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12-01-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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K-r Focusing Screens

Has anyone put a focusing screen on their K-r? If so, what kind? Someone was answering some questions for me in another thread but I think all of the responses were wiped out the issues the database was having last night. Anywho, I hope someone has b/c I've never put a focusing screen on a camera and so I'd like someone else to have already been the guinea pig :-D

12-02-2010, 02:44 AM   #2
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I think the screen is the same size as K100D and K200D (and also K-X?). And also the installation is done the same way.

Here's instructions from focusingscreen.com

The common sources for focusing screens are: ebay (cheap), Focusing Screen (more expensive), KatzEye™ Optics - Custom Focusing Screens (most expensive)

Last edited by ovim; 12-05-2010 at 12:40 AM.
12-02-2010, 11:11 AM   #3
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Katzeye also has good installation instructions: Focusing Screen Installation Guides - KatzEye Optics (the k-x instructions should be close, the same screens will most likely fit?). These instructions should help decide whether you'd want to tackle this yourself.

Personally I have tried the cheapest screen I could find on Ebay (TRAVOR). This was less than stellar as it had a smudge on it to start with and was off center. However I'm now convinced of the virtues of these: a diagonal split prism + microprism ring screen is a treat for manual focusing and also very nostalgic :-). I'm currently waiting for another screen from jinfinance.
12-02-2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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Well now, that doesn't look too bad at all! I can definitely handle that! Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
Personally I have tried the cheapest screen I could find on Ebay (TRAVOR). This was less than stellar as it had a smudge on it to start with and was off center. However I'm now convinced of the virtues of these: a diagonal split prism + microprism ring screen is a treat for manual focusing and also very nostalgic :-). I'm currently waiting for another screen from jinfinance.
Thanks for the info. I'm leaning towards the K3 screen from focusingscreen.com. Think I might by it this weekend and consider it a Hanukkah present to myself :-D .

12-02-2010, 10:54 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The latch holding the screen can be somewhat tight on some cameras. But other than that the installation is quite simple. Just take your time and just before installing the screen blow it clear with a rocket blower/compressed air to get rid of the dust.

Last edited by ovim; 12-05-2010 at 12:41 AM. Reason: typo
12-03-2010, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Something worth mentioning is that since the screens fill your view any scratch, dust or smudge will show annoyingly clearly. This is why careful handling of these is essential, they aren't really especially fragile. On a related note, compressed air cans sometimes emit drops of propellant and if this happens you are going to get smudges on the screen when these evaporate on it, doing a test blow on the back of my hand (and repeating until I can feel no drops hitting the skin and evaporating) has worked for me to avoid this provided the can is not shaken or tilted much.
12-20-2010, 12:33 AM   #7
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Just installed the screen and it was scary as #$&^&#$^!!! I scratched the original screen and bent the crap out of the latch but all's well that ends well, right?! Haven't snapped any photos yet but hopefully I'll like this; I think this might take some getting used to, hmmmm.....
12-20-2010, 02:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hambino Quote
Just installed the screen and it was scary as #$&^&#$^!!! I scratched the original screen and bent the crap out of the latch but all's well that ends well, right?! Haven't snapped any photos yet but hopefully I'll like this; I think this might take some getting used to, hmmmm.....
Good result for an unpleasant job. Now the critical part is to test your metering and make sure that works acceptably, or at least you're aware to compensate when it might lead to a screwy outcome.

I wanted split-prism but wasn't brave enough to sacrifice any metering or blackout issues so recently ordered a new screen for my scratched K-x. Only cost slightly more than the cheap eBay split-prisms too, that was a big surprise for genuine Pentax part.
(K-x and K-r do take same screen Btw)

I agree with 'ovim' that the latch can be a real PITA, and after airblast-cleaning the chamber (camera upside down) making sure the copper shim goes back in the same side.

.R.


Last edited by Hypocorism; 12-20-2010 at 02:56 AM.
12-20-2010, 06:23 AM   #9
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I suppose the latch is part of the screen not being "user replaceable" (in the sense e.g. a lens is :-); maybe "power-user replaceable"?. I must say I didn't excactly enjoy the process myself, but then the way to learn how to possibly do it without incident would seem to be trying it in practice. The split-prism + microprism focusing aid is very nice for MF, though. Also it would be very interesting to try Ratmagiclady's suggested "Ratzeye" microprism ring only + clear center for focus confirmation (& possibly better spot metering) in practice.

As for opening the frame holding the focus screen my "method" was gently prying the frame open/upward with the tips of plastic tweezers while using the head of a small flat screwdriver to open the locking latch. The directions of the force(s) being applied are at an about straight angle, so two separare tools one in each hand; tweezers with an angled head (as seen in the focusingscreen.com installation instructions) might be the optimum tool but I didn't have such handy.

In practice it seems that worst likely accident is slightly scraching either or both screens in the process (a slightly scrathed screen is fully usable, but quite annoying :-); the original screen is not terribly expensive so *careful* DIY is an option. Another likely frustration is dust on the screen or inserting it or the shim the wrong way. The worst part of these is probably that the screen may need to come out which means more changes to scratch it. Of course, being very careful not to damage the mirror or something else not so easily/cheaply rectified is required.
12-20-2010, 06:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hambino Quote
Just installed the screen and it was scary as #$&^&#$^!!! I scratched the original screen and bent the crap out of the latch but all's well that ends well, right?! Haven't snapped any photos yet but hopefully I'll like this; I think this might take some getting used to, hmmmm.....
Well, you did better than me: I managed to slightly scratch both screens on the first try (**&@*€#€!^5 :-) The original screen is not terribly expensive and the cheapest Ebay one I got was stained to begin with though, so no big deal really. I'm waiting for the jinfinance one to get here, but unfortunately the k-x itself has broken and needs to go in for service :-(

Hopefully your new screen works great after all the sweat and toil :-)
12-21-2010, 04:09 AM   #11
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holy cow this thing is SUPER sensitive to any dust or lint!! Maybe its b/c I bent the thing that holds it down but at the end of the day i had dust and little other things on it everywhere...so of course when i got home to clean it I ended up scratching it (just a smidge but still) when i grabbed it to get it out *sigh* BUT my final verdict is that i LOVE this screen!! Even with all the little things that ended up on it it was AWESOME!!! I shot with my 50mm 1.7 all day and it was the most pleasant experience I've had with this lens
12-21-2010, 04:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hambino Quote
holy cow this thing is SUPER sensitive to any dust or lint!! Maybe its b/c I bent the thing that holds it down but at the end of the day i had dust and little other things on it everywhere...so of course when i got home to clean it I ended up scratching it (just a smidge but still) when i grabbed it to get it out *sigh* BUT my final verdict is that i LOVE this screen!! Even with all the little things that ended up on it it was AWESOME!!! I shot with my 50mm 1.7 all day and it was the most pleasant experience I've had with this lens
Oops, sorry to hear of the troubles. That happens to me if I open the camera and install a screen or try and clean internal parts of the body, like sensor or mirror, when anywhere in the vicinity of electromagnetic interference (cords wiring appliances etc), and~or if not using those surgical gloves.

The human body (esp mine) can sometimes hold a lot of static electricity and cameras just love that, it's what helps them attract every bit of dust within 10 kms it seems and is sooooooo difficult to rid of it. Then taking it out and in for reclean, the inevitable scratch is bound to occur.... Grrrr!
Learnt my lesson the hard way, and ended up costing a new screen. They are so soft and delicate, almost like butter.

Good to know it suits your needs though. Any metering or blackout issues at smaller apertures (f/5.6-8 and lower) with it on the 50mm?

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 12-21-2010 at 05:02 AM.
12-21-2010, 05:03 AM   #13
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I don't really shoot above 6 or 7 most of the time and I didn't notice any metering issues. Its a manual 50mm so I'm kind of accustomed to fudging with the exposure (green button-ing it has never gotten me what I've wanted) and I did a fair amount of adjusting but not any more than I normally do (not sure if that helps or not ) I'm not sure what you mean by "blackout" issues, so I'm gonna go ahead and say I didn't have any haha
12-21-2010, 05:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hambino Quote
I don't really shoot above 6 or 7 most of the time and I didn't notice any metering issues. Its a manual 50mm so I'm kind of accustomed to fudging with the exposure (green button-ing it has never gotten me what I've wanted) and I did a fair amount of adjusting but not any more than I normally do (not sure if that helps or not ) I'm not sure what you mean by "blackout" issues, so I'm gonna go ahead and say I didn't have any haha
The blackout issue with split-prisms is described here:
Katz Eye Plus - KatzEye Optics

Also the FAQ has some useful info/tips that you might find worthwhile reading:
FAQs - KatzEye Optics

Plus other sections contain odd bits and tips on metering etc.
The site is free to read, just don't check out their prices. Ouch!

.R.
12-21-2010, 05:30 AM   #15
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After reading the first link, I still don't think I experience any blackout problems; but tomorrow is a new day for shooting and I'll crank it down a bit and do some testing, just for you

Thank you for the info!
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