April 19, 2014, 01:44:20 PM

Author Topic: 6d focusing screen comparison please  (Read 7180 times)

tolusina

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6d focusing screen comparison please
« on: July 17, 2013, 07:47:50 AM »


No, sorry, I don't have such a comparison nor have I been able to find one.
 

I'm about to move (a long overdue move at that) from a D-80 to a 6D, I never ever expect to own another Nikon.
I've read 6D reviews, specs and pixel peeped until my own focus blurs, the 6D sounds just about perfect for me, I expect to start with just the 40 mm pancake.
---
So, here are my questions
.
About the focusing screens;
Standard is the Eg-A II, Standard Precision Matte.
Optional is the Eg-D, Precision Matte with Grid. I like a grid in the finder, although lack of a grid is in no way a deal killer.
Also Optional is the Eg-S, Super Precision Matte. SUPER PRECISION, I really like the sound of that!!
 
I'm anxious for input from 6D (and 5D II?) users that have used two or more of the three Canon screens, I suppose I shouldn't be close minded about aftermarket options.
 
At wider lens apertures, is the Super Precision Matte Eg-S significantly sharper showing focus than the merely Precision Eg-D?
 
At smaller lens apertures, say f-4, f-5.6 and smaller, do either the Eg-D or Eg-S darken objectionably to the point of uselessness?
 
Anything else I'm not thinking to ask?
---
A little insight to my camera operation style, I go back to the film days, the only things I miss about film are the loading, rewinding and release tricks to get multiple exposures. And I'm quite happy to miss them, right along with automotive carburetor and valve adjustments though I still far prefer driving a stick.

Autofocus to me is a gimicky luxury, I do not expect autofocus to take photos for me. At the first sign of autofocus wavering, manual I engage. I'd much rather manual focus than dink around with shifting autofocus points instead of activating the shutter. I have little (read, no) interest in even learning how to shift autofocus points, yeah, I'm that old.
 

 
 
 
 


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6d focusing screen comparison please
« on: July 17, 2013, 07:47:50 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 10:00:32 AM »
The Eg-D is just the stock Eg-A with grid lines.  If you want a grid in the VF, that's the way to go (provided the grid pitch is useful to you - it's not a rule of thirds grid). 

For fast lenses, the Eg-S shows you the true DoF of the lens, and when manually focusing that's a big help - the subject just seems to 'snap' into focus.  No real need for it with the 40/2.8, though.  Lenses with f/1.2-f/2 max apertures are where you see the benefit.  The Eg-S does make for a dark VF, especially with an f/5.6 lens indoors (outdoors in good light, it's not really an issue).

If you're used to manually focusing film cameras, you really might want to consider one of the 3rd party options (brightscreen, etc.) where you can get a split prism with a microprism collar, which was common on film cameras.
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Sporgon

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 10:49:22 AM »
In addition to Neuro's advice I would add in answer to your question in paragraph seven:

The f4 or slower lenses do give a noticeably darker viewfinder with the Eg-S which I personally do find irritating. Although the screens are easy enough to change they are not meant to be changed 'in the field' as it were, that is you wouldn't want to interchange them as you do your lenses., so if you are constantly changing between fast primes and slow zooms I would not recommend fitting one.

However if you are just using fast primes then I would certainly fit an Eg-S, my definition of a fast prime being f1.2 to 1.8 range. In my case mainly for the real DoF characteristics.

I've stopped using mine because I am constantly changing between fast primes and slow zooms.

The 40mm f2.8 is borderline as Neuro has stated. You will see a slight benefit in real DoF at 2.8 but your screen will also be slightly darker than with the Eg-A.

BL

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 11:27:25 AM »
The f4 or slower lenses do give a noticeably darker viewfinder with the Eg-S which I personally do find irritating...

...I've stopped using mine because I am constantly changing between fast primes and slow zooms.

+1

i don't have any lenses slower than 2.8, but was really surprised how dim the VF got after throwing on a TC or using my 100L at macro distances. 

but for anything between f1.2 - f2, it's sublime for DOF feedback
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eha

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 07:19:36 PM »
I'm using the Eg-S Super Precision screen with my 6D.

The Eg-S distributes light differently compared to the standard screen. This results in MF being way easier and more joyful, especially with fast primes. Even wide angles like my Sigma 35/1.4 Art work well with MF. Fast primes also give a brighter viewfinder image than with the standard screen. Fast zooms (f/2.8) are about the same. Slower lenses are noticably darker, but AF works independently from the screens and is not affected. I imagine that shooting indoors with f/4 and Eg-S might be a bit annoying because of the darker viewfinder you get with the Eg-S and such lenses. However I do shoot with a Sigma 100-300 f/4 outdoors and it doesn't bother me.

Also bear in mind that with the standard screen it is virtually impossible to MF with anything faster than f/2.5, as you will never be able to see shallower DOF than f/2.5 equivalent. If you use the standard screen you must use AF for all your f/1.0 - f/2.2 work.

The Eg-S reminds me much more of what photography was in the old days (I grew up with my dad's Pentax ME Super cameras). It's really cheap, so there's really no reason not to give it a try.
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tolusina

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 04:08:01 PM »
Finally stepped into the World of Canon about 3 weeks back, bought a 6D, 24-105, Pro 100 bundle, 40 mm Pancake, some flash.
Dealer didn't have the Eg-S in stock at the time, I paid anyway, it finally arrived today.
1st thing I tried with it was MF, indoors with the 25-105. Yeah, it was a little dark, but not objectionably so.
Nailing focus still seemed easy, I MF'd, then let the camera try, no change in focus.
Repeated with the 40, similar results.
 
So far, I'm happy with it.
Impressive little plastic case and tool it comes with, case includes a temporary holding slot for the screen being removed, a very nice touch, well thought out and executed.
 
 
 
 
.

tolusina

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 04:23:02 PM »
Oh yeah, it'll probably be handy, even essential with the now rumoured TS-E 43mm f/1.8 L Macro.

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 04:23:02 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 04:27:31 PM »
I had an EG-S screen for my 5Dc and loved it. It made me trust that cameras AF because I could see what it was really doing. If the mk3 had the option for an EG-S, I'd be all over it. You can still use f/4 and slower lenses if you can tolerate a slightly darker viewfinder and don't want to be swapping focusing screens all the times. It's not that bad to me.

If I had a 6d, I'd use EG-S just to know the AF is doing a decent job.
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Aglet

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 06:08:33 PM »
I used the Eg-D in my 5d2.
I preferred having the lines in the viewfinder as a composition aid, they helped me get my horizons closer to horizontal or to better balance wide angle shots where vertical lines were tilting inwards and looked better if balanced. :)
I'd recommend it.
I pulled it out before I sold my 5d2 so I could use it in a 6D if I bought one.

i merely used live view instead of the Eg-S to really see what I was getting.  Tho that sometimes had me with a big black blanket to block out bright ambient light so I could better see the display.

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 06:36:58 PM »
Some of the 3rd party screen sellers cut down 1 series screens or even medium format screens, so you can get a split prism screen like the old film cameras used.  They don't get darker.  To focus, you align the split image horizontally or vertically.  Most of them have a small circular collar around the split prism that will clear when in focus.  The drawback is that its in the center, so you must focus and recompose for something off center.  I bought one (A canon stock part) for my 1 series camera.

RGomezPhotos

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 05:37:14 PM »
The Eg-D is just the stock Eg-A with grid lines.  If you want a grid in the VF, that's the way to go (provided the grid pitch is useful to you - it's not a rule of thirds grid). 

For fast lenses, the Eg-S shows you the true DoF of the lens, and when manually focusing that's a big help - the subject just seems to 'snap' into focus.  No real need for it with the 40/2.8, though.  Lenses with f/1.2-f/2 max apertures are where you see the benefit.  The Eg-S does make for a dark VF, especially with an f/5.6 lens indoors (outdoors in good light, it's not really an issue).

If you're used to manually focusing film cameras, you really might want to consider one of the 3rd party options (brightscreen, etc.) where you can get a split prism with a microprism collar, which was common on film cameras.

Agreed.  I have the Eg-S on my 5D and 50D and they are definitely an improvement over stock.  They are better for glass faster than f2.8.

The one issue is that they may make the image look darker than it really is in the higher apertures...  But exposure will still look fine.

I was so pissed when Canon didn't have an easily replaceable focus screen on the 5D Mark III..  Replacing the focus screen is a $300 add-on from the screen manufacturers.
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GMCPhotographics

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2013, 07:44:56 PM »
The Eg-D is just the stock Eg-A with grid lines.  If you want a grid in the VF, that's the way to go (provided the grid pitch is useful to you - it's not a rule of thirds grid). 

For fast lenses, the Eg-S shows you the true DoF of the lens, and when manually focusing that's a big help - the subject just seems to 'snap' into focus.  No real need for it with the 40/2.8, though.  Lenses with f/1.2-f/2 max apertures are where you see the benefit.  The Eg-S does make for a dark VF, especially with an f/5.6 lens indoors (outdoors in good light, it's not really an issue).

If you're used to manually focusing film cameras, you really might want to consider one of the 3rd party options (brightscreen, etc.) where you can get a split prism with a microprism collar, which was common on film cameras.

Agreed.  I have the Eg-S on my 5D and 50D and they are definitely an improvement over stock.  They are better for glass faster than f2.8.

The one issue is that they may make the image look darker than it really is in the higher apertures...  But exposure will still look fine.

I was so pissed when Canon didn't have an easily replaceable focus screen on the 5D Mark III..  Replacing the focus screen is a $300 add-on from the screen manufacturers.

I'm a wedding photographer and ironically I have more out of focus shot now with my 5DIII's than I ever did with my 5DII's. Which has the Eg-S screen fitted, and I mostly use a 35mm f1.4 L and 85mm f1.2L.
With the old screen, I could literally see if the image was in focus or not. On the 5DIII, the screen is DOF limited to f4...so I have to rely on the AF system more....which is excellent but sometimes I need to be able to see where the point of focus has landed.
The 5DII's AF system wasn't particularly great (the 5DIII is far far better in every repect) but I liked the fine focus screen for fast primes!

TulseLuper

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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 02:20:45 PM »
I have a 6D and use the Zeiss 50/2 Makro lens most of the time. I also have the 40mm pancake. In addition to the stock screen, I have the Eg-S super precision and the Ec-A microprism screen with grid from focusingscreen.com.

Both the Ec-A and Eg-S are a huge improvement over the standard screen for manual focus. I also use a Voigtlander 20/3.5 MF lens, and the Eg-S doesn't darken enough to bother me, despite the f/3.5 max aperture. There's really no reason to use the stock screen unless you intend to use f/4 lenses a lot.

The Ec-A screen requires a finicky installation process - mine wasn't aligned properly by default, so they include stickers to adjust alignment. It took about 20 minutes total, but you only have to do that once.

I'm not sure whether I prefer the Eg-S or Ec-A. The Eg-S seems like a better screen all around, and it gives a better indication of DOF, but I really appreciate the additional confidence that the Ec-A microprism provides in the center (plus, it has a really good, unobtrusive grid). If you typically focus in the center and recompose I think the Ec-A is significantly better than the Eg-S, but if you want to know if your subject on the side of the frame will be in focus you'll be better off with the Eg-S. The Eg-S is significantly cheaper, so there's also that. But if you're roots are in film and manual focus, you'll love having that microprism.

Hope that helps.


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Re: 6d focusing screen comparison please
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 02:20:45 PM »