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01-08-2014, 08:51 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
It's not really possible to manually focus through the viewfinder. It has to be done with focus peaking and the screen. A split viewfinder might help with the K-30, but it didn't really help in my K-x, and it made the exposures all wonkified with fast lenses.

Now, with my ME Super I can manually focus all day. It's simple, clean, and easy. Why can't a modern dSLR have a focus screen and viewfinder like that?

Charles.
Maybe I haven't read for full comprehension, but all I use on my K30 are manual focus lenses and I 95% of the time, I use the viewfinder. (I have ONE LENS that is a monster, for whatever reason) I know when I'm in focus and when I'm out.

An adjustment of technique may be necessary; throw your focus past your desired DOF and then pull it back where you want it. You will see the focus come and go, and then come back again, and it really lets you land the "crispiness" right where you want it. Focus with your desired subject in the center of the viewfinder, and then recompose once the subject is in focus (this might be super obvious).

I actually did recently install a cheap split prism screen, and it's pretty great. Definitely recommend it if you are having any difficulties in tricky focusing situations.


Last edited by severalsnakes; 01-08-2014 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Department of Redundancy Dept.
01-08-2014, 09:31 PM   #17
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Jim,

Thanks for the info! Love that photo, as well. Rarely gets to 0 here (El Paso); I'm thankful I left Chicago 30 years ago.
01-09-2014, 02:17 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rumplestiltskin Quote
Jim,

Thanks for the info! Love that photo, as well. Rarely gets to 0 here (El Paso); I'm thankful I left Chicago 30 years ago.
Thanks for the praise. Well, we spend a lot of time in northern NM and plan to retire there at some point. At least it doesn't get quite as cold there, but the nights below freezing are far more frequent than Chicago or the Twin Cities. And the photographic opportunities are many.
02-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #19
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with glasses?

QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
I actually did recently install a cheap split prism screen, and it's pretty great. Definitely recommend it if you are having any difficulties in tricky focusing situations.
I am curious, where did you get that?
I wear glasses, but prefer to shoot without them, so I am totally dependent on a focus aid when I shoot without them.

I use the focus beep and icon on my K-x a LOT.
I will depend on that for my K-30 as well, but having a visual indication in the scene helps as well.

02-08-2014, 04:09 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 45 Mike Quote
I am curious, where did you get that?
I wear glasses, but prefer to shoot without them, so I am totally dependent on a focus aid when I shoot without them.

I use the focus beep and icon on my K-x a LOT.
I will depend on that for my K-30 as well, but having a visual indication in the scene helps as well.
Ebay, of course!

jieseker focusing screens

I actually accidentally ordered the wrong screen (tab on the right), but realized my mistake before the order shipped. I contacted the seller and he sent the correct screen (tab on the left) for the same price, no hassle. Took about 10 days to arrive from China.

I decided I wanted to try this cheap option before I spent over $100 from katzeye or whatever that other brand is. I'm really glad I did. I have no regrets. The screen was easy to install and works great. Initially I noticed that the viewfinder seemed dimmer, but now that I've had it installed for months, it's nothing that I even think about. The split screen is 100% dead-on for focus accuracy and I have not noticed any improper exposure settings when I "green-button" it.

I'm not a salesman. Just a happy customer. ;-)

~Sara
02-08-2014, 05:56 PM   #21
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I shoot a K30 with all manual lenses, and have never even tried using live view, only once or twice with the K-x and didn't like it much. Focusing with the viewfinder works, and quite well, but it takes practice, same as with any new camera. Once you get accustomed to it, you can see the focus pretty well. I do get quite a few bad shots, but lately have been improving my average pretty well. MOstly it's a matter of practice, and paying attention to the focus confirmation beep and readouts. (red square in center of viewfinder and green hex) I've started using the red square most of the time so I don't have to look away from the subject I'm shooting. When that red square shows up, I'm good to go.

QuoteOriginally posted by 45 Mike Quote
I wear glasses, but prefer to shoot without them, so I am totally dependent on a focus aid when I shoot without them.
The K30 has an adjustment you can use to set the viewfinder to your glasses, I wear mine every day and have no problems. Once I got it set right it works great. I wear no line bifocals. Every picture I've ever posted on here was taken with them on. After trying to use my film Pentax a few times, I find the split screen more difficult to focus with glasses on.
02-08-2014, 06:19 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
The K30 has an adjustment you can use to set the viewfinder to your glasses, I wear mine every day and have no problems. Once I got it set right it works great. I wear no line bifocals. Every picture I've ever posted on here was taken with them on. After trying to use my film Pentax a few times, I find the split screen more difficult to focus with glasses on.
YES. Diopter adjustment is absolutely vital. Set your lens to infinity and move the diopter adjustment from left to right, one click at a time, until distant objects appear to be in focus when looking through the viewfinder. (Utilize your split screen/green hexagon/red square for confirmation.)

Edit: I also wear glasses, but only for distance-viewing, and diopter adjustment makes a HUGE difference for me.
02-08-2014, 08:52 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
diopter adjustment makes a HUGE difference for me.
Me too. I went some weeks with the diopter set wrongly and wondered why my AF lens was so far out! I actually set the diopter to match the focus of the AF lens, instead of setting it by reference to the lines in the viewfinder (as the manual recommends).

If you wear bi-focal or multi-focal glasses, you need to ensure that you look through the same part of the glasses each time. Sounds obvious, but (as the Paul Kelly song says) I've done all the dumb things.

I've just picked up a Pentax-A 50 f1.7. (Not a dumb thing.) My first ever prime. What a joy it is - breathtaking sharpness and lovely bokeh. Best $75 I ever spent. Using MF takes me back to 25 years of film SLR, and I find I am rather rusty. The tips here are a helpful refresher.

And thanks for the tip about the focusing screen Sara. Split screen focusing was something I loved on my old Canon AE-1.

02-11-2014, 07:12 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
Ebay, of course!

jieseker focusing screens

I actually accidentally ordered the wrong screen (tab on the right), but realized my mistake before the order shipped. I contacted the seller and he sent the correct screen (tab on the left) for the same price, no hassle. Took about 10 days to arrive from China.

I decided I wanted to try this cheap option before I spent over $100 from katzeye or whatever that other brand is. I'm really glad I did. I have no regrets. The screen was easy to install and works great. Initially I noticed that the viewfinder seemed dimmer, but now that I've had it installed for months, it's nothing that I even think about. The split screen is 100% dead-on for focus accuracy and I have not noticed any improper exposure settings when I "green-button" it.

I'm not a salesman. Just a happy customer. ;-)

~Sara
The "other" split screen brand is from Focusing Screen and most of us in sunny Singapore bought the EE-S type or the K3 split screen version. Worth the money and it is not dim in low light too.

HAve used the ones from Taiwan since the time I owned the K20D, K7, K5 and am thinking of getting it for my current K30 too
02-11-2014, 03:20 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by felixkh Quote
The "other" split screen brand is from Focusing Screen and most of us in sunny Singapore bought the EE-S type or the K3 split screen version. Worth the money and it is not dim in low light too.

HAve used the ones from Taiwan since the time I owned the K20D, K7, K5 and am thinking of getting it for my current K30 too
Thanks for the link, and for sharing your experience.

The "K-3" screen on the Taiwan site (apparently a reference to a Nikon screen, nothing to do with the Pentax camera) looks quite similar to the Katzeye version for most Pentax cameras:
Pentax K-3 K-5, K-5II, K-7, K-30, K-50 & K-500 KatzEye Focusing Screen
The Katzeye is $US105 (+ $US55 for Brightness Enhancement treatment, which they recommend for telephoto and slow lenses) + shipping. International shipping starts at about $US20-24. So maybe as much as $US180. Seems like a lot, unless you make a living from shooting macros and need the very best.

The K-3 from the Taiwanese site.costs $US75.73 + postage. Postage to Australia/NZ and much of Asia is $NT360 (about $US12); for Nth America and Europe $NT430 (about $US14). Even with a hefty 3.4% surcharge for PayPal, it is still a bargain by comparison if it is reasonably comparable.

Very good review and comparison of various alternatives to Katzeye here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/77151-...n-reviews.html
Only comment about Katzeye is some observations from users that it didn't seem better than the alternatives.

This might be a dumb question, but can you put the original screen back (e.g. if you want to sell the camera and keep the replacement screen for another camera)? [Edit: I think I have found the answer to this: yes.]

Last edited by Des; 02-11-2014 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Correct pricing info. Cross ref to another thread
02-11-2014, 06:26 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Thanks for the link, and for sharing your experience.

The "K-3" screen on the Taiwan site (apparently a reference to a Nikon screen, nothing to do with the Pentax camera) looks quite similar to the Katzeye version for most Pentax cameras:
Pentax K-3 K-5, K-5II, K-7, K-30, K-50 & K-500 KatzEye Focusing Screen
The Katzeye is $US105 (+ $US55 for Brightness Enhancement treatment, which they recommend for telephoto and slow lenses) + shipping. International shipping starts at about $US20-24. So maybe as much as $US180. Seems like a lot, unless you make a living from shooting macros and need the very best.

The K-3 from the Taiwanese site.costs $US75.73 + postage. Postage to Australia/NZ and much of Asia is $NT360 (about $US12); for Nth America and Europe $NT430 (about $US14). Even with a hefty 3.4% surcharge for PayPal, it is still a bargain by comparison if it is reasonably comparable.

Very good review and comparison of various alternatives to Katzeye here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/77151-...n-reviews.html
Only comment about Katzeye is some observations from users that it didn't seem better than the alternatives.

This might be a dumb question, but can you put the original screen back (e.g. if you want to sell the camera and keep the replacement screen for another camera)? [Edit: I think I have found the answer to this: yes.]
All good and well, but the screen I got was $36 and I'm comfortable not knowing what I'm missing!

And yes, the screen can be replaced, changed again later, removed completely (haha!!) at any time.

~Sara
02-11-2014, 06:44 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
The "K-3" screen on the Taiwan site (apparently a reference to a Nikon screen, nothing to do with the Pentax camera) looks quite similar to the Katzeye version for most Pentax cameras:
Yes, it looks VERY similar, though Rachael Katz is on record that the Katz Eye is not a cut-down Nikon K-3.


Steve
02-28-2014, 08:10 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
All good and well, but the screen I got was $36 and I'm comfortable not knowing what I'm missing!

And yes, the screen can be replaced, changed again later, removed completely (haha!!) at any time.

~Sara
I have also tried the China made ones too. Not so bright in low light but still usable. Changed only because the other guys recommended the Taiwan made ones. They used to have another one that split at 45 degrees but discontinued it.
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