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10-24-2012, 02:45 AM   #1
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Super Program vs P30 viewfinder

Hi, I have a P30 which I find the viewfinder a little lacking. It could have been brighter. Sometimes I miss focus because the viewfinder is quite dull. I'm planning to get a Super Program but I understand that the A series (Super Program/A3000/P30 variants) share a lot of common parts including the viewfinder. Can anyone advise if the Super Program viewfinder is the same as the P30 or it's better like in the ME/MX? I've used the A3000 and as far as I can tell, the A3000 and P30 viewfinder and focusing screen is the same.

Regards,

10-24-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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According to his site and the K-Mount pages, both cameras offer a 0.82x-92% viewfinder.
They do have different screens though (different split prisms) but whether one is brighter, I don't know. I have a P30T now and have used a Super Program, but it was a few years ago.They are definitely not as big and bright as the M series.
Do you need P mode?
10-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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To clarify, are you talking about the image viewing area or the information band below the image viewing area on the Super Program?

The information band below the image viewing area is a LCD backlighted by ambient light (there is a frosted window on the front of the pentaprism for ambient light). To be truthful, the information band is difficult to see in less than bright direct light, and somewhere along the way I learned that shooting toward the sun doesn't always give you a good photograph. However, all is not lost. On the left side of the prism is a recessed push button. The button activates a tiny lamp to artificially backlight the information band. It's possible I used up more of my battery pushing this button than the camera's metering system and shutter used. But it does make a big difference.
10-24-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
To clarify, are you talking about the image viewing area or the information band below the image viewing area on the Super Program?

The information band below the image viewing area is a LCD backlighted by ambient light (there is a frosted window on the front of the pentaprism for ambient light). To be truthful, the information band is difficult to see in less than bright direct light, and somewhere along the way I learned that shooting toward the sun doesn't always give you a good photograph. However, all is not lost. On the left side of the prism is a recessed push button. The button activates a tiny lamp to artificially backlight the information band. It's possible I used up more of my battery pushing this button than the camera's metering system and shutter used. But it does make a big difference.

Apologies if my post was not clear. I'm talking about the image we see in the viewfinder, not the viewfinder info. My P30 is the N model which has the A mode. The viewfinder image is quite dark - it feels like about f4. Even mounting a fast lens does not make much difference. Though, It has a very colorful, nicely lit viewfinder info which I can't help loving.

The only reason I'm getting the Super Program is for the Tv mode so I can control my DA lenses with it (Yes, I'm a cheapskate). If the viewfinder image produced is the same as the P30 then that's something I'll have to consider first.

10-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by weijen Quote
The only reason I'm getting the Super Program is for the Tv mode so I can control my DA lenses with it (Yes, I'm a cheapskate). If the viewfinder image produced is the same as the P30 then that's something I'll have to consider first.
I never used the P30, however I owned a Super Program for close to 30 years and never had any particular concerns about image brightness or manual focusing using the stock screen. This includes perhaps my 'darkest' lens, a Pentax-A 70-210mm f/4. In fact a feature I loved about that camera was the stopdown lever to the right side of the lens to preview depth of field. It wasn't unusual for me to manually select a middle aperture, stop down and adjust my focus to best utilize the available depth of field. Okay, I wouldn't want to do that for every shot, but still, I did it often.

I'm guessing Program mode would work as well as Shutter Priority mode with DA lens .... that said, you should probably read this thread for information on using DA lenses on a FF camera before buying the Super Program-
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/183420-current...me-lenses.html


I almost exclusively shot Ektrachrome with my Super Program. When Ektachrome became hard to get, and digital kept improving, I didn't use my Super Program much for 6-7 years. I sold it as a kit last spring and kept only two of my Pentax-A lens, the 50mm f/1.7 and the 28mm f/2.8. While I wished I could afford the K-5, the K-r really isn't a bad camera. The green button is no substitute for the Super Program's stop down lever - but you won't make much use of that with DA lenses.
10-31-2012, 03:25 AM   #6
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Is the viewfinder dark only with DA lenses? Because it might be caused by the smaller image circle and light falloff towards the corners.
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