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05-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #16
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As a matter of interest, I found the split screen and prisms too distracting so I have plain matte screens in the LX's. However, I went for the later ones developed for the LX 2000 which are brighter.

I will probably get a Katz screen for the K5 but I need to get used to the original screen first.

Kim

QuoteOriginally posted by pmastello Quote
Ok, so this may be a simple question, but I have been wondering how you would accurately focus a non-autofocus lens on a camera such as a K-5? Or really any other digital SLR.
I remember my film camera having a split viewfinder in the centre where I would focus so the two semicircles lined up - then I knew I had the correct focus and would take my picture.
Nowadays, if I look through my k100d and try to manually focus, I can get close, but never anything sharp. How do you guys with the old manual lenses do it?


05-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
You can get split image focus screens from people like Katz Eye and others. In addition here is a series of focus exercises that I have found really helpful. To give credit where credit is due, they were written by a poster over at dp review named Godfrey. They are boring to do, but they work for me.

[I]"It's much easier to teach focusing in person. Writing up a procedure to do it is tedious. Happily, with a digital camera, it is easier to practice without wasting a ton of film in the process.

...
I tried these exercises at home, very useful. I found out that many times only 3 or 4 out of 10 were well focused.

Andrea
05-12-2011, 04:34 PM   #18
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Liveview is the best manual focusing aid available on the newer dslrs that have the option. In manual focus mode, you can zoom in 10x (k-x) on the exact spot of the image you want in focus and adjust the focus till you nail it. Its accurate because you are using the actual sensor as a focusing aid. All other methods, AF beep, focusing screens etc., depend on being the exact same distance as the sensor, in the light path through the mirror box. Also solves the difficulty spectacle wearers face in using the optical viewfinder. No exercises required as well
Once you enter liveview mode, press the info button. The wheel will then allow you to change the magnification.
05-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #19
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I have a katzeye-clone split screen on my K20D.
I find that it requires a well-lit, contrasty subject.
Especially a subject with sharp features to align.
I find CIF to be much better for careful focusing.

LiveView is great when no light hits the LCD screen.
LiveView can be tricky to use in bright outdoor light.
Outdoors on a tripod, I often need a dark head cloth.

05-12-2011, 07:46 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Outdoors on a tripod, I often need a dark head cloth.
Everything old becomes new again! (Ducks under a cloth to take a picture)
05-12-2011, 10:17 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Liveview is the best manual focusing aid available on the newer dslrs that have the option. In manual focus mode, you can zoom in 10x (k-x) on the exact spot of the image you want in focus and adjust the focus till you nail it. Its accurate because you are using the actual sensor as a focusing aid. All other methods, AF beep, focusing screens etc., depend on being the exact same distance as the sensor, in the light path through the mirror box. Also solves the difficulty spectacle wearers face in using the optical viewfinder. No exercises required as well
Once you enter liveview mode, press the info button. The wheel will then allow you to change the magnification.
Yes, I wish I had Live View, though I much prefer taking shots with a viewfinder to my eye. What we actually need is a Pentax EVIL camera, preferably with KAF mount and in-body SR, but otherwise similar to a Panasonic GF1 (though it would need to be bigger).

Mind you, I can imagine at x10 magnification, things could get a bit tricky with a long lens, hand-held - perhaps it's at its best with the wider-angle lenses (which are otherwise very tricky to focus)???

By the way, the AF beep is independent of the mirror-box path length (the AF sensor is at the bottom of the camera). As to why it's so incredibly variable in its accuracy with MF lenses is a mystery to me...
05-13-2011, 02:15 AM   #22
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Considering liveview as a focusing aid - I've just bought a Hoodman loupe, and had a look at my Pentax K-x screen, and it's amazing how low res is appears when magnified. Not such a problem with my Nikon D90, which has a similar screen to higher end or mid range Pentaxes

So when considering my next Pentax I'm definitely looking at the screen resolution!
05-13-2011, 05:07 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by midori Quote
Considering liveview as a focusing aid - I've just bought a Hoodman loupe, and had a look at my Pentax K-x screen, and it's amazing how low res is appears when magnified. Not such a problem with my Nikon D90, which has a similar screen to higher end or mid range Pentaxes

So when considering my next Pentax I'm definitely looking at the screen resolution!
K-R LCD is a big improvement on the K-X. I've tried both.

05-13-2011, 05:25 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by midori Quote
Hoodman loupe
Thank you, I've been wondering what these are called ever since I saw one.
05-13-2011, 05:36 AM   #25
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I'm old school and still use MF most of the time, not just out of habit and familiarity, but because I'm more accurate. AF can't read my mind and doesn't know what hyperfocal distance means.
What the OP may have overlooked, if the OP is comparing AF accuracy with DA lenses with MF on older lenses, is adjusting the diopter for MF. Use a DA lens on AF for a simple scene where you know AF will be spot on, then adjust the diopter to match it. There is no difference between MF on new or older lenses.
I wasn't having any trouble using my K20D for MF, but thought a split-screen might be even better, so I bought a Katzeye. It was a mistake, and I really should sell it. The screen is darker with it and I run into problems with spot focus metering.
MF is more about where you concentrate your own visual focus than vision, once you get the diopter adjusted properly.
05-13-2011, 05:39 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Thank you, I've been wondering what these are called ever since I saw one.
There are other brands, most of which are designed for video, but that's the cheap one, designed to be kept separately and placed on the screen. You can attach it more peramently with elastic bands or a specially made harness.
05-13-2011, 06:06 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by midori Quote
There are other brands, most of which are designed for video, but that's the cheap one, designed to be kept separately and placed on the screen. You can attach it more peramently with elastic bands or a specially made harness.
I bought the loupe almost together with my K-5. Tried several ones starting from very cheap until I found good one.
While there are more expensive loupes than Hoodman I consider this brand still very expensive. I have been very happy last 3 months with the one like this
GGS 3" inch LCD Viewfinder Extender f Nikon D90 D300 D3 bei eBay.de: Other Camera Accessories (endet 26.05.11 04:25:37 MESZ)
This protects LCD and will not fingerprint as easy. Every one with stick-on metal frame fell off with the frame after a month.
But if you want to spend some money you should get the one that mounts to the base of the camera (or onto the flash mount?).
So I follow the advice using this loupe and my results are pretty good indeed. It may be so that the installed split-prism focus screen needs to be calibrated. That I am not going to do. I shall reinstall the original - my wife hates the split-screen anyway. so we have a perfect solution.

Last edited by vanakaru; 05-14-2011 at 12:44 AM.
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