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04-08-2014, 07:34 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
@ScooterMaxi Jim: Thanks for the link. Have you tried this exact magnifier?
That's the exact magnifier I use, and have used for several years. Lost one in a dark shoot involving a lot of movement (a protest rally), and have since used the brass pressure screw brackets to keep the unit in place as I never have need to remove it. Not that the regular fitting was loose at all, but if you get into tight quarters and have tight camera case spaces (that's the way I do it), you can pop the eyepiece off without noticing it.

My best guess is that using MF - my rate of unacceptably soft shots have dropped by at least 70%. Pretty much it is the same as going from crop sensor to FF in quality of VF experience (I shot the Canon 5D for a few years). At under $30 you get a huge bump - as the quality is much higher than the more commonly available units (Pentax and KPS in particular).

Everyone has different experiences - no set of eyes perceives things the exact same way. While it is safe to say that most of us aren't having the issues you indicate - how you perceive performance should not be doubted. Possibly a relatively inexpensive fix will have you as enthusiastic as most of us regarding this particular viewfinder. Not that the camera is perfect...

04-08-2014, 08:24 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
That's the exact magnifier I use, and have used for several years. Lost one in a dark shoot involving a lot of movement (a protest rally), and have since used the brass pressure screw brackets to keep the unit in place as I never have need to remove it. Not that the regular fitting was loose at all, but if you get into tight quarters and have tight camera case spaces (that's the way I do it), you can pop the eyepiece off without noticing it.

My best guess is that using MF - my rate of unacceptably soft shots have dropped by at least 70%. Pretty much it is the same as going from crop sensor to FF in quality of VF experience (I shot the Canon 5D for a few years). At under $30 you get a huge bump - as the quality is much higher than the more commonly available units (Pentax and KPS in particular).

Everyone has different experiences - no set of eyes perceives things the exact same way. While it is safe to say that most of us aren't having the issues you indicate - how you perceive performance should not be doubted. Possibly a relatively inexpensive fix will have you as enthusiastic as most of us regarding this particular viewfinder. Not that the camera is perfect...
70% improvement sounds good to me. I think I will order one. Do you lose any field of view from this finder? If so how much of the edges are cropped off?
04-09-2014, 04:45 AM   #33
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Essentially, no loss of FoV. You wouldn't want to use it with glasses (I don't like to use them even with the standard viewfinder). Otherwise, it is possible to see everything if you get eye up very close. My comfort level is a little away from the eyepiece, so I have to adjust a bit to see well into the corners. Unlike the lower quality eyepieces I have tried, distortion and light loss into the corners is virtually negligible even with your eye a bit away. It is just a bit larger than some eyepieces, which allows for the better edge optics and some nose relief, but it might not be everyone's cup of tea.
04-10-2014, 07:50 AM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
When you point your K50 up to a plain bright blue sky, do you not see a textured pattern on the sky caused from the viewfinder?
I have a K10D (my friend has a K-50) and I do indeed see the texture of my aftermarket KatzEye screen when held up against the sky. The same is true for each of the dozen-plus SLRs* on my shelf. With some, the Fresnel pattern is obvious and with others it is a fine matte pattern. Which pattern depends on the age of the camera.


Steve

* Pentax, Mamiya/Sekor, Ricoh, and Minolta dating back to the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s. I also have an Olympus OM screen that I use for rangefinder calibration on my rangefinder cameras. It also is not clear.

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:05 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
That being said I may invest in a viewfinder magnifier to hopefully make up for the lost clarity
That may well make the focus task easier, though I suspect that you will find that the objectionable grain is more, rather than less, prominent when magnified.

I hope you find a working solution. It is has been difficult for me to visualize your issue since you refer to the view as being both grainy and smeared. I just have to trust that what your eyes see is different than what mine might see.

To summarize the options in answer to your original question:
  • There are no clear focus screens on the market, regardless of camera make. All require some mechanism to scatter light at their surface to create the visible image.
  • Some available screens (e.g. Canon S-type with Super Precision Matte) have a very fine matte surface that may be less objectionable to your eyes than the screen in the K-30
  • A viewfinder magnifier may make manual focus easier
  • A screen having a focus aid may make manual focus easier
  • If the viewfinder on another brand camera is more clear to your eyes, that camera may be a better choice than the K-30. There are no other options other than the points above for a Pentax dSLR.
Good luck and hope you are making great photos, regardless of your gear!


Steve

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:10 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Pentax and KPS in particular
I gotta ask...What is KPS?


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 04-10-2014 at 08:07 AM.
04-11-2014, 08:40 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have a K10D (my friend has a K-50) and I do indeed see the texture of my aftermarket KatzEye screen when held up against the sky. The same is true for each of the dozen-plus SLRs* on my shelf. With some, the Fresnel pattern is obvious and with others it is a fine matte pattern. Which pattern depends on the age of the camera.


Steve

* Pentax, Mamiya/Sekor, Ricoh, and Minolta dating back to the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s. I also have an Olympus OM screen that I use for rangefinder calibration on my rangefinder cameras. It also is not clear.

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:05 AM ----------



That may well make the focus task easier, though I suspect that you will find that the objectionable grain is more, rather than less, prominent when magnified.

I hope you find a working solution. It is has been difficult for me to visualize your issue since you refer to the view as being both grainy and smeared. I just have to trust that what your eyes see is different than what mine might see.

To summarize the options in answer to your original question:
  • There are no clear focus screens on the market, regardless of camera make. All require some mechanism to scatter light at their surface to create the visible image.
  • Some available screens (e.g. Canon S-type with Super Precision Matte) have a very fine matte surface that may be less objectionable to your eyes than the screen in the K-30
  • A viewfinder magnifier may make manual focus easier
  • A screen having a focus aid may make manual focus easier
  • If the viewfinder on another brand camera is more clear to your eyes, that camera may be a better choice than the K-30. There are no other options other than the points above for a Pentax dSLR.
Good luck and hope you are making great photos, regardless of your gear!


Steve

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:10 AM ----------



I gotta ask...What is KPS?


Steve
Steve,
Thanks for sharing your knowledge to help me better understand how focusing systems work. I searched for an image of a fresnel pattern and that is a good description of what I have been seeing. Wish I could have described it like that from the beginning but it's hard to properly describe something that I wasn't familiar with. I experimented a little more with my father in law's canon rebel and if I tried hard to see this pattern, I could, but the difference is that I had to try to see it on his camera but the K30 is easily evident. This is probably why I assumed some cameras were clear, because on other cameras the fresnel type pattern was less apparent to my eyes.
04-13-2014, 10:34 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
Steve,
Thanks for sharing your knowledge to help me better understand how focusing systems work. I searched for an image of a fresnel pattern and that is a good description of what I have been seeing. Wish I could have described it like that from the beginning but it's hard to properly describe something that I wasn't familiar with. I experimented a little more with my father in law's canon rebel and if I tried hard to see this pattern, I could, but the difference is that I had to try to see it on his camera but the K30 is easily evident. This is probably why I assumed some cameras were clear, because on other cameras the fresnel type pattern was less apparent to my eyes.
Glad to be of assistance! I hope you are able to put together a setup that works for you.


Steve
04-14-2014, 08:00 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

Steve

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 08:10 AM ----------



I gotta ask...What is KPS?


Steve
KPS U-13C magnifying eyepiece. Probably a tad better than Pentax OEM eyepiece, but not as good as the larger MC generic unit that provides various adapters - and sometimes includes a carrying case in the description.
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