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03-02-2009, 06:07 PM   #106
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Excellent review and discussion!
My old Pentax MX has a katz eye style screen and I missed it on the newer digital cameras.
I've just got one - and yes its great. Feel at home with it.
I have some manual lenses so it helps heaps.

03-19-2009, 12:39 AM   #107
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OK, I want just want to put in my final word on this, and the final word is KatzEye = Awesome.

Long story... not quite short:

Sent my K20D to Pentax, CO., for calibrating MF FF issue. Came back totally unchanged (bastards). Thinking I'll do it myself, then scratching my KatzEye with the plastic remover tool, (argh), decided I'll just pay KatzEye to do the calibration and installation.

Came back from KatzEye in a couple days, and sure enough, they found a rather severe FF issue in the MF, and they replaced the shim that was in there (0.3mm) with another one (0.15mm); definitely a big difference there.

anyway, now, the focus is SPOT ON. This is very awesome.


So, my recommendation is, if focusing in MF is important to you, it's a no-brainer, get the KatzEye with OptiBright.

And there's a good chance you'll find out for the first time that your cam has an FF/BF problem--a problem that is pretty much unnoticeable with the factory screen. If you want to save money, be persistent and get Pentax to fix it for you. It may take weeks, if not months.

If you want to save time and much agony, get KatzEye to do the calibration/installation for you. They know what they're doing.
03-19-2009, 01:50 PM   #108
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I have really like my Katzeye. Would not go back.
03-20-2009, 12:46 AM   #109
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wow, amazing review, makes me want to buy one right now, but my darn wallet cant afford it

03-27-2009, 03:36 PM   #110
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Katz-Eye on K20D

I just installed a new Katz-Eye screen ("plus" split screen, "optibrite" treatment, "rule-of-thirds" lines) in my K20D. (I have already tried one, having the same options, previously in my DS.)

I have to say, that, for manual focus with any lens I tried (from f/1.2 to f/8 maximum apertures) focusing was (as expected) even better than on my ol' ME Supers, Super A's, LX's, etc. (i.e., just as good with fast lenses, and even better with slower lenses, where even a 500/8 mirror does not black out at all).

Also, the exposure accuracy, with matrix metering, with any A (or later) lens I tried, was quite good (generally within about 1/3 of a stop going, say, from f/1.4 to f/22, or from f/4.5 to f/32). That's really great (and better than I experienced with the DS equipped with a Katz-Eye). (I did not try center-weighted or spot metering.) [The exposures with the 500/8 mirror also seemed reasonable (when I "changed" the aperture from f/8 to f/8 - <g>).]

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the non-linearity of exposure when green-button metering with a couple of my favorite ol' K lenses (200/2.5, 135/2.5) is still, well, pretty ~rotten~, with mid-apertures looking pretty good, but showing some significant underexposure wide open and some major overexposure at narrow apertures. (This is not the Katz-Eye's fault, of course, but I was hoping - despite the logic that said it wouldn't - that somehow the Katz-Eye might have helped with green-button metering on my K20D.)

So, here's the bottom line (for me) - I am ~delighted~ (so far, anyway) with the use of the Katz-Eye on my K20D when used with A-or-newer lenses (which is what I use for most casual to serious photography). However, I am still upset with the K20D for its poor green-button metering with my ol' K gems and older 3rd-party toys (but, as I said, this is a K20D problem, not a Katz-Eye problem).
03-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #111
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I got my Katzeye screen installed last night on the K20D.
I'm a cabinetmaker and dust follows me like the plague. When I installed the Katzeye on my K10D I installed a lot of dust at the same time on the screen which is annoying.
I was determined not to do this with my shiny new K20D so I came up with an idea.
I took everything I needed into the bathroom, ready for the operation. I jumped into the shower and washed up. I was hoping showering would also knock any dust that may be in the air in the bathroom down. I dried off in the shower with the curtains closed so as not to stir the air any more than necessary and then performed the screen change, and by golly it worked!
This time around I got the basic screen, no grid lines and I like it, makes the VF seem that much bigger and uncluttered. I tested manual focusing with Yvon's focusing charts and it's dead on.
I also got the RRS K20D L-plate installed so the 20D is about up to snuff, all the 10D has over it now is the 1.2 magnifying eyecup which I'll probably order shortly so both camera's will be setup exactly the same way when transitioning from one to the other.
03-28-2009, 08:45 AM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
I got my Katzeye screen installed last night on the K20D.
I'm a cabinetmaker and dust follows me like the plague. When I installed the Katzeye on my K10D I installed a lot of dust at the same time on the screen which is annoying.
I was determined not to do this with my shiny new K20D so I came up with an idea.
I took everything I needed into the bathroom, ready for the operation. I jumped into the shower and washed up. I was hoping showering would also knock any dust that may be in the air in the bathroom down. I dried off in the shower with the curtains closed so as not to stir the air any more than necessary and then performed the screen change, and by golly it worked!
Har !!! I love your "dust-resistant" technique. ;-)

I am not a cabinetmaker (well, I did create a cabinet one time, and my "success" is the now the stuff of family legend - <g>), so I have just an "average" dust problem - nonetheless, I prefer to do any "dust-sensitive" operations (such as my recent Katz-Eye installation) on a rainy day, since I think it is not just the presence of dust, but also the amount of static electricity, that can exacerbate dust "installation" (<g>). So, I guess my efforts are a "watered down" (no pun intended) (really) version of your bathroom technique.

As far as dust goes, my wife and I disagree as to how to best handle it - she prefers regular "dust collection" procedures, while my motto is "Let sleeping dust lie" - <g>. All joking aside, though, I would not choose to do any "dust sensitive" work shortly after she has run the dust mop around...
03-29-2009, 07:01 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
while my motto is "Let sleeping dust lie" - <g>.
Me too:-), but I don't have a wife anymore so it's still lying around, lol.

02-17-2010, 03:26 PM   #114
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I'll get one of these for my K-x! Great review!
02-18-2010, 01:53 AM   #115
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Thanks for the awesome review. I was on the fence about purchasing one, but I think I have made up my mind now.
02-18-2010, 09:19 AM   #116
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I'm a new member here and taking advantage of that status, while it lasts, to ask the really stupid questions.

Someone pointed out on another forum thread discussing the Katzeye that it improved his photography for the following reason...
(might be hogwash or it might actually be interesting)
...The split prism ensures that the sensor is seeing the the properly focused image, not the image that your eye may have already slightly corrected for. My eyes are almost 50 yrs old, so this no longer applies. But I do recall my much younger eyes capable of focusing very precisely within a remarkable depth of field, especially when looking through binoculars or when looking at an object very close up. Now I have to hold an object an exact number of inches away from my face to see sharp detail, but was a time in my twenties when that range would be compensated for pretty reliably by the eye's "accomodation". You might have experienced it when 'hunting' for the right diopter adjustment on a pair of binoculars. Here's an interesting wiki article on the subject...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accommodation_(eye)

So the reasoning, for a camera, suggests that it might be possible when using the eye's sense of acuity on a scene through the camera lens, that you eye has 'accomodated' a slightly out of focus image through the viewfinder, and when you snap the pic, the sensor recieves a very slightly out of focus image because it lacks the accomodating 'tweak' that the eye is capable of.

So, we presume, if this isn't entirely just utter hogwash, that a split prism image cannot fool the eye. It either is, or is not, precisely focused as the sensor is going to 'see' it.

What'ya think? Is Katzeye missing out on some really capital good advertising around this?


as a postscript.... google is all about asking the question properly. Once I actually googled a question with the words Katzeye and Accomodation I discovered plenty of discussion in scattered forums on the subject. It's interesting stuff.

Last edited by frascati; 02-18-2010 at 09:43 AM.
02-19-2010, 01:28 PM   #117
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PentaxPoke:

I finished reading this very informative thread of yours and want to congrat you for the fine work.
Now, I have questions!!
(That will give you no choice to answer because I just complimented you!)

I use both the K20D and the K7; I know for sure that the K7 can now be fitted with Katzeye screens).
My vision not being the best, I have long considered a visual aid for fine focusing, especially when it comes to fully manual lenses with large apertures (f1.2, f1.4 ...) and this seems to be the best option.

- Is the Katzeye screen only good for manual focus lenses or should it also work well when "quick shifting" a DA* lens?
- If it can be used with DA* lenses, does one have to switch the lens and the camera to manual?
- Is it going to be a hindrance when using it with AF only lenses? I am thinking of my old FA50/1.4.

- Would you recommend, in my particular case of bad vision, the OptiBrite and Plus treatment? I am told that the Opti Brite is only for making the screen "brighter" outside of the central split screen and circular prism, and doesn't have any effect of the focus itself.

Lots of questions, but I just don't know what to expect if I fit the cameras I own with the Katzeye screens. I assume it should help me but it would be nice to have an opinion based on the information herein.

Cheers!

JP

P.S.: the lenses I use are:
DA*300/4 ... 60% of the time, with/without a 1.4x TC or a 1.7X TC.
DA*16-50/2.8; Carl-Zeiss 85/1.4 (manual lens); Cosina 55/1.2 (manual lens)
Tamron 90/2.8 Macro (AF/manual) and a Tamron 70-200/2.8 (AF/manual - old type, non-HSM version)

Last edited by jpzk; 02-19-2010 at 01:33 PM. Reason: added info
02-19-2010, 04:41 PM   #118
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QuoteQuote:
(That will give you no choice to answer because I just complimented you!)

QuoteQuote:
- Is the Katzeye screen only good for manual focus lenses or should it also work well when "quick shifting" a DA* lens?
It will work with the DA* lenses just fine. I personally did not use the Katzeye on my k-7 because I sold it not long after the k-7 Katzeye came out. It should work just as well.

QuoteQuote:
- If it can be used with DA* lenses, does one have to switch the lens and the camera to manual?
No. You will always see the Katzeye "working" while you look through the viewfinder. It doesn't matter if you are focusing or the camera is focusing.

QuoteQuote:
- Is it going to be a hindrance when using it with AF only lenses? I am thinking of my old FA50/1.4.
Not at all. In fact, I used it most to confirm that the AF was working properly. If I noticed that the AF missed, I would press the shutter button again, or MF if needed. The confirmation of AF is what I liked best.

QuoteQuote:
- Would you recommend, in my particular case of bad vision, the OptiBrite and Plus treatment? I am told that the Opti Brite is only for making the screen "brighter" outside of the central split screen and circular prism, and doesn't have any effect of the focus itself.
Yes! I never tried it without Optibright, but those that have say it is dimmer. Especially for slower aperture lenses.

Best of luck!
02-19-2010, 04:58 PM   #119
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I'm very tempted by this for my new K7 as I plan to use it in video mode to film the kids. In video mode, you have to do focus touch-up manually while shooting -- and here it would come handy.

What concerns me is that installation at home is really fishy -- it better be done in a clean room. You can easily sandwich dust into your camera and then stare at it forever. I wonder if "local shops" they mention use clean rooms or dust-free procedures...

Hmm, on a second pass, I realized that video is shot in the LiveView mode anyways; or would I still be able to focus with the optical viewfinder -- why wouldn't I? Although how practical is that while shooting video?

Last edited by braver; 02-19-2010 at 05:22 PM.
02-19-2010, 05:56 PM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
Hmm, on a second pass, I realized that video is shot in the LiveView mode anyways; or would I still be able to focus with the optical viewfinder -- why wouldn't I? Although how practical is that while shooting video?
You are correct. The Katzeye will be useless in video mode. It only works through the viewfinder.
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