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02-02-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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split prism focusing screen for Z-1p / PZ-1p

This camera has exchangeable focusing screens but pentax doesn't make a split prism screen for it.
Would anyone know if there is a third-party maker of such screens compatible with Z-1p? I checked KatzEye™ Optics - Custom Focusing Screens but they didn't have it.
Would the focusing screen be compatible with the DSLR screens maybe?

02-02-2011, 03:36 PM   #2
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Well, the same goes for the MZ line, but I finally found out that a MZ-m split focus screen perfectly fits the other MZ bodies... So I bought a bunch of MZ-m focus screens from Pentax service, and now both my MZ-6 and my MZ-7 have split screens...

What are the dimensions of the PZ focus screen? Maybe a MZ-m screen could fit?
02-02-2011, 04:21 PM   #3
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Unlike the MZ series, the Z series are all autofocus so none of them had split prism screen.

I just measured it, it's 25mm by 35mm.
02-02-2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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Well, the MZ-m screen is 24.5x35mm, so it's a close fit...

Here is a shot (this is not the split screen, but the standard AF factory screen I replaced):


This is the side that comes against the pentamirror (the one facing you once you snap open the wireframe), so you can see which way the tab is...

02-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #5
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The MZ-M screen is perfect for the Z-1p. I used to use it.
02-02-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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I measured it myself so i can't say to the half millimeter. Looks like the tab is in good position. The thing that could go wrong is the thickness would be different and then the focus would be off. Good to know someone's already tried it before though.

Now the hard part, getting the screen. Guess i'll have to get the whole camera and canibalize it. Maybe i'll drop by the camera store tomorow see if they can get the part for me. Would you by any chance know the part number of the focusing screen of the MZ-m?
02-02-2011, 08:48 PM   #7
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It was sold as spare part instead of accessory so you will have to call Pentax parts department for it, if they still have them in stock as spare part. Good luck.
02-03-2011, 02:01 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spare Tire Quote
I measured it myself so i can't say to the half millimeter. Looks like the tab is in good position. The thing that could go wrong is the thickness would be different and then the focus would be off. Good to know someone's already tried it before though.

Now the hard part, getting the screen. Guess i'll have to get the whole camera and canibalize it. Maybe i'll drop by the camera store tomorow see if they can get the part for me. Would you by any chance know the part number of the focusing screen of the MZ-m?
Well, that's a common misconception, but the screen thickness is irrelevant to proper focusing...
The ground glass side (on which the image forms) is lying against the pentaprism, so if your factory screen is properly focused, any other screen will be properly focused.

The side facing the mirror is merely a Fresnel lens helping concentrate the light to brighten the image...

As for the price, a whole MZ-m goes for what? 20€? I'm selling one, if you're interested...
Sorry, I've just sold my last MZ-m split screen, I'd have sold it to you otherwise...

02-03-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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If the screen was too thin, then the ground glass side wouldn't be pressing against the pentaprism. Unless the thing is spring loaded.

I would buy the MZ-m only for the split screen, wouldn't buy yet another camera to put on the shelf, it's starting to get crowded, haha.
02-03-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
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The wire retainer is indeed pressing the focus screen against the pentaprism. There is a firm spring action to it.
To handle focus accuracy, there are shims located between the screen and the pentaprism, to allow for slight construction tolerance. They comes in steps of 0.05mm thicknesses nowadays, but you'd be hard-pressed to find those for film bodies, as even for current DSLRs they qare quite hard to find...
02-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #11
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I don't understand why people still want split screen on auto-focus cameras. I guess they trust on the old fashioned lining up the vertical lines more than the electronic phase shift/contrast detectors.
02-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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I think the Z-1p is very accurate, much more so than the DSLRs which have inferior QC. Just disassembled them and amazed how well designed and assembled the Z-1p was. Pity none of the Pentax DSLRs have received such treatment anymore.
02-04-2011, 01:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by violini Quote
I don't understand why people still want split screen on auto-focus cameras. I guess they trust on the old fashioned lining up the vertical lines more than the electronic phase shift/contrast detectors.
I guess you never used one of those good old manual lenses, then... I bought one 135/1.8 lens once for about 100$, and man how this lens was a pleasure to handle... Tell me where I can buy an AF 135/1.8 for this price...

And sometimes, it's just faster to manually focus, than trying several times to get proper focus with AF...
02-04-2011, 08:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by violini Quote
I don't understand why people still want split screen on auto-focus cameras. I guess they trust on the old fashioned lining up the vertical lines more than the electronic phase shift/contrast detectors.
Indeed!

AF is cool, but not very precise when DOF is shallow. If you don't believe me, shoot the profile of your loved one with a 50mm lens at f/2 with focus on the eyelid. Do 5 exposures and refocus for each one. Better yet, try the same thing with an 85mm lens. There is also the issue of determining just what the camera feels is the subject that should be in focus. For a curved surface, the camera can be quite creative.

In other words, for fine work AF (or even focus confirm through the AF system) simply does not cut it. I was OK with the focus system (using focus confirm) on my K10D until I bought my Jupiter-9 85/2 and had a disappointing first couple of sessions. I got the Katzeye and have been happy ever since.


Steve

(Suspects that one reason fast glass is so rare in the current line-up is because the camera makers don't want to point up the deficiencies in their focus systems.)
02-04-2011, 08:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spare Tire Quote
This camera has exchangeable focusing screens but pentax doesn't make a split prism screen for it.
Would anyone know if there is a third-party maker of such screens compatible with Z-1p? I checked KatzEye™ Optics - Custom Focusing Screens but they didn't have it.
Would the focusing screen be compatible with the DSLR screens maybe?
Might this work?
http://www.focusingscreen.com/product_info.php?cPath=25_83_84&products_id=503

Steve
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