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04-26-2010, 04:11 PM   #1
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Tenpa Magnifier

Figured I'd be a guinea pig for this forum and get the less reviewed Tenpa x1.22 magnifier instead of the KPS one that everyone is raving about in the other thread. I'm using a K-x with a Jinfinance split screen.

Ordered the x1.36 Tenpa Magnifier from seller Gasaki on Ebay. He messaged me the next day stating that I should get the x1.22 magnifier because of the small viewfinder on my K-x. Since I have glasses, I figured the x1.22 might actually be better suited for my needs so I took his suggestion. Communication was a pain because the seller's grasp of the English was awful, we resorted to Chinese in order to place my order.

Total cost was $48. Shipping took 13 days, which is mediocre for a shipment from HK.

Packaging was nice, it comes with a small plastic case for everything. All components are plastic wrapped so you know they're definitely brand new.

Pros:
  • Well built. I don't anticipate this breaking anytime soon. The adapter is hard plastic and the magnifier is made of glass surrounded by metal.
  • The rubber eyepieces are excellent, very soft and comfortable.
  • The bigger eyepiece blocks out all external light, which is extremely useful on bright, sunny days. I had problems with sunlight getting into my old viewfinder and washing out the LED display on the bottom of the viewfinder, won't happen with this new eyepiece.

Cons:
  • The plastic adapter piece between your DSLR and the magnifying glass isn't as well made as the rest of the package. The threading on it wasn't perfect, so there was some stripping of plastic when screwing the magnifying piece into the K-x adapter. I would not unscrew it again as more and more plastic threading is lost on each successive attempt.
  • Slight amount of vignetting in the corners. You can see the aperture and shutter speed at the bottom fine. None of the corners are cut off, just darkened.
  • Magnification at 1.22 really isn't much, I hardly noticed a difference.
  • $48? Seriously?
  • Vignettes SIGNIFICANTLY with glasses on, I'm talking about losing 30-40% of the screen. This is marketed toward users with glasses, yet this is barely usable with my glasses on. I will be using it with contact lenses definitely.

I'd rate this 2.5 stars out of 5, I'm really underwhelmed by this, I was expecting a bit more. The ridiculous price for such a small uncomplicated gadget and slow shipping speed certainly didn't help either. I'd definitely get the 1.33x, even if there were more vignetting. The 1.22x's difference does not justify the $48 price tag, I'd pay at most $30. The redeeming point for me was the big rubber eyepiece. I'm concerned that the rubber eyepiece will fall off with use, as I constantly have my camera around my shoulder, I can imagine my arm knocking the rubber piece off someday, I might glue it in now just to be safe... anyone with better ideas?

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04-26-2010, 08:19 PM   #2
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I too use a jinfinance screen with magnifying eyecup. My screen is the dual-diagonal and the eyecup is the Pentax 1.18x that was $34.95. As much as I needed the magnification for my MF lenses, it does vignette and makes it difficult to always see the numbers and symbols on the bottom of the screen. When I added the jinfinance screen i found the new eyecup was no longer helpful. But when I swap screens, i swap eyecups also. I can't imagine a 1.36x eyecup but then again i don't use a K-x.
04-26-2010, 08:42 PM   #3
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I'm almost definitely switching over to the 1.3x KPS or Tenpa magnifier when I get some more cash. The 1.2x barely makes a difference for me and definitely is not worth the almost $50 price tag. However, the Tenpa does not vignette badly enough to block out the numbers and symbols at the bottom of the screen. It's mainly the four corners. Does the K20D have a bigger/better viewfinder than the K-x?
04-26-2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Does the K20D have a bigger/better viewfinder than the K-x?
'fraid I can't answer that one.

06-03-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Any updates on whether the 1.3 KPS/Tenpa eyecup works with your glasses?

I own a K-X and I've also got the problem where

1. Bright sunlight - needs to be shielded out because I can no longer see the Information line in the viewfinder

2. A little assistance for manually focusing

There are many little threads in the forums but it seems like many of the same problems crop up - vignetting and blockage of the Information line

Too bad there is no obvious solution to this
06-03-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by corkboard Quote
Any updates on whether the 1.3 KPS/Tenpa eyecup works with your glasses?
I own a K-X and I've also got the problem where
1. Bright sunlight - needs to be shielded out because I can no longer see the Information line in the viewfinder
2. A little assistance for manually focusing
There are many little threads in the forums but it seems like many of the same problems crop up - vignetting and blockage of the Information line

Too bad there is no obvious solution to this
I switched to contact lenses just so I can use the Tenpa 1.3x.

I would NOT use the 1.3x with glasses. Only the 1.2x is usable with glasses with some vignetting but at least you can see the info-LEDs.

The Tenpa/KPS eyepieces won't block out sunlight for users with glasses, only reduce some sunlight. The distance between your eye and the eyeglasses will let in some light.

I initially balked at the prices of the magnifiers but I realized that I really don't have a choice in this. There's virtually no competition aside from KPS and Tenpa. Both are roughly the same price with the Tenpa being a few dollars more. I wish I had the money to get my hands on a KPS viewfinder to compare but kind of strapped for cash right now... The KPS model seems to have a more well made adapter between the magnifier and the camera (but it requires tools to take off), while the Tenpa one has a better magnifier unit and more comfortable eyecups.

The only solution I can find is to either use Live View, the 1.2x with glasses or switch to contacts for the 1.3x. I have my 1.2x up for sale in the meantime at the marketplace but it's not likely to sell after I panned it in this thread.
06-05-2010, 09:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
I'm concerned that the rubber eyepiece will fall off with use, as I constantly have my camera around my shoulder, I can imagine my arm knocking the rubber piece off someday, I might glue it in now just to be safe... anyone with better ideas?
Hrm. It's one thing I do like about the KPS piece, it may be a bit big on a K-X, but you know that isn't going anywhere.

I suggest, before you tried glue with yours, perhaps wedging it on with some kind of thin plastic or maybe bits of bamboo under there would be good?

I don't know if the K20d has a bigger viewfinder, but it's different in someways, at least. Pentaprism rather than pentamirrr, which I assume the K-x has.

I think someone has had reasonable luck with the Pentax stock eyepiece or a Nikon one I can't recall the number of, and glasses.

I normally push my glasses aside to shoot, and I just don't know how you'd *completely* avoid vignetting when shooting through your glasses, anyway. Would adding on a corrective diopter be an option, Corkboard? Hangu's idea of contacts also would be promising, I suppose.
06-05-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies!

After pulling off the default eye cup, experimenting with and without glasses, and doing more research into eye relief, basics physics has trumped me.

Glasses will always add distance between my eye and the viewfinder, nothing can be helped unless I wear my contacts. Solution right there, correct? I prefer my glasses over my contacts - better night vision, and over all vision - and avoid them unless I'm doing sports, but I do have a perfectly viable option.

Diopter would actually work, but I doubt they make diopters powerful enough for person of my visual impairment.

Ah well, guess I'm just going to have to be prepared if I'm going on a serious photo trip.

12-04-2010, 06:51 AM   #9
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Guys one question pls..I am a k-x owner and i order tenpa 1.36 magnifier..With this on are the numbers in the viewfinder visible??Because now with the stock viewfinder i find it difficult to see the numbers and the whole frame at the same time..
12-04-2010, 09:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dionisis_K Quote
Guys one question pls..I am a k-x owner and i order tenpa 1.36 magnifier..With this on are the numbers in the viewfinder visible??Because now with the stock viewfinder i find it difficult to see the numbers and the whole frame at the same time..
I don't know about that specific combination, but in general magnifiers affect things like that a bit differently for different people: faces and eyes are different. On average it seems that they make the numbers a little harder to see (but not impossible.)

I personally seem to have less trouble seeing the whole finder through a magnifier than most, but my best guess is that if you're already having trouble seeing it all at once, adding a magnifier won't really make the view much more inconvenient than it already is. (because you probably have to shift your eye anyway.)

Are you shooting through eyeglasses? That can be a different story.
12-04-2010, 10:36 AM   #11
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I have 1.5 degree of myopia but i never use glasses.. I m kind of used to it.. The only time i wear glasses is when im driving at nights.. So i shoot without and to see the viewfinder correctly(not blurred) i have the viewfinder's diopter correction full at right..But i think if it had a little more right that would be great.. At my Canon's S5 viewfinder i could perfectly see the whole frame clear..
12-04-2010, 02:28 PM   #12
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Well, Tenpa does make a 1.2x magnifier, that'll surely vignette less than the 1.36, though it's obviously not as strong of magnification.
12-04-2010, 02:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dionisis_K Quote
Guys one question pls..I am a k-x owner and i order tenpa 1.36 magnifier..With this on are the numbers in the viewfinder visible??Because now with the stock viewfinder i find it difficult to see the numbers and the whole frame at the same time..
It is visible. You will have to shift your eyes of course. When you see the numbers, you will not be able to see the top of the viewfinder. It's a fair tradeoff.
12-04-2010, 03:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Well, Tenpa does make a 1.2x magnifier, that'll surely vignette less than the 1.36, though it's obviously not as strong of magnification.
They do but I ended up selling/returning it. The difference was not big enough for me.
01-11-2011, 03:04 PM   #15
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Just for the record:
Nikon DK-21M eyepiece magnifier (approx. x 1.2) is almost the same (optically) as the original Pentax piece (O-ME53); only cheaper (less than half the price of the Pentax part)!
I have been using it for the last couple of years on K10D and K20D. It magnifies just a bit but that certainly helps. I believe it fits on practically all Pentax DSLRs.
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