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Thread: Ees Focusing screen

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    Ees Focusing screen

    Hi All,

    I just bought a 2nd hand 5D classic as a back up camera, and it came with an Ees Focusing screen. I've looked it up but would like to get some opinions here...what does it do exactly and is it worth putting it in?

    Cheers
    Emma
    Cheers
    Emma

    Avoid shooting with a 12 gauge shotgun. Use a Canon instead.

    Canon 5D, Canon 7D, 50mm 1.4, 18-55mm, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC, Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, 580EX Speedlight. Facebook

  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    If you regularly manual focus, this screen will help immensely.

    The problem with precision matte screens is that they tend to make the viewfinder image darker than the stock screen that comes with the camera.

    But the upside is that the view that you will see is more representative of a lens set to f/2.8, instead of f/5.6 or f/4.

    Standard screens in almost all DSLR cameras that I know of have a subject rendering that is more representative of an f/5.6 lens. That is, if you had an f/2.8 lens set to f/2.8 and pressed the DOF preview button with this focusing screen, the DOF you actually see through the viewfinder is inaccurate. The reality is that it's shallower in the image, and deeper through the viewfinder. The crossover occurs at approximately f/4 - f/5.6 .. meaning that the DOF rendering through the viewfinder is more like an f/4-f/5.6 type lens.(each and every camera model may vary slightly, but this is what I've noticed).

    FWIW: the reason the manufacturer uses a focusing screen with such deep DOF, is that the view is brighter! As the screens precision is made more accurate to reflect rendering more like a faster lens, it passes through less light.

    If all your lenses are brighter faster lenses, then you won't notice this darkening as much(but it is there!) .. it's when you start to mount slightly slower lenses where the issue will arise. eg/ if you mount an f/4 lens then the view will be a lot darker than it would be if the stock focusing matte is used.

    So, for your purposes you need to decide between two or three personal choices.

    Screen brightness:
    Do you care if the viewfinder is slightly darker when mounting a fast lens(f/2.8 or faster). Do you care if this happens on a more noticeable scale with slower lenses.

    Focusing accuracy:
    Do you regularly tweak focus. Would you prefer to visually see a more accurate focusing point, even with AF, when shooting.
    Do you prefer to rely on AF.... etc, etc.


    The visual aspect is actually important to me, and I replaced the screen on my D300 long time ago, as I found it limiting(plus the fact that I have many manual lenses), but the most pronounced benefit of switching to a more precise focusing matte, was the visual aspect. The rendering is a lot more 3D like, and (when compared) the image subsequently looks more like that taken with an f/2.8 lens.
    This makes focusing more accurate to judge for yourself, rather than rely purely on the AF system. Even tho they(AF systems) are usually more accurate than the human eye, this isn't the case in every single situation, and in some cases the human eye may be required to decide. This is where the screen will reveal it's benefits.


    I haven't yet replaced the stock screen on the D800, and really only because it doesn't appear to be as limiting as the D300 usued to appear sometimes.

    That is, I'm getting better manual focus accuracy results with the stock D800 screen, than I ever got with the stock D300 screen. I believe that the replacement D300 screen(I got a Katzeye) appears to produce a better more accurate rendering than the D800 screen, and it seems ever so slightly brighter too(but I purchased the optibright option for the screen, which supposedly makes a major difference).

    So even tho the D300 feels somewhat better than the D800 at the moment, I don't feel that the D800 really needs a better focusing matte at the moment(that is as a priority), so I have yet to chase it up as something to do.
    (plus the fact that Katzeye or Focusingscreen.com don't currently have D800 screens on offer).

    The reason I'm mentioning the differences between FF and APS-C is that the differing formats may impact on the advantages of changing the focusing matte. That is on an APS-C format camera you may see more of an advantage, than you may see with a full frame camera(at the moment I don't know until I get an improved focusing matte for the D800).

    My personal opinion:
    If it's not too difficult to do, I'd say swap them and see how the alternative screen feels to use.
    Considering Canon offer these screens for sale directly to the consumer, would imply that they've made it relatively easy for the consumer to swap out screens.
    (Nikon haven't, even though it's a simple job .. and Nikon only offer screens for the highest level cameras).

    If you do decide to swap it, even temporarily, I'd be curious as to read your opinion about the benefits(or none).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  3. #3
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    Thanks Arthur! You've given me something to think about...all my lenses are f2.8 or faster but I dont use manual focus very often. I dont know if im game to do it myself at the moment, but If I do I will let you know what I think!

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