When I was using a Nikon F2 to shoot theater, I needed something to help me manually focus in dim light. I used the Nikon H screens with their micro prism-focusing pattern over the entire field to do the job.
If I had been shooting with only one body, the H2 screen would have worked with all three of my lenses. However, since I only had one H2 screen and I needed to carry three bodies so I did not have to change lenses, I used a different screen for each focal length. One body had an H2 screen and a 35mm f/2 lens, one body had an H3 screen and an 85mm f/1.8 lens, and one body had an H4 screen and a 180mm f/2.8 lens.
Since the screens and the focal lengths were properly matched, there was no problem with vingetting.
I've never used the H2 but I have a G2, which has a huge 12mm microprism circle in the center. It's in Dad's old Nikon F and it is great, especially in low light (which is what I think it was designed for but I don't have the manual handy).
Originally Posted by Jon King
There are microprism-spot screens for most cameras that allow for removable screens. Nikon, canon F1, Olympus 1/2/3/4, Minolta X700 and XD, there are more but these are what I have books on.
Fully microprism - the original Leicaflex SLR. It wasn't very popular, and they changed it for a more conventional screen for subsequent models.
Microprism spot - quite a few cameras, including most of the later Pentax screw mount cameras. Ones I have to hand which have this type of screen include the Spotmatic F and the SP 500. And of course, yes, most cameras that have removable screens probably have the possibility.
Olympus focusing screens with solid microprism centers:
1-1 matte field for most lenses
1-2 matte field for std and tele lenses
1-5 clear field for WAlenses
1-6 clear field for std and tele lenses
1-7 clear field for long tele lenses
Bronica had them for their medium format SLRs, too, but only with a coarse collar and matte field
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
The *original* Leicaflex had a microprism centre with the rest being clear (not able to focus), which indeed wasn't very popular.
Originally Posted by Mike P
The Leicaflex SL had a fully microprism screen, which according to many, including myself, is the best screen/viewfinder ever produced for a SLR camera (for manual focusing).
Compared to the Nikon H screens, it it finer, brighter, works with all lenses and doesn't require compensating the exposure with each lens. How Leica managed to pull that off, I don't know...
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
I have all of the standard focusing screens for the Canon F-1/F-1n cameras including some L types. As far as I know Canon did not make a screen for this series which had the microprism for the whole viewing area. My favorite screen for general work is the L D. This is the brighter Lasermatte version of the grid screen. I especially like the a grid screen for macro work and for using slower lenses like zooms. The grid lines serve as a sharpness reference and can aid in composition. The screen allows me to focus equally well on any area of the scene. For macro work I find split image, microprism and combination focusing aids distracting. For high magnification macro shooting I prefer a plain matte screen.
There are many factors which go into making a screen desirable for various uses. These include brightness, contrast, usability in low light and others. A grid type screen is my standard one when shooting with a Canon F-1/F-1n, Minolta X-700, Nikon FE, Bronica ETR/S, Bronica SQ-A and Bronica GS-1. I also have two Konica FT-1s and a Konica Autoreflex T2 with Nikon E screens installed. I used the T2 earlier this month to photograph some enormous mushrooms which popped up on my neighbor's lawn. I still enjoy using cameras with fixed screens like the Konica Autoreflex T3N or Canon EF (microprism) or Nikkormat FT2 but I find them more difficult to use for macro work. Somewhere I have a Mamiya NC1000S. The standard screen is in it now and in anoter box I have a grid screen for it. I would like to see the Leicaflex with the full microprism screen.
Agree completely, the SL's viewscreen is easily my favorite. Until I tried the SL I thought the Nikon F with E screen was as good as it gets.
Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut