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10-14-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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Replacing a focus screen (K20D)

A friend told me that a dual split screen focus screen is capable of spot metering and auto focus. Can anyone confirm this?

Also, I am thinking of testing one out. The one I have in my K20D is the LL-60, and it is new. In order to test the split focus one I would have to take out the existing one which is in perfect condition. I don't want to damage it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could store it so as not to compromise it?

Thanks

10-14-2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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The dual-split works fine with the AF, but for me I am finding about one stop error with the meter.
10-14-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Also, I am thinking of testing one out. The one I have in my K20D is the LL-60, and it is new. In order to test the split focus one I would have to take out the existing one which is in perfect condition. I don't want to damage it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could store it so as not to compromise it?
Pentax actually makes a tool specifically for this job. I don't have one, however. Make sure to grab the screen only by the little tab which is there for just that purpose, and store it very carefully to make sure it isn't scratched.
10-14-2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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I have the tool. I am not sure what to do with the existing screen after removing it. How to store it. Just put it in the original case it came in? But to do that means it would not have a protective covering. If so, would the original case scratch it? If I need a protective covering, what can I use?

10-14-2011, 10:35 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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? Looks like the case for the replacement is a good place to store the original.
10-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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I found the focus screen tweezer quite useless in use. Better option is a 6 inch hemostat with a curved jaw, this keeps your hand further away from the camera mirror box giving you an unobstructed view to maneuver in. For protecting the screen that's been removed, wrap it in lens tissue and store it in the case that your split prism screen came in. My KatzEye screen came in a flat plastic box with foam insert, which keeps the screen from moving around inside. If yours do not have inserts, keep wrapping the screen with tissue until it fits in the box snug.

I don't know how true that a dual split prism screen can retain accurate spot metering when single split prism screen cannot, so I'll be very interested in your test results.

Hope this helps,
10-14-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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When I got my LL-60 to replace the LL-80 I damaged, it came in a case but I thought it had some protective plastic around it (but watching the video above is making me doubt it now). It seemed like the case itself might be too rough for direct contact. I could be wrong (and would like to be!).

Is the lens tissue safe/soft enough to use on on a focus screen? It seems like just about anything could scratch it. Also, are there any chemicals on a lens tissue that could damage the focus screen?

Last edited by Spodeworld; 10-14-2011 at 11:14 AM.
10-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Is the lens tissue safe/soft enough to use on on a focus screen? It seems like just about anything could scratch it. Also, are there any chemicals on a lens tissue that could damage the focus screen?
If you put your mind to it, you can scratch the screen with just about anything but if you keep handling down to a minimum that won't be an issue. Lens tissues are very soft (softer than any facial tissue), lay the tissue on a flat surface, place the focus screen in the centre and fold the tissue around the screen. The trick is to not rub the tissue back and forth across the screen, if you are worried about scratching the screen. As for chemical residue in the lens tissue, I don't know - but I am sure the foam inside the case and the plastic case itself probably gives off more chemical residue than the lens tissue.

10-14-2011, 01:39 PM   #9
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Just wondering. If the camera already has focus confirm in it, both audible (beep) and visual (through view finder), is there any additional advantage to getting a split screen focus screen?
10-14-2011, 04:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Just wondering. If the camera already has focus confirm in it, both audible (beep) and visual (through view finder), is there any additional advantage to getting a split screen focus screen?
Some users like the visual confirmation of focus that a split screen provides. If you use manual focus lenses a lot, it can help quite a bit.

I've used them in both cases and I like them.
10-14-2011, 05:01 PM   #11
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I imagine it is convenient. But, is it any more accurate than the beep and focus light in the view finder?
10-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #12
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Like any measuring device, once calibrated and understood, it becomes second nature to use. I used the split screen focus portion for many years so this space in the field of view is second nature.

As many will point out, the default screen that comes in the camera does not show the true depth of focus below f2 or so. Meaning you could think that things are in focus but they're really not. Having a better screen fixes this problem. Most better screens have the split prism feature. The accuracy of the screen actually comes from other factors, not from the split prism.

These features simply show focus to your eye. If you trust the AF mechanism with the confirmation light and beep, then you're set. Changing the screen only becomes a factor if you notice a visual difference when the camera says it's in focus and your eye sees differently.
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