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08-02-2016, 01:45 AM   #1
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Split prism focus screen

Hi Everyone.

I have an old *istDL2 which mainly sits in the cupboard gathering dust while my K5 Mk II gets all the glory.

This seems unfair to the poor thing, which was once my pride and joy. I also have a collection of K, M, A and M42 glass which similarly sees little use.

I am thinking of putting together a "photography for the sake of it" kit of the DL2 and an array of MF primes and having some fun in my lunch hours (I work in Oxford UK, plenty to photograph here!)

This is fine as far as it goes, I then thought perhaps I should add a split prism focus screen to my birthday list. To my disapointment I discovered that KatzEye Optics is no more.

Does anyone know if there are any other extant manufacturers of high quality split prism manual focus screens for a DL2? (from memory I think it's the same screen as the K100D/110D) and also how hard it is to fit one?

thanks

08-02-2016, 02:16 AM   #2
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According to the specs here on PF, that screen isn't exchangeable.

Exchangeable screen
No

Pentax *ist DL2 - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications
Scroll down to the part about Viewfinder/LCD
08-02-2016, 02:27 AM   #3
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https://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=25&osCsid=8fbce2b3f61b27264d6bede3f0d6221f
08-02-2016, 02:38 AM   #4
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My thoughts on split prism focusing screens...

I went through a phase of using manual focus lenses with the normal focusing screens in my K-5 and K-3, but I found it tricky to get accurate focus, especially with wider angle lenses (28mm, for instance).

Then, I fitted a very good "Nikon K3" screen from focusingscreen.com to my K-3. It definitely made accurate manual focusing easier, but - despite initially believing otherwise - I found that the metering could be affected significantly. I knew that spot metering would be affected, but found I had to shoot in matrix metering mode all the time in order to get consistent exposures.

So, I moved the split prism screen to my K-5, and there it stayed for a little while. But again, I got frustrated with metering limitations. Eventually, I decided that was more of an issue for me than focusing difficulties, and I reverted to the original screen.

To my surprise, I've found that my ability to manually focus with the standard screen has improved (probably with practice), and I don't miss the split prism screen as much as I thought I might. Of course, it's a subjective thing and there are many people that wouldn't be without them.

I have the O-ME53 magnifying eyecup on all of my Pentax DSLRs and this makes a significant difference, both for manual focusing and confirming AF accuracy... the extra magnification really helps. If you haven't got one fitted to your *istDL2, I'd recommend it (I'm pretty sure it's compatible with that camera).

08-02-2016, 02:43 AM   #5
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Wow thanks for the quick replies, I had found focussingscreen.com but somehow had looked straight through the "K100/istDL" button which I know see is right there in the middle of the list.

I know these screens can cause issue with metering, but the metering with old glass is dodgy at best anyway. Still the tip about the magnifying eyecup is a good one, I might try that first and see how I get on before jumping for a screen.
08-02-2016, 02:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tekmongoose Quote
I know these screens can cause issue with metering, but the metering with old glass is dodgy at best anyway. Still the tip about the magnifying eyecup is a good one, I might try that first and see how I get on before jumping for a screen.
I think that's a good course of action Regardless of whether you end up fitting a split prism focusing screen, the O-ME53 will make a big difference. If you can live with the metering issues, though, the focusingscreen.com screens are definitely worth trying; they're original manufacturer stock (mine came in its original Nikon packaging) cut to size for the specified camera.
08-02-2016, 03:25 AM   #7
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Question. The link pid mentions, I clicked on it and it lists only the *istDL not the DL2. Are they interchangeable?
08-02-2016, 03:59 AM   #8
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as far as I can remember the DL/DL2/K100D all use the same viewfinder assembly, hence the same screen. It's officially not interchangable, but I'm pretty sure I have heard of people changing them, I wouldn't put too much weight on that without further research though.

08-02-2016, 05:10 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tekmongoose Quote
(I work in Oxford UK, plenty to photograph here!)

So you a-spire to photograph Oxford. Don't confine yourself to the buildings, try candid people imaging. You might capture Lewis or Morse's ghost.
08-04-2016, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #10
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well I've taken the venerable DL2 out a couple of times now, manual focus is proving a lot easier than I expected. I put a couple of results in the photos section

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/327146-streets-oxford...erformers.html

Lots of learning to do but I'm having a great time.
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