replaceable focusing screens - Bronica

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abruzzi

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I bought an ETRS body for super cheap because I wanted a split prism focusing screen for my ETRSi. They seem to be impossible to find separately, and this body had one. So I'll swap out the screen, and put the ETRS on the shelf as a backup. The plain screen isn't bad, but I can't focus without popping out the loupe. I'm hoping that with the 45 degree split prism and surrounding microprism, I may be able to focus quicker.

I'm leaving on a trip in a week and I don't want to take a bunch of out of focus pictures, do I need to worry about the focus on the replacement screen? I don't know if I will have a chance to shoot, develop, and scan a test roll between when the screen arrive, and when I leave on my trip. I was thinking of testing by eye by comparing the two screens. Basically--leave the plain screen in and focus on a fixed subject while mounted on a steady tripod, then swap out the screens without bumping anything and see if the replacement screen shows the same focus.

Alternatively, I could leave the screen at home until I have more time to test it. What would you do?
 

hashtagquack

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IMO the loupe/magnifier is absolutely necessary to attain critical focus whereas the wlf without the magnifier popped is just for composition...

Re: the focus screen, just check it’s accurate under the magnifier at infinity. If so then there shouldn’t be any issues. If there was a problem this would also reveal itself at infinity
 

neilt3

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The face of the focus screen sit's in the same position regardless of which one your using .
If your standard focus screen gave the correct results , so will this .

Make sure the front lugs are inserted correctly and the rear clip is secured correctly .
Any error in focus then is either user error if occasional , or if consistant , the mirror has been knocked out of alignment and needs a repair .
With the split rangefinder and the WLF make sure your looking straight down at it , not at a slight angle as this will cause focus error .
Using the prism finders prevent this .

Why not take both screens with you and have a play around when you have a bit of free time , just make sure the spare is well wrapped in a little bag , packed in tissue , in a little box/tin ?

I swap and change screens as the need arises , I have both the ETRSi and the ETRS , but the spit prism screen is in use most of the time .
It is much quicker for focussing on most things and I tend to use either the AE II or plain prism finder most of the time .
 
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abruzzi

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Thanks, I have very little space and nothing to store the extra screen in, so I figured on not bringing the spare. I'll be on a motorcycle and will probably shoot upwards of 20 rolls before get home to process any of the film, so, while I'll have a small digital camera as well, I'd hate to get home from all these locations with 20 wasted rolls, so I'm a little overly paranoid. I know the screens were designed to be swapped, but when I see people replacing focusing screens on their DSLR they frequently have to add shims to get the focus correct which is ultimately the source of my lack of trust.
 
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abruzzi

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One week (or even less) should be time enough to shoot and develope a test roll with both screens. Then you can start your trip free from worry.

The screen won't show up (according to the FedEx estimate) until next Wednesday and I leave on Saturday. While it could be done in that time, I have a lot of other stuff and I'd rather not stress it. I could just leave the screen at home, which I may do, if I have any doubts after receiving the screen.
 

Trask

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They seem to be impossible to find separately

I feel your pain. I’ve been looking for a split-image screen (waist-level version) for my Bronica ECTL — it IS impossible to find! I’m glad you got the one you need, even if it required buying the body. I hope you enjoy your trip, regardless of which screen(s) you take!
 

Dan Daniel

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If you know that the existing screen works, I would simply take that one. To burn 20 rolls in a one-off situation with a camera whose setup you haven't had a chance to test? Not a good idea. Not at all. One of the CLASSIC ways to have a horror story to tell for the rest of your life. Go with what you know works and worry about the images, not the camera.
 

macfred

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I feel your pain. I’ve been looking for a split-image screen (waist-level version) for my Bronica ECTL — it IS impossible to find...

I bought a split-image screen for my ETRSI from Rick Oleson (he has screens for the EC-series also).
You will get the screen itself and you have to re-use your existing metal frame.
The screen comes with instruction to replace your old screen. Screen is $50 USD incl. world wide shipping. I'm very pleased with Rick's service.

http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-375.html
 

Trask

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Thanks for the tip, macfred. I’d looked at RIck’s screens a couple of years ago, back when IIRC all he sold were screens with 45 degree split images. The ECTL screens are special because they have the auto shutter speeds across the top, but I could use one of Rick’s screens in an old Rolleicord I have. Neat!
 

macfred

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Thanks for the tip, macfred. I’d looked at RIck’s screens a couple of years ago, back when IIRC all he sold were screens with 45 degree split images. The ECTL screens are special because they have the auto shutter speeds across the top, but I could use one of Rick’s screens in an old Rolleicord I have. Neat!

Sorry, I didn't know those facts about the ECTL screens ... :redface:
---
I have an Oleson BrightScreen (with micro prism) for my Rolleiflex 3.5F - it works great for my needs.
 
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abruzzi

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The camera arrived yesterday (earlier than expected.) I did a number of tests with the camera on a tripod, focusing with the old screen, switching to the new screen and confirming focus, and everything looks exact.

One thing that surprised me is the screen is actually the one designed for the 135 backs and has the 24x36mm and 24x54mm etching which is nice. If the 135W backs ever come back down to reasonable prices, it would be fun to have, if not, having some vertical lines will help with leveling horizons. The screen also has a small brownish scuff on it. Its not a huge deal since its not too distracting. But I was wondering if these are cleanable or if the surface is too fragile?
 

wiltw

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The camera arrived yesterday (earlier than expected.) I did a number of tests with the camera on a tripod, focusing with the old screen, switching to the new screen and confirming focus, and everything looks exact.

One thing that surprised me is the screen is actually the one designed for the 135 backs and has the 24x36mm and 24x54mm etching which is nice. If the 135W backs ever come back down to reasonable prices, it would be fun to have, if not, having some vertical lines will help with leveling horizons. The screen also has a small brownish scuff on it. Its not a huge deal since its not too distracting. But I was wondering if these are cleanable or if the surface is too fragile?

Originally the ETRS body did not offer a split screen focus aid
The camera arrived yesterday (earlier than expected.) I did a number of tests with the camera on a tripod, focusing with the old screen, switching to the new screen and confirming focus, and everything looks exact.

One thing that surprised me is the screen is actually the one designed for the 135 backs and has the 24x36mm and 24x54mm etching which is nice. If the 135W backs ever come back down to reasonable prices, it would be fun to have, if not, having some vertical lines will help with leveling horizons. The screen also has a small brownish scuff on it. Its not a huge deal since its not too distracting. But I was wondering if these are cleanable or if the surface is too fragile?

The 135N and 135W backs will do nothing for you other than allow the selection of an emulsion not usually found in rollfilm form.
 
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abruzzi

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The 135N and 135W backs will do nothing for you other than allow the selection of an emulsion not usually found in rollfilm form.

Well, they could also provide a cost/convenience benefit as well. 36 exposure with the 135N vs 15 with the 120 back. I'm not sure how many exposures the 135W gets on a 36 exposure roll--I'm guessing around 20.
 

macfred

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But I was wondering if these are cleanable or if the surface is too fragile?

The surface of those screens is very delicate (not only the Bronica screens) - cleaning with a gas duster is worth a try - no wet wiping or soaping !
My ETRSi came with the Ei Microprism / Split Image screen 135 (BE2665); those frame lines for their 135-N and 135-W backs are a nice to have but I was never tempted to buy one of them.

I'm not sure how many exposures the 135W gets on a 36 exposure roll--I'm guessing around 20.

You will get 23 (15 /12 /7) exposures with the 135-W back.
 
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