OM-1 focusing screens, I am so confused

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Jim Bennett, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Jim Bennett

    Jim Bennett Member

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    I just got an OM-1 and of course started reading about all the focusing screen options and am trying to figure out which one I already have. I have been referring to this site:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph...mpusom1n2/shared/accessory/screens/index1.htm

    The viewfinder image I see is the brightest and largest I have ever seen in a camera which is good, but I am wondering about the fact that some of the focusing screens are noted as "The meter needle does not indicate proper exposures" If I had to take a guess, the image I see in the viewfinder looks most like what I see listed as a 1-5 to 1-7 type.

    I see a small circle in the middle where I achieve focus so that is the microprism type I believe. To me the area outside of the microprism circle looks basically clear, not at all what I would call matte. I would assume on the matte focusing screens the area outside the circle is very obviously matte.

    So my questions are, what are the impacts if I have a 1-5 to 1-7 type, can I not trust the meter at all period?

    And is there a good way to tell which screen i have already? From what I have read a lot of people like the 1-4 or 1-4n screens.

    thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2014
  2. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    the number of the screen is embossed on the handling tab.

    think you can read it if you remove the lens.

    The battery you are using not being mercury may have a larger offset than the screen.
     
  3. Jim Bennett

    Jim Bennett Member

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    Thanks I had it out last night and my old eyes must have missed that!

    Sent from my XT1058 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    If you have a slow lens of around f5.6, this will darken the viewfinder and allow you to take a closer look at the area surrounding the central microprism. If there is no discernible matte surface surrounding the microprism then it can be safely assumed you have one of the clear-field focusing screens (1-5 to 1-7) and it is correct that the meter needle will vary in its position relating to correct exposure (when it is quite likely over- or under-exposed) and the lens in use, with each screen optimised for a specific lens type. You may also have a Beattie Intensescreen installed; these novelty screens provide an exceptionally bright image at the expense of the need to tweak metering. At the end of the day, if you can achieve correct and accurate focus on the central microprism and the results you get back indicate good exposure, that's the end of the matter. On the issue of exposure, I would advise loading the camera with transparency film and shooting both at what the meter reads and with + and — compensation applied, taking notes. There is very little latitude for exposure error with transparency film and it is a fast way of checking metering accuracy with fairly benign scenes. If exposures are erratic, it will probably be better to whip out the focusing screen and install a standard version.

    _________________________________________________________
    (Disclosure: I am an editorial contributor to the Canon EOS 1-series
    section of mir.com.my)
     
  5. Jim Bennett

    Jim Bennett Member

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    Thank you so much for those details! That helps a ton, I appreciate the reply!

    Sent from my XT1058 using Tapatalk
     
  6. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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  7. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    A 1-13 screen might be a good choice if your eye sight is not so good anymore. That is what I use as the split image can be real easy to focus. Bill Barber
     
  8. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    Olympus had two different series of screens. The 1- series can be mounted in any single digit OM, the 2- series are for the 2SP, 3 and 4. The clear screens (1-5, 1-6, 1-7) will give incorrect meter readings on the OM-1 and OM-2 in manual. I have always assumed this is because the clear screen allows more light to pass thru. The OM-2 will work fine in Auto since it uses the OTF (Off The Film) light for metering.

    The clear screens seem to have been something of a specialty item for someone who needed a very bright viewfinder but no depth of field preview. I use a 1-7 for astonomical photography but not for normal usage. The 1-13 is probably the most common and "standard" screen. The split prism makes it easy to focus and it is readily available.
     
  9. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    No. The OM-2S Program, the OM-3 and the OM-4 were all provided with a 1-13 screen as the standard screen.

    There are only two screens in the "2" series. The 2-4 and the 2-13 screens were very late offerings at the same time as the OM-3Ti.
     
  10. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    This explains why both my OM-3 and OM-4T have only 1-13 screens in them. The cynic in me thought a previous owner pulled out the valuable "2" series screens and sold them off before I received the cameras.

    I am less cynical today.
     
  11. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Where does the 1-4N screen fit in all this?
     
  12. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    The 1-4 (original) is all matte. It has a circle inscribed that is somewhat larger than the microprism area of the 1-1 screen. When Olympus brought out the OM-2S Program, the OM-4 and the OM-3 in about 1983, the cameras all had spot metering. The 1-4N screen is all matte with a smaller circle inscribed to match the area to be spot metered.
     
  13. pen s

    pen s Member

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    I'm a fan of the 1-10, a all matte with grid lines. The whole screen discussion is somewhat moot since all OM stuff is now long discontinued. But could prove usefull if you are fortunate enough to find accessory screens on ebay or photo swap meets etc.
     
  14. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    or even post a WTB on APUG

    It was easy 30 years ago when you just ordered a new one from brick camera store in local village.
    A replacement screen kit was a plastic 'jewel box' with screen and mini tweasers
    The 4s or 10s are nice but many may have gone the way of Ming vases and be in land fill with a dead body.
     
  15. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Ah! That explains it. I have a 1-4 screen on a 4Ti body, just purchased, which is the same as the 1-4's on my 2/2N bodies. Just a smaller centre spot! I can live with that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  16. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    Perhaps you can explain for us what part of the original posting you feel is incorrect. The fact that the 2SP, 3's and 4's were supplied with the 1-13 in no way changes the fact that the 2- series screens only work in the 2SP, 3's and 4's. Perhaps there was something unclear in describing the 1-13 as the "standard" screen?
     
  17. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The information in the post was there are two plain ground glass screens the 4n more usable with 'spot' cameras cause the spot was/is the more correct larger size.

    The 1-13 is an irrelevance suggest ignore.
     
  18. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Don't know if he still does it or not, but John at Camtech use to scribe screens for a fee. zuiko.com. I have serveral and find it helpful. Billl Barber
     
  19. pen s

    pen s Member

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    Last time I checked John no longer provides this service. I hear it was a delicate and very hard service to do correctly. The slighest mistake would show up large in the viewfinder.
     
  20. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Guess that means I can list my scribed 2 series screens on ebay for $200 or $300 and actually get it. That won't be happening anytime soon. Love those screens.