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11-03-2014, 11:24 AM   #1
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Viewfinder clarity

My first camera was a D90 & last year switched to the K3. I'm a hobbyist, so definitely still learning. But the viewfinder on my camera looks grainy when pointed at a white wall or a bright sky/background - not clear at all. Is this normal? When I asked my retailer, they didn't notice anything. Seems odd, so thought I'd ask other users. ???

11-03-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the D90, so I'm not sure how they compare, but I imagine you're seeing the matte ground of the focusing screen.
11-03-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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You are seeing the ground glass of the focusing screen. It is present in all DSLRs but depending on the 'grain' of the screen and the lighting it may or may not be noticeable.

Focusing screen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

---------- Post added 11-03-14 at 10:53 AM ----------

Also, have you adjusted the diopter on the viewfinder? That can cause the screen to be more or less visible.

School Of Digital Photography: Why and How to Use the Diopter Adjustment on Your DSLR Camera
11-03-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
I'm not familiar with the D90, so I'm not sure how they compare, but I imagine you're seeing the matte ground of the focusing screen.
I bet that is exactly what I'm seeing. I will do some more research. Definitely different than the old Nikon D90. Thank you for replying.

11-03-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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Questions similar to yours come up two or three times a month on the Pentax Forums.

You may be seeing the pattern of the Fresnel lens on the focusing screen. To make it even more obvious set the lens aperture at f/8 and view the sky using the DOF preview. Almost all focusing screens have some sort of Fresnel lens, but many viewfinders have inadequate magnification to make allow it to be visable. As noted above, there is also a scattering texture (like ground glass) that the image is projected on. All screens have this as well.

As you noticed with the people at your camera store, not everyone's eyes see the graininess. I guess visual acuity differs between people. I have seen the "grain" since my first SLR use back in the ancient past and never saw it any other way. Today's screens are a LOT better than the old ones.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-03-2014 at 12:24 PM.
11-03-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alr68 Quote
My first camera was a D90 & last year switched to the K3. I'm a hobbyist, so definitely still learning. But the viewfinder on my camera looks grainy when pointed at a white wall or a bright sky/background - not clear at all. Is this normal? When I asked my retailer, they didn't notice anything. Seems odd, so thought I'd ask other users. ???
The faster your lens, the brighter the viewfinder will be and the less likely the chance of seeing the focusing screen's texture. What lens were you using?

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11-03-2014, 10:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The faster your lens, the brighter the viewfinder will be and the less likely the chance of seeing the focusing screen's texture. What lens were you using?
18-135 kit lens. I need to check my 70-200 also. Honestly can't remember if I see it on that or not. Will check. Thanks for reply.
11-03-2014, 11:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alr68 Quote
18-135 kit lens. I need to check my 70-200 also. Honestly can't remember if I see it on that or not. Will check. Thanks for reply.
It's to be expected with that lens, and the VF will be darker at 135mm of course. Unless your 70-200mm is F2.8, you'll probably get similar results with it.


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11-04-2014, 01:02 AM   #9
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My understanding is the matt screen helps you to see whats in focus. I have heard in the past that that other brands were harder to manual focus as a consequence, although I can't confirm that either way.
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