Focusing Screens for Nikon N90(s) Beattie or Nikon

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Norm Dresner, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. Norm Dresner

    Norm Dresner Guest

    A (replacement) focusing screen for the N90's with grid lines on it runs
    about $29 (18 used) for a Nikon screen and $109 (85 used) for a Beattie at
    Adorama. Can the Beattie be that much better?

    Yes, I really need the lines because about 1/4 - 1/2 of my pictures on my
    upcoming vacation in Italy will be of buildings and similar things.

    Norm Dresner, Aug 27, 2005
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  2. Norm Dresner

    ThomasH Guest


    I use the Nikon's focusing screen with my F90/N90 since day
    1 and I do not miss anything... maybe Beattie has a web page
    explaining what is so valuable on their screen.

    However, considering that the F90 is unfortunately out of
    current technology loop (no G lens or VR support) personally
    I would say: Take Nikon, do not invest such amount of money
    on an unknown product for a body, which might bring you $100
    on eBay!!! With F100 or F80 the things might look different.

    ThomasH, Aug 27, 2005
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    the point of the more expensive product is to provide a substantially
    brighter viewfinder image, notably for low light applications.
    Colin J Denman, Aug 28, 2005
  4. Norm Dresner

    ThomasH Guest

    Do you really believe this? I am not sure what is precisely the
    transparency rate, or percentage of absorbed light while passing
    through such a thin layer. Find the correct value and you will
    just how substantial this improvement may be. If I take out the
    screen, I see no difference in the light intensity in the finder,
    thus I believe that the improvement cannot be big, if visible at

    On their web page Beattie claims that their "screen will increase
    image brightness by 1 to 1½ stops". I cannot imagine how that
    would be possible. This is a huge amount of light, which they
    claim Nikon's genuine product absorbs.

    ThomasH, Aug 28, 2005
  5. Are you familiar with the coatings on lenses and how they work? Try looking
    up interference filters on Google. Indeed, since the Beatie product has
    been around for many years, you might check and see what others have said
    about it via googlegroups over time.

    It is certainly not simply the case that transmission is dependent on the
    transparency of the material -- substantial improvements are made by
    coating the surfaces to reduce reflected light.
    Colin J Denman, Aug 28, 2005
  6. Norm Dresner

    Norm Dresner Guest

    That's a really interesting point. I've got a D70, an N90, and an N90s and
    I need to buy screens for both of the film cameras -- $60 is a lot more
    palatable than $218 invested in what's perfectly usable but, yes, obsolete
    technology. As long as the Nikon screens are no dimmer than the standard
    one, I see no crying need for that much ($80) more brightness.

    Norm Dresner, Aug 28, 2005
  7. Norm Dresner

    JD Guest

    I am an Olympus OM user, so whether or not my experience applies to the
    Nikon product needs to be considered.

    Yes, the Beattie is brighter than the 1-x series of Olympus screens. In
    fact if you put them in the OM1 / OM2 series of cameras your meter will
    be off. Not being a Nikon user, I don't know if the sensor for the
    meter in a Nikon is in front of or behind the focusing screen. If it's
    behind like the OM1 / 2, you've got another issue to contend with.

    And yes, the price is stiff (they jumped up signficantly this year).

    And for my eyes, it was worth it (but then I bought mine before the
    price jump).

    JD, Aug 28, 2005
  8. Norm Dresner

    ThomasH Guest


    I am sure that what you observe in the OM2, we will observe
    in the Nikons as well.

    Interesting, thanks for the comments, I will followup on this
    as suggested by Colin in the other message.

    ThomasH, Aug 28, 2005
  9. Norm Dresner

    Robert C. Guest

    The sensor on Nikons is located just above the eyepiece of the pentaprism,
    so, YES, it will be affected by the brighter Beattie screen: you will have
    to compensate for the brighter screen. On a manual camera like the FM series
    (FM, FM2, FN2n, FM3, ..., and others) a simple correction of the ISO dial
    will suffice. Unfortunately this is not true of automatic cameras.

    ~Robert C.
    Robert C., Aug 28, 2005
  10. Norm Dresner

    Matt Clara Guest

    No, it's not that much better. It's brighter when you stop down DOF
    preview, and maybe for macro work, but that's about it. Bill Maxwell can
    take your existing screen and enhance it to do the same thing (only better,
    to some degree) for $80.
    Matt Clara, Aug 29, 2005
  11. For explanations of how such screens work, check the web for matters such
    as "interference filters" and "coated optics" and how they work.
    Colin J Denman, Sep 4, 2005
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