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Old Jan 27, 2007, 12:06 PM   #1
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Dear Fellow Photographer,

We are writing you today because you expressed an interest in the Katz Eye focusing screen for the Olympus E-500. We are pleased to announce that the Katz Eye focusing screen for this model has been released. Thank you very much for your patience during our development period. Full details about the new screen can be found on our website, www.katzeyeoptics.com - there is a link to the new screen right on the home page. Thank you very much for your interest in Katz Eye products, and if you have any questions about the new screen for the Olympus E-500, please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,

Katz Eye Optics



Check there site out at: [size=www.katzeyeoptics.com][/size]
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:29 PM   #2
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In my humble opinion, $100 is a pretty steepprice for this product, considering that's 1/6th of the price of an E-500 two-lens kit. Similar split focus screens have been available on eBay from reliable sellers for months now for the E-500 at 1/4 that price.

I have not heard anything bad about the Katz Eye products. In fact, they always are highly recommended everywhere I've seen the name mentioned. However, there are signficantly cheaper solutions already available.


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Old Jan 31, 2007, 3:02 AM   #3
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But those cheaper solutions are NOT available for the E-500.

If you want to get a good manual focusing screen for an Olympus DSLR, Katz-Eye is the only game in town.

BTW, I own one for one of my E-300 bodies. For serious manual focus work, it is absolutely indispensible.

Frankly one should not compare the cost of simple generic focusing screens designed for older manual cameras with that of items that are specifically engineered for working with current Autofocus cameras. If you were to price out a new Beattie Screen, Britescreen or Maxwell Screen for any modern camera, you would see that they all cost in the range of $100-200. You are not paying for the materials, nor even for the manufacturing cost. What you are paying for is the R&D necessary to precision engineer such a product so that it works properly in a modern autofocusing DSLR (as well as the process of installing such an item in a camera not designed to have interchangeable screens - and all of these newer screens cost similar amounts.
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 6:19 PM   #4
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Actually, the game has changed! The cheaper solutions are (and have been) available for the E-500 forat least a littlewhile now. Try this link:

VirtualVillage USA on eBay

Their prices went up -- it's now $30 + $7 shipping (used to be mid $20 with free shipping or something similar), but that's still significantly cheaper for split focus screen designed specifically for the E-500.

Dozens of reputable people on other forums (DPReview for one) are recommending them without reservation. I'm getting one based on those recommendations. I will come back to the thread and post a little review when I get it.

Although the E-500 isn't designed for quick changing of the focus screen, it's relatively simple and non-instrusive to do.
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 7:41 PM   #5
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How hard or easy is it to change the screen in an E-500?
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 10:53 PM   #6
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It's more a matter of dexterity than anything else. I believe the instructions recommend using a wooden toothpick to release two spring clamps, which allows the OEM focus screen to "hinge" down and out of place. You then simply reinsert the new focus screen into place using the same (but reversed) "hinge" method.

As expected, the most frequently mentioned problem is finger prints or debris on the new focus screen, so it will require a little care and/or maybe a couple of tries to get it installed without prints, smudges, or debris. Most posts that I've seen regarding installation were trouble/problem-free.
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Old Feb 5, 2007, 11:50 PM   #7
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Internetpilot wrote:
Quote:
Actually, the game has changed! The cheaper solutions are (and have been) available for the E-500 forat least a littlewhile now. Try this link:

VirtualVillage USA on eBay

Their prices went up -- it's now $30 + $7 shipping (used to be mid $20 with free shipping or something similar), but that's still significantly cheaper for split focus screen designed specifically for the E-500.

Dozens of reputable people on other forums (DPReview for one) are recommending them without reservation. I'm getting one based on those recommendations. I will come back to the thread and post a little review when I get it.

Although the E-500 isn't designed for quick changing of the focus screen, it's relatively simple and non-instrusive to do.
Just a bit more information on pricing -- if you go to the Virtual Village Australia eBay store (instead of the Virtual Village USA store), you can get the split focus screen for the E-500 for about US$25 + $4 shipping, so you get a little bit better of a deal by going through the conversion of Australian dollars. All products are still shipped from Shanghai, China.

Here's the direct link to their Australian site:

Virtual Village Australia

Just FYI, I'm not affiliated with these people in anyway other than being a very recent customer. Again, I'll come back and post my experiences with their product once I receive it. So, if you'd rather wait to see how things work out for me, I should be able to tell you in 10-14 days.
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