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Focusing Advice 501 CM New to Hassy


Hi, all - OK, I've got this great Acute-Matte viewfinder with the microprism and the split screen rangefinder. When focusing, I can see the inner and outer circles coming closer together to match sharpness. What does the split screen in the inner circle do? I can't see much of a difference no matter where I set the focus.
Straight, clear edges going across the split screen divide appear broken (the ends do not line up) unless they are in focus.
Its an extremely accurate way of focusing. Much better than the 'scintillating' micro prisms. But it requires a hard edge in you subject.

The split screen is made up of two clear wedges. Being clear, you can't use the images you see in the wedges themselves to focus: they always appear in focus.

You might practice centering the split screen on the seem of a closed and well lit door and practice focusing. Perhaps mounting your camera on a tripod and measuring the distance from the camera film plane (at the magazine) to the door and use that distance to set your lens at that distance: that will get you in the ball park. Then adjust the lens back and forth until the door seem appears straight, clear and crisp. You will get the hang of it.


Thanks, Qnu & Gilbert. I tried this on a picture frame and I do indeed see the difference in alignment. But is sure is less apparent than the split image on my Leica. Thanks for pointing out the subtlety.
Michael, if your Leica is an M camera it does not use split screen focusing. It uses "patch" alignment where the coloured patch is in 2 parts and need to overlap prefectly to be in focus.

If your Leica is an R camers then the split image is similar. But there can be small differences. For ex&le years ago I has an Olympus OM4 which had about 10 interchangeable focus screens available! Among them there were 2 or 3 types of split screen..

If your Hasselblad has a WLF you may want to practice focusing it with the magnifier up making it much easier to fine tune focus. Personally I do the framing and a quick focus without the magnifier; then I make the final focus adjustmnt with the magnifier up.
Hi, Simon - thanks for the info. I'm shooting a Leica MP (rangefinder) with the patch alignment - very simple. Since I posted the thread, I've been practicing and using the method you suggested - it seems to work well.