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  1. #1

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    May 2009
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    Another thumbs-up for Maxwell Screen

    Today I received and installed a second-hand, but mint, Maxwell HI-LUX Brilliant Matte 4.7 Focus screen in my Linhof Technika V (4x5in). The conversion was easy (took 5 minutes), no need to mess with shims etc. Before this, I used Steve Hopf's wonderful fine ground glass. Of course, this requires a good dark cloth, even with a 150mm lens (I can only imagine how difficult < 90mm must be).

    I am blown away by how good this screen is. Though I do not have any wide-angle lenses (I shoot primarily 150mm, 360mm, 500mm) it is an unbelievable experience to be able to focus clearly into the corners, without a dark cloth. This actually beats my Mamiya RB67 focusing screen for brightness and accuracy, which is not an easy feat.

    What a piece of optical engineering... I am not sure that I would pay the (steep) new price, and I think it's very poor of Bill Maxwell not to make his products more accessible by offering, for example, online ordering (common complaint on the forums) but the screen is simply superb.

    The enjoyment factor of using a large format camera literally doubles when you can clearly see what's going on, and focus even in very dim light, etc.

    I cannot recommend this strongly enough.

  2. #2
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    I agree. Bill Maxwell makes a wonderful screen.

  3. #3
    jbbooks's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    I have a couple of Mr. Maxwell’s screens. I bought them new, so I know how expensive they are. I would add one caveat to your comments and that is, when you buy them new, included in the price you get the benefit of his expertise in choosing which of his screens will be the best compromise for your intended use. Matched to the focal length being used, his screens can be a vast improvement. However, if you have a mismatch using a screen that is more suitable for lenses in a different range of focal lengths, you will not get the benefit his screens are capable of giving and you may find that you have gone from not so good to unacceptable.

    This might be, perhaps, why he does not sell them without taking the time to consult with the buyer as to what screen will be the best compromise for the range of lenses being used. Also, the screens are very delicate and easily scratched. They are well packed for shipment, but after that, he has no control over their treatment. For that reason, I think he wants to keep things where he has complete control over any issues and does not have the problem of people who chose poorly wanting to return screens for refunds or exchange.

  4. #4
    Trask's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    So how does an interested purchaser contact Mr. Maxwell, or otherwise find out what products he can provide?

  5. #5
    jbbooks's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    maxwellprecisionoptics@yahoo.com

    or try calling him at 1 404 244 0095

  6. #6
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    I received my 4x5 HI-LUX Brilliant Matte 4.7 Focus screen from Bill several weeks ago, and have been quite impressed.

    I usually don't use a dark cloth at all, the only exception being when the sun is shining right on the screen.

    - Leigh



 

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