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05-14-2014, 05:33 AM   #1
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after-market focusing screens (Katz Eye, others) compared to manual film era screens

I'm considering putting an after-market focusing screen (Katz Eye, focusingscreen.com, etc.) in either a K-X or K100Ds pentamirror DSLR. And I'm trying to anticipate the degree of improvement in manual focusing. Can anyone with after-market focusing screen experience (on a pentamirror DLSR) compare it to the film-era manual focusing screen experience (or to bigger/brighter pentaprism DSLR screens like on the K-3, K-30 or K-50 or others)? For example, would an after-market screen yield an experience about like that on my manual film era K-2? Or a brighter view like on my ME Super? Or would it still lag cameras like those? And would, for example, a K-X + new focusing screen still lag an unaltered K-30 (or other pentaprism DSLR), so that I'd be better just saving the money and using my stock K-30 for truly manual focusing?

Thanks very much for any insight.

05-14-2014, 06:43 AM   #2
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I had a focusing screen from Katz Eye in my old K-x. The short answer is no, it does yield a similar experience. The viewfinders in the MX/ME/ME Super series of SLRs are just too damn huge and bright to be matched. In fact, I actually disliked having the focusing screen in my K-x because the split image took up so much of my view. I have since had the K-r, K-100D, K-50, and K-5IIs and I had no interest in putting a focusing screen in any of them.

However, if you want to use manual focusing (and knowing that your camera does not illuminate the focusing point), you can use the Catch in Focus feature. It works rather well if you're patient.
05-14-2014, 06:47 AM   #3
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I bought what seems like a generic split focusing screen from a fellow forum member. The screen does help with manual focusing when the lens is wide open. It does pass light differently to the metering system in the pentaprism assembly so exposure readings are a little off. You can solve it with exposure compensation. In my case, everything was over exposed. I think the screen passed less light through than the stock focusing screen. Maybe the pricier screens work better than the generic ones.
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