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12-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #556
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I have S screen and love it with my primes, AF or not.
But now I have a new birding combo: the sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO (manual focus) that i use with the Sigma 2X TC (ex dg). Surprisingly, it's pretty good, even wide open. But wide open is f/11... What's the best screen to focus that? After some practice, I've been getting about 40% keepers (spot-on focus) with the S screen. Gonna try the stock screen with it this weekend.
Thanks!

12-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #557
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I sometimes use a similar combo. I only find this useful in bright light anyway, so either the stock focusing screen or the S-type does OK. But if you find it dark, try live view.
02-23-2013, 02:08 PM   #558
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I think I read all the pages here but I still have one question... or two:
Does anyone have experience with focusingscreen.com when your country is not listed in the available countries? I sent them an e-mail but no answer yet.

And second question... that was maybe answered but it wasn't easy reading 38 pages so maybe I missed it:
I planned to buy Takumar 50 1.4 and the question is how this S type screen will work on lower apertures with it? Is Takumar focusing wide open or not? Or I would need to focus first, than change aperture than meter.....?

Thank you all for answers on my first post here (so you can understand I'm an rookie )
02-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #559
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QuoteOriginally posted by NoraFora Quote
And second question... that was maybe answered but it wasn't easy reading 38 pages so maybe I missed it:
I planned to buy Takumar 50 1.4 and the question is how this S type screen will work on lower apertures with it? Is Takumar focusing wide open or not? Or I would need to focus first, than change aperture than meter.....?
Yeah, with the Tak or any other screw mount "best practice" is to focus wide-open, then stop-down (and the aperture closes as you do it, unlike a bayonet lens) and meter (use Av mode for m42s and metering will happen automatically as you stop down), then shoot. Of course you have the *option* to focus after you are stopped down, which will help you see depth-of-field, but yes it will get quite dark at a certain point...

02-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #560
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It gets darker than the stock screen but instead it doesn't get grainy, the graininess makes focus way harder for me.
02-24-2013, 01:51 AM   #561
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Thanks vonBaloney.... very clear description.... just I thought Av mode (and other modes except M mode) can not be used with Takumars (m42s), so I learned more than I expected
02-24-2013, 12:25 PM - 2 Likes   #562
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QuoteOriginally posted by NoraFora Quote
Thanks vonBaloney.... very clear description.... just I thought Av mode (and other modes except M mode) can not be used with Takumars (m42s), so I learned more than I expected
Av mode can be used precisely because the lens stops down manually with the ring and the body doesn't operate it all -- so it simply measures the light coming through at all times and adjusts the shutter speed (and ISO if in auto-ISO mode) accordingly. It doesn't actually know what the aperture is or anything, but it does make m42s slightly nicer to use in some circumstances than manual K-mount lenses that don't have 'A' contacts (like the M-series). The disadvantage being you have to open the close the aperture ring all the time to focus wide-open, stop back down for metering/shooting, etc. By the way, with an m42 attached, all camera modes other than M "become" Av mode -- if you have your dial set to Av, Tv, Sv, P-- all will behave the same.

With an manual bayonet lens, you can focus wide open and leave the aperture at the desired setting, but you have to use M mode on the camera and "green-button" metering, which stops down only for a second to meter and set the shutter speed. And you lose possibility of auto-ISO mode. (The limitations with non-A K-mounts could be fixed if Pentax "uncrippled" their cameras to read the aperture mechanically so they could meter like they used to -- like a K1000.)

All of this makes old preset style lenses possibly the easiest manual lenses to use as you get the best of both worlds -- you can focus wide-open and then stop down quickly to desired aperture (that you've "preset") quickly without looking or counting clicks, but also can use Av mode and auto-ISO.

Or you can insist on only 'A' lenses and avoid all the nonsense -- many people do.
02-28-2013, 02:26 AM   #563
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I have to complain about the communication with focusingscreen.com although most of you had positive feedback about it.
I sent 2 e-mails asking how to solve the problem that my country can not be selected as shipping destination and I've received no answer yet... I think I sent my first mail 6-7 days ago.

Do you guys have any info if focusingscreen.com is still working? Maybe they are all on the vacation.
Anybody ordered FSs from them recently?

04-25-2013, 11:52 AM   #564
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I can't order from them at the moment. If I add to the cart, nothing happens. I also can't get into my account. I'm hoping that they haven't gone bust!
04-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #565
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QuoteOriginally posted by monk Quote
I can't order from them at the moment. If I add to the cart, nothing happens. I also can't get into my account. I'm hoping that they haven't gone bust!
Ok, so I got an email from them saying that they had some server issues but all is ok now.
05-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #566
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Am I correct in assuming that the K-5 ii focusing screen is the same as the K-5? Meaning that the one cut by focusingscreen would work with the K-5 ii.
05-09-2013, 09:34 AM   #567
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QuoteOriginally posted by toidpentax Quote
Am I correct in assuming that the K-5 ii focusing screen is the same as the K-5? Meaning that the one cut by focusingscreen would work with the K-5 ii.
yes, that is correct
06-28-2013, 08:06 AM   #568
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Hey guys,

I'm looking for a focusing screen for my K-30. What do you think the best screen? I'd like to have the AF markers, grids too, and I'm hesitating between the horizontally split or the microsprism screen...
06-28-2013, 11:03 AM   #569
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I use the Katzeye screens on my K5 and K5-IIs. Mine has the split screen with mircoprism focusing. I also added the Optibrite option, auto focus grid lines and rule of thirds grid lines. Cost my about $200 but i like the screen. AF area brackets are free with any composition markings.

Pentax K-5, K-7 & K-30 KatzEye Focusing Screen
06-28-2013, 06:30 PM   #570
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I used this in another post this week so I'll just paste it here:

Focusing screens

I have had a Katz-Eye split prism in my *ist DS for a long time. When I bought my K-7, I kept the stock screen for a long time. I can focus with that too, even with the Cosina 55mm f1.2 wide open. That's where practice comes in. The stock screen doesn't show you the correct depth of field for fast lenses. You have to see what's there and estimate how much narrower it will be at your chosen aperture. I got pretty good at it and it's a useful skill. I couldn't do it quickly in challenging conditions. I had to work my eyes a little harder especially at first. The stock screen is OK for slow lenses, metering works fine, and you might like the markings or find it cleaner than a split prism.

I tried a Canon EE-S screen briefly. I cut this down myself and I would never do that again. Expect you will have to shim it to make it perfect, which isn't that hard. The depth of field is perfectly visible. I did not like the way it worked with slower lenses. Because it's ground for fast lenses it gets really dark with slow lenses. You may still need to practice seeing the actual depth of field, because that is the only aid. You can place your target anywhere in the viewfinder, which is great. Metering effect seems small and spot metering is unaffected. It sounds like the current price, installation tools and advice are excellent. I didn't think it matched well with the lenses I have.

I finally went back to a Katz-Eye for the K-7. Yes, the price is ridiculous, and you must get your shims elsewhere. Expect to shim these too. I have never tried the cheaper split-prisms. The aid is in the center only, so focusing off center is a compromise. There's a lot of clutter in the center. Super-slow lenses have prism blackout, where half the prism is black so focusing is hard. (I rarely have trouble with this myself, Katz-Eye is supposed to be better than cheap here.) Spot metering is just unreliable enough to make it useless. (It would be OK if it was consistently wrong but it's off at some apertures and with some lenses.) Still, when this screen works, the precision is fantastic. I can focus on almost a point, not just a range of distances. I have manually focused when it was too dark for the meter. I can repeatedly focus on the same point with the same results, whether it's near or far. I can focus really fast, even in low light, when I'm less confident in AF getting a lock. When the split prism doesn't work, I can sometimes use the microprism collar or rest of the screen too.

I hope that helps a little despite my obvious bias towards KatzEye.

I think no matter what screen you use, a really sharp lens is easier to manually focus than a softer one. I've run through about a dozen 28mm lenses of widely varying quality, and it seems very clear with these lenses. Sharp lenses snap into focus, while with a softie, you can't quite see where the depth of field starts or ends. The sharpness has to be wide open because that's how focusing is done. If two lenses are equal at f5.6, I can still see which one is sharper wide open. You might use a sharper lens at wider apertures too, but you don't have to always shoot wide open to get some advantage out of it. At 50mm, the wide open sharpness varies much less - cheap lenses are still pretty good - but I can see this again with my large 135mm collection.
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