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06-12-2010, 01:35 PM   #1
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Focus screen help

I'm investing in some Voigtlander manual lenses and want to upgrade my K20d OEM focus screen. Can anyone point me in the right direction? As of now, i'm kinda lost.

06-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by couliseaux Quote
I'm investing in some Voigtlander manual lenses and want to upgrade my K20d OEM focus screen. Can anyone point me in the right direction? As of now, i'm kinda lost.
Are you thinking a split prism type of upgrade?
There are a number of options. But with manual focus, the split prism is usually the one most people look at.

In any event, installing a replacement screen will require a little hands-on in the mirror box(so to speak). And so, if you're the type of person who get's squeamish at the thought of cleaning a sensor or mirror, then you might want to consider using your camera's AF indicator to help you focus instead.

However, if you're up to the task and prepared to accept that you will inevitably introduce dust in your viewfinder, then you should prepare ahead and order the original focusing screen shims(called washers) from Pentax. These little metal frames will allow you to adjust and calibrate your screen upon installation. Your stock screen isn't really as critical since it relies on AF, however, if or when you place a split screen in your camera, you will most likely want it to be spot on! and thus the rational behind this.

For reference sake, here are the part no's:

76830.M22-00J - 0.05mm
76830.M22-00A - 0.15mm
76830.M22-00B - 0.20mm
76830.M22-00C - 0.25mm
76830.M22-00D - 0.30mm
76830.M22-00E - 0.35mm
76830.M22-00F - 0.40mm
76830.M22-00G - 0.45mm
76830.M22-00H - 0.55mm

PS. in most cases, you will only use the thinner ones. However, given the prices(aprox, $2 ea.), I recommend to bey the entire collection just to be safe.

As for the screen, you have a number of options to choose from(price driven of course). Though typically you can start with the entry level models(eBay, Chinese knock-off as I like to call them); cheaply made, slightly darker than stock and no stress install(many people tend to scratch their first installs).

Then you have typical variety screens(see: focusingscreen.com) that offers a blend of price and performance. With reference to that, you will find a host of threads and reviews conducted here on the forums that can help you understand the various pro's and cons of each screen(type, pattern etc).

The finally we have what I would call the cream of the crop(Katzeye screen). It's brighter than all it's counterparts, very well made, and costs enough to make you cry if you mess-up installing it!

And there you have it.
Hope this helps
06-12-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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I'm really not sure about the split prism, it's still a little technical for me, being that I'm just returning to photography after a long hiatus, my last camera was a PZ20. So I'm still in research mode on this subject. I've looked at the Katzeyes, seems like alot of money, but I know this isn't a cheap hobby. I was really wanting a zeiss lens, and chose voightlander instead due to their price and apparent similarity, so I guess I could justify the added expense, considering I'm buying two lenses for less than the price of one, roughly.
And thanks for the info, it looks helpful.
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