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01-05-2014, 10:39 PM   #1
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Is there a GOOD dioptric correction solution?

I wear glasses. I used to just push them up on my head while peeping the viewfinder, but now I'm a bit older and can't focus without them. I just push the viewfinder right up to my glasses and everything looks better, but I have to look around inside the viewfinder to see everything because my eye is at least a half-inch farther back than it should be. Also, I'm limited to my old pair of glasses for this because I don't want to scratch up the lenses on my new glasses. And I only expect it to get worse over the years.

The built-in dioptric adjustment on most DSLRs is adequate for now. For my old K bodies, I have a right angle converter. It corrects my vision problem and even magnifies the viewfinder, but it is obnoxious to use AND its a mirror image. It also doesn't fit on old M bodies, so now I have an excuse to get rid of those.

What's a GOOD solution? I know there are several doodads out there that claim they will solve all my problems. I bought the right-angle converter. Its a solution, but not really because I don't end up using it. Is anybody using a dioptric correction add-on that works like a charm? Either film or digital.

How about contact lens wearers? I don't think I have heard anyone complain about leaving a contact lens on the viewfinder. It would be a drastic change, but then I could buy cheap sunglasses.

01-06-2014, 12:06 AM   #2
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You could get some plastic reading glasses and trim a lens to fit. I use a +1 diopter. The camera eyepieces are tapered so the lens will stay inside with a bit of cement. This is low-cost solution so you can put one into each camera as needed.
01-06-2014, 03:21 AM   #3
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My current glasses ar 4 years old, with plastic lenses. I use them always and do not have an issue with scratches. I forget the maker of the lenses now, perhaps Nikon but they have had no issue with scratches
01-06-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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ditto to @Lowell Goudge. No scratches on my glasses. I shoot with a K-30 and its standard eye cushion. My glasses have Crizal anti-glare / anti-scratch coating. They are multi-focal lenses.

If you wear multi-focal glasses, you have to remember to use the far distance portion of your glasses when using the optical view finder and the near distance portion of your glasses when using the LCD display. Using the far distance portion of your glasses, look at the data display inside the optical viewfinder and adjust the diopter until the data is as sharp as possible. You will then have the proper adjustment for viewing your scene.

I've tried the less expensive coatings for glasses and now swear by Crizal. This coating is very scratch resistant, smears less, and is far easier to clean than other anti-glare coatings.

01-06-2014, 08:57 AM   #5
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I wear tri-focals. Granted, I'm only +1.25 and +1.75 for distance so I can still navigate without glasses, but I just leave my glasses off when shooting film. With the K3 and its superior diopter I am now able to just take my glasses off and leave them off as long as I don't need to change a setting that isn't visible in the viewfinder - and refuse to chimp my shots. Since I never chimp when shooting film that seems to work for my new camera as well.

In fact, of all the delights of the K3 I'm coming around to the conclusion that the diopter tops my list.
01-06-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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Rangefinder?
These days I use the old cameras more and more, part of the reason is, easier to use the viewfinder and set the numbers.

I am getting to a stage where it is no fun focus a manual K mount lens on a body without diopter correction maxed out.
Fortunately I have the Pentax Magnifier M. Using the lenses 1:2.8 or brighter helps too.

The right camera below is a 2x3 Graflex with its sports frame deployed, and the rangefinder is bright and allows fine adjustment. The left camera is the 4x5 Speed with a black/white "AOV" card I made to suit the Takumar 6x7 55mm wide angle and attached to the rangefinder screws. I don't have a cam for this lens yet, just scale focus.
With these cameras i can see it all clearly with or even without eyeglasses.

I am thinking of making such a card/bubble on top of the K-01, but that is not applicable for a zoom.
I have difficulty with the K-01 but I realize MILC is the future digital as the eyes deteriorate so I am still trying to master it.
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PENTAX K-01  Photo 
01-06-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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Like some of the others here I sometimes wear tri-focal glasses. In my case the upper portion is for long distance and the lower portion is for close work (soldering, model building, reading etc.). The mid portion is basically plain glass and I don't actually need to wear them around the house unless I'm trying to read very small print or I'm working on a project with small parts.

When it comes to using my K-30 I avoid using the glasses at all and simply adjust the diopter slider in the VF until the displayed info is sharp. I then rely on the small red boxes and the beep to tell me when the shot is in focus.

I learned to live with this method but I still miss the split focus screen of my K1000 as that was a joy to work with.
01-06-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
................

I learned to live with this method but I still miss the split focus screen of my K1000 as that was a joy to work with.
You can actually replace the standard focus screen in the K-30 with a split focus one such as one of these:
Pentax DSLRs - KatzEye Optics

01-06-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
You can actually replace the standard focus screen in the K-30 with a split focus one such as one of these:
Pentax DSLRs - KatzEye Optics
True but then I've read there can be issues with 'blackouts' and light metering issues under certain conditions when using these screens.
01-06-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
True but then I've read there can be issues with 'blackouts' and light metering issues under certain conditions when using these screens.
The split image will black out between F5.6 and F8, and spot metering is lost
01-07-2014, 08:31 PM   #11
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Hello and welcome, AquaDome.

Shortly after purchasing my K-R in 2012, I was a bit disappointed with both the small eyepiece and the focusing screen. I quickly bought the magnifier eyecup O-ME53. It stays permanently attached and is a godsend for mature eyes. I have not changed the focusing screen. This was my first DSLR, and I naively assumed that all DSLR shooters were focusing and exposing manually; I never dreamed that a DSLR would sport anything less than a split-prism focusing screen like I had on my old Sears SLR.

It seems odd that the lower-end Pentax DLSR cameras are not fashioned with the manual shooter in mind.

I will be buying up to a newer model when I can afford it, but for now, I am maxing out the potential of the humble K-R which is not too shabby at all for a first DSLR.
01-08-2014, 10:20 AM   #12
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Original Poster
Thank you all for the copious information.
Wombat: I like the looks of that, but more because it looks like a gunsight for anti-aircraft. Gives shooting a new meaning.
The scratch resistant coating on my glasses has long since scratched, peeled, and flaked away. Crizal is a must for the bifocals in my future.
Cat's Eye is definitely gonna get some of my money. Happily, Pentax allows users to change their focus screens.
O-ME53 is getting ordered. For the price, why not? I like the magnification of my right angle viewfinder, just not its configuration.
And the name Oh Me 53 is fitting, even if I'm not 53.
01-08-2014, 12:05 PM   #13
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I shoot pictures without my glasses or contacts. The diopter adjustment works enough. Once I added a Tenpa 1.36x viewfinder magnifier my focusing was better.

I don't like focussing using glasses for the same reason you've described. And with my contacts I have difficulty focussing.
01-08-2014, 12:18 PM   #14
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I envy those of you who only have distance correction issues. My astigmatism issues are worse than my distance correction, so I HAVE to wear either glasses or contacts when shooting. The diopter adjustment on the camera is different depending on which form of correction I am wearing. But mostly I wear glasses without any issue.
01-08-2014, 09:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
For my old K bodies, I have a right angle converter. It corrects my vision problem and even magnifies the viewfinder, but it is obnoxious to use AND its a mirror image. It also doesn't fit on old M bodies, so now I have an excuse to get rid of those.

What's a GOOD solution? I know there are several doodads out there that claim they will solve all my problems. I bought the right-angle converter. Its a solution, but not really because I don't end up using it. Is anybody using a dioptric correction add-on that works like a charm? Either film or digital.
You can just use the straight on magnifiers but there is one for the K series and a different on for the M series and LX.



Of course you don't need one for the LX since you can choose a more appropriate viewfinder for it and some do have diopter correction built-in.

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