Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-30-2008, 12:27 PM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Munfordville, Ky.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 370
Which focusing screen?

I realize that the Katz eye is probably the best split-screen focusing screen available. Certainly, it seems to be the most expensive. I'm interested in trying such a screen, but not in shelling out over a hundred bucks for one, and I was wondering if any of you have experience using any of the less expensive ones listed on ebay and elsewhere. Recommendations? Thanks in advance.

CN

11-30-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
Veteran Member
TourDeForce's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 512
I've used both on my K100D. If you have the extra bucks for the Katzeye, buy it. You get a better product, better support, and you'll have the piece of mind that there is no better alternative out there. For heavy manual focus photography, you won't do better.

That said, the regular eBay split prism focusing screens work fine. There has been an issue or two with the central split prism getting dark in some conditions, but I never saw a problem when taking pictures. It's a viable option if you're on a budget or plan to use manual focus only occasionally.

Don't expect either one to be perfect. They're after market options. Your focus point indicator may be off center, there may be a problem with the center prism darkening, etc. These are all relatively minor and easy to live with for the greater ease of manual focus you get.
11-30-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Munfordville, Ky.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 370
Original Poster
Thanks, Jim. Sounds like good advice.

CN
11-30-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
allill's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 267
I am currently thinking the same way. The ebay items are so much cheaper. Do these screens help with af at all or does the focusing screen have nothing to do with af?

11-30-2008, 03:26 PM   #5
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,172
I spent the money for the real deal Katzeye; it's some of the best money I've spent over the last few years.

No regrets at all, it's fast, bright viewfinder, now easy to focus all my manual glass, did I say bright viewfinder.
11-30-2008, 09:03 PM   #6
Veteran Member
TourDeForce's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 512
QuoteOriginally posted by allill Quote
I am currently thinking the same way. The ebay items are so much cheaper. Do these screens help with af at all or does the focusing screen have nothing to do with af?
I think (pretty sure) the screen has no effect on autofocus. Check the reviews for lenses that have a quicker AF response than the lens you currently use. I've found the faster lenses tend to AF quicker presumably because there is more light available for the camera to process.

If you plan to manually focus often, or if you expect to experiment with manual focus lenses, the Katzeye is definitely the way to go. For the occasional manual focus of your AF lens in low light, or to carefully offset the focal point once in a while, the eBay dealios are an acceptable alternative for minimal investment.

Again, get the Katzeye if you may wish to do any serious manual focus work.

Last edited by TourDeForce; 11-30-2008 at 09:09 PM. Reason: AF info
11-30-2008, 10:51 PM   #7
Veteran Member
FHPhotographer's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,298
Get the Katz Eye

QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
I realize that the Katz eye is probably the best split-screen focusing screen available. Certainly, it seems to be the most expensive. I'm interested in trying such a screen, but not in shelling out over a hundred bucks for one, and I was wondering if any of you have experience using any of the less expensive ones listed on ebay and elsewhere. Recommendations? Thanks in advance.

CN
I just got my Katz Eye for my K100D. I added the "square" frame to the screen and it's simply the best money I've spent in a long time. Manual focus is greatly improved, framing in general is greatly improved (I'm cropping less and enjoying it more) and the service & support from the Katz Eye was excellent. You really do get what you pay for,
Brian (FHPhotographer)
12-01-2008, 08:05 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Munfordville, Ky.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 370
Original Poster
Perhaps I should have pointed out that I am interested in a split-screen focusing screen solely for the purpose of manually focusing in low-light situations. The only lenses I own at present are auto-focus, and I keep my K10D in center focus 100% of the time. I wouldn't want anything to mess up my ability to auto-focus on the exact spot I thought I was auto-focusing on, nor would I want a screen that would degrade the quality of what I was seeing through the view-finder. Having said that, I suppose the Katz Eye is the way to go?

CN

12-12-2008, 07:33 PM   #9
Site Supporter
k0og's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rolla, Missouri
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 646
I just received my Katz Eye focus screen today and installed it (took about 5 minutes, and I was being very slow about it) in my K100DS. WOW! What an improvement!

I found that manual focus is MUCH faster than with the stock screen, and I found that even in near darkness I can focus more easily than with the stock screen. The thing which REALLY helps in darker conditions is the prism collar, but I also noticed that the Katz Eye is easier to focus even on the ground-glass outer portion. It seems to give a clearer image and more contrast. I found that there is not much difference (if any) in metering, even using spot metering. It MIGHT be .5 stop overexposing, but it's not enough for me to really be able to tell.

I got the plain Katz Eye with split-screen, microprism collar, no optibright, no extra markings. Perfect! They even have a 10% sale going on now. It's like I got a new camera again!

-Joe-
12-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #10
Veteran Member
rormeister's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 626
For me, it almost makes my K10D as much fun as my Spotmatic II. I do quite a bit of closeup jewelry product shots with my old M42 lenses and having the ability to adjust focus with the accuracy of a split prism is the "Katz Meow"
12-13-2008, 02:02 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Ratmagiclady's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,468
How would you say the brightness compares to stock? (I presume if I do this at all I'd want the brightness coating.) I anticipate being pretty torn: my preferences are kind of quirky. We'll see when my camera arrives. (Soon! Really! )

(I think if I could have something custom made, it'd be a fat microprism-for-fast-lenses collar around a little matte spot or something. Microprism for quick, matte for critical. Makes me wonder if anyone else would think that's a good idea. I've got mixed feelings about split prisms. )
12-13-2008, 02:29 PM   #12
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,452
I got the KatzEye with optibright coating for my K10. As you can see from my signature most of my lenses are manual focus and I use them a lot. I have no regrets at all about this purchase. It works beautifully. It was expensive but I find I'm seldom satisfied when I try to economize on anything for my camera. I typically end up unhappy and buying the better product in the end. The net result is I wind up paying more trying to save a few bucks.

Tom G
12-13-2008, 07:12 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Munfordville, Ky.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 370
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I'm seldom satisfied when I try to economize on anything for my camera. I typically end up unhappy and buying the better product in the end. The net result is I wind up paying more trying to save a few bucks.

Tom G
Yeah, Tom, I know what you mean, and not just with camera equipment. Having said that, however, I went ahead and ordered one of the ebay cheapies, and will try it out. At $27 postage paid it's not something that I'm going to lose any sleep over, and at least this way if I wind up with a Katz Eye I'll know for certain that I couldn't have gotten the same thing for 75% less.

CN
12-13-2008, 08:09 PM   #14
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,452
At that price you can't go far wrong Clem. Hope it works out for you.

Tom G
12-13-2008, 08:24 PM   #15
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,109
QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
How would you say the brightness compares to stock? (I presume if I do this at all I'd want the brightness coating.) I anticipate being pretty torn: my preferences are kind of quirky. We'll see when my camera arrives. (Soon! Really! )

(I think if I could have something custom made, it'd be a fat microprism-for-fast-lenses collar around a little matte spot or something. Microprism for quick, matte for critical. Makes me wonder if anyone else would think that's a good idea. I've got mixed feelings about split prisms. )
I just received my Katzeye this evening. My first impression was that the screen is about the same brightness as the stock screen. That was disappointing. Maybe I should have bought the OptiBright option.

Then I replaced the 18-55 with my Pentax-A 50/1.7. Ahhh...that is what I paid for. The stock screen is never brighter than the equivalent of about f/4 regardless of the lens maximum aperture. Not so with the Katzeye. With a fast lens, the view is great. I stuck my MC Jupiter-9 85/2 on and the difference and ease of focusing was night and day over the stock screen.

I will give the screen a better workout tomorrow when the light is better and post a more complete review.

Steve
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, photography, screen
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Focusing manual lens with OEM focusing screen, is a split screen really needed? skid2964 Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 16 09-17-2010 02:54 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax Brand Focusing Screens and Katz Eye Focusing Screen K10D/K20D (Worldwid superbass Sold Items 8 03-26-2010 01:42 PM
For Sale - Sold: Minolta X-700 Focusing Screen (for you to cut your own split screen) frank Sold Items 3 09-24-2009 10:08 PM
Seeking advice on focusing screen (split screen) for K200D Ari Freund Pentax DSLR Discussion 8 07-31-2009 03:00 AM
For Sale - Sold: K100d and 18-55mm kit lens + split focusing screen installed + glass screen pr vanchaz2002 Sold Items 1 07-24-2008 07:09 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:55 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top