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04-21-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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K1000 Viewfinder Diopter

Greetings,

I recently purchased a SP1000 and a K1000 and found that on both bodies the viewfinder was not as clearly focused as I would like. They both take great pictures so the focus on film is fine. I can focus the camera well enough because the microprisms are visible enough to give me good focus indication.

I should explain that I wear glasses, and my vision is corrected nearly to 20/20. With my glasses off, there is no hope of focus. Also, with my K100DS I find that with the viewfinder diopter adjustment very close to centered I get good clarity, noticeably clearer than with the film bodies, and the KatzEye is a dream to use. I have two Olympus OM1 bodies (which have no diopter adjustment) and they are crystal clear. I notice in the K1000 manual it indicates, "Dioptry - 1.0." I'm not sure if that means, "Diopter set to -1.0." or if it means, "Diopter: 1.0." It's not clear if the "-" is intended to be a negative sign or a "dash" (or "stroke" as some of you may say).

Is there some trick or adjustment to improve the setting for my eye, or shall I just make do with what I have?

Thanks.
-Joe-

04-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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That's a negative sign. FWIW -1.0 is the standard value for most manufacturers SLR viewfinders.

Pentax offered accessory diopter eyepieces of various values ( + and - ).
I don't know of any dealers who might still have these in stock.
Once you determine what value you need my advice is to watch eBay.
Any rectangular one made by Pentax should fit your cameras.

I wear eyeglasses for distance vision and have always used a -1.0 eyepiece.
My wife, who wears glasses for reading only could no longer focus her K1000.
A +1.0 eyepiece helped her immensely.

Chris
04-21-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
That's a negative sign. FWIW -1.0 is the standard value for most manufacturers SLR viewfinders.

Pentax offered accessory diopter eyepieces of various values ( + and - ).
I don't know of any dealers who might still have these in stock.
Once you determine what value you need my advice is to watch eBay.
Any rectangular one made by Pentax should fit your cameras.

I wear eyeglasses for distance vision and have always used a -1.0 eyepiece.
My wife, who wears glasses for reading only could no longer focus her K1000.
A +1.0 eyepiece helped her immensely.

Chris
Hello,

So it would be the same part for both K2 and MX?
I am in the same boat that you are with glasses for distance vision correction 1/20 diopter. On my K20D and on MZ-5n I just push the diopter correction all the way to the right (-) and get the focus back. Would that be equivalent to -1 diopter or more (if more I might need to have my eyes checked soon )?

Thanks.

Luc
04-21-2009, 03:38 PM   #4
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All pre-AF Pentax cameras with rectangular eyepieces (except the LX) should accept the same Pentax diopters.

The adjustable diopter range should be listed in the specifications for your Pentax camera.
Check your instruction manual or visit http://www.pentaximaging.com to download the .PDF

Chris


Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 04-21-2009 at 03:47 PM.
04-21-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
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Chris,

Thanks for the excellent information - I'll keep a lookout for a "0.0" diopter, as I suspect that is what I need. It's not a deal breaker if I don't have one since the microprisms are quite visible, and in bright light it's pretty clear (as my own iris closes down). It's mostly a minor irritant in low lighting indoors. I think I've been spoiled by the KatzEye in my K100DS!

-Joe-

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
That's a negative sign. FWIW -1.0 is the standard value for most manufacturers SLR viewfinders.
...
Chris
04-21-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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Sorry, Pre-M-series and M-and-later cameras use different viewfinder accessories.

(K mount page) Pentax Focusing Aids

I have a Pentax M-series viewfinder diopter and focus magnifier and an Olympus OM right-angle finder; they work fine on my ME super and K20D, but don't fit properly on my K1000 .

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
All pre-AF Pentax cameras with rectangular eyepieces (except the LX) should accept the same Pentax diopters.

The adjustable diopter range should be listed in the specifications for your Pentax camera.
Check your instruction manual or visit PENTAX Digital Cameras and DSLRs - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site to download the .PDF

Chris

Last edited by troyz; 04-21-2009 at 04:09 PM.
04-21-2009, 04:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
Sorry, Pre-M-series and M-and-later cameras use different viewfinder accessories.

(K mount page) Pentax Focusing Aids
They differ slightly but in use they may be considered interchangeable. IIRC the only difference is a slight variation in width.
If too tight the plastic can be shaved to fit with a utility knife. If too loose a drop of Pliobond will hold it securely in place.

By now these items are so difficult to find my advice is to concern yourself mainly with obtaining the required diopter value.

FWIW I prefer to use Canon A-series rubber eyecups on my Pentax cameras; they're softer than those made by Pentax.

Chris
04-21-2009, 07:03 PM   #8
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This evening I tried holding a +1 diopter lens in front of the viewfinder on my K1000 and that clarified it nicely. I did some reading on some web pages and someone recommended getting cheap +1 reading glasses and cutting out a piece to make a diopter. I may try that - I think I have a pair of junk reading glasses laying around somewhere.

-Joe-

04-21-2009, 07:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by k0og Quote
This evening I tried holding a +1 diopter lens in front of the viewfinder on my K1000 and that clarified it nicely. I did some reading on some web pages and someone recommended getting cheap +1 reading glasses and cutting out a piece to make a diopter. I may try that - I think I have a pair of junk reading glasses laying around somewhere.

-Joe-

There is a +1 diopter correction M on eBay right now.

Cheers,

Luc
04-21-2009, 07:41 PM   #10
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There are several diopters on eBay right now - they seem to come in groups. There is a thread in the SLR Forum with more links to diopters available on eBay now.

Here is the +1. I use +2's, so I won't be bidding.

Asahi Pentax SMC Correction Lens Diopter M +1 03736 NEW - eBay (item 250409217249 end time Apr-24-09 21:54:58 PDT)
04-22-2009, 07:34 AM   #11
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Diopter Problem Solved!

Several years ago I bought some cheap +1 reading glasses from Wal-Mart, which I no longer use. I sacrificed one of the lenses, and cut out a small rectangular piece so that it would recess fit into the viewfinder window, thus making it flush with the back of the viewfinder. I put a thin film of silicone sealer along the edges to hold it in place, which will allow it to be removed if necessary.

It works GREAT! The viewfinder is now crystal clear, and easier to focus in low light.

Cutting the plastic lens was a little tricky. I ended up using a water-cooled saw at work which is used for cutting glassware. I started with a dremel tool, and it would have worked, but the water-cooled saw eliminated the overheating of the plastic and melted edges.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I was going to bid on the auction for the diopter, but thought it would be worth trying the reading glasses since they were useless to me anyway.

-Joe-
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