Katz-eye for D2x - prism/micro/matte vs. all-matte

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dante_stella, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. Can anyone tell me from personal experience whether or not the matte surface of Katz-Eye screens is
    better for manual focusing than the matte in the stock B or E screens for the D2x? I was looking at the
    split-screen possibility, but Rachael Katz informed me that there is now an all-matte screen available. I
    would really like something like the old D screen, something with "bite."

    Also, does anyone know if the matte surface is usable for manual focusing in the Kodak 14n or SLR/n
    (similar finder to D100)?

    Any thoughts on the extra brightening treatment?
  2. The D2x has an electronic rangefinder that works will all lenses, including manual focus lenses. With practice, you can focus as well using the standard finder screen, but the green ball is an accurate backup.
  3. Edward - I'm aware of what the standard screen is like - very bright, unable to show DOF
    accurately and very difficult to focus manually, even when using the DK-17M. It's the classic
    example of sacrificing manual focusing for brightness. The opposite is the classic D screen
    for the F3 - pebbled glass with no fresnel, not the brightest but having tons of "bite" and
    capable of focusing even wideangle lenses.

    In my experience, the ERF is not a great solution - the sensing areas (like the AF zones) are a
    lot bigger than the brackets, and the focus detection system seems to grab whatever is
    closest within the sensing area.
  4. Haven't seen the all matte version. I've got the split image without the "optibrite" and it definitely has more bite than a stock D2X screen.

    The cool thing is, I'd swear with my fast lenses (30mm f1.4 Sigma, 50mm f1.4 and f1.8 Nikon, 85mm f1.4 Nikon, and 135mm f2.0 Nikon) that the Katz Eye is actually brighter than the stock screen. It may be scattering some of the central exit pupil light away from my eye, but it's scattering enough peripherial light back to the eye to make up for it.

    All the reports I've seen from people with the optibrite version say less bite than stock.
  5. I went with the extra brightening even though my typical glass is f/2 or faster. I didn't feel that I would lose much with those lenses as opposed to what I would gain with slower zooms. So far that's been a fair bargain.

    As far as the matte screen, I don't find the small split prism in the center annoying, and it and the microprism section are of course very useful at times. I think that adds up to an acceptable compromise, but then again that's what I preferred on film cameras as well.
  6. Dante, I too used the matte screen with the F3, I used it for many years in both my
    working cameras. I did daily newspaper work and this was surely the best solution for
    young eyes and fast lenses.

    I have the Katz eye split screen with optibrite on my D2H. I find the split screen to be very
    helpful, but even more so is the microprism. I have never been a huge fan of microprism,
    and when I was younger I even wondered why it existed. However, now with smaller
    screens and slower lenses (ie zooms @ 2.8) I find the microprism to be superior to even
    the split image. I don't find the matte to be that great on the Katz eye. It may be better
    than the Nikon one but it is still very hard to use for focusing.

    I have been using a 50 1.2 for weddings and I have to say the results are very poor. I just
    cannot focus this lens accurately in working situations. Sharp images are coming in at far
    less than 50%. The split image is a bit too small to really use accurately and detail is
    simply lost on the matte. The microprism is by far the easiest focusing aid to use witht he
    digital screen size in my opinion. But it's ring is still fairly small. I would like to see Katz
    give us a matte screen with a full microprism in the center... I think.

    To summarize, I cannot tell you how frustrating manual focusing has been for me with the
    digital camera. I recently had my 28/2 reworked and it too is a problem. The fact is,
    when working you can't afford the time to shop around your subjects face for an
    acceptible place to line up a split image. Unless you have a very close subject, matte
    focusing (for me) is nearly impossible. I like the microprism, but in low light it can be hard
    to see.

    I was taking a picture for my son this morning with the 17-55 wide open; two teddy bears
    on a block tower for a Kindergarten journal. I was shooting into a heavy backlight and
    attempted to manually focus on one of the bears. Here is a static situation with a flary
    backlight. Manual focus was simply impossible. I tried all three options. At 17 mm it was
    simply impossible to use any one of the three focusing aids.

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