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11-02-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
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Viewfinder ( focus screen) options for manual lenses

Can anyone "suggest" a good replacement split focusing screen ?
Im using ONLY older lenses in manual focus 99% of the time and I keep wishing there was a majority opinion on whats useable or at least better than the factory one for my use of manual focusing lenses ?
That and the fact I had a spec of dust on the factory one and first attempt at cleaning it (Ha Ha !) left a scratch. Now is the time to change and don't want to buy 2 or 3 to find which is best.........Thanks

11-02-2014, 10:02 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by az1895 Quote
Can anyone "suggest" a good replacement split focusing screen ?
Im using ONLY older lenses in manual focus 99% of the time and I keep wishing there was a majority opinion on whats useable or at least better than the factory one for my use of manual focusing lenses ?
That and the fact I had a spec of dust on the factory one and first attempt at cleaning it (Ha Ha !) left a scratch. Now is the time to change and don't want to buy 2 or 3 to find which is best.........Thanks
Never tried one... but KatzEye Optics seems to be the go-to brand.
Really miss the mini-prism design of the KX, manual focus with large-aperture lenses was a joy in that enormous viewfinder...
11-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #3
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I did just figure out about "Live View" and I guess its called "Focus Peaking" , but didn't think it worked with old lenses for some reason , but it does......Kinda anyway.
I do have focus confirmation through the viewfinder , but it seems to be a bit erratic and I just cant tell for sure sometimes that its SPOT on.
The KatsEye look ok....and $20 bucks isn't too bad.......Lets see who else might chime in......Thanks
11-02-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by az1895 Quote
I did just figure out about "Live View" and I guess its called "Focus Peaking" , but didn't think it worked with old lenses for some reason , but it does......Kinda anyway.
I do have focus confirmation through the viewfinder , but it seems to be a bit erratic and I just cant tell for sure sometimes that its SPOT on.
The KatsEye look ok....and $20 bucks isn't too bad.......Lets see who else might chime in......Thanks
...are you sure we're talking about the same KatzEye?
Pentax DSLRs - KatzEye Optics
Looks a lot more like 105 bucks than 20...

11-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #5
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Ooooooh ! Ouch ! Your right........
That ISNT going to happen anytime soon.........!
I guess it was a Photodiox brand from Amazon that was 19 Bucks.....!
11-02-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
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Here is the conventional wisdom in regards to manual focus:
  • The stock focus screen has relatively poor focus sensitivity*
  • Using a viewfinder magnifier is reported to improve the stock screen performance
  • Focus confirmation using the PDAF system also has relatively poor focus sensitivity (about f/5.6 for the K-50/K-30)
  • Focus peaking works the same for legacy glass as for recent lenses
  • Two focus screens are generally highly recommended by users on this site:
    • KatzEye (usually with OptiBrite) $$$
    • S-type screen for focusingscreen.com $$
  • Other options exist (other focusingscreen.com products $$, fotodiox $, and eBay sellers $)
Depending on the screen purchased and your camera, a replacement screen may require changes to the shims that provide adjustment of the focusing screen to the focal plane. Focusingscreen.com provides a selection of plastic shims with their screens. KatzEye will sell genuine Pentax metal shims, though I don't know if those are available outside of their customer service flow.


Steve

* Focus sensitivity is the ability of the focus system to detect an out-of-focus condition and is often expressed in f/stops. For the stock focus screen the focus sensitivity is about f/4 meaning that the ability to detect OOF is the same with an f/4 lens as with a faster lens, say f/1.8.

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-02-2014 at 10:49 AM.
12-01-2014, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Kind of an old thread, but I just bought one of the Ebay diagonal split focusing screens as I use manual focus a lot. The screen was not terribly useful with higher f number lenses, such as the 55-300 zoom. With a 2X teleconverter, I had to position my eye very carefully to see any focus indication. Luckily the focus sensing red squares showed up the same time as I thought I had best focus. The split section and microprism ended up being a distraction for me, so I put the original screen back in to get rid of the viewfinder clutter. Luckily higher f numbers are not all that focus sensitive. I had similar split/microprism screens on my Olympus OM-1 and found them very useful, but I did use faster lenses with that camera.
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