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06-30-2009, 02:33 AM   #1
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Seeking advice on focusing screen (split screen) for K200D

I've seen some scattered posts on replacing the camera's focusing screen with a split screen, but it was pretty confusing for me. I'm hoping to get clear and definitive answers from people with experience by asking concrete questions.

First, my gear.
Camera: K200D
MF: Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 28mm f/2.8 Mini-Wide II
AF: DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II (kit), DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

Now the questions.

1. I understand AF should not be impacted, but just to be sure I'll ask. Is auto-focus (speed or accuracy) affected by the focusing screen?

2. Given that my AF lenses have no aperture ring and my MF lenses have the A setting, I don't expect to be doing stop-down metering. Will light metering be affected? I'm very concerned about this.

3. I've seen talk about the screens thickness causing front or back focusing. Is this a real issue? I'm also very concerned about this.

4. Any thoughts on Katz-Eye vs. cheap Chinese screens?

5. Any thoughts on Katz-Eye's opti-bright option?

6. I have an old beat-up K1000 which I can cannibalize. Would its focusing screen fit the K200D? Would it be advisable to use it?

7. Any thoughts on horizontal vs. diagonal split screen? With the K1000 I often had a hard time finding a vertical line to focus on. I ended up doing a lot of aim-focus-recompose or tilt-focus-tilt back, but even that was not always possible (especially in shallow DOF situations). It seems to me that a diagonal screen would offer more focusing opportunities, but apparently it is not the standard. What are its downsides?

Many thanks in advance.

06-30-2009, 02:49 AM   #2
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I dont have any answers for you, but I have question for someone who might know:

I have old MV-1, may I use its focusing screen in K200D?

06-30-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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No, you would need a focus screen designed specifcally for the camera.
06-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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I've replaced the screens in my K20D and *istD with the diagonal split-prism screens available on eBay from jinfinance (sorry, don't have a link to hand, but a quick search of the site will turn one up). They are said to be cut-down screens from old K1000 35mm cameras so, if that's true, you should be able to have your K1000 screen cut to size. However, if you want to avoid that trouble, then check eBay.
I'm very happy with both mine, for use with MF lenses.

07-02-2009, 06:12 AM   #5
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I also have a k200d and I changed out the stock screen with a Katz-Eye with Opti-Bright I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. It will make a world of difference if you manual focus. Auto focus will work just as before. I use A lens'..In the days before auto focus, manufactures made cameras for manual focus, and they were good. The Katz Eye brings back that level of focus......The k200d is a medium hard exchange. I had to call the Katz Eye company in the middle of the process for a little advice and help. Walked me through it with no problem. KE screeen with OB is about $150, the price of just one more medium level lens for your collection.....Well worth it. Chinese screens? Why try to save 100 bucks or so when you are making a major change in the manual focus of your k200d. Like my grandmother told me. Buy the best, you can always make some more money....Been good advice
07-02-2009, 06:42 AM   #6
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Forgot to mention that the k200d has a factory shim for the screen. That needs to stay in place. It is not difficult but tedious to do....That is why I called KE...The KE screens are the exact thickness for the camera it fits. Im not sure that all the chinese screens are and I have seen posts where they come with additional shims and sometimes the apparent focus with the split screen and the cameras red focus indicator are different and shims have to be added or subtracted ....There may be different experiences between the k200d and the K10, k20, I don't know.
07-05-2009, 06:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info, everybody. I'm still concerned about spot metering with slower lenses, so I remain undecided.
07-31-2009, 02:30 AM   #8
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I just installed my Katzeye (with obtibright) and it's amazing. Absolutely stunning. Now my K200D feels like a real camera. :-) It's a lot of money, but I think it's worth it (and for me that includes shipping to Sweden and import taxes!)

I've tried it with my Tokina RMC 400/5.6 and the split is a bit dark but not too dark to use. The metering seems to work fine. That is centrum weighed.

07-31-2009, 03:00 AM   #9
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I've used a diagonal split screen from jinfinance on my K100D for about a year and although I had to adjust it with small strips of transparent tape (to act as a shim) I've been very happy with it.

Now I have a K200D waiting at the post office (K100D is going to the wife) and I ordered the same screen bundled with O-ME53 magnifying eyepiece for it (again from jinfinance) for $69.95 with free shipping. I'm anxious to see if the magnifying eyepiece is as good (for me) as everyone's saying.

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