Steve Hopf ground glass for medium format? experience anyone?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by DanielStone, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I had a Steve Hopf made borosilicate ground glass for my 5x7 Deardorff, and it was a great screen. However, I just picked up a Rolleiflex SL66, and the stock screen is quite scratched up and a bit dim(I'm using the WLF, 80mm lens).

    I know these screens aren't too expensive($30 for the borosilicate screen), but wanted to see if anyone here had any experience with his screens in a medium format camera. I'm planning to install one into my 5x7 Linhof soon. But I'm simply enjoying the Rollei at the moment, new tool(toy) syndrome :wink:!

    thx,
    Dan
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The screens on MF cameras are much thinner than those used on LF cameras, you'd be better looking for a genuine Rollei screen or similar.

    It's possible you might find a Chinese bright screen that fits. I bought one for a Rolleiflex TLR hoping to use it in my Yashicamat 124, in the end I fitted it to my Microcord and it's significantly brighter than a glass screen.

    Ian
     
  3. Mike Evangelist

    Mike Evangelist Subscriber

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    If you can find a Beattie Intenscreen, they are huge upgrade over the original SL66 screen.
     
  4. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello Dan,
    even if you could mount it into your SL 66, a normal ground glas screen made by grinding real mineral glas would be a huge step back to the past. It has no fresnel screen to brigthen up the corners. I had a old Rolleiflex MXV with such a screen. It was nearly impossible to focus in the shade or in a building, so I changed it against a cut to size RB 67 screen. Beattie intensreens are superb, but very expensive, Maxwell sreens are very good too.
     
  5. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Hey everyone,

    thank you for your replies. I'm not against cutting down an RB67 screen, it's just that I need to find the (right) type of screen to cut down(center clear spot preferably). Now the waiting game begins on the online auction site :wink:

    cheers,
    Dan
     
  6. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Not sure how they compare to the 'brand names' like Beattie and Maxwell, but I'm certainly happy with my Arax (or wherever they're made) screens on all my 6x6es. Splitprism centre, bright microraster ring around, then fresnel for the rest. All very good plastic (which makes them rather light and easy to cut down if needs be).

    Just on Steve Hopf though, I know Borosilicate are the 'good' ones to go for, but are they worth the extra over his regular ones (and are the regular ones any good?). I need an 8x10 screen and his regular/clipped/gridded ones are $101 free-post, the borosilicate of the same are $260 including postage. For that price I could get a Yankee or superscreen with fresnel. Seeing as there's probably a few people reading this with Borosilicates, are they worth the extra price?
    (ps, I'm mostly doing landscapes with slow lenses f/6.8 or worse wide-open, if that makes a difference).
     
  7. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Hmm... not sure if my setup applies, but no one else has replied. I needed new ground glass for a Horseman VH 6x9 view camera. I went for the Hopf borosilicate. At that size, the price was around $50, as I remember? Compared to about half for the plain glass? Nothing like a jump to $250 or so.

    It is nice, a 'cleaner' white than the old Horseman screen. Maybe a touch brighter. Just a touch. The real factor that affects the ground glass is the fresnel, as i see it. If you have a top-notch fresnel already and some extra cash to get rid of, the Hopf screen would be good. Worth it? I don't regret it for my 6x9 Horseman, but I wasn't looking at a $100 plus price difference.

    Put your money into a fresnel, then decide on the ground glass, is my advice.

    As to putting one on a Rollei SL66, I think you would be better off with a pre-made fresnel screen. Plain ground glass in a reflex is dim. There are many options for the Rollei that don't involve making your own fresnel addition. Also, aligning a focus screen in an SLR (or TLR) is often not a simple replacement. On my Horseman, the ground glass surface indexed to the frame and film plane and it was simple drop-in.

    I don't know what screen came in your camera, but by the time Rollei was making the SL66 their screens were pretty darn good. You might be spending a lot of money for little improvement. Here's a comparison I made for TLRs. As you can see, the plain ground glass is in a league of its own, and the Hopf borosilicate wouldn't be significantly brighter... http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142212
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2014
  8. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I had a Beattie in a Hasselblad 500/cm and it was a huge improvement over the original screen. I've read good things about Steve Hopfs 4x5 ground glasses. For $30 it might be worth trying out.

    How do you scratch up a focussing screen? My good buddy Harold owns an SL66. He bought it with a scratched up focussing screen.
     
  9. roger-wilco-66

    roger-wilco-66 Member

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    I recently bought a Hopfglass Screen for my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. I am very pleased and can say only good things about dealing with Steve. The screen is very bright and gives a beautiful picture! However, in my opinion you only can use them in the waist leve finder. With the AE prism, you need a screen with a fresnel cut in which distributes the light toward the edges. Non fresnel screens, like the Hopfscreen or the Mamiya rangefinder spot screen, will have a large falloff of brightness toward the edges off the screen.
    Buying the Hopfscreen - which I'd do nevertheless, it is worth every dime - requires do sacrifice a Mamiya screen because you need the frame. Changing the screens is straight forward, not difficult. It should be done on the first try though because you need to bend the metal latches open and bend them back after installing the screen. I wouldn't want to do that more than twice. Also, the thickness of the screen is 2mm, the frame is made for 3mm screens. I cut 2mm stripes of self adhesive camera light insulation material that make up for that missing millimeter. Works well and adds to shock proofing the glass, maybe.

    Another great screen is the Brightscreen II, one of my best. Has the fresnel and gives a ultrasharp image, expecially with the prism. Unfortunatly, the company is oob. Once in a while one turnes up on the bay.

    HTH,
    Mark