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Some difficulty with Aria focusing screen



I attempted to install the FU-4 (grid) focusing screen into my new Aria and encountered some difficulty. I neglected to remember that the Aria owner's manual directs one to follow the installation instructions therein and NOT the instructions that come in the box with the screen. The drawings of the "lug" that one must manipulate differ between the two instruction sets. Properly, one must use a fingernail, or similar thin tool I suppose, to release the catch that keeps the hinged screen in operating position. My father taught me as a teenager decades ago not to let my fingers approach the mirror area. Famed underwater photographer Norbert Wu says to not even LOOK at the mirror when the lens is removed. Thus, using my fingernail was one difficulty for me. Owing to familial essential tremor, my hands shake, but not severely yet: another difficulty. With the frame swung downward for installation, the metal frame is only a few millimeters from the mirror surface. Lastly, the screen fit snuggly and it took many attempts to position it within the shallow, thin frame--without touching the screen or the mirror surfaces--and then use the tweezers and finger to snap the frame back into locked position. Once there, of course, debris had fallen atop the screen and I had to swing the frame down again, and so on.

Thus, my advice to anyone who reads this is to remember to follow the appropriate set of instructions and to be prepared to take time, patience, and perhaps a clean and quiet work environment.

I have changed the focusing screen in another modern camera, the Canon A2, and it was simpler but also difficult to seat the screen squarely without touching it.

Best wishes, Leon


Dear Leon: There is a little tool to change focusing screens, are you sure the screen is just for this model of camera??. By the way I´m looking for a screen for my 167, may be you could help, I can´t find any here in Patagonia ( Argentina ) Tell me how much it costs and the way I could have it.
I will thank you very much.


Hello, Eduardo,

Are you referring to the tweezers (tool) that Contax sends with each focusing screen? On the Aria, as I found out by phoning Contax in New Jersey and by using the special instructions in the Aria owner's manual, the tweezers is used for handling the screens -- not for unlatching to swing the screen frame open. I bought the FU-6, intended for the Aria and for the 167, it seems.

I buy all of my photo equipment online from B&H. See the PDF that I have uploaded herewith and you will see the pertinent selections.

Best wishes,

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Active Member
As far as I am aware, changing focusing screen on the Aria is as simple as A B C, and it is definitely a no issue. The other end of the special tweezer can used to unlatch the focusing screen frame. Where removing and putting the focusing screen back into position is concerned, I simply fail to understand how the problem can possibly arise. The whole process takes me only 10 seconds, and that includes using a rubber dust bellow to remove particles from the focusing screen!


What is the purpose of your comment, Gary? I gave a sincere and truthful account of my experience.

I was not trying to scare anyone away from changing their screen. I wanted to offer some useful background information.

You seem to be making me look inadequate, clumsy, or something worse!? Why!?


Active Member
Hello Leon, all I did was to clarify that changing the focusing screen may not be as complicated or difficult to others as your earlier experience suggests. I believe that I am entitled to my share my experience too, am I not?


Well-Known Member
In the past I have found that changing the screen is not as simple as it seems. It is not something that I would undertake lightly now despite tweezers etc. If you did it in 10 seconds and blew off the dust in that time, you were amazingly adept.
Somehow after I had done it the new screen never quite lived up to expectations, with dust, marks etc. It just did not slip in as I had hoped. Leon's post of September 15th 2003 mirrors my experience.
I remember discussing changing the screen with a camera shop assistant and feeling rather superior when he expressed concern about it. When I tried it myself, it turned out to be a different matter.
For what it's worth,