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05-09-2016, 08:15 PM   #1
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No battery = dark and blurry viewfinder

It seems like this thread is going to happen one way or another so I might as well start it.

The K-1 has an interesting behavior, which is that without a battery, the optical viewfinder is somewhat dark and blurry. This is immediately fixed by inserting the battery. Whether the camera is on or off has no effect. When I first saw it, I thought it was a one-time thing maybe caused by the mirror position, but some other discussions here indicated the correlation to the battery. One can observe it quite easily by looking in the viewfinder while removing and replacing the battery.

The question is: why is this? It seems safe to assume that it is related to the new LCD viewfinder overlay screen. But why exactly? And possibly more importantly, does this mean that some small current is being drawn from the battery at all times, even when the camera is off? I personally don't have a big theory to answer these questions, but am interested what others think about this interesting property of the K-1.

05-09-2016, 08:25 PM   #2
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What is the state of the lens aperture when the battery is removed; full open, fully stopped down, ...?
05-09-2016, 08:29 PM   #3
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LCD overlay goes dark without power?


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05-09-2016, 09:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JBox Quote
The question is: why is this? It seems safe to assume that it is related to the new LCD viewfinder overlay screen. But why exactly? And possibly more importantly, does this mean that some small current is being drawn from the battery at all times, even when the camera is off? I personally don't have a big theory to answer these questions, but am interested what others think about this interesting property of the K-1.
It's the same on all cameras having LCD overlay in OVF. The LCD need power for full transparency.
A LCD consume very little power so it's probably powered regardless if camera is on or off.

If I remember correctly a LCD use polarizing filters for displaying pixels, and when power is off the polarizing filter turn dark.

05-10-2016, 01:56 AM   #5
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The Nikon cameras does this aswell.
05-10-2016, 02:12 AM   #6
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Another important thing is to have a fast lens. The K-1's viewfinder looks so much better with a F1.4 prime compared to a F3.5 or F5.6 variable zoom!

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05-10-2016, 02:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
If I remember correctly a LCD use polarizing filters for displaying pixels, and when power is off the polarizing filter turn dark.
Also if you are wearing polarized sunglasses this effect will be prominent due to the polarising elements in the VF.
05-10-2016, 05:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
What is the state of the lens aperture when the battery is removed; full open, fully stopped down, ...?
The aperture stays open as expected with or without the battery.

Thanks for all of the replies! I was not aware there are already other DSLRs that do this as well. I mainly brought it up because it gave me quite a fright when I first looked in the viewfinder! I find the viewfinder brightness to be pretty good for the lenses I have. Better than the K-5, not as good as the LX FA-1, but I suppose that was expected.

05-10-2016, 08:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
It's the same on all cameras having LCD overlay in OVF. The LCD need power for full transparency.
A LCD consume very little power so it's probably powered regardless if camera is on or off.

If I remember correctly a LCD use polarizing filters for displaying pixels, and when power is off the polarizing filter turn dark.
Well, that explains my experience at my local camera store last week. I went in to get my hands-on with the K-1. They kindly unboxed their one unspoken for K-1 and allowed me mount my 77 Limited. I tried manually focussing (with my pinkie pressing the lens mount button to avoid stressing the focus drive) and couldn't get anything to appear in focus at all. They gave me permission to install my battery from my K-3, after which everything worked great and appeared nice and sharp in the viewfinder.
Daryl
05-10-2016, 09:07 AM   #10
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I received my K-1 in a battered box that looked like it had been drop kicked by UPS all the way to my doorstep. The first thing I did was attach a lens and shockingly found that the finder was dark and blurry regardless of the diopter setting. For about five minutes I panicked thinking the camera must have been damaged in shipping. Finally, I turned it on and all was well . I imagine a number of Pentaxians will go through the same thing...
05-10-2016, 09:33 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tariq Quote
I received my K-1 in a battered box that looked like it had been drop kicked by UPS all the way to my doorstep. The first thing I did was attach a lens and shockingly found that the finder was dark and blurry regardless of the diopter setting. For about five minutes I panicked thinking the camera must have been damaged in shipping. Finally, I turned it on and all was well . I imagine a number of Pentaxians will go through the same thing...
UPS drop kicking it made me think of the intro to Ace Ventura lol.

05-10-2016, 09:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tariq Quote
I imagine a number of Pentaxians will go through the same thing...
Hopefully not the delivery in a battered box same thing...

Daryl
05-10-2016, 11:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_who Quote
UPS drop kicking it made me think of the intro to Ace Ventura lol.

Ace Ventura Smashes Package - YouTube
Funny, that association was probably in my subconscious somewhere...
05-25-2016, 03:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by darylk Quote
I tried manually focusing (with my pinkie pressing the lens mount button to avoid stressing the focus drive) and couldn't get anything to appear in focus at all.
If the camera was set to MF, allowing you to manually focus a screw drive lens, why would the focus drive be stressed?
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