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05-15-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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Considering sacrificing an SLR for its focus screen

Over the past year I've picked up three SLR's, a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic, an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic, and a Pentax ME Super. The two Spotmatics (M42) are working, but the ME Super mirror sticks.

I'm thinking of taking the focus screen out of one of these and cutting it to fit my K20D. I've got a Travor screen in which works pretty well, but would like a higher quality screen.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/117721-swap-focusi...lr-camera.html

Other than the fact that this feels like sacrilege, which one would you use?

05-15-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
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I have a very strong feeling that the Spotmatic screens are the same as the earlier Pentax ones in that they are glass and domed not flat plastic but I would need to check. It appears that way in the service parts list.

Why not try the evil place? About a year ago I managed to pick up about 15 new old stock Pentax screens for about $15. Failing that the MX and LX screens come up fairly often.

Kim
05-15-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
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This any help:

PENTAX LX INTERCHANGEABLE FOCUSING SCREEN SC-21 (NIB) | eBay

Kim
05-16-2011, 03:41 AM   #4
klh
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Kim,

Good idea. Less work, and I don't destroy a classic camera. Thanks.

Kevin

05-16-2011, 04:33 AM   #5
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It always amazes me that people are willing to spend so much time and sacrafice an old camera which still has some value to save a few bucks.

If you really want a high quality screen go with a Katz Eye. the time you spend doing it yourself is worth a whole lot more than the cost of the screen. OK sure you get a bit of DIY satisfaction, but... unless you really have precision tooling the quality won't be equal to even the cheap screens.

Every thread like this I have read, ends up with something along th elines of I got it to work, but there was a scratch.....
05-16-2011, 06:26 AM   #6
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Whilst I largely agree with you, I do have one reservation.

I fully agree that to me it seems almost daft to spend well over a $1000 on a top range DSLR and then try DIY repairs/fixes on it! Especially as I have had to replace screens on several old film SLR's and know just how fragile and easily marked they are. Most came from people trying to clean them.

However, I do believe that there is a place for DIY repairs. 10 years ago there were 3 repair people in the UK I would trust with my old Pentax's. Now there's one and hopefully he will outlast me.

There are also a numbe of interesting but cheap cameras out there. To get a full service on them by a pro might cost up to $100 which is difficult when the camera wouls only sell for about $40 even serviced. In these cases gaining DIY skills together with people like Jon Goodman who not only supplies the beat camera seals going but is always full of helpful advice and encouragement keeep some of those out cameras and lenses alive.

Kim

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
It always amazes me that people are willing to spend so much time and sacrafice an old camera which still has some value to save a few bucks.

If you really want a high quality screen go with a Katz Eye. the time you spend doing it yourself is worth a whole lot more than the cost of the screen. OK sure you get a bit of DIY satisfaction, but... unless you really have precision tooling the quality won't be equal to even the cheap screens.

Every thread like this I have read, ends up with something along th elines of I got it to work, but there was a scratch.....
05-16-2011, 06:58 AM   #7
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If you are interested in DIY screen making, there's an active thread on the Canon Ee-S in a K-5. I'd post the link, but I'm on an old smartphone; just look in the first couple pages of the K-5 forum.

The Ee-S is a plain matte microlens screen with no aids, but approx f/1.7 precision.
05-16-2011, 08:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
unless you really have precision tooling the quality won't be equal to even the cheap screens
I'm guessing you wouldn't consider a pair of vice grips and a Dremel "precision tooling"?

Seriously though, as much as I would like a Katzeye, I can't see spending that much money on a camera I hope to upgrade in a year or two. Also, I just like to work with my hands.

I really don't understand why Pentax never figured out that there was a potential market for real focusing screens when they put so much effort into making their cameras backwards compatible with the MF lenses. I can do without the "rule of thirds" lines, but I really need the split prism and microprism to be accurate.

05-16-2011, 08:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
If you are interested in DIY screen making, there's an active thread on the Canon Ee-S in a K-5. I'd post the link, but I'm on an old smartphone; just look in the first couple pages of the K-5 forum.
Thanks. I saw it. That's what gave me the idea in the first place.
05-16-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
I'm guessing you wouldn't consider a pair of vice grips and a Dremel "precision tooling"?

Seriously though, as much as I would like a Katzeye, I can't see spending that much money on a camera I hope to upgrade in a year or two. Also, I just like to work with my hands.

I really don't understand why Pentax never figured out that there was a potential market for real focusing screens when they put so much effort into making their cameras backwards compatible with the MF lenses. I can do without the "rule of thirds" lines, but I really need the split prism and microprism to be accurate.
In reality pentax would probably prefer we did not use old glass bit the ability to do so has kept them alive and well. What I would like is 45 degree composition lines drawn out of the corners like the lines mike cash uses during editing
05-17-2011, 05:40 PM   #11
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MX focusing screens usually cost $25 now. Those are BIN (buy it now) prices.
12-02-2011, 02:01 PM   #12
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old thread, i know... just thought i would contribute in the event that somebody (like me) is searching... i just now confirmed that an asahi spotmatic II focusing screen IS, in fact, domed. not flat as in modern focusing screens. It does seem to be plastic though. Not sure if it could be sanded flat then polished out, or if that would distort the image??
12-02-2011, 03:16 PM   #13
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My last split image finder was $20 for my *istD. Just look up jinfinance. They work just fine.
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