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Focussing Screen

The screen in that auction does not appear to be in its frame so I wouldn't get that one. It wouldn't fit properly. Your 503cx should have have came with an acute-matte screen in it which I find adequate for focusing. A split image type screen can help in many situations but my guess is your camera has an old ground glass type screen which are difficult to focus with (for me!). I have seen many newer cameras sold with older screens. Can you show a picture of your screen?

This is a low cost not properly built screen.
It does not give proper alignment of what is in focus and it is as dark as the first generation of Hasselblad screens.
If your camera is fitted with an early screen any Acute Matte will be an improvement.
It does not have to be the latest D model.

With older screens the cross hairs are thicker than the ones in the later Acute Matte.
The Acute Matte from the D series has two little notches cut out of the frame near a corner.
Both Acute Matte screens are about two stops brighter.

Most of us were at least twenty years younger when we used those early screens.
I would not be able to do much good with those screens now in churches and other areas where light is dim.

Save your money for an Acute Matte D or non D model or a Beattie screen.
The 42215 screen is a plain one with microprisms in the center around a split.
If you do not like microprisms I would recommend the 42217.
That screen has a grid and a spilt to make focussing easier.
The part numbers I gave are for the current Acute Matte "D" screens.

The earlier Acute Matte part numbers are 42218 for the microprism one with split and 42170 for the one with grid and a split.
Used ones can be found at 100-150 USD.
The price for the current D series Acute Matte is around 200 euro.
That amounts to 280 USD now.
thanks Terry and Paul

here is my existing screen.


I just realised how that my gear needs a good clean too.


do you have pictures of these screens you are talking about above?

thanks for all this info too.


The good news is you have an Acute Matte screen in your camera.
Now you need to find a way to make focussing easier.
Upgrading to the later D series screen on itself will not help much unless you select a split or the screen with microprisms and a split.

If I remember correctly you use a prism with your camera.
If you have a correction for your eyesight it may be advisable to check with an optician whether you need a correction lens in the PM(E) prism.
There is also a chance that the prism you have is fitted with a correction lens that is not suitable for you.
Most correction lenses are still available from Hasselblad.
In some cases an optician can supply the correct one for your eyes.

If you still encouter problems after this has been checked and solved a screen with split and or microprisms may be of help.

If you want to know what the early screens from Hasselblad look like take a look with the lens open then stop down 2 stops look again through the viewer and be amazed how we ever used those old screens. Of course being 25 years younger helps a lot!
Thanks Paul,

I think the prism makes it slightly harder to focus properly. I have placed a Lupe directly onto the focusing screen and it looks quite sharp when viewing through the lens. I've had a quick look at the Prism and there appears to be no dioptic dial. How would one tell whether it has a correction lens or not?

Hello Terry,
You have indeed an elder focusing screen. A newer Accute-Mate D could be a solution. The difference is about one stop of light. I also have had a problem with focusing. I bought a split focusing screen of the new type. It gave me the solution I needed.
If you buy one ont the internet, be prepared that they are some people that would you sell one of the elder type for the newer one. You can see that it is a newer type in the frame of the newer type. In this frame they are 2 notches as you can see on the picture in the earlier posting.
Good luck
The Acute Matte and the later D version are equal as far as the brightness of these screens is concerned.
All later metering prisms can be used without any recalibration.
If Paul sais so, but I don't understand why they would make a new screen together mith Minolta when the old one is as good......

I have the earlier Matte screen and I have also the newer Matte-D. My experience is that there is a big difference when you use it. So I assume that there is also a difference when you use your prisme. A difference that you can see. The best you can do is make some proofs, and than you can recalibrate your prime if it is necessary.
I have the Kiev-prism and with prism I have another mettering whit bot screens.

I just wrote there is no difference in the calibration of metering prisms between the early and the later D version of the Acute Matte.
I did not say there is no difference.

Improving something that is very good from the start often means only modest improvements.
Take lens designs from Carl Zeiss that are virtually unchanged for several decades.
The 100/3.5 Planar is a good example.
100 Planar C lenses with T* are just as good as the latest 100 CFi no matter what marketing people will try to make you believe.
Improvements are realised in reliability with new materials and better ergonomics like a different helicoid that makes focussing easier.
Optically better anti reflection treatment of the interior of the lens gives a minor improvement in image quality.
Hi, I just wanted to ask if anyone knew where I could get a new/used split screen focussing screen for my 503cx?
For used focussing screens try eBay.
New ones are available from any Hasselblad distributor.
The 42215 has a split and micro prims in the center.
The 42217 has a split and a grid that marks 6 x 4.5 as well.

When buying on eBay make sure you get the later Acute Matte screens.
You will not be the first one that pays good money to end up with an early screen in an Acute Matte box.
Thanks very much. I am getting used to my existing Acute Matte screen as time goes on. But the 42217 Split with the grid for 6 x4.5 would be extremely useful. I love the split screen another camera of mine has with the combined haze ring around the split screen circle. I will investigate dealers here in Sydney. Then check eBay prices.