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12-19-2020, 06:20 AM   #1
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ML-60 vs. S-type for manual focus

When using my many manual focus lenses on my K5ii, I have been frustrated by the stock screen trying to nail exact focus. It's really quite poor for that, and after missing too many shots I have begun to rely on the little hexagon for focus confirmation. This works well but I'd rather not have to look at another electronic indicator, and just have a better screen, like my MX . Is the ML-60 screen any better for manual focus? Reading the description of it at B&H it says it's meant for that, but I kind of suspect it's the same screen as the stock one but with some extra grid lines.

If the ML-60 is no different, the other option is an S-type from Focusingscreen.com, which is much more pricey. Has anyone compared the two, specifically for manual focus?

Thanks in advance for the help!

Best,
Svend

12-19-2020, 12:36 PM   #2
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I have not compared the two, but I have found the S-type from focusingscreen to work very well. Had to mess about a bit with the shims, but well worth the effort.
12-19-2020, 02:52 PM   #3
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It might be a little brighter which might help, but if it desn't have any split prism or mircroprisms I doubt it will make a difference!
12-19-2020, 03:58 PM   #4
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Thanks! Sounds like the S-type is a sure thing. Might be worth spending a bit extra for it. I'm good without a split or microprisms - prefer not to have them actually, as I find them rather distracting.

I will keep looking into the ML-60, as it's Pentax-made and only $44 at B&H. I'd still like to hear from anyone who's tried one for manual focus. Hopefully someone chimes in here.

12-19-2020, 04:20 PM   #5
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I've found that, with more time, my eye picks up on the hexagon showing up on the edge of my vision through the viewfinder and I don't need to look at it directly to know if it's lit up or not.

That said, manually focusing with the stock screen in my K-5 II is not a lot of fun, and I understand wanting some other screen. I think something like the K3 screen from focusingscreen.com would be a nice upgrade for what you're wanting. No experience so grain of salt with that.
12-20-2020, 07:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up on the K3 screen. I will check that out. And an interesting comment on just getting used to seeing the little hex symbol intuitively. I suppose it's no different from how I use my MX meter - adjust shutter or aperture and look for green, but without looking right at it....it's there in the periphery. Good tip!
01-11-2021, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #7
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An update here:

This evening I installed a new S-type screen that I purchased from PF user Jacques (@jpzk; great guy to deal with...thumbs up from me). Installation was a breeze - nuthin' to it, really.

First thing I noticed was how much darker it was than the stock screen...I wasn't expecting that, based on other users comments. This could be problematic with a slow lens in low light.

Then I had to do a bit of focus fine tuning, as it was front-focusing just a wee bit - maybe 1/4' to 1/2". Using a supplied thin plastic shim instead of the metal rear shim did the trick - it's bang-on now.

So how does it focus with a manual lens? Quite well, actually. It seems to be much better than the stock one. The S-type appears to just snap into focus, and rapidly goes soft if not. Nice! By comparison, the stock screen was quite vague, and slowly drifted in and out of focus without a definitive boundary, if you will; it was really not well-suited for manual focusing.

Next step is to take the K5ii out in the field to see how it performs. The darker screen may not be as much an issue in daylight as it appeared in my dim workshop.

So far so good....

Regards,
Svend

Last edited by Viking42; 01-12-2021 at 06:49 AM.
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