I have a couple of manual focus lenses that I like to use with a Canon 5Dmk2. In an effort to make this task a bit easier, I'm considering a purchase of the Canon Super Precision Matte Eg-S Interchangeable Focusing Screen.

The specs sheet says to use this with lenses at f/2.8 or faster, lest the viewfinder get "very dim".

I also happen to shoot with some slow lenses, like the 400mm f/5.6.

Does anyone have any personal experience using this screen with slower lenses? Is the viewfinder completely junk or passable in bright light?



1 Answer 1


It seems that f/4 lens can get a bit too dark using Canon Eg-S screen. On this forum, one user said:

I tried 24-105 f/4L and for indoor uses or outdoors at evening I believe VF is too dark. It's still usable but the VF is really much darker than with standard focusing screen

Perhaps, better question would be: I have f/5.6 manual lens and would like to get better focusing screen for my Canon 5D II

Split-prism focusing screen might be a good option. Unfortunately, Canon doesn't make one for 5D mkII. From their PDF on screens:

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However, there is a Taiwan company that seems to be selling split-image screens for Canon 5D mkII (and many other cameras), for ~$85 USD:

enter image description here

PS: on the other hand, I wonder how much precision you need to focus f/5.6 lens, even a longer one. Depth of field will be larger, so I guess there is less pressure to focus precisely, unlike with paper-thin DoF of f/2.8 tele and f/1.2-f/1.8 normal lenses.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Really blows my mind that there isn't more overlap in focusing screens between bodies. Seems like a part that would be easier and cheaper to use holding over the design between as many bodies as possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Feb 23, 2018 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @corey my guess is that interchangeable focussing screens are just a rudiment of the "film days". Hence there is no coherent strategy to develop and produce them. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23, 2018 at 19:50

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