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Katzeye screens
Old 10-25-2011   #1
ray*j*gun
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Katzeye screens

Does anyone have experience using a Katzeye screen on a DSLR? I have a D90 and I find it VERY difficult manually focusing my Nikon glass. I read that these screens can help....any advice would be appreciated.

Oh, and how difficult are they to install?

Thanks!!

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Old 10-25-2011   #2
punkromance
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Why not use the rangefinder dot? When it's in focus a little green dot will appear in the bottom left of your viewfinder. It will probably be more reliable than MF'ing with a VF as small as the D90s.
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Old 10-25-2011   #3
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The electronic rangefinder dot ? There are many lenses which aren't "chipped" so this facility is unavailable to them, the "leeway" offered may be significant at large aperture and it is possibly more subject to calibration errors than Ye Olde mechanical linkage. Alternate screens are easy to install and Katzeyes have a good reputation, though I have not used one.
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Old 10-25-2011   #4
ray*j*gun
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Thanks Damen and Punk.......the dot doesn't work with my older lenses. I would love to hear from anyone who installed one of these and how they felt about the performance.
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Old 10-25-2011   #5
gerikson
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I have a Katzeye for my Nikon D200, and love it.

It's made using my wider lenses (I have a 18mm f/3.5) *much* easier. Part of it is the split-screen in the middle, but mostly it's the microprism collar - my favourite focusing aid - and partly because the matte screen is much better than the stock screen.

Installation is different for each camera model. That said, I was able to change mine without trouble, following the instructions on the Katzeye site.

Highly recommended if you shoot manual focus on Nikon DSLRs
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Old 10-25-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerikson View Post
I have a Katzeye for my Nikon D200, and love it.

It's made using my wider lenses (I have a 18mm f/3.5) *much* easier. Part of it is the split-screen in the middle, but mostly it's the microprism collar - my favourite focusing aid - and partly because the matte screen is much better than the stock screen.

Installation is different for each camera model. That said, I was able to change mine without trouble, following the instructions on the Katzeye site.

Highly recommended if you shoot manual focus on Nikon DSLRs
Thanks!!! The installation on the D90 looks pretty straight forward. I would be using it to help with my fast 50's wide open. I have had real trouble with soft results using them in the past on the DSLR. I think I'll get one.
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Old 10-25-2011   #7
rjbuzzclick
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I put one in my Pentax K110D several years ago and really like it. I have the split-image screen with the microprism collar. Installation was very easy to do. The prism darkens a bit with longer lenses with smaller apertures (f/5.6 or so), but it hasn't really been a problem for me as I usually use 50mm or wider.
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Old 10-25-2011   #8
pobe
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I have one in my Pentax K200D and it's great. It was expensive but worth every penny!
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Old 10-25-2011   #9
Photon42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
Thanks!!! The installation on the D90 looks pretty straight forward. I would be using it to help with my fast 50's wide open. I have had real trouble with soft results using them in the past on the DSLR. I think I'll get one.
I used the Katzeye on my D200 and was very satisfied. Very critical work still remained tricky at times, but that's probably just the nature of focussing.
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Old 10-25-2011   #10
Jamie Pillers
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I used the Katzeye screens on a D90, D200, and D7000. They work perfectly and they're easy to install. If you use manual focus lenses on your D90, the Katzeye screen is a real treat; makes the camera feel more like an older film body (my preference). :-)
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Old 10-25-2011   #11
ray*j*gun
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Thank you all for the feedback. I will order one tomorrow.
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Old 10-25-2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerikson View Post
I have a Katzeye for my Nikon D200, and love it.

It's made using my wider lenses (I have a 18mm f/3.5) *much* easier. Part of it is the split-screen in the middle, but mostly it's the microprism collar - my favourite focusing aid - and partly because the matte screen is much better than the stock screen.

Installation is different for each camera model. That said, I was able to change mine without trouble, following the instructions on the Katzeye site.

Highly recommended if you shoot manual focus on Nikon DSLRs
I agree with all of these points: the Katzeye screen made my D200 way more functional with both old AI/AIS and modern lenses.
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Old 10-25-2011   #13
yossarian123
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Can't stress this enough: be VERY CAREFUL with tweezers when handling the screen. I put a scratch in mine within 5 minutes of opening the package. It was a tiny scratch - barely noticeable - but damned if my eye wasn't drawn to it like a freaking magnet.

I don't really need one on my D700, but I did get one for my D300. It helped quite a bit - took my keeper rate up from abysmal (w/ a 50mm 1.2) to merely bad.
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Old 10-25-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian123 View Post
Can't stress this enough: be VERY CAREFUL with tweezers when handling the screen. I put a scratch in mine within 5 minutes of opening the package. It was a tiny scratch - barely noticeable - but damned if my eye wasn't drawn to it like a freaking magnet.

I don't really need one on my D700, but I did get one for my D300. It helped quite a bit - took my keeper rate up from abysmal (w/ a 50mm 1.2) to merely bad.
Lol abysmal describes my wide open 1,4 images perfectly! Thanks for the heads up on the screen scratching......I am on the clumsy side but for-warned.......
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Old 10-25-2011   #15
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I tried to install it myself and just couldn't, so I send to her to install. Yes it costs but it really works.
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Old 10-25-2011   #16
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I got one for my D90, and found it more ho-hum than other posters. It's not cheap, either. There are a couple of vendors in HK, I think, that sell screens for $20 or so, but I have no idea if they're worth $20 or anything close to what Katzeye charges.

As for performance, it's not equal to a K screen on an F3, but at least there is the split image and the micro prism donut. OK, I just compared the D90 with my non HP F3, both with zooms allowing a more or less equivalent 50mm fov. The F3 has higher magnification than the D90, so the easier viewing is not the screen; it's the camera.

Tip: Make sure that when you use the screen for manual focusing, that you move the active focus area out of the central circle. If you don't, it'll be difficult to see the focusing aids you paid for.

I got my screen just before I had to visit Gerry Smith about a Leica lens, so I took the D90, the installation instructions, and the screen with me. He very obligingly installed it for me, and didn't charge me anything. I was sure I'd take hours to do it, and would scratch the screen. I am a Gerry Smith fan, both for the work he does and for his work ethic. Oh yeah, he took about three minutes to install the screen.

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Old 10-25-2011   #17
jonmanjiro
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I had a Katzeye screen in my now sold D200 and currently have one in my D700. They're fantastic! Maybe not quite as good as a F/F2/F3/F4 for manual focusing, but they a huuuuuge improvement over the standard focusing screens in these cameras. Highly recommended.

The hardest thing about the installation is closing the retainer clip after the new screen is in place. Just be careful to use the minimum force necessary and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-25-2011   #18
Paolo Bonello
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Can someone confirm if it is still fine for use with AF lenses and does not affect anything like the meter or AF speed?
Is it brighter than the standard screen?
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Old 10-25-2011   #19
yossarian123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Bonello View Post
Can someone confirm if it is still fine for use with AF lenses and does not affect anything like the meter or AF speed?
Is it brighter than the standard screen?
From my experience I didn't have any problems with autofocus. They should also be OK with the meter except in some limited situations (I vaguely remember the katzeye website saying that spot metering with slower lenses could be affected). But I don't have any slow lenses so I couldn't put that statement to the test.
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Old 10-25-2011   #20
hans voralberg
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Yep still fine for AF, no problem there.
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Old 10-25-2011   #21
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The main thing is to follow their instructions to the letter and you'll be fine. I tried getting cute and didn't pick up the screen from the little tab/notch cut in the top corner. After you do it the first time, it will feel like second nature and you'll be able to install it and remove it in seconds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
Lol abysmal describes my wide open 1,4 images perfectly! Thanks for the heads up on the screen scratching......I am on the clumsy side but for-warned.......
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Old 10-25-2011   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Bonello View Post
Can someone confirm if it is still fine for use with AF lenses and does not affect anything like the meter or AF speed?
Is it brighter than the standard screen?
Confirmed. AF is unaffected and all the focus area boxes etc. display as before. From memory, metering is affected slightly in a few cases but the provided instructions list those lenses and the amount of exposure compensation required. All my lenses from 25mm to 105mm are fine.
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Old 10-25-2011   #23
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It doesn't affect the AF at all, the AF sensors never see the screen, they sit at the bottom of the mirror box, and read through the main mirror after the image bounces off the 'sub' mirror. Metering apparently can be slightly affected, but I never had a problem with it. The katzeye screen seemed brighter to me than the stock one...
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Old 10-25-2011   #24
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lol, I guess I'm a few seconds late on that.

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Old 10-25-2011   #25
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Thanks for the replies.
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Old 10-27-2011   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamenS View Post
The electronic rangefinder dot ? There are many lenses which aren't "chipped" so this facility is unavailable to them
Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
......the dot doesn't work with my older lenses.
The dot works with any of my AI lenses in my F100
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Old 10-27-2011   #27
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Here's a really rough guide:

http://legacy2digital.com/nikon/freq...sked-questions
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Old 10-27-2011   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRohlfing View Post
The dot works with any of my AI lenses in my F100
The dot works with manual focus lenses on my D700. A MF lens does not need to be chipped in order for the AF confirmation dot to work, at least on my D700. If you use a lens that focuses in the opposite direction to Nikkors, some third party lenses are this way, you need to focus these in the opposite direction to what the indicator arrows are telling you to go.

Bob
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Old 10-27-2011   #29
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Yea, you can chip older lenses but to me that just saves you the effort of manually setting and selecting the correct lens info in the camera menu. It also gives you more metering modes and program modes. Personally I can live CW metering and aperture priority on the D700 with MF lenses. Chipping sure does have a convenience factor though.

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