5D viewing screens

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by w8jy, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. w8jy

    w8jy TPF Noob!

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    I have searched the archives of this forum and others, and still have some unanswered questions.

    I use a Canon 5D for most of my shooting, and a 20D when I need the longer reach. I usually use manual focus (which is obviously much easier on the 5D than the 20D because of the relative viewfinder brightness). However, I still miss the exact focus point on occasion, using the standard screen.

    I have researched several alternative viewfinder screens, and would like to hear from people who have actually used them!

    Since I do a lot of macro photography, I often stop down the lens for more DOF. I have been told that manual focus is not feasible with the alternative viewfinder screens because they darken down too much to be usable.

    I understand that split prism viewfinder screens interfere with spot focusing - I can live with that if it is the only drawback. I have never had a problem manual focusing with my old Canon A-1 -- I sure would like something like that for my 5D!

    So, if any of you have used alternative viewfinder screens with a full frame DSLR, please let me know how they worked.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    if your worried about shooting macro with a dark viewfinder with such a modification you could look to the canon MT-24EX flash head which has a mode whereby you can turn the flash lights on to provide more light whilst focusing.
     
  3. w8jy

    w8jy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tip - I will look into that flash unit.

    I am still somewhat concerned about the darkening of the screen for normal usage, though. I don't mind spending money for an improvement, but I sure hate to waste it!
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow you have both heard and understand wrong.

    The split prism screens do not interfere with spot focusing or metering at all. Not that I am aware. I use them in my D200 and I know a Canon 30D and a 350D owner who use them too without any issues what so ever.

    The manual screens do not affect the viewfinder brightness at all. If anything they are likely to be brighter than the default ones. It definitely does not make it any harder to focus with a stopped down viewfinder. In fact that's the reason we buy them anyway.

    The only thing you loose is the splitprism. If you stop the lens down far enough (f/6.3 or further) you may often end up with one hemisphere black, but that isn't an issue given the small size of the prism.

    I have experence with the Katzeye optics viewfinders, and I would recommend them to anyone. It definitely helps with manual focusing and macro work for which I use it quite often. It doesn't help too much in the dark where the camera will normally fire the AF assist beam, where as the viewfinder is too dark to practically use the prism too.

    I have a standard screen, none of this opti-brite coating which reads a bit like snake oil and I don't know anyone who actually has one. Installation in the D200 was a breeze, and my 350D friend said it was easy in his camera too.
     

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