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03-13-2009, 04:03 AM   #1
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Split image focus screen on ist*DL2?

Hello everyone!

I'm Alex, and just new to this forum. I've been browsing it occasionally for a while now, and thought it was about time to sign up. I've noticed there are alot of people with quite some knowledge and experience on here, as well as interesting insights.
An extra motivation to do so was that I am looking for other people's experience regarding the title of my post: installing a split image focus screen on a Pentax ist*DL2.

So far I have found quite a few sources for getting this kind of focus screens, but none of these sources state compatibility with the DL2 in specific. Hence I was wondering if anyone here owns a ist*DL2 and has replaced their focus screen? If so, where did you get it and what type did you get? How is it? I assume the one for a ist*DL would probably fit, since there are little differences between the two cameras, but you never know. Would be a shame to order something online only to come to the conclusion it doesn't fit my camera.

On another note: I know this is the DSLR section and not the lenses section, but I can't hide my enthusiasm and thought it would be quite useless to open a new thread for this. I am waiting for my brand-spankin' new SMCP-FA 35mm to arrive, and I cannot wait! I feel like I'm 6 again and it's almost x-mas.

03-13-2009, 06:23 AM   #2
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Alex, I have both an *ist DL2 and a K20D, and I have installed focusing screens on both of them. (The DL2 is now in the hands of my wife, who is learning with a Pentax-A 50mm f2.)

The focusing screens I bought were both from Katz Eye Optics. Although they don't sell one specifically labelled for the DL2, the focusing screen for the DL fits and works perfectly. I even had an email exchange with Rachael Katz, who promised a refund if the screen not work correctly in the DL.

The DL2 is a fine camera, and it was the addition of the split-circle focusing screen that made the camera feel like it was mine for the first time. It was well worth the price.
03-13-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your swift reply.
I also exchanged emails with Rachel Katz, but she couldn't assure me it would fit. Neither did she offer to refund if it didn't fit – perhaps because I'm from Europe?

How is auto-focussing and AE with the split image focus screen? I heard here and there that it would interfere with it.

Last edited by alex.r; 03-13-2009 at 11:26 AM.
03-13-2009, 10:54 AM   #4
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I haven't experience any difficulty with auto-focus or exposure accuracy with the focusing screens. Katz Eye themselves say that spot metering with slower lenses may be a little off -- I rarely use spot metering, and when I do, it's with my 85mm f/1.9, so I haven't experienced the issue myself.

03-13-2009, 11:09 AM   #5
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Thanks once again for the insight. This has convinced me to order a focusing screen ASAP :-)
What do you mean by a 'slower' lens, though? AF-wise, metering-wise,..? Sorry if this is a rookie question, it's just that I'm kinda new to the whole thing and want to have good understanding of what I'm doing or am supposed to be doing.
03-13-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by alex.r Quote
Thanks once again for the insight. This has convinced me to order a focusing screen ASAP :-)
What do you mean by a 'slower' lens, though? AF-wise, metering-wise,..? Sorry if this is a rookie question, it's just that I'm kinda new to the whole thing and want to have good understanding of what I'm doing or am supposed to be doing.
slower lenses mean those with maximum apatures at F5.6 or smaller.

They are slow because the shutter speed you can use, with available light is slower than F2.8 for example.

With split images, especially older cameras, the split image blacked out on one half of the screen when using "slow lenses" or in very low light.

Some of this is due to not being correctly on axis with the viewing screen, and you could get a clear image again by moving your eye relative to the camera, but not always.
03-13-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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Ah I see now. I'm assuming I won't have too much issues with that unless of course the light (or any other) conditions require me to use a smaller aperture (than 5.6). I'm hoping to slowly switch to using mainly prime lenses, as they seem to combine better build and image quality, and because of their greater aperture possibilities.
03-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alex.r Quote
Ah I see now. I'm assuming I won't have too much issues with that unless of course the light (or any other) conditions require me to use a smaller aperture (than 5.6). I'm hoping to slowly switch to using mainly prime lenses, as they seem to combine better build and image quality, and because of their greater aperture possibilities.
you should be OK especially if you get K series where you meter in manual mode but the lens returns to wide open, or A series primes where you can meter wide open all the time.

The only issue is if you get M42 lenses, and use them in Av Mode, because you can forget to open the apature between shots to re-focus.

Generally when you work with primes, they have very large maximum apatures compared to zooms (they are 1-2 stops faster) hence black out is not really a problem.

03-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
alex.r Split image focus screen on ist*DL2?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello everyone!

I'm Alex, and just new to this forum. I've been browsing it occasionally for a while now, and thought it was about time to sign up. I've noticed there are alot of people with quite some knowledge and experience on here, as well as interesting insights.
An extra motivation to do so was that I am looking for other people's experience regarding the title of my post: installing a split image focus screen on a Pentax ist*DL2.

So far I have found quite a few sources for getting this kind of focus screens, but none of these sources state compatibility with the DL2 in specific. Hence I was wondering if anyone here owns a ist*DL2 and has replaced their focus screen? If so, where did you get it and what type did you get? How is it? I assume the one for a ist*DL would probably fit, since there are little differences between the two cameras, but you never know. Would be a shame to order something online only to come to the conclusion it doesn't fit my camera.

On another note: I know this is the DSLR section and not the lenses section, but I can't hide my enthusiasm and thought it would be quite useless to open a new thread for this. I am waiting for my brand-spankin' new SMCP-FA 35mm to arrive, and I cannot wait! I feel like I'm 6 again and it's almost x-mas.
Hi Alex and welcome to this great forum. Katz eye makes a nice focus screen, but there are other options too. Some of us at the forum feel the Katz eye is a bit pricey. You can get one for your ist, from EBay, for under $22. I have owned the Kateye and the EBay screen and sent the Katz eye back after I compared it with the less than $30, shipped EBay screen. There is one here:

Split Image Focus Screen for Pentax ist D DL K10d K100D - eBay (item 220370384206 end time Mar-30-09 19:11:29 PDT)

Also. there is live thread at our forum here

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-accessories/51187-inexpensi...worth-29-a.htm

which has a lot of discussion about buying & using the EBay screen. If you search the forum, you will find many other threads on focusing screens. Also, you can buy a split prism screen at focusingscreens.com for a price which lies in between the EBay and Katz eye one here:

Focusing Screen

Best of luck to you and just ask if you have any more questions.
03-13-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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Thank you very much for the warm welcome and the useful links. I have already ordered myself a focus screen via eBay – I too found the Katz Eye quite pricey after comparison. Thanks to your referral, I'm now also quite confident about the quality of cheaper versions.

I got a diagonal split image focus screen, because with my ME Super I often find myself rotating the camera 90 just to get the focus right on a vertical line, only to rotate back to landscape, or the other way around. I believe it is made from a K1000 focusing screen. Is that the way they do it – take split image screens from other camera's, and cut them to fit a specific model?

It was 29-something US dollars, including shipping.

Last edited by alex.r; 03-13-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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