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  1. #11
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    That, or one with an H screen. Tried a G series screen in my F5. Was whichever one Nikon says is good for the 50/1.8 AF. Pretty cool seeing the center spot go 100% clear as I was manually focusing.

    -J
    APUG: F2AS x2, F, FM2n, Nikomat FTn
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  2. #12

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    LXDUDE, I think you may actually mean "Fresnel" and not "prismatic". Microprisms are what's in the focus aid donut. Most newer viewfinders have a Fresnel etched into them to focus light towards the viewfinder instead of randomly like a ground glass screen does. I'm not sure when Nikon started using Fresnel screens.

  3. #13

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    The answer is probably a focusing screen that is well matched to a certain lens, rather than a certain camera body. A screen that is the brightest for one lens will not be the brightest for a lens that is significantly faster or slower.

    Also, the focusing screens that are the "snappiest" (i.e. that show the shallowest depth of field) are usually not the brightest. For example, Canon's newer type S screens show the depth of field at f/1.8, but they are about a stop darker than their standard screen, which show D of F at only f/2.8.

    So, I would say the answer for you is the Nikon body that accepts the largest variety of useful focusing screens.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    I agree. The only problem with the later model viewfinders, IMO, is that they seem to be a microprism of some type. They work well for manual focusing, and are bright, but their rendering of out of focus areas is not as accurate as a ground glass screen. For example, an out-of-focus specular highlight viewed through a lens wide open is rendered as a pentagon, and straight lines easily become doubled
    Modern screens do indeed have a pattern of tiny shapes on them, and their effects on point sources of light are probably what you are seeing.

    The trouble is that most later model viewfinders are usually equipped with screens that have patterns optimized for f/2.8 maximum aperture lenses. Put a slower lens on, and the viewfinder gets very dark and focusing aids can black out. (This is why special focusing screens with different patterns are made for slower lenses.) Put a faster lens on, and you still only see the D of F at f/2.8. This means that any time you shoot your camera more wide open than f/2.8, you get less D of F on the picture than you see in the viewfinder. There are screen optimized for fast lenses, but TMK they still show the D of F at only 1.8; this means that if you have an f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens, you still do nt see the wide open D of F on the screen.

    Kind of hampers the effectiveness of fast glass. I wish there was a screen that would show the D of F at f/1.2. But I guess the camera makers think that most people don't even bother to check critical focus any more, and that they rely on AF and/or focus confirmation lamps.

    However, IMHO, this isn't really an issue of things being terribly better in the good old days. Most of my old cameras (FTb, F-1, Nikon F, Pentax Spotmatic) seem to have come from the factory with focusing screens that show D of F at only f/2.0. Lock D of F preview, set the lens to wide open, and stop down click by click with these cameras; you will not see D of F or viewfinder brightness change until you click past f/2.0. With my 10D or EOS 3, following the same routine described above, I don't see any changes till I move past f/2.8.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-20-2010 at 01:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #15

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    I really dislike the viewfinder in my FM2n, only because I've experience better (Olympus OM2n...great even with glasses). The F3HP IS the best I've seen of the manual focus Nikons. I'd rather have my FM2n though

  6. #16
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hops View Post
    LXDUDE, I think you may actually mean "Fresnel" and not "prismatic". Microprisms are what's in the focus aid donut. Most newer viewfinders have a Fresnel etched into them to focus light towards the viewfinder instead of randomly like a ground glass screen does. I'm not sure when Nikon started using Fresnel screens.
    It's definitely not fresnel. Fresnel lenses in viewfinders are concentric rings and are often faintly visible, but do not materially change the appearance of out-of-focus highlights. For example I can clearly see the fresnel rings in my Bronica's viewfinder with slow lenses but they don't affect the appearance of OoF images at all. They have been used for many many years and certainly precede the later Nikon screens.

    The effect I'm talking about is somewhat like the effect given by the all-microprism screens I have for my Nikon F3, but finer.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  7. #17
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Nikon_F View Post
    That, or one with an H screen. Tried a G series screen in my F5. Was whichever one Nikon says is good for the 50/1.8 AF. Pretty cool seeing the center spot go 100% clear as I was manually focusing.

    -J
    The H4 works well with my 500mm f/8 Tamron mirror lens in dim light. With the 2X converter (makes a 1000mm f/16) there's what looks like an interference pattern but it's still usable. My overall favorite for that combo and just about everything else is the good ol' B screen. I was going to get a D for the long lenses and macro, but haven't bothered.
    I have to say the stock screen in the N8008s is also good for the 1000mm combo, and I don't mind the OoF image rendition because, hey, it's a mirror lens. And it's almost always at infinity anyway, with no OoF images.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  8. #18
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    I grab whatever camera grabs my mood. The FM3A and the the F2AS did pretty well this weekend in Viña Del Mar ( Nikkor-SC Auto 1:1.2 f=55mm and Zoom 35-105)
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  9. #19
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    Bright is not always better.. Many of the modern clear screens actually make it harder to accurately focus.
    That is because some of the light from the lens passes straight through the screen and your eyes focus through the lens instead on the screen.

    For an example just look at a screen with a 'clear spot' to see the effect. Or look st the split image portion of a screen an notice that the two images dont really go out of focus.

    Coarser screens will 'snap into focus' better but loose some light in the process.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  10. #20
    lxdude's Avatar
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    ^True that!^
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

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