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Thread: Brightscreen choice for D3?

  1. #1
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    Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Well, I think I'm going to get one of these after all. I think it will make a big difference with the Zeiss lenses. Any suggestions as to which one? I shoot mostly wide (though occasionally up to 135, 180). Looking through the viewfinder of an R9 yesterday at the dealers I like the split image in the middle but maybe just the microprism is enough. And if I do go for a split, horizontal or diagonal?

    Any insight from users out there?

  2. #2
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Charles,

    I have used them before on the D200 and really preferred the large Microprism much better than the split. That is what I bought for use with the D3 and works very well.

    However, I just sold my two manual focus Zeiss lenses to fund the purchase of a Medium Format system.

    If you want the Brightscreen D3 Pro Screen, which is the large microprism, I'd sell you mine at a discount. I won't need it any more.

    It is back in its original box, and in perfect condition.

    These are very easy to install on the D3. The D3 has a tray which un-latches and drops down. You just grab the extension tab on the screen with the supplied tweezers, and change the screens then snap the tray back up.

    Best,

    Ray

    rayharms "at" cox.net

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    It depends on whether you prefer a straight microprism or one with a split image as well. I like the split image in there because then I have multiple options...if I have lines in the image, then I can line them up very easily to get great focus with a split image, but if not, you still have the microprism. All in all, I prefer a smaller microprism than the 13mm, as I felt that when it was that large it got in the way of my view in the viewfinder. I felt like I was looking at the microprism rather than at what I was shooting...the normal sized ones like in the R9 or older cameras like the R6, Canon F1 and T90 never gave me that feeling. I also prefer the horizontal split image, rather than the diagonal one.

    All in all, it is about what you are used to, and what you prefer. And, as you probably remember, I returned my brightscreen. Jim is going to see if it was malfunctioning, and if that is the case, I will certainly be back to withdraw my negative comments about it. If not, well...they stand as they are now.

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    I'm curious if Stuart has resolved this issue with Brightscreen, since I am considering getting one.

    John

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Hi John. Brightscreen did not find anything wrong with the screen I returned, so unfortunately my comments stand. Obviously, everyone is different, but I found that it was detrimental to the use of the camera in both manual and autofocus.
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Stuart,

    Thanks.

    John

  7. #7
    ddk
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Hi John. Brightscreen did not find anything wrong with the screen I returned, so unfortunately my comments stand. Obviously, everyone is different, but I found that it was detrimental to the use of the camera in both manual and autofocus.
    I never read your comments on the Brightscreen but I'm guessing that we had the same issue. I had one in my Kodak slr/n and found the diameter of the microprism too large to work wih and impossible to focus under bright conditions, couldn't even see the subject properly anymore. What upset me about Brightscreen was that they never returned my original screen, telling me that it was their policy and the pricing of their screens was setup for part exchange. I was never told that during my phone conversations with them, neither is it written anywhere on their website. In the end I had to buy a standard screen from them which they claimed to be much brighter than the original and easier to focus with, of course that turned out to be a big lie. I ended up sending the camera to Kodak for a replacement screen, cheaper and better!

  8. #8
    asabet
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    I like having a both in my OM-2n bodies. More often than not, I use the peripheral matte area to achieve focus, but the aids are nice as a backup. The microprism is needed for moving targets, but depending on the light it can sometimes be less useful for obtaining precise focus on stationary objects. The split really helps at those times. As for horizontal vs diagonal split, I'm sticking with horizontal (ordered a D700 from Brightscreen with the #5 screen installed) because I'm accustomed to it. However, diagonal may be more useful if you shoot a lot of verticals and aren't already used to working with the horizontal. Regards, Amin

  9. #9
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Hi Amin,

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    I like having a both in my OM-2n bodies. More often than not, I use the peripheral matte area to achieve focus, but the aids are nice as a backup. The microprism is needed for moving targets, but depending on the light it can sometimes be less useful for obtaining precise focus on stationary objects.
    I always used a microprism screen in my F2, F3, & F4, and am used to them, this thing that Brightscreen sells isn't like the quality screens we used to get during the film days, heck the finders aren't even what they used to be.

  10. #10
    asabet
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Considering the price of the Brightscreen and the fact that they keep the original screen, not what I was hoping to hear David . I hope I end up liking it more than you and Stuart have.

  11. #11
    ddk
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Considering the price of the Brightscreen and the fact that they keep the original screen, not what I was hoping to hear David . I hope I end up liking it more than you and Stuart have.
    Let us know how you like it after a few weeks with it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Will do David. For what it's worth, I liked the Katz Eye screen in my E-410. The matte area wasn't that useful - nothing like the Canon Ee-S (which itself isn't as good as the OM screens) - but the microprism part was fine.

    If the Brightscreen makes it easier to manually focus than does the default Nikon D700 screen, and if it doesn't significantly throw off the metering, then I'll be happy enough.

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    I just want to clear something up -- Brightscreen sells two different types of screens -- the "brightscreens" which are modified manufacturers' screens, and "proscreens" which they make themself. If you send them a screen, they modify it and send it back to you. They don't keep your screen. This does make it impossible to return though, since they change the screen you give them. If you buy a proscreen, there is no need to send in your own screen.

    I mentioned it in the other thread, but I found that their modification worked well for the Leica R9. I bought a proscreen for the D3, and it was that which I did not find useful.
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  14. #14
    asabet
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Stuart, I asked them about this, and they told me that they are making a proscreen for my D700 but that they will not be returning to me the original manufacturer's screen. If they're not using the D700 screen to make the proscreen, I wonder why they won't give it to me?

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Yeah, I have no answer for that. On their website they say that brightscreens are made from factory original screens and proscreens are made in-house. Perhaps they use the ones from the D700s they sell to make brightscreens and sell them to other people.
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    [snip] ... they will not be returning to me the original manufacturer's screen. [snip]
    I would never ever accept that.
    It prevents you from switching back and forth.
    If they insist on stealing your original manufacturer's screen I would immediately cancel the Brightscreen order and go with a Katz Eye screen installation instead of the Brightscreen solution.
    It's totally unacceptable.
    It's theft.

  17. #17
    asabet
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Steen,

    I understand your point of view, but Katz Eye isn't making D3/D700 screens and Haoda fu isn't yet either so it's either Brightscreen or nobody. At the very least, I'll make sure they give assurance that if I am dissatisfied with the screen and send the camera back immediately, they'll reinstall the original for me at no charge. If they say no to that, then I will cancel my order.

    Regards,
    Amin

  18. #18
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Stuart, I asked them about this, and they told me that they are making a proscreen for my D700 but that they will not be returning to me the original manufacturer's screen. If they're not using the D700 screen to make the proscreen, I wonder why they won't give it to me?
    So you wont be able to compare their product to Nikon's! I wasn't happy with any of mine and ended up preferring the original. You'll know who you're dealing with if you order one their exorbitant magnifying eyepieces, you expect something the quality of a Leica but instead you end up with a true piece of junk not even worth 10! I found Katzeye and Maxwell Optics much more straight forward and upfront about what you're getting and none of this keeping the original screen nonsense.

    Sorry for the negative input asabet but you asked. You can always tell them to send your D700 with the stock screen and change the screen later if needed. Its easier to get an aftermarket one than one of the originals.

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    So you wont be able to compare their product to Nikon's! I wasn't happy with any of mine and ended up preferring the original. You'll know who you're dealing with if you order one their exorbitant magnifying eyepieces, you expect something the quality of a Leica but instead you end up with a true piece of junk not even worth 10! I found Katzeye and Maxwell Optics much more straight forward and upfront about what you're getting and none of this keeping the original screen nonsense.

    Sorry for the negative input asabet but you asked. You can always tell them to send your D700 with the stock screen and change the screen later if needed. Its easier to get an aftermarket one than one of the originals.
    Sorry about your experiences with Brightscreen. I have used them on a number of occasions and found them honest, straightforward and accomodating. Oh and yes, their products are expensive, no doubt. But as to workability I found the 13mm screen to work very well with my D3 and so too the magnifier. (I actually had a prototype that Jim Lakey wanted me to try with full return rights if I didn't like it.

    Not denying your experiences at all DDK, just wanted to add balance to the picture based on mine.

    Woody Spedden

  20. #20
    asabet
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Thanks David and Woody. I'm going to take my chances because I'm pretty confident that I won't be able to manually focus well with a modern, default, bright matte Nikon screen. If I buy the screen from Brightscreen later, it'll cost me $200+, whereas if I buy it with a new D700, I essentially get it as an exchange for the original one. Not perfect, but it really seems like my best option. I'm about to buy a Zeiss ZF 2/50 Makro (finally made up my mind), and I really don't want to have to rely on AF confirmation lights to focus my lens.

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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    I don't want to deny DDK's experiences either, and while I did not find the proscreen useful, I have no reason to doubt that they are a completely upstanding company. I was able to return the screen easily for a full refund without a problem.
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  22. #22
    asabet
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    I just got off the phone with Jim. He said that they would not give me my original screen, even though they don't use it to make the Proscreen, because the screen exchange is part of the pricing. I asked him whether I could pay extra to retain my original screen, and he said that no one had ever asked him that and that he was not prepared to offer that. He did give me assurance of two things that others might find useful to know. First, there is a 10-day return policy on screens. So if I receive my D700 and don't like their screen, I have 10 days to return it for replacement with my original screen for no service fee (although he did mention they will charge me again for shipping if that occurs). Second, the screen installation does not affect the Nikon warranty even though the D700 screen is not interchangeable according to Nikon. I don't see this in writing anywhere on their site, but given how long Brightscreen has been in business, I'll take Jim's word.

    One other thing he mentioned is that their return policy on cameras is only 3 days. I hadn't realized that, but it won't affect my decision to order.

    Regards,
    Amin

  23. #23
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    Re: Brightscreen choice for D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    ... I'm about to buy a Zeiss ZF 2/50 Makro (finally made up my mind), and I really don't want to have to rely on AF confirmation lights to focus my lens.

    I have the ZF 2/100 Makro. Manual focus is nothing short of a pleasure with the ZF line. I have 4 ZF lenses, the other three being the 2.8/25, 1.4/50 and 1.4/85. Every one of them is a heavy lens. Toss those into a bag with the D2X body and nothing less than two sherpa is required to carry the camera bag on a pole stretch between their shoulders. But the image quality goes without compare.

    I have only a single DX lens that I bought with the D2X back when... but everything since has been for full frame imaging. I suspected the DX format was intended to be temporary for DSLRs.

    I use BrightScreens in my Nikon film cameras and other medium format film cameras. I don't remember why but I chose to try a Katzeye for the D2Xs. After using it I called Katzeye back and asked if they had screens for film cameras, fully intending to toss all of the BrightScreens, was told they are having a hard time keeping up with the rapid release of digital camera updates and had intended to do screens for film cameras but don't see it as possibility anytime in the near future. The high demand for Katzeye screens in various digital cameras has taxed their design resources.

    I never played with the ZF 50 makro, but I suspect it is similar quality to the other ZF lenses, you'll love the images if you are ok with manual focus. If you are not well experienced with manual focus you may be entering into "love it or hate" territory with any MF lens.

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