Upload & Sell: Off
Regarding screens, Nikon doesn't make precision screens themselves, but I had an old inoperable Miranda Sensomat sitting around, I took the screen from it, filed the top and bottom slightly (the screen is plastic) and it was a perfect fit for my D700.
Now I can accurately focus with the entire screen down to 1.2, and the center has a microprism for added accuracy.
I looked into it for a few people in the MF Nikkor thread, it seems as though the D600 screen is replaceable just as the D7000 screen is. If you don't want to pay a company like...Show more →
Wow! Great job, mate. Excellent tip for those seeking to change modern focus screens.
But in some other great news:
Today I managed to get to a MediaMarkt: I asked the guy for the D600 + 1.8/50G. I wanted to see how the viewfinder looked with a f1.8 50mm lens, rather than a slow kit zoom. And it was bright! And seemed big! I don't have my 5DII anymore, that sale happened very quickly yesterday...but I did bring my 1DII with me, and planted my Takumar 1.8/55 on it. The viewfinder of my 1DII was significantly duller, and a touch smaller.
I tried some manual focussing on wide-open with the D600 and it seemed absolutely fine. Granted, the store was very bright...that typical white-brightness they all have. I couldn't find a warmer, darker corner anywhere. But still, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the finder. Most of my manual-focussing through the optical-method is going to be with fast lenses, so this was very encouraging. I'm gonna assume a 5.6/400 or 8/500 lens will be a lot darker and more difficult, requiring bright daylight to focus accurately. I'm happy with that. A f2.8 Micro should be light enough to manual focus competently, based on that experience with the f1.8.
And more encouraging news for everyone looking to buy this camera. This all came from the sales assistant's mouth:
Nikon have been asking the major retail outlets which serial numbers have been affected by the dust problem (effectively which cameras have been returned because of it). This turned out to be serial numbers up to 3xxxxxx. Short of ordering a recall, or admitting the problem officially, Nikon shipped an entire new batch of D600's all with serial numbers 6xxxxxxx. Since then, the retail outlets have received next to no returns because of dust/oil spot issues.
According to the assistant: not just the D600, but a certain Nikon battery had some QC-issues too, and was also very close to being officially recalled, before being bulk-replaced by a new serial-number batch. And it's not just Nikon: apparently the Canon 650D had a very similar (i.e. self-causing) dust/oil spot problem as the early D600's - also solved by pushing new stock to the stores. It's not clear if the old stock is still on some retail shelves...
It was enlightening to have a conversation with a sales assistant who was up on the main themes. The store also had a D800 & 5DIII (no 6D), but I was pushed for time so didn't check them out. I like the shape of the D800, tho'...looks nice and bulky.
Incredibly, the 5DIII costs twice as much as the D600...the assistant told me everyone is buying the Nikons...even old Canonheads are not moved by the 5DIII.
All very interesting...good news for me as two main issues have been put to bed. As one or two of you have said here, there's no substitute for handling the thing yourself, and as it turns out, there's still room in this hectic world for a good old-fashioned informed natter with the shopkeep.
Reckon tomorrow or Saturday gonna splash the cash