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Custom Focusing Screen

Paul Armes , Jul 04, 2013; 04:40 a.m.

Hello all,

I am hoping someone may have any idea about this. I am looking for a company that can make a custom focusing screen for canon 5D Mark II and III.
What I am after is a 10x8 constraint proportion box (and possibly other size constraints) to be visible when looking through the view finder so that the photographer can frame and shoot knowing exactly that the subject matter will fit into a 10x8 size constraint when cropped in post.
I can find many companies that make a vast array of different focusing screens but none that allow you to specify what it is you exactly need.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


David Henderson , Jul 04, 2013; 05:33 a.m.

Can't answer your question directly but you're going to lose 17% of an already small screen and of course it wouldn't work in Live View-which I for one use extensively. Of course if you used Live View habitually it might be easier to hinge a mask over the LCD screen or even just learn where the 10x8 proportions fall on the gridded view afforded by Live View. There are six squares in the Live View grid on the horizontal axis, which equates exactly to the crop you want to make. If you simply composed as if the left or right hand column wasn't going to be there, you'll get exactly what you want without doing a thing.

Ed Avis , Jul 04, 2013; 05:37 a.m.

I think Canon's Eg-D focusing screen is the one you want.

Joshua Szulecki , Jul 04, 2013; 09:11 a.m.

Ed, I'm not sure I follow. I suppose you could use the grid marks on the Eg-D to approximate an 8x10 ratio, but I was not aware they were specifically aligned for doing so, and I cannot seem to find any information confirming it. Canon's information (see: (link)) suggests that this is NOT one of the screens intended for crop approximation, and that such a screen is not offered for the 5DII, whereas the Ee screen for the 5DC did have a crop approximation.

From the link above, in reference to cropping screens, Canon says: "These screens come as a set of two. They are ideal for users who regularly shoot images that will be printed at standard print sizes. One is marked for square (6x6cm) format, the other indicates the boundaries for 4x5 and 8x10 format. Each set of screens is available in one of two versions: The Black Mask Set (shown above) has each format indicated by a heavy black mask. The Crop Lines Set has each format indicated by a thin border. Both versions are otherwise identical to the standard Bright Laser Matte screen. With Black Mask versions, we recommend Partial or Spot ambient metering and FEL flash metering for optimum accuracy and repeatability. [They then go on to list the available screens]

Ec-1Ds/Ec-1D/Ee Crop Lines

Ec-1Ds/Ec-1D/Ee Black Mask

Ec-1Ds For all versions of EOS-1Ds, and all 35mm versions of the EOS-1

Ec-1D For all versions of EOS-1D

Ee For original 12MP EOS 5D only. Will not fit EOS 5D Mark II."

As to Paul's original question... All I could find on the topic is an old Flickr thread. I'm somewhat surprised Canon offered such a screen for the 5DC and not the 5DII, but I guess it just wasn't that popular? I certainly would like to have one, if you find a source. At a minimum, it would have been nice to include the crop lines in LV if they were going to drop the screen option, as I often wish I had the ability to see 4X5 when taking quick photographs I know I want to print immediately. Anyway, here's the Flickr thread: http://www.flickr.com/groups/canoneos5dmarkii/discuss/72157624760056240/

Joshua Szulecki , Jul 04, 2013; 10:26 a.m.

I should note that the last post in that Flickr thread is erroneous. Canon and other sources all say the Ee screen for the 5DC will NOT fit the 5DII.

Sarah Fox , Jul 04, 2013; 11:44 a.m.

Paul, you should be able to scribe your own. The focusing screens are plastic, so you should be able to scribe whatever lines you want on them with a utility knife. I would suggest covering them in scotch tape before handling them. Scribe your lines right through the tape, and then peel all the tape off.

Ed Avis , Jul 04, 2013; 02:13 p.m.

Sorry, I must have gotten confused when Googling.

Joshua Szulecki , Jul 04, 2013; 06:45 p.m.

You know what...I think Magic Lantern offers the ability to make custom crop marks for LiveView. Doesn't solve the original problem of the absent crop focusing screen, but it may be a partial solution, depending on what you are shooting, if you don't want to score/mark a screen yourself and/or cannot find a source to make you one.

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