Best body and focus screen combination for MF

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by oofoto, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Best combo for using MF with the 50mm 1.2 so I can place point of focus where ever I like in the VF and shoot wide open.
    Any opinions or experience?
     
  2. MF driving a fast prime on DSLR is definitely the one last choice even with any focus screen equiped.
    LV could be makeup in some degree
    50 1.2 auto focuses nicely on my 5D and 5D mk2,at least nicer than MF.
    In case MF is a habit, go get a leica
     
  3. Really?
     
  4. I would say the 5D or 5D mk 2 with the "super precision" screen. I use that screen on a 5D mk 1, I think it's model Ee-S. The 5D mk 2 uses a different model number. It works quite well for manual focus, though the screen does get dark for slower lenses (it's ok at f/4, pretty dark at f/5.6).
    You can also use live view if you're working slower.
     
  5. Canon sells an accessory focusing screen, the EG-S, which is designed to help you visually discriminate focus with fast lenses such as the 50/1.2. Or, you can use Live View. The downside of the EG-S is that it's darker than the standard screen--just a little too dark for f/4 lenses, unfortunately.
     
  6. Paul, the MF screens don't let you change your point of focus in the VF. The focus assist optics (e.g. microprism or split ring) will always be in the middle.
    Your best option is probably AF, using a camera body with focus microadjustment programming, like the 5DII. Then you can select your focus point in the VF, and have the focus accurate.
    FAIW you can also program Canon cameras to shift the AF to a button on the back of the camera. It's a nice sort of "manual" compromise I like to use.
     
  7. Your best setup for MF is a body with live view. Live view permits much greater accuracy than manual focus in the
    viewfinder. In addition it can work in much lower light. You can select any area of the image and focus at 5x or 10x
    magnification. You can also move around the frame to check focus in any other area. 5D2 live view has proven tremendously effective for me in landscape, some nature, night, and architectural photography.

    In other cases where your subject etc. moves too much, you are probably better off using AF.

    Dan
     
  8. Sarah, what? 'the MF screens don't let you change your point of focus in the VF'
    I don't mean AF point of focus, I mean the point of focus I choose to make within the frame. Focus assist screens such as Ee-S don't have split rings and you can use the whole screen to focus.
    My best option is AF? What don't you get about the f/1.2 and focus recompose concept?
    Even if I was to choose AF and micro adjust it wouldn't make the outer points of the 5DII any more accurate.
     
  9. I've been using EG-S screen with all my manual Zeiss lenses and could not be happier. I don't even change it back to standard screen when I use AF lenses. And I can choose any AF point with it. There were talks about "darkness" but I did not notice anything major. I use it with my 70-200 f/4 and its totally fine.
     
  10. I use MF quite a bit with TS lenses and the best solution is to focus in live view at 10x than switch to the viewfinder for final framing and shooting if you are using the camera handheld. On a tripod obviously you can use live view all the time. I find that my 5DII is much easier to focus with the viewfinder than my 7D or 1DIIN as the finder is bigger and brighter. That said for critical focus it is still difficult through the viewfinder.
    I have not tried the EG-S screen as I was told by a store where I went to buy it that it is difficult to use with F4 lenses and I would be disappointed with it. Since this was a store talking themselves out of sales and two of the lenses I use for TS and F3.5 I decided to save my money. Before someone asks my lenses are Mamiya M645 lenses on a Mirex adaptor - which a cheap way of getting a range of 35 - 150mm TS lenses if you own a Mamiya or Pentax 645.
     
  11. I like the Brightscreen #2 in the Proscreen 13mm size myself. Be prepared to wait about two months to get yours from them though. While they are the best manual focus screens out there right now (I have used most of the Canon screens on one series and one of the Katz-Eye on the 40D), they must be the slowest company on the planet to produce and ship their product. I have used the P series #2 on three different cameras and many lenses including the Sigma 50 1.4 and Canon 85 1.2 and can say it is an essential piece of equipment for viewfinder focusing, though as others have already said, the liveview feature will give you the very best results, though awkward and indiscreet. The fresnel covers a huge portion of the viewfinder, and you have a very clear view of the area(s) in focus, however you can write off spot metering accurately, and I tend to add 2/3rds to my exposure on full frame, and 1/3 to a half on the H sensor bodies (don''t ask me why this is the case because I don't know, it just works). I only bother with the precision S as the other screen in use since the brightscreen is better, and I have my metering figured before I am shooting for keeps anyways, but this may be a problem for the user if they prefer auto metering. The only camera I didn't bother changing the screen from stock is the 1D so I can have a snap-shooting camera that is on Av mode and selective point auto-focus at all times for sports and the like with telephoto lenses and still multi-meter on spot accurately. I emphasize that the screens I use are the 13 millimeter version of the number two style as these have a MUCH larger fresnel that addresses you interest of focusing nearly anywhere in the viewfinder without having to attempt a focus/compose scenario where ultimately you will be out of focus for what you wanted when wide open at 1.2.
     
  12. Simply 1D (s, no s mark 1 2 3 4 don't matter) Focusing screen choice is not the same for everyone, so you get the camera first and then go to a store, ask them to let you try different screens
    Best can mean many things: fastest, easiest, most accurate. And best in what situations: low light, bright day.
    Don't forget that to get a sharp picture, the camera also needs to be built with high accuracy and CA should be reduced as much as possible. Camera shake is important too.
    Too many factors to calculate, but not many options to choose (1D, 5D, 7D, 50D, 60D, what else to choose?). So try it out is the most efficient way to find the best
     
  13. Mmm the Brightscreen sounds like a bit of a costly gamble if I don't like it!
    So the 5D II and the Eg-S screen sounds like the way.
    Anybody got this combo? Deos it work straight out of the box?
     
  14. Mmm the Brightscreen sounds like a bit of a costly gamble if I don't like it!​
    Yep, and you will hate the wait too, but for portraits within four meters on a fifty or eighty-five you aren't gonna beat it with the S screen for confidence. I have gone to the 5D II myself now, and don't even use autofocus lenses anymore, so I use liveview when I can, and the fresnel the rest of the time. The S screen is nice, but more for telephoto and macro applications with fast glass in my actual experience with it.
     
  15. So the 5D II and the Eg-S screen sounds like the way.
    Anybody got this combo? Deos it work straight out of the box?​
    Changing the screens will take you under 1 minute. Don't forget to adjust the custom setting for correct metering.
     
  16. I have the EG-S screen and it is better for MF, but I agree with Erwin above, you may well find AF is what you will use 90% of the time. Central focus and recompose works well for me. I am thinking of changing back to using the regular screen because I so rarely manually focus and with the 70-200 f4 the image is darker than I would like when the ambient light level is low. I don't have the 50 1.2 but I have the 85mm 1.8 and 135 f2 and they have about the same depth of field when wide open.
     
  17. Paul, the photo.net moderators don't generally like it when people post the same qustion in multiple forums. Instead of posting this in the nikon or canon forums you probalby would have been better off using the causual conversations or idigital camera forum.
    If you don't want to focus and recompose or manually sellect the auto focus point then manual focus isn't going to be a big help. Yes a different focus screen with a focus aid or live view are helpful but they are secodary to paying attention to what you are doing and taking into account your depth of field.
     
  18. Paul, the photo.net moderators don't generally like it when people post the same qustion in multiple forums. Instead of posting this in the nikon or canon forums you probalby would have been better off using the causual conversations or idigital camera forum.
    If you don't want to focus and recompose or manually sellect the auto focus point then manual focus isn't going to be a big help. Yes a different focus screen with a focus aid or live view are helpful but they are secodary to paying attention to what you are doing and taking into account your depth of field.
     
  19. Paul, you tried hard but obviously you won't get much help here (in both forums). Think about it, how can someone helps you with your question if he/she never focus manually without the assistance of "electronic rangefinder" or "split images", or Live View?
    I do MF a lot (most the time) but I don't use a F1.2 lens, definitely not at wide open. I believe if you practice more, you can do it with most of the high end DSLR with prism (not mirrors) , not too small Viewfinder, and correct diopter adjustment for your eyes. Watch out that your focus can easily move by many different reasons
     
  20. I think we've all experienced moments were auto-focus isn't cutting it...a very low contrast subject, or maybe a small bird in between moving tree leaves? With a little skill an operator may well get a better focus (and quicker!) doing it manually. After all, isn't the presence of full-time available (i.e. non-switched) MF considered a positive feature?
    In the pre-AF days my favorite screen was Canon's Type E for F-1 bodies, a combination of central split (horizontal) surrounded by a ring of microprism that worked well for many general applications. With faster glass it was fabulous, very crisp and snappy.
    I also like the cross-split screens where subjects are well-defined and "edgy".
    As mentioned already, the proper diopter (and correctable eyesight!) is a must for best MF results.
     
  21. "So the 5D II and the Eg-S screen sounds like the way.
    Anybody got this combo?"
    Yes, this is what I use and it works great. It's fine with f/4 lenses too (I don't doubt it's a bit darker at f/4 than the original Eg-A, but you'd never notice unless you compared them side by side - at least I wouldn't. On the other hand it's MUCH easier to focus with the Eg-S, so I leave it in all the time).
    "Does it work straight out of the box?"
    Yes, except you have to change one custom function setting for proper exposure metering (don't worry, it's in the instructions). The whole procedure only takes a couple of minutes.
    BTW, if you have the old Ee-s (for the 5D I) it's the same thing as the Eg-S but with 2 extra tabs on the sides. You can grind or cut them off and it will fit the 5DII (of course the same applies to any other 5D screens you may have).
     
  22. I'm still curious. Have you tried live view? And is there a reason that it won't work for what you are shooting?
     
  23. @ Simon: Thanks for posting the info about Brightscreens. Just recently I had wished these existed as I used my 5D with an f/1.2. I guess some dreams do come true!
     
  24. G Dan, No I haven't tried Liveview and cannot imagine hand holding the camera out in front of me whilst composing and shooting portraits !
    I think I'm gonna plunge for a 5DII though as I'm so p*ssed my 5D doesn't work with the Ee-S screen accurately straight out of the box.
    I really wanted to wait for its successor but I'm sure the price will be much higher than the 5DII has come down to now.
     

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