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  1. #1

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    Brightest / easiest to focus manual SLR?

    Is there a camera that is considered the easiest to focus among manual-focus SLRs? I have many SLRs but due to my imperfect eyesight I am plagued by improperly focussed shots.

    What's the best, in your (or other's) opinion? I have heard specifically that Konica SLRs are NOT easy to focus.
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  2. #2
    wiltw's Avatar
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    It is hard to find a camera with as large a viewfinder as the Olympus OM-1. As manufacturers started cramming lots of information in the viewfinder area (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc) the viewfinder area for focusing began to shrink! AF diverts light to the AF sensor, so they generally have finer texture focusing screens, which is better for brightness but poorer for focus precision!

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The standard laser matte screens for the Canon New F-1 are very bright, and they have a choice of focusing aids, plus they have the option of extra bright laser matte optimized for wide or long lenses, though the extra bright versions can be hard to find. I have the standard AE screen, which I almost never use, the standard spot metering screen, which is my main screen, and the extra bright tele spot metering screen, which I use mainly with the 600/4.5.
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  4. #4

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    I wear glasses and the best I've used is the F3HP. There may be others as good or better out there, but this one is no slouch. I'm told that the standard (non HP) prism is better, but not if you're a spectacles user.
    Frank Schifano

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    I wear glasses and the best I've used is the F3HP. There may be others as good or better out there, but this one is no slouch. I'm told that the standard (non HP) prism is better, but not if you're a spectacles user.
    I have two F3's, one with HP, one with the standard prism. The standard in nice but I prefer the HP. With or without glasses.
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  6. #6
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    Agreed, the F3HP excels with great eye relief and good contrast. The all microprism screens are awesome when matched with appropriate lenses. The Pentax LX's FA-1W is very close to the F3HP for use with eyeglasses, but has a larger image which is definitely contrastier. The LX's contrast is what really sets it apart, IMO. An LX screen in an MX is a great combo in a fully manual camera. Few viewfinders are as good as the OM-1's, except its brightness seems to come at the expense of some contrast, which makes it a little harder to find perfect focus on its field. Its magnification helps with using focusing aids, though. The MX has similar magnification. Screens for OM series cameras are still easy to find, as are most F3 screens. Common LX screens are still easy to find. The best viewfinder I've found in an M42 camera is in the Fujica ST 701, 801 & 901-big, bright, great contrast. Not great with glasses, though.
    Maybe an AF camera with focus confirmation for MF lenses would be a solution. I just picked up an N8008s and found the stock screen much better than I expected for manual focusing anywhere on it. I like a plain screen so I would not expect it to be adequate for you, but as with most other AF cameras it has the in-focus indicator, which could be a lot better for manual focusing than focus aids if you're having a problem with even split image aids.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The standard laser matte screens for the Canon New F-1 are very bright, and they have a choice of focusing aids, plus they have the option of extra bright laser matte optimized for wide or long lenses, though the extra bright versions can be hard to find. I have the standard AE screen, which I almost never use, the standard spot metering screen, which is my main screen, and the extra bright tele spot metering screen, which I use mainly with the 600/4.5.
    I agree on the New F-1 in general, and then when you add the Speed Finder to it you are simply not going to find a larger viewfinder out there!

    If you're familiar with the original F-1's metering system, then the P series of screens will replicate that for you (no need for the A screens if you have the Speed Finder on, and the S screens are an even narrower area of metering than the P screens.)

    Duncan

  8. #8
    Athiril's Avatar
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    You can grab an EOS 3 which has eye controlled autofocus which may be useful for you.

    Or an EOS series with a Katz Eye split prism might be good

  9. #9

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    I'm adding a vote for the Nikon F3 HP. I love the viewfinder, and most of my work is done at night. Other cameras I found easy to see through and focus were the Leica R3 (before mine was stolen) and the Leica R8/R9 which came standard with high eyepoint finders. But those are prohibitively expensive. I always heard great things about the old Olympus OM bodies, but I never had the chance to try one. So I say Nikon F3 all the way, especially if you wear glasses.

    Michael

  10. #10

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    I've used a Leica R3 and Olympus OM and can recommend them both, I have a -5 prescription and I find the Olympus' large viewfinder excellent, whilst the R3 had great split-prism focussing screens and a very bright viewfinder.

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