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07-07-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
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Ricoh no longer selling shims for focusing screens

Hi folks,

A few hours ago, I got off the phone with a Paul C at Ricoh support, who informed me that Ricoh has decided not to sell focusing screen shims to consumers as of January this year (2014); only to "repair facilities", like CRIS. But they could not tell me if CRIS would even sell them to me; CRIS might simply tell me I had to send the camera in to get a new shim. This is a bad blow for 3rd party screens, and especially for my favorite, Katzeye. I have bought 3 screens from Rachael Katz and she has always been available and extremely helpful and friendly.

This time, I just purchased a screen for my new K-3, which has a .35mm shim already in the camera from the factory (information from Rachael), and I need a slightly thinner one due to very slight front focusing. Rachael tells me that "Pentax's tolerance for viewfinder calibration is notoriously lax", so she doesn't find it odd that I might need it for the K3, when the other screens I bought for my K20D did not need an adjustment. Rachael not only gave me the direct phone number of the Ricoh sales person for shims, she gave me all the part numbers and sizes. Here they are:

77240.M02200A - 0.10mm
77240.M02200B - 0.15mm
77240.M02200C - 0.20mm
77240.M02200D - 0.25mm
77240.M02200E - 0.30mm
77240.M02200F - 0.35mm
77240.M02200G - 0.40mm
77240.M02200H - 0.45mm
77240.M02200I - 0.50mm

The Ricoh representative was very helpful and apologetic, but there is no way for them to order them, and the direct line to the Ricoh sales person no longer works. They gave me her email address instead, and asked me to ask Rachael if she would contact them; perhaps she can obtain them to sell to us.

I have emailed Rachael about this; when I hear from her what she will do, I will update this thread with the new information. But for the time being, shims are no longer available from Ricoh.


Last edited by asharpe; 07-07-2014 at 08:09 PM.
07-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #2
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That is unfortunate. I got a set several years ago when I needed to shim a Katz-eye. One big plus when ordering an s-type screen from focusingscreen.com is that they include a decent assortment of shims. Also, it's worth noting that most K-3 users have not required shimming with the s-type, myself included. I've had to shim every other body/screen combo up until this one.
07-07-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Also, it's worth noting that most K-3 users have not required shimming with the s-type, myself included. I've had to shim every other body/screen combo up until this one.
Interesting. Are you saying that you had to shim your K-3 with a Katzeye screen, but not the s-type? That seems odd to me. Or, have you had to shim a Katzeye with a different body, and just haven't tried a Katzeye in your K-3? It seems possible that if you didn't have to shim the K3 with the s-type, you wouldn't have to with the Katzeye, either...
07-07-2014, 08:10 PM   #4
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Can I ask what might be a stupid question. What is a shim and what do these katz eye focusing screens really do?

07-07-2014, 08:21 PM   #5
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Thank goodness I bought a full set late last year (from Pentax Australia) for my K-7/K-5 which appear to have the same nos. as the K-3 shims.

See https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/240093-does-k-7-...ml#post2546849 and scroll down

Last edited by p38arover; 07-07-2014 at 08:26 PM.
07-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #6
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Layered Scotch tape actually works just fine in a pinch, so it is not a totally must-have item if you need them...
07-07-2014, 08:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Can I ask what might be a stupid question. What is a shim and what do these katz eye focusing screens really do?
The Katzeye screens (and others) allow easier focusing with manual lenses. The stock focusing screen has too fine a matte, and has far too much depth of field, rendering manual focusing more difficult. The old SLRs had screens with focusing "aids" like micro-prisms and split prisms that made it far easier to focus, and these 3rd party screens can have the same aids, or simply be a coarser matte to allow the image to snap into focus more easily. The shims are necessary because tiny differences in the thickness of the screen means that the focusing screen will not be at the precise distance from the pentaprism, and so will show something in focus that is, in fact, not.

---------- Post added Jul 7th, 2014 at 08:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Layered Scotch tape actually works just fine in a pinch, so it is not a totally must-have item if you need them...
This may work if you have to make the existing shim thicker (and have tiny elven fingers ), but it might take some real finesse to build up a .25mm shim, evenly all around...
07-07-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by asharpe Quote
Interesting. Are you saying that you had to shim your K-3 with a Katzeye screen, but not the s-type? That seems odd to me. Or, have you had to shim a Katzeye with a different body, and just haven't tried a Katzeye in your K-3? It seems possible that if you didn't have to shim the K3 with the s-type, you wouldn't have to with the Katzeye, either...
I haven't used a Katz-eye in several years, not since I discovered the s-type. Last several of my bodies have been s-type only. K-3 is the first one that didn't need to be shimmed, and many others here in the forum have had the same experience.

07-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #9
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For what its worth, both the KatzEye and S-type screens are the same thickness as the stock screen and if Pentax did their job properly at the factory, neither should require other than the factory shims (if present). My K10D was fine without as is my K-3. Fortunately, screen calibration is simple to assess with the K-3 using magnified live view with focus peaking.

It is truly a shame that Ricoh refuses to sell parts and C.R.I.S. refuses to do other than service work. This is sort of old news and has been reported before on this Web site, but the implications for repair facilities other than C.R.I.S. is rather disturbing. KatzEye should be able to simply order the parts.


Steve
07-07-2014, 10:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Last several of my bodies have been s-type only. K-3 is the first one that didn't need to be shimmed, and many others here in the forum have had the same experience.
I could be convinced to try the s-type, but I'm fairly certain that if my specific body needs to be shimmed with the Katzeye, it'll have to be shimmed with the s-type, too. I think there is some variance in the bodies, as Rachael Katz has said.
07-07-2014, 10:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
For what its worth, both the KatzEye and S-type screens are the same thickness as the stock screen and if Pentax did their job properly at the factory, neither should require other than the factory shims (if present). My K10D was fine without as is my K-3. Fortunately, screen calibration is simple to assess with the K-3 using magnified live view with focus peaking.

It is truly a shame that Ricoh refuses to sell parts and C.R.I.S. refuses to do other than service work. This is sort of old news and has been reported before on this Web site, but the implications for repair facilities other than C.R.I.S. is rather disturbing. KatzEye should be able to simply order the parts.


Steve
Yes, but I think the implication is that the K-3 may be made with a little tighter tolerance, since there seems to be more users of that body that don't require shimming. That was certainly my experience.
07-07-2014, 11:28 PM   #12
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One could always buy some brass shim stock and cut one's own shims with a sharp modelling knife and a straight edge.
07-08-2014, 07:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Yes, but I think the implication is that the K-3 may be made with a little tighter tolerance,
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
07-08-2014, 09:43 AM - 1 Like   #14
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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.
Perhaps you meant to type "I could always…". If you can do this, and have the time, patience, materials and skill to professionally accomplish this, that's great. I happen to have all thumbs, which, as it so happens, still work fairly well at pressing the shutter release.
07-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #15
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This development does not please me at all... I would think it would be a fairly simple matter for another company to make 'em and offer them for sale on eBay. Don't know if it will happen, though.
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