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07-08-2011, 07:49 AM   #16
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I think the magnifier helps more than you might think. Try taking it off and see how worse things get!

But the biggest key to MF is taking to heart the comment about the viewifnder lying about DOF. Until you compleely wrap your brain around this, focusing will always be hit or miss. Once you have a good idea of how much that appears in fo cus in he viewfidner will turn out not to be, and whether the part that is*is* actually in focus is toward the front or back of that zone, and start paying attnetion to focusing by placing the zone rather than by simply looking at a single subject, success goes up dramatically.

Yes, of course, doing a digital DOF preview would also show you what will be in focus, but that's going to be an impractically slow method of focusing - turn ring, do preview, turn ring more, do preview, etc. Live view, on the other hand, can help, at least in situations where it practical.

07-08-2011, 07:52 AM   #17
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The best thing to get is a focusing screen. However if you don't want to spend 100$ for one then the best option is to rely on the catch in focus. or the cameras focusing mechanism. You just need to practice and learn for the lens where and when it is focused. Sometime the AF detects the focus too early or too late. So practice and you should be able to learn where it is in focus.
07-08-2011, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
I was hoping the Pentax $30 some odd magnifyer was going to take care of this, but it doesn't seem to help that much. I've price the katzeye (or whatever it's called) and the price is prohibitive.
Many people have screens from Focusing Screen - mine is superb and there really is no difference in practice from the Katzeye.
07-08-2011, 08:43 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote

Yes, of course, doing a digital DOF preview would also show you what will be in focus, but that's going to be an impractically slow method of focusing - turn ring, do preview, turn ring more, do preview, etc. Live view, on the other hand, can help, at least in situations where it practical.
You can do DOF preview While turning the ring. That doesn't help if you're shooting wide open though and I'll admit it's probably easier on the K10/20/7/5 than it is on the Kx or similar camera (that uses the green button for DOF preview).



07-08-2011, 09:43 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
I was hoping the Pentax $30 some odd magnifyer was going to take care of this, but it doesn't seem to help that much. I've price the katzeye (or whatever it's called) and the price is prohibitive.
Compared to the cost of the camera, it is the most ridiculously expensive bit of plastic you'll ever buy. It makes designer purses, expensive wines and Hummer H2s look like excellent deals.

And there are drawbacks: it gets in the way, works best in the center, fails when you only have horizontal lines in the frame, might black out. Not everyone likes it.

But, say it works for you. You can recoup the cost on one lens purchase. You can use lenses that have no AF version, like a 50/1.2. It might be worth it after all.

I'm still on the fence about getting one for my K-7, because I can focus without it.
07-09-2011, 01:57 AM   #21
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Really nice pictures, JeffJF, especially the first two. Yes, I'm in manual mode. And I have taken pictures with this particular lens that I don't know how one could make them sharper, but they are always of things that are flat and don't move, like signs and gravestones. You want a sharp gravestone, I can give you a sharp gravestone. I guess the upside is, if I can get sharp pictures with this lens of ANYTHING, then that should mean it's not the camera or the lens--it's me, and I'm sure I can improve. For starters, I'm definitily going to master CIF.
07-09-2011, 02:22 AM   #22
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Frogfish, Thanks for the link. This might be a stupid question, but if I got one of those focusing screens, would I then have perfect focus every time? If so, then it's worth $45-$95 (possibly). I also hesitate to go that route because I have almost no mechanical aptitude and I checked out the installation instructions and they were not good. I also think I'd be wise to stay out of the insides of my beautiful Kx. No telling what kind of damage I could do. But it's still something to consider if it would guarantee 100% accurate focus.
07-09-2011, 02:48 AM   #23
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getting a new focusing screen will not guarantee perfect focusing, let alone every time. the focusing screen will assist you in achieving perfect focus, but that seems to be more a function of practice and patience than anything else

07-09-2011, 03:53 AM   #24
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How do focusing screens work? And where do they mount to, the eyepiece?
07-09-2011, 06:05 AM   #25
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Since installing a focusing screen involves dissassembly of the internal parts of your camera I would recommend that you take it to a qualified camera repair to have it done. It will cost about $50.00 to have them do it. I have a split screen on my K100D and the stock screen in my KX. Since I grew up with the split screen the darkening down and black-out phenomenons are acceptable to me, but some folks really don't care for it.

I have found that placing the auto-focus point in the center works best. It is so much easier to focus in that little square and ignore the rest of the scene. I do use the AF confirm, but also find that it is a bit slower than I am so I generally ignore it.

My 2 cents worth,

Ray
07-09-2011, 07:17 AM   #26
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I find the split screen to be of marginal value. That is, it's barely worth its cost. If your subject is well-lit, and is contrasty, and has a line running across it, then the screen helps. Catch-In-Focus (CIF) is MUCH more useful in many more situations. Try it. It costs nothing.
07-09-2011, 08:37 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
Really nice pictures, JeffJF, especially the first two. Yes, I'm in manual mode. And I have taken pictures with this particular lens that I don't know how one could make them sharper, but they are always of things that are flat and don't move, like signs and gravestones. You want a sharp gravestone, I can give you a sharp gravestone. I guess the upside is, if I can get sharp pictures with this lens of ANYTHING, then that should mean it's not the camera or the lens--it's me, and I'm sure I can improve. For starters, I'm definitily going to master CIF.
Thank you... Good choice. Learn to use what you have before spending more $$$.

07-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #28
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Jim - do you have a couple pictures you can post for us? Maybe one of a sharp sign and one of a subject you had an issue with on focusing?

You mention that signs and gravestones come out crisp (in focus that is) and others do not, these two subjects generally have large flat areas with nothing obstructing the views of them which would make focusing on them really simplistic - other subjects however can show (us) if your K-X has a slight issue with front focusing or back focusing...




---
07-09-2011, 10:15 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
Frogfish, Thanks for the link. This might be a stupid question, but if I got one of those focusing screens, would I then have perfect focus every time? If so, then it's worth $45-$95 (possibly). I also hesitate to go that route because I have almost no mechanical aptitude and I checked out the installation instructions and they were not good. I also think I'd be wise to stay out of the insides of my beautiful Kx. No telling what kind of damage I could do. But it's still something to consider if it would guarantee 100% accurate focus.
I was nervous about changing the screen but it was a doddle, so easy I couldn't believe I'd done it right - surely there must be something wrong, it can't be that easy right ?

Next time I came to do it (changing the screen over from my K7 to try on my new K5) it took even less time. It really is ridiculously easy if you follow the instructions on the website.

No you won't get perfect focus every time - human error is still ever present

However it does make it very easy to see if the vertical / horizontal lines match up and you have achieved focus - though you may, and sometimes do, still move a fraction before you press the shutter button.
07-09-2011, 10:20 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by sawtooth235 Quote
Since installing a focusing screen involves dissassembly of the internal parts of your camera I would recommend that you take it to a qualified camera repair to have it done. It will cost about $50.00 to have them do it.

Ray
Ray,

That really really isn't necessary. Unless you have tried it and failed I would resist the urge to comment since it's like telling people they can't change a wheel on a car. Don't do it right and it could be fatal however most people don't call the AA if they have a flat.

I'd only have someone do it for me if I was of a particularly nervous disposition or had the shakes - and if I did then I guess I wouldn't be shooting photos.
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