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09-17-2013, 09:03 PM   #1
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Focussing screens

Hi all.

I was considering a K30, but now seeing the K50 is out I decided to look into the specs.


One that caught my eye was the mention of "4 optional focussing screens"

This has caught my attention, since I don't really have any AF lenses, nor do I really like them.


Does anybody have any details as to what the 4 screens are? (and also do they affect the camera usage at all? metering, use of AF, etc)
I can't find any details on what the screens on offer are?

09-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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I believe the K-30 and K-50 take the same screens, same as the K-5.

They are shown here, none are like the manual focus film SLR screens:
PentaxWebstore.com: Viewfinder Accessories

Other options available here, including the old split prism designs:
Focusing Screen

This is a high end split prism one:
Pentax K-5, K-5II, K-7 & K-30 KatzEye Focusing Screen

Anything with a split prism is going to affect spot metering to a degree, some are worse than others, they get really bad with slow lenses that cause blackout. They will not affect the auto focus in any way because the focus sensors are in the mirror box. The precision matte screens, like the "S-Type" listed on focusingscreen.com, will not have any negative affect on metering and are far more capable of showing true DOF than the stock screen. The stock matte screen makes f1.4 look like f4 or so, the "S-type" will show the true DOF.
09-17-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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THanks for the quick response.

Unfortunately it's not the news I wanted.


Here I was thinking that maybe Pentax had made a screen suited to MF that worked with all the other features (I can't see why they can't, I'm pretty sure there were film cameras with spot metering..... granted, maybe they didn't have a split prism?)
09-17-2013, 10:41 PM   #4
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You can have spot metering with a split prism, but beyond f4 or so it will become unreliable. This will cause problems with stop down metering (green button with M lenses) and slow lenses. You can dial in some exposure compensation with slower apertures to get around it. I use one in my K100D and don't have much of a problem after I got used to it. I've heard this affects the microprism screens like the Ec-A type as well. Center weighted metering is fine though.

A properly calibrated "S Type" screen is very good for manual focus, the one focusingscreen.com sells is a cut down Canon screen. I have one in my K-5 and with slow lenses and stop down metering it actually made the meter more accurate because it is more linear than the stock screen.

I might be wrong, but I don't think any film SLR had fully working spot metering and a split prism or microprism focusing screen.

09-18-2013, 12:56 AM   #5
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But, as hks_kansei says, Ricoh does say (http://www.us.ricoh-imaging.com/dslr/K-50_Custom_Colors):

"Pentaprism Viewfinder for 100% Field of View & 4 optional Focusing Screens

What you see is what you get with the low profile glass pentaprism viewfinder, with four interchangeable focusing screens, achieves a 100% optical field of view for framing accuracy in a highly compact form factor."

Does anyone know what that entails?

Edit: Sorry, didn't see that first link elliot... Thanks!
09-18-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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There are many threads about focussing screens. Look at the bottom of this page for further links. I've decided on the EE-S screen and Tenba 1.36 viewfinder magnifier for my K5 and couldn't be happier.
09-18-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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Yes, I too have the EE-S screen and enjoy it very much. But the OP was curious about the "4 optional focusing screens" promoted by Pentax (as was I). None of those was split prism or "good" ground glass, sadly.
09-18-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Yes, I too have the EE-S screen and enjoy it very much. But the OP was curious about the "4 optional focusing screens" promoted by Pentax (as was I). None of those was split prism or "good" ground glass, sadly.
Correct.

I know that there are plenty of third party screens around (each with it's own pros/cons), but when seeing the spiel of "optional screens" on the Pentax website I thought they may have released genuine ones that would be guaranteed to work 100% with all the camera features.

Unfortunately, that's not the case.

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