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11-23-2015, 10:55 AM - 1 Like   #1
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How I replaced my focusing screen with a high-end SLR focusing screen...

I have been very lucky buying this SLR old-school focusing screen for only 17 euro, it is like new, 0 scratch, just had de resize it to the K200D FS size, it is maybe 1/100 mm thiner than the genuine screen so I inserted a very thin adhesive on screen borders. The demi-disks are now perfectly calibrated, tested on macro shots wide open, perfect focus ! I'm pretty shure it's better quality than Catzeyes products, brighter than the genuine one, and the mate surface is awesome I should not anymore miss any MF shoot (in fact I only MF shoot).


My new focusing screen
by Bruno Polleri, sur Flickr

As I have no AF lens, can't say if it would have an impact on AF, but probably not, I'll see if I need an AF lens one day

This one has the 2 demi-disks and the micro-prisms ring around, only missing horizontal and vertical lines, but I now know how to make them using a hard china ink drawing pen, a razor blade can do the job with very gentle pressure and you get your rulers...

11-23-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bygp Quote
I have been very lucky buying this SLR old-school focusing screen for only 17 euro, it is like new, 0 scratch, just had de resize it to the K200D FS size, it is maybe 1/100 mm thiner than the genuine screen so I inserted a very thin adhesive on screen borders. The demi-disks are now perfectly calibrated, tested on macro shots wide open, perfect focus !
Good work! There have been several users on this site who have cut film SLR screens down to fit their dSLRs and most have been happy with the results.
Do you care to share what screen you used for this project?


QuoteOriginally posted by bygp Quote
I'm pretty shure it's better quality than Catzeyes products, brighter than the genuine one, and the mate surface is awesome
Better quality than a Katz Eye? I have owned three of their screens and there is nothing second rate about their quality. They are beautifully made and perform very nicely. The main advantage to the Katz Eye is that the split-image resists black-out down to about f/8 or f/11. Too bad they are no longer in full operation.*


Steve

* Rumor has it that they are still accepting orders in limited production
11-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Good work! There have been several users on this site who have cut film SLR screens down to fit their dSLRs and most have been happy with the results.
Do you care to share what screen you used for this project?




Better quality than a Katz Eye? I have owned three of their screens and there is nothing second rate about their quality. They are beautifully made and perform very nicely. The main advantage to the Katz Eye is that the split-image resists black-out down to about f/8 or f/11. Too bad they are no longer in full operation.*


Steve

* Rumor has it that they are still accepting orders in limited production
Yes I'm going to tell you which screen it was : PENTAX SUPER A PROGRAM A FOCUSING SCREEN

Plastic made, easy to remove the screen from its frame, a bit harder to to a clean resizing, a good cutter and abrasive can do the job but you may need as I did to insert a very thin layer on borders in order to have it at the right mirror distance.

And yes Katz Eye, is still taking orders but they start producing only when they reach a certain amount of orders, so you may wait several months to get your screen, also, screens choice has been reduced to 1 or 2 basic models (they had much more before). And these screens are expensive for me, almost the price I bought my K200D (100 euro).
11-23-2015, 12:23 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Very nice work, Bruno! It's the one thing I find missing from my cameras - a decent focusing screen. I have some great little 28mm lenses that I find difficult to nail focus on and have to resort to Live View, which I just don't like (never have!). To some extent I have the same difficulty with my 35mm lenses, though I have a greater success rate with those...

11-23-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Very nice work, Bruno! It's the one thing I find missing from my cameras - a decent focusing screen. I have some great little 28mm lenses that I find difficult to nail focus on and have to resort to Live View, which I just don't like (never have!). To some extent I have the same difficulty with my 35mm lenses, though I have a greater success rate with those...
I asked the seller to keep another one for me, I'll surely use it also on the K-5 I'm expecting to get in a few weeks, friends are supporting me to get it as I'm not wealthy atm^^ and realy need a camera with higher ISO quality for low light shots (inner churchs shots project, inventory of artistic capital).
11-23-2015, 06:25 PM - 1 Like   #6
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So those old beaten up Pentax camera bodies I have accumulated while building a lens collection have a use!
11-23-2015, 06:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachboy2 Quote
So those old beaten up Pentax camera bodies I have accumulated while building a lens collection have a use!
Yes, but some film in the back and...
11-23-2015, 07:03 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Have done just that with SP1000 and KM. Beaten up Program A has same screen as above. A P30T also with same screen is in too good a condition to trash.

11-23-2015, 07:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Rumor has it that they are still accepting orders in limited production
I just checked the status of my ordered Katzeye screen last night. They are running the final production run and no longer taking orders according to the site.
11-23-2015, 07:23 PM   #10
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After I bought my K200D in November 2009, the first thing was to order a cheapo Chinese split screen (I payed €19 including all).

The screen turned out to be quite good, but it probably was also made from old SLR stock, as the split area in the VF is much bigger than it was with film bodies.
Unfortunately, there were no shims included. The resulting offset was not so small, and removing the factory shim produced an offset of exactly the same size, but in reverse direction. So the solution was to produce a shim of half the thickness of the original one. Can't remember the exact figures anymore, but I think the original one was 0.35mm.

Last edited by RKKS08; 11-23-2015 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Typing
11-23-2015, 10:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
After I bought my K200D in November 2009, the first thing was to order a cheapo Chinese split screen (I payed 19 including all).

The screen turned out to be quite good, but it probably was also made from old SLR stock, as the split area in the VF is much bigger than it was with film bodies.
Unfortunately, there were no shims included. The resulting offset was not so small, and removing the factory shim produced an offset of exactly the same size, but in reverse direction. So the solution was to produce a shim of half the thickness of the original one. Can't remember the exact figures anymore, but I think the original one was 0.35mm.
The one I now have on my K200D, this resized PENTAX SUPER A PROGRAM A FOCUSING SCREEN is so awesome, even the mate zone helps focusing, micro-prism ring is very accurate and the splited central disk gives a so accurate focus, it is realy a great screen, and so bright, brighter then the genuine one, tested in low light. Cannot compare with Katz Eyes as I never had any, but getting these old screen and crafting them a bit to make them compatible was realy a good chance to take, hope this sharing will help any of you wanting to get a more old-school accurate MF focus screen for reasonnable price Cheers. Bruno.
11-25-2015, 12:18 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bygp Quote
Yes I'm going to tell you which screen it was : PENTAX SUPER A PROGRAM A FOCUSING SCREEN
Excellent screen! Most Japanese 35mm SLRs from the late 1970s into the 1980s have excellent focus screens and viewfinders, perhaps some of the best ever. It was only with the shift to auto-focus that screen quality started to fall.


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11-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Excellent screen! Most Japanese 35mm SLRs from the late 1970s into the 1980s have excellent focus screens and viewfinders, perhaps some of the best ever. It was only with the shift to auto-focus that screen quality started to fall.


Steve
I bought him the 2 left he had in stock, realy great, even for night shots, I just tested it tonight, perfect focus. I will have one as spare and the second one will go on the K-5 II I'm getting next month
11-25-2015, 01:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bygp Quote
As I have no AF lens, can't say if it would have an impact on AF, but probably not, I'll see if I need an AF lens one day
How about any metering effects, Bruno? What sensor mode do you use on your K200D, and what compensation do you find you have to do?
11-25-2015, 02:54 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
How about any metering effects, Bruno? What sensor mode do you use on your K200D, and what compensation do you find you have to do?

Did not noticed any metering changes atm, maybe metering a bit darker as these screens are brighter than the genuines, but darker exposure is better than lighter for post prod.
It's not realy a matter anyway for me as in many situation like night shot, I evaluate manually the metering (got trained now, I know most night shots at 800 iso are ok in the range 1/30 - 1/10 with my K200D), the more I use my K200D, the more I use it fully manually and the less I miss shots^^ I think I'll do the same with my future K-5 II This is the way I love photography, old-school, only K or KA lenses and my best lenses are K lenses like the Vivitar (Kiron) 70-210 3.5 I'm renovating (fungus free now, lubricating all mechanics with silicon grease).

Took these tonight with my 50mm Chinon K lens, I have more move blurs than focus fails because 1/10 is quite hard to shoot even with SR, won't have these problems with the K-5


Old mediteranean church by night
by Bruno Polleri, sur Flickr


Mayol RCT Toulon Rugby Club stadium main entrance
by Bruno Polleri, sur Flickr


Christmas & new year neons
by Bruno Polleri, sur Flickr



---------- Post added 11-25-15 at 03:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
After I bought my K200D in November 2009, the first thing was to order a cheapo Chinese split screen (I payed 19 including all).

The screen turned out to be quite good, but it probably was also made from old SLR stock, as the split area in the VF is much bigger than it was with film bodies.
Unfortunately, there were no shims included. The resulting offset was not so small, and removing the factory shim produced an offset of exactly the same size, but in reverse direction. So the solution was to produce a shim of half the thickness of the original one. Can't remember the exact figures anymore, but I think the original one was 0.35mm.
0.35mm is huge compared to the thin film I had to stick, hard to evaluate its thickness but maybe between 0.01 and 0.05 mm, I guess I'll have to do the same with the K-5 II but the K-5 genuine screen shall be slightly not the same size as the K200D, could also fit perfectly with no offset^^

Last edited by bygp; 11-25-2015 at 03:00 PM.
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