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Old Oct 19, 2011, 4:36 PM   #1
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Default New matte screen big improvement for K5

Ever since I bought my K20D, and later with the K5, I have had severe problems getting the focus right with fast manual lenses (read A* 85mm f1.4). First I thought it was the camera, then the lens, then my own ageing eyes. But recently I read a thread at Pentax Forums where the matte focusing screen was pointed out as the problem with very fast lenses. The original Pentax screen simply doesnt show any difference in DOF until you stop down to f2.8 or smaller. Since most modern lenses aren't faster than that anyway, it doesn't present a problem for most users. But for those of us who do use fast lenses and manual focusing, it has been a very unpleasant experience to get so many shots oof and not even understanding why. So after reading about this matte screen thing, I ordered one from Focusing Screen in Taiwan.

I recieved my modified matte focusing screen, made from a Canon EE-s original, today and just finished installing it. I bought the version with AF markings, and it seems to be the preferable choice.
I have only been able to test it in artificial room-light, but so far it seems to be everything others have written in various threads and forums. I got my loved A* 85mm back!
When changing matte screens, I also replaced the original copper shim with the thinner plastic one supplied by Focusing Screen. Spot on at first try!
I've got nothing but praise for Deki_Kuo, who runs Focusing Screen in Taiwan. Not only nice to be able to buy the screen custom made, he also supplied a set of tools like pliers, rubber fingertips "condoms", and shims of different thickness'. He also provides very good instructions on how to do the actual change of matte screens and focus adjustment with shims on his homepage. Communications was first class, and the shipment was done with trackable shipment number. This has been a good day for me! :-)

Shameless promotion, but he's really worth it! http://www.focusingscreen.com/

Kjell

Last edited by bilybianca; Oct 19, 2011 at 11:25 PM.
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Old Oct 19, 2011, 10:22 PM   #2
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I've always been a bit afraid of changing my screen since I had a K10. I had no trouble when I changed that one out for a while, but since then I've read about trying to shim them and how do you figure out which shim to use and whether it's right or not? I have a bad enough time shooting focus charts and adjusting the dioper lever to the right place! I do vaguely remember how to replace the screen. While my manual focus lenses aren't particularly fast (the A*300 and the Viv S1 105 macro are the two main ones), I have thought about getting a better screen for manual focus.
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 5:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilybianca View Post
Ever since I bought my K20D, and later with the K5, I have had severe problems getting the focus right with fast manual lenses (read A* 85mm f1.4). First I thought it was the camera, then the lens, then my own ageing eyes. But recently I read a thread at Pentax Forums where the matte focusing screen was pointed out as the problem with very fast lenses. The original Pentax screen simply doesnt show any difference in DOF until you stop down to f2.8 or smaller. Since most modern lenses aren't faster than that anyway, it doesn't present a problem for most users. But for those of us who do use fast lenses and manual focusing, it has been a very unpleasant experience to get so many shots oof and not even understanding why. So after reading about this matte screen thing, I ordered one from Focusing Screen in Taiwan.

I recieved my modified matte focusing screen, made from a Canon EE-s original, today and just finished installing it. I bought the version with AF markings, and it seems to be the preferable choice.
I have only been able to test it in artificial room-light, but so far it seems to be everything others have written in various threads and forums. I got my loved A* 85mm back!
When changing matte screens, I also replaced the original copper shim with the thinner plastic one supplied by Focusing Screen. Spot on at first try!
I've got nothing but praise for Deki_Kuo, who runs Focusing Screen in Taiwan. Not only nice to be able to buy the screen custom made, he also supplied a set of tools like pliers, rubber fingertips "condoms", and shims of different thickness'. He also provides very good instructions on how to do the actual change of matte screens and focus adjustment with shims on his homepage. Communications was first class, and the shipment was done with trackable shipment number. This has been a good day for me! :-)

Shameless promotion, but he's really worth it! http://www.focusingscreen.com/

Kjell
Kjell

I envy your skill in fooling around with focus screen. I had to write off a new screen for K100D when I made a huge scratch on it. I do not know yours - the material is very scratch prone. After the accident I gave up changing screen

Daniel
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 6:57 AM   #4
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Another thumbs up for Focusing Screen ... I bought a kit from them and the bits and pieces that accompany the screen are better than those from Katzeye ... and their 2-3 times more expensive screens. My wife saw the rubber finger tip covers (condoms) and asked suspiciously ... what are those, bit small aren't they !!

BTW Harriet - it is extremely easy to change (if you have a steady hand), 2 mins to prepare and 1 minute to change ... done.

I've been considering the EE-s screen as well. Hmmm maybe I will have to splash out to use it with my Zeiss 85/1.4 and Sigma 30/1.4 !

Thanks for posting that Kjell.
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 8:22 AM   #5
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... what are those, bit small aren't they !!
You're lucky she didn't say it the opposite way.
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 8:41 AM   #6
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I changed my screen on my K2000 also from focusinscreen.com at first a little daunting but turned out easy, still happy with the screen for manual lenses. The K2000 does not have focus points on the screen so the split image was my focus indicator as the little hex is dificult to see with glesses. With the focus points on the Kr I have not needed to change that screen yet.

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Old Oct 20, 2011, 11:06 AM   #7
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How does the matt screen work with the slower kit lenses (DA-L 18-55, 50-200, etc.) autofocus lenses? Are they affected by the matte finish? Thanks.

Last edited by Osnap65; Oct 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 3:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osnap65 View Post
How does the matt screen work with the slower kit lenses (DA-L 18-55, 50-200, etc.) autofocus lenses? Are they affected by the matte finish? Thanks.
The auto focus system doesn't depend on the focus screen, so there shouldn't be any effect at all when using AF. But the view through the viewfinder will look a bit darker, yet a bit clearer in a strange way.

Kjell
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