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12-28-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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Pentax K100D focusing screen question

Hey all.

I noticed they're selling cheap split prism focusing screens for Pentax DSLRs on eBay. They have them listed for the K10D, the K-7, K-X, K20D & K200D, but not the K100D.

Are any of the focusing screens for these other models compatible with the K-100D?

Thanks,
Bob :-)

12-28-2010, 08:21 AM   #2
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K200D is and K-x too
12-28-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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Cool... Good to know. I'll probably go snag one of those screens. The cheap ones are plastic... Are they usually plastic, or is glass normally used in the OEM & Katz-Eye? Would a plastic screen be a bad thing?
12-28-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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all these screens are plastic. i haven't seen a glass screen for any SLR.

even the screen in the K-1000 is plastic. and the one in my Mamiya 645.

12-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #5
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This is what is in my K100D, I am very happy with it. Just dropped in place of the stock screen using the stock shim.

Diagonal Split Image Focus Screen Pentax K100D K200D DL - eBay (item 200278871297 end time Jan-10-11 15:44:33 PST)

CORRECTION: I have this one, the first link is a single split diagonal, mine is a dual split.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dual-45-Split-Image-Focus-Screen-Pentax-K100D-K200D-DL-/...item518dbb44ee


Not the best pictures, but the best I could do with the only other camera in the house.




Last edited by elliott; 12-28-2010 at 04:02 PM.
12-28-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
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Jinfinance must've changed the design, and I must say I don't like it..!

Mine had a diagonal split like the above, but only a single line, not a double-line. All the ancient MF SLR's I've had never had a double-line split image wedge.
12-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by orly_andico Quote
Jinfinance must've changed the design, and I must say I don't like it..!

Mine had a diagonal split like the above, but only a single line, not a double-line. All the ancient MF SLR's I've had never had a double-line split image wedge.
He has another one available, but I don't think it is a diagonal split.

Split Image Focus Screen for Pentax DL K100D - eBay (item 350006804800 end time Dec-30-10 02:19:02 PST)


EDIT: Oops, I got them mixed up, I have this one, first one I listed was a single split. He apparently has 3 styles.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dual-45-Split-Image-Focus-Screen-Pentax-K100D-K200D-DL-/...item518dbb44ee
12-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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hm. i just ordered one for my EOS 40D (to match my K20D) from him. hope i don't get the double-line one..

12-29-2010, 05:14 AM   #9
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I was thinking about this one:

180 Split Image Focusing focus Screen for Pentax K10D - eBay (item 110608121741 end time Jan-04-11 23:10:57 PST)

"A blurb on the eBay page you linked to says: not all split image focus screens are born equal. All other screens for Pentax on the market are made from Minolta X700. The thing is that X700 has a thickness of 1.8mm, while all pentax SLR/DSLR use a screen of thickness 1.42mm.. We use K1000 screen, which has a thickness of 1.35mm"

Is this something that would make a difference?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
12-29-2010, 05:24 AM   #10
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it should not! because the focusing plane is measured at the upper side of the screen (facing the pentaprism/pentamirror) so the thickness of the screen is irrelevant.

that said, many of these pentaxes can be miscalibrated. that's why KatzEye offers an installation and calibration service where they will shim the new screen to perfectly indicate focus. the shims for the K10/K20 can be purchased from pentax ($0.60 a pop so buy a dozen in different thicknesses) except.... i don't know how to order them. KatzEye has obviously figured out the trick.

in the past I put scotch tape on the edges of my screen. Works but messy. in my current K20D, i put scotch tape on the shim. That way nothing sticky touches the screen. it has the effect of thickening the metal shim.
12-29-2010, 05:28 AM   #11
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So... will I have to calibrate the focusing screen to work properly with my camera? I was thinking I could just pop in the screen & that would be it...
12-29-2010, 07:08 AM   #12
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every camera comes with shims from the factory (this is a brass cutout above the screen, between the screen and the prism base).

since every camera is (slightly) different, pentax (or canon, or nikon, or...) tests each camera and puts in an appropriately-thick shim at the factory. that's why they have 'em in many sizes.

the trouble is, the AF matte screen is so lousy for manual focusing, that even if you put the wrong shim in, things will (still) look ok. the bad eggs happen when you put in a split-image screen. if the wrong shim was used, the screen will indicate "in focus" when things are not in focus.

whether you buy a cheap Chinese screen or a KatzEye, you stand a chance that your new screen will mis-represent "in focus" due to a wrong shim being used at the factory. note these cameras were never designed to use manual focus screens so they simply aren't assembled to a high-enough accuracy.

cameras like the Nikon 1-digit series and the Canon 1-series, these do take MF screens from the factory, so you can be sure that they underwent very stringent shimming to ensure that their split-image screens are as accurate as possible.

so.. you may get lucky and not need a new shim (or tape to thicken your existing shim). or you may get unlucky. the mis-focus is only critical at short distances and fast lenses, or at infinity with really long (200mm+) lenses. so you can choose to live with it.. or not. I chose not to live with it.
12-30-2010, 05:23 AM   #13
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When I get the new screen, I'll do some short-focus wide-aperture shots & test it out. I want it to be in focus, so I'll take my time to get it right.
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