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09-13-2009, 02:52 PM   #1
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Some Pentax focusing screens

The fist thing I want to sayis that this is not a review. I may at some time in the future review the different focusing screens I have. I will just add a few comments to each image so you know what you are looking at.

09-13-2009, 03:04 PM   #2
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JinFinance and other Chinese screens

This is a JinFinance screen installed in a Samsung GX-1S. Thefirst image is an out of focus image and the second shows the focuing screen in focus. This screen was purchased from eBay. These seem to be sold by various Hong Kong vendors and are all about the same price.

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The screen in focus seems to clear up quite well. Please notice that the edges of the split image and the microprism are crudely cut. This seems to be a trademark of the inexpensive Chinese focusing screen.

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At the bottom edge of the split image there seems to be a ridge that shows up as a black line within the bottom split. No matter how you move your eye within the viewfinder you can never get rid of the extra black line. I have three different screens from Hong Kong; JinFinance, Travor, and a no name.
09-13-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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FocusingScreens K3

Focuingscreens has several different types of screens available for Pentax cameras. I currently have two different ones,the first one pictured here is the K3 screen. Many Katz-Eye users will recognize this as similar to their screen. To be honest, the Katz Eye is custom made based on the Nikon K3 screen, FocusingScreens K3 is a cut down Nikon K3 screen.

Out of focus. Note that the circle around the center split image/microprism is rather large. Since this is a full frame focusing screen the center rings are especially large.

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In focus:

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Also note that this screen has engraved "Rule of Third" guides. This is where the FocusingScreens comes in a bit cheaper than other high end screens. they only charge a few dollars more for an engraved screen.
09-13-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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FocusingScreens Ec-B

The FocusingScreens Ec-B screen is originally a Canon Ec-B screen. It is a split image with a single larger circle. It appears just a bit brighter than the JinFinance screens. The split image also appears to be just abit smaller than the K3 screens and seem more in proportion to the crop viewfinder like in the Pentax cameras.

Out of focus:

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In focus:

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09-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting these. I use spot metering so much that the spot metering issue has kept me from ever considering a split prism screen. Looking at the in focus views you posted, I can't see much, if any, difference with the rest of the focus screen. This makes me wonder why there even is an issue with spot metering? I was thinking there would be a noticeable darkness at all times.

Thank you
Russell
09-13-2009, 05:22 PM   #6
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Nice, thanks for posting! Personally, which one do you like more - the K3 screen, or EC-B? I'm thinking of buying one sometime in the future, so might as well decide now.
I use microprism much more than the split, so that also goes into my consideration. Does EC-B even have a microprism?
09-13-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Again, not a complete review, but some observations.

Please note that all the above images where shot handheld with a Casio P&S so do not take the exposure shown as indicative of the actual screen use.

JinFinance has a cheap offering. Those who cannot or will not spend the money on something more expensive it is a good alternative. The edges are a bit crude and the split image is not ground as precisely as the more expensive screens, but it works. The split image and microprism collar seem to darken sooner than other screens.

FocusingScreen K3. Nikon makes some very good screens, this particular one has a 3mm split image surrounded by a 1mm microprism then a concentric 12mm black reference circle. On a Nikon full frame film camera the 12mm ring corresponds with the area covered by the center-weighted metering. On a crop camera the split image/microprism/reference circle appear very large, making it very easy to use as a manual focusing aid.

FocusingScreen Ec-B. Canon also makes some very nice screens. The Ec-B is a 3mm split image with two concentric reference circles, the first is 1mm then another 2mm. The other difference between this and the K3 is that the Ec-B rings appear clear while the K3 ring is definitely black. Since the Ec-B does not have a microprism and the reference circles are smaller, it looks like it is more in proportion to the screen size. Split images also seem to not darken as fast as microprisms so the screen stays brighter longer.

I have been using the K3 screen for the past month and I really like the way it works. It makes manual focusing a breeze. The screen pops into focus. When I get more time using the Ec-B I will post a better review. So far I really like the Canon screen but until I use it in the field I will reserve judgment.
09-14-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for doing this review. I have the travor screen and it has the poorly cut split microprism area also. I have been trying to decide between focusingscreen.com k3 screen and the katzeye screen. Looking at your review it looks like the k3 screen from focusingscreen.com is a good option.

09-14-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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great pictures

Thanks for posting with pictures. A picture IS worth a 1000 words on this topic....
09-14-2009, 12:03 PM   #10
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Which do you find to be the brightest overall - and how noticiable is that difference? Thanks for the mini-review-summary
09-14-2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by systemA Quote
Which do you find to be the brightest overall - and how noticiable is that difference? Thanks for the mini-review-summary
Since I have used the K3 and JinFinance/Travor screens extensively I can say with 100% confidence that the K3 screen is brighter. I do not want to test the JinFinance screen in my K20D again. I just got the Ec-B and have not tested it with any other lens than the Sigma 17-70mm. Once I get to using it regularly I can better assess which one of the two are brighter. My gut feeling is that the Canon screen is a fraction (small fraction) brighter.

For reference, I have two K20D's each has it's own focusing screen so I don't have to swap them out to do a side by side comparison.
09-14-2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
Since I have used the K3 and JinFinance/Travor screens extensively I can say with 100% confidence that the K3 screen is brighter. I do not want to test the JinFinance screen in my K20D again. I just got the Ec-B and have not tested it with any other lens than the Sigma 17-70mm. Once I get to using it regularly I can better assess which one of the two are brighter. My gut feeling is that the Canon screen is a fraction (small fraction) brighter.

For reference, I have two K20D's each has it's own focusing screen so I don't have to swap them out to do a side by side comparison.
Thanks! I'm using a Jinfinance screen and I have some trouble focusing due to the screen being too dark (especially troublesome in low-light). I will look into the K3's.

edit: Just to make sure, it is this one in the link, correct?
09-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by systemA Quote
edit: Just to make sure, it is this one in the link, correct?
Yes, that is the one with the grid. Don't forget that K10D and K20D screens are identical.
09-14-2009, 08:42 PM   #14
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Hi, my thanks too for posting this great info.

I have a screen from jinfinance and have none of the issues yours does, thankfully. It's a definite improvement over the stock screen. Unfortunately, I still have some trouble focussing at times w/K200D.
The Nikon screen looks great and I'm thinking I need one now

cheers
09-14-2009, 11:17 PM   #15
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Thanks for posting this information WheresWaldo. I've followed the focusing screen threads and have been curious about your impression of the ones you have. It will be very interesting to know how you feel about the two different focusingscreen.com screens.
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