I inquired at Katz Eye about a focusing screen for my D3. I have been shooting in Oregon this week (crappy weather ruining the last couple days) and have been frustrated by a lack of 8x10 lines in my viewfinder. I know I can change to 5:4 mode but I don't necessarily want to shoot in 5:4 mode.
So I thought I would order one of the Katz Eye screens for next time.
They don't make screens for the D3. From their email reply:
The D3 is definitely a model we would like to support, but current technical limitations prevent us from making screens for this camera and it is unknown if we will support the D3 in the future.
Does anyone know what the "current technical limitations" are in Katz Eye making a focusing screen for the D3?
I had a Katzeye for my D2X, it was GREAT. The D2X also has a 100% VF, so I'm not sure that's the answer. Its a real shame, as a D3 with a split-prism/microprism finder for MF lenses would be a real killer. I use the E screen with the faint grid lines, as with a DK17M its hard to get the HUGE VF perfectly straight!!
The Nikon grid screen which I use is good and bad. Having grid lines if you want them is good. However the lines do not extend into the AF point area so there are no lines near the center of the viewfinder.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
I was working with Rachael back in January 08 about creating a new Katz-Eye for a D3. I sent her a D3 for research (since they weren't quite ready to shell out the $ for one of their own). The problem ended up being that they would need to make new molds specific to the D3 to make the screen (and I would guess the D700 now) to be able to pull it off. Making those molds is quite expensive and recouping the cost on the whole thing made it rather prohibitive/risky, unless they get alot of interest/orders for them.
I wouldn't expect that there are that many D3 owners looking for manual focus screens like the Katz-Eye. Probably not enough for them to justify the business decision to offer one. I put in the only alternative screen at the time - the Nikon E screen for the D3, but that is not designed to be a manual focusing screen either. Although at least you get some grid lines.
At this point in time, there is the Brightscreen available. http://www.brightscreen.com/ I have never had a Brightscreen so I can't comment one way or the other about it.
Luis, Thanks for giving this information. I wonder if the arrival of the D700, with its likely much greater sales, and potentially future FX Nikons might make this an option now? Should Nikonians who are interested let Rachael Katz know?
I would love a Katzeye again, if not for use with an AIS lens, its really reassuring knowing exactly that the required focus point is on target when using a really shallow DOF.
If the D700 and D3 share the same screen dimensions, etc. then I am sure it would help sway Rachael since there would be more interest (i.e. more sales). D3 and D700 owners need to start emailing her to let her know they would buy one if they made it. The more emails she gets I am sure the more interested she'll be. As a business owner, it's all about the $$$.
I have a KatzEye in my D300 and really love it. Wanting something similar for my D3 I ordered the Brightscreen mentioned by Luis above, and it is indeed bright and has a very nice split image and surrounding microprism. The microprism collar is relatively big, but it is also very bright and non-intrusive. At about US$160 it is just about the same price as the Katzeye products with the optional OptiBrite treatment, and may actually be brighter. (Of course, that may just be the impression left by the bigger D3 eyepiece.)
I only wish that Brightscreen made focusing screens with grid line (they only have optional crop lines), but am perfectly happy with what they do make available.