Mea Culpa

Started Feb 25, 2012 | Discussions
Tom Caldwell
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Mea Culpa
Feb 25, 2012

I must apologise to those who have bought "screen protectors" in the past, I have never seen the real need of them. I have had many cameras and rarely have they ever had more than the very odd surface scratch. I have had Canon EOS dslr bodies for years and never noticed any problems with their lcd screens whatsoever. I did see an early Nikon dslr with an lcd almost opaque with scratches and thought that Canon must have made a more resistant covering. Even my Ricoh R4, now many years old, much used and loved has its lcd in good condition, as is my GRD GRDIII and GX100.

I do not abuse my gear but I also do not particularly cosset my gear, they are just a collection of sensitive but practical working tools to me and are treated as such.

However my admitted now heavily used GXR body has developed a criss-cross surface hatching that almost appears like the surface coating is breaking down rather than it being scratches per se. More a general crazing over the surface. I am starting to find it increasingly annoying and also do not really understand what this will eventually lead to.

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

I have occasionally seen people with fold out three sided hoods on other compact cameras. I am not sure if these are oem or after market - the last one I saw was on an Olympus compact, I should have made enquiries.

Such a hard-sided cover would protect the lcd when not in use and when extended would provide a good measure of bright light shading that would make the use of the lcd much easier in brilliant sunlight. Presumably such a cover could be glued in place with double sided tape with the problem that some of the button labels are going to be covered.

Has anyone tried such an lcd cover on a Ricoh camera back?

However as my lcd seems to be more a breakdown of the surface coating rather than "scratches" the cover might only be useful as a light shade.

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Tom Caldwell

Ricoh Caplio GX100
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sroute
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Best advice for GXR screen protector?
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 25, 2012

In addition to Tom's questions, I'd like to know what the current best recommendation for a LCD protector are, if they are removable without damaging the LCD once applied, and if the the cure is or could be worse than any potential problem.

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zigorus
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Re: Best advice for GXR screen protector?
In reply to sroute, Feb 25, 2012

sroute wrote:

In addition to Tom's questions, I'd like to know what the current best recommendation for a LCD protector are, if they are removable without damaging the LCD once applied, and if the the cure is or could be worse than any potential problem.

the Ricoh GXR LCD has a rather soft and damageable antireflection coating on the LCD cover so a good LCD screen protector is a worthwhile thing.

you need a 3 inch LCD screen protector. a hard glass, multilayer anti-reflective design is best. most adhere to the structure surrounding the LCD, not to the LCD itself, and are easily removable if you choose to do so.

there are excellent choices available from three brands: GGS, AC MAXX, and Giottos. the Giottos are Schott optical glass. i've used two all three on various cameras and they are almost impossible to tell apart. on the cameras i've used them on, they make it easier to see the image on the screen by reducing reflections and enhancing contrast. prices run from $11 to $24 depending on which one and where you buy from. a web search for 'LCD screen protector" with the brand will find them. i know B&H Photo has the Giottos and Amazon has one of others, and the other you can buy direct from the manufacturer.

z

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Darrell Spreen
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 25, 2012

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I have occasionally seen people with fold out three sided hoods on other compact cameras.

Such a hard-sided cover would protect the lcd when not in use and when extended would provide a good measure of bright light shading that would make the use of the lcd much easier in brilliant sunlight. Presumably such a cover could be glued in place with double sided tape with the problem that some of the button labels are going to be covered.

Has anyone tried such an lcd cover on a Ricoh camera back?

I have installed the Delkin hood on my CX1 and the attachment was simple and very neat, with supplied (very thin) double-stick tape. The cover can also be removed leaving the attached frame with the LCD protective film in place.

Here's a picture (back when I also tried a brightline viewfinder on top).

On the CX1 no buttons were covered, but the labels were partly obscured. The problem for me was that the protective film was very shiny and reflections made it even harder to see the LCD in the sun than before the entire assembly was installed.

I subsequently removed the cover, left the frame and LCD film in place and installed the magnifying viewer I now use. Because the LCD resolution is so good (920k dots), the magnified LCD makes an extremely large and sharp viewfinder. Not the neatest installation, but it works very well and I wouldn't use the camera any other way.

About the cross-hatch pattern on your LCD -- I have that on my 7" Archos tablet and I assume it's part of the design. It only shows up under bright light. Is it a very regular pattern across the entire LCD?

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rondom
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 25, 2012

Sorry but need to remind you this thread now
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1013&message=37999213
That final sentence was enough to get me mad...
But then one man's cotton wool is another man's sledgehammer.

Not that I disagree with that...but completely inappropriate when it comes to the lousy screen coating on gxr and grd 3...I wonder if grd4 has the same issue...

Cameras are meant to be used, not babied or talked about...especially something like grd series, which is basically a take everywhere camera...

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I must apologise to those who have bought "screen protectors" in the past, I have never seen the real need of them. I have had many cameras and rarely have they ever had more than the very odd surface scratch. I have had Canon EOS dslr bodies for years and never noticed any problems with their lcd screens whatsoever. I did see an early Nikon dslr with an lcd almost opaque with scratches and thought that Canon must have made a more resistant covering. Even my Ricoh R4, now many years old, much used and loved has its lcd in good condition, as is my GRD GRDIII and GX100.

I do not abuse my gear but I also do not particularly cosset my gear, they are just a collection of sensitive but practical working tools to me and are treated as such.

However my admitted now heavily used GXR body has developed a criss-cross surface hatching that almost appears like the surface coating is breaking down rather than it being scratches per se. More a general crazing over the surface. I am starting to find it increasingly annoying and also do not really understand what this will eventually lead to.

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

I have occasionally seen people with fold out three sided hoods on other compact cameras. I am not sure if these are oem or after market - the last one I saw was on an Olympus compact, I should have made enquiries.

Such a hard-sided cover would protect the lcd when not in use and when extended would provide a good measure of bright light shading that would make the use of the lcd much easier in brilliant sunlight. Presumably such a cover could be glued in place with double sided tape with the problem that some of the button labels are going to be covered.

Has anyone tried such an lcd cover on a Ricoh camera back?

However as my lcd seems to be more a breakdown of the surface coating rather than "scratches" the cover might only be useful as a light shade.

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VladimirV
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 26, 2012

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

Tom, I am sorry to hear this but I did warn about this problem a while ago (almost 1 year ago) in my review and in this forum:

http://ricoh-gr-diary.blogspot.com/2011/03/ricoh-gxr-review-gxr-system-body.html

"The only thing you need to protect is the LCD screen or more acurate the anti reflective coating on it. Unless you want it to look like mine (pictured below) you should put a screen protector on it as soon as you get it (the same applies to the GRD III screen by the way!). Here I hope Ricoh will add a screen protector for the next GXR body revision to avoid this problem."

I have replaced my body since since the whole coating went and I could hardly see the screen in bright light. Now I have the ACMAXX GXR screen protector and no issues at all.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Darrell Spreen, Feb 26, 2012

Thanks Darrell

I have ordered one from China AUD$9.99 free postage - lets see what it looks like. not a lot of money to hazard.

I am also looking at the magnifying loupe/shades as well. Prices are all over the place from US$80+postage to AUD$17 - again with free postage. I have resisted these shade/loupes in the past because aethetically they look horrible. But with the lcd on the GXR effectively 100% useless in bright light a shade loupe cannot be that much more of a bother than the clip on evf and at a fraction of the price one might not care how much it gets battered about or even if it is lost.

Manual lenses on the GXR-M absolutely require a method of determining focus. Zone focus might be still possible but surely with Mode 2 focus peaking on board having to resort to zone focus is going back to the dark ages?

It the shade/loupe works well then perhaps the need for an integrated evf body will not be so necessary or urgent. I believe that it is a magnetic attachment in use and when not needed it is merely worn around the neck like a cowbell and clipped on only when necessary. I will fit mine with a clapper so that I will not get lost. Might not "tinkle" but I imagine it might sound more like a plastic "clack". Maybe they could make them from suitable bell-material and we could move around in groups making rustic chiming melodies as we go about our business?

The mess on the lcd surface looks like a myriad of fine inter-connected scratches in no particular pattern. At first I thought I must have been giving it a real rough up on something but on closer inspection there is only one "real" scratch from clumsy old me and all the rest fairly evenly over the rest of the whole screen looks very much like a surface coating that is very rapidly crazing up.

I noticed some of this a week or so ago but in the past few days it seems to have accelerated quite a lot. Still usable but it is starting to look quite unsightly, especially when the light hits it at a slight angle. Pulled out my very venerable original GRD and the R4 which have done a lot of camera "miles". Their screens still look fine and work well, except that the R4 has what looks like some "heat" staining discolouration in a patch but otherwise works properly and appears scratch free.

My GRDIII on the other hand does also have the signs of crazing or fine scratches on it's lcd but nowhere near as bad at the GXR lcd which is coming to the stage of downright ugly. I have not even tried to clean them therefore "excessive overweening care" is not the problem.

All my lcd screens have worked well and continue to do so.

So do we have a "new" anti-reflective coating here that is either very susceptible to any touch/rub whatsoever or breaks down with age?

I would hate to see this screen as a touch-screen if this can happen without it obviously having been "touched".

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to rondom, Feb 26, 2012

rondom wrote:
Sorry but need to remind you this thread now
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1013&message=37999213
That final sentence was enough to get me mad...
But then one man's cotton wool is another man's sledgehammer.

Not that I disagree with that...but completely inappropriate when it comes to the lousy screen coating on gxr and grd 3...I wonder if grd4 has the same issue...

Cameras are meant to be used, not babied or talked about...especially something like grd series, which is basically a take everywhere camera...

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I must apologise to those who have bought "screen protectors" in the past, I have never seen the real need of them. I have had many cameras and rarely have they ever had more than the very odd surface scratch. I have had Canon EOS dslr bodies for years and never noticed any problems with their lcd screens whatsoever. I did see an early Nikon dslr with an lcd almost opaque with scratches and thought that Canon must have made a more resistant covering. Even my Ricoh R4, now many years old, much used and loved has its lcd in good condition, as is my GRD GRDIII and GX100.

I do not abuse my gear but I also do not particularly cosset my gear, they are just a collection of sensitive but practical working tools to me and are treated as such.

However my admitted now heavily used GXR body has developed a criss-cross surface hatching that almost appears like the surface coating is breaking down rather than it being scratches per se. More a general crazing over the surface. I am starting to find it increasingly annoying and also do not really understand what this will eventually lead to.

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

I have occasionally seen people with fold out three sided hoods on other compact cameras. I am not sure if these are oem or after market - the last one I saw was on an Olympus compact, I should have made enquiries.

Such a hard-sided cover would protect the lcd when not in use and when extended would provide a good measure of bright light shading that would make the use of the lcd much easier in brilliant sunlight. Presumably such a cover could be glued in place with double sided tape with the problem that some of the button labels are going to be covered.

Has anyone tried such an lcd cover on a Ricoh camera back?

However as my lcd seems to be more a breakdown of the surface coating rather than "scratches" the cover might only be useful as a light shade.

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Tom Caldwell

Thanks for reminding me of that. I don't think that there is anything there that I need resile from. I did note this current posting as a mea culpa as I had thought that I had never needed a screen protector and I seemed blessed with my screen coatings and any scratches there would have taken a magnifying glass and some patience to detect.

Up until now my GRDIII has weathered fairly well although more recently I have mentally admonished myself that the "III" was seemingly taking more of a bashing than my earlier cameras.

I have (luckily) never suffered from major lcd screen damage or flexing.

But the GXR has had a rapidly accelerating crazing on the surface in recent weeks, as my general use-habits have not changed this can only be some new problem previously unknown. Harking back to my GRDIII I can now see a similar surface deterioration in perhaps an earlier stage. (My GRDIII is an early model and a fair bit older than my GXR body).

By way of comparison and going back to my 8/9 years used original GRD and R4 (both of which I still have and can readily inspect) I can see nothing except some minor surface deposits that could be carefully cleaned away - not sign of surface damage or scratches.

Is this the price we pay for "improved" anti-glare characteristics?

Methinks it might be endemic to the new models.

Note that I have had the GXR for probably 18 months and the GRDIII for at least two years and it is only very recently that the lcd surface crazing has been found worthy of comment.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to VladimirV, Feb 26, 2012

VladimirV wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

Tom, I am sorry to hear this but I did warn about this problem a while ago (almost 1 year ago) in my review and in this forum:

http://ricoh-gr-diary.blogspot.com/2011/03/ricoh-gxr-review-gxr-system-body.html

"The only thing you need to protect is the LCD screen or more acurate the anti reflective coating on it. Unless you want it to look like mine (pictured below) you should put a screen protector on it as soon as you get it (the same applies to the GRD III screen by the way!). Here I hope Ricoh will add a screen protector for the next GXR body revision to avoid this problem."

I have replaced my body since since the whole coating went and I could hardly see the screen in bright light. Now I have the ACMAXX GXR screen protector and no issues at all.

Daggy-doo Cristian - mine is not nearly as bad as that - yet.

I have noticed that with bright light the screen becomes completely unusable and causes the inevitable focus problems with manual lenses. I have thought it just the "bright light" but perhaps as the coating deteriorates it's bright light performance "goes west" with it?

I am sorry that I missed your post on the issue. I was lulled into a false sense of confidence by the fact that I had never previously had any problem with screen coatings - scratching, crazing, peeling or whatever.

This seems to be a more major issue than I had thought - surely it is not a good look to have an expensive well made camera with an lcd screen crazing up like a toy plastic camera.

If the surface is so delicate and prone to crazing then surely Ricoh should have done something to cover and protect the surface when new ex-works?

Now in my false sense of security I have a GXR which is pretty well too far gone to be applying a protective cover to what is left and a GRDIII with an lcd screen that will never be looking 100% covered or not covered.

Any chat from me about lcd light screens of any type were not from the thought of covering the lcd screen itself but more from the thought of shading it so that it could be clearly seen on all sorts of light conditions.

So did they fit an lcd screen protection cover-layer on the GRDIV?

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rondom
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 26, 2012

This is a Sony LCD also used in canon dslr, 50d if not mistaken, and i don't think there are any such complains from canon users. The reason, I believe, is that canon have a protection glass in front of the LCD.(please correct me if I am wrong but I think every dslr has it. In a typical dslr, when you are fitting a protection cover for your LCD, you are actually protecting the protection glass...)

In ricoh, there are no such layer...you just have the LCD facing the user. I think this is just too cheap for a top of the line camera with a magnesium shell...

Tom Caldwell wrote:

rondom wrote:
Sorry but need to remind you this thread now
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1013&message=37999213
That final sentence was enough to get me mad...
But then one man's cotton wool is another man's sledgehammer.

Not that I disagree with that...but completely inappropriate when it comes to the lousy screen coating on gxr and grd 3...I wonder if grd4 has the same issue...

Cameras are meant to be used, not babied or talked about...especially something like grd series, which is basically a take everywhere camera...

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I must apologise to those who have bought "screen protectors" in the past, I have never seen the real need of them. I have had many cameras and rarely have they ever had more than the very odd surface scratch. I have had Canon EOS dslr bodies for years and never noticed any problems with their lcd screens whatsoever. I did see an early Nikon dslr with an lcd almost opaque with scratches and thought that Canon must have made a more resistant covering. Even my Ricoh R4, now many years old, much used and loved has its lcd in good condition, as is my GRD GRDIII and GX100.

I do not abuse my gear but I also do not particularly cosset my gear, they are just a collection of sensitive but practical working tools to me and are treated as such.

However my admitted now heavily used GXR body has developed a criss-cross surface hatching that almost appears like the surface coating is breaking down rather than it being scratches per se. More a general crazing over the surface. I am starting to find it increasingly annoying and also do not really understand what this will eventually lead to.

Does anyone else have a similar problem?

I have occasionally seen people with fold out three sided hoods on other compact cameras. I am not sure if these are oem or after market - the last one I saw was on an Olympus compact, I should have made enquiries.

Such a hard-sided cover would protect the lcd when not in use and when extended would provide a good measure of bright light shading that would make the use of the lcd much easier in brilliant sunlight. Presumably such a cover could be glued in place with double sided tape with the problem that some of the button labels are going to be covered.

Has anyone tried such an lcd cover on a Ricoh camera back?

However as my lcd seems to be more a breakdown of the surface coating rather than "scratches" the cover might only be useful as a light shade.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Thanks for reminding me of that. I don't think that there is anything there that I need resile from. I did note this current posting as a mea culpa as I had thought that I had never needed a screen protector and I seemed blessed with my screen coatings and any scratches there would have taken a magnifying glass and some patience to detect.

Up until now my GRDIII has weathered fairly well although more recently I have mentally admonished myself that the "III" was seemingly taking more of a bashing than my earlier cameras.

I have (luckily) never suffered from major lcd screen damage or flexing.

But the GXR has had a rapidly accelerating crazing on the surface in recent weeks, as my general use-habits have not changed this can only be some new problem previously unknown. Harking back to my GRDIII I can now see a similar surface deterioration in perhaps an earlier stage. (My GRDIII is an early model and a fair bit older than my GXR body).

By way of comparison and going back to my 8/9 years used original GRD and R4 (both of which I still have and can readily inspect) I can see nothing except some minor surface deposits that could be carefully cleaned away - not sign of surface damage or scratches.

Is this the price we pay for "improved" anti-glare characteristics?

Methinks it might be endemic to the new models.

Note that I have had the GXR for probably 18 months and the GRDIII for at least two years and it is only very recently that the lcd surface crazing has been found worthy of comment.

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BG_CX3_DPREVIEW
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to rondom, Feb 26, 2012

Had te peeling of on my cx3 too, so the lcd was replaced as in bright sunlight, nothing was visible anymore.

So, during the 2 days of repair, i ordered an anti glarr, anti reflective screen protector. It costed me less than 3 usd and fits on every 3 inch screen.

I noticed once th epeeling started, it came of rather fast and he protective bag i have, seemed to fasten it rather than slowing it down.

Stupid thing, if Ricoh spends 3 usd per set in the factory, the pobably save a hundred per repair.

So my advise, take it or leave it, once you receive your set, stick a protector on it.

Plus; in bright sunlight, you can see more on the screen than without.

 BG_CX3_DPREVIEW's gear list:BG_CX3_DPREVIEW's gear list
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Tom Caldwell
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D50, fine, GXR, GRDIII not so good ...
In reply to rondom, Feb 26, 2012

rondom wrote:

This is a Sony LCD also used in canon dslr, 50d if not mistaken, and i don't think there are any such complains from canon users. The reason, I believe, is that canon have a protection glass in front of the LCD.(please correct me if I am wrong but I think every dslr has it. In a typical dslr, when you are fitting a protection cover for your LCD, you are actually protecting the protection glass...)

In ricoh, there are no such layer...you just have the LCD facing the user. I think this is just too cheap for a top of the line camera with a magnesium shell...

Good point, I have a 50D and it was only today I had noticed that the replacement lcd screens sold on ebay for about $24 were offered as the same specified part for the 50D as well as the GRDIII (and presumably the GXR as well).

My 50D is of similar vintage as the GRDIII and treated with a similar amount of care. But it is not used as frequently as my mainline Ricohs.

Jog on the arm and common sense says "lets take a look and see how they compare". Firstly the protective cover over the 50D lcd screen is obvious, seems rock hard and there is not a mark on it.

The GRDIII and GXR lcd screens now look exposed and fragile by comparison.

Therefore you are quite right - camera bodies of this quality with delicate lcd coatings need something better. I can only assume that the earlier lcd's that caused me no problems whatsoever were either not coated or their coating was much harder.

This lcd screen must be an oem part on some Sony cameras as well. Presumably Sony either covers them protectively or have a similar series of problems with coating degradation.

The next question is of course - has anyone attempted to replace an lcd on their camera? Seems a bit foolish to set about replacing a perfectly working lcd because of cosmetic damage to it's surface only to risk having the problem re-occur.

However if I could and did decide to do it then I would certainly be taking Cristian's advice and fitting a transparent protective covering immediately.

If only life were simple.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to BG_CX3_DPREVIEW, Feb 26, 2012

BG_CX3_DPREVIEW wrote:

Had te peeling of on my cx3 too, so the lcd was replaced as in bright sunlight, nothing was visible anymore.

So, during the 2 days of repair, i ordered an anti glarr, anti reflective screen protector. It costed me less than 3 usd and fits on every 3 inch screen.

I noticed once th epeeling started, it came of rather fast and he protective bag i have, seemed to fasten it rather than slowing it down.

Stupid thing, if Ricoh spends 3 usd per set in the factory, the pobably save a hundred per repair.

So my advise, take it or leave it, once you receive your set, stick a protector on it.

Plus; in bright sunlight, you can see more on the screen than without.

Thanks for the confirmation, this might be widespread. When I showed my camera to an assistant in the store where I bought it today he agreed that it looked like degradation of the coating. Helpfully he suggested that it could be sent for repair which might cost about AUD$160. (?$ ... snort - I had not long before just found out that the part retailed ex-China in single units post free for $24) ... the owner was not in store, will catch up tomorrow, he is a decent bloke, might see how good he is at twisting the arm of the new Australian distributor of Ricoh camera products. I have had it for a while, it is not a within-warranty issue but more a merchandisable quality issue where a product that is well treated fails simply because of a product design defect.

I agree that the less that $1 part applied in factory form bulk stock could keep this sort of thing from happening - it is a serious ommission on what is otherwise a robust and well conceived product.

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Luke Tapp
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 28, 2012

Loosly Related...

In January I sent my 13 month old GXR back to the RICOH agent in Melbourne as the Up/Down dial had stopped working. They fixed the dial AND replaced my well worn LCD in about a week.

All covered by the 24 month warranty.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Luke Tapp, Feb 28, 2012

Thanks Luke, I am sure that I have not had my GXR as long as two years - must check. Talked to the guy who sold it to me recently he did not offer to send it for warranty repair - must check.

Certainly when I get the lcd coating fixed I will surely apply some sort of cover to it.

I have an ACCMAX cover on order but it is a waste of time applying it in the condition the lcd is in currently.

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ayewing
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to Tom Caldwell, Feb 28, 2012

Like Tom I had in the past regarded using a screen protector as a bit of unnecessary fussiness. I have been using Pentax DSLRs for some years and they seem to have remarkably tough LCD screens.

However I recently got a small scratch on the LCD screen of my Leica M9 caused I think by it brushing against a button on my jacket. After trying stick on screens which always seemed to get bubbles of air under them I settled on a ACMAXX screen protector which is very neat and easy to fit.

I also got one for my GXR. They are made of some sort of plastic or polycarbonate and seem to be very tough. They also look as if they were designed for the camera and are virtually unnoticeable in use.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Mea Culpa
In reply to ayewing, Feb 29, 2012

ayewing wrote:

Like Tom I had in the past regarded using a screen protector as a bit of unnecessary fussiness. I have been using Pentax DSLRs for some years and they seem to have remarkably tough LCD screens.

However I recently got a small scratch on the LCD screen of my Leica M9 caused I think by it brushing against a button on my jacket. After trying stick on screens which always seemed to get bubbles of air under them I settled on a ACMAXX screen protector which is very neat and easy to fit.

I also got one for my GXR. They are made of some sort of plastic or polycarbonate and seem to be very tough. They also look as if they were designed for the camera and are virtually unnoticeable in use.

Thanks, I have some on order. Must figure out what can be done with the existing screens. I for one think that like would be replaced with like but there is no point in putting a neat cover over a existing scratched screen but to do nothing is obviously to hazard it simply getting worse.

The dealer that sold me the gear made no offer to check warranty and I was not in attack mode at the time (grin) But I will have to ask the specific question of him.

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