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The Canon Ec-S Screen in my D700...

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by kanzlr, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    Hi everybody!

    I promised a while back that I will report about my adventures with the Canon Ec-S matte screen.

    The Ec-S is canons Super precission matte for manuall focussing very fast lenses (their 85/1.2 for example). It has a very distinct POP when the image is in focus.

    I tried a lot of matte screens in my D700. First was the Canon Ec-L, cut to fit by focussingscreen.com.
    It was superb to work with but I didn't like the double cross prism.
    So I ordered a Nikon F6-J from them.
    The F6-J has a nice microprism, but the hexagon matte it uses is the horror. It is even more imprecise for MF than the D700 stock screen.

    Well I was a bit sad because none of the screens was what I wanted, but I considered buying another Ec-L. After browsing through some canon fora, I discovered the rather new Ec-S, but unfortunately, focussingscreen.com doesn't offer it.

    So I just bought a stock Canon screen, some sandpaper, and then the horror began :eek: 

    I grinded it down to approx. the size of the stock screen. but I was a bit lazy and didn't grind away the plastic around the "nose". Bad Idea, it got stuck in the viewfinder chamber and it took me two days and a pin to remove it. thank god no harm was done to screen or camera.

    Well I grinded away more and now it fitted in better. But I had a bit of backfocus. So I grabbed a few shims, opened the cam again and argh, the screen was still pretty stiff to get it out, so I grinded away even more.
    Bad Idea. now the retaining spring doesn't hold the screen in place anymore.
    Luckily, I had a spare metal shim laying around that I put on top of the screen, so it fits between the screen and the retaining spring. The shim is 1 or 1,5mm in width, so it just covered the bit too much I sanded away. Hopefully it will stay put where it should be!!

    Well, moral of the story: it does work, but you have to be precise when grinding away. I thought I where, but it is really about 1/10th of a millimeter, so be careful. But then, the screen costs only € 20,-- so if you grind away too much, don't worry. If it doesn't stay put, I will grab another one. It is just that they are VERY rare and it took me 2 months to get mine (a week to find a dealer that offered it to me, 6 weeks for the delivery...).

    In practice, the screen is very nice to work with and I think this will be the one I will use for a long time with my lenses, especially the 200/2.8 Mamiya, where you need absolutely precise focus.
  2. dspeed


    Dec 17, 2006
    Carlsbad, NM
    Thanks for posting. Perhaps one of the dealers will get the hint and offer this.

  3. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    well if i wasn't that impatient and would have followed my own plan, everything would have worked out perfectly fine. lesson learned :) 

    ps: use rubber gloves while grinding the screen. fingerprints are almost impossible to remove from the matte side.
  4. Same here. I tried the Nikon F6-screen, and manual focussing got worse than before. Because I had a scratch on my original screen, I had to get a new one as replacement.

    Good news: it's about 7.50 EUR (approx. 10 US Dollar), no big deal.



    PS: Good advice on the rubber gloves ! Believe it !!!
  5. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    well if I had the choice, I would like focusingscreen.com to cut an Ec-S screen for me, but they won't.

    for others, I'd recommend their Ec-L screens once they get available again. They are really good too.

    The bad thing is how hard it is to get your hands on the Ec-S
    But I think I have to get another one and do a clean job this time :smile:
  6. AntonioJV


    Aug 9, 2007
    I found one Ec-S on ebay, but I´m quite reluctant to install it by myself as I am not so good with hand work, here is the link so maybe someone can grab it:
    and in the following link this guy in Japan has the Ec-L too:
  7. Interesting post. I'm still happy with the Canon Ec-L screen on the D700 but would certainly like to give the Ec-S a try if someone, like focusingscreen.com, offers it 'precut'.
  8. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    Antonio, thanks a lot.
    They have 3 available and I just bought one of them.
    with the current state of the dollar, it is just € 30,- with shipping, thats less than from Germany with shipping :smile:

    this time, hopefully, I will be more careful when grinding it down :smile:
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