Katz Eye Focus Screen Now Available for the D700!
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I've got a horrible cold at the moment, but my days of misery have been punctuated by news of two glorious events. Yesterday there was news of my niece Titi's birth, and today there was an email from Katz Eye Optics that they now have a model available for the D700. Woohoo! I couldn't type fast enough to order one.

I've long complained about the stock focus screen on the D700, particularly in conjunction with low-light photography.

Since getting a Katz Eye for my D200, I've found it to be indispensable. I got so used to it that the first time I tried my D700, I thought the focus was broken because even manually, carefully, I couldn't focus sharply. It took a few moments for me to realize that the lack of sharpness was the stock focusing screen.

So I'd been waiting... hoping... for the folks at Katz Eye to solve whatever technical problems stood in the way, and finally today they did. Woohoo! I expect it in the mail in a few weeks...

All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

I’m thinking about getting one of these this time around. I did like using a prism focus like in my old Nikon FE.

Are there any drawbacks or functions you lose by removing the Nikon screen?

Apparently spot metering is off if you use slow lenses (they have a chart on their site). Otherwise, everything is fine. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jon on March 9th, 2009 at 3:26am JST (14 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I’m thinking of getting the KatzEye screen for my D700. Any thoughts after installation? I spoke to the Katz Eye folks and they confirm that spot metering becomes essentially disabled though matrix and center-weighted work as usual. They have an “OptiBtite” treatment that brightens the screen, most useful for slower lenses (max f-stop >2.8) but apparently affects the metering and isn’t due out for the D700 for several months more.

It seems to have had a less of a “wow” factor for me on the D700 than for me on the D200. One reason could be the larger viewfinder, or the screen is different, or I’m already used to it with the D200, or some kind of psychological effect due to the lack of the microprism ring… I dunno. I’m on the mailing list in case they ever come out with a version with the microprism ring, because I really liked it on the D200. All my lenses that I’d use on the D700 are f/2.8 or faster, so the lack of OptiBright is not a problem, and spot metering is not affected, so I’m happy. I know from using an f/5.x lens on the D200 that it does get darker with those lenses, so if you’d use such a lens any appreciable amount of time, I’d perhaps wait for the OptiBright…. —Jeffrey

— comment by ed on March 23rd, 2009 at 1:57am JST (14 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Took your advice and got the KatzEye for my D700. I have a good collection of MF Nikkors (and 2 Voigtlander SL-I’s) accrued over time and it makes focusing accurately a breeze. Don’t know if you’ve ever spoken to them over the phone but their customer service is fantastic.

— comment by ed on April 22nd, 2009 at 10:17pm JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

So what’s the verdict on the Katz Eye screen in your D700? I’m conflicted about getting one as I’ve read about issues with metering and needing to compensate sometimes as much as -2 EV.

I haven’t noticed any problems with metering…. I do continue to think that the D700 overexposes in low light (it’s trying to show off, I think), and that hasn’t changed. Putting the Katz Eye on the D700 had much less of a “wow!” impact than when I put it on my D200, but that could be attributed to my having gotten used to its benefits by the time I got around to the D700. I’d certainly be reticent to get rid of it now, although I would switch to a microprisim ring version if they made one. —Jeffrey

— comment by TC on June 13th, 2009 at 11:43am JST (14 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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