Does anyone miss split-circle focusing?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by NightElfWarrior, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    http://www.usa.canon.com/home

    Good luck. I have a hard time imagining they're interested in supplying alternative view screens for the Rebel series, which doesn't even support interchangeable screens, when they won't even offer them for their pro line.

    Plenty of folks are happily using alternatives. Here are the ones I know of from research I did years ago. There are probably more choices now.

    http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/
    http://www.slrdaren.com
    http://haodascreen.com


     
  2. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    Right right right finally I got the idea of what split screen is all about. Neat idea though by the look of it. It is lots better than tiny dot at the bottom of the screen that also constantly blinks even by tiny movement, kind of playing peek a boo.

    Thanks.
     
  3. NightElfWarrior

    NightElfWarrior TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    I think I need to reiterate something that I wrote in my original post. I am aware that there are aftermarket retrofits that the user can perform to add the split-image focus feature to various D-SLR camera bodies. Some companies, like katzeye, will even do it for you. And Canon offers the Ec-B product which is a retrofit for some of their mid-to-high range camera bodies.

    Now that that's clear, here is my problem: I've done some google research, and found a lot of complaints that these retrofits throw off the camera's metering, especially with slower lenses, and with center-spot metering. Again, these problems present a trade-off that is unacceptable to me for a $600+ camera. I want the camera to be designed to compensate for the split-image screen. I am sure this is just a matter of calibrating the metering system, and I am sure it is possible because the film-based SLR's of the 1970's did it. When I think about it, the problem makes perfect sense. The split-image optics will attenuate some of the light coming through the lens just where the split-circle goes, and the camera designer did not anticipate that.

    Somebody posted a reply that they have been using the retrofit solution, and they are happy with it. I am curious whether they specifically checked the metering accuracy with spot metering and / or a slow lens? Also, if you have found a good workaround, I'd appreciate hearing about that too (and I might then whip out my credit card and buy me a new camera, lol).


    Thanks again to all for your input!:thumbup:

    -Elf
     
  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I looked into some I think that you had to adjust your meter via exposure compensation, and then just leave it there all the time, I think that most were about a half stop adjustment, so its not too bad considering most cameras do +/- 2 stops.
     
  5. NightElfWarrior

    NightElfWarrior TPF Noob!

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    Ryan, thanks for that tip! But does setting the exposure this way on a permanent basis cause problems in situations that didn't need the compensation? I guess that is the opposite side of the problem...
     
  6. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    Yes, on my Mother's Minolta... I was probably 13.

    -Shea
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I heard the same (about changes in metering). I tested my meters before installing the screens and after. No difference in any metering mode. My screens are not the extra bright versions though.

    As your Google research has shown you, Canon users have been asking for this for years. I began looking for them in 2004. Enough people want them that several businesses have sprung up to take care of the demand. Yet, Canon remains silent.... Possibly Nikon, Pentax, etc... are more accommodating?

    Canon DSLRs that support interchangeable view screens do have a custom function where the meter can be calibrated to a variety of official Canon brand screens, such as their extra bright screen. I checked this out with my 5D, but in the end decided the regular setting was the best one. The Rebels, and even many of their #D series cameras do not support interchangeable focusing screens, and do not have this calibration option.

    I feel your pain that a $600+ camera should offer options. Unfortunately they've bamboozled us, and overnight the entry level price tag jumped from $250 to $800ish. I think that $2000+ cameras should have serious weatherproofing, but you gotta fork over $4000+ to get that. Stick with your old cameras; you and you wallet will be happier. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  8. Battou

    Battou TPF junkie!

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    I don't.....because I still use it ;)
     
  9. NightElfWarrior

    NightElfWarrior TPF Noob!

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    ksmattfish, thanks for your reply! Your experience notwithstanding, i am still a little nervous about using the aftermarket solutions, as the fact remains that there are people who've complained about the metering accuracy. In the end, I feel I have no choice but to follow your final advice, which is to stick with my old cameras and hang onto my money. As a practical matter though, this just means I've put my hobby on ice for the time being, as it is a pain in the kiester to wait for my film to be developed before I see results.

    The way the camera market has been evolving really bugs me. It seems that unnecessary and bothersome "features" have been creeping in, with the attendant rise in prices as you have noted. Now there are D-SLR's that take HD video, and have smart face recognition. I just want a simple, no-nonsense DSLR that gives me the freedom and control to experiment with the basic parameters of photography. Back when I bought my Canon Elan IIe, there was a lot of hoopla over "eye tracking", wherin, the camera detects where your eyeball is looking in the viewfinder and sets that location as the focus & metering point. This "feature" has obviously died off, since we don't hear about it anymore. I have this gut feeling that "face recognition" will meet a similar fate, but only time will tell. What if you actually want a certain face to be blurry in your composition? And what if you're trying to take a silhouette shot in the sunset, and a head that is supposed to be a silhouette is in the frame? For a camera, I think there is such a thing as "too smart for its own good". Instead of piling on all these features of questionable utility, I'd prefer that the camera companies work on bringing down the price of a full-frame sensor, improved signal-to-noise ratio, and faster frame-to-frame image capture speed. As far as user controls, all I really need is "manual", "aperture priority", and "shutter speed priority". It probably wouldn't be to expensive to make a basic camera like that, including split-circle manual focusing. With competition the way it is, I am really surprised that none of the DSLR camera companies have addressed this segment of the market.

    -Elf
     
  10. NightElfWarrior

    NightElfWarrior TPF Noob!

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    here is something I should have included in my original post: email contacts for the various camera manufacturers to request the "split-circle" manual focus feature. I really tried, but could not locate an address for Nikon. I hope everyone reading this will contact these manufacturers!

    Pentax: pentaxinfo@pentax.com
    Olympus: website@olympus.com
    Canon: carecenter2@cits.canon.com

    If anyone has the Nikon email, I'd appreciate getting that link too!

    -Elf
     
  11. Battou

    Battou TPF junkie!

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    You are not alone in this, but every time I voice my oppinion on the subject I get flamed to on high over it....I gave up.
     
  12. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    There was a thread on almost exactly this topic not all that long ago... Although I was also being annoyed with the one wheel thing on my D50. I love my split screens and I use film as much as digital when I'm actually capturing something I think might turn out well. There are a significant number of people on this forum that have done these modifications and all of them have had great results I wouldn't dismiss it over a mere 1/2 stop metering thing use your exposure compensation and know you shouldnt really trust the meter to within even a stop anyway.
     

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