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Author Topic: KatzEye Focusing Screen  (Read 18700 times)

Harley

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KatzEye Focusing Screen
« on: November 23, 2011, 01:58:44 AM »
I just had the focusing screen on my 7D replaced with a KatzEye split-prism/microprism focusing screen, more like an older SLR would have.  So far I like it quite a bit.

In addition to the split-prism bullseye, the KatzEye screen offers higher contrast, more visual "snap" when acheiving focus, and much better indication of depth of field.  The camera's AF points continue to function normally. 

The 7D's focusing screen is not user servicable due to the adjacent transmissive LCD screen, so I had KatzEye install, align and calibrate the new screen.  They also cleaned the mirror and the focusing screen area.  My split-prism and the AF confirmation appear to be in perfect agreement.  Plus, I love that I don't have to rely on Live View to nail my focal plane when shooting wide open.  The viewfinder is very accurate.

I opted for the OptiBrite treatment to the matte portion of the screen.  This helps to keep the screen bright when using a very slow lens or stopping down significantly.  I was pleased to find that although darker than the factory screen when stopped down to f/16 it wasn't by a lot.  It was quite usable in an unlit interior on a cloudy day.  With the lens opened up it quickly becomes bright and contrasty.

One of the reasons for choosing a high contrast focusing screen is that I have an FL 55mm f/1.2 with an Ed Mika adapter.  So shooting manually with a shallow depth of field, the new screen helps get the focus right, especially with moving subjects.  It is also influencing me to choose manual focus when using my EF lenses. 

The side effect is feeling more connected to the camera than I have in years.  I forgot how fun it is, like with an old SLR, to handle the controls and see via the viewfinder rather than trigger servos and scan for blipping AF points.  I think anyone could benefit from the upgrade.
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

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KatzEye Focusing Screen
« on: November 23, 2011, 01:58:44 AM »

Harley

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 02:26:52 AM »
By the way, I knew next to nothing about focusing screens a couple months ago but learned a bunch from several people on this forum like Neuroanatomist and Mt Spokane to name just a couple.  Thanks to everybody who helped me gain a better understanding with this and so many other things.  You make this a good forum.  Much appreciated.
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

cdang

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 02:37:21 AM »
Interesting. I have only heard about these not too long ago. Will be keeping an eye on this one. Maybe it will help me nail the focus with the 85L. Let us know how you go.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 02:39:28 AM by cdang »

funkboy

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 05:22:53 AM »
congrats on the purchase.  I love the Katz Eye on my 40D.  I use a Nikon DK21M magnifier to set the eyepoint back a little further & improve the overall experience (it stays on well with a little double stick tape under it).

I have about 5 manual lenses (either native or on adapters) that I'd be unsatisfied using without it.  BTW the 20mm Voigtlander Color Skopar is really fantastic.

RC

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 09:33:13 AM »
Very curious and interested about this focusing screen. When I purchased my 7D that was the only real negative I came up with that the focus screen is not user replaceable.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, the Katzeye focus screen was installed by a dealer and not yourself and it has a split prism similar to old manual focus SLRs.

I too want a screen that is optimized for manual focusing such as moon shots but I want to be able to replace it myself and revert back to the original screen (or other screens) when I want to.  Has anybody had success doing this and if so how what screens are you using?  Thanks

Harley

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 10:52:22 AM »
Very curious and interested about this focusing screen. When I purchased my 7D that was the only real negative I came up with that the focus screen is not user replaceable.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, the Katzeye focus screen was installed by a dealer and not yourself and it has a split prism similar to old manual focus SLRs.

I too want a screen that is optimized for manual focusing such as moon shots but I want to be able to replace it myself and revert back to the original screen (or other screens) when I want to.  Has anybody had success doing this and if so how what screens are you using?  Thanks

Yes, I had KatzEye perform the installation, which meant I had to mail my camera to them.  There is only one focusing screen that they offer for the 7D and it has a split-prism center with a microprism collar just like an old 35mm SLR.  You can order the focusing screen from KatzEye and try to perform the replacement yourself -- they have instructions on their website -- or you can have a local dealer you trust do the installation for you.  I wasn't comfortable attempting this myself and had no one close by that I knew could do it so I sent the camera in.  The process is reversible.  I got my old focusing screen back saved in a protective case.

Funkboy is right.  Now that I have it I can't imagine going back, particularly when using manual lenses.  But even with EF lenses the prism is a welcome addition and doesn't take away from anything.
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

RC

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 12:08:43 PM »
Thanks for sharing this on the forum.  I will begin my research and may join you.   Honestly I miss the old split prism focus screens.   Do you feel like you are missing anything from the original Canon screen?

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 12:08:43 PM »

Forceflow

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2011, 12:17:24 PM »
I have one for my 40D and really love it. I'm still on the fence about my 7D. I would love to get it, but I don't want to replace it myself and the camera store where I buy my stuff wont do it either. (And since I am in Germany sending it in to KatzEyes isn't really an option)
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ontarian

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2011, 12:50:26 PM »
I'm happy my 1D4 bodies have user swappable screens and my manual focusing screen is in there pretty much permanently.  I trust my eyes with the split screen assist more than anything else and I agree with Harley that I feel much closer to the photographic process in doing so.

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 01:02:40 PM »
Does the auto focus still work with this new screen?

/Per

Harley

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 01:13:23 PM »
Thanks for sharing this on the forum.  I will begin my research and may join you.   Honestly I miss the old split prism focus screens.   Do you feel like you are missing anything from the original Canon screen?

I didn't realize how much I missed the old split prism until I was looking thru an old Canon F-1 at a used camera shop.  So far I don't feel like I am missing anything at all from the original screen.  The AF still works like normal.  The only thing that could be an issue is that this one darkens a little more when stopped down, but I really don't anticipate that will bother me.  It just isn't that big a difference.  Plus, the more accurate representation of shallow depth of field and "snap" is more than worth the trade-off. 

I think the OptiBrite treatment is worth the additional cost to ensure a bright viewfinder, but honestly I haven't tried the same screen without the treatment so I don't know that from firsthand experience. 

The split-prism/microprism is not obtrusive in the viewfinder.  I was worried that it might feel congested in combination with the info from the transmissive LCD but that's just not the case.
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

Drizzt321

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2011, 01:58:59 PM »
I've looked into this on and off, but unfortunately they don't make one for the 5Dm2  >:( :(
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c-law

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2011, 03:14:10 PM »
How much did it cost all in for the screen, the service and shipping?

Chris
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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2011, 03:14:10 PM »

AprilForever

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2011, 04:13:52 PM »
My Spotmatic has one of those screens... I love it!!!
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Harley

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2011, 02:44:22 AM »
How much did it cost all in for the screen, the service and shipping?

If you go to the KatzEye website http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/ you can get all the pricing info for your particular model.  For me the screen was $105 + $55 for the OptiBrite treatment.  Installation was another $65.  They offered a discount for combining the screen purchase and installation, so all in it came to just over $200.

You can estimate charges for various priorities of shipping to your location by adding up all of the above to your shopping cart and entering a zip code at checkout.  You don't have to complete the transaction to get a shipping estimate.  The shipping quoted on the website is return shipping only, so you could double that to estimate the cost for you to ship your camera to KatzEye. 

Additionally you can email Rachael at the website's "contact us" page.  She was extremely helpful to me through the entire process.  Drizzt321: you should ask them about the 5D mkII even though they don't show a specific product on the website.
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

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Re: KatzEye Focusing Screen
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2011, 02:44:22 AM »