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05-15-2011, 12:25 AM   #1
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Help! What are my focusing screen options?

Hi, I've had my Kx for about a month now and I have been VERY OCD about taking care of it. However, today while taking some photos, I noticed a small smudge in the lower left hand corner of my viewfinder. I should emphasize that it was a smudge/discoloration, not dust/ pieces of dirt. It was barely noticeable, so much so, I have NO idea how long its been there, but being the stickler I am, I wanted to remove it. Since it was on the focusing screen (I had no idea what this piece of glass was before today, being a novice) it has absolutely no affect on my image quality, so I didn't really hesitate in attempting to remove the smudge. Long story short, I made the problem worse, and my focusing screen is a little bit of a mess now. Thankfully, it still has absolutely no problem with focusing or metering still, and thankfully I didn't break anything else, but it really takes away from the experience trying to take pictures with a viewfinder with smudges in it. So I hoped this is where the community comes in:

What are my options for replacing/fixing/cleaning/upgrading my focusing screen? If I take it into a shop for repair, I don't wanna spend more than $20-30 on the cleaning/repair (I have no idea how much it costs to begin with), if it would cost any more than that I would rather just pony up extra cash and buy a new focusing screen. Also, excuse my ignorance, but upon searching for a solution I stumbled upon another thread here that suggest a replacement from focusingscreen.com, can anyone spread some insight on what to look for in a "better" focus screen than the stock K-x one? (one that is cut to fit and will focus and meter correctly). Any and all input is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Last edited by brandonbpm; 05-15-2011 at 12:35 AM.
05-15-2011, 01:01 AM   #2
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Just contact Pentax and buy another focusing screen. Shouldn't be expensive.
05-15-2011, 03:55 AM   #3
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Solutions from free to expensive :

1) remove the focusing screen and wash it with water and a drop of dishwashing liquid, clean with soft towel. Be careful not to scratch the screen while manipulating it.

2) Buy a broken slr, disassemble it and cut the focusing screen to size.

3) Buy a cheap Ebay chinese focusing screen

4) Buy an expensive focusing screen (Katzeye, focusingscreen.com)

I've done 1) 2) and 3) so far. Note that split focusing screens are only useful for manual focus lenses. If you use only AF lenses, try to stick to the first solution.
05-15-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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thank you for youre responses. I use my Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 mostly for my walk around lens. Would a split focusing focusing screen be worth the cost? Is the disassembly/reassembly process as straightforward as it seems in for example the Katzeye focusing screen instructions?

05-15-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by brandonbpm Quote
thank you for youre responses. I use my Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 mostly for my walk around lens. Would a split focusing focusing screen be worth the cost? Is the disassembly/reassembly process as straightforward as it seems in for example the Katzeye focusing screen instructions?
I have a Samsung GX1S (aka Pentax istDS2) and a K200D.

The K200D is equiped with a cheap chinese split-focus screen from Ebay seller Jiakgong.
The Samsung has a Minolta SRT100 screen cut to size.

Both are spot-on when focusing with my MF lenses, especially at wide aperture (below f2.8). That was not the case with the original screen.

From the Katzeye site, it seems the install on K-X and K200D are the same. Then yes, it is very easy to do.
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