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Thread: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

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    Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    This has probably been dealt with before but I can't find such a thread.

    Has anyone swapped out the standard focussing screen from the DF (or AFD series) for the microprism Type C screen?

    As I age I find achieving precise manual focus more difficult, even with the magnifier. I'd be interested in knowing others' experiences with the microprism screen.

    Thanks for any input.

    Bill

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Hi Bill:

    I did it with my AFD2 body and personally didn't see any advantage; in my case, I found I could MF just as easily with the plain matte GG on my grid screen. So ever since, I've head the grid screen in and find it perfectly adequate. Plus there's always focus confirmation which works extremely well for me.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Hey Bill, take a look at Brightscreen's offerings. They list Mamiya including the Phase One 645. (Youngsters like Jack don't understand crappy eyesight )

    http://www.brightscreen.com/styles.html

    After my eyesight went from that of a Hawk to that of a Mole I installed a Brightscreen Split Diagonal with Microprism collar in my H2D camera for when I was using manual focus Zeiss lenses ... and it really helped. Even after I sold the Zeiss glass, I still use it in the studio where I manually focus 99% of the time. Even when using AF it quickly lets you know whether you hit the right point of focus.

    While there, maybe ask them if they make a 350% Accurfocus flip magnifier for your camera. I used one of these on my 203FE and it REALLY made a difference in critical focus ... but just flips out of the way when not in use.

    http://brightscreenstore.com/store/i...&products_id=3

    Not cheap, but the improvements in accuracy and keeper ratio is worth it IMHO and direct experience. Inexpensive way to improve your focusing if you consider how much this gear costs ... and that your eyes won't be getting any better, just worse.

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    I also use a Brightscreen split screen with microprism collar (in a Contax; along with 2 screens of Bill Maxwell) and would highly recommend them. I couldn't live without...
    The critical thing is to adjust the screen accurately. For the Contax there are little shims to lift (or lower) the screens so it's fairly easy to adjust the screen. How is this solved in the Mamiya?

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Thanks, guys, great input. As I have found an old but never used Mamiya C screen, I'm going to try it first. If it does help, then I'll look at Brightscreen's offering.
    Bill

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    How is this solved in the Mamiya?
    It's one of the tiny little differences between a Mamiya and a Phase body -- the Phase body's are QC'd to a tighter spec, so the screen zero comes properly aligned with the camera back mount flange right out of the box.
    Jack
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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    It's one of the tiny little differences between a Mamiya and a Phase body -- the Phase body's are QC'd to a tighter spec, so the screen zero comes properly aligned with the camera back mount flange right out of the box.
    so no way for the user to adjust the screen ...
    thank you for the info!

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    so no way for the user to adjust the screen ...
    thank you for the info!


    Not that I know of, though I'm sure a repair tech can adjust it. More to the point, in 2 Mamiya bodies and 2 Phase bodies, I've not needed any adjusted as they were all spot on focus and parallel. However I realize this is not a universal experience with the pre AFD3 M brand bodies. With the DF body, I've not heard any focus or parallelism complaints, I suspect due to the tighter spec. (Unfortunately, there are some random electronic issues; fortunately I suspect next year's body could eliminate those! .)
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    yeah, there's nothing wrong with an accurately aligned screen ex factory
    just wanted to know out of curiosity...
    sometimes it's just nice to do these things by yourself. e.g. if you buy a used back that is not perfectly aligned (for instance an older Phase or Leaf back that might be off the specs...)

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Well, I've fitted the microprism "C" screen and I find it very helpful, particularly with the 120 D Macro and with wide-angles where middle-distant features can be very small in the viewfinder.

    I suspect the screen is a bit darker than the OE screen and that it induces the meter to overexpose slightly. That's a subjective observation which I'll confirm with appropriate testing. Probably will need to dial in a -0.3 stop. Some cameras (like my Sony if I recall correctly) allow a custom adjustment for different screens but I don't think this is true of the DF.

    Meantime I'm happy to have made the move - the microprism is a better autofocus confirmation too, than the green circle. At least to my 65+ yr. old peepers.

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Does the Mamiya FD 402 focus magnifier make a difference? Will it significantly help with accurate manual focusing?

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Not sure it will fit on a DF body
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    It fits on the DF body, but you can't put the rubber eyepiece on with it in place so it's not at all convenient to leave the magnifier on and folded up when you're not using it.

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Thanks Bill I knew something was weird about it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase/Mamiya 645 DF Focussing screen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Not that I know of, though I'm sure a repair tech can adjust it. More to the point, in 2 Mamiya bodies and 2 Phase bodies, I've not needed any adjusted as they were all spot on focus and parallel. However I realize this is not a universal experience with the pre AFD3 M brand bodies.
    I have a plain vanilla AFD and find the etched-for-the-Aptus 22 focusing screen (all matte) is both accurate and pretty easy to focus (58-year-old eyes).

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