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Thread: D800 Focus Screen

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    D800 Focus Screen

    Rachael Katz has examined my D800E and says that the new screen design of the D800 is not compatible with the current KatzEye Products. If sufficient D800 users are interested she will run a development program. Those who are interested should let her know at
    [email protected]

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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    I recently sent a follow-up inquiry to Rachael Katz regarding focus screens to fit the D800. A year ago I sent her my D800 for evaluation and at that time she had no candidates because the Katz Eye Screens for the D700 could not be adapted to fit the D800. Although the D800 Live View does sort of work, I have found that I still would like to be able to use the focus screen for manual focussing. Last year Rachael indicated that if there was interest among the D800 she might try to develop a Katz Eye Screen if there was interest among the D800 owners. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    I recently did some research on alternative screens for the D800 and came away unconvinced that I could improve over the standard screen . Zeiss recommends replacement screens to aid in focusing its manual focus Zf lenses . Since I have adapted a group of Leica R lenses for my D800E bodies (using the Leitax adapters ) , I have been very interested .

    Three challenges :

    1. Nobody makes a good quality replacement screen for the D800/E . Brightscreen went out of business and Katz has not committed to producing one . There is one alternative where a Canon replacement screen is fitted to a Nikon screen frame .

    2. Replacing the D800/E screen is difficult and involves shimming to insure proper calibration . Photographers are doing it but proper alignment is ?????.

    3. Replacement screens are typically darker than the standard screens . Focus does snap in and out with fast lenses ..however viewing will be darker .

    With those reservations I am always interested in any upgrades that can help me focus quickly and with greater accuracy .

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    I have found the stock D800E screen to be pretty decent for manual focusing. I would guess the limitations are more in the finder and pentaprism than the screen itself. The reality, is you don't get the same quality finders and screens that the pro level bodies get, but the D800E seems to be better than most cameras in its price range.

    The stock D800E screen reminds me of the plain ground glass screens for my Leica DMR that I had Maxwell optics treated. Good for manual focusing, especially slower lenses, but a screen with microprisms would be better for fast lenses and fast work.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    +1 to what Rob said -- I can focus with the stock screen pretty easily. But then I'm used to focusing LF cams on a ground-glass... Plus the D800's focus confirm dot is darn good too ;-)
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    Rachael Katz replied to my recent inquiry saying that she still has no focus screen for the D800. Unlike the D700, Nikon did not design the D800 to have user replaceable focus screens. Since the D800 is a strong candidate for the Zeiss ZF Lenses, does Zeiss offer any specific recommendations for replacing the D800 Screen?

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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    I just ordered a screen from these guys: Focusing Screen

    Anything to help my failing eyesight has to be a good thing. I'll report back once I've tried it. I only have the Zeiss 135 so far. I'm waiting on Leitax, so my focus practice is challenging me.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    Jeff

    There are two challenges to the focus screen you ordered...first the shimming necessary to achieve accurate focus on the viewing screen . There are some threads on the LUF about techniques to achieve this and I believe with LV you can verify how well you did .

    2nd ..not sure if you will still have an accurate focus confirmation which I ve found (to my surprise ) to be excellent with the D800. If I have a large subject in my composition (e.g.face in a portrait) I focus off the screen on the eyes. But at a distance or with pre focusing (as in street ) I use the focus confirmation . This can be adjusted (globally for all manual focus lenses with a default menu option) and with the Leitax chipped lenses you can adjust individual lenses (haven t found this necessary since they aren t AF anyway).

    Overall I have been surprisingly very happy with manually focusing my R lenses on the D800E ...large apertures are a benefit and the 35/50/80 1.4 lenses work best ...but on bright daylight the 28 /100 2.8 lenses are pretty easy as well.

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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    Roger,

    Many thanks, it's more a matter of me flailing around in unknown waters at the moment. If I can get used to LV and the viewfinder, I won't bother with the screen. I can't begin to tell you how much I miss my H4D viewfinder at the moment.

    I should have hunted around here first instead of panicking and buying the screen. My R lenses are not fast. The 50 Cron and Zeiss 135 are my fastest. I will have the 28-90, 19, and 100 APO too, so speed is not brilliant.

    It's good to hear that you can focus off the screen. I really need to go and practise and stop scaring myself on the net.

    While hunting, I also found this Kinotehnik - LCDVF Overview which was asked about here with no answers a while back. As a landscaper, this mightn't be a bad thing, but I'm going to go and practise.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    Jeff

    I had very good results in Florida last January using the 28 and 100 /2.8 ...all the way up to ISO3200. The key as you mentioned is practice and admitting that you would be wise to try for 6-12 captures when you have a good subject .

    Good shooting .

    Roger

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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    Good point, thanks Roger. I'll do that.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    2 other options:
    Nikon DK-17M magnifying eyepiece
    Hoodman Loop +/- 3 Diopter Adjustment

  13. #13
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    Re: D800 Focus Screen

    Reporting back on my progress, I have been using focus confirmation in the viewfinder pretty successfully. I haven't gone ahead with the screen replacement as it sounded like it could create a whole new problem.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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