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10-25-2019, 10:40 AM   #1
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K3 split focusing screens

Hello all,
I'm interested in current options for the K3 focusing screen. I really would like to find a good quality split screen for one of my K3s, (diagonal would be preferred) .. Is Focusing Screen the only the only current option out there for us?


10-25-2019, 08:18 PM   #2
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Focusing in Live View is another possibility.
10-26-2019, 03:58 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Having checked fairly recently, I'd say that is the only option. But I don't recommend it. There are no split image focusing screens made for Pentax. What FocusingScreen sells are Canon screens that are pretty close to the correct dimensions, cut down to fit (in two of the three dimensions - the Z axis may vary wildly from what will fit in the camera). I put one in a K-50 that worked pretty well, and I got one for the K-1 which was a disaster - could not be used to focus at all because it was too thick. Even where it goes well, the installation is too much trouble, and their "shims" (needed to adjust for front/back focus) are really flimsy having been made of thin plastic. The ones I got were bent up (and could not be straightened).

I've also learned since then that Pentax cameras' light-sensing meter is directly fed by that central point in the screen which will be distorted by the use of the split-image screen. Pentax doesn't even refer to the thing as a "focusing screen", by the way, and it appears to me that they have no intention of your really being able to do manual focusing using the viewfinder. They refer to the thing as a "fresnel", because it isn't "ground glass" (they're all plastic anymore), it's actually got a graduated diffraction grating that has a magnifying effect, presumably acting as a Fresnel lens. ("Fray-nell", named for the French guy who invented it - a stepped lens with multiple sections, having the same effect as a larger conventional convex or concave lens, but with a flatter aspect.)

This is my very best favorite pet peeve about Pentax cameras - I've always been a manual focus guy, and I don't like it that they've made it so hard to do, especially now that my eyesight is beginning to go. I feel like I've been tricked, and I don't like it. But, oh, well, I'm learning to use "autofocus", which by my lights will never be as good as manual focus can be, but then it will work well enough for the average snapshot taker, and I guess that's good enough for modern marketing. (Grumble, grumble.)
10-26-2019, 05:32 AM   #4
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Finding a used KatzEye focusing screen may be your best option. I believe the same size fits the K-3 and K-5 series but perhaps someone with experience could confirm.

10-26-2019, 02:04 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys, I was afraid of that. I have a Katz eye on my k20D which works okay, but I would really like one on a k3 for m42 lens. I wish I could use live view, but I honestly just can't get the hang of it It feels unnatural to me, lol.

10-26-2019, 03:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
I have a Katz eye on my k20D which works okay, but I would really like one on a k3 for m42 lens.
A cut-down Nikon K3 (original to the FM3A) from focusingscreen would be similar to a non-Optibrite KatzEye. Alternative, you might want to consider buying a Nikon K3 screen from B&H and cutting it down as a DIY project. At one point, there was a thread on the subject that included a template that would work for the K-3. Sadly, I could not find it.


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