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02-09-2011, 03:36 AM   #1
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Deciding between 3 focusing screens

Hi,

I'm going to replace the stock screen in my K-r with a custom one due to using lots of old manual glass.

I'm going to go with a screen from focusingscreen.com, but I'm not sure which one to choose.

Choices are:
Ec-B
FSB
K3

I'm wondering if any of you had some experiences with these 3. The middle one is also a lot cheaper (no idea why though).
Any help is greatly appreciated.

02-09-2011, 04:59 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote
Choices are:
Ec-B
FSB
K3

I'm wondering if any of you had some experiences with these 3. The middle one is also a lot cheaper (no idea why though).
Any help is greatly appreciated.
FocusingScreen.com website says:
The Ec-B is made from a Canon screen.
The K3 is made from a Nikon screen.
And FSB is 'produced by using FSB type'.

They don't say, and I don't know, what heritage "FSB" is, but obviously that stock screen costs them a fair bit less to acquire, and they pass on the savings.

Sorry I have no experience with either, but have been seriously contemplating the same questions as you.
My gut feel so far has been to sway for either the Canon or Nikon base, but only on unfounded grounds that they "should be good", which could very easily be delusionary bullshit on my part.

And suspicions that FSB might just be similar to what I already have for USD16 from eBay (mine's a dual-split 45degree, but there are other styles), and that their K3 has microprism too (which I find handy) and the Ec-B doesn't, lead me to favouring K3 so far -- unless someone pipes in here to prove the whole theory wrong.

I really like the Ec-L idea too. Hmm..... would it work for me?

Fwiw; My own main interest in a focusingscreen.com type, either Canon or Nikon based, is that it might (?) be much brighter over the matt section than my eBay cheapie, because the eBay one is slightly duller on its matt area than a standard Pentax screen.
That's more noticable in lower light situations Btw. Still quite usuable but not quite there, if you know what I mean.

And please. no one mention Katzeye + Optibrite! Selling a kidney to afford one of those is not on the agenda this month.

Sorry that wasn't much help to you but someone here will add to it.

.R. -- who should buy a CNC laser cutting/engraving machine and make my own. That would solve the problem.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-09-2011 at 05:30 AM.
02-09-2011, 05:17 AM   #3
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I've tried the EC-B and the K3. The K3 is slightly better imo. I like using the microprism collar and it is easier to use on the K3 than on the EC-B. You'll get used to the 12mm circle that Nikon used as a guide for their 80/20 center weighted metering. A friend has the FSB and it isn't as bright.
02-09-2011, 05:33 AM   #4
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I think there are more of us contemplating the same question.
I was looking at the Ebay screens too, but decided that I'll just go with focusingscreen so I don't end up disappointed and with 20€ less in my wallet.

If FSB is duller than the other 2 (I kinda agree with Canon or Nikon base being better) I'll forget it and decide between the top 2.
Katzeye is out of the question for me as well. Can't justify a 200$ focus screen.

About the K3 and Ec-B:
as far as I know K3 has a larger split-prism circle and since it's made from a full frame and cut down to size it'll end up covering a larger portion of the viewfinder. Which might be good, but it might turn out annoying? Plus, I'm not sure if the microprism in K-3 would be better or not (doesn't microprism darken faster?).

@creampuff: what makes the K3 better for you?


Btw, there is some information in this thread as well:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/73353-som...g-screens.html

02-09-2011, 06:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote

If FSB is duller than the other 2 (I kinda agree with Canon or Nikon base being better) I'll forget it and decide between the top 2.
I'm glad that creampuff has now confirmed that FSB = duller suspicion for us. That excludes it for me too.

QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote

About the K3 and Ec-B:
as far as I know K3 has a larger split-prism circle and since it's made from a full frame and cut down to size it'll end up covering a larger portion of the viewfinder. Which might be good, but it might turn out annoying? Plus, I'm not sure if the microprism in K-3 would be better or not (doesn't microprism darken faster?).
I personally wouldn't like or want a bigger diameter split-prism. You really only need to catch one short line or edge to crack it sharp, and the prism does visually look to be a big round part of the scene anyhow.

I harbour weird thoughts that an even bigger prism surface area could possibly only compound any existing Metering or AFing issues with these, which I fear don't need aggravating.
Otoh, my preference for microprism probably stuffs that up totally too. (?) Jeez, this is complex shit.

IMX the microprism I have doesn't fall over early, on the contrary I find it to be a great standby for when the centre-line-split darkens, earlier. (too early really, in my model) The MP is always there as a useful 2nd choice confirmation.

Although mine appears to be a fine microprism, other coarser patterned ones might act different. (?) Sorry I wish I knew the answer to that too.

Maybe a Ec-A microprism only might suit me best? Wish I had them all the test.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-09-2011 at 06:55 AM.
02-09-2011, 07:06 AM   #6
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There's another thread I found on these forums about it:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/77151-foc...n-reviews.html

Basically the guy says that Ec-B is his favorite screen, although only by the slightest margin. It might help you make a decision...I'm still uncertain though.

Waiting for creampuff to say why he prefers his K3.

Btw, how much would you say you use microprism for focusing? Do you mostly use split-image or micro prism?

Last edited by BeerBelly; 02-09-2011 at 07:19 AM.
02-09-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote

Btw, how much would you say you use microprism for focusing? Do you mostly use split-image or micro prism?
I haven't really had the screen long enough to gauge, it will all depend on majority type of use long term I suppose (macro will be most of my use for it), but at this stage I'd be very reluctant to sacrifice microprism totally because it appears to be a great standby if and when the split blackens too much.

And because of that, if there were only one choice, I'd take microprism. Even though its "focus decision" isn't so instant~obvious and decisive to the user, it still seems to achieve the same sharp accuracy result -- which is what matters to me.
I've mainly used objects such as text, down to fairly small sizes, for making test judgments.

Objects that aren't clearly defined with sharp, distinct edges or lines (eg. more distant and 'busy' targets), are not so easy and importantly, they appear to pose similar, near equal difficulties to both prism and split method. With prism possibly having the edge there too because it's the larger circle and surface area for the user to visually make their overall judgment from. With no one clear sharp line to snap onto, split can easily lose its sole big advantage.

Thanks for the link to the other discussion. Constructive peer comments and reference sources always help. Although I always find that when it comes to vision judgement matters especially, only the individual can decide on what's good or bad for them.

Btw; I use a Pentax O-ME53 magnifier eyecup on my VF too, and couldn't live without it.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-09-2011 at 09:21 AM.
02-09-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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I'm using the magnifier as well. Helps a great deal.
I might just go with a K3 then. Microprism does sound like a good standby to have if the object is "not suitable" for a split image.

I'm thinking if there were lots of AF or metering issues with it, there would be a lot more complaints
They seem to be out of stock though. I guess I'll wait a few more days, change my mind a few more times and then order the K3, which was my first choice when I started this quest...

02-09-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote

I'm thinking if there were lots of AF or metering issues with it, there would be a lot more complaints
They seem to be out of stock though. I guess I'll wait a few more days, change my mind a few more times and then order the K3, which was my first choice when I started this quest...
Yep, good point about the no whinging.

Re stock and orders: Chinese new year is over now so things should kick back into top gear pretty quick.

Which K3 style do you prefer? With full blown lines and squiggles, or are you the more conservative basic type of guy?

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-09-2011 at 09:23 AM.
02-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #10
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I'll probably go with the grid lines one. Might help to have them.
02-09-2011, 11:39 AM   #11
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I have the FSB and if it's duller ... then I've never noticed it and it certainly isn't any sort of issue. I used it in the K7 and then moved it over to the K5. Great bit of kit. I do use the O-ME53 with it.
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