login info join!
Forums > Photography Talk > Split prism? No? Yes? Search   Reply
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


I really miss Split Prism focusing screens and I'd love research it further as an option for the Canon 5DMKIII and/oe Nikon 800e but it seems like that's not possible with those cameras?

I understand it can be done for a Mk II but my question is, even assuming it can be done, what else is affected by swapping out focus screens? Does this affect in-camera readings?

I don't know a lot about the technical aspects but I wouldn't want to make a change based on preference if it means compensating and adjusting my settings.

Just curious about some info and your thoughts.
Jan 18 13 01:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
intense_puppy
Posts: 864
Brighton, England, United Kingdom


I swapped out the screen in a 10D (granted, it's an older camera) for a split focus screen and the metering was exactly the same.
Jan 18 13 01:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


I never really grew up with them, but with using manual focus lenses a lot I find it easier to go by the focus point and the arrows.

IMO


Maybe, although I'd try with a older camera like a D700, one of the old screes could be made to fit? Metering should be the same, and I'd think auto focus would work too for some points - it's still focusing and doing it's job, just going though a different piece of glass.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com
Jan 18 13 01:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


I'm just curious. My eyes are not the best. I have a serious astigmatism in one eye and I do like using manual focus lenses occasionally. I know that seems a very niche and limited use (and it is), but even with MF lenses on old 35mm I never had a problem getting the focus right with a split prism.

I'm sure it's more trouble than it's worth and might be a good idea on a backup camera like you said. I also wouldn't want to lose all the information that the higher-end cameras present in the viewfinder. That would be a deal breaker.
Jan 18 13 01:19 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,241
Baltimore, Maryland, US


The D800, and many other Nikon bodies have an electronic rangefinder that works great. You can also get an right-angle viewfinder magnifier that helps immensely.
Jan 18 13 01:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


intense_puppy wrote:
I swapped out the screen in a 10D (granted, it's an older camera) for a split focus screen and the metering was exactly the same.

That might be a great option. I have an old 20D kicking around.

Jan 18 13 01:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
I also wouldn't want to lose all the information that the higher-end cameras present in the viewfinder. That would be a deal breaker.

Is all that on the focusing screen, or in another part of the prism?




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Jan 18 13 01:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dave Richards
Posts: 11
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand


I swapped out the Focusing Screen of my 5D MK II for a Canon Eg screen - the supplied screen could only show focus above 2.8, which was useless when shooting wider.

I'll follow this thread, as I'd love a split screen on my other cameras.

If Nikon bought out a manual-focus FM2 with a digital back, I'd line up for one!
Jan 18 13 01:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


Andrew Thomas Evans wrote:

Is all that on the focusing screen, or in another part of the prism?




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

I have no idea. I'm an admitted techno-noob when it comes to electronics. I'm sure someone will come in and give me a big "uh duhhh...dude!" lol

Jan 18 13 01:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Benjamin Hay
Posts: 4
London, England, United Kingdom


I'd suggest a decent angle viewer rather than swapping screen. Below f2.8 its always going to be a massive struggle on any screen (other than MF or LF) and bracketing focus and keeping detail centre has always helped me. I'd suggest getting a dedicated angle viewer rather than a cheap third party one but be aware they often need refocusing when zoomed and that can be pretty frustrating!
Jan 18 13 01:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Rizolli & Isles, and other cop shows. They all have brand new Canon bodies but when you look through the viewfinder its a split screen.  Write the shows and ask where they got the split screens.
Jan 18 13 01:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sand Angel Photography
Posts: 569
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Agreed. Who is the marketing genius who decided they didn't need split screens any more?
Jan 18 13 02:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CameraSight
Posts: 1,079
Roselle Park, New Jersey, US


I also miss the Split Prism focusing screens  on digital cameras coming from the Nikon FE  film camera era.

It would  be faster than using the green dot in the viewfinder  when using my manual focus  lenses on a D300 camera
check out
http://www.katzeyeoptics.com
Has anyone use them ? How is the brightness after  changing screens?
Jan 18 13 02:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SAG Photography
Posts: 2,797
Valencia, California, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
Rizolli & Isles, and other cop shows. They all have brand new Canon bodies but when you look through the viewfinder its a split screen.  Write the shows and ask where they got the split screens.

That is a mask applied through the editing process, it is not the camera..

Jan 18 13 03:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gabby57
Posts: 400
Coppell, Texas, US


CameraSight wrote:
I also miss the Split Prism focusing screens  on digital cameras coming from the Nikon FE  film camera era.

It would  be faster than using the green dot in the viewfinder  when using my manual focus  lenses on a D300 camera
check out
http://www.katzeyeoptics.com
Has anyone use them ? How is the brightness after  changing screens?

I have a katzeye in my D300, put it in immediately, so don't remember what the original screen was like.  Several years ago I put one in a Mamiya 645 and the improvement was very noticeable.

Jan 18 13 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Motordrive Photography
Posts: 2,555
Lodi, California, US


Matte screens work much better with slow kit lenses.

They will never look as cool as a split screen with a fast, shallow DOF lens
when everything pops in and out of focus, but they work.
Jan 18 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


SAG Photography wrote:

That is a mask applied through the editing process, it is not the camera..

you need to write the Comedy channel and ask for assistance in developing a sense of humour. sorry.

Jan 18 13 09:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,268
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


SAG Photography wrote:
That is a mask applied through the editing process, it is not the camera..

What? Next you will be saying that the film motordrive sounds you hear from DSLRs on film and TV is a sound effect added afterwards!
But, back to the subject, split image VFs in the film days were often optimised for the fast prime standard lenses used in those days and tended to black out with longer or slower lenses. You could get prisms optimised for these, but they were not so accurate. Also being centre frame only, they could cause recomposing focus errors if using the lens wide open.

Jan 19 13 01:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,847
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


I never really bothered with the multi-prism ring on film body focusing screens. However, the 'split-image' section in the centre I do really miss. I'm still trying to convince myself to get a C _ _ _ _ focusing screen that has been re-shaped to go into my main DSLR smile.

I wonder how many of the people who rave about using lenses at F1.4 /1.2 have one in their cameras or if they just rely on the F2.8 screen ?
Jan 19 13 03:04 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,241
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Electronic rangefinder. Most nikons have them. Learn to use it.
Jan 19 13 03:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
liddellphoto
Posts: 1,800
London, England, United Kingdom


I had a split prism screen in my D700 since I came from older film cameras and had manual focus lenses. For very slow lenses there was a compensation factor for spot metering but that was the only side effect (and I didn't own any).

After a few months I sold it because even with great eyesight af was more consistently accurate at wide apertures and I went to all af lenses. I also found I needed to shim my D700 focusing screen to get it accurate enough (nikon quality control strikes again...) I have also found the 'green dot' focus assist is also not accurate enough for f/1.4 lenses.
Jan 19 13 04:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,847
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Robb Mann wrote:
Electronic rangefinder. Most nikons have them. Learn to use it.

I've learned the limitations of it by using F2 & F1.4 lenses at those apertures as opposed to at the usual F2.8 limit of the focusing screen DoF. Also the broader area that it covers compared to my knowing exactly which part of the image I have focused on when using a split image finder.

Jan 19 13 04:50 am  Link  Quote 
  Search   Reply



main | browse | casting/travel | forums | shout box | help | advertising | contests | share | join the mayhem

more modelmayhem on: | | | edu

©2006-2014 ModelMayhem.com. All Rights Reserved.
MODEL MAYHEM is a registered trademark.
Toggle Worksafe Mode: Off | On
Terms | Privacy | Careers