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08-20-2009, 01:31 PM   #16
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Oh bummer

I'm trying my new K100D with SMC 50/2 and Vivitar 50/1.7

Most of my images come out poorly focused and blurry

I think I need a split focus screen!

Luckily I have a stellar and super-affordable camera repair man named Charles Fallis to install it for me **

My question is : Which one should I get? are the cheapies on eBay good enough or am I in for a pain in the wallet?

Thanks,
Craig

**
Charles S. Fallis
2532 Keagy Road
Salem, VA 24153

FallisPhoto [at] aol [dot] com

Rangefinderforum.com

(I'm not affiliated with him but he does a great job)

EDIT

Oh I found someone using the cheapy with an eyepiece magnifier who is happy (click)


Last edited by spystyle; 08-20-2009 at 02:45 PM.
08-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #17
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Alright, I've used thsi camera a lot today and I've decided it has a dark viewfinder

I have a bunch of cameras and my two dSLR (at the moment) are Nikon D40 and Pentax K100D

When I look through the viewfinder of the D40 it's a subjective "one stop darker than real life"

When I look through the viewfinder of the K100D it's a subjective "two and a half stops darker than real life"

When I look through the viewfinder of the ME Super (35mm film SLR) it's a subjective "quarter stop darker than real life" and a much bigger sight picture than the two dSLR

What feat of engineering would it take to cut the top off of the ME Super and put it on the K100D ?
08-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #18
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To get the ME super viewfinder on a DSLR you need a 135 format sensor (ie FF), and you need to give up auto focus.

Auto focus systems need to use some light from the image. To make the view finder brighter, they make it smaller. Except in the case of the Olympus e-3 where they use unholly magics.

If you are going to be doing allot of manual focusing, try using faster lenses, they will give you a brighter viewfinder.

I had a K100D, and I don't remeber it being 2.5 stops darker then life. But I do agree that the viewfinders on APS-C cameras are not nearly as nice as FF and film cameras.
08-20-2009, 08:05 PM   #19
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I've ordered a generic 2.5x viewfinder magnifier and a generic split image focus screen, we'll see how it goes

08-24-2009, 04:45 PM   #20
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Hey !

I swapped the K100D for a *ist DS

I love the DS It's got a good penta-prism that lends itself well to manual focus lenses

I did not like the viewfinder in the K100D

I ordered a split prism focus screen for the DS Sadly it takes 3 weeks to arrive from China

I can't wait to try this DS with a split prism focus screen - will it be like a digital K1000 ?????????????????????

I hope so!

I have all kinds of things en route for this camera :

X2 viewfinder magnifier
K-mount to M42 adapter
battery grip
18-55 lens
500mm lens (both mirror and non mirror)
teleconverters X2 and X3
28mm lens
and I have already received 135/2.8
and I already had 50/2.0 which is what I'm using most.

I will have a lot of affordable toys

Hooray for Pentax!

Cheers,
Craig
08-24-2009, 08:04 PM   #21
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Watch out for the waves I have been to Pemaquid....the lighthouse was nice but the rocky shoreline is very cool. Looks like waves frozen in the rock.
08-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #22
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Yeah the rocks on the shoreline look like stone waves
08-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
I can't wait to try this DS with a split prism focus screen - will it be like a digital K1000 ?????????????????????
No. The viewfinder will still be a lot smaller, meaning that when framing images with a "normal" lens for the camera (eg, around 35mm), the viewfinder will be noticeably smaller than life size. Whereas with a K1000, a "normal" lens for the camera (eg, around 50mm) produce a viewfinder inage much closer to life size.

That's with the stock viewfinder. I wonder, though, about this:

QuoteQuote:
X2 viewfinder magnifier
By X2, are you implying you have ordered soemthing that purportedly makes the viewfinder image twice as large? That seems exceedingly unlikely. The standard magnifiers offer magnifications of more like 1.2 - which is to say, 20% larger.

FWIW, I don't find the K100D or the similar k200D viewfinder to be much harder to focus with than the DS. Maybe with very dim lenses, but I don't try to MF my kit lens very often. Make that hardly at all. The lenses I'm most inclined to focus manually are all bright enough that the brightness difference between the viewfinders is very small. And I find the texture of the K100D screen to actually make focusing a bit easier than it was with the DS, once I fitted a magnifier to my K200D. For me, going from K100D to DS would be a very large step backwards - no way would I give up SR for a miniscule improvement in the viewfinder.

08-25-2009, 12:44 PM   #24
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I'd take a bright pentax-prism over SR, but that's just me

As for K1000 and DS, I own both so I find them easy to compare

As for the X2 magnifier, check it out here
08-25-2009, 12:55 PM   #25
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There is one but it looks like it's for the K20D/K200D:
2.3x Viewfinder Magnifier for Pentax K20D K200D K110D - eBay (item 170370994632 end time Sep-10-09 01:04:46 PDT)

Very bulky looking... The Pentax loupe is more sleek, and should be plenty large enough to see all the details.
08-25-2009, 01:09 PM   #26
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I agree it looks terrible bulky But I had to try it

Right now the DS has a bright enough viewfinder though, but I intend to use a 500/8 lens soon, I may need the magnified viewfinder

I don't know, I have never used a 500/8 lens nor a viewfinder magnifier yet.

We;ll see how it goes
08-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
I'd take a bright pentax-prism over SR, but that's just me
You say that not having actually had experience with SR, though. I might have said the same before I spent a year with it. But now, I'd say it's absolutely no contest - SR is far more valuable far more often. I think you'd be surprised how quickly you can adjust to a smaller or dimmer viewfinder (which isn't actually much dimmer at all when using a reasonably fast lens). But what SR provides cannot be obtained any other way. If you absolutely must have the better pentaprism viewfinder, I'd urge you to try to get your hands on a 10D or K20D. I guarantee SR will make a much bigger difference than you imagine.

Good luck with the magnifier, though. I have my doubts as to how much of the frame you'll actually be able to see, and how awkward the camera will be in use with that thing, but I'll be interested to hear your report!
08-25-2009, 03:46 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
You say that not having actually had experience with SR, though...
Incorrect

I have a Nikon with 18-55 "VR" (vibration reduction) and 55-200 "VR" and I just sold a Pentax K100D which had "shake reduction" - I tried it.

But I am obsessed with a bright sight picture, me personally I prefer a bright viewfinder to any other feature. It's what I like.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
...I might have said the same before I spent a year with it. But now, I'd say it's absolutely no contest - SR is far more valuable far more often. I think you'd be surprised how quickly you can adjust to a smaller or dimmer viewfinder (which isn't actually much dimmer at all when using a reasonably fast lens). But what SR provides cannot be obtained any other way...
I agree but technically you are incorrect, what "SR" provides is stability with slow shutter speeds - this can be solved with higher ISO (faster shutter speed) or better yet tripod (stability for any shutter speed) or simply with flash (also faster shutter speed)

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
...If you absolutely must have the better pentaprism viewfinder, I'd urge you to try to get your hands on a 10D or K20D. I guarantee SR will make a much bigger difference than you imagine....
I agree

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
...Good luck with the magnifier, though. I have my doubts as to how much of the frame you'll actually be able to see, and how awkward the camera will be in use with that thing, but I'll be interested to hear your report!
I agree with that as well, it looks terrible! However, I intend to use it with a tripod ... so I think that will work out.

We'll see

My Rokkor 28/2.8 lens came in today, K-mount. And I also discovered the joy of "Pentax-A" and it's automatic aperture (with my 50/2 lens). I really get a kick out of "Pentax-A" lenses, I can use auto mode, shutter priority mode, any mode I like. It's nice. When I was using manual lenses on a Canon camera I had to stay in Aperture priority mode.

Now I have one gripe -

The Pentax ME super, I have it. It has the biggest brightest viewfinder of any camera I have ever looked through - why did Pentax ever deviate from this viewfinder design? It was so heavenly - you have to see it to believe it.

Even Ken Rockwell raves about it :
Pentax ME

QuoteOriginally posted by Ken Rockwell:

Finder

The finder is classic 1970s. It's got a split-image in the center, a microprism surround, and ground-glass for the rest of the frame.

The finder of the Pentax ME is HUGE. It's much bigger than the finder any modern SLR.

The finder of the Pentax ME is much bigger than the finder of the Nikon D3X, the Nikon F6, or any Nikon SLR ever made. It's certainly bigger than any of the crummy finders in wimpy DX cameras like the D2Xs or D90.

The finder of the Pentax ME is much bigger than the finder of the Canon 5D Mark II.

Unlike modern SLRs, the ground glass of the Pentax ME is optimized to get the most out of fast prime lenses. You'll actually see the difference in depth-of-field with an f/1.4 lens, which you can't with a modern finder.

Used with slow zooms (f/4 ~ 5.6) the finder is much dimmer than modern cameras, but used with the fast lenses typical of its day, it shows much more than the finders of today's cameras. I kid you not: modern DSLRs don't show you how little depth of field you're getting with lenses of f/2 and faster.
Oh well, I guess you can't have it all

Have fun!
Craig
08-25-2009, 06:04 PM   #29
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OK, I've got a pic - I'm not all talk

Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at dusk (Lewiston, Maine)

A photomerge of several shots using DS camera and Rokinon 28/2.8 lens

08-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
I have a Nikon with 18-55 "VR" (vibration reduction) and 55-200 "VR" and I just sold a Pentax K100D which had "shake reduction" - I tried it.
Yes, but you sold the K100D after what, a couple of days? That's not really long enough to fully appreciate its benefits. Nor is the Nikon kit lens comparable: it's not a great lens in low light with or without stabilization (subject motion is going to be as big a problem as camera shake), and since it's just one lens, you don't get *nearly* the same advantage you'd get with in-body stabilization that works with every lens ever made.

QuoteQuote:
I agree but technically you are incorrect, what "SR" provides is stability with slow shutter speeds - this can be solved with higher ISO (faster shutter speed) or better yet tripod (stability for any shutter speed) or simply with flash (also faster shutter speed)
That's an overly simplified statement of the benefit of SR. What SR provides is "stability in handheld shots of a given scene at a given shutter speed". Increasing ISO is a way of increasing shutter speed, so it's already not the same thing - it doesn't help, for example, with picture where you are deliberately slowing the shutter to achieve a given amount of subject motion blur, as with moving water. And in any case, raising ISO it comes at a price (higher noise), and if you are already at max ISO, it can provide no benefit at all. Using a tripod works only in the situations where it is feasible; in other situations, it isn't an option. That is, a tripod by definition cannot help stabilize handheld shots. Similarly with flash, except that not only isn't it always feasible, it also changes the image - completely altering the color and direction of light, the shadow relationships, and so forth. Flash can help stabilize a *different* shot than the one you'd get without flash - but again, only in the situation where flash is even an option.

So I stand by what I said: neither higher ISO nor a tripod nor flash can do what SR does. Of course, the converse is true as well - SR can't do what higher ISO or a tripod or flash can do. That's why I wouldn't buy a camera without high ISO settings, a tripod mount, or a way of using flash, either.

Anyhow, I recognize that tastes differ, and if you have an obsession with bright viewfinders, then the DS has a point in its favor (although you should be aware that brightness of the viewfinder is *not* directly related to focusing ease - there are other factors involved too that can work the other way around*). I just think you are very much underestimating the actual value of SR. If you usually shoot on a tripod or with flash, then it won't matter.

QuoteQuote:
The Pentax ME super, I have it. It has the biggest brightest viewfinder of any camera I have ever looked through - why did Pentax ever deviate from this viewfinder design?
Several reasons:

1) A viewfinder for APS-C is always going to be smaller than one for 35mm, all else equal, since the image formed on the focus screen has got to be the same size as the actual image.

2) Pentamirrors are cheaper and lighter than pentaprisms.

3) Any camera with AF is going to have a dimmer viewfinder than one without, because the AF system steals light.

* One of the factors that influences how easy it is to focus is how much DOF the focus screen is capable of rendering. Modern DSLR's are designed to be at least usable with f/5.6 zoom lenses (something that is not usually true of ground-glass focus screens), and in the way this is typically designed, an unfortunate side effect is that they show too much dOF at large apertures. The main reason you struggle to focus your 50's isn't the size or brightness of the viewfinder - it's the fact that you can get something perfectly in focus in the viewfinder but find it is not in focus in the actual images. The viewfinder might show, for instance, 10mm in focus but the actual picture only 3mm. It can take a fair amount of practice to get the hang of anticipate *which* 3mm will end up in focus in the actual shot. So don't expect th magnifier to magically make this problem go away - it won't. Your viewfinder will still show you things as being in focus that won't be in the final picture.

And to that the camera designers can tweak the focus screen to make the DOF more accurate, the tweaking may the viewfinder darker. This is something that one of the Pentax engineers discusses in some article that was floating around online a few weeks ago.

But the DS and the K100D are more or less identical in this respect - they both lie and show too much DOF by about the same amount. So to the extent that the brighter / larger DS viewfinder lets you see this false DOF better, it will *seem* an improvement, but you'll still end up with a fair amount of OOF shots until you get the hang of anticipating how much of what *appears* to be in focus won't actually be.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-25-2009 at 06:46 PM.
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