Anyone using Beattie on Arca-Swiss 6x9 FC? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm considering getting a Beattie Intenscreen for my A.S 6x9 FC (because I'm frankly finding it difficult to focus or even frame a composition - yes, I do have a good dark cloth - in some situations). Back when I owned a RB, buying a Beattie really helped me. According to Beattie's web site, their screens would be 4 stops brighter than the regular A.S ground glass. I've read past contributions to the forum but couldn't find any postings on this particular subject. Have any of the A.S users ever felt the need for a brighter ground glass? Would the ones who did get a Beattie tell us whether they're happy about it or not?

thanks a bunch


-- Christophe Lesueur (, May 19, 2002


Christophe, I'm using an Arca-Swiss F-metric 6x9 primarily for architectural photography, which means that I'm often dealing with problematically dim interiors. I use the A-S binocular reflex viewer, which slides on and off the ground glass in a second, for composition and rough focusing (an additional bonus is that clients love to be able to see what I'm seeing and view the image unreversed), and then if I need it, I use a Silvestri 7X tilting loupe under a Zone VI dark cloth to check near and far focus points. For years I used a Schneider 4X loupe, but especially with the smaller format and wide angle lenses, the ability to put the Silvestri in the far corners of the ground glass and adjust the angle to the exit path of the light is extremely nice. I'm afraid that I've never heard of anyone using a Beattie screen on a 6x9 Arca, perhaps because there is already a fresnel screen under the ground glass.

-- Christopher Campbell (, May 19, 2002.

Instead of getting a Beattie get a Maxwell screen. Better contrast for focusing ease and possibly better brightness. (I've had both on a Hasselblad.)

-- Bob Eskridge (, May 20, 2002.

I'm assuming you're planning to use the Beattie Screen with the fresnel in place. Because of the AS configuration I think you cannot remove the fresnel without disturbing the focus on film.

-- David Goldes (, May 20, 2002.

I'm not sure how I could use a Beattie on top of the fresnel (nor what would be the point of having two fresnels on top of each other). I'm not even quite sure what the Beattie Intenscreen for A.S looks like, for that matter. The one I got for my Mamiya RB replaced the original focusing screen, and I thought, maybe naively, that the Beattie had to be put in place of the A.S ground glass. The question now is whether the Beattie fresnel might not be more luminous than the original A.S one. B&H sells it as a special order item - you don't get to try...

thank you for your contributions


-- Christophe Lesueur (, May 20, 2002.

CL I dont know about the AS but I bought a Beattie from B&H for my Linhof TK 45 and I love it. So being that the cameras are similar I think I can recommend it. As to how to place it, well if I remember correctly when you ask for the screen you have to specify your camera. In my case the screen came in two parts, one was the fresnel lens and the other a piece of clear glass that seems to be coated. To install it I placed the fresnel closest to the lens and behind it the clear glass. I did have to put some shims to prevent the clear glass from rattling, but the fresnel screen was placed at the film plane without moving anything.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, May 20, 2002.

If you go with a Maxwell replacement, (which imo are much better than Beattie), you will get all the advice you need from Bob (?) Maxwell in terms of what will work, which is the right screen and how it needs to be fitted.

The excellent advice is part of the service you get when you buy one!

-- Tim Atherton (, May 20, 2002.

I use a Maxwell fresnel, actually two, for my Horseman 6 x 9. They're wonderful. Bill will explain to you the benefits of one fresnel vs. another, and why, in an ideal world (which this is not) you would have a fresnel matched to each particular lens. That said, he'll recommend either (a) one all purpose fresnel, and/or (b) a general fresnel for use with normal to long lenses, plus a second fresnel (great to use with the Horseman 6 x 9 pop-off viewer) for use with wide lenses. I've used Beattie screens with 35 mm cameras in the past. Once you try a Maxwell, you'll never go back.

-- Howard Slavitt (, May 20, 2002.

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