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01-17-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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K20d with O-ME53 Eyecup review (with pictures)

When I ordered the Katz Eye screen I thought I would order a Pentax O-ME53 magnifying eyecup as well. I really haven’t had a chance to give it a thorough test until today. I thought I would share my experience with it.

Personally, I did not notice a significant magnification when I installed it. (18% is the actual amount of magnification) I didn’t have one of those “WOW!” moments where I just knew this was going to be useful.

What disappointed me though was the fact that the eyecup reduces the viewfinder coverage, including the exposure information in the bottom of the screen. I have to rotate my view to see it. This of course is the tradeoff for more magnification.

My opinion: I personally don’t like the eyecup. I don’t like gaining a bit of magnification at the expense of losing the viewfinder coverage. I think I will be returning it for credit.

I thought I would use the technique I did with the Katz tests for this test. P&S camera shot through the viewfinder. Zoom was held constant on the P&S camera between tests. The complete set is here:

Here is the viewfinder. It is well made, with a soft rubber eyecup:

This is the subject of the test taken with the k20d:

The view through the standard viewfinder:

View through the O-ME53 (note the cropping in the corners and loss of the exposure info) You can also see the slight magnification over the previous view.

View through the O-ME53 with the camera rotated to be able to see the exposure info (looks just like this with my eye)

I hope this is helpful to anyone considering the eyecup.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-17-2009 at 10:47 AM.
01-17-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
I think your O-ME53 is defective. You should try another one.
Its a piece of plastic with a hole and a lens in it. How can it be defective?
01-17-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Odd. I have a 1.3x eyecup and see more of the frame (or even the entire frame if I try hard enough) than you. Even at 1.3x, it's not amazing. It's main purpose is to keep the LCD away from your face.
01-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Its a piece of plastic with a hole and a lens in it. How can it be defective?
It's because I see much more frame than you.

Very odd

01-17-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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I got one last week and will be sending it back as I have the same impression. I have to move around to see everything along with display. IMHO the benefit does not outweigh that but others might have a different experience. Depends on what you like to see, etc.
01-17-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by denisv Quote
It's main purpose is to keep the LCD away from your face.
This the main reason i bought it for, but i too have encountered the same problem as you do have to move your head up and down and sideways to get to see what is in the frame, i have been meaning to take out the lens to see if that would help, but i have not since tried it to see if it will help. so hopefully so i will do it and can give a feed back

01-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #7
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Yes, It didn't move the LCD away from my nose as far as I hoped it would. In addition, it makes the eye relief of the viewfinder worse. Eye relief - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That might be why some people see it a little better because they can squeeze their eye right up near the glass. It seems that for those that wear eyeglasses, this type of eyepiece is not the way to go.

BTW, during the test, the lens of the p&s camera is squeezed up as close as possible to the glass. The view looks close to what I observe with my eye. I would rather save the $36 and apply it towards the Optibrite on a Katz Eye screen.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-17-2009 at 12:32 PM.
01-17-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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People who don't wear glasses generally don't have issues with seeing the whole viewfinder display; people wearing glasses generally do.

I find that although the magnification is not *huge*, it does make a difference. The first few times I tried it, I used it for a while in low light then switched back. At some point I started notiing that I really did feel better focusing with it on than off, and even though I wear glasses and have the coverage issue, I am happier having it than not, so I haven't taken it off in a while.

This is with a K200D, though, not a K20D. The effect on the K200D is to magnify the image to roughly the same size it starts at with a K20D. I'm guessing that those of us with K200D's or other 85% magnification cameras will appreciate the accessory more than those with the 96% magnificiation cameras like the K20D.

01-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #9
Damn Brit

My experience; I got one as a christmas gift, I put it on and verified that the magnification was about what I'd come to expect based on my research, which was 'just enough' and I haven't really thought about any other difference.
I've pretty much forgotten that it's on there.
01-17-2009, 12:45 PM   #10
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I have the Pentax eyepiece also, and just looked through it, with, AND without the O-ME53, and did not notice a difference. I could see all of the info at the bottom of the viewfinder, no problem, although, I did notice just a tiny bit of vignetting at the two top corners, but nothing to worry about. Are you sure you have it slid all the way down on the mount?

BTW, I have a K10D, not a K20D, but I would imagine they have very similar viewfinders.
01-17-2009, 01:55 PM   #11
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I love the ME....something eyepiece and never remove it from the K10 and K20. I wear glasses all the time, and yes, the corners of the viewfinder can only be seen, moving the eye around. But manual focusing is much easier for me with the slight magnification increase and the added distance between my (prominent) nose and the camera back is an added bonus. For me iot is even more important, than another screen.

01-17-2009, 03:23 PM   #12
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I like mine, too.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I love the ME....something eyepiece and never remove it from the... K20. I wear glasses all the time...
I find the O-ME53 eye cup extension to be very useful. I'm able to look over the top of my narrow rimless glasses, and without moving my glasses, place my eye directly on the extended cup.

When I prepare for a shoot, I enter the rough settings at the outset and fine tune with a couple of test shots. Once I'm "on subject," I rarely look at the data line in the eye piece. Instead, I rely on the histogram to tell me, if things are working right. As a result, it's rare that a shot is blown because of my settings. More often than not, my uh-oh's are due to external issues like camera shake, poor reflexes, panning errors, etc. Of course, if I do need to look at the data line I can, but I don't rely on it that much.

One of the real pluses of the K20D is its high pixel count. As a result, I can shoot to crop. I see the composition, but don't force compose within the frame of the viewfinder. Once the shot is taken, I PP crop to the composition I saw earlier... fine tuning along the way. This approach may not work for others, but for does.

01-17-2009, 04:24 PM   #13
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I have found the O-ME53 extremely useful as do quite a number of people using Pentax where I am at. I think the photos don't do justice because the slight corner vignetting I see in the viewfinder is nothing like what the pictures show. I don't use any 3rd party focusing screen but find the O-ME53 does makes a difference when focusing manually. Boils down to giving yourself time to adjust to it and personal preference.
01-17-2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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Hello, i bought mine almost at the same time as my split image focusing screen, and received it befor the focusing screen. I have found it really useful even with the standard K10D focusing screen, and even more useful with the new focusing screen ... Moreover, the viewfinder informations on the K10D display are not partially hidden, as in your pics ...

Best regards
01-17-2009, 06:24 PM   #15
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I got the me53 in January of last year. A month ago someone wrote saying they didn't like it so I slid mine off and went out and took pictures. I got home and put it back on. I like it. I wear glasses and I have to move a little to look at that data display but I don't need to look at it often and after a day or two it was just second nature. I realize some people have a lot more trouble adjusting to changes.

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