Anyone ever hear of a Focusing Screen Y?

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by jim_bielecki|1, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. I picked up this focusing screen "Y" 10 - 15 years back. This screen is for the original F-1 and F-1n. It looks to be only for lenses with a focal length greater than 50mm. When used with a wide-angle lens, the view through the viewfinder is one of extreme "tunnel-like" vignetting. There is some mirror cutoff in the very upper part of the frame when used with a normal lens or telephoto. The bottom of the screen is not a matte surface like other F-1 view screens, but is crystal clear (but it has a fresnel surface). It has a large, fine-edged microprism spot that extends out nearly to the edges of the metering rectangle. It is extremely bright! I use it with my 500mm F5.6 FL-F telephoto.
    I'm guessing Canon experimented with several different focusing screens for the F-1back in the mid-1970's. They either gave these to professional photographers for evaluation, or to Canon reps who would show people these screens at camera shows. Years later, some of these ended up on eBay, where I got mine.
    Too bad they never put the "Y" screen into production. I find it very useful.
  2. It was written somewhere that Screen Y was intended for use with high-speed telephotos (the 400/2.8 specifically) in fast action (and available light?) environments, its overall fresnel giving a much clearer view of things happening around your focused subject. The trade-off is that fresnel area is pretty useless for off-axis focusing compared to the typical matte screens.
    It was a special order item and very rare!
  3. No doubt that this screen was designed for telephoto lenses. As mentioned, it's incredibly bright! Makes focusing my F5.6 500mm almost easy.
    It came in a standard F-1 focusing screen box that had a piece of white paper tape plastered over the top of it with the letter "Y" printed in ink.
    No doubt it's rare and no doubt I'll never sell it.
  4. I have one too, with the same sort of impromptu box labeling...a keeper!
  5. Well that's two. I wonder how many Canon made?
  6. Looks the same as the G series for the Nikon F3 (see here). Description by Nikon (original manual):
    "Clear Fresnel field with extra-bright 12 mm microprism focusing spot for viewing and focusing in poor light. Four models (G1-G4) are available correponding to specific focal length lenses. Depth of field cannot be observed."
  7. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    These have been talked about quite a bit over the years here and especially in the old YAHOO Canon FD owners group. little if anything is known about them past what has already been mentioned here.
    They were available through Canons Pro service and not a normal cataloged item (as I'm sure you guys figured out)
  8. Actually I wasn't aware that this screen was available through Canon's Pro Service Department. I always figured they were basically one-offs. I wonder how many exotic focusing screens like this were available to pros.
  9. So, this thread has been inactive for quite some time, but I have one of these rare screens.
    Mine is bound for online sale, however, and thanks to this discussion I was able to identify the piece. Pricing data through any online channel does not exist for these at the moment, but being rare as it is, I imagine a serious collector would be willing to pay at least $150, yes?

    - James C
  10. I happen to have one also, wondering if it is worth anything. This thread right here seems to be the only searchable information on it available in English.
  11. These have been discussed on this site many times over the years, but unfortunately the information here is about all there is for it.

    FWIW, I was looking for one for a while and if one came available I'd still buy it even though I'm mostly out of FD. Based on being an under-bidder on a few on Ebay, I'd be a buyer in the $125-150 range depending on condition.
  12. It appears to be in very good to excellent condition and includes the plastic case and the box with the improvised label. I'm think about putting it up for auction after the Super Bowl.
  13. It won't help., We're talking about the F-1 and F-1n, not F-1N. Read my first post.
  14. You're entirely welcome.

    As I said, if you look around on that site you may find something that suits you. Try reading my post more carefully.
  15. Again, read the original post and some of the follow-up comments. The "Y" screen is a specialized screen, offered by Canon Pro Services, that was not a catalogued item. The MIR site offers absolutely nothing regarding this screen. For that matter, the MIR site has no information at all on focusing screens for the original F-1.
  16. I can only very sincerely apologize for trying to point you to a possible source and failing to do the search there myself.~

    The MIR site has plenty of discussion of non-standard and non-production items, even if not of your particular screen.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018

Share This Page