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09-14-2012, 05:43 AM   #1
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VF too small

I run into the issue a lot where I just can't tell 100% if its in focus with the VF or not. Liveview is ok but not great, often I will use it to zoom in to check resolution but when you're shooting birds it seems all you can do is spray and pray.

Does anyone have any recommendations on viewfinders or other accessories that help you dial in the right focus for manual lens shooting?

My eyes are pretty good so they usually come out fairly decent, its not like Im missing subject completely.. but those wow shots I get sometimes where you can see the lice on the bird's feathers is what Im going for.

Thanks

09-14-2012, 05:56 AM   #2
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For fast lenses, a different focusing screen helps. See https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/142241-best-screen-ever-manual...anon-ee-s.html
09-14-2012, 06:25 AM   #3
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Try the Pentax O-ME53 viewfinder eyepiece. It adds 1.2x magnification, which helps a little. Also moves the eyepiece back which improves the ergonomics a bit. Some love it, others (incuding me) merely like it, but nobody seems to hate it. Best part is that it isn't too expensive and slips on in 2 seconds.
09-14-2012, 06:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Try the Pentax O-ME53 viewfinder eyepiece.
+1; I use that too.

09-14-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
nobody seems to hate it
I bought a third party 1.2 (or so) loupe and I hate it. It vignettes, so I have difficulty reading the info on the bottom of the VF. Is the Pentax better in this regard?
I have found that the VF on the K-30 is much better than on the K10D I used to own, BTW.
09-14-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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I bought a Katzeye focusing screen with their optibright treatment and it's wonderful. It has a split prism and a microprism collar, both of which really help. But those things aside, the thing I like the most is it gives a much more accurate rendition of DoF. so if I have a fast 1.4 attached, you can just see it snap into focus. Even 2.8 lenses benefit. I would put the DoF rendition of the stock screen somewhere around f/4 to f/5.6, so in essence you get a flase sense of security. It looks like critical focus is there, when in fact it's just off.

I shot a a roll of film last night in the studio on my old KX, and it was wonderful. It's so much easier to see when the focus is correct with a large VF. So my advice if you really want to nail your focus in the viewfinder is to go full frame or larger.
09-14-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by c-meier Quote
I bought a third party 1.2 (or so) loupe and I hate it. It vignettes, so I have difficulty reading the info on the bottom of the VF. Is the Pentax better in this regard?
I have found that the VF on the K-30 is much better than on the K10D I used to own, BTW.
With the O-ME53, I am able to see the whole VF including the display at the bottom, but I think some other users may have complained. I think with any loupe, it has a lot to do with where your eyeball is relative to your eyebrow, i.e., how you press up against the viewfinder and how close you can comfortably/naturally get. I don't need any contortions to get there, but if I wore eyeglasses then this would probably be a bigger problem.

I may try a third-party screen as others have mentioned, but in any case I will keep the loupe.
09-14-2012, 10:11 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I will look into that. WIth a lens as sharp as the 300 sp 2.8, everything looks stellar in the VF which can be quite deceptive. 1.2X doesnt seem like much of an improvement, but it can't be any worse. With limitations to usable ISO, I have to keep it relatively open aperture to keep up with the birds, usually between F4-F8. Any higher the shutter speeds just start to become a bigger issue, even with a fast lens.

Maybe time for a camera upgrade as well.. For now I will try the enlarged VF.

My friend has a katzeye but I didnt like all the garbled crap blocking the VF. It made it harder for me to concentrate on the subject itself.. does anyone have this issue or was I using it wrong?

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