Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-14-2013, 03:55 AM   #16
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
If you are looking at split image focusing screens look at the kin finance ones from china. They are cheap ~$30 and the new ones are a dual split, so you are moving a wedge of the photo when focusing to align, they seem more accurate than the single split ones. Also they are diagonal, on the basis that most things you photograph are either vertical or horizontal. But, I discussed this with Rachel Katz, who pointed out that diagonal intersection of a line is less accurate than at right angles. Playing a little I would tend to agree, but the dual split image makes errors stand out more so it sort of counters.

I'll bet once you try a split image for $30 you will decide to keep it and stop there.

What you give up is spot metering, because this is done off the focusing screen

11-14-2013, 12:49 PM   #17
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 41
Original Poster
You guys gave me a lot to think about! So after reading the replies and doing some research this is what I understand:

Comparing split prisms:
- The Katzeye didn't used to have the "plus" feature, but now it does and this prevents it from blacking out when the jinfinance and focusingscreens.com split prism brands will (though it does not stop it entirely).
- The Jinfinance and Focusingscreens.com are suitable for most photographers, cheaper, and come with shims. Their quality is not always predictable, but the flaws are fairly rare and are generaly tolarable to unnoticeable.
- Jinfinance's diagonal double split prism is easier to focus with and blacks out less often then their single split, but it still blacks out sooner than the Katzeye "plus".
- The Katzeye is much more expensive, does not come with shims (adding cost if one is required), and has a more predictable quality. I have heard of no manufactering flaws. With the "plus" feature it will black out less often than the much cheaper (though nice) brands.
- Katzeye's Brightness Enhancement will brighten the screen not associated with the center prism, thus allowing the use to see the picture better, but not making a difference with focusing.
- Katzeye will not affect spot metering as much as Jinfinance and Focusingscreens.com, but it still does affect it.

I've decided that the upgrades of the Katzeye outway the cost (plus I live in the US, so shipping is not outragous for me). I'm still on the fence over Brightness enhancement, but I'm leaning on the side of "don't need it." I don't need the AF markings. I've used a horizontal split prism before (and played with it now to understand the downfalls) and am okay with it vs. a diagonal.

Comparing Katzeye and Canon EE-S:
- The Canon EE-S works by making out-of-focus areas very obviously not in focus, so it's easier to see what's in focus. It's also easier to see the DOF which is awesome for composition and macro photography. It relies on good vision and judgement to see exactly how "in focus" an object is, thus it is not quite as precise as a split-prism. It's nice and clean in the center with no "blacking out", though it does darken making it difficult to focus at smaller apertures (at ~f6 it's quite difficult). It's very nice with faster lenses (it works very nicely for even f1.2) and doesn't interfere with spot metering.
- The Katzeye works by "splitting" an image until it is in focus, thus the user must only match up the two halves in the center to put the object in focus. It's more precise than the EE-S but isn't as good for viewing the DOF. I can't find info on how well it does with an f1.2 aperture, but it's better than the stock screen. It also has a problem with "darkening" (a problem with every screen), but it doesn't affect focusing ability (assuming the center prisms don't black out); it also doesn't darken as quickly as the EE-S due to how they're made. Brightness Enhancement can somewhat prevent darkening by making it brighter at small apertures, but it comes at a high cost and does not affect focusing ability. Katzeye "plus" can be focused at a smaller aperture than the EE-S. Katzeyes throw off spot metering.

Whew! I think that's everything I learned. After comparing all of the above, I've decided that if I still want a new screen after trying out the original I will go with the Katzeye. The main reason for it is I don't want to be dependant on my ability to "see" when an object is in focus, which is my reason for wanting a split prism in the first place. The EE-S sounds nice, and I can definately see why so many people prefer it, but the fast darkening mixed with how it works doesn't appeal to me. I can always change screens later if I decide I hate it.
11-14-2013, 01:12 PM   #18
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,994
QuoteOriginally posted by Lovephotography Quote
You guys gave me a lot to think about! So after reading the replies and doing some research this is what I understand:

Comparing split prisms:
- The Katzeye didn't used to have the "plus" feature, but now it does and this prevents it from blacking out when the jinfinance and focusingscreens.com split prism brands will (though it does not stop it entirely).
- The Jinfinance and Focusingscreens.com are suitable for most photographers, cheaper, and come with shims. Their quality is not always predictable, but the flaws are fairly rare and are generaly tolarable to unnoticeable.
- Jinfinance's diagonal double split prism is easier to focus with and blacks out less often then their single split, but it still blacks out sooner than the Katzeye "plus".
- The Katzeye is much more expensive, does not come with shims (adding cost if one is required), and has a more predictable quality. I have heard of no manufactering flaws. With the "plus" feature it will black out less often than the much cheaper (though nice) brands.
- Katzeye's Brightness Enhancement will brighten the screen not associated with the center prism, thus allowing the use to see the picture better, but not making a difference with focusing.
- Katzeye will not affect spot metering as much as Jinfinance and Focusingscreens.com, but it still does affect it.

I've decided that the upgrades of the Katzeye outway the cost (plus I live in the US, so shipping is not outragous for me). I'm still on the fence over Brightness enhancement, but I'm leaning on the side of "don't need it." I don't need the AF markings. I've used a horizontal split prism before (and played with it now to understand the downfalls) and am okay with it vs. a diagonal.

Comparing Katzeye and Canon EE-S:
- The Canon EE-S works by making out-of-focus areas very obviously not in focus, so it's easier to see what's in focus. It's also easier to see the DOF which is awesome for composition and macro photography. It relies on good vision and judgement to see exactly how "in focus" an object is, thus it is not quite as precise as a split-prism. It's nice and clean in the center with no "blacking out", though it does darken making it difficult to focus at smaller apertures (at ~f6 it's quite difficult). It's very nice with faster lenses (it works very nicely for even f1.2) and doesn't interfere with spot metering.
- The Katzeye works by "splitting" an image until it is in focus, thus the user must only match up the two halves in the center to put the object in focus. It's more precise than the EE-S but isn't as good for viewing the DOF. I can't find info on how well it does with an f1.2 aperture, but it's better than the stock screen. It also has a problem with "darkening" (a problem with every screen), but it doesn't affect focusing ability (assuming the center prisms don't black out); it also doesn't darken as quickly as the EE-S due to how they're made. Brightness Enhancement can somewhat prevent darkening by making it brighter at small apertures, but it comes at a high cost and does not affect focusing ability. Katzeye "plus" can be focused at a smaller aperture than the EE-S. Katzeyes throw off spot metering.

Whew! I think that's everything I learned. After comparing all of the above, I've decided that if I still want a new screen after trying out the original I will go with the Katzeye. The main reason for it is I don't want to be dependant on my ability to "see" when an object is in focus, which is my reason for wanting a split prism in the first place. The EE-S sounds nice, and I can definately see why so many people prefer it, but the fast darkening mixed with how it works doesn't appeal to me. I can always change screens later if I decide I hate it.
The only problem I see in the above is that a split screen still won't delineate at faster apertures. It may be easier to see what's in focus at slower apertures, but the "gadget" part of a split screen is not fool-proof. It won't always tell you precisely what part of an image is in focus, especially at those faster apertures. If your vision is subpar, then a magnifying eyepiece can usually help considerably, but I assure you that the s-screen makes it considerably easier to see what's in focus. The term often bandied about is "snap-into-focus" and that's what the s-screen gives you. The only users I would not recommend an s-screen for would be those that spend a fair bit of time using slow lenses, and they'd have to be pretty slow. My wife has a 18-250 super-zoom that's pretty slow, and she loves using it with an s-screen. If someone here was smart enough (which leaves me out, plus I don't have a split screen anymore) to post some photos looking through the VF at the same things, same parameters, etc. with a split-screen and with an s-screen, then very few folks would choose the split. Of that I am confident.
11-14-2013, 07:40 PM   #19
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,876
QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
The only problem I see in the above is that a split screen still won't delineate at faster apertures. It may be easier to see what's in focus at slower apertures, but the "gadget" part of a split screen is not fool-proof. It won't always tell you precisely what part of an image is in focus, especially at those faster apertures.
I'm not sure what you're saying here. The prisms line up just fine at 55mm f1.2, or 90mm f2.5. I just took a lot of test shots with both these lenses at 30 inches. The 90mm has even less depth of field than the 55/1.2 and is way sharper wide open, so better for tests. The images showed my focus was exactly at the point where the prisms lined up. In my experience, the gadget part is very reliable.

Of course, that point is the only spot that you can be sure of. Most of the screen is similar to the stock screen, not an accurate depiction of depth of field. That makes composing harder with the split prism, because you tend to plop your important subject dead-center to focus perfectly. Shifting the frame may result in recomposition errors, since it increases the distance to the off-center subject slightly.

With the S-type screen, any part of the screen works just as well, really a plus for composition.

11-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #20
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,994
With the Katzeye that I had, even when the split was perfectly aligned it was still a bit ambiguous what exactly was in focus at say, f/2 or larger. Honestly can't cite exact lenses used as it's been a while. That's what I was trying to say, though, that the s-screen, to me, is more precise. And further, as to the op saying that he likes the idea of having a "gadget" essentially, to help tell him when something is in focus rather than relying on his vision, I absolutely found it easier to see the subject "snap into focus" with the s-screen than it ever was to see the exact alignment of the split with the Katzeye, particularly with more difficult backgrounds.
11-14-2013, 08:39 PM   #21
Senior Member
Action Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Markham, Ontario, CANADA
Posts: 243
The only reason that I didn't get the Katzeye was that I wasn't sure if I would be fast enough to focus on my bugs for macro and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to even see everything correctly in the viewfinder with a split screen. Luckily for me my bad eyesight is correctable with the diopter adjustment (I prefer not to use my eyeglasses). I did opt for the EE-S screen with a Tenpa 1.36x viewfinder to help with my pictures especially macro. Now I'm trying to not use the Tenpa to see how things go. I love the DOF that the EE-S gives. As mentioned by other members, images just POP out with this screen.
11-16-2013, 06:21 AM   #22
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 41
Original Poster
I will most likely use a lot of slower lenses, or adapt faster lenses to be slower (to turn a 50mm lens into a 100mm lens, for example). This is one reason why I chose not to get the EE-S instead of a Katzeye; the EE-S, in my research, only works well up to about f3.5. There's already an f4 lens on my list, and there will probably be more as time goes on.
11-16-2013, 10:45 AM   #23
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,994
QuoteOriginally posted by Lovephotography Quote
the EE-S, in my research, only works well up to about f3.5.
That's just not correct. The darkening would most likely only begin to become an issue at about 5.6/6.3. At 3.5 it's not even noticeable.

It seems that you're determined to get the Katzeye, and that's fine, give it a shot. You may be satisfied enough with it that your search will end there. Good luck.

11-16-2013, 05:56 PM   #24
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 41
Original Poster
It's not that I'm determined to get the Katzeye, it's that I've never read of the EE-S working well past f3.5 and I've never even found its performance at f6. In fact, all the reviews I've read specifically don't reccommend it for slower lenses, with slower lenses being given as f4. That Katzeye reviews (the newer ones, for the "plus") say it still works well at f11 and can even work at f22 depending on circumstances. If I understand lenses correctly, a 2x telephoto lens would turn a lens with a min aperture of f3.5 into a min aperture of f7. If the EE-S will work well at higher apertures I might decide to get it instead of the Katzeye, but if it doesn't my love for "getting close" to objects in my photography would make the EE-S virtually useless much of the time. Guess I have some more research to do.
11-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #25
Senior Member
Action Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Markham, Ontario, CANADA
Posts: 243
I use my EE-S at f11 to f16 or higher for macro work - handheld with a macro ring flash in broad daylight and with manual focusing. You get used to the slight darkening. Obviously in very low light I probably wouldn't use a manual lens.
11-18-2013, 08:11 AM   #26
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 41
Original Poster
So it does work at f16 and higher; it can be used to focus at those apertures? Every review I've read says it darkens a lot at f4, and then it continues to darken rapidly after to the point of being useless at f6. My question to you, since you've actually used it at the higher apertures I'm likely to play with, is just how bad is this darkening I keep hearing of? Do you find it to be a major hinderence? Most of the people who use the EE-S seem to be fast lens people, with their slowest being f3.5. Could this affect their opinion on when a viewfinder is no longer helpful? I know that sounds like a really stupid question, but I'm really confused now about the EE-S and why all the reviews I've read are so different from what I'm hearing from you guys.

Another, sort of unlerelated question: If I decide to buy an EE-S where should I buy it from? I looked at focusingscreens.com and didn't find the EE-S for a K-30. If anyone knows of a place in the United States I'd really appreciate it for the sake of shipping speed and cost.
11-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #27
Veteran Member
adwb's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bristol UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,632
I had a Katzeye split screen with no optibright or etched lines , plain basic screen fitted to a K10D with no shims .
1 it was spot on accurate as fitted.
2 spot expose went off to the point of not usable , matrix and centre weighted was fine
3 darkness was determinable only at F8 or smaller but even then it depended where your eye was in relation to the viewfinder as I moved it slightly i could often remove that blackness.
I used it for flowers and so on focused and had no problem using it
11-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #28
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 41
Original Poster
After some searching I found this link on focusingscreens.com:
Focusing Screen--Grid focusing screens

I now have an idea of what people mean by the screen darkens. Is the EE-S about the same as the one they used for their examples? It's interesting to see the difference in DOF, too, and I can finally see how the EE-S works. Is there a way to make the EE-S brighter at smaller apertures, such as the lines in the photos?
11-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #29
Senior Member
Action Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Markham, Ontario, CANADA
Posts: 243
QuoteOriginally posted by Lovephotography Quote
So it does work at f16 and higher; it can be used to focus at those apertures? Every review I've read says it darkens a lot at f4, and then it continues to darken rapidly after to the point of being useless at f6. My question to you, since you've actually used it at the higher apertures I'm likely to play with, is just how bad is this darkening I keep hearing of? Do you find it to be a major hinderence? Most of the people who use the EE-S seem to be fast lens people, with their slowest being f3.5. Could this affect their opinion on when a viewfinder is no longer helpful? I know that sounds like a really stupid question, but I'm really confused now about the EE-S and why all the reviews I've read are so different from what I'm hearing from you guys.

Another, sort of unlerelated question: If I decide to buy an EE-S where should I buy it from? I looked at focusingscreens.com and didn't find the EE-S for a K-30. If anyone knows of a place in the United States I'd really appreciate it for the sake of shipping speed and cost.
Yes it does darken, but when used manually in bright conditions it's usable (and I used it for macro). The lenses are PK-A so the viewfinder image stays wide open until the pictures are taken. I probably won't use it on an M42 lens past f5.6 as the image gets a bit too dark for me to focus properly.

This will help you understand about the darkening : Best screen ever for manual focus : Canon ee-S!!! - Page 28 - PentaxForums.com.

As long as the lens is an auto aperture, I wouldn't worry about the darkening too much. I still use my 60-250 f4 all the time (auto focus).

For manual focus I use either of my PKA's 105's or SMC A 35-105 f3.5. I'm moving away from M42's.
11-19-2013, 01:53 PM   #30
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 41
Original Poster
That's definately better than I thought it was, though I now see why people complain about the darkness. It wouldn't be easy to focus with the screen that dark. Do you know of any way to increase the brightness of the screen? Also, does anyone know how much it'd cost to ship one to the US from focusingscreens.com? Is there anything I should know about buying something from Taiwan? If I decide to buy one -and I am seriously considering it now- should I have the one with the grids? I like to know where the center of the picture is. Would grids be better for resale if I decide I don't like it?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, extras, grid, idea, image, k-30, katzeye, lines, pentax help, photography, thirds, viewfinder
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
questions about the effect of humidity on image quality everydaylife Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 07-06-2013 03:16 AM
Some questions about K-5 basikal_kusayang Pentax K-5 8 11-19-2012 11:23 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax K-7 Split Image Focusing Screen " The Good One" lewis44 Sold Items 2 06-23-2012 07:29 AM
istDL split image focus viewfinder? speedfoos Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 4 08-13-2011 06:18 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:05 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top