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Katz Eye focusing screen....

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by olddogg, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. I've been considering adding one of these to my D200. Could some of you who have done this modification share your experience. Specifically, how difficult was the installation, how well does it work, did you get the optibrite option or not, and....regrets?

    There's at least a few of us awaiting your comments. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2007
  2. I did my D2H but neither of my D200s (...yet). I got the etching and the optibright. Do not pass on the Optibright option. It's the number two reason to get the thing in the first place. Worth every penny and installation takes about a minute with the tool they provide.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2007
  3. I have the Katz-Eye in my D200 and in my D2Xs. After being warned that the installation was tricky in the D200, I simply sent my camera to the folks there and let them install it. Knowing that the installation was much simpler in the D2Xs I ordered the screen and when it arrived, took it over to someone who was experienced at installing these things and let him do it. :smile:

    I use the Katz-Eye for macro, especially, and any time I am manually focusing. I do have the Opti-Brite feature as well. IMHO this focusing screen is definitely worth the money!
  4. Thanks guys....

    I hope a few more D200 owners will jump in.
    Sounds like a good addition to the camera. I wonder why Nikon didn't just include as a feature in the first place.
  5. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    the spring that holds the screen in place was very stiff in my D200.
    and altought i was very careful, i scratched the katzeye. fortunately, only at the very border, so its visible in the VF, but only at the edge, so no problem really. just silly. next time i change screens, i give it to a photoshop technician and have it done for the few bucks it costs.
  6. I'm glad you posted this thread. I am planning to add these screens to my D2X and D2HS. Perhaps I'll try to do it myself...or just wait for another Cafe gathering!!
  7. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    I put one with optibrite in my D200. It took a minute. During that minute I was anxious and had to make a few tries at putting the spring back into place. If you're steady and very careful you should have no problem. If you're too nervous or unsteady have someone else do it for you.

    The split screen is a disappointment to me. It's right where the focus indicator is, so it's partially blocked, and the "coming together" of the splits is not easily apparent. On the other hand, the screen itself makes it much easier to focus manually. Before I was unsure that I got the right focus spot. Now I know.

  8. I use Ai(S) lenses just about exclusively (from 20 to 400mm + TC). The Katz Eye is a dream come true for me and I would not want to be without it now that I am used to having it.
    Installation in my D2x was a breeze - a very easy 2 minute operation.
  9. mikhailr

    mikhailr Guest

    Can any D200 user who have the screen installed confirm that camera grid works without screen's grid.
    I am going to order screen for my D200, but do not know should I order it with or without grid.

    Thank you, Mikhail.
  10. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Yup. I keep the grids on all the time (from D200, not Katz-eye).

  11. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    The on-demand grid in the D200 viewfinder works with the katzeye too. Just like with the stock screen. So you dont need a katzeye with a grid.
  12. imageswest

    imageswest Guest

    How do they overcome the inherent inaccuracy of the split-image rangefinder? Is their prism pitch optimized for a standard 50mm lens, and if so, how does it perform with wider or longer lenses?
  13. billg71


    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA

    The camera grid works just fine with the KatzEye screen. The grid you can get from them is a "Rule of Thirds" grid, breaking the image into thirds on each axis.

    I got mine with it but wouldn't pay the money again. Occasionally it's handy but not handy enough to be worth the fifty bucks, at least not to me.

  14. mikhailr

    mikhailr Guest

    Many thanks guys for your usefull answers.
    I am going to order screen without grid today.

  15. Thanks everyone for your input. I will order the Katz, with optibright, without grids, and I think I'm steady enough to try the install.
  16. Warming up an old thread here... I am considering getting one of these for my D200.

    Jack, did you do the installation yourself? How was it?

    Thanks in advance.
  17. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    The screen works perfectly with or without the internal grid lines on. I use mine with and without the grid lines.
  18. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I'm going to share the good and the bad of adding the Katz Eye to the D200.

    I was lusting after the Katz Eye for quite a while. Finally bought it from a Cafe Member who purchased but never installed it. It arrived about a week before I was to head south to photograph Bald Eagles and I swore I would resist installing it until I returned from the trip.

    Well, I couldn't resist. I am extremely capable with small mechanical projects and do quite a bit of electrical and parts fabrication so I was sure I would be able to install it. So, I set myself up with all that was needed and two nights before the trip I jumped in.

    It didn't go well. Removal was a snap. Installing the Katz Eye was one serious PITA. I used a small screw driver, a soft wooden tooth pick, a plastic glue applicator and a few other specialty tools I dug up and after hours of trying, and a few scratched in the edge of the screen, I finally gave up.

    First thing the next morning I made a few calls to rustle up a back-up body for the trip and once I was sure I wouldn't be camera-less. (BTW, kudos to Berger Brothers Camera in Amityville NY as it took just one call to Dan at the Amithyville store and I giot the answer "bring it in, I'll see if I can fix it..otherwise don't worry, I'll hook you up") That in the back pocket, I set off to the Melville repair center to beg for help. Five minutes after passing the body to the counter person the spring was reinstalled and was on my way.

    That's the bad... approach installation with extreme caution. I would have rated this as a 2 out of 10 in difficulty from the instructions...it was an 11 out of 10 in actuallity. If you have even the faintest doubt about installing it...don't attempt it, send it off for the $50 or so to get it done.

    The good... I have the non-etched version with Opti-bright. No question that the viewfinder is a bit more cluttered. The split prism falls right over the center AF sensor which, especially at the onset, is somewhat distracting, and depending on the installation, it might not be perfectly aligned.

    I don't really "see" the split prism in daily use until I need it. Then having the split focussing is fantastic. When using AF the split screen allows you to double check yourself and the AF system. Where it really shines for me, is when photographing bird perched in trees where the branches tend to confuse the AF system. Here the plit prism is an absolute joy to use. the fine focus collar is equally useful, when shooting macro and fine detail subjects.

    The viewfinder is bright and the feal is of "the old days". I still have the original sceen but have no intentions of reinstalling it. In fact, I am intending to have my new D300 sent right to Katz Eye for installation once I have it..assuming they have one for the D300 at that time.

    I no longer "see" the scratches inflicted on the screen. It's sort of "ghetto" on such a high quality piece of equipment but the scratches are confirmed by Nikon to be only cosmetic.
  19. vinman


    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    I just had the OptiBrite installed in my D200, and wish I had done it a year ago!!

    A five minute conversation with Rachael Katz convinced me that sending it in would be prudent. She is VERY clear about the installation - it can go very easily and quickly, or it can instantly be a nightmare. One extreme or the other.

    The BEST reason to send it in, however, is they SHIM the focus screen so that allows the most accurate focus possible. This sort of tedious calibration is why I had no real desire to do it myself. They also thoroughly clean the inside of the camera while it's there. For me, spending the extra money for 2nd day shipping and installation was worth it. If you don't need the camera back quickly, it's an even better deal (shipping was more costly than installation in my case).
  20. I appreciate your response very much. Now I am 100% sure I won't try the installation myself.

    Need to figure out where they would do it in Germany. Perhaps I need to order the KatzEye and take it and the camera to a local camera store.
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