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08-17-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
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Katz-eye screen

I purchased a K10D along with the 16-45 f4 lens 4 months ago. I purchased the Pentax because I have been a Pentax user since the late 60s and have heaps of Pentax lenses in both screw and K mount. Few are auto focus because I am a MF kind of guy.
Focusing with these older lenses has been difficult to the point that I just zone-focused them or left them home and relied solely on the zoom. I started to do some resolution testing and found that the in-focus indicator was rather general rather that spot on. Trying to determine sharp focus in the finder is difficult even when using my focus magnifier-M.
I had read several threads about focusing screens from China as well as the Katz-eye screen available from Katz Eye™ Optics - Custom Focusing Screens I elected to go with the later and ordered a screen without the OptiBrite but with the "rule of thirds" and "8x10" frame markings. It arrived yesterday and I installed it this morning.
The first thing I did was check the focusing accuracy and found it to be spot on. I then went about retesting some lenses using USAF charts. The difference between resolution between the first tests and those using the new screen were remarkable.
After being pleased with the results, I checked the metering with old K-mount using the "green button" and Av with the old Takumars. In both cases, I found the metering to be much closer that with the original screen. For what ever reason, this new screen has really impressed me and I feel that it has added to the flexibility of the system and ease of use. I am very happy.

Cheers,
Bob Rapp

08-18-2007, 04:52 AM   #2
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Hi Bob,
I've had a Katz Eye on my DS for a couple of years. It certainly does make a huge difference in manual focusing. The one drawback I found was you can't use spot metering with it. Exposure was way off. I did not put one in my K10 for this reason, (and the fact most of my lenses are now AF). Have you tried spot metering with the new screen yet? I'd be interested to know if that issue has been resolved.

Thanks
08-18-2007, 06:23 AM   #3
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I, too, have a Katz Eye on my K10D. It is such a joy to use. I don't think I've used auto focus since I've installed it. Manual focusing is so much more natural for me, and more accurate.

I've not tried to spot meter with the Katzeye. I prefer to use evaluative, or what ever it's called. I have noticed that it's sort of all over the place, but it's easy for me, with my style of shooting, to take a test shot and compensate for it. The K10D has funky metering even with the original screen anyway.
08-18-2007, 07:20 AM   #4
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Another KatzEye user here, and I could not agree more. It is an amazing product and makes manual focusing a dream. I first purchased the opribrite coated screen, and metering was bad, not totally unusable, but required adjustments on most shots. After some discussion with the people at KatzEye, I traded the optibrite coated one for the non-optibrite. Since, my exposures have been very accurate, well within the usable range for raw shooting. The only drawback I have is not being able to use spot metering, but the benefits far outweigh the one negative...

08-18-2007, 08:02 AM   #5
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That's good info kbrabble. You're the first person I've found on the internet to have tried both. I know now to save my money and get the regular version.

Also, thanks for the review bobrapp. I'll be getting one of these one day but for now I'll have to get one of the Chinese ones to hold me over. Can't quite afford the Katz Eye version yet (I'd like to get more lenses first).
08-18-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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Don't spot ...

QuoteOriginally posted by roscot Quote
Hi Bob,
Have you tried spot metering with the new screen yet? I'd be interested to know if that issue has been resolved.

Thanks
I've tried - and it doesn't work. Spot metering is way off. No surprise there as it's written on their site.
08-18-2007, 10:23 AM   #7
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Can someone please tell me which way it is that the spot metering is off?

in general i must expose 1/3 - 1/7 stop over the meter's center anyway...but what happens when you install a katzeye screen?

im curious....

thanks
08-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #8
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Great info folks - thanks. I have not been very pleased with the K10d focus screen when manual focusing. Have looked at the Katz Eye and am leaning in that direction. How easy is it to install or do you recommend shipping it to them for installation? Thanks.

08-18-2007, 04:29 PM   #9
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Installation of a focus screen on the K100D, which supposedly has an unchangeable screen, takes a pair of tweezers, some sort of hook, and all of about two minutes. I imagine that it must be very easy indeed on the K10D which is designed to allow for screen changes.
08-18-2007, 11:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobrapp Quote
I had read several threads about focusing screens from China as well as the Katz-eye screen available from Katz Eye™ Optics - Custom Focusing Screens I elected to go with the later and ordered a screen without the OptiBrite but with the "rule of thirds" and "8x10" frame markings. It arrived yesterday and I installed it this morning. ...

After being pleased with the results, I checked the metering with old K-mount using the "green button" and Av with the old Takumars. In both cases, I found the metering to be much closer that with the original screen. For what ever reason, this new screen has really impressed me and I feel that it has added to the flexibility of the system and ease of use. I am very happy.

Cheers,
Bob Rapp
Hi Bob,

Glad to hear that you and the K10D are getting on better, manual focus certainly is a chore on the default screen, every time I pick up the LX I just can't believe how good its finder is.

Are you primarily using the centre split focus aide for focus confirmation? How is the matte field for focus ease/accuracy?

Cheers,
08-19-2007, 02:17 AM   #11
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Mat focusing area

Hi Rob,
I did not notice the behavior of the image on the matte field, so I checked. The screen seems to be courser than the original which means that the image seems to be easier check focus outside the central microprism/split-image area - much like the old MX screens. So, yes, you can use it for focusing or checking focus.
When I used to shoot pro basketball in the early 70s, I used the matte portion only as I was following the action - no time to focus and then compose.

Cheers,
Bob
08-19-2007, 06:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobrapp Quote
Hi Rob,
I did not notice the behavior of the image on the matte field, so I checked. The screen seems to be courser than the original which means that the image seems to be easier check focus outside the central microprism/split-image area - much like the old MX screens. So, yes, you can use it for focusing or checking focus.
When I used to shoot pro basketball in the early 70s, I used the matte portion only as I was following the action - no time to focus and then compose.
Thanks for the info Bob, I'll have to check it out next time you're in the area. I'm torn as I really do prefer to work with an all matte screen, I've never been a huge fan of the split prism and micro-prism collar but the standard K10D screen is pretty abominable for manual focus even with a good fast lens.

Cheers,
08-20-2007, 12:02 PM   #13
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Katz Eye will custom make a screen for you, to your specs. You can add or delete any optical focus aids. In addition they will etch any grid lines you care to send them. So, if you prefer a plain matte screen, with, say a rule of thirds grid, they will make it for you.
08-20-2007, 12:03 PM   #14
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My DS way over exposes in spot mode with the Katz, to the point of total white out.
08-20-2007, 05:01 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by roscot Quote
Katz Eye will custom make a screen for you, to your specs. You can add or delete any optical focus aids. In addition they will etch any grid lines you care to send them. So, if you prefer a plain matte screen, with, say a rule of thirds grid, they will make it for you.
That's good to know and quite encouraging, thanks.

Cheers,
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