Medium Format Forum

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Focusing screen questions


New Member
Hey everyone! New guy here with a new (old) 500 c/m.

I had two questions about focusing screens that I couldn't quite figure out via search...

1. I have the old style focusing screen that I am looking to replace with either a Maxwell, Beattie, or Acuttematte D. Has anyone used more than one of these and can offer a comparison? I hear good things about all 3, but have yet to hear any head to head thoughts. My problem right now is that the current screen is way too dim, and it is difficult to get things in focus.

2. On the c/m, how do I know if my focus screen is right side up? The screen I have has one side all flat, and the other side has two indentations that run nearly the length of the screen. Which side should face up?

Thanks everyone! I'm excited to be a Hassy user!


Focusing screens

Welcome at hasselbladinfo forum!

I strongly recommend the use of Hasselblad screens although there are a number of good screens by other makers available.

Do not buy the Chinese made screen with split under 45°.
These screens are not brigther than the first generation screens from Hasselblad.
Their alignment is not correct and will result in out of focus images.

From your description it is not clear to me what kind of screen you have in your camera now.
The frame of the focusing screen has four "studs", one in each corner.
Those should be at the camera side as the frame of the screen is supposed to rest on these studs.

Both Acute Matte and Acute Matte "D" are excellent screens.
The later D version makes focusing on bright subjects easier.
Both screens give the same bright image that makes focusing easier.

Thanks for the welcome!

I'm not sure exactly which screen I have, nor do I know how to figure it out. At the local(Austin) camera store I was told it was one of the "old" ones, not the Acuttematte...

Looking down on it there is nothing except 4 dashes. It looks like a cross that has had the center portion removed. As for the frame of the screen, I don't see any "studs". One side of the screen is simply uniform all around...flip it over and each of the four sides has an indentation into the side.
You have almost certainly the early standard screen.
It has four crosshairs painted on the side that should be facing outwards.

Be aware that quite a number of screens are being advertised as Acute Matte when in fact they are not.
Old screens are often stored in the box of the Acute Matte that replaced them.
The box with old type screen is later offered as Acute Matte screen.
The cross hairs of the Acute Matte are not painted but engraved.
They are also much thinner.

Acute Matte D screens can be easily identified by two notches in the metal frame at the viewing side.