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Old Oct 29, 2010, 4:16 PM   #1
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Default E-5 Focus Screen

We've had some discussion in this forum about getting the camera level while shooting. It gave us the opportunity to tease Ken, but seriously it's an issue for me and for a lot of folks as far as I can tell.

Since there is some chance that the E-5 could be the last Oly DSLR with an OVF, I was contemplating whether to buy it and get Oly to install the FS-3 focus screen (which has a grid on it, to help you achieve horizontal and/or vertical alignment as well as third-rule composition). So I asked Oly repair if the FS-3 would work in the E-5. Here is the response I received:

Dear Ted Kurkowski,

Thank you for contacting Olympus Technical Support.
Yes the Viewfinder on the E-5 is exactly the same as the E-3 so the FS-3 can be installed by our Hauppage NY service center. I am not aware of any impact on the metering by changing the focusing screen.
Best Regards,

Olympus Technical Support
Olympus Imaging America Inc.

So, if I can figure out how to get this done, I plan to do it. For the E-3 it wasn't an expensive mod - $70 as I recall).

For those of you who aren't familiar with the alternate FS-3 screen for the E-3 and E-30, I've attached an image of it. (I increased the contrast on the image over what it's supposed to look like in the OVF.)

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Old Nov 1, 2010, 12:18 AM   #2
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Personally I use a Seculine AL-105s hotshoe electronic level to tell me if the camera is level or not (landscape or portrait orientation):


video demo:

Using that I can even make the camera level even when there's no visual reference in what I'm shooting.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 8:18 AM   #3
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Thanks, Mike! I didn't know this existed.

In two of the four reviews of it at Adorama, folks complained that it doesn't fit tightly enough in the hot shoe, and so it falls out. Have you had that problem?

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Old Nov 1, 2010, 10:23 AM   #4
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I would go with the focus screen simply because I have a radio transceiver on my hotshoe and I really don't think I could see the led level indicator with my face pressed to the camera and the audible level indicator is way too close in tone to the focus indicator of my camera....annoying. I personally use the AF squares for leveling.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 6:30 PM   #5
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The E-5 has the same level system as the E-30. Lots of people seem to like the way it works.

I'm used to alot of false horizons and often need to level acording to them. I cannot comment because I've yet to use the feature. Zig may have an opinion, as well as the Texas Greg.

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