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The Wet Darkroom: Film, Paper & Chemistry


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    • I'm interested in a screen (yet another) for my Rolleiflex 3.5F to hopefully make focusing easier - especially for portraits. I also have the 0.7x Mutar, and I'd be hoping a new screen would make it nice and easy to work with the Mutar too. I've actually already gone through a few screens, but haven't been completely satisfied. When I bought my camera, it had the factory screen installed, and I replaced that one with a Maxwell screen, which was definitely an improvement, but I still didn't think it was amazing to tell the truth. I tried again with a screen from Rick Oleson, and I actually felt that I preferred the Oleson screen over the Maxwell one, but still, I just feel like it could be even better. I'm interested in trying one of the screens from magicflexcamera.com, particularly the "PRO ultra bright" screen - but they are out of stock currently. I've sent a request through the site there a few days ago, but am yet to receive any acknowledgement/reply. What I'd like to understand is... What exactly makes a good focusing screen? Of course I'd like it as bright as possible and as easy to manual focus as possible (as mentioned, particularly for portraits). Does anyone know - are the screens from magicflexcamera.com custom-made new ones, or new-old-stock, or repurposed from other cameras, or just plain second-hand, or what? It's not clear to me. Is there something particularly difficult/expensive/secretive about the production of focusing screens? I mean, why is not straightforward for some supplier to come along and produce really good ones? Is it just that there isn't the market to make it worthwhile manufacturing them these days? Or maybe it's personal preference and there's no clear "best" focusing screen? Or maybe it's the laws of physics limiting what's possible? I've read positive opinions about Hasselblad's screens, and here's a description direct from Hasselblad... Are these the pinnacle of focusing screen technology? Is the same available for Rolleiflex? What exactly is the Fresnel lens for and why is it important that it is cut with high precision? Sorry for all the vague, uneducated questions - I'm really just trying to understand what I'm looking for and how easy/viable it is to find it.
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