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07-08-2014, 10:06 AM   #16
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Ok, the plot thickens. Rachael Katz called Ricoh, and she cannot get the shims, either. So, I called CRIS, and they cannot sell them, because of contractual terms. CRIS was concerned, and promised to start an investigation about this, and will get back to me. Stay tuned for the next installment of Nick and Nora Charles… The Shim Man.

07-08-2014, 10:25 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The assembly is spring-loaded, so tolerance is not part of the equation. The implication is that Pentax is taking better care with the factory calibration (shimming) such that it is usually not necessary to change the factory shimming. This was often not the case with earlier models. In any case, it would still be nice if the shims were available directly from Pentax.


Steve
Very subtle difference in what I said vs. what you said. Hard to believe you felt the need to correct me, but since you did....

Only one side of the screen's frame is held with a spring clip. This is to allow access to the screen, not to accommodate different thicknesses, obviously. The other side is is at a fixed distance to the back of the screen holder. The movable frame is perfectly parallel to the back of the screen holder when closed, holding the screen still and "true." Therefore, there can be tolerance differences. My K-3 came from the factory with no shims at all (the first body I've had like that) and the new screen also did not require any. Harder to chalk it up to more careful shimming if there were no shims involved. We can, however, say that there appears to be a tighter tolerance in the area where the screen sits, since all my previous bodies did, in fact, need shims, and different thicknesses when going from the factory screen to aftermarket ones.

Judging by anecdotal evidence here on the forum, very few K-3's have needed shims when replacing screens. Most previous bodies have needed to be re-shimmed when replacing screens. If K-3's were arriving with all manner of different-sized shims pre-installed then that would lend more credence to it being more careful factory shimming.
07-08-2014, 10:58 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
My K-3 came from the factory with no shims at all (the first body I've had like that) and the new screen also did not require any.
This is a little difficult to reconcile with what Rachael Katz told me, with the procedure to replace the *factory* shim in a K-3. As I have said, she is very helpful. This is the reason that I like working with her. Here is her very recent email to me about this (July 1st, 2014):

-----------------------------------------------
"The K3 does utilize a shim. The standard size is 0.35mm. It is unlikely to have been displaced though, as it is retained by a little metal spring tab arrangement.

There is no published procedure for changing the shim because it is not considered a user-serviceable item; but I will do my best to describe the process.

First, you should take some time to clean up the camera, particularly the mirror chamber and lens mount, and prepare your work area. The screen will be out for a few minutes, so anything you can do to minimize dust incursion should be done. Next, the screen must be removed and safely stored. It will be out for a few minutes, so it should be placed in its protective bag to keep it from gathering dust. You will also need a good strong light source, like a desk lamp or a head lamp, that can be aimed into the camera so you can see the necessary detail. The tools required are an ordinary household tweezers with a standard wide tip (not the pointy type) and a small probing tool, such as a straight blade jeweler's screwdriver.

Now, if you look up toward the pentaprism (looking through the lens opening, from bottom towards the flash), you will see the shim where the focusing screen was sitting. Take a few moments to note the orientation of the shim. Notice the two tabs at the rear of the camera that retain the back edge. As you are looking from this angle (bottom of the camera toward you, camera on its back), you will see to the right of center, the small metal 'hook' that keeps the shim from falling out. Using your probe, gently lift that hook toward the lens opening and the shim will be freed. While lifting the hook, tip the camera up until the shim falls free and lift the shim out with your tweezers.

To install the new shim, hold it with your tweezers by the front edge (long edge without the two protruding tabs). Place the two tabs in their matching slots at the rear of the camera and tip the camera so the shim falls against the hook. Lift the hook while tipping the camera so the shim falls into place and release the hook. The shim should now be installed - tip the camera to ensure it doesn't fall out and visually confirm the small hook is once again holding the front edge of the shim. Check and clean any dust as necessary, and re-install the focusing screen."
------------------------------------------------
07-08-2014, 11:41 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Very subtle difference in what I said vs. what you said. Hard to believe you felt the need to correct me, but since you did....
Sorry to have caused offense and thank you for the detailed explanation as to how a camera that does not require additional or different shims is made to tighter tolerance than one that does not.


Steve

---------- Post added 07-08-14 at 11:44 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by asharpe Quote
Here is her very recent email to me about this (July 1st, 2014):
Rachael Katz is great, isn't she? I have had a couple of similarly helpful exchanges with her and am a real fan of her product. This is helpful in that she confirmed that the K-3 is designed to a default shim standard of 0.35mm. That provides a good start point for users wishing to make their own from shim stock.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 07-08-2014 at 11:49 AM.
07-08-2014, 12:50 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by asharpe Quote
There is no published procedure for changing the shim because it is not considered a user-serviceable item; but I will do my best to describe the process.
Methinks there is a message in that little bit of information.
07-08-2014, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #21
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More from Rachael:

"Just to let you know, Andrew, I have started the process of trying to become a Pentax/Ricoh distributor. I do not know if our application will be accepted or not, but we are making every effort to find a solution for our customers. You may feel free to pass along this information as you see fit, with the understanding that there is no guarantee of success - we are at the whim of Ricoh executives at this point.

Thanks,
Rachael Katz
KatzEyeT Optics
Toll Free: 855-KatzEye (528-9393)
Outside USA: +1.413.743.2523
www.katzeyeoptics.com"
07-08-2014, 01:41 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Sorry to have caused offense and thank you for the detailed explanation as to how a camera that does not require additional or different shims is made to tighter tolerance than one that does not.


Steve[COLOR="Silver"]

Huh? I think maybe you mis-typed.

---------- Post added 07-08-14 at 03:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by asharpe Quote
This is a little difficult to reconcile with what Rachael Katz told me, with the procedure to replace the *factory* shim in a K-3. As I have said, she is very helpful. This is the reason that I like working with her. Here is her very recent email to me about this (July 1st, 2014):

-----------------------------------------------
"The K3 does utilize a shim. The standard size is 0.35mm. It is unlikely to have been displaced though, as it is retained by a little metal spring tab arrangement.

There is no published procedure for changing the shim because it is not considered a user-serviceable item; but I will do my best to describe the process.

First, you should take some time to clean up the camera, particularly the mirror chamber and lens mount, and prepare your work area. The screen will be out for a few minutes, so anything you can do to minimize dust incursion should be done. Next, the screen must be removed and safely stored. It will be out for a few minutes, so it should be placed in its protective bag to keep it from gathering dust. You will also need a good strong light source, like a desk lamp or a head lamp, that can be aimed into the camera so you can see the necessary detail. The tools required are an ordinary household tweezers with a standard wide tip (not the pointy type) and a small probing tool, such as a straight blade jeweler's screwdriver.

Now, if you look up toward the pentaprism (looking through the lens opening, from bottom towards the flash), you will see the shim where the focusing screen was sitting. Take a few moments to note the orientation of the shim. Notice the two tabs at the rear of the camera that retain the back edge. As you are looking from this angle (bottom of the camera toward you, camera on its back), you will see to the right of center, the small metal 'hook' that keeps the shim from falling out. Using your probe, gently lift that hook toward the lens opening and the shim will be freed. While lifting the hook, tip the camera up until the shim falls free and lift the shim out with your tweezers.

To install the new shim, hold it with your tweezers by the front edge (long edge without the two protruding tabs). Place the two tabs in their matching slots at the rear of the camera and tip the camera so the shim falls against the hook. Lift the hook while tipping the camera so the shim falls into place and release the hook. The shim should now be installed - tip the camera to ensure it doesn't fall out and visually confirm the small hook is once again holding the front edge of the shim. Check and clean any dust as necessary, and re-install the focusing screen."
------------------------------------------------
I have successfully replaced the screen in at least the last 3 bodies, sometimes several times per body, so I am well-versed in the procedure. All but the last one in my K-3 required re-shimming so I am quite familiar with that process also.

My K-3 did not have a shim, and I did not use one with the replacement screen. The focus point/DoF with it is perfect. Period.

Last edited by DogLover; 07-08-2014 at 01:51 PM.
07-08-2014, 02:16 PM   #23
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This is very disturbing news. I had to buy a set of shims for my K200D but I don't think they'll fit a K5 or K3. Part of the allure of the Pentax DSLR is the ability to use old lenses, and a replacement focussing screen is important for that, though less so now with focus peaking etc. I still like the viewfinder.

Obviously this is just to squeeze more money out of the consumer, because there's just no other possible reason for the decision.

On the up side, I see potential for third parties to step in. A quick web search turned up this company in England who custom make shims. Someone enterprising enough could manufacture a range and sell them on.

Standard Shim Rolls & Sheets

07-08-2014, 03:04 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
On the up side, I see potential for third parties to step in. A quick web search turned up this company in England who custom make shims. Someone enterprising enough could manufacture a range and sell them on.
I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if Ricoh holds a patent on the exact design?


Steve

---------- Post added 07-08-14 at 03:17 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Obviously this is just to squeeze more money out of the consumer, because there's just no other possible reason for the decision.
Unfortunately, there is no additional profit in it for Ricoh USA. They won't sell the shims. Their official service facility can't sell the shims. Translation? No shims are sold!

Mind you, that is Ricoh USA talking. Ricoh in other parts of the world may be willing to sell directly.


Steve
07-08-2014, 03:19 PM   #25
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What is the point of building a camera with replaceable focusing screens and not selling the shims? The logical answer to this question is that Ricoh no longer intends to offer optional focusing screens and also make it difficult for third party vendors although it wouldn't be a difficult thing for vendors to locate and offer the proper shims.
07-08-2014, 04:22 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
What is the point of building a camera with replaceable focusing screens and not selling the shims?
I imagine that the expectation is that you will only buy OEM Pentax/Ricoh screens, and that only an authorized service center should replace them. I think it's poppycock, of course, but that seems to be the idea.
07-08-2014, 04:38 PM   #27
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I realize this is an annoying development, but seriously, scotch tape, it isn't hard. These shims are not vital even if your screen needs shimming.
07-08-2014, 05:04 PM   #28
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You are sweating the small stuff.

The big stuff is Ricoh doesn't sell ANY parts directly to consumers any more - you have to get them from a Dealer. But there aren't enough B&M Dealers - and certainly not enough that will stock parts; even Ricoh won't stock parts n the USA for order by a Dealer. There is one internet Dealer in Boulder who stocks SOME Pentax camera parts but it is unclear whether these are just disassembled cameras from the repair operation or actual stock parts.

I don't know whether this comes from Japan or is part of the strategy to rebuild the Pentax Dealer network in the USA. Given that something similar seems to be happening in Canada it may be more global strategy by Ricoh - which would be consistent with their actions in copiers.
07-08-2014, 07:48 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
... but seriously, scotch tape, it isn't hard. These shims are not vital even if your screen needs shimming.
Well, if, when the split prism lines up and the microprisms stop shimmering, the desired object isn't in focus, yes, they are indeed vital. I do not understand how you can use scotch tape for a front focusing problem, can you explain? Recall that there is already a .35mm shim in place. I'm really not averse to trying this if it works...
07-08-2014, 07:55 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by p38arover Quote
One could always buy some brass shim stock and cut one's own shims with a sharp modelling knife and a straight edge.
Better yet, run down to the auto parts store and buy a feeler gauge set in stainless steel. That should supply enough shims for several cameras at a cost of about five bucks. Cut to size with a dremel.
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