D100 - viewfinder without batteries why so dark ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by david_tolcher, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. I have just bought a D100 and was on the verge of sending it straight
    back. I put a lens on it while the battery was charging and found the
    viewfinder dark and was completely unable to focus manually. Put the
    battery in and the viewfinder is bright, clear and easy to focus
    manually. I assumed it was a standard viewfinder as it has a mirror
    but maybe not - can someone explain why ?

    Many thanks

  2. has to do with the focus area selection and on demand grid lines. the screen is has to be powered, to see through it clearly. not sure if you want the technical reason you cant see through it.....
  3. Dave-

    As was previously said, it has to do with the focusing screen. This odd deal with the screen going dark and out of focus without batteries in the camera is the same in the D100 and the N80.

    Regards, E
  4. Did you take the lens cap off?
  5. Does the screen use some sort of liquid crystal display technology to achieve these features?
  6. I believe they use fiber optics running through the screen to make it brighter, hence the need for power.
  7. "Did you take the lens cap off?"

    One reason I use a protection filter and a hood on every rangefinder lens is so that I never have to put a lens cap on these lenses. It is hard to do a lens cap screw-up with an SLR; easier with a rangefinder.

    "Does the screen use some sort of liquid crystal display technology to achieve these features?"

    Yes, LCDs display the on-demand architectural grid lines. The display going dim and soft without a battery in the camera is no big deal, since the camera as a whole won't function without a battery, but it is odd. Other than the N80 and the derivative D100, I'm not aware of another SLR or DSLR that does this.
  8. Thanks for the quick answers, I had never seen anything like it - adjusted the diopters, rustled in cupboards for glasses etc etc... Then just felt an idiot :)
  9. With all this new-fangled digital stuff, there's a bunch of that "idiot" feeling going around. I've been seriously interested in making photos since I was 13 and in some ways digital photography involves starting from square one.
  10. There's a transparent display called a "guest host LCD" between the D100 docusing screen and prism. The GH LCD is only about 30% transparent when not powered up. It's near 100% opaque or 100% transparent, as needed, when powered up. The GH LCD produces the 5 AF zone indicators and the D100 gridlines.

    I believe Oly uses similar technology in the E-10, E-20, and E-1, and Canon in the 1D and 1Ds (but not the lower end cameras).


  11. I had the exact same reactions when I got a D100 for my dad. Very unsettling inded.

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