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03-01-2010, 09:09 AM   #31
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I just received the K3 focusing screen for my K200D from focusingscreens.com. I did not care for the quality inconsistencies of the cheap eBay screens, but was not wild about the high prices of the Katz Eye screens. focusingscreens.com seemed to be a good "middle ground" for my money.

I have not tested it exhaustively yet, but it looks VERY good with my Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 macro (MF). I've acquired a substantial stable of manual focus lenses since getting my K200D (that option was one of the reasons I went with Pentax when deciding on a DSLR) and this screen appears to be much easier for manual focusing than the stock screen. (Funny how Pentax says the K200D screen is NOT removeable).

Installation was pretty straightforward. I'm a happy camper!

One note: I ordered a screen that showed an "in stock" quantity of 2, but was told that this was just inventory of the "raw material" and it would take another week to ship. (I think this was horse hockey.)

03-01-2010, 09:18 AM   #32
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CheekyGeek,

Would you be willing to do some challenging macro shots to see if the split is going to be problematic when mf an insect or small flower for example?


Edit: There seems to be an ample supply of horse hockey these days! Hysterical
03-01-2010, 02:12 PM   #33
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Sure! It's gonna be another 6 weeks or so before any insects or small flowers make an appearance in Nebraska, however!

I'll find a substitute.
03-01-2010, 05:47 PM   #34
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Regarding Metering

That Nikon K-3 screen looks pretty good. As opposed to the Canon screens, I like the addition of the microprism collar.

I have a question for any of you that have tried the Nikon K-3 screen: how does that large circle on the screen correspond to the camera's center-weighted metering area? Since these screens affect spot-metering I guess I'd probably be using center-weighted a lot more.

P.S. This screen looks very similar to the description of the Katz Eye, but at only about half the price. Very tempting!


Last edited by NeverSatisfied; 03-01-2010 at 06:04 PM.
03-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #35
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No problem with center-weighted metering on my K10D.
03-10-2010, 07:01 AM   #36
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Hello, may anyone help me out?

I own a K200D and want to buy a focusing screen, but since i never used one, i don't know which to purchase.

These are the candidates
1. EC-B
2. FSB
3. K-3

QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
I find the Ec-B easier to use also. I would rate them in this order with regard to ease of use and preference:
  1. Canon Ec-B
  2. Nikon K-3
  3. Canon Ec-L
  4. Pentax LL-80
  5. Chinese single split image
From what i can see on these pictures:
Focusing Screen
the K-3 and FSB are better, because you can use split-image and microprism.

But what's up with the:
Hexagon Matte/Traditional Matte? Difference?

And what's the big black circle on the K3 screen:
http://www.focusingscreen.com/picture/K3-01.jpg
The FSB hasn't got this.

I want to buy the optimal focusing screen, even if i use lower aperture or have inoptimal light conditions.

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by Jerra; 03-10-2010 at 09:41 AM.
03-10-2010, 11:35 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jerra Quote
Hello, may anyone help me out?

I own a K200D and want to buy a focusing screen, but since i never used one, i don't know which to purchase.

These are the candidates
1. EC-B
2. FSB
3. K-3



From what i can see on these pictures:
Focusing Screen
the K-3 and FSB are better, because you can use split-image and microprism.

But what's up with the:
Hexagon Matte/Traditional Matte? Difference?

And what's the big black circle on the K3 screen:

The FSB hasn't got this.

I want to buy the optimal focusing screen, even if i use lower aperture or have inoptimal light conditions.

Thanks for your help!
I will try to answer what I know.

The Split image and microprism are both focusing aids and are not necessary to focus correctly. There are fans of both types of aids. Where you have straight edges that are at an angle to the split image it may be easier to see precise focus. For most other subjects the microprism enhances the contrast and will allow easier focus.

With respect to the K3 vs FSB. I believe I have read here that the FSB is a much lower quality generic screen according to the people at focusingscreens.com. The K3 is a genuine Nikon screen cut down to the dimensions of the screen it is replacing, in your case a K200D.

Hexagon vs. Traditional matte, is most likely marketing hype. It is how the outer area that is not microprism or split screen is frosted.

The big black circle is not really that big or that black and is a compositional aid. on a full-frame Nikon it also happens to correspond to the area covered by the center weighted exposure sensors. On an APS-C camera is just about covers the middle third of the screen and can be sort of used to set rule-of-thirds composition.

All focusing aids have one drawback, with small apertures and in very low light a part of the aid will remain dark. It is what it is and you get used to it. That is just one of the reasons that most new cameras only use matte screens.
03-10-2010, 12:17 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
...<SNIP>...
All focusing aids have one drawback, with small apertures and in very low light a part of the aid will remain dark. It is what it is and you get used to it. That is just one of the reasons that most new cameras only use matte screens.
A secondary effect of the darker areas is inaccurate metering. The spot meter is no longer usable, and centre weighted metering tends to over expose somewhat.

03-10-2010, 12:45 PM   #39
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Thanks for your fast reply. So beside the lack of spot metering, you would recommend K3?
03-10-2010, 02:21 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jerra Quote
Thanks for your fast reply. So beside the lack of spot metering, you would recommend K3?
I would recommend either the K-3 or Ec-B depending on whether or not you want the microprism along with the split image.

As a side note, in my testing center-weighted metering is not effected as much as spot metering is and on my K20D (which most agree slightly underexposes) the additional over-exposure is not a "real world" issue. Of course the K200D exposes differently so YMMV.
03-16-2010, 02:39 AM   #41
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Awesome thread! Not sure how I missed it earlier.

I noticed that the Katz Eye without Optibrite treatment is $105. This would be competitive with the other offerings. I'm hoping that a Katz Eye owner will post here with their review.

Anyways, my thanks for the research you've shared here.
03-16-2010, 01:04 PM   #42
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just got my K3 focusing screen today. I'm extremely pleased with the results and could now focus better and faster with my MF lenses. it's a bit or slightly darker than the stock screen, but I got the hang of it after a few focusing. the MF focus is dead on and as accurate as the focus under AF mode. it works extremely well with my fast lenses and a pleasure to use under the sun. I think I made the right choice of not opting for the Katz-Eye with Optibrite. the dark areas are pretty much instrumental in looking for contrast. for $78 bucks, I got it with a rule of third gridlines as well, half of the price you pay for the Katz-eye with the same features. highly recommended.

note: slower lenses, particularly zooms of variable aperture would show a dimmer or darker screen but is not a real problem. fast lenses would show a brighter screen and is a joy to use with this screen. use and choose this accordingly to your needs.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 03-16-2010 at 03:06 PM.
03-16-2010, 11:11 PM   #43
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QuoteQuote:
Pentaxor:

just got my K3 focusing screen today. I'm extremely pleased with the results and could now focus better and faster with my MF lenses. it's a bit or slightly darker than the stock screen, but I got the hang of it after a few focusing. the MF focus is dead on and as accurate as the focus under AF mode. it works extremely well with my fast lenses and a pleasure to use under the sun. I think I made the right choice of not opting for the Katz-Eye with Optibrite. the dark areas are pretty much instrumental in looking for contrast. for $78 bucks, I got it with a rule of third gridlines as well, half of the price you pay for the Katz-eye with the same features. highly recommended.

note: slower lenses, particularly zooms of variable aperture would show a dimmer or darker screen but is not a real problem. fast lenses would show a brighter screen and is a joy to use with this screen. use and choose this accordingly to your needs.
2 years ago I bought a $29 (included shipping) Ebay screen and loved it, but I heard all this talk about the Katz Eye and how great it was. So I ordered the Katz Eye plus "optibrite." It was in the $160-170 range. I was surprised that the Katz Eye really did not offer me any advatage over the Chinese screen. In fact, the Chinese screen had a diagonal split, which I preferred, so I shipped the Katz eye back, but not before I called Rachael Katz and explained my findings.
03-17-2010, 12:20 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
2 years ago I bought a $29 (included shipping) Ebay screen and loved it, but I heard all this talk about the Katz Eye and how great it was. So I ordered the Katz Eye plus "optibrite." It was in the $160-170 range. I was surprised that the Katz Eye really did not offer me any advatage over the Chinese screen. In fact, the Chinese screen had a diagonal split, which I preferred, so I shipped the Katz eye back, but not before I called Rachael Katz and explained my findings.
that sounds like a disappointment. did it look dimmer with the optibrite solution?
before I got my K3, I was able to use a Katz-eye for awhile, using Jon's camera. I dunno if it had the optibrite on it, but it looked brighter than my K3. however, the price of the Katz-eye somehow diverted me to look for cheaper alternatives. honestly speaking, I do somehow find the Katzeye to be overpriced. for the price of $200, you could buy some great lenses already.

I also do prefer a dual diagonal split. my only issue about it is that it doesn't have the gridlines which I often use as area reference points. I could had gone with the diagonal for only $23 including shipping for a much simpler focus. also the possibility of getting a lemon is also a hassle.
03-17-2010, 10:42 PM   #45
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QuoteQuote:
Pentaxor: that sounds like a disappointment. did it look dimmer with the optibrite solution?
before I got my K3, I was able to use a Katz-eye for awhile, using Jon's camera. I dunno if it had the optibrite on it, but it looked brighter than my K3. however, the price of the Katz-eye somehow diverted me to look for cheaper alternatives. honestly speaking, I do somehow find the Katzeye to be overpriced. for the price of $200, you could buy some great lenses already.

I also do prefer a dual diagonal split. my only issue about it is that it doesn't have the grid lines which I often use as area reference points. I could had gone with the diagonal for only $23 including shipping for a much simpler focus. also the possibility of getting a lemon is also a hassle.
Yes, you are right--it was a disappointment. I could not tell a difference in brightness between the 2 screens, but I only owned one K20d so I had to keep swapping out screens to do comparisons. I was nearly amazed that the $29 Ebay screen seemed as good, if not better, than the Katz Eye though.

Yes, I work without the grid lines, but really like the diagonal split enough to make that my priority in a focus screen. Also, surrounding the split is a micro-prism collar which aids focus when the split is not helpful.

Yes, no one likes risking a lemon, but I was not in a hurry and new they would just ship another if I wasn't happy so I went with it.
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