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Old Feb 22, 2007, 4:38 PM   #21
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JimC wrote:
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It depends on the DSLR. As a general rule, the smaller the sensor, the smaller the viewfinder. Go with a full frame (i.e., 35mm film size sensor) DSLR if you want a decent viewfinder (and you still may want a different focus screen). Of course, that's a pricey solution. lol

Here's one solution to aid MF (a split image focus screen):

http://haodascreen.com/sifs.aspx
Nah, I'm on a budget

But what is this "focus-screen" really? Its mentioned always in reviews, as something separate from the viewfinder. Like there is some screen inside the viewfinder....strange stuff, never seen it explained.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 4:52 PM   #22
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It's at the top of the mirror chamber and the image is projected on it. See item 5 in this diagram of an SLR:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-lens_reflex_camera

It requires a little bit of minor surgery to get the old one out and new one in. But, they come with instructions and you can find some articles on how to do it:

Here's a user review of a Hoada Split Image Focus Screen on a KM Maxxum 5D that shows you how the split image microprism image looks. It's not as nice as using a rangefinder, but this type of viewfinder screen helps if you want to do a lot of MF using an SLR type system.

http://www.dyxum.com/columns/other/H...reen/gubbe.asp


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Old Feb 22, 2007, 8:32 PM   #23
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Strange they cant just magnify the image someway, but I guess that would make it dimmer. Strange that old analog cameras had so extremely bright and large viewfinders as some people say, making it very possible to focus manually. Not THAT big difference between film/sensor sizes so I guess there must be some other explanation to why DSLR's has so small viewfinders that can hardly even be used to spot accurate focus.
Ok. I put my 50mm f/1.7 lens on my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, and my 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Minolta srT-202. This is not a direct comparison in all respects since the 5D is a 1.5 crop factor camera. I just wanted to put the brightest lenses I had onto each camera.

The image in the viewfinder of the srT-202 is bigger, but the image in the viewfinder of the Maxxum 5D is brighter. And I remember looking through the viewfinders of other SLRs of the day and thinking they were pretty dim. So I beleive that the srT-202 had a very bright viewfinder in its day, yet the Maxxum 5Dis brighter. I think what you're hearing is fond memories of days gone by, not objective comparisons.

The Maxxum 5D has the plain ground glass focusing screen, so it was tougher to feel comfortable about getting a precise focus, but the focusing screen in the srT-202 has the split-image and microprism focusing aids that make me feel more comfortable about my ability to focus the lens MANUALLY.

Minolta srT-202 Viewfinder.jpg

Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D Viewfinder.jpg

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Old Feb 23, 2007, 4:08 AM   #24
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Ah, interresting you guys
Thanks

So, this matte focusing screen, is it just some thin plane that needs to be there, because the image needs to be projected onto something before it hits the eye?
If you removed it completely just letting light go on through the viewfinder you wouldn't be able to see anything?

Also, what does "matte" mean? Is it an english word, or just some technical made up word?
"Matte" in swedish is the same as "math", that is, a short word for mathematics.
"Matt" though is the word for "not shiny", like for example you can order your prints as shiny or not shiny, or you could have some finish on your camera that is shiny or not shiny.

Oh well, now that you've learned some swedish, what does this "matte" mean?


Thanks again
This forum is great, really nice people here it seems.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 7:43 AM   #25
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ASBR wrote:
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So, this matte focusing screen, is it just some thin plane that needs to be there, because the image needs to be projected onto something before it hits the eye?
If you removed it completely just letting light go on through the viewfinder you wouldn't be able to see anything?
The focusing screen is EXACTLY as far away from thelens asis the image sensor, so the focusing screen shows the image EXACTLY as it would be focused when the mirror flips up out of the way, the shutter opens,and the image is projected onto the image sensor. Without the focusing screen, you could move your eye closer or further away from the eyepiece to focus the image, without regard to how the image would be focused on the image sensor.

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Also, what does "matte" mean? Is it an english word, or just some technical made up word?
"Matte" in swedish is the same as "math", that is, a short word for mathematics.
"Matt" though is the word for "not shiny", like for example you can order your prints as shiny or not shiny, or you could have some finish on your camera that is shiny or not shiny.
I don't think "matte" is the best description for focusing screens. As you point out, "matte" typically refers to a surface that is not reflective, and that doesn't apply here. What focusing screensreally are is plain ground glass (very precisely ground, to be sure, but just plain ground glass.) Instead of having the perfectly smooth surface that you would see on a typical pane of plate glass, the focusing screen has a VERY fine random texture. This texture makes the focusing screen translucent but not transparent. It is this gound surface that the image is projected onto.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 7:52 AM   #26
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ASBR wrote:
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amazingthailand wrote:
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ASBR wrote:
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Whats the catch?
In a nutshell: cost.
Not according to TCav's explanation below your post.
If amazingthailandwants to disagree with me, he is free to do so, and he knows it. He doesn't need your help.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 9:15 AM   #27
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Ah, great explanation, thanks
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 1:02 AM   #28
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Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll add to the list:

The Olympus DSLRs have the focus confirmation feature when manually focusing but only with autofocus capable four-thirds lenses.

Apparently they don't do it when it would be most useful, when using an older MF lens (via adaptor mount).


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