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11-21-2008, 11:28 AM   #1
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Brighter VF for my K20D?

I compared the D300's and my K20D's VF side by side today and the Nikon was very nice and bright. Is there a way to make my VF brighter? Maybe a better focusing screen or something?

(I'm using a K20 with the DA Limiteds by the way.)

Oh by the way I just got myself a KPS U-13C 1.35x Magnifying Eyepiece and I LOVE IT. It's a lot better than the Pentax one.

I also ordered a split focusing screen from jinfinance (ebay), will that brighten my VF?

Many thanks.


Diego


Last edited by soccerjoe5; 11-21-2008 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Simplified question
11-21-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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what lens was on the D300??
11-21-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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The K20D has a great viewfinder as far as crop sensor DSLR's go. What lens was on the D300 when you tried it? A faster lens will brighten it up for sure. While great little lenses, the DA limiteds aren't that fast. Do you have a 1.4 lens?
11-21-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
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It had a 50/1.8 on it.

Oh yeah I'll try my 58/1.4 on my K20D. Get back to you guys in a minute

11-21-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
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Hey you're right, my f/1.4 lens makes the VF a bit brighter!

Aw man now I'm thinking about those FA Ltds intead of my DA Ltds
11-21-2008, 11:51 AM   #6
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You guys know if other focusing screens are brighter than the stock one?

EDIT: After comparing some more, it does make the VF a tad brighter but not much.

Comparing it to my ME Super and MAN does it kick my K20D's VF in both size and brightness.

So, can a focusing screen brighten my viewfinder?

Last edited by soccerjoe5; 11-21-2008 at 12:05 PM.
11-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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I'm not sure if the focusing screen can make it brighter, but I have heard that split screens throw off the metering and focusing in the camera.

-Brian
11-21-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_int21h Quote
I'm not sure if the focusing screen can make it brighter, but I have heard that split screens throw off the metering and focusing in the camera.

-Brian
The metering might be affected, I'm gonna do some tests when I get mine. I wonder though if those people that conducted tests with the split screen covered their viewfinders, it can really throw off the metering if the viewfinder isn't covered.

About the focusing, from what I've read it doesn't affect it at all since the AF module is not behind the focusing screen, which is good news.


Diego

11-21-2008, 12:42 PM   #9
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in all honesty this is as bright as its going to be

the katz eye with optibright will make it slightly better, but you just cant compete with the old film cameras (and even then, not all of them)
11-21-2008, 12:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
You guys know if other focusing screens are brighter than the stock one?

So, can a focusing screen brighten my viewfinder?
SoccerJoe:

The split screens do not make the screen brighter, in my opinion. Katz Eyes have a optional feature called opti-bright, but that is really for dealing with the "black out" effect of lenses slower than f4 or so... the effect looks like half of the split focus circle goes dark.

I do not yet own a k20D, but my K10D is pretty bright for me, and I wear glasses. I have not looked through a modern canon or nikon ... if they're brighter ...man, all the power to them. I don't know how they can do it.

germar
11-21-2008, 12:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
in all honesty this is as bright as its going to be

the katz eye with optibright will make it slightly better, but you just cant compete with the old film cameras (and even then, not all of them)
I see. Oh well, I'm comparing it to a more expensive camera anyway.

But kudos to that D300, when mated with the 1.3x magnifying eyepiece it's a window. Very bright and large.

Sigh, I hope Pentax will make a DSLR with a larger viewfinder. I feel sad every time I move from my ME Super to my K20D.
11-21-2008, 12:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
SoccerJoe:

The split screens do not make the screen brighter, in my opinion. Katz Eyes have a optional feature called opti-bright, but that is really for dealing with the "black out" effect of lenses slower than f4 or so... the effect looks like half of the split focus circle goes dark.

I do not yet own a k20D, but my K10D is pretty bright for me, and I wear glasses. I have not looked through a modern canon or nikon ... if they're brighter ...man, all the power to them. I don't know how they can do it.

germar
Ah really? I had the impression that some screens were darker than others, due to the micro-prisms and the thickness. From what I've read, these micro-prisms help transmit more light.

I believe that the K10D and K20D use the same viewfinder and focusing screen.

I'm not knocking Pentax and I'm looking forward to when they improve their viewfinders.

Side note: you should have seen their faces when I pulled out my K20D with my DA LTD pancakes. "wow that's tiny!" -> "man this is well-made, all metal!" -> "man this is sharp!" -> "you've got all the gear you need in that bag?"
11-21-2008, 03:21 PM   #13
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Interesting thread. The VF on the K10D/K20D is usually pointed out by reviewers as being one of the better viewfinders out there.
11-21-2008, 03:37 PM   #14
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My vote is with the Katzeye with the optibrite treatment, works great on the K10D, so I guess it would be good for K20D to.
11-21-2008, 03:47 PM   #15
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Marc Sabatella put me on to the link below:

Manual Focus with AF DSLRs

While the topic of the Web page is not directly related to viewfinder brightness, the authors make an interesting assertion. For the camera they tested, the viewfinder had the same brightness from for anything larger than f/4.

"...Even though the lens was stopped down a full three stops from f/1.4 to f/4.0, the screen brightness only changed slightly with a small visible difference only appearing after the change from f/2.8 to f/4.0. The background measurement changed from an average reading of 215 to 203 using Photoshop's picker. That works out to less than a third of a stop in brightness change when I compare it to a Stouffer 4110 transmissive step wedge image take with the C7070. A 1/3 step in the Stouffer image at an image value of around 215 shows up as a numerical value change of more than 15. Since most DSLRs meter from the focus screen, it is easy to see how using a fast lens can give exposure problems as well..."

Apparently, some focus screens "eat" light.

Steve
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