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02-25-2009, 02:59 AM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Geez are these things hand made? It seems every one of them reacts differently. Just when I'm ready to get one, somebody posts that Exposure is off or ff or bf or...
That's why Jesus invented shims of varying thicknesses and lo, they begat good focusing.

My cheapo Ebay screen front focuses a bit: I still use the confirmation hexagon to nail focus right on target.

02-25-2009, 03:11 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
My cheapo Ebay screen front focuses a bit: I still use the confirmation hexagon to nail focus right on target.

See, that's one thing I don't understand. One reason I want this screen is because the AF conf. hexagon is so unreliable. If that thing worked all the time, I could do without the Katz. Also, it was no el cheapo; I spent $160 on it, and I expect it to be worth it
02-25-2009, 03:23 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
See, that's one thing I don't understand. One reason I want this screen is because the AF conf. hexagon is so unreliable. If that thing worked all the time, I could do without the Katz. Also, it was no el cheapo; I spent $160 on it, and I expect it to be worth it


What about the prism, does it at least work as advertised, i.e., by not blacking out at, say, f/8? I tried mine, just for the hell of it with DA 55-300+1.4x tc. As expected, it blacked out at some point.
02-25-2009, 03:27 AM   #94
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As I said, besides the the front focus issue, I'm deeply in love with the screen. Works as advertised.

Yes, the split prism blacks out at around F11, but I don't have a lens setup that will require me to manually focus at F11 or below.


I have the same setup as you; DA 55-300mm f4/5.8 + Kenko 1.5x extender.

At the tele end, 300mm f5.8 + Kenko makes is f8.7. At that aperture, as long as I don't have my eye at a really weird angle, blackout wasn't an issue. And as far as I'm concerned, I will never have to manually focus below f8.7.


FYI, I had OptiBright done on it, and the matt screen was fantastic all the way down to f8.7; I could actually focus A-OK just using the matt part of the screen :-)

02-25-2009, 03:34 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
As I said, besides the the front focus issue, I'm deeply in love with the screen. Works as advertised.

Yes, the split prism blacks out at around F11, but I don't have a lens setup that will require me to manually focus at F11 or below.


I have the same setup as you; DA 55-300mm f4/5.8 + Kenko 1.5x extender.

At the tele end, 300mm f5.8 + Kenko makes is f8.7. At that aperture, as long as I don't have my eye at a really weird angle, blackout wasn't an issue. And as far as I'm concerned, I will never have to manually focus below f8.7.


FYI, I had OptiBright done on it, and the matt screen was fantastic all the way down to f8.7; I could actually focus A-OK just using the matt part of the screen :-)
Thanks for the info! With time, I will probably overcome my frugality and go with the KatzEye.
02-25-2009, 08:48 PM   #96
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OK, guys, after speaking with a rep. I'm more convinced that this is an MF front focus issue of my K20D (as opposed to AF, which, as I've said, has no FF/BF issues). She was confident that their QC tests are near perfect, and it does make sense, because, after all, focus *is* their business. OTOH, I can see Pentax being lax about manual focus calibrations, especially when most of their customers use AF, and their stock screens aren't good enough to let you discern that level of miscalibration anyway, unless you really really really stain yourself.

Anyway, I'm going to send my K20D in, and see what Pentax can do for me. I'll be Pentax-less for a few weeks, which is tragic, but I'm willing to go through with it, if what awaits me at the end of the tunnel is manual focusing nirvana :-DDD
02-25-2009, 09:13 PM   #97
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Hmmmmm?

Be sure to contact Pentax service before you send the camera. Make sure they will address your issue with a third party focusing screen mounted in the camera. If the focusing screen is NOT Pentax branded, they may not be able to help you.

Best of success...
02-25-2009, 09:15 PM   #98
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Thanks for the warning. Of course, I will send it in with the stock screen. I'm also going to send them images of the focus tests done using the stock screen. The bottom line is, if you really work on it, there are ways to get good focus, even with the stock screen.


I do wish I had a good 2-3x angle finder :P

02-26-2009, 05:36 AM   #99
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Forgive a foolish question here, I was getting quite excited about this screen reading this thread as I often find myself playing with MF until I encountered the bit about it blacking out above f11. I often take shots of the moon at way higher f-numbers than f11 with manual lenses and so using this screen would render that impossible?
02-26-2009, 05:39 AM   #100
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Just one half of the split prism blacks out, so you can't use the split prism (or the microprism collar) for focusing. You can of course use the rest of the matte screen to focus, which is still easier to do than the stock screen because it has higher contrast.

I would advise you to get OptiBright, definitely, though, if you shoot over f11 a lot.
02-26-2009, 05:48 AM   #101
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Thanks RawheaD.

Is this connected to the issue with spot metering over f4 that was mentioned? It is seeing the centre as half black and therefore introducing an exposure error?

I still like the sound of this screen, but I think I'll have to find someone near me who has a split screen in whatever camera they use that I can play with for a bit, don't want to blow a not inconsiderable chunk of cash on something I'm going to find causes problems for some of the shots I take. Am I the only person who uses spot metering quite a lot?
02-26-2009, 10:27 PM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
OK, guys, after speaking with a rep. I'm more convinced that this is an MF front focus issue of my K20D (as opposed to AF, which, as I've said, has no FF/BF issues). She was confident that their QC tests are near perfect, and it does make sense, because, after all, focus *is* their business. OTOH, I can see Pentax being lax about manual focus calibrations, especially when most of their customers use AF, and their stock screens aren't good enough to let you discern that level of miscalibration anyway, unless you really really really stain yourself.

Anyway, I'm going to send my K20D in, and see what Pentax can do for me. I'll be Pentax-less for a few weeks, which is tragic, but I'm willing to go through with it, if what awaits me at the end of the tunnel is manual focusing nirvana :-DDD
I imitated one of the posters on this forum: using two layers of post-it notes (stickits brand), I created a shim--shaped pretty much the same as the original--that makes the focusing screen agree with the camera's indicator. The focus seems pretty dead-on now (with 28 f/2.8, wide open, shooting a ruler). You can vary the thickness of the shim by varying the number of the layers of paper.
03-02-2009, 05:39 PM   #103
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Well, I got the Shanghai version of the cats eye today. The video instructions were not well focussed on what they were doing inside. The tools aren't nearly as good, either.

As a result of tring to figure out how to lower the old screen, dust got on the new one. How do I remove that dust?

There was a copper frame on the old one, sans one side of the rectangle. I couldn't get it to stay in putting things back together. Any advice on that? Was that one of the shims some have mentioned?

After reassembly, I ran Dust Check. I got a series of rectangular patterns. now the sensor was never touched, the mirror was always down, the camera was off. Now Dust Check is a greyed out menu item. Should I be concerned?

Help!
03-02-2009, 05:46 PM   #104
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First off, Don't Panic.

The Dust Check is grayed likely because you have a manual focus lens on your 'Tax. That only works with AF lens, and the focus setting has to be set to one of the AF settings (AF-C, AF-S).

The brass is probably a shim. It has to be there for the MF calibration to be correct.

For the dust, use compressed air *carefully*. Never shake it, never point it down, never squeeze too tight, or some liquid will squirt out and get on stuff. Not good. If you're paranoid, get a foot-pump air blower.
03-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #105
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Thank you. It was an automatic lens, however, after leaving the camera off a while, it came back on, and the sensor seems clean except for one tiny dot of dust. That is a HUGE relief.

The dust is a problem because it is so dry here, and static is a ajor factor. However, now that I know to try compressed air, I will do so, after a while, not right this instant. The carpet fibers on the split prism are annoying ;-)

The focus seems to be within 1/2 inch of the auto, at close range. And it works in much lower light than auto focus does.
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