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03-17-2012, 03:35 AM   #1
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Shimming away - shim size help needed

I am adjusting the focusing screen in the K5 - I got the shim kit from Pentax, shims range from A-I and are labeled: 0. (<- white space). In other words the print is wider than the label - idiots! Does anyone have an idea what the shim steps are? Shim I appears to be 0.5... mm, all the other labels are completely cut off after the "0.". My caliper only reads 0.1 mm steps and I don't want to open all shims just to try it all...

Mirrors / mirror alignment is stupid, stupid, stupid, but contrast AF with live view in the viewfinder is still not there yet.

Elie on dpreview-forum posted the following (can someone confirm that?):

Here are the references of the different focus adjusting washers for the K-7 :
77240M02200A - 0.15mm (aluminium/iron color)
77240M02200B - 0.20mm (copper color)
77240M02200C - 0.25mm (alu)
77240M02200D - 0.30mm (copper)
77240M02200E - 0.35mm (alu)
77240M02200F - 0.40mm (copper)
77240M02200G - 0.45mm (alu)
77240M02200H - 0.50mm (copper)
77240M02200I - 0.55mm (alu)

In my set the E shim is missing... and my caliper tells me that the shim inside the K5 is around 0.35 mm. I hope that does not imply that they put the E in every K5 and it is on the user to figure out how well it works.
Anyways I had to remove ALL shims from the K5 to get decent sharpness withe the Katzeye screen. Not completely happy yet as I can not adjust between 0 and 0.15 mm and I think a little less than zero would even be better, but things work out OK.

I will never sell my K5 because it took me several hours in total to finde adjust my Pentax lenses and shim the focussing screen. My K5 is always on the limit! for AF fine adjustment I had to send it in - my Pentax glass still needs 5-8 steps correction (before repair my correction values were off the screen). Shimming a (third party) screen, I am at the limit again - this time it is a physical limit. I hope things stay as they are and I will not have to redo these steps every couple months.
Don't know yet if it is good or bad that digital cameras allow us to see and adjust such problems at the same time.

Last edited by zapp; 03-17-2012 at 06:56 AM.
03-22-2012, 01:26 PM   #2

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Location: Frankfurt am Main
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@ zapp

I cannot answer any of your questions, but as I must replace the shim at my K200D (I also changed the screen), I would like to know where and how you got the set of shims. And how much it did cost you. As we are in neighbouring countries, the source for me would probably be the same as for you.

Thank you in advance
03-22-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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I measured 0.35mm for the shim that came with my K5. Possibly, they all come from factory with this shim.
Cheers - Klaus
03-23-2012, 01:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Klaus Quote
I measured 0.35mm for the shim that came with my K5. Possibly, they all come from factory with this shim.
Cheers - Klaus

The factory shim is 0.35 E-Shim. The shim kit actually includes A to F, but not E. I had to remove all shims to get decent manual focus control - no leverage. The next shim would set me off to +0.15 which is huge. Pentax basically allows for +/-0.20 mm shim adjustment, my camera is off by 0.35mm. I need to admit that I am using a third party Katzeye screen, but the replied quickly to my request, telling me about their experience with Pentax and othehr brans. I am not going to fiddle around checking the optimum shim for my Pentax screen.

My AF also required extreme resetting by QC. What I assume is the following: Pentax simply forgot to place a 0.35 mm shim in the mount - this is there many comapnies place shims to align the whole system. Sensor and mirror box are prefectly aligned, but I needed to correct the AF to sensor position first and then compensate for the offset in the mirror box.

I have an extra shim kit now - including the E shim :-) The whole set cost me 50 Swiss Franks, but I am happy to share at symbolic cost - PM me.

NOW...there is one open question. Assuming that mirror box and sensor are aligned. Assuming that AF sensor and image sensor are aligned Or in other words everything inside the camera up to the camera mount is aligned. Why do I get different readings for AF fine adjustment from my lenses working at open aperture? A lens may be longer or shorter, but it has no influence on any of the adjusted distances. 31/55/300 mm lenses all need 5 steps, the 100macro requires 8 steps adjustment. Is it a software issue or is the coverage of the AF sensor different for different lenses. Am I blind?

Last edited by zapp; 03-26-2012 at 08:18 AM.
04-03-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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Location: Montréal
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Hi guys,

I've a question about these shims. I just received my Katzeye this weekend and I figured out I'll need to change the shim. The shim I've currently installed in my K5 seems to be the 0.40mm (copper color). I've asked Pentax Canada to sell me some shims and they will charge me 7.20$ ea. + 10$ shipping + tx. At first I wanted to buy all the shims < 0.40mm in order to make sure I'll get a correct one, but I didn't know the price was that high.

My K5/Katzeye is front focusing, and I've read on the forums that the 0.20mm shim should be a good guess. Is there a way to know more precisely which shim I need? The information I have is the following:

- The current shim seems to be a 0.40mm (copper).
- The Katzeye seems to front focus as much as my FA50mm f/1.4 does.
- Fine adjusting the AF to -10 corrects the front focus for the FA50mm.

Replacing the screen was actually pretty easy, how difficult is it to replace the shim? I've read that it's easy to bend/break the shims during the procedure...


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