: yes, bright but not necessarily easier to focus with compared to a screen with a very tight cut frenel lens. I followed his advice and he put in this very nice screen with very tight cut frenel rings.
    Have now a A-M screen to my 2000FC/M and my 500ELX. I think he was right: the A-M is lighter, at least a 1/2 step, perhaps even more, but I would vote for the screen in my 500C when it's about easy focusing. Unfortunately, I don't know from where my man got this nice tight cut frenel lens - as I understand it’s not an original Hasselblad screen.
    On the other hand, the A-M screen is also very nice to work with! Personally I prefer a clean screen (no prism etc.) and the plastic piece with 1 cm square net put on top of the screen.

    //Bertil
     
  14. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Philippe - just received my new focusing screen from Arax today - I installed it on the spot, and it works so much better than the standard Hasselblad one, the split circle really does make focusing easier. And, at $24 incl shipping, incredible value for money. Thanks for letting me know!