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02-13-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
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Focus indicator on K-20 with Katzeye focussing screen

I just got my used K-20 with Katzeye focussing screen from Mighty Mike here on the forum. Great transaction from a nice gentleman.

I love the focussing screen with my Soviet 44K-4 58 mm manual focus lens. The Katzeye works as designed. I do have one concern maybe someone can help me with. The green six-sided focus indicator that appears in the viewfinder right above the letters MF when the shutter button is 1/2 depressed does not appear. Even when the camera/lens seems to be in perfect focus, the focus indicator does not light up to confirm the focus. I have read the manual carefully and worked through the menu to see if there is an option for the focus indicator to be turned on or off, and I found nothing.

Now I am wondering if the use of a Katzeye focussing screen makes the focus indicator disappear, or maybe something else is involved that I cannot think of.

Any ideas will sure be appreciated.

Many thanks.


Last edited by ivanvernon; 02-13-2013 at 09:30 AM. Reason: spelling error
02-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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the focussing screen does not affect the focus comfirmation indicator. It uses the AF system to help determine if the camera thinks the subject is in focus. Do you have anohter lens to try?
02-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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What I would suggest you try is to take a picture of a picket fence (perpendicular to the fence), take a shot when you perceive the image to be in focus regardless of the green hexagon turning on or not. Take a second shot when the green hexagon lights up regardless of the image being in focus or not. The purpose of installing a non-oem focus screen is to make MF easier to achieve without compromising the camera's ability to AF. Depending on which image is in sharp focus, you may have to add or subtract shims between the focus screen and the prism so that the AF confirmation indicator lighting up coincide with you achieving sharp MF.

I've recently acquired a KatzEye screen for the K-5 and I am noticing the same. So far, I've only shot with two lenses with the same behaviour, I'll have to try with more lenses to see if the screen needs +/- shimming or is the problem isolated to a few particular lenses, which then could be corrected via in camera focus adjustment.
02-13-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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I suspect your Soviet lens has a non conducting surface on the back where it would meet the contacts on the camera body. Short the contacts by putting some tinfoil between the body and the lens and see if it works then.

02-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rockmaster1964 Quote
the focussing screen does not affect the focus comfirmation indicator. It uses the AF system to help determine if the camera thinks the subject is in focus. Do you have anohter lens to try?
Thank you for this suggestion. I have tried a different manual lens on this K-20, and again the focus indicator does not light up when the Katzeye says it is in focus. In turning the focus ring throughout its range, the focus indicator never lights up even when I am able to take perfectly focussed photos. I tried this with an auto focus lens, and the same results,no focus indicator.

I tried all the same exercises as above, using each of the same lenses, on my other K-20 which is not equipped with the Katzeye focus screen, and the focus indicator lights up perfectly. This seems to eliminate the lens as the source of the problem.

Please let me know if you think of anything else.
02-13-2013, 12:21 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Is your camera set to AF?
02-13-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
What I would suggest you try is to take a picture of a picket fence (perpendicular to the fence), take a shot when you perceive the image to be in focus regardless of the green hexagon turning on or not. Take a second shot when the green hexagon lights up regardless of the image being in focus or not. The purpose of installing a non-oem focus screen is to make MF easier to achieve without compromising the camera's ability to AF. Depending on which image is in sharp focus, you may have to add or subtract shims between the focus screen and the prism so that the AF confirmation indicator lighting up coincide with you achieving sharp MF.

I've recently acquired a KatzEye screen for the K-5 and I am noticing the same. So far, I've only shot with two lenses with the same behaviour, I'll have to try with more lenses to see if the screen needs +/- shimming or is the problem isolated to a few particular lenses, which then could be corrected via in camera focus adjustment.
I cannot carry out the exercise proposed in your first paragraph because the focus indicator NEVER lights up. I am getting perfect focus with the Katzeye screen,but the focus is never confirmed by the green hexagonal focus indicator in the view finder. Actually, I have no focus problem. I am getting perfect focus with the Katzeye focus screen. I am only concerned to know why the perfect focus with the Katzeye is not confirmed by the appearance of the focus indicator in the view finder.

I sure appreciate your comments, and hope you will let me know if you think of anything else..
02-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Is your camera set to AF?
No, it is set to manual focus. I am using a manual focus lens, the Helios 44K-4 58mm, and also Auto Sears 135mm 2.8 manual lens. Results are the same with both lenses.

02-13-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
I suspect your Soviet lens has a non conducting surface on the back where it would meet the contacts on the camera body. Short the contacts by putting some tinfoil between the body and the lens and see if it works then.
I am getting the same results with every lens I try on the K-20 with the Katzeye focussing screen. Manual lenses include the Helios 44K-4 and the Auto Sears 135mm f 2.8. I have also tried an autofocus lens as well,the Pentax 50mm 2.8 macro, using manual as well as automatic focus settings. The K-20 refuses to light up the hexagonal focus indicator symbol in the viewfinder for any of these lenses.

I appreciate your thoughts and hope you will let me know if you think of anything else.
02-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #10
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Thanks to every one. I figured it out. Following the lead of johnnyyates, I went to the menu section Custom Settings, #14 "AF by Press Half Way." I turned #14 to ON, and now the focus indicator lights up in perfect coordination with the Katzeye focussing screen to give me a perfect focus every time. Thanks to every one that offered ideas. This is what I love about the Forum.
02-13-2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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I set my AF settings to use the AF button and that allows me to use the green hexagon as well. Glad you got things sorted.
02-13-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
Thanks to every one. I figured it out. Following the lead of johnnyyates, I went to the menu section Custom Settings, #14 "AF by Press Half Way." I turned #14 to ON, and now the focus indicator lights up in perfect coordination with the Katzeye focussing screen to give me a perfect focus every time. Thanks to every one that offered ideas. This is what I love about the Forum.
I should have thought about this. When I am shooting with slow lenses like an f8 mirror lenses, I turn off the focus confirmation because it would light up while the image is still OOF - quite distracting when I am trying to nail the focus on a slow lens with very thin DOF. Glad it worked out for you.
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