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Thread: Focusing screens on D600

  1. #1
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    Focusing screens on D600

    Hi,
    it is possible (and safe) to use focusing screens on the D600? Is something you would recommend when using manual focus lenses?

    Would they also be useful when shooting videos (I have heard it is better not to use AF with videos)?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Focusing screens on D600

    It depends on what you mean by focusing screens. There are supplemental screens that you can use replace the existing focusing screen in the camera with, but have no experience with them. They cannot be used when shooting video, as the camera's mirror is in the up position in video mode

    What is commonly used in video work is an external focus magnifier that mounts on the LCD display on the camera's back. The most popular range is made by Zacuto: http://www.zacuto.com/ Another option is to plug into an external monitor for video work.

    While you should turn off autofocus while shooting video, one commonly used trick is to set up your shot on autofocus and then to disable the autofocus on your lens (and camera if you are using a D style lens). The reason to turn off autofocus is that it prevents you camera from changing focus while you shoot; this "seeking" is a tell-tale sign of amateur video. You should also turn off your auto exposure, for the same reason.

  3. #3
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    Re: Focusing screens on D600

    very interesting...
    I am new to video shooting with DSLR, I am trying to understand what is the kind of equipment required/suggested and why.

    The question about the focusing screens (I guess this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focusing_screen is it) is because there are a lot of goodlenses with manual focus around in the market, for example Zeiss (plus when you use converter with some Nikon lenses AF will not help anymore). I know that in the Nikon D600 there is a led that helps you to focus but such a thing like a focusing screen seems is said to be more precise.

    Sorry, not clear what do you mean with disabling auto-exposure, do you mean auto-whitebalance?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Focusing screens on D600

    Quote Originally Posted by wolan View Post
    Sorry, not clear what do you mean with disabling auto-exposure, do you mean auto-whitebalance?
    .
    I personally do not like shooting video on a DSLR; I'm a long time video shooter, but use a dedicated pro video camera and find a DSLR a bit akward to shoot with. It simple is the wrong shape and layout, but if you set it up properly, you can get very good output.

    No, I mean auto exposure (i.e. set to shoot on manual). The problem is similar to what you can find when you leave autofocus on; if the lighting in the scene changes; the camera will try to track it and you will see the scene lightening up or darkening up in the shot. There is a good chance that the microphone will pick up the noise of the camera stopping up or down.

    From a white balance standpoint; I will do a manual white balance using a white target, every time the lighting changes. If you use auto white balance, it is hard to predict what will happen; generally the colour temperature in scene does not change during shooting, but you can get a real mix of colour balance in post production and that is not a great thing either. Going with an absolute reset on the colour balance, as required eliminates this.

    You will NOT use the focusing screen as shown in the Wikipedia link. When you shoot video; the mirror flips up and the optical viewfinder is blocked. You have to use the display on the back of the camera to shoot video with a DSLR (and that can be hard to see if it bright outside).

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