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01-16-2010, 10:47 PM   #1
New Member

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
Newbie question about viewfinder of K-X...

Hello all - just got my K-X with the 50-300mm option lens, I am so excited. I read the reviews, and for me (lot of low-light dance photography), the sensitive K-X seemed like the best choice.
Anyway, this is my first DSLR, and I apologize if this is a retarded question, but when I look through the viewfinder (the default 18mm-55lens, or whatever it is), it is as though I see a very very fine mesh in the viewfinder... it's not exactly crystal clear to to the image beyond. Think of pulling a very slight woman's beige stocking over the eye. I was worried that this might be a defect in the camera (gotten from a very reputable retailer)... so, I guess the question is:
-Should the viewfinder be crystal crystal clear;
-Or is what I am experiencing a part of the DSLR's in general?

I tried taking a few shots, and they seem fine, but I am not enough of a photographer to know when there is a problem.
Thanks so much for appeasing my fears (or confirming them!!!);
MY best,

PS - I was careful when installing the lens, everything was clean/dry/correctly done.

01-16-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
New Member

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
Original Poster
Oh, I think I may have answered my own question:
These two threads seem to address the same issue:
Thread 1

Thread 2

Could anyone check that these two threads are considering the same issue and that they are correct in stating that it's a part of the camera's focusing screen?
Many thanks,

01-16-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
Senior Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 173
When looking through your viewfinder, you are actually looking at an image projected on the focusing screen, and not directly through the lens itself. In order to accomplish this, the focusing screen is made of an opaque piece of ground glass or plastic. In the old days focusing screens had either split prisms or microprisms that allowed the user to see when the image was in focus. Thanks to the ubiquity of AF, this feature has been done away with, yet the focusing screen itself persists.

So, one might wonder, why do we still need a focusing screen if we no longer use it for focusing? Basically, a lens is designed to cover a certain imaging circle at a certain distance. Therefore, in order to see the same image the sensor or film will capture, our eye must be the same distance from the rear of the lens as the sensor. Since accomplishing that feat directly would require your eye to be inside the camera, we instead place the viewfinder at the correct distance.

If the viewfinder was perfectly clear, or absent all together, you would still be able to see the image through your lens. However, since your eye is further away, the lens's image will only fill a portion of your viewfinder. It will look just like putting an APS-C lens on a FF camera. Also, anything that appears in focus through the viewfinder will be out of focus when taking the picture, as the distance between the sensor and lens will be different.
01-16-2010, 11:50 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
Original Poster
Thanks so much for assuaging my fears - your explanation makes sense. I just didn't want to start my amateur photographer career with a defect camera (which, although nothing compared to the more expensive models, is a heavy financial toll for a poor student like me).
Anyway, thanks.
It's night and my tripod hasn't arrived yet, so I can't go shoot now (apart from my roomies), but I will be out there tomorrow morning .
Thanks, and my best,



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