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01-21-2014, 06:34 AM   #1
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Can An After-Market Screen Improve...

focus with manual lenses while using Focus Peaking? If so, what brand?

01-21-2014, 06:39 AM   #2
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I don't think focus peaking and a focusing screen works together. They aren't in the same line of view.
01-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #3
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Focus peaking is for your LCD screen - when using live view.
When in live view, the mirror is up and the focus screen is not being used.

An aftermarket focus screen would help you with focusing manual lenses only when you use the optical viewfinder.

And yes, when using the optical viewfinder, an aftermarket focus screen should help - but keep in mind that you need to change your focus screen shims in order to be spot on focus...
01-21-2014, 07:04 AM   #4
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Doh!,

Fell asleep on the couch and just got up. How about this: are there any screens for the K-3? Is FP good enough?

01-21-2014, 07:15 AM   #5
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focusingscreen.com has the S-type screen available for K-3 now. That's the one I use on the K-5. It's a bit dark with slow lenses, but very nice with fast primes.

I have never used FP, so can't comment on that.
01-21-2014, 07:20 AM   #6
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Hard to install? I don't want to mess with any shims.
01-21-2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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You will have to mess with shims if you want another screen, no way around that. Apart from that the process is very easy. I think I saw some videos on youtube showing how. The hardest part is to avoid dust on the screen when you handle it; changing it is no problem at all. Getting the shims straight can be a bit fiddly if you have to stack two, but if you are lucky one of the ones that come with the screen will fit without stacking.

Oh yes, focusingscreen include both shims and the tool needed to do the swap. Not sure how that is with e.g. katzeye.
01-21-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
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You MUST mess around with the shims... and after that you HAVE to test and makes sure the focus is right.

01-21-2014, 07:54 AM   #9
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I'll pass unless I can have it done professionally. I've got a mini R/C 'copter that I do't play with because of small part that needs adjustment (big hands).
01-21-2014, 08:01 AM   #10
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Honestly though... use live view with focus peaking for manual lenses.
It will always work and be accurate. No need to mess around with the focus screens.
01-21-2014, 08:25 AM   #11
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Cool.
01-21-2014, 10:26 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
Hard to install? I don't want to mess with any shims.
No, relatively easy and quick to install. You may or may not have to shim a replacement screen. It all depends on how good a job Pentax did with the registration of the factory screen. Let me explain: the point of focus is the underside of the screen and the location of that surface depends on the frame that holds it and is the same regardless of who made the screen Edit: see later comment below. If the stock screen is shimmed (some are), reuse the stock shims.

Since your camera has live view, you can check the registration by comparing your best effort at optical focus using a fast lens (f/2 or faster) against the live view display. You only need to shim if the focus is off. A flat target at fixed distance (say 20x the focal length...use a tripod) works best for this.


Steve

(...did not have to shim the Katz Eye to the K10D...spot on...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-21-2014 at 12:39 PM.
01-21-2014, 10:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No, relatively easy and quick to install. You may or may not have to shim a replacement screen. It all depends on how good a job Pentax did with the registration of the factory screen. Let me explain: the point of focus is the underside of the screen and the location of that surface is the same regardless of who made the screen. If the stock screen is shimmed (some are), reuse the stock shims.

Since your camera has live view, you can check the registration by comparing your best effort at optical focus against the live view display. You only need to shim if the focus is off. A flat target at fixed distance (say 20x the focal length...use a tripod) works best for this.


Steve

(...did not have to shim the Katz Eye to the K10D...spot on...)

Correct me if I am wrong... but doesn't this depends on the new aftermarket screen you are using?
Some have different thicknesses and the registration point will change based on that. Changing shims with different thickens will bring the registration point back on the spot.
I had shims on both the K10D and K-5 - and you could tell that the thickness of the aftermarket screens were different.
Mind you I didn't had the Katz Eye viewfinders.
01-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Correct me if I am wrong... but doesn't this depends on the new aftermarket screen you are using?
Some have different thicknesses and the registration point will change based on that. Changing shims with different thickens will bring the registration point back on the spot.
I had shims on both the K10D and K-5 - and you could tell that the thickness of the aftermarket screens were different.
Mind you I didn't had the Katz Eye viewfinders.
I just reviewed the directions on focusingcreen.com and you may very well be correct. I was of the understanding that the shims were applied between the frame and the screen to increase the registration distance. I was unaware that you could shim the top of the screen to decrease the registration distance. I am not sure just how that would work since my memory is that top of the mount is spring-loaded to provide tension and don't really want to fiddle with my camera to confirm

Edit: See comment below where I eat crow...


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-21-2014 at 12:40 PM.
01-21-2014, 11:45 AM   #15
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So, yes.. many things to consider..
First of all, the K-3 is a relatively new camera, so you won't find many screens advertised for it. But you can still get screens for it.
You can buy them cheaply online from China (under $50), JinFinance screen, a more expensive Katzeye, or from FocusingScrees com. Usually if you buy it, it will come packaged with tweezers, and little latex bits to put over your fingers (so you dont leave fingerprints), and shims. There are different types of screens, though. Prism (angled at different degrees), clear, matte, with different guide marks, splits, etc.
Then there is the other part that they might need shims. If its misaligned, it might show you a wrong focus, so you need to use shims, take some test shots, add or remove shims, try different shims, until its just right.
And then there is the actual usage. The focus screen will not affect live view. It will only affect the OVF. There, the OoF area will be more blurred than usual (or in case of prism screens, it will be blocky), so it will be easier to spot where the focus is. But here is the thing - these screens make the viewfinder a little darker. Not a problem with f2.8 or faster lenses. But it can become noticeable if you have lenses that are f4 or slower (depending on the screen). So if you use slow lenses, a focusing screen might not help. These screens are mostly for manually focusing fast lenses, especially primes. And of course, some screens are better than others.
Be careful when installing them, because lots of people get dirt or fingerprints on them, and they might be impossible to clean. I've seen one guy on YouTube making a "tutorial" on how to replace a screen, but the dude had no idea what he was doing and ended up using the tools wrong and touching the screen. So if you watch a tutorial, read the comments. Watch more than one tutorial. And make sure you know what the screen that you are ordering does. Do you want it to have rule of thirds markings? Do you want AF points to be marked? Do you want it to have prisms or just blur?
Of course, you can just order a cheap one online and jump in headlong, lots of people seem to do that
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