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09-18-2015, 06:58 AM   #1
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viewfinder

My K-3 viewfinder is dim compared to the viewfinders I see on other good cameras, for example the Sony a6000. Is there a way to brighten the screen or am I stuck with a dim screen?

09-18-2015, 07:03 AM   #2
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The dim-ness of the K-3 is very much dependent on the maximum aperture of the lens you are using; an f/1.4 55mm yields a much brighter image than an f/3.2 21mm.
Mirrorless cameras like the Sony don't have an optical viewfinder like the K-3 but a little LCD (TV) screen so the birghtness is constant..

R
09-18-2015, 07:25 AM   #3
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A6000's viewfinder is an electronic one, and can be artificially brightened; K3 has optically viewfinder, and the only way you can make it brighter is to mount a fast lens (F 1.4 or so).
09-18-2015, 03:57 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NorCalAl Quote
My K-3 viewfinder is dim compared to the viewfinders I see on other good cameras, for example the Sony a6000. Is there a way to brighten the screen or am I stuck with a dim screen?
QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
A6000's viewfinder is an electronic one, and can be artificially brightened; K3 has optically viewfinder, and the only way you can make it brighter is to mount a fast lens (F 1.4 or so).
Or just turn the lights ON !!

09-18-2015, 06:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NorCalAl Quote
Is there a way to brighten the screen or am I stuck with a dim screen?
Use of filters (eg UV or protection filters) can also dim your lens, and thus viewfinder. Avoid them, unless you really need them.

You can also get a variety of rubber eye-cups/eye-shades that fit over your viewfinder eye-piece to seal out ambient light in order to brighten what you see. eBay, B&H have plenty to choose from.
09-18-2015, 07:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by NorCalAl Quote
My K-3 viewfinder is dim compared to the viewfinders I see on other good cameras, for example the Sony a6000. Is there a way to brighten the screen or am I stuck with a dim screen?
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

You've got me puzzled. Pentax finders are supposed to be better than most in terms of size, coverage and brightness. They suffer a little in terms of focus accuracy, but no more than other finders with stock focus screens from other makers.

As noted above the A6000 has a non-optical electronic viewfinder which adjusts brightness up even when the ambient light is quite dim. With a true optical finder, when the light to the sensor is low, the light to your eyes is also low. You did not share what lens you have mounted, but if the maximum aperture is narrower than f/2.8, you may have a dimmer view than with a faster lens.* My experience has been that there is little improvement wider than f/2.8.


Steve

(The K-3 focus screen is tuned to provide usable brightness with maximum apertures as narrow as f/5.6 but does better with a wider opening.)
09-20-2015, 10:06 AM   #7
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Thank you for all of these helpful replies. I have been using old M-series 35mm lenses that I like very much, but most of them are f4s. The K-3 focusing screen itself is bright enough, but the information line is dim, at least to my 69 year old eyes. I also wear trifocals so they make it more difficult to use any viewfinder. The diopter does not quite focus enough so that I can use the viewfinder without glasses. I'm sure that some of you have a similar problem. Any suggestions?

As noted my Sony a6000 has an electronic viewfinder and it is much easier for me to see the information lines in it. By the way, I have a Voigtlander adapter that enables the use of K-mount lenses on the Sony E-mount. It works very well for me. Because the lens is not directly coupled to the camera the aperture is not held open so you can set the A ring anywhere you want it and adjust the shutter speed -- no green button. In some ways it's easier than using either the K-3 or K-01 with green buttons. You lose all lens information except shutter speed. Pentax asks you to enter the focal length of the lens but does not record the aperture setting. I usually use the Sony 16-50 zoom as my travel/walking around lens but the Pentax 3.5 28 mm is pretty cool and sharper than the 16-50. Most Pentax lenses with the adapter, by the way, are no larger than Sony E-mounts. My Pentax f4 M-200 with adapter, for example is way shorter than the Sony 55-210 when fully extended. So, for those of you who (like me) lament the exit of Pentax from the mirrorless market, a Sony alpha body with E-mount APS CMOS sensors and Voightlander adapter provides the compact platform that will allow you to use the Pentax lenses that you love. The same adapter works on all of the old Sony NEX series cameras, by the way.
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