Which focusing screen for the D800?

Started Jan 7, 2014 | Discussions
ocean7 Regular Member • Posts: 201
Which focusing screen for the D800?

I have long used a KatzEye screen in my D700, and it helps quite a bit to focus my Zeiss lenses. Now I wanted to check out what screens may be available for the D800. It looks KatzEye does not make one, but this company offers several: http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_130

Does anybody have any experience with these? With the KatzEye it was simple, there was only a single one. Now this FocusingScreen.com has this variety, with some derived from Canon, some from the F6. I'm not familiar with either, to know which one would work best. Also, I think there is another vendor with even more screens (Bright Screen?)

Nikon D700 Nikon D800
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user_name Veteran Member • Posts: 3,134
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?
2

I would proceed with caution.

Katzeye does not make one and I suspect that they feel that doing so would result in a high enough number is dissatisfied clients to give them a black eye for their reputation.

The problems I see are:

  • Difficulty installing the screen could lead to user failures or damage to their cameras
  • Loss of performance with metering
  • Poor performance for focusing

My guess is Katzeye probably feels that the risks are not worth the payback.  Other manufactures probably do not have the reputation or client base that Katzeye has, so they have less swinging in the wind, so to speak.

I seen several posts by individuals that claim success with these 3rd party screens, but some disenchanted ones, too.

At this point I am keeping my D800 untouched, but I may try a screen on my D700.  If Katzeye ever produces a solution for the D800 I would have more confidence in the conversion, but I am not convinced the gains outweigh the possible consequences at this point.

I am starting to feel the D700 might be a good choice for my manual lenses.  While the lure of 36mp is strong, I can still find excellent performance from my 12mp D700.

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OP ocean7 Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Thanks for your comments! The KatzEye works quite well in the D700, but I was hoping to get the same feature in the D800. The D800 works oh so well with the Zeiss 135mm f/2 lens! But you're right one needs to be careful, that's why I was asking here.

In the D700, installation was quite easy, but I had to adjust manual focus after that by installing some shims. I have no idea if the D800 has the same mechanism to exchange focus screens or if it works differently (haven't tried to open it).

regos
regos Regular Member • Posts: 281
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

I also looked at this very issue in deciding which FF body to buy, to use with my old manual lenses. I had a D7000 in which I had installed a Katzeye screen without problems, and I was aware that they didn't make any screens for the D800 or D600 (and now the DF). That is why, after a lot of thought, I decided to buy a mint D700. I ordered a Katzeye screen for it so I had one the day after I got the camera. Works perfectly, with the shim that was already in there.

It was after all that that I first heard about this other brand of aftermarket screens and saw that they do sell screens for D800 and D600. The pictures on their website show the installation in a D800 and it looks similar to what I had to do in my cameras. Now I am confused. What exactly is the difference? Why is it that most agree that D800 and D610 and DF screens are not removable, while the D700 is?

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 6,161
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?
1

user_name wrote:

I would proceed with caution.

Katzeye does not make one and I suspect that they feel that doing so would result in a high enough number is dissatisfied clients to give them a black eye for their reputation.

The problems I see are:

  • Difficulty installing the screen could lead to user failures or damage to their cameras
  • Loss of performance with metering
  • Poor performance for focusing

Below is the response from Katzeye when I asked about the focusing screen.

"Unfortunately, we are not able to
support the Nikon D800/D800E at this time. This is certainly a model we
would like to support, but technical limitations are preventing us from
making screens for these cameras. This screen is not more difficult in
principle - it is a matter of lack of compatibility with our existing raw
material options and manufacturing processes. We are working diligently on
a solution, and remain hopeful that we can support the D800, although I
cannot offer any assurances or a release date yet. I will add your name to
the interest list for the Nikon D800 and you will receive updates if/when
more information becomes available. I am sorry we cannot meet your current
need, but if I can be of any other service, please feel free to ask."

-- hide signature --

Truman
www.pbase.com/tprevatt

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regos
regos Regular Member • Posts: 281
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Why is it then that all reviews clearly state that the DF focus screen is not removable? Apparently all  Nikon DSLR focus screens are user removable, even though not all companies make aftermarket screens for all models.

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Rudolf Morf Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

ocean7 wrote:

I have long used a KatzEye screen in my D700, and it helps quite a bit to focus my Zeiss lenses. Now I wanted to check out what screens may be available for the D800. It looks KatzEye does not make one, but this company offers several: http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_130

Does anybody have any experience with these? With the KatzEye it was simple, there was only a single one. Now this FocusingScreen.com has this variety, with some derived from Canon, some from the F6. I'm not familiar with either, to know which one would work best. Also, I think there is another vendor with even more screens (Bright Screen?)

Dear Ocean7

I have recently received a S-type focusing screen for a D800 from this source in Taiwan. It has been installed by an expert. I am very happy with this type of screen as I do not need any microprism or split image rangefinder when using Nikkor MF lenses like the 85mm f1.4. Although depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, I can focus accurately using this screen with the D800. I can recommend the screen as well as its Taiwanese source based on my positive experience.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,053
Apparently metering was the issue with the split diopter

This is why the screen for Nikon's F6 can't be transported into Nikon's DSLRs. Nikon is by nature a very conservative company and may never offer a split diopter even though it may be 'good enough' for most people. Back in the film days, few people had enlargers. These days, anyone can pixel peep  including people who won't accept trade offs in tolerances.

-- hide signature --

Wait for the bright flash so I can steal your soul. Smile!

inasir1971
inasir1971 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,481
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Rudolf Morf wrote:

ocean7 wrote:

I have long used a KatzEye screen in my D700, and it helps quite a bit to focus my Zeiss lenses. Now I wanted to check out what screens may be available for the D800. It looks KatzEye does not make one, but this company offers several: http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_130

Does anybody have any experience with these? With the KatzEye it was simple, there was only a single one. Now this FocusingScreen.com has this variety, with some derived from Canon, some from the F6. I'm not familiar with either, to know which one would work best. Also, I think there is another vendor with even more screens (Bright Screen?)

Dear Ocean7

I have recently received a S-type focusing screen for a D800 from this source in Taiwan. It has been installed by an expert. I am very happy with this type of screen as I do not need any microprism or split image rangefinder when using Nikkor MF lenses like the 85mm f1.4. Although depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, I can focus accurately using this screen with the D800. I can recommend the screen as well as its Taiwanese source based on my positive experience.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

What is the impact of replacing your focusing screen?

Do you lose focus point indication or any other viewfinder functionality? Does it affect metering or AF tracking?

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Rudolf Morf Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

inasir1971 wrote:

Rudolf Morf wrote:

ocean7 wrote:

I have long used a KatzEye screen in my D700, and it helps quite a bit to focus my Zeiss lenses. Now I wanted to check out what screens may be available for the D800. It looks KatzEye does not make one, but this company offers several: http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_130

Does anybody have any experience with these? With the KatzEye it was simple, there was only a single one. Now this FocusingScreen.com has this variety, with some derived from Canon, some from the F6. I'm not familiar with either, to know which one would work best. Also, I think there is another vendor with even more screens (Bright Screen?)

Dear Ocean7

I have recently received a S-type focusing screen for a D800 from this source in Taiwan. It has been installed by an expert. I am very happy with this type of screen as I do not need any microprism or split image rangefinder when using Nikkor MF lenses like the 85mm f1.4. Although depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, I can focus accurately using this screen with the D800. I can recommend the screen as well as its Taiwanese source based on my positive experience.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

What is the impact of replacing your focusing screen?

Do you lose focus point indication or any other viewfinder functionality? Does it affect metering or AF tracking?

Focus points appear just like with the standard screen. Neither AF nor exposure metering are impacted.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

inasir1971
inasir1971 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,481
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Rudolf Morf wrote:

inasir1971 wrote:

Rudolf Morf wrote:

ocean7 wrote:

I have long used a KatzEye screen in my D700, and it helps quite a bit to focus my Zeiss lenses. Now I wanted to check out what screens may be available for the D800. It looks KatzEye does not make one, but this company offers several: http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_130

Does anybody have any experience with these? With the KatzEye it was simple, there was only a single one. Now this FocusingScreen.com has this variety, with some derived from Canon, some from the F6. I'm not familiar with either, to know which one would work best. Also, I think there is another vendor with even more screens (Bright Screen?)

Dear Ocean7

I have recently received a S-type focusing screen for a D800 from this source in Taiwan. It has been installed by an expert. I am very happy with this type of screen as I do not need any microprism or split image rangefinder when using Nikkor MF lenses like the 85mm f1.4. Although depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, I can focus accurately using this screen with the D800. I can recommend the screen as well as its Taiwanese source based on my positive experience.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

What is the impact of replacing your focusing screen?

Do you lose focus point indication or any other viewfinder functionality? Does it affect metering or AF tracking?

Focus points appear just like with the standard screen. Neither AF nor exposure metering are impacted.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

Thanks. Since focus points are displayed, I guess that grid lines and other viewfinder display functions are not impacted?

Did you buy from www.focusingscreen.com?

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holgerlinke Regular Member • Posts: 221
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Rudolf Morf wrote:
I have recently received a S-type focusing screen for a D800 from this source in Taiwan. It has been installed by an expert. I am very happy with this type of screen as I do not need any microprism or split image rangefinder when using Nikkor MF lenses like the 85mm f1.4. Although depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, I can focus accurately using this screen with the D800. I can recommend the screen as well as its Taiwanese source based on my positive experience.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

I can fully confirm your experience - got the J-type screen with the microprisms from focusingscreen.com. Since it came with all the necessary tools, I mounted it myself, very easy, and there was no issue with at all. Description with pictures available at their internet site.

Focusing is now as easy as with the Katzeye screen on the D300.
Holger.

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rui oliveira Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Does these comments apply  to D600 ?

Rudolf Morf Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

inasir1971 wrote:

Thanks. Since focus points are displayed, I guess that grid lines and other viewfinder display functions are not impacted?

Did you buy from www.focusingscreen.com?

Yes, I did. They deliver the screen together with all necessary equipment for installation. I have shown this kit to the manager of the Swiss Nikon service center. He got so interested in this kit - which includes pincers and a tool for removing the installed screen - that he is going to order a few such kits for his team.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

Rudolf Morf Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

inasir1971 wrote:

Thanks. Since focus points are displayed, I guess that grid lines and other viewfinder display functions are not impacted?

Grid lines are displayed. All viewfinder functions work the same as with the original screen - with for my eyes improved manual focus and better control of the depth of field.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

Rservello
Rservello Senior Member • Posts: 1,157
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

I really want to switch out my focus screen on my D600...you are getting me interested again!

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Holger_L New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

rui oliveira wrote:

Does these comments apply to D600 ?

No, to the D800.

[ughhh, just noticed that I have "split identities" = different user names between PC and mobile device... I'm still the same person though... Cheers, Holger]

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Scott McMorrow Regular Member • Posts: 366
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

The same screens are available for the D600

http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_137

Rudolf Morf Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Rservello wrote:

I really want to switch out my focus screen on my D600...you are getting me interested again!

http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=22_137

offers these screens also for the D600.

Yet, I only have experience with D800, but expect the same quality and properties of the screens made for D600.

-- hide signature --

Rudolf

as1mov
as1mov Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: Which focusing screen for the D800?

Hi Rudolf,

I live in Switzerland and I am interested in installing a focusing screen in my D600, as I have a few AI-s lenses and plan to buy more manual lenses in the future.

I dunno how difficult it is to install it, but I fear to do it myself, so I was thinking to ask Nikon Swiss to do it for me. That's good that they are acquainted with the kit...

Thx.

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