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4 Days Ago   #1
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Pentax 67 Focus Screen - Best?

Hi all
First time poster...

I've bought an old P67 and am really looking forward to taking a different approach to my photography with the camera. It's a monster.
One thing that strikes me is how dim the viewfinder is. I see the Maxwell screens get a great review but are costly, and the P67ii screens seem to be able to be fitted to the 67.

Can you guys recommend any screens?
Cheers

4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

The screen swap for a 67 should really be done by a tech, as they were not user changeable. (Of course if you are brave enough you could try yourself) Also the 67ii screens have a plastic frame and will not fit in the earlier 6x7 models. There were many Beattie screens available for the 67 and can be found on the used market.


Pentax Medium Format Cameras - Beattie Intenscreen - medium format, pentax camera lens

Phil.
4 Days Ago   #3
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Thanks Phil
That's a good start - I take the point about having the screen fitted by a professional and will check out the Beattie screens.
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4 Days Ago   #4
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Beattie focusing screens, by dint of their additional brightness, introduce exposure errors of around 1 to 1.5 stop baseline minimum. With the Pentax 67, there is no exposure compensation available to dial in, other than the sneaky tweaking of the ISO dial to provide for plus or minus compensation. When using a handheld meter outside the camera's own metering range (1 second maximum), you'll need to factor the additional compensation in, which can and does vary with the focal length of the lens in use.

Phil's recommendation to have it fitted by a techie is salient. The cameras usually require some precise collimation of focus at 3 points on the focusing screen to ensure accurate focus, near and far. Depending on which model of camera you have (Pentax 6x7 or Pentax 67) the screen may have shims or a spring beneath the securing fascia. It is usually the screens which use shims that require collimation.

Lenses of f2.4 to f2.8 let you easily get around the dimness of the native focusing screen. The slower the lens, the dimmer, more "grainy" the focusing screen will become, and additional focusing aids may be required e.g. right angle finder or centre-spot magnifier, both available on the used market (but both should be confirmed being free of fungal infection).

More than 20 years ago I cottoned on to the Beattie screen bedlam and fitted one in my Canon EOS 1N. This was the beginning of ruination for a great many photographs because of the highly variable nature of the exposure compensation which can only really be determined through extensive trial and error -- and writing down what you are doing as future reference. The screen was removed sometime before 2000 and the Beattie screen thrown out.

3 Days Ago   #5
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply. This is similar to the responses I've had on the Facebook forum, namely to think again about tampering with the screen.
I do like your suggestion of focusing aids and that's probably an area worth exploring rather than tampering with the camera.
3 Days Ago   #6
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I've got a split-image screen in my 67 and microprism spot screen in my 6x7 Mlu (pretty sure there wasn't an option for both). I prefer the microprism spot mostly, it's easier to see focus but probably less useful in dim light.

I have the viewfinder magnifier for the prism but it's quite clunky in operation. I also have the folding WLF but haven't used it enough to gather an opinion on whether it's easier.

Update: the magnifier reviews are here and pretty much match my experience: https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/pentax-67-magnifier.html

Last edited by johnha; 3 Days Ago at 02:25 AM. Reason: Review added
3 Days Ago   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Enzo Berzot Quote
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. This is similar to the responses I've had on the Facebook forum, namely to think again about tampering with the screen.
I do like your suggestion of focusing aids and that's probably an area worth exploring rather than tampering with the camera.
If you really want flexibility with Pentax 6x7 focusing screens, then the 67ii is your only option. It has various regular screens and well as "bright" screens for critical focusing. The screens are mounted with the prism removed and click into place in seconds, with no tools involved. They are so easy to change, you can even do this in the field.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/Focusing-Screens-Genuine-Pentax-Legacy-c172.html

Phil.
3 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
[...]
Update: the magnifier reviews are here and pretty much match my experience: Pentax 67 Magnifier reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

Nobody can really discount how useful this device is. That said, I despise the bloody thing for its propensity to poke me in the eye or bruise my forehead. It is my first choice accessory when using a slow (f4) lens with a polariser in flat light -- it gets the job done, and once done it is now immediately removed to save me coming to grief rubbing it up the wrong way!

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