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06-17-2015, 03:48 PM   #1
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Do viewfinders show "focus peaking" data?

I've tried to search for an answer on this to no avail....

Basically I own a K-01 and love using old manual lenses with the focus peaking feature, but want to try and take my manual lens photography to the next level by getting another pentax body with a viewfinder.

The logic behind this is I figured that the viewfinder might offer "focus peaking" information which would work much better in bright sunlight when limited to the rear LCD screen, however am I wrong in thinking that ?

Could anyone who uses focus peaking on one of the applicable pentax bodies eg. K-30; K-50; K-5; K-3; K-S2 etc chime in and let me know if this is indeed the case?

06-17-2015, 03:53 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Penta Quote
I've tried to search for an answer on this to no avail....

Basically I own a K-01 and love using old manual lenses with the focus peaking feature, but want to try and take my manual lens photography to the next level by getting another pentax body with a viewfinder.

The logic behind this is I figured that the viewfinder might offer "focus peaking" information which would work much better in bright sunlight when limited to the rear LCD screen, however am I wrong in thinking that ?

Could anyone who uses focus peaking on one of the applicable pentax bodies eg. K-30; K-50; K-5; K-3; K-S2 etc chime in and let me know if this is indeed the case?
DSLRs have optical viewfinders, so there's no way for them to display focus peaking.

However, highly effective viewfinder focusing aids do exist: namely split-screen and microprism focusing screens. The former will split your subject into two separate halves if it is out of focus. The latter makes blurry objects appear fuzzy. One of both of these features can be found in most film-era DSLRs, and DSLRs with interchangeable focusing screens can have them installed.

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06-17-2015, 04:09 PM   #3
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Ok thanks for that Adam much appreciated!

I guess my other options would be to invest in a loupe to attach to the rear LCD panel of the K-01 which should work for when it's too bright or alternatively get another pentax body with viewfinder and rely on my eyes to determine when in-focus (like we used to do before all this modern wizardry!)
06-17-2015, 04:56 PM   #4
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Hi there, fellow kay-one-ian! :-)
Yes, you're correct, an lcd viewfinder is an essential tool with the K-01, especially with longer focal lenghts and heavier lenses.
However, even at 6x magnification, you'll be limited by the resolution of the lcd panel when trying to achieve perfect (manual) focus: 16MP/6=2.67MP, while the display is 921k dots, so less than 1MP...
Sometimes it won't bother you, sometimes you'll try hard in order to see what's in focus and will only see coarse detail. Degree of success may vary... ;-)

06-17-2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Hi there, fellow kay-one-ian! :-)
Yes, you're correct, an lcd viewfinder is an essential tool with the K-01, especially with longer focal lenghts and heavier lenses.
However, even at 6x magnification, you'll be limited by the resolution of the lcd panel when trying to achieve perfect (manual) focus: 16MP/6=2.67MP, while the display is 921k dots, so less than 1MP...
Sometimes it won't bother you, sometimes you'll try hard in order to see what's in focus and will only see coarse detail. Degree of success may vary... ;-)
Get a K-3 or K-S2 - you can zoom in to full size even with peaking on, which makes manual fine-tuning a breeze.

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06-18-2015, 01:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Get a K-3 or K-S2 - you can zoom in to full size even with peaking on, which makes manual fine-tuning a breeze.
Him, not me, I'm perfectly fine with my panda brick, thanks!
06-18-2015, 02:08 AM   #7
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With an optical viewfinder you set focus on the matte screen, this works well but may need a bit of training if one is unused to it. The viewfinder also has focus confirmation linked to the selected AF point, this works with manual focus lenses too.
06-18-2015, 07:35 AM   #8
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Even the better focusing screens tend to present their share of issues. You are giving up in one area, to get something else. Great care is needed on the install. The better solution, IMHO, is to go with a better quality viewfinder magnifier (the Pentax version is not much of an improvement, unfortunately). The best of them are these nicely coated 1.3x versions on ebay:

1 3X Camera Magnifier View Finder Big Eyes for Canon Nikon Pentax Olympus Sony | eBay

If the dSLR versions of focus peaking vary from the K-01 (vs. K-3 and K-30 in my case), it isn't readily apparent. They all have similar FP with magnification. For extremely critical focus with fast primes, live view will work best most of the time. Even the focusing screens designed for speed provide critical focus only to f/2.8 optimization.

06-18-2015, 05:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Even the focusing screens designed for speed provide critical focus only to f/2.8 optimization.
?????

In all due respect...That may be true for microprism, but my experience with the better split image models is that they are more than up to task at f/1.7.* I have not tested at f/1.4 and faster. The same is true for the Canon S-type in that they are specifically designed for f/1.8 - f/2.8, though they do carry a warning that they may not be appropriate for slower lenses due to screen darkening.


Steve

* I don't spend a lot of time fiddling with focus comparisons and such, but used the magnified focus peaking to dial in the the shimming for both the Katz Eye and S-type screens to my K-3. If there were any degree of imprecision, it would have shown there.
06-19-2015, 02:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
?????
, but my experience with the better split image models is that they are more than up to task at f/1.7.* I have not tested at f/1.4 and faster.
Yes, Steve, my Katzeye works superbly with the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
06-23-2015, 10:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yes, Steve, my Katzeye works superbly with the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
I also use the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 extensively in some low-light concert and portrait situations; one particular portrait situation is repeated often. The lens performs very nicely down to about f/1.8, but for most practical uses where I don't want overly shallow DoF it rarely gets opened up more than f/2.2. Keep in mind, its important to stop down that lens due to the (minor) focus shift - unless of course point of focus isn't all that critical. I find the shift is most apparent at around f/2.5-2.8. Many fast 85mm lenses share the problem to some extent - possibly most of them.

In any event, at those open apertures I have been finding the use of the K-01 coupled with an attached quality loupe viewer pretty much foolproof even in the most difficult lighting conditions. It's rare to be out of focus, and most often more accurate than the viewfinder - at least for me. Of course, situations vary. However, in instances where you have patterns the FP is even easier. At times, edges can provide an advantage to the viewfinder - assuming an edge is what you want in focus (unusual situation). All of this pertains to faster lenses - those going from f/2.4 or wider. Slower lenses than that tend to favor the viewfinder, of course. It comes down to the fact that crop sensor viewfinders just aren't very good for manually focusing fast lenses compared to FF - in my experience. Even the Canon 5D was much easier - and that wasn't an especially bright viewfinder.
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