Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-13-2011, 10:04 AM   #1
Forum Member
fewayne's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 84
Yet Another +1 on KatzEye

One of the things that drew me to Pentax was the wealth of inexpensive, high-quality glass available. Of course "inexpensive" mostly means "manual-focus", and I've collected quite a few slightly-out-of-focus, almost-terrific images in the year and a half I've had my K-7.

No more excuses, now: I installed a KatzEye focusing screen Monday, and have experimented with three lenses. Two thumbs way up. Installation took only a few minutes (and believe me, I'm no surgeon).

With the OptiBrite option (ouch$!), it is noticeably brighter than the OEM screen (though still not a patch on my beloved old OM-1). I find myself depending more on the microprism than the central rangefinder dot, though that may change as I practice. Lens-specific experiences:

  • With the 18-55mm kit lens: Manually focusing with the screen's aids tracks exactly with the autofocus (so I must've gotten the installation right). Have to pay some attention to eye position to keep the central dot from dimming one half or the other (though it never blacks out).
  • With a Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/3.5: Night and day. Microprisms work absolutely beautifully, and the rangefinder too. I'm focusing more quickly and more accurately after only an hour or two's practice. Works acceptably with glasses on, very well indeed with them off (see "eye positioning" above). I don't notice much "snap" difference on the matte portion, it's supposed to be brighter but not as snappy as the OEM screen but without a side-by-side, I can't really tell much difference.
  • With a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7: Oooh baby, where you been all my life? The extra aperture and narrow depth of field when focusing makes using this lens an absolute joy rather than tedious "is it really focused?" chore it was with the OEM screen. Yes yes, you can use the autofocus indicator as a guide, but with the screen you can actually see exactly what's in and out of focus, instead of relying on "the computer says the area somewhere around the little red square is pretty good". Eye position not important -- if I can see through the viewfinder, I get a nice rangefinder. I cannot wait to do some low-light work with this setup!
I haven't yet had a chance to try my Takumar Bayonet 135mm f/2.5. Suspect it's going to be like the 50, what with even narrower DOF and plenty big aperture.

Bottom line: You'll blow some of the money you saved by picking up the old Takumars instead of those autofocus DA*s, but it's sort of like the sensor-shift SR philosophy: You only have to pay the penalty once, and then it'll work for every lens you own.

07-13-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Netherlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 148
I also really LOVE the KatzEye, had it on my former K100D and really are missing it on my present K7.
Thing is, they already aren't really cheap, but the taxes and PP to The Netherlands makes them REALLY expensive

But when i can affort it, the first addition to my K7 will be the KatzEye.

I tried the chinese version of the splitfocus as wel as cutting an old MX screen end even cutting an old OM screen, but none of them can compare to Katz
07-13-2011, 12:33 PM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 773
Just replaced my K20D focusingscreen.com screen with the KatzEye (Optibrite) and it really is superb!
07-14-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paradise, NL
Photos: Albums
Posts: 106
Do you find it affects the metering? I've heard that especially spot metering is affected when a focus screen is installed.

I have a K-r and I'm wondering if I should be considering a focus screen. I find it very hard to get tack sharp focus using the OEM screen.

AB

07-15-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
Forum Member
fewayne's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 84
Original Poster
I haven't done any kind of comprehensive metering test yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hanging one of these old lenses on a K-7 pegs the metering to center-weighted only -- spot metering isn't even selectable. That said, I would expect some effect with slower lenses, since the rangefinder is (duh) in the center, even if it doesn't occupy the entire metering area. But the table on the KatzEye site argues against that, since they show no effect down to f/5.6 for both multi-segment and center-weighted. Sure, they could be lying, but in that case why put the table in at all? I'm inclined to "trust, but verify".

Reproduced without permission, here's what they show for the K-7:


Since I don't have an identical body to try out side-by-side, the only way I can do a really definitive test would be to swap the screens back and forth. Not too likely!

But what I can do is mount the 18-55 and rack it to 55 for minimum aperture, and investigate how switching metering modes affects the exposure. For, say, an evenly-lighted 18% gray card filling the field of view, multi-segment, center-weighted, and spot ought to all give the same exposure.

I'm guessing that if I'm terribly scrupulous and quantitative, I'll wind up with essentially the data reproduced above...

Last edited by fewayne; 07-15-2011 at 10:10 AM.
07-15-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,864
QuoteOriginally posted by fewayne Quote
I haven't done any kind of comprehensive metering test yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hanging one of these old lenses on a K-7 pegs the metering to center-weighted only -- spot metering isn't even selectable.
You can still choose spot metering with any lens.

Witth M42, K or M lenses, the camera will shift from multi-segment to center-weighted. That does create a different metering experience, which some users might interpret as errors. I spent a while with center-weighted for every lens to get a better feel for it. I did not find any metering issues with the Katz-Eye except for spot metering.

I felt like I was missing some essential element without spot metering, but after trying it out many times, I don't get along with it.
07-15-2011, 10:59 AM   #7
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,454
Those who use older MF Pentax glass should seriously consider getting a KatzEye screen. Been using one for 4 years with my K10 and consider it essential equipment for use with all my manual focus lenses. Can't speak to other makers screens but KatzEye, although expensive, is very good.

Tom G
07-15-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Netherlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 148
I had the Katz in my former K100D, and because of the costs, i ordered a Jin-something screen at ebay.
After a week of using it, i changed back to the original screen.
The Katz is the screen to have.

07-15-2011, 12:52 PM   #9
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,491
QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Those who use older MF Pentax glass should seriously consider getting a KatzEye screen. Been using one for 4 years with my K10 and consider it essential equipment for use with all my manual focus lenses. Can't speak to other makers screens but KatzEye, although expensive, is very good.

Tom G
Ditto!


Steve
07-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Iowa
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,269
I have a KatzEye with the Optibrite treatment in my K-x, and I gotta say it is brighter than the $17 eBay split screen in my K100D, and it doesn't black out when I use my f8 500mm Russian mirror lens, which is nice. My Chinese cheapo screen blacks out some with lenses slower than 5.6, but it actually does quite a good job, in my opinion. I think the Chinese screen is comparable to most OEM split screens from the old 35mm SLRs of yore.

The KatzEye is a great screen but if it hadn't come in the camera when I bought it, I wouldn't have it. They're friggin' expensive! ($160 with the Optibrite... Yowza!)

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 07-19-2011 at 07:41 AM.
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!
aperture, autofocus, camera, dot, dslr, eye, half, lens, oem, photography, position, rangefinder, screen
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Katzeye or AF Lens? zombieCat Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 02-11-2010 05:15 PM
Katzeye or K3 ??? bollicina31 Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 8 01-28-2010 11:49 AM
Bigma and Katzeye MichaelRD Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 01-23-2010 10:22 AM
K3 focusingscreen vs katzeye JohnBee Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 12-04-2009 02:50 PM
KatzEye on the K20? FHPhotographer Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 08-06-2009 03:01 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:53 AM. | 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