Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-11-2010, 08:59 AM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,352
Katzeye Optibrite - Why don't camera makers install their own versions as default?

I haven't tried one, but all I read says that they provide a brighter and more accurate image.

As an extra, they are understandably expensive.

As standard spec, I'd imagine they are very, very cheap. Is there a big downside that I'm missing?

10-11-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Squier's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oxfordshire UK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 707
If they stuck a Katzeye type screen in as default, i'd take it out and stick a regular screen in.

I used both Katz and FocusingScreen models but split screen didnt improve my photography at all. In fact i got on better with the standard screen, hence selling the split screens off.

This isnt everyone's experience obviously, but just mine.

In fact, on a side note, i'm sure i read on here some time ago that fitting an *ist screen [ from which model, i have no idea ] into a K10 K200 etc is a better improvement for brightness.

Wish i could find that thread. The search function here is rather vague
10-11-2010, 09:38 AM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Israel
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 933
I've Katz Eye optibrite screen in my K10D and I opted for the non-optibrite Katz Eye screen for my K-7. My eyesight and A 50/1.2 cannot work together with the stock screen, therefore for me Katz Eye screen is a must.

My experience shows that optibrite treatment makes K10D to start underexpose a little. I cannot tell exactly by how much 'cause I haven't been shooting with it for more than a year.

With K-7 it also underexposes (even without optibrite) but I couldn't possibly tell if it is caused by the screen or it is how my specific camera operates. I got the screen pretty soon after I got the camera.

At any rate, some say that split screen affects the spot metering precision and that would make sense, but I rarely use spot metering so for me it is not an issue.

YMMV of course.
10-11-2010, 10:57 AM   #4
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
QuoteOriginally posted by Boris Quote
At any rate, some say that split screen affects the spot metering precision and that would make sense, but I rarely use spot metering so for me it is not an issue.
If it affects spot metering and it would be installed as a standard, I'm sure the software will compensate for the side effects.

10-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,158
QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
If it affects spot metering and it would be installed as a standard, I'm sure the software will compensate for the side effects.
Not possible, sorry.
10-11-2010, 02:51 PM   #6
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,502
Why isn't a split-image microprism screen standard (or even available) on Pentax cameras?

That is easy...Having the split image lets you see how poor the autofocus really is.


Steve
10-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,554
QuoteOriginally posted by Squier Quote
If they stuck a Katzeye type screen in as default, i'd take it out and stick a regular screen in.

I used both Katz and FocusingScreen models but split screen didnt improve my photography at all. In fact i got on better with the standard screen, hence selling the split screens off.

This isnt everyone's experience obviously, but just mine.

In fact, on a side note, i'm sure i read on here some time ago that fitting an *ist screen [ from which model, i have no idea ] into a K10 K200 etc is a better improvement for brightness.

Wish i could find that thread. The search function here is rather vague
I'm with you on this topic. I used an original 1957 Asahi Pentax from 1961 to 1976 (durable, aren't they?) which was nothing but a matte screen. In my later film cameras, I did opt for the grid screens, because they help me keep buildings standing up straight, but no focusing aids in the centre. We had an ME we bought for a bike trip my wife took, two months in Europe, and it had the focusing aids and I hated that viewfinder with a passion. For my K10 I bought an LL-60 screen to replace the stock screen to correct the exposure metering with older lenses. This is a grid screen from the *ist series, and the "grain" of the matte screen seems to help in popping the focus point for me. I bought the screen on eBay.
10-11-2010, 03:14 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Eruditass's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,206
It seems that everyone(or just myself) is misunderstanding the OP, who is talking about the optibrite treatment and not the split-image part.

10-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,554
QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
I haven't tried one, but all I read says that they provide a brighter and more accurate image.

As an extra, they are understandably expensive.

As standard spec, I'd imagine they are very, very cheap. Is there a big downside that I'm missing?
What you are missing is that your metering can go out the window with these screens. Your meter was calibrated by Mr. Asahi to use a certain % light transmission, and if you pass more light to the meter, you get under exposure. Even the newer DSLR screens that come with the camera screw up the metering for manual aperture lenses, such as my two M lenses and everybody's M42 lenses. Spot metering is impossible with a split prism in the centre of the screen. With slower lenses, such as M 400/5.6 with a rear converter, one side of the prism is black all the time because of the f/8 aperture. There are several threads that point out that the brighter screens cause problems with lenses faster than about f/2.
10-11-2010, 06:11 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,352
Original Poster
Thanks for all the replies.

I was indeed more interested in the optibrite enhancement rather than the focusing aid. Taking away the focusing aid would still give a bright viewfinder without specific center metering issues.

As for metering issues in general, I don't understand why (as has been mentioned, and refuted) a camera maker couldn't compensate in their software/hardware from the get-go.
10-11-2010, 07:17 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Hypocorism's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne .au
Posts: 623
QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
Thanks for all the replies.

I was indeed more interested in the optibrite enhancement rather than the focusing aid. Taking away the focusing aid would still give a bright viewfinder without specific center metering issues.
Sure, but don't you think if Optibrite is so wonderful and suitable in real world practice, that the mfgrs would offer brighter screens as default?

And that the majority buying public would surely demand they do by now? (people aren't totally stupid, or remain so forever)

QuoteQuote:
As for metering issues in general, I don't understand why (as has been mentioned, and refuted) a camera maker couldn't compensate in their software/hardware from the get-go.
You might also want to ask eg. Canon, who DOES offer interchangeable f-screen capability but only in their up-market FullFrame models, plus a small range of optional screens genuine Canon branded for them; why does Canon not make say split-prism the default, and why they only recommend it with caveats and warnings that it's only suitable for certain specific applications and beware of the limitations and irregularities in operation.
7D owners seem to laud the brightness of their beloved toy too (100% though, which helps), as well as it's great metering, so maybe the recipe has been cracked already?

After exhaustively researching this matter myself, incl the plethora of peer comments reviews etc. out there by those who've been down the path themselves; I was very grateful for all their balanced advice and decided in the end to not waste my money or time even trying any out.

Trust me, it IS worth reading all the great material on this and other photography forums, which is easy enough to dig up too, because all you want to know has been expertly covered over the years among the usual subjective and objective assessments that will be a real eye opener and include things that won't even be thought of or covered in this short rinse & repeat cycle.

Sure there are niche uses for them, but truth is the overall market would likely be 1 per 1,000 of DSLR owners who need them for whatever job or reason.
If that weren't the case then the KatzEye mob would be super rich and there'd be so much other competition out there that OEMs surely would include them at least as an option on all models.

Btw; while you're researching don't forget to take count of the amount of people (like the example already here), who have bought and tried them, then soon given up as too impractical for their general everyday use.

Then there's others who have hands on tested $200 KatzEyes v sub $30 fleaBay jobs in their same equipment, and concluded the latter near equal.
Go figure, it's your call.

So please do yourself a favour; play the online equivalent of RTFM and then decide if your own needs, equipment and usage might fit the bill - or would it only end up yet another whole 30 days use lifespan then into the novelty gadgets that didn't quite work out drawer to gather dust.

eg. If I ever get a spare body myself, I'd probably fit one with a split/prism viewfinder and dedicate for my macro addiction. But as for (faking) more brightness, I'd probably resort to Liveview to adequately solve that equation.

Forget the conspiracy by camera manufacturers theory. It doesn't hold water when you become informed enough and reason it all out.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 10-11-2010 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Additional info.
10-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #12
Veteran Member
Hypocorism's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne .au
Posts: 623
QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
It seems that everyone(or just myself) is misunderstanding the OP, who is talking about the optibrite treatment and not the split-image part.
Indeed that may be true, but to best of my knowledge (and probably others here too), surely they are inseparable esp. to those commenters here who have experience with or familiarity on the topic?

Considering that OptiBrite™ is trademark of KatzEye, and, that the company doesn't appear to offer a single screen in it's range, for any camera, that doesn't have split prism.

Also from snippets I've read out there, the ones that seem most credible anyway, the jury's still out on which of the characteristics is in fact the culprit of all or only some of the erratic metering anomalies, and then under which and what specific circumstances the cause and effect occurs.

And isn't that the crux of the matter? The metering simply goes haywire, gets too erratic and unpredictable even for the most competent and skilled cameraphiles to manage and live with.

And that's why I urge the O.P to go on a learning binge, which will help answer their Qs and enlighten them on the depth of the REAL problem, and possible reasons why even the almighty coders of the exotic complex firmware in DSLRs simply can't beat it. (yet? - and someone else here suggests it's probably not possible)

It stands to reason that something like that would be a holy grail, a definite winner in the one-upmanship marketing stakes.

OTOH; is this a justified target for further R&D? or should (and are) they all putting their R&D efforts into the Software solution the O.P wants - viz: sophisticated Electronic viewfinders?

Remember perfecting that would also solve a few other major niggling issues with SLR tech too, like the clashing of mirrors, no more need for 'old tech' pentaprisms, etc. etc.

Mechanical tech in a Digital world doesn't make much economic or practical sense, really.

.R.
10-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #13
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,502
QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
I was indeed more interested in the optibrite enhancement rather than the focusing aid.
For what it is worth, the stock screen is brighter than the Katz Eye with Optibrite, but it does so by compromising the focus precision. I have no idea how it works, but the view with the stock screen always shows the DOF as it would appear at about f/4 unless the maximum aperture is less than that. As a result, manual focus with fast primes is sort of a hit or miss proposition. I can't say whether the LL-60 that Albert uses does this since I have never used that screen.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-12-2010 at 09:24 AM.
10-11-2010, 08:34 PM   #14
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,502
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
...Even the newer DSLR screens that come with the camera screw up the metering for manual aperture lenses, such as my two M lenses and everybody's M42 lenses...
This is no longer true. Both the K-7 and the K-x meter accurately in M mode using stop-down metering with older lenses with the stock screen. Av mode still suffers from the issue, but at least there is a partial fix. This is in the manual for both cameras and I have confirmed it with my Pentax-M 50/1.7 on the K-7.

Katz Eye claims metering accuracy equivalent to the stock screen except when used in spot mode with slower lenses.

As for the split-image blackout, my experience with the Katz Eye is that it is usable to f/8. This is better than the legacy viewfinders of the film cameras I have used.


Steve

(Currently owns Katz Eye with Optibrite and the stock K10D screen. Previously owned the Katz Eye w/o Optibrite. Will equip whatever camera eventually replaces the K10D with a Katz Eye when the day comes.)
10-11-2010, 10:03 PM   #15
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Not possible, sorry.
Why not?
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, dslr, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Katzeye with 55-300 - Optibrite needed? Jonathan Mac Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 12-02-2010 12:58 AM
Matte KatzEye Optibrite Treated Screens excanonfd Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 4 10-05-2010 01:00 PM
Katzeye sans Optibrite Recercare Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 6 08-24-2010 07:31 AM
KatzEye Plus 100% ... to OptiBrite or not to OptiBrite, that is the question... ++ m8o Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 1 11-19-2007 11:55 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:09 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