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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Auburn, AL
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    24

    Microprism focus screen for Rebel T1i

    I have a Rebel T1i with a Canon IS kit lens and a Canon IS 70-300 lens. I like the camera and the lenses, but I miss the microprism manual focusing of my old Konica AutoreflexT film camera. The autofocus works pretty well for most subjects, but I have problems getting good focus on subjects such as an insect crawling on a flower. And the manual focus in my hands is not crisp enough to be useful.
    I found one vendor that I think sells replacement focusing screens for my camera. Their WEB page at http://www.focusingscreen.com/privacy.php illustrates viewfinder images of several different focusing screens--some of which look a lot like what my old camera displayed.
    Are these screens really practical? Is it a major job installing them? Do they interfere with the autofocus I would still use for most subjects?
    Thanks for any comments,
    Charles
    Last edited by FarmerCharlie; 12-23-2009 at 10:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    17
    Looks interesting, and more useful (like my old Olympus film camera).

    The install procedure looks a little tricky though (and the instructions are certainly less than clear -- foriegn site?)... so I'd think about having a shop/pro do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    I've read good stuff about the Katz Eye stuff, I think Don (who now hangs out in the Sony forum) has used the Katz Eye screens before with good luck.

    Some of the higher end cameras (5D I/II, 40D/50D/7D, 1-series) have replaceable screens, but even then Canon doesn't make split prism screens, so they have to be third party. Canon uses this as one feature to make people spend more for the mid and pro cameras over the entry. I have considered doing it as well, especially because I've got an urge to pick up some of the Zeiss Canon lenses.

    A third party screen will change metering. The cameras that support interchangeable screens have a custom function to change the screen in use because it will effect metering. This is one thing to bear in mind... you may have to live with a little exposure compensation all the time.

    Additionally there is a MF "assist" on these cameras. When you put the lens in MF and focus the focus points will light up when they detect something in focus. I use this quite a bit with my macro lens. It isn't as confidence inspiring as watching the split prism line up, but it also means you don't have to do a scary installation, change your metering, and then have to hunt for a sign post all the time.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    A third party screen will change metering.
    That (plus the scary instructions) is what is holding me back. I hope someone who has actually done this will reply.
    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    Additionally there is a MF "assist" on these cameras. When you put the lens in MF and focus the focus points will light up when they detect something in focus.
    My son-in-law (a professional photographer) showed me that feature last week. I may try that, but somehow I just cannot get used to looking at a screen instead of looking through the eyepiece. Just too old-fashioned I suppose.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerCharlie View Post
    I may try that, but somehow I just cannot get used to looking at a screen instead of looking through the eyepiece.
    Nope, this is in the eyepiece. What he may have shown you was using live view to enlarge stuff, but that is pretty much only for tripod use. If you are hand holding and need to zoom in 5x or 10x to get focus correct, then you won't be able to hold it in focus (or for a moving object.)

    What I am saying is you can flip the lens to manual, put the focus point over the object in question, half press the shutter button (I forgot to mention this part) and then manually focus. When the cameras AF system detects that the object is in focus, the focus point will flash.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    What I am saying is you can flip the lens to manual, put the focus point over the object in question, half press the shutter button (I forgot to mention this part) and then manually focus. When the cameras AF system detects that the object is in focus, the focus point will flash.
    Thanks. I tried it, and it does seem to work pretty well when looking at a flat subject (such as a computer screen). Not sure if it will work when trying to focus on an insect crawling on a flower; and it may be a few months before I get a chance to test it in that environment.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    Nope, this is in the eyepiece. What he may have shown you was using live view to enlarge stuff, but that is pretty much only for tripod use. If you are hand holding and need to zoom in 5x or 10x to get focus correct, then you won't be able to hold it in focus (or for a moving object.)

    What I am saying is you can flip the lens to manual, put the focus point over the object in question, half press the shutter button (I forgot to mention this part) and then manually focus. When the cameras AF system detects that the object is in focus, the focus point will flash.
    Wow great tip -- just tried it and it works great. Thanks!

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