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05-05-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
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Compatibility of old right angle finders with modern cameras

I found a very cheap right angle finder, made for old Pentax film cameras.
The attachment doesn't look too different... but i have no way to test if it fits, cause i'm on vacation, and at the moment i don't have a digital camera with me.
My question is:
are the old enlarging and 90 degrees finders compatible with recent Pentax DSLR cameras?
I have an almost complete set of finders for my LX, which was (and probably still is) one of the best cameras for macro/repro work, so i sorely miss that kind of flexibility if i have to shoot a macro picture with my DSLR positioned close to ground level.
The display is fixed, hence Live View is of no use.
Removable finders are out of fashion, but a 90 degrees attachment would be a nice addition to my Pentax gears. That is... if the very cheap items found on the second-hand market are actually compatible! :-)
There are also very nice enlarging finder attachments, which could be perfect as a focusing aid (maybe it's a way to get precise focusing with very fast primes, without the need for micro prim or split-image focusing glasses).

thanks in advance

ciao

Paolo

05-05-2014, 09:18 PM   #2
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Pentax have two different sizes of viewfinder eye pieces. There is the "old" style which was used on the Spotmatic series and the early K-series (K2, K2 DMD, KX, KM and K1000) launched in 1975, and then the "new" style which was introduced on the ME and MX in 1976 and has been used by every Pentax (D)SLR since then.

What you want in a right angle finder is what Pentax call a Ref-Converter, and the ones that work with the "new" eye pieces are the Ref-Converter M and Ref-Converter A. The A version is the best because they extended the optics so you can view the information below the focusing screen.

Regards

Chris
05-05-2014, 09:46 PM   #3
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The Olympus angle finders for the OM will fit as well. Usually a little cheaper than the Pentax.
05-05-2014, 11:34 PM   #4
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I have the spotmatic version and optically it is gorgeous. It is to small to fit onto the digital camera. I unscrewed the u shaped plate from the right angle finder and carefully filed two sides down so it could slide into the eyepiece. It's lovely just to be able to use it again. It comes in very handy when I mount a camera onto a microscope or a photographic stand. I still get confused with the opposite movement when using for macro photography even though a started photography using a twin reflex 2 1/4 which has the same issue.

05-06-2014, 12:58 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
I have the spotmatic version and optically it is gorgeous. It is to small to fit onto the digital camera. I unscrewed the u shaped plate from the right angle finder and carefully filed two sides down so it could slide into the eyepiece. It's lovely just to be able to use it again. It comes in very handy when I mount a camera onto a microscope or a photographic stand. I still get confused with the opposite movement when using for macro photography even though a started photography using a twin reflex 2 1/4 which has the same issue.
I also got the Spotmatic version recently from a thrift store for $5 dollars. I was initially disappointed that it wouldn't fit on my K30, but it was only $5 so I'm over it. I did muse with the idea of modding it so that it can fit. Nice to read that someone did such a thing with success. I'll have to do it to my own viewfinder sometime!
05-06-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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I have a KX film compatible right angle finder.

It can be made to fit with modifications in one of two ways.

Either filing the finder( I forget now what I part filed/ ground down to fit) or to remove the clip that attached it to the KX compatible finer, use this as a drilling pattern for the viewfinder cover that came with your camera and drill the viewfinder cover to make a compatible mounting clip
05-07-2014, 02:28 AM   #7
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Original Poster
Doing a quick research i found that there is a Seagull 90 degrees finder, with variable magnification, and with attachment for all the main camera brands.
It looks nice. It should be decently priced (new), and it's not uncommon in the second hand market.
Anybody out there, who had the chance to test the Seagull finder?

cheers

P
05-07-2014, 06:06 AM   #8
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See this thread and review
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/234222-dreaded-seagull-1x-...le-finder.html
Seagull 1x / 2x angle finder reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

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