Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

Started Apr 4, 2009 | Discussions
gorby Forum Member • Posts: 81
Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

Hi,

I had done some research on the above subject, have some personal experience and have posted the relevant info. This is mainly for photgraphers looking for a solution.

I had posted this in an earlier thread and apologize for posting it again..I am doing so because that thread denigrated into a lot of personal mudslinging (no offense to the thread starter or the other posters) ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=31453226 )

Anyway, coming to the relevant section of my post.....

The manufacturers who make split image/ micro prism focussing screens for Nikon D700.

1. Katz Eye (US$105/-)
http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/ ... ...ikon-D700-Focusing-Screen--prod_D700.html

Previously mentioned by someone. Just introduced. Only split image. No microprism. No optibrite treatment. Their website does not indicate where the screens are made. I have used one for my D2Hs previously. It worked well. I had no issues with the screen or the company. Excellent service and prompt response.

2. Brightscreen (US$160/-)
http://brightscreen.com/styles2.html

Someone has previously used these on dpreview and the user opinion was not very enthusiastic ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=28577551 ). The split prism screen for nikon D700 (type 2,4,5) are designated P type and are custom produced (not from original factory...read Nikon screen)

3. Focussing screen (US$ 69/-)
http://www.focusingscreen.com/

This is a Taiwanese website (..excuse the poor english). They make screens for the Nikon D700 using screens from Canon/ Nikon & custom make. I bought the Canon screen from them (Ec-L=cross hair type). Excellent customer service and the screen works perfectly. They did not have the nikon screen (F6 screen) in stock at that time..they still do not have it..expected sometime in april. A link to a flickr group discussing the same.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/365610@N21/discuss/72157603946437336/
They modify the original Nikon F6 screen or canon screen to fit the Nikon D700.

There are also some other manufacturers of split screens. Can search on e-bay. Haoda is one of them (he doe not have a nikon d700 screen)
http://haodascreen.com/othercameras.aspx

Like I mentioned before, I used the Katzeye for my D2Hs (Nikon Singapore installed it for me free of cost). I used the D700 screen from Focussing screen.com and installed it myself...it was very easy..the instructions on the site are very clear..it took about 2-3 minutes. I have not checked in detail, but there was no effect on metering..I presume there will be an effect when spot meterig is used with the cenrtal AF sensor.

Happy to answer any queries.

Cheers,
Gorby

Never Say Die!
http://www.sandeep.zenfolio.com

Kent J
Kent J Senior Member • Posts: 2,378
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

I will add my personal experiance with the KatzEye Screen. I too had one of those for my D200 and it worked well. I got the D700 model and installed it myself. Went well except for my putting a small scratch on the screen.

Unfortunately the focus was noticably off. A perfect alignment of the spilt screen gave unfocussed images on the Zeiss 100 at f/2. I contacted Rachael Katz and she said they had seen that problem. "In the large number that we beta tested, we did encounter a few bodies where the MF was out..." She suggested I send the camera and screen in and let them have a look at it. I did (paying their installation fee minus 10%) and it came back not only perfectly calibrated, but they switched the screen I had scratched with a new one for no extra charge.
--
-Kent

Life is too short for slow glass.

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OP gorby Forum Member • Posts: 81
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

Thank you Kent for your input. Hopefully this thread is full of valuable criticisms/ praise of good vendors and more options for everybody.

Cheers,
Gorby

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Kent J
Kent J Senior Member • Posts: 2,378
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

Yeah, I AM interested in those other options.

A couple more points about the KatzEye. There is compensation required for spot metering with lenses max aperture f/4 or slower. In addition, the matte area of the screen is very, very good for seeing objects snap into focus - much better than I remember the D200 screen being. It is almost like microprisms.
--
-Kent

Life is too short for slow glass.

 Kent J's gear list:Kent J's gear list
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kanzlr Contributing Member • Posts: 576
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

thumbs up for focussingscreen.com
Got a Ec-L screen for my D700 and it works perfectly.

It also comes with a rich set of tools and shims, something Katz doesn't provide and it is needed to adjust focus yoursef if it is off.

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pierre1
pierre1 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,940
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

gorby wrote:
2. Brightscreen (US$160/-)
http://brightscreen.com/styles2.html

Thanks for doing the research. I wonder if anyone has had any experience with the p795h # 4 & 5 focusing screen with the D700 lower down the page.
I need a good D700 screen for my PC 85mm f2.8 and Zeiss 100mm f2.
Thanks in advance,
Pierre

C_4 Contributing Member • Posts: 545
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

I tried a couple of different screens on my D300 and the Katz screen was by far the best in terms of usability as a focusing aid, however all of them messed with the metering in a variable manner (ie, there was no fixed amount of compensation you could use, the amount the meter was off varied with the scene, and it didn't really matter whether you used matrix, centre-weighted or spot (unless the spot you chose was well out from the central prism or the microprism region around it))..

Basically for me, the situation was that it didn't matter if I had 100% focus vs. the 90+% that I got using AF if it meant that 100% of the time, I had to figure out and compensate for the fact that the screen messed up the metering..

I sent the screens back, and one of the companies (NOT Katz, they were very good about it), ripped me off and did not process my refund (I'm not going to say which one other than to say that they were one of the pricier companies, and they are on your list)..

the Interceptor Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

Sorry for reviving this older thread, but I thought that opening a new one on the same subject doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I am currently gathering older manual lenses for my Nikon D700. Naturally, I found focusing manually to be quite tricky at times. After a hint coming from a workmate, I am now looking into getting a focusing screen of one of the companies in the opening post. Right now, I'm most attracted by the Ec-A screen (known from the Canon 1D range), which is on offer from Focusingscreen.com.

Having no experience with focusing screens whatsoever, I am now looking for guidance and experience of people who have. So what are your experiences in terms of split prism versus microprism screens? Have you used one of those screens on your Nikon FX, and how happy are you with it?

Thanks for any input!
the Interceptor

jepomat Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

the Interceptor wrote:

Sorry for reviving this older thread, but I thought that opening a new one on the same subject doesn't make sense.


Well, that was three (3 !) years ago ... I'm now in this situation myself and I'd like the feedback from people who have been using an alternative focusing screen for a couple years.

Which focusing screen do you like best ? Which ones gave you trouble ?

Any feedback highly welcome !

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+ Jepomat +

DebraR Contributing Member • Posts: 858
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

Id like info too.  Have always been curious about focusing screens and I just picked up a D700, would love to look into them more.

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Debra Nikon D300, Hexar AF, D70, N90 Oly C-5050 and an UZI!

Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

DebraR wrote:

Id like info too. Have always been curious about focusing screens and I just picked up a D700, would love to look into them more.

Haven't used a replacement focusing screen since film (Nikon F, Nikon N90). In those days I preferred the microprism over the split image screens. However, they didn't work in all situations. IIRC, they didn't function properly with macro shooting or with long slow lenses.

With digital cameras (D2x, D700, and D800E) I've found the Nikon DK-17M magnifying eyepiece to be very helpful with manual focus. Not recommended if you wear glasses.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,624
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700 calibration importance

DebraR wrote:

Id like info too. Have always been curious about focusing screens and I just picked up a D700, would love to look into them more.

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Debra Nikon D300, Hexar AF, D70, N90 Oly C-5050 and an UZI!

I cannot answer from the viewpoint of having used an alternate screen, Can amswer from having used a smaller viewfinder to focus with AI lenses and research.

I was using a D5000 for maual focus for last five months. Did check with Katzeye who responded very well. I did not actually get one as I got used to focusing without it, but did notice that I had to recalibrate the manual focus on the D5000.

I just got a D300 and the larger viewfinder is wonderful for focus. Additionally, I am finding that the manual focus seems to be perfectly calibrated, that is a wonderful surprise, it is not always.

So, for now I will use the original matt screen.

Personally, if I do get a screen I would suggest the Katzeye, purely because if you have a calibration issue, as everyone says Rachel Katz reponds to correspondence very well.

I think that is worth the extra bucks. Because if manual focus is not properly calibrated you will drive yourself insane.

Thats said, maybe you try focusing with the plain screen for the D700 for a bit, if it is larger than the D300 screen you should find it fairly okay? If not, check out Katzeye.

Just my opinion.

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.....Just from an amateur......''Sometimes it's to your advantage for people to think you're crazy.” I am only a hoobyist, I cannot and do not give expert advice, dont expect it, just take it as a suggestion to think about, but only if you wish to. We should try to not wait for life to happen, while it passes us by.

afoton
afoton Senior Member • Posts: 1,337
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700 calibration importance

Bajerunner wrote:


Thats said, maybe you try focusing with the plain screen for the D700 for a bit, if it is larger than the D300 screen you should find it fairly okay? If not, check out Katzeye.

My experience is at least that D700 is way easier to manual focus than D300.

drdbthompson New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Split image/ Micro Prism Focusing Screens for Nikon D700

1. Katz Eye (US$105/-)
http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/ ... ...ikon-D700-Focusing-Screen--prod_D700.html

Previously mentioned by someone. Just introduced. Only split image. No microprism. No optibrite treatment. Their website does not indicate where the screens are made. I have used one for my D2Hs previously. It worked well. I had no issues with the screen or the company. Excellent service and prompt response.

2. Brightscreen (US$160/-)
http://brightscreen.com/styles2.html

Someone has previously used these on dpreview and the user opinion was not very enthusiastic ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=28577551 ). The split prism screen for nikon D700 (type 2,4,5) are designated P type and are custom produced (not from original factory...read Nikon screen)

I'm sad to report that KatzEye is now out of business. Brightscreen also appears to be gone as their website is not longer at the domain name listed.

Both of these losses are a pity for those of us who prefer vintage, manual focus glass.

The folks at Focusing Screen appear to be still in business.

The reason this is important to me is that I am thinking about picking up a D700 for a second body. I like the idea of fewer pixels for much of the work I do. Plus, the vertical grip from my D300 will fit, which is a boon.

If you, like me, are in the market for an aftermarket focusing screen for a D700, your options are now limited. There are still a few screen available, but much fewer than before.

Best...

Neocon
Neocon Senior Member • Posts: 1,112
RIP Katz Eye

Just found out they are out of business.  Purchased their screen for my D80 back in 2009.  Needed to get more accurate focus with my 50mm f1.4 lens, after the auto focus died.  The main problem with focusing screen design is when you use slower lenses.  The focusing accuracy with their screen is same whether I use the a fast Sigma 18-35 or the 18-35 f3.5/4.5 Nikkor.  In the film day both Canon and Nikon make screens that were optimized for fast lenses.

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regos
regos Regular Member • Posts: 281
Re: RIP Katz Eye

I have installed  katzeye split image screens, first in my D7000 and next in the D700, which I bought used specifically because it was the last model of FX Nikon body for which katzeye made screens. They stopped making screens for FX Nikon bodies after the D700, claiming that technical reasons prevented them, but they were working on a solution. Now apparently they have given up altogether. I am not surprised they are out of business. I now have a new Df and I have ordered a split image/microprism screen from focusingscreens. com, which have gotten good reviews.

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regos
regos Regular Member • Posts: 281
Re: RIP Katz Eye

Well I have to admit since my last post I have had a very similar experience to the OP. I received the new focusing screen from focusingscreens.com, everything was included, tweezers, finger protectors and extra shims.

It has been awhile since I last installed a screen in my D700 and I had forgotten the details. Unfortunately the instructions on their website were very confusing, the pictures not really showing how to do anything, and the text in pidgin English no help at all.

I finally realized how to open the spring lock and took out the old screen. Unfortunately the shims also came out, and I found it impossible to put them back properly. In my struggles, and my worry about letting in dirt, that is what happened. Then I wound up smudging the bottom of the prism, and scratching the screen.

I have ordered a new screen and found a qualified repair place that will install it for me. Lesson learned. It can be done, I have done it successfully twice, but when it goes wrong, it goes terribly wrong.

 regos's gear list:regos's gear list
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