Hassy screen options...

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Are there any cheaper alternatives to the Acute Matte screens that cost your first born with a down payment of your arm and leg?
 

momus

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When I owned a 'blad, it had the original focus screen w/ the "bubble" in the center for focusing, and I loved it. Not the brightest screen, but quite contrasty. Never had any issues focusing it w/ the WLF or a reflex prism on top, and I wear bi-focals. No focus screen that costs in the hundreds of dollars is worth it in my opinion.
 

David Allen

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Well it depends upon what kind of work you do. All of the available screens are useable (even the really early ones) but, when I worked commercially and the Hasselblad was my primary system, I rented an Acute Matte screen to see if it was really sooooo much better as colleagues had told me. Anyway, after a day of various assignments I bought one - it is simply the best all purpose focussing screen available. However, if you generally shoot using zone focussing / things that are well lit and/or static then virtually any screen will work.

Bests,

David
www.dsallen.de
 

TareqPhoto

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In fact, the only issue i have with my Hasselblad was the focusing screen, it wasn't bright and also the focus was difficult with it not because it wasn't bright but because i can't see the point when it lock or get the sharpest focus adjustment manually, so i keep focusing back and forth near the sharpest points which may wasting my time, for that reason i asked a lot here and there, and i bought 1 Acute Matte screen different than the one came with [i bought my Hassy second hand] and it didn't help much.

Lately i bought a screen from ebay, and honestly speaking, it wasn't perfect but it is much better to focus with it by miles over my 2 Acute Matte screens i have, and it is cheap so it wasn't a waste of money, give it a try:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/45-Split-Image-Focusing-Focus-Screen-Frame-for-Hasselblad-500-series-Cameras-/261160014701?pt=US_Viewfinders_Eyecups&hash=item3cce59936d
 
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I have the spilt image screen in there, and its just dark. I also have the cross hairs screen too, but haven't tried it.

When I had my Mamiya C33 I could focus using the WLF and nail it every time. With the Hassy, I have to use the magnifier I put it up to my eye almost every time because the screen is so dark and hard to see.
 

Alan Gales

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I've not tried them, but Beattie has screens for Hasselblad. (http://www.camerascreens.com/index.php)

Wouldn't mind trying an acute matte, but so far, I do ok with either the regular split image screen or the micro-prism screen. I hate the original screens though.

I took a Hasselblad 500 c/m in on trade that had the Beattie screen installed but also included the original screen. I put the original back in to compare and the Beattie is so much better.
 

Chris Livsey

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Chris Livsey

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You should be aware there are two types of Acute Matte screens. The original was brighter than the standard screens.. doh! but there were complaints it was harder to focus. They brought out the D variant, (both designed by Minolta) the one with two cut outs that look like a D, these were easier to focus (allegedly) but not just quite as bright.

Screens are personal, I am fond of the split image (issues of black-out notwithstanding) with grid. Sometimes it is less expensive to buy a body without lens or back but with a good screen than a screen alone.

So, it depends on what you are focussing with now and why you feel the need for an Acute Matte. If you just want brighter then pay up, if you think you will focus "better" using the whole screen pause, if you use a split image now you will not improve your focus but it will be a brighter image. What matters to you? There is no free lunch, unfortunately.

BTW the idea of interchangeable screens was not just to personalise to your preference, for ever, they can be swopped as conditions or lenses are changed, Often this is overlooked when a split image is criticised for black out with longer glass. That is when you swop screens. Doesn't make the split image not the best choice for some lenses.
 

Alan Gales

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BTW the idea of interchangeable screens was not just to personalise to your preference, for ever, they can be swopped as conditions or lenses are changed, Often this is overlooked when a split image is criticised for black out with longer glass. That is when you swop screens. Doesn't make the split image not the best choice for some lenses.

Good point! It's also so easy and fast to swap focussing screens on a Hasselblad.
 

TareqPhoto

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It is a pity to have that RB/RZ focusing screens so much better than Hasselblad, i bought RZ and RB with WLV and the focusing screen they came with are so amazing and i never need to replace them, and so fast to focus, bright and 3D look, wish Hasselblad has doing the same.
 

Alan Gales

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It is a pity to have that RB/RZ focusing screens so much better than Hasselblad, i bought RZ and RB with WLV and the focusing screen they came with are so amazing and i never need to replace them, and so fast to focus, bright and 3D look, wish Hasselblad has doing the same.

I agree with you but I think that part of it is due to the RB/RZ focussing screen being larger. I used to own an RZ and now I own a Hasselblad. My Hasselblad is equipped with a Beattie Intenscreen so it is actually brighter than my old RZ screen. I still favor the RZ for composing the image due to it's size. I prefer the Hasselblad for the camera's size and weight for my intended use.

I own a Tachihara 4x5 and a Wehman 8x10 camera. The Tachi screen is much brighter than the Wehman's but I much prefer composing on the Wehman due to it's larger size.

Just my opinion. :smile:
 

MattKing

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I expect that the quality of the focusing system in the RB/RZ systems may also have something to do with the large mirror as well.
 

TareqPhoto

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Well, i agree that focusing screen on RZ/RB is larger, but the whole screen on both is bright or i can see through the whole area of the screen, while with Hasselblad Acute Matte or the one i bought with 45 deg split i only can see through the circle on the center of the screen, doesn't matter it is larger or not, sure if i that RZ/RB will have the same issue of the Hasselblad screen then i will complain too, i was referring to that whole area clear of the screen.

I am worry to buy that Beattie as all recommended and found out it is better but not by miles and then i will not feel happy or comfortable with it, i don't want to dump that much budget on just the screen and then it may not be about 70-100% better than the standard Hasselblad screens.

For now, i will keep using that split image screen until i can test that Beattie screen somewhere to see if it is much better then i buy it, i hope i can meet one of you here with that Beattie screen to test somewhere in the world and then i can decide.
 

Alan Gales

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I expect that the quality of the focusing system in the RB/RZ systems may also have something to do with the large mirror as well.

Yes, the mirror in the RB/RZ is transferring more light to fill the larger focussing screen. Is the light more intense though? If you taped off the RB/RZ focussing screen and made it square would the intensity of the light be brighter than that of the Blad? :smile:
 

Alan Gales

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I am worry to buy that Beattie as all recommended and found out it is better but not by miles and then i will not feel happy or comfortable with it, i don't want to dump that much budget on just the screen and then it may not be about 70-100% better than the standard Hasselblad screens.

For now, i will keep using that split image screen until i can test that Beattie screen somewhere to see if it is much better then i buy it, i hope i can meet one of you here with that Beattie screen to test somewhere in the world and then i can decide.

That's completely understandable. If you lived in St. Louis I would let you try out my Hasselblad with the Beattie.
 

TareqPhoto

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That's completely understandable. If you lived in St. Louis I would let you try out my Hasselblad with the Beattie.

Thank you very much!

Wish if i was living in US, then i will have a lot of gear after testing them there from different friends/members, here in my country it is like i am one of those lucky people with lots of gear some not available in my area.

Is that Beattie screen the whole area is clear and/or transparent or it is Matte and only in the center circle one is only clear transparent one?
 

Alan Gales

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Is that Beattie screen the whole area is clear and/or transparent or it is Matte and only in the center circle one is only clear transparent one?

On mine it is slightly Matte. The circle is clear with a horizontal line through it that you line up when it is focussed.
 

TareqPhoto

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On mine it is slightly Matte. The circle is clear with a horizontal line through it that you line up when it is focussed.

I see, not that much better i think, the one i bought from ebay of split image is clear bright of that circle and i can focus as you do with horizontal line, i didn't test it yet but soon i will do.

Thank you very much!
 

Chris Livsey

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I was kindly reminded that the OP had asked for alternatives. Whilst there have been comments on the Beattie Intenscreens I had forgotten the Maxwell screens you may come across. I understand that they may no longer be trading but will be about S/H. They go under the other name of Hi-Lux as well just to add to the name tally.

http://www.mattclara.com/maxwell/

I also recalled the Hasselblad Opto fiber 42221 focusing screen. This had fibres to conduct the light in a tube. They were before the Acute Matte and only available for a short time so now are collectible. I would steer clear, the literally millions of fibres always had "dead" one ( or several) which gave a dead pixel effect. It was a plain screen.

Another issue with third party screens is the required calibration if a metering head is used. No big deal but bear in mind. The orientation can affect the meter as well. Some people use a split screen horizontally then switch the orientation to vertical. That can change the meter but fractionally the opto fibre screen was/is very sensitive to orientation and some I understand carried a red dot to note the position.

Finally :D I was also asked why counter-intuitively the bright screens are harder to focus. Well that depends (always the correct answer BTW) in low light they will be easier as the image is clearer but in strong light they may be harder as the focus point, we are talking on the screen here not focussing "aids" that may be on the screen, relies on the eye/brain detecting a contrast difference. If the screen is very bright the contrast is lowered and the focus point is harder. I suppose for perfection you need a pocketful of screens, I make do with three.
I have read a theory that because the Acute Matte (both types) are a sandwich the eye can be confused as to wether it is focussing on the image formed on the top or lower face. I have no useful reference and present this not as fact.
 

Mark Fisher

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I have a first generation Acute Matte and it is by far the best screen I've used. I have a cut down RB/RZ in a Rollei and had a Maxwell in a Rollei. The Maxwell was very bright, but not that easy to focus. The RB/RZ was OK....way better than the original Rollei screen, but not amazing. My advice is to get a used Acute Matte split image, gridded screed (happens to be what I have...:smile: ).
 
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ChristopherCoy
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Yeah, the used ones are what in referring too! Even used they are $200-$300 and upwards... Or in other terms, your first born!
 
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