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Nikon F4 "P" focusing screen to use on D80

Van T. , Oct 04, 2007; 12:07 a.m.

I have a Nikon F4 "P" split-screen focusing screen and was wondering if anyone modify this screen or something similiar to it to be useable on the D80 for manual focusing purposes.

I'm already aware of the Katz Eye focusing screen and am not interested in forking out almost $200 for this screen.

Responses

Nick White , Oct 04, 2007; 04:50 a.m.

As I recall from my F4 days those screens are very deep whereas, the D80 screen will be far slimmer - so I doubt very much if that is possible.

I always used the 'grid' screens on my F4s so a big advantage of the digital bodies to me is being able to call up the grid 'on demand' - I always found the microprism/split screens to be a hindrance rather than a help, and virtually useless with any but the fastest long lenses.

Michael R. Freeman , Oct 04, 2007; 08:21 a.m.

No can do.

The pro F-series screens (up to the F5) are two part screens, with a matte focusing screen and a glass condenser lens, held together in a separate frame. They are approximately 7mm thick. The screen in your D80 is probably about 1.5 - 2mm thick.

You do the math. ;-)

Marco P , Oct 04, 2007; 10:52 a.m.

By removing the screws on the frame you can separate the screen and the condenser (I did it). You end up with a focusing screen which may or may not be the same thickness of that in the D80. Assuming its compatible, you shoud cut it in the appropriate shape without breaking it and keeping the split prism in the perfect center, which will not be esay to do... If you decide to try pay attention to the screens: there is an upper and a bottom "face" and you must not invert it otherwise you will have focusing errors (not with AF, only the image in the viewfinder vill be incorrect). good luck! Marco

Shun Cheung , Oct 04, 2007; 11:25 a.m.

Michael Freeman has already pointed out that the thickness of the F4's focusing screen doesn't match the D80's. Additionally, the FX sensor (F4 35mm film) is much larger than DX (D80) and so is the focusing screen. It'll be very difficult to trim that down, area wise.

If you want a split-image focusing screen for the D80, consider the KatzEye. It is expensive, though: (link)

Randy Lewis , Oct 04, 2007; 11:17 p.m.

I picked up a split screen for my D200 on ebay. A guy from China is making them. I have it in the camera and works great. I have been only using MF lenses on the D200 and this screen is a must have. I'm not sure about the D80. Also, you can enlarge the center AF bracket on the D200 and it goes outside the split image, so you don't have anything blocking the split image. All this for, I think I paid $25. Do a search on eBay for D200 focus screens. The one thing is, if you change the screen yourself, you will have to test for focus. My D200 had spacers behind the standard screen and it was slightly off with the new one. I had to remove one of the two that were there. Now focus is dead on with a 50 f1.4.

Van T. , Oct 06, 2007; 06:30 p.m.

Thanks everyone for your responses. Randy, sounded like your eBay route is the cheapest and easiest for me to look into.

-V

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