Rollei focusing screen: GG vs Fresnel & Maxwell

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    OK so I have a few Rolleis. I bought them used from keh.com and I believe that my Rollei's have two types of screens: ground glass focusing screens (MX-EVS, 2.8D) and fresnel focusing screens (2.8E, T).

    I might be a ground glass type of person but prefer focusing on my older Rollei's than on my newer ones.

    It seems that fresnel screens have more potential for brighter screens but I sometimes hear that they are harder to focus? Do Maxwell screens have less contrast than ground glass screens?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2012
  2. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    I expect you'll get conflicting views on this. FWIW, my experience is that when I had the original screen in a Rolleiflex 3.5E replaced with a Maxwell screen, I found it brighter but harder to focus. The camera has since moved on to another home.
     
  3. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    True. I might just see if anyone near me has a Maxwell Screen, then compare the brightness and contrast myself.

    Cheaper and easier that way.
     
  4. JPD

    JPD Member

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    And sometimes from the same person. Ten years ago I wrote on forums that I had no problem whatsoever focusing on the original GG's in my Rolleis. I could easily use the Rolleiflex Standard and Rolleicord I and Ia with their even darker screens. But that was ten years ago, and my eyes have gotten older since then. Focusing takes more time today. :sad:

    I still feel that it's little easier to focus on the ground glass in my Rolleiflexes (with f:2,8 viewing lens) than on the (original) fresnel screen in my 3,5F even though the corners are brighter.

    Since I'm also a collector I like my cameras to be as they were when they were made, with their original screens. It's easy to change screens in the 3,5F so I would like to try a Maxwell screen someday. But they are expensive. Maybe when my eyes get older, if Maxwell still is in business then...
     
  5. dnk512

    dnk512 Member

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    I found the Maxwell screen to have narrower field of view for the eye. If you use it with a prism you will love it.
    On the other hand, with a waist level finder you may find the screen darkening of center a bit easy.
    The center aids work great. Split and micro prisms are indispensable in some situations.
     
  6. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    I bought a Rolleicord Va with the factory screen, and under anything other than bright exterior light it was impossible to see the corners of the viewfinder. I had a Maxwell screen installed (no split image rangefinder) and it was a revelation.
     
  7. piu58

    piu58 Member

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