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07-21-2010, 08:01 AM   #1
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K200D & Katzeye focusing screen

Hi all,

I have read a lot of comments on this forum regarding Katzeye (& other) focusing screens. I have several fast manual lenses that I like a lot, but I have trouble focusing well or quickly, even with the 1.2x VF magnifier & the focus-assist indicators. So, I am strongly considering a split prism screen, and might go all the way & get a Katzeye with Optibrite, but before dropping $200 plus shipping, would like a bit more info, if anyone can offer it.

My slowest lens is the 55-300, which at the long end is F5.8. Will this give me black-out at the long end? Will the opti-brite help/cure this?

Are the metering problems really bad? The K200D is not the most consistent at metering, especially with manual lenses stopped down, so could this make a small problem into a big one?

Many thanks for any input.

07-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #2
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I used a focus screen of an old Pentax ME-Super

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/105645-new-old-foc...ml#post1114853

The Katz focus screen is not interresting for in the Netherlands. You don't only pay the price of the screen (what is expansive but worth the price) but also 25 dollar postal and package and some 40 dollar taxes.
So that makes it way to expensive unfortunually.

I bought a broken Pentax ME-Super for 10 dollar, and some 30 minutes later i had a almost perfect focus screen for my K7
07-21-2010, 09:58 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
My slowest lens is the 55-300, which at the long end is F5.8. Will this give me black-out at the long end? Will the opti-brite help/cure this?
Yes it will get darker, but not unusably so. Though keep in mind that were talking the absolute center of the prism here(the split section), not the collar and screen area.

Though I have to ask... why would you want to manually focus with that lens(I'm just curious)? Typically, I use the katzeye's with manual lenses, most of which I use between 1.8 - 8. And though I've used the screen as far up as f22, at that point, the Katzeye isn't going to be very useful at those apertures anyways.

As for the optibright, that portion of the design has nothing to do with blackouts. Optibright, is a treatment that's put on the screen which gives you aprox. 1 stop of extra light in your viewfinder. Though I found the actual difference to be a little less on the K200D and Kx than the K20D. Which is most likely the effect of the Penta-mirror vs the Prism between the units.

For the blackout issue, both katzeyes and many of the better split screen designs(focusingscreens.com) use an anti-blackout material which helps resist the blackout effect a little longer than what we had initially on older screens. Though I find it it's still noticeable, but it really hasn't been an issue on any of the camera's we've owned to date.

QuoteQuote:
Are the metering problems really bad? The K200D is not the most consistent at metering, especially with manual lenses stopped down, so could this make a small problem into a big one?
TBH. I only had metering issues with two screens: K3 type and a jfinance one. Though they both seemed fine using center weighted metering. The Katzeye on the other hand seems fine on both the K20D and K200D. So I'm thinking that it has more to do with the screen loosing light than gaining some. Either that or the fact that optibright doesn't impact real world light values with metering.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by JohnBee; 07-21-2010 at 10:47 AM.
07-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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Hi Jonathan,
I used to have k200 with katzeye w/optibright. I didn't have any problems after I "calibrated" it, i.e. adjusted its postion so it shows 'in-focus' when the subject is indeed in focus.
Now I don't have manual lenses, so don't really use MF.
Good luck,

07-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Hi all,

I have read a lot of comments on this forum regarding Katzeye (& other) focusing screens. I have several fast manual lens........
Hi Jonathan,
I bought the Katzeye for my Nikon D80 (for MF lenses) and like it very much. No black-out up to F8 but in some positions relative to the sun half the segment can black out.

Currently I am using the K3 screen from focusingscreen.com on my K10D and I like it very much - maybe more than the Katzeye and possibly half the price. I see no blackout even at F11. Reportedly, this screen (any 3rd party screen) does cause exposure problems if you use spot metering (which I do not).
07-21-2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Yes it will get darker, but not unusably so. Though keep in mind that were talking the absolute center of the prism here(the split section), not the collar and screen area.

Though I have to ask... why would you want to manually focus with that lens(I'm just curious)? Typically, I use the katzeye's with manual lenses, most of which I use between 1.8 - 8. And though I've used the screen as far up as f22, at that point, the Katzeye isn't going to be very useful at those apertures anyways.

As for the optibright, that portion of the design has nothing to do with blackouts. Optibright, is a treatment that's put on the screen which gives you aprox. 1 stop of extra light in your viewfinder. Though I found the actual difference to be a little less on the K200D and Kx than the K20D. Which is most likely the effect of the Penta-mirror vs the Prism between the units.

For the blackout issue, both katzeyes and many of the better split screen designs(focusingscreens.com) use an anti-blackout material which helps resist the blackout effect a little longer than what we had initially on older screens. Though I find it it's still noticeable, but it really hasn't been an issue on any of the camera's we've owned to date.



TBH. I only had metering issues with two screens: K3 type and a jfinance one. Though they both seemed fine using center weighted metering. The Katzeye on the other hand seems fine on both the K20D and K200D. So I'm thinking that it has more to do with the screen loosing light than gaining some. Either that or the fact that optibright doesn't impact real world light values with metering.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the info so far everyone. Focusingscreens.com is another option, but I donīt know what sort of quality difference thereīd be between them & the Katzeye.

I donīt plan of manually focusing with the 55-300, although I have done so with some success in the past as AF is noisy. But the focusing screen will still be there when I use this lens, and as itīs not a fast lens, I am concerned about blacking-out.
07-22-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Focusingscreens.com is another option, but I donīt know what sort of quality difference thereīd be between them & the Katzeye.
I've tried two focusingscreen.com screens. A low cost rule of thirds version and the K3(no grid or lines). And the K3 was by far the best one. However.... it was darker than my original screen on a K20D. Which "sort of" worked because it helped with focusing my darkening the surrounding area. However.. it was nothing like a katzeye which actually made my viewfinder brighter than stock.

Having said that... I've never tried the K3 on the K200D(or equivalent Kx), so I can't comment on those particular viewfinders. Though I would think that it would be slightly darker as they both have less brightness than the pentaprism models.

QuoteQuote:
But the focusing screen will still be there when I use this lens, and as itīs not a fast lens, I am concerned about blacking-out.
Okay I understand.

Well I think it's safe to say that there will be blackout at 250mm + with a 55-300. Now whether it bothers or not is another issue and the only way to know for sure would be to try it. But if it were me, and I was planning on shooting mixed(MF and AF), then I would stick to a katzeye with optibright, since the slower lenses and focusing screen will cause light and the optibright will help.

Having just tested here with a K20D and 50-200 @ 200 f/5.6. The initial reaction is that the screen is still bright enough to work with(indoors) and the center is still fairly dark. But.. I can adjust my eye position to see around it(shift the eye slightly allows to reduce effect), with my 1.3x magnifier eyecup. If I remove the eyecup, the effect is almost nonexistent. So 5.6 is still quite good imo.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by JohnBee; 07-22-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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