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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-28-2018, 02:03 PM  
Focusing Screen or LV Aid or Tenpa 1.36 Magnifier?
Posted By BruceBanner
Replies: 17
Views: 1,259
I see, thanks for the clarification.

I've been shooting almost exclusively MF for over 2 months now (and I pretty much shoot 5/7 days of the week), 95% of my work on my flickr page since then has been MF. I feel that with certain lenses it is easier to nail focus than with others, the Samyang probably being the hardest (quite a bit more difficult than the Tak 135/2.5 and FA50 at 1.4). It's gotten to the point that I feel as though I cannot improve with it as I can simply rotate the focus ring too much in either direction when I have achieved what I perceive to being in focus (ie the subject sharp), it's just that lack of optical feedback during the finer focusing (yet all so important) part that is a barrier I wish to try and remove. When it happens, and if I have time, I obtain focus from rotating the ring near to far, keep going till I lose focus, dial back the focus from far to near, and do a small amount of repeating that process till I feel as though I found the middle between both those aspects, and then shoot, usually that is where the focus is. But that's when shooting very wide, normally even going to f2.2-2.5 there is a lot more feedback to work with and I can get that focused shot without toggling too and fro from near to far and far to near.

I do get however that I am aiming for some very tricky shooting conditions indeed, it's just not supposed to be easy to nail f1.4-1.8 on an 85mm lens and get the subject perfectly in focus (even harder when you and or your subject is moving as well!). I just believe I can do better if I had something better to work with through the OVF (either an aide or different focusing screen) because when I do toggle to LV I can nail focus a lot easier, the focus feedback that I crave is there!
LV can also be very helpful for zooming in, if I find that the subject is just a tad too hard to see whether focus is on or not, one quick long press of the 'Ok' button and I can get x2 or x4 magnification, helps a ton.

Let's see how the Tenpa 1.22 stacks up, it may assist with seeing more like with the LV magnification kinda...

Oh... and what is the difference between Canon S type and A type?

---------- Post added 06-29-18 at 07:09 AM ----------

Yeah I did think that... so wait... the Type S screen will vary on what starts to become 'too dark' at different apertures then?

So how can we calculate a rough estimate of where perhaps 'unusable' ovf apertures are too exist with a Type S screen?

F1.4 lenses?


And F4?

Those are the lenses I own with maximum apertures...

I was thinking the Type S Screen would then make shooting with the 200/4 very difficult indeed because it already at its widest is open at what I thought to be near the cut off point for gaining usuable light (f4).
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-28-2018, 04:38 AM  
Focusing Screen or LV Aid or Tenpa 1.36 Magnifier?
Posted By BruceBanner
Replies: 17
Views: 1,259
Thanks for taking the time to write all that down and getting back, much appreciated.
So does EVF stand for Electronic View Finder (OVF is Optical)? So that means some serious hardware changes? I want to google this more not sure where to start... 'EVF Pentax'? 'EVF Pentax K-1'? lol
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-27-2018, 07:29 PM  
Focusing Screen or LV Aid or Tenpa 1.36 Magnifier?
Posted By BruceBanner
Replies: 17
Views: 1,259
Thanks for that Steve. It might still be a goer for me, I'm not put off by shooting f1.4-f4, tho being restricted down to f2.8 is quite tough, but if real user experience is saying up to f4 is still ok then I think I can work with that. Once I it f5.6-f8 I typically am landscaping and can use LV for those kinda situations.

You replaced your screen earlier this month or so ago did you not Tas? How are you finding it still, any 'buyers' regret, or shall we say has the focus novelty worn off and you wish you had your old screen back? Or does it still feel like the right move for you?
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-27-2018, 02:07 PM  
Focusing Screen or LV Aid or Tenpa 1.36 Magnifier?
Posted By BruceBanner
Replies: 17
Views: 1,259
The installation part is the bit that terrifies me. I've gotten dust on my focusing screen before, I could not get it clean at all! Eventually I put the whole K-50 in for a service to rectify the damage I had caused. I'm pretty OCD, if I install a new focusing screen that has a blob of dust, I'll be pretty annoyed, no doubt removing and trying again and making matters worse and worse :D
Part of me feels if I went this route I'd want to install it professionally, so either a local camera shop or perhaps Pentax themselves would make the switch for me... So whilst the attractiveness is still appealing, the costs involved could get a lot steeper for me, the only way I can see myself navigate around this issue is to get proper education and solution steps from how to come back from making big mistakes successfully if during the installation process the screen takes too long to install, collects too much dust and small hair fibres etc. Currently I am seeing amateur videos and not many 'if this happens, do this' to remedy the issue etc.
(I also live in a very dusty home, I dust daily (vacuuming), it's just part and parcel of living in a tiny home, 4 people and 2 cats!).

I am familiar with focus and recompose, however it is not a method typically recommended for those using very thin DoF (which is quite often how I shoot a lot of the time). By the time you recompose the focus is off, it's one of the reasons I have moved more to MF as I am faster with my shots as I don't have to mess around with AF points on the direction pad nor be limited to the coverage range of AF points. I can simply look in the screen, frame things, focus and shoot. It's just that the Pentax's OVF is difficult to judge for this style of shooting (LV much easier).

The comparison page is very helpful indeed.
So with someone like myself who likes to not being restricted to obtaining focus only on the centre part, this leaves Type A and Type S screens, correct? It looks like Pentax stock screen is either A or S as well? From the Comparison page I can't really tell a difference between type A and S screens, how do they differ? And is the Canon S Type screen similar to the Pentax screen but just emphasises the DoF more, thereby giving more feedback to the user when something is in focus (it's more dramatic etc).

Regarding the Tenpa, that's what I thought, but apparently I am wrong. I have read from a few different sources that the Tenpa is superior to the Pentax version, which is why it niggles away at me...
Tenpa 1.22 Magnifying Eyecup reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I've just ordered one, so the deed is done, I think I have to scratch this itch, but more importantly I have two cameras I'd like to resolve this issue with, it's not just the K-1 that I would like to improve MF on, but also my KP. So perhaps if the Tenpa 1.2 works ok, it can sit on one of the cameras and I shall still replace a focusing screen with the other (perhaps even better for comparisons sake when it comes).

Yes thanks, I saw that video before. The thing that worries me the most how much darker the OVF gets when stopping down. It may indeed help focusing at wider apertures than stock, but it seems it comes at a price. I don't much like the idea of doing something as invasive as swapping focusing screens if down the line I regret the swap. At least the Tenpa can be easily removed if for certain situations it hinders more than helps...

Thanks for all your help. I shall try the Tenpa 1.22 for now, report back on how it compares with the O-ME53 and if it actually aids me better in obtaining focus for shooting at those wider apertures (or if it's just a magnification of a problem that shall remain till I replace the screen...)
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-25-2018, 11:05 PM  
Focusing Screen or LV Aid or Tenpa 1.36 Magnifier?
Posted By BruceBanner
Replies: 17
Views: 1,259
A hoodman was pretty much one of the LV aids I was talking about, I just don't know how gungho I'd be about being forced down that route however;

1) it's large, it will make stowing away my camera a far larger PIA, as well as potentially requiring me to replace all bags and pouches that I currently use to accommodate my new life with the hoodman...
2) using a hoodman puts me down the LV avenue, which also means a kick in the teeth to battery life and battery replacement. I'll also see myself being forced to get a battery grip, something up until now I haven't felt the need to really purchase.
3) does the hoodman work well in portrait mode or is it a landscape only (comfortable) kinda thing?
4) LV also reduces some options, like AF.C burst shooting etc

Admitting defeat and settling on a FA77 with AF doesn't feel like a good move forward for me, like I said before AF I find quite hit or miss when shooting very wide with these kind of focal ranges and apertures, I prefer to take the final fine focus stuff manually anyway. I actually find AF in LV more reliable and accurate, so that still leaves the OVF issue...

When you say 'focus aides' are you referring just directly in relation to having different focusing screens (such as split-image/microprism) than what is currently sold in our digital era cameras? Or are you referring to something more?

And with that particular focusing screen am I right in saying its the kind that when you toggle the focus barrel, when the image is lined up correctly on each left and right side, then the shot is in focus? The only issue with this is that it's useful only for subjects in the centre frame of the camera?

I have briefly heard of katzeye, knowing they are no longer in business. What focusing screen options are available for the K-1? I have heard the Canon Type S screen is used, but I don't really understand the differences between the screens, whether you're actually buying a focus screen intended for Canon, yet fits a K-1 or what not...

Really useful feedback on the Tenpa. If you prefer the O-ME53 over it then I think that tells me everything I need to know, and can basically rule that out. Perhaps the Tenpa 1.2 (or is it 1.22?) might be better? I have heard/read that it offers substantial better IQ than the O-ME53...

Interesting to also hear how you own a hoodman but seldom use it, I fear that might also be what would happen with me should I get one.

It sounds like you've tried all the gadgetry and really a better focusing screen was the best real solution for you (it not using LV).

I actually do use a tripod a lot as well, but I wonder if a better monopod might assist me more with certain jobs. Really something with an incredible quick release system (quicker than Arca) would probably ease a lot of the pain, and if the monopod could also act as a tripod by being able to change the bottom section and add those little feet that I see that some monopods have, it might also be a semi decent tripod experience in those small lens and quiet still windy days...

Hmm... food for thought indeed.

I think I'll research the Tenpa 1.2 first, and then try and get some focusing screen assistance/knowledge.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-25-2018, 06:31 PM  
Focusing Screen or LV Aid or Tenpa 1.36 Magnifier?
Posted By BruceBanner
Replies: 17
Views: 1,259
So I spent a considerable amount of time this weekend with the Samyang 85/1.4, the first time since I got it (a couple weeks back) that I have really put it through it's paces.
The conclusion I have come to is that nailing f1.4-2.0 are just too difficult with the ovf, yet these are often the stand out shots you achieve when you luckily nail that shot. My eye sight is pretty good, I can look through the ovf with these apertures set and see what I perceive to being the right kind of optimum sharpness obtained yet the shot can be quite soft, I simply missed the right focus. When using the ovf at these apertures the subject can look in EQUAL sharpness with no real deterioration for quite some fiddly of the focus ring, however when switching to the LV and watching what happens with the subject it becomes quite obvious quite quickly that there is a far smaller window of 'peak sharpness/focus' for the user to act on, and this is the right focus point i.e. it's just simply far far easier to use LV with these apertures set on this piece of glass (and in fact most pieces of glass).

So I don't know how to feel about all this. LV is kind for nailing focus, especially MF glass where you're doing very tricky narrow DoF shots indeed, my problem is I hate using it. I feel semi comfortable using it with a monopod or tripodded but any other method feels very yucky. A lot of this also has to do with my poor back health, using an OVF is the most comfortable shooting experience, monopodding, flipping the LV screen out and tilting up is better but still stressful due to the angle my neck and head is pulled down to look at the screen (possibly too short a monopod), possibly a LV aid that fits over the screen and allow me to look through the camera in a similar manner to an OVF method might be better, but then those things look a bit ridiculous, add significant bulk to the camera and I'm worried that it will move the camera too far away from the body which contributes to back strain etc. Monopod also means always bringing it with me and adds bulk to the shooting experience etc.

I've read a little about replacing the focusing screen, but I am put off if then shooting other lenses and stopping down with lower apertures such as f5-10 then the ovf becomes increasingly hard to see through. This still might be the preferred course of action however, portraits is more my thing and I love to shoot with thin DoF where possible. Stopping down is something I do for landscapes more anyway so LV is usually what I use for this task...

I have the Pentax O-ME53 that I find more of a hindrance than a help. It's helpful if focusing dead on centre but if you frame your shots off centre using MF then the subject becomes 'cloudier' and less easier to see if they are in focus or not, it's basically only helpful for looking straight ahead, things above and below and left and right of centre appear more blurry. Taking it off and you can see the sharpness and focus easier on things off centre through the ovf for sure.
I've read that the Tenpa 1.36 is really quite good, but I'm not sure if magnification is going to help, especially if it has a similar experience to the O-ME53 in which the centre is only being helped and not so much the edges (or basically the edges at the expense of the centre). However people do say even the Tenpa 1.2 is significantly better than the O-ME53 magnifier...


I'm not sure which direction to head down. LV aids (better taller monopod or ovf like contraption that straps on) doesn't fill me with much joy as it's a significant accessory to carry around. The focusing screen is the most streamlined option but perhaps the most drastic. The Tenpa 1.36 is also a pricey gamble, they're $120AUD now and don't necessarily guarantee a better shooting experience...

I guess I'm just writing down my current thoughts here, hoping perhaps someone else has felt similarly, perhaps even tried all 3 options and can weigh in with their 2 cents with what they felt was the best upgrade/improvement.

I'm never going to have funds for a FA 85/1.4, and the thing is I've never been overly chuffed with Pentax's AF system. I can have the single SEL point right on an eye for example yet the eyebrow get's most of the focus and the eye itself less, which is what kinda prompted me down the road of MF lenses. Some glass is certainly easier to nail focus manually, such as the DFA 100/2.8 or even shooting very wide with the FA50/1.4. The Samyang is definitely a hard lens to master (but when it works it is the stuff of legend!), currently I feel I am at a crossroads, I simply cannot improve through the OVF because I have a hunch that it is just not that great for this kind of task.

Decisions decisions...

Thanks for listening!

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