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09-18-2010, 01:43 AM   #1
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Katzeye with 55-300 - Optibrite needed?

Just a quick question. I am going to buy a Katzeye screen for my K200D to use with my several M & K lenses, as focusing is very hit & miss. I also use various AF lenses, the slowest of which is the DA 55-300 F4-5.8. I don't plan on ever getting any lenses slower than this, and I would like to know if anyone uses a Katzeye with this lens or one of a similar speed, to know if the Optibrite treatment is need to avoid blacking-out or a very dark VF.

I won't pay the extra $55 for Optibrite if it's not needed (all my manual lenses are F3.5 or faster). From the description of the obligatory "plus" screen treatment on their site (Katz Eye Plus - KatzEye Optics), the screen is resistant to blacking-out down to F9 with minimal problems, which is fine.

Can anyone help me out?

Many thanks in advance.

09-18-2010, 01:50 AM   #2
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The optibright doesn't affect black-out, it makes your entire finder brighter than stock.
09-18-2010, 02:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
The optibright doesn't affect black-out, it makes your entire finder brighter than stock.
But how will the screen be at F5.8? Better or worse than the stock screen?
09-18-2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
But how will the screen be at F5.8? Better or worse than the stock screen?
Hi John,

I've been using a KatzEye with optibright for over three years with my K10. As stated above optibight makes your viewfinder brighter than the stock screen at all times with all apertures. It is noticeably brighter than the stock screen and the split prism makes manually focusing much easier than the stock screen. There are multiple threads on the KatzEye and other aftermarket screen in the forum. If you do a lot of manual focusing with older lenses I think you will find the KatzEye indispensable.


Tom G

09-18-2010, 04:30 AM   #5
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I dont have a Katzeye, but i do have a cheaper focusingscreens.com Nikon K3 screen in my K200D. Good screen, and i would assume its similar to a Katzeye without optibright. I use the 55-300 with no problems at all. I had the same concerns as you but havent looked back since installing the screen.
09-18-2010, 05:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
But how will the screen be at F5.8? Better or worse than the stock screen?
Okay, I think I know what your asking, and I think we may be talking about two difference phenomenons with regards to black-out and what effects that might have through the viewfinder.

The first issue would where the term black-out is usually where the split prism itself is subject to darkening as the aperture values rises. Which has been a widely known issue since the introduction or split screens way back in the day.

The other side of the issue is where the entire screen(material) itself, is subject to darkening. Which has long been the subject of controversy also, since many shooters actually welcomed a lower lux viewfinder in exchange for an increase in contrast between the split prism and the overall scene. Which in emphasized the focus on the area that mattered most for focusing(prism collar).

With this in mind, Katzeye screens address both areas in difference ways. By first introducing reducing what Katzeye calls "Katzeye Plus" quoted here:

QuoteQuote:
The Katz Eye™ “Plus” series of focusing screens has a unique split prism design which overcomes the "blackout" problem, without sacrificing large aperture sensitivity. In our testing, the split prism of the “Plus” screens remains useful until well past f11. In fact, with careful attention to eye position in the viewfinder, users have reported that it is possible to use the prism even at f22.
Now keep in mind, that I've found Katzeye's to hold out quite nicely up until f8'ish for the most part. Though tbh. I don't even notice as I use them as far up as f/11 even. But for the sake of crossing our T's, I'd say there would be no issues at f/5.6 whatsoever.

PS. all Katzeye screens have use this technology(Plus) btw.

-

As for Optibright, this "added" feature is very straight forward. It makes your overall scene brighter(up-to 1 stop w/pentaprism & 1/2 w/pentamirror). Therefore observations are pretty straightforward there. "It's brighter". Whatever you had with stock screen, will be brighter with Optibright. Personally, I like the feature and order it with all my screens. Mainly because it helps me see better in lower light situations.

Hope this helps.
09-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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I have been using the Katz Eye on my K10D for a couple of years now and have experience with both the Optibrite and non-Optibrite versions:
  • All Katz Eye screens resist black out of the split image, though you will likely experience some at apertures f/8 and narrower
  • The Optibrite version is significantly brighter than the non-Optibrite version
  • Neither version is as bright as the stock Pentax screen with lenses of moderate maximum aperture. Things even out with f/2 and faster lenses.
  • Both versions focus MUCH more accurately than the stock Pentax screen. This applies to the matte field as much as to the focus aids.


Steve
09-19-2010, 10:26 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the input. I have bitten the bullet & ordered the whole shebang - Optibrite, AF markings & square crop-markings. As I got the crop marks free & a 10% discount on top, now was the time to buy. I just hope I don´t get stung with import taxes when it arrives in Spain...

12-01-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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What did you pay in postage JM ?
Seems like shipping international is 1/3 cost of screen
must be a big box
pete
12-02-2010, 12:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Transit Quote
What did you pay in postage JM ?
Seems like shipping international is 1/3 cost of screen
must be a big box
pete
I think postage was around $40 to Spain, and the box is small but well packed. The delivery cost is unreasonable for the small size & weight of the package, but nothing to be done about it.

FYI I´m happy with the screen but in low light it´s far less useful as both focusing aids become far less visible.
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