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Brightscreen split image with microprism on 5D?

Joe Bailey , Jan 26, 2006; 08:48 a.m.

Has anyone used the Brightscreen split image with microprism on the Canon 5D? I don't know if Canon has any plans to make one. I just ordered the Canon EE-S and EE-D screens, but would really prefer a split prism screen.


Howard Slavitt , Jan 26, 2006; 10:29 a.m.

There are several very long threads about this on the Fred Miranda forum, one on the Canon forum and one on the Alternative forum, I think. There seems to be a problem with the 5D manufacturing tolerances so that shims are often required to get accurate focus. Based on my various experiments -- EE-S screen and using the Canon 1.25 and 2.5 magnifier -- I've concluded that manual focus, at least for me, will never be as accurate as center point autofocus and recomposing. Even for the Canon manual focus lenses (i.e. the TSE lenses), I plan on using the focus confirmation as much as possible. It means you can't use other manufacturers' lenses, but whatever advantage they may offer is likely more than offset by the manual focus errors, unless you happen to have an uncanny knack for manual focusing. Autofocus isn't perfect, but at least for me (and based on what I've read -- see a recent thread on the luminous landscape forum comparing 4 x 5 to an autofocus Hasselblad with digital bank) it's much more consisten and accurate than manual focus.

Arlen C. Elkins , Jan 26, 2006; 01:34 p.m.

Installed the Brightscreen Split Image (horizontal) with Microscreen on my 5D about a month ago and Love it! I do mostly studio work, and use Leica and Zeiss lenses on my 5D, so manual focus is a must. The Brightscreen took about 2 minutes to install, and focus is spot on. The large Microprisim area is just as beneficial as the Split Image, it seems to snap in and out of focus, becoming totally clear when image is in focus. The matte area of the screen is better than the standard Canon for manual focus. I need to check edge focus on flat artwork and the Brightscreen surface works well for this also.

Joe Bailey , Jan 27, 2006; 09:39 a.m.

Arlen, Thanks for the info. Did you have to install the shim? I just ordered one and am looking forward to trying it out. I normally just use the center auto focus point and have had very good results. This should help with some of my macro photos.

Howard Cummer , Jan 28, 2006; 09:31 a.m.

I installed the Brightscreen diagonal split image with micro prism in my 5D and found the images too busy for my focusing style. I exhanged it for the micro prism circle and find that easier to use - especially with wide angles. Since Jan 1 2006 Brightscreen provides a schim for the screens to make sure they fit tight into the holder.

Jason Cheng , Sep 23, 2006; 10:50 a.m.

The Brightscreen split image with microprism sounds ideal. I was wondering though, when you use autofocus do the focus points still light up in red as with the standard Canon screen or do you lose that information? Does it throw off the exposure or autofocus? Is there any functionality that you lose when going to the Brightscreen? Does it work equally well in both bright and dim environments? Is the viewfinder image contrast higher or lower than the standard screen? Thanks in advance.


Joe Bailey , Sep 23, 2006; 08:17 p.m.

Jason, I love my split screen/micro prism. You don't lose any of the focus points or functionality. Some cameras required installing a supplied shim, but mine didn't. It is spot on with the focusing and I did not have to adjust anything on the camera.

Jason Cheng , Sep 26, 2006; 01:50 a.m.

Hi Joe and Arlen,

I am pretty sure I will go ahead and try the Brightscreen. I know they make a number of different variants. I'm thinking of either a large central microprism or one with the split screen in the middle and a microprism collar. Do you guys know the model number of the ones you bought for use with your 5D's? I think I read somewhere that they also make a proscreen which is presumably more expensive. I'm not sure what the advantages are.


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