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08-08-2020, 10:06 PM   #1
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Pentax K-1000 with no Focus Screen Circle??

Hi there,

Just purchased a Pentax K-1000 to begin my journey in the world of film photography.

Super excited to have gotten this camera with seemingly good condition (light meter working, light seals seem fine, no scratches on lens)

But I've noticed just now after coming back from purchase that there is no "circle" in the view finder. Wondering if anyone else have experienced or heard of this?

This camera has "Asahi" markings which seem a legitimate product. Could someone have previously taken the focusing screen out, and if is it possible to input a new one?

I can always just try to focus without it, but it would be much much helpful to just have a focusing circle in my view finder... lol

Hopefully I can hear anyone else's thoughts on this. Thanks,

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08-08-2020, 10:34 PM   #2
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Someone may have replaced the original with a plain matte or aerial image screen intended for an other camera, but that would be unusual.


Steve
08-09-2020, 02:19 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Aahh, you are talking about the central microprism, which looks blurry and bubbly when the image is out of focus, but which suddenly "pops" clear when focus is achieved. Sigh. I had a K2 like that, back in the early-to mid 1970s. Totally foolproof for stationary subjects, still good for moving subjects if you were quick with your "tracking". When my K2 was stolen, and I replaced it with a Pentax ME, I felt as if I had been robbed a second time when I discovered the ME had replaced the microprism with a split-image focusing system.

Judging from this thread K1000 Focus Screen Options - PentaxForums.com, you may just have to put up with what you have, or look for another K1000, or an entirely different model. I totally empathise with your disappointment over the missing center microprism focusing system you were expecting. I find I have great difficulty using any of my legacy 1970s Pentax lenses with my KP, because of the plain focusing screen in my Pentax KP, even with the focus assist beep and focus hexagon in the KP.
08-09-2020, 07:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Aahh, you are talking about the central microprism, which looks blurry and bubbly when the image is out of focus, but which suddenly "pops" clear when focus is achieved. Sigh. I had a K2 like that, back in the early-to mid 1970s. Totally foolproof for stationary subjects, still good for moving subjects if you were quick with your "tracking". When my K2 was stolen, and I replaced it with a Pentax ME, I felt as if I had been robbed a second time when I discovered the ME had replaced the microprism with a split-image focusing system.

Judging from this thread K1000 Focus Screen Options - PentaxForums.com, you may just have to put up with what you have, or look for another K1000, or an entirely different model. I totally empathise with your disappointment over the missing center microprism focusing system you were expecting. I find I have great difficulty using any of my legacy 1970s Pentax lenses with my KP, because of the plain focusing screen in my Pentax KP, even with the focus assist beep and focus hexagon in the KP.
have you tried the O-ME53 magnifying veiwer?

it has helped me with MF lenses tremendously....

08-09-2020, 01:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Aahh, you are talking about the central microprism, which looks blurry and bubbly when the image is out of focus, but which suddenly "pops" clear when focus is achieved. Sigh. I had a K2 like that, back in the early-to mid 1970s. Totally foolproof for stationary subjects, still good for moving subjects if you were quick with your "tracking". When my K2 was stolen, and I replaced it with a Pentax ME, I felt as if I had been robbed a second time when I discovered the ME had replaced the microprism with a split-image focusing system.

Judging from this thread K1000 Focus Screen Options - PentaxForums.com, you may just have to put up with what you have, or look for another K1000, or an entirely different model. I totally empathise with your disappointment over the missing center microprism focusing system you were expecting. I find I have great difficulty using any of my legacy 1970s Pentax lenses with my KP, because of the plain focusing screen in my Pentax KP, even with the focus assist beep and focus hexagon in the KP.
Well, I guess it is what it is. Still excited to shoot film so I'll just deal with it for now haha.
Perhaps take it to a some camera shop to see if fixes are available, if really needed.

Thanks for the answers!
08-09-2020, 04:16 PM   #6
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You may get more by selling it, and as a selling point state it is highly unusual having a plain matte screen. That is a desirable feature for some of us.
08-09-2020, 06:06 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
have you tried the O-ME53 magnifying veiwer?

it has helped me with MF lenses tremendously....
Yes, thanks, pepperberry, and in fact I transferred that from my second-hand K50 to my KP when I bought my KP, and of course made sure I adjusted the dioptre setting too. I have even attempted live view a couple of times, with the live view magnification feature - that helped a little on stationary subjects, but not with macros of insects on foliage that is subject to even a slight breeze, because the magnification magnified the movement, making it even more difficult to judge accurate focus.

I can focus a page of print quite well, but "live" subjects in a natural environment - it is a very hit and miss affair, with the emphasis on "miss".


I really do miss that "magic" microprism that my K2 of the 1970s had - when that central circle of bubbles suddenly popped clear, you hit the shutter button, and would have a confidence level of 99.9%, even when tracking model aeroplanes in flight!!

I don't know whether my cataract operations, and the replacement of my eyes' natural lenses with artificial lenses, has made any difference, but I just cannot get a decent ratio of focused to unfocused, whether working hand-held or with a tripod, when I attempt manual focus, which is most annoying considering I have 5 legacy lenses from my 1970s photography days -

Pentax-M 28mm 2.8
Pentax-M 50mm Macro 4.0
Pentax-M 85mm 2.0
Pentax-M 135mm 3.5
Pentax-M 200mm.4.0

I would love to try insect macros with the 200mm plus extension tubes (I have a set of 3 from my 1970s photography days) but I know the "keepers" ratio would be hopeless!

C'est la vie!

Last edited by K2 to K50; 08-10-2020 at 04:04 AM.
08-09-2020, 08:17 PM   #8
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Actually for macro the all matte screen is better.

08-10-2020, 04:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Actually for macro the all matte screen is better.
It hasn't worked that way for me. Whether with the manual focus Pentax M 50mm Macro, or the autofocus 100mm 2.8 WR Macro. I get more in-focus results using the auto-focus. My eyes just keep fooling me if I try manual focus (I am 76 yrs old). I can happily photograph a page of text (a receipt or a bill, etc). Possibly even something like a page of stamps in a stamp collection. But as soon as I get into nature macros - nope.
08-10-2020, 12:17 PM   #10
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Except at very close focus the effective fstop may/will blacken the split image focus aid, so you need the matte for MF, but auto focus should be unaffected. Although at significant magnification I expect you will need MF (although I never use/tried AF for close focus).
08-10-2020, 12:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Except at very close focus the effective fstop may/will blacken the split image focus aid, so you need the matte for MF, but auto focus should be unaffected. Although at significant magnification I expect you will need MF (although I never use/tried AF for close focus).
He was talking about the microprism circle not a split-image focusing screen.

K.
08-10-2020, 03:35 PM   #12
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I still have my 1982-vintage K1000, with the micro prism circle.

It was serviced a few years ago, so it's in good shape mechanically.

My hit rate isn't nearly what it was 30 years ago, but that's not the camera...

Some of it is my older eyes, but some of it is simply that I don't do prints any more... even with the film, it gets scanned, and I pixel-peep...

Something that would have been fine on a 10*15 cm print is suddenly a blurry mess on a big monitor...

And as much as I hate to say anything bad about my K1000, I prefer MX viewfinder with its the split-image focus aid...

-Eric
08-10-2020, 03:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
He was talking about the microprism circle not a split-image focusing screen.

K.
My bad, but basically same issue, at very close up, and thus small effective aperture, the prisms (in the microprism circle) will also become black.

Last edited by dms; 08-10-2020 at 09:00 PM. Reason: clarify by prism I meant prisms in ...
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