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01-30-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
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Split image focusing screen for KX and K2.

Got both of these SLR's and while using lenses with apretures bigger than f/2.8 I come to the point that I'm not sure of a correct focus due to to little light in the viewfinder.
This is a real problem with f/4 and f/4,5 tele-zooms - the microprism is of little use. Compared to the split-image screens from MX/ME - I find it as a frustrating lack of functionality for my KX/K2 bodies.

And now is a question: is there a way to exchange these focusing screens in KX/K2? Are the split-image screens still available for these models?

I browsed both instructions, and found both ways of focusing showed there - but it is so also in K1000, that till SE was a microprism-only. Please advice on this.

01-30-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
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The split-image focusing screen was an option in the K-bodies (standard in the K2DMD) and could be factory-exchanged after purchase. Technically it is feasible to exchange the screen today but it requires a technician or accomplished amateur - not a self-help task - and there are few if any replacement screens available.
01-30-2013, 08:46 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Petrus_One Quote
This is a real problem with f/4 and f/4,5 tele-zooms - the microprism is of little use.
Ummm...this is pretty much the norm, even with the brightest of viewfinders. On the other side of the aisle, most split image are half-dark at f/4 as well. At least that is the case with my Super Program and other cameras that I own that have split image screens. At f/4 you have to have your eye properly centered. Any narrower and half-dark is the rule.

The solution, of course, is to use the ground-glass doughnut for focus with slower lenses (strangely missing on the Super Program, but present on my Ricohs...go figure). I own the KX and the microprism is a little on the fine size and difficult to use with my Pentax-M 200/4 in dim light (say interior room light). On the other hand, the ground glass for the KX is quite excellent and easily snaps focus with this lens in dim light. To be honest, I have long felt that my KX has the best viewfinder for difficult focus of the cameras that I own.

Of course, your mileage may vary. Use of both the ground-glass and microprism assumes good enough vision to see the screen. For many of us with older eyes, this is more and more difficult.

01-30-2013, 08:46 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If you are used to the split-image screens I can see the microprism being a bit hard to get used to. The microprism is just as easy to focus with, if you are having problems just use the area outside the microprism. You will get used to it after a while, I have cameras with both and each one is easy to use. A focusing aid may help and I would recommend the Pentax Refconverter II for any telephoto lenses.


01-30-2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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I think Eric is back to doing repairs here in the U.S.A. I would trust him to do a screen change on a K2. I haven't heard of anyone near you though. I have 2 K2. One came with a split screen and the other with microprism.
01-30-2013, 09:51 PM   #6
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Thank you for the response. I got a better view of an issue now.
As for a skilled technician - I know few that could easily help. As for getting split image K-type screens - it is a real problem to get them.

I noticed - what you mentioned - the must to perfect center the eye to be able to use split-image with F/4 or more. It is within my ability, and fast focus catch is still easier than with microprism.
Otherwise - I need at least f/3,5 lenses or need some more practice with f/4 or more. Good to have multiple body ability, as I use K-type for fast primes, and M-type for darker tele's.

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