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03-23-2012, 08:14 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ablundon Quote
So it seems the installation of multiple shims is a real issue. For me, the metal stock shim was too thick.

Also, since the shims are light plastic, they bend very easily. If the shim is slightly off you can still close the tray but the shim will get bent. If you need to remove and install a 2nd shim that is where the fun starts. Trying to place shims that are no longer flat but bent!

They could improve their product by including shims of varying thicknesses and even better...metal shims.

AB
Whenever I buy a new Pentax camera, I always order a set of shims with it(from Pentax). They are the brass types and much easier to work with. A set of 10 shims typically costs me about 24 dollars. And in many cases they are interchangeable(between cameras).

In most cases, shimming can be a chore. I takes patience and time to get it right. I usually work in a washroom with raised humidity(to keep dust down). However, its not uncommon to micro adjust a screen only to find it slightly off at infinity, so things can get frustrating at times.

I usually use 3m tab tape to fine tune my shims and Goo Gone to remove it. But in some cases, I've been able to walk away with a combination of shims. I haven't installed any screens in my K-5 to date. Though I think I might drop in a Katz-eye this year as I'm planning on doing some outdoor portrait work this summer.

PS. as with all things measured, there is no such thing as exact. And so were left with close enough for me

Hope this helps.
JohnBee

03-26-2012, 12:17 AM   #17
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I'll be honest. I talked with Pentax over the phone and the tech guys really disagree and highly recommend not replacing the screen on the K-r as it really wasn't designed to be replaced by the end user. The K-5, K-7 and older- no problem. But the K-r is a basic model and I feel I'd rather trust the current screen on it for my needs.

I do have to admit, I do have a nagging focus issue from time to time. I think this is account of several things. 1: I suspect I may have a soft 16-50 DA* lens. I hope not, because that lens was over $900 but compared to 50-135 DA*, it just doesn't keep up. 2: I may also have a front and back focusing issue regardless of which of the two lenses I use, so I gotta test for that. 3: I think I'll replace the eye piece with the other Pentax eye piece, the one with additional magnification. For the K-5 and newer SLRs, not a good idea because they will have 100% angle of view, but on the K-r, I've seen some very positive reviews.
03-26-2012, 03:47 AM   #18
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Interesting.... Given Pentax's longevity of the K mount and the thousands of legacy MF lenses out there you would think that a replaceable focus screen would be a feature of all of their cameras including their base model camera.

I have the OEM-53 magnifying eyecup (you may be able to see it during the video). While it did make a little difference, it certainly didn't improve my MF by the same margin as the focus screen. I got the OEM-53 for Christmas and by February I had already decided that it wasn't enough and I needed the focus screen.

The best feature of the OEM-53 in my opinion is that it brings the eyepiece out a little from the body so that your nose doesn't get squashed up against the screen.

I went to a kids party yesterday....of the 20 or 25 shots I took with my Pentax-A 50mm 1.7, all but one or two were in focus. I shot mostly at 2.8 but did shoot some at 1.7 that were spot on. Big improvement from the stock screen.

AB
03-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kryscendo Quote
I'll be honest. I talked with Pentax over the phone and the tech guys really disagree and highly recommend not replacing the screen on the K-r as it really wasn't designed to be replaced by the end user. The K-5, K-7 and older- no problem. But the K-r is a basic model and I feel I'd rather trust the current screen on it for my needs.
An awful lot of people have successfully swapped out the screen on their K-r without any problems. Depending on the screen used, shimming may be required, and a bit annoying, but that's true of all models. Its a straightforward process, the latch isn't difficult to get to, I see no reason not to go ahead and do it.

Just because Pentax chose not to market it with changeable screens as a selling point doesn't mean there's any drawback to doing so. It may be as simple as an attempt at distinguishing the K-5 further from the K-r, when both are equally amenable to accepting other screens.

03-26-2012, 09:48 AM   #20
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I fully understand why a manufacturer would not want someone to mess with a stock set up. However, the Canon S-type screen is simply a better product than the ones that Pentax supplies. It is thicker and has better optical performance. At least it is better if you are using fairly fast glass. Futhermore, it installs the exact same way as the stock screen, albeit shimmed correctly if necessary. I am just stating what I know from first hand experience.
05-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #21
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Just want to give a WORD OF CAUTION to those who are planning on installing this, or any other, focusing screen. I followed the same steps, more or less, described in this thread when I got my S-type screen from focusingscreen.com. I was almost finished, had the new screen in its tray and was about to snap it back into place, when I noticed a large spec of dust. So, I took it back out and grabbed my Giotto Q-ball rocket blower to blow the dust off. As it turns out, that was a REALLY BAD IDEA! The Giotto blew a bunch of rubber gunk onto the focusing screen that I have yet to be able to get completely off. I went from having one fairly innocent little dust spec to a having many black specs of gunk all over the screen. I could have probably avoided this disaster if I'd pre-blown the Giotto several times to get any residue or whatever junk inside of it blown out first but, unfortunately, I didn't think to do that. Now you know though so, DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE!

To get the screen somewhat clean, I more or less followed the steps shared by JohnBee in post #20 on this thread. That improved my situation from dire to liveable but I still have three prominent black specs on my screen along with a barely noticeable dried water stain. During the first attempt at the cleaning process, I just about had a heart attack when the focusing screen slipped out of my grip while blow drying and flew to the filthy ground. Luckily, that didn't ruin it. I expect that at some point I'll get the screen completely clean but I'm not sure when or what it'll take. For now, I'm living with it being a little dirty.

The S-type screen is a big improvement and as far as I'm concerned it is a must have if you are using any of the FA Limiteds or similar fast lenses. I wish I would have gotten the focusing screen sooner, it certainly would've saved a few shots, but I also wish that the installation process, and cleaning process for that matter, weren't so hazard prone. Accurate manual focusing is now actually possible for me, and quite enjoyable, with my FA 31 and 77. So, by all means, get one of these great S-type focusing screens, but be VERY CAREFUL installing it.
05-12-2012, 12:25 PM   #22
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Oh, by the way, I didn't need any shims at all to get accurate focusing on my K-5 with the new screen.
07-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #23
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Big thanks for your effort! I wish there was a video like this when I was deciding to buy the screen
Just for the statistics, I got the same screen but for k-5, and it did not needed any shim removal/replace, with the original shim focus is spot on

I love the screen, use it with 50 1.7m and k35 f3.5, the precision difference is huge with the 1.7. It just was not possible to focus correctly with the stock screen, few degrees rotation on the focusing ring of the lens, did not change the focusing position at all in the viewfinder, well all that is history with this focusing screen.
Despite the screen is little darker with the k35 f3.5 lens, the precision difference is clear even with the f3.5 lens

highly recommended for manual lens users

07-29-2012, 05:51 PM   #24
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All of this convinces me to have my local camera shop install the focusing screen if I ever go that way. Sounds like it is well worth the $ to avoid the anxiety and leave it to experienced hands.

I just don't understand why the screen is considered better than a split prism, which guarantees focus when the image is aligned. The S screen still calls for a judgment call about focus.
07-30-2012, 12:21 AM - 1 Like   #25
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Basset, in my view, the problem with splits is twofold:
- you can only focus accurately using the split, not the surrounding area... So, you're stuck with center focus-recompose, which can throw your focus off with fast lenses and slow you down....
- a split is not a great tool for portraits, as there is no useful lines that can be broken (except for the eye, but on such tiny targets I find the split quite difficult to use).

The EE-S screen is really something to try... You really can see the focus plane clearly, and focusing on an eye is ridiculously easy with it.
I was startled lately when I used my Sigma 30/1.4 on my father's Kx : nearly everything seemed in focus in the viewfinder! What a starch difference from my usual experience with my K5 and its ee-S screen!!!
07-30-2012, 01:03 AM   #26
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When I received my ee-S focusing screen it came with 3 shims each with a different thickness. I used the middle one and focus has been spot on ever since. This is such a good screen!!
07-30-2012, 05:28 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
Basset, in my view, the problem with splits is twofold:
- you can only focus accurately using the split, not the surrounding area... So, you're stuck with center focus-recompose, which can throw your focus off with fast lenses and slow you down....
- a split is not a great tool for portraits, as there is no useful lines that can be broken (except for the eye, but on such tiny targets I find the split quite difficult to use).

The EE-S screen is really something to try... You really can see the focus plane clearly, and focusing on an eye is ridiculously easy with it.
I was startled lately when I used my Sigma 30/1.4 on my father's Kx : nearly everything seemed in focus in the viewfinder! What a starch difference from my usual experience with my K5 and its ee-S screen!!!
Good points, thanks.
07-31-2012, 05:30 PM   #28
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I truly appreciate the time you took to make a video of the screen removal and replacing, but it gave me the creeps.

After watching it twice, I decided that this sort of tweaking is not for me.

I'll just have to get someone to install it for me on my K7 or K5 -- got it already since Spring 2012 ... unopened !

Cheers.

JP
08-02-2012, 05:15 AM   #29
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I was pretty nervous when I first attempted it as well. If it hadn't been for the shimming....it would have been a whole lot easier. Trying to stack 3 thin plastic shims on top of each other was quite the challenge!
08-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #30
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I finally decided to buy a new focusing screen with the split image prism for my K-r from focusingscreen. Your video was extremely helpful. I would have had it done in 5 minutes had it not been that I needed to re-install the factory shim. That took me about 10 minutes to get the shim to fit right while I out the screen back in.
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