5 comments on “Manual Focus on D800E

  1. Hi Larry,

    Interested to see how you made out with the D800 screen.

    Hope you can post something when you get a chance and I hope it worked out okay!


  2. Robert, I hate to say it but I’ve hardly taken the camera out since I installed the screen. I’ve just been too busy with work. The few times I was out with it I just used an AF lens. I did try a few shots manually focused and they came out properly focused. But this was all with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Some were wide open, but a handful of shots is not a definitive test. I really need to bring out some fast long lenses and see if I can get the eyes in focus for some quick portraits. Then compare that to a similar AF lens.

  3. Hi Larry,

    Came across your post while searching for a focus screen for my D800, and was curious on your experience! Sounds like it might affect autofocus somewhat since it’s not as bright…

  4. Justin,

    My experience has not been good. To the point that I stopped using MF lenses on the camera, except through live view. With longer lenses (200mm or 105mm) I’m just not getting successful focus. Even the 50mm is bad at open apertures. I’ve been meaning to put the factory screen back in, but haven’t done so.

    Some observations:
    1) Exposure seems to be off a tiny bit, with the camera giving a bit more exposure than the stock screen. This is not all bad, and I find it still rarely overexposes when shot in RAW with normal light. With contrasty light you get a bit of clipping that I didn’t get before. But I also don’t find I need to manually add exposure as often, so to me it’s a wash. You still need to watch exposure.

    2) Autofocus. I’ve observer no issues with the auto focus. It’s still dead on, and the dot works better than the split prism for manual focus. The autofocus sensors are before the screen (taken through the mirror), so this makes sense. The exposure sensors are above the screen as far as I understand it.

    3) When checking if the screen shims had shifted and were causing the focus errors I scratched the screen. It’s minor, but these things are fragile.

    4) I’m sure I could shim it correctly, but I haven’t tried yet. But I really should before dumping it. I’m not sure if it needs them removed, or more added.

    So all in all not a ringing endorsement.

  5. I’m bummed to hear about your bad experience, but I really appreciate your thoughtful and thorough response!

    It sounds like more trouble than it’s worth for me. I occasionally have issues with the autofocus at longer focal lengths, and figured if i had a split prism, I’d just do focus manually, but it doesn’t sound like it’d be an improvement.

    Thanks again for posting this, and also for providing an update! You definitely saved me some money and headaches.

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