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Monday, 22 February 2010


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In order BH to be competitive for me, it will have to come down to 650 US dollars the body. Else, it is much more expensive taxes added [and if I want to have it delivered at home].
No, I know it is not Amazon.

But delivery taxes tend to add up, and Amazon does not deliver where I live.

Might be a goofy name but I wish more camera viewfinders and screens had grid lines on them.


For what it's worth, I can enable grids in the viewfinder of my Nikon D200. I don't know if they're set out according to the "rule" of thirds, but they're helpful for keeping horizons straight.

I just wish I could get a plain matte screen with grid and optimized for manual focus for my E-410. I know you can get a split wedge screen but I just can't get along with those things.

I gave up on the K-7 after getting two different defective ones from two different dealers (first Amazon/Adorama, then B&H). Both dealers were great about the returns.

Gerikson: the K-7 gets horizons straight even if you can't see them (by auto sensor rotation, with a couple of degrees range). There are some alternative, user replaceable viewfinder screens, including one with some grid rules, one with scale markings and another with no markings.

@John Robison

Katz Eye Optics makes custom focusing screens without the split prism and microprism collar. They also offer several custom gridlines and croplines (that can be combined).

Here are the instructions they sent me so I could order one for my Pentax K10D:

Because the plain matte screen is a special order, the ordering process is a little different. If you choose to place the order, please follow this procedure: First, select the screen in the normal fashion on the K10D page of the website. Then, on the first page of the checkout, near the bottom, you will find a spot to enter a discount/coupon code. Use the coupon code NoPrism, exactly as shown here, in that location. The coupon code will take $5 off the price of the screen and will alert our order processor to the special order. If you also wish to add the crop patterns, select one pattern on the product page and make a note requesting the addition of the second pattern in the comments section of the checkout. When the order is placed online, you will receive an automatic order confirmation email that does not show the special order. But after the order is reviewed by one of our staff, we will update our database to reflect the custom order and send you a corrected order confirmation email.

However you'd better check with them if these instructions still apply.

I finally decided getting one after reading about manual focusing with autofocus cameras on the Carl Zeiss site.


On my Pentax MX, I used a sharp, soft pencil to put lines on the focus screen. Thirty years on they still do the job. I assume that would work on the current crop of removable screen cameras.
The silver K7, does quicken my pulse, when reminiscing about the MX.

What a tease! I would absolutely love to upgrade to a K-7 from my K100D. From everything I've seen, it's just about the ideal camera for me. But alas! There is no money in the budget for a new camera.

(And if there was, it would probably go toward a new Limited lens.)

This is the best example of a gray-black camera; many tried but ended up with plastic toys... Imagine that with a 77mm Limited!

And kinda off-topic: why does everybody show the rule of thirds :) shown as... actual thirds? The golden number is slightly offset for that; 1/3 is just an approximation, and often is either too boring or (sometimes) too obvious.
I'd very much enjoy a new TOP article (maybe by Ctein) about the golden ratio, spirals and stuff connected to that. And to be fair, some counter-balancing with square (or 5/4) pictures and centered subjects; the old egyptian ratio is extremely useful, but even more over-hyped.

Those interested in the K-7 might enjoy Jamin Winans' (of "Ink" fame) latest short film, Uncle Jack [YouTube link], shot entirely using the K-7 (with Pentax lenses). I could be wrong, but I think he did the film for Pentax. Regardless, it's somewhat unfortunate no one noticed the camera he was using had several "dead pixels" on the sensor which are visible if you watch the film in HD.

About "golden section ratio" of the grid offered with the silver Pentax K7.

Evidently pentax know about the "golden rule" of ancient greeks which is the perfect ratio of images according to them. The "rule of thirds" is exactly the modern expression of the ancient greeks' "golden rule".

> with lines for the rule of thirds, which
> they're calling "golden section ratio...

Latin "sectio aurea", which, speaking of proportions ratio, has quite a long history in Arts. I suspect that the "rule of thirds" gets its starting point exactly there.
Wikipedia is pretty exhaustive on the argument.


Well, the Rule of Thirds is actually a simplification of the golden section / golden ratio concept, so I do not think the name is goofy at all (although I do admit that while I've heard the terms "golden section" and "golden ratio" - even "golden mean", "golden cut" and "divine section" -, I have never heard of a "golden section ratio" as such. If this is what you are criticising, I'm with you).

The golden mean (golden section I've heard too)crops up all over pure math for some simple but deep reasons. It is also the limit of some optimization problems, which is why *approximations* of it occur in natural systems, such as the number of leafs it takes to go around the stem of a plant, depending on specie - which is related to the way cells multiply and to the optimization of sunshine falling on each leaf. From there people have drawn many unfounded conclusions. If you look hard enough you will find *rough approximations* to a golden-mean proportioned rectangle anywhere and not just in some ancient Greek temples. It is not at all clear that the ancient Greeks were consciously using it anywhere in the Acropolis. If my memory serves, they did not write about this section in relation to architecture. Modern tests asking people to pick out which rectangle they like best among a line-up of variously proportioned rectangles fail to show a strong preference for just those rectangle whose proportion is near 1.6 (or 1.62 if you think people discern that finely): people prefer all kinds of rectangles, from long ones such as 1 to over 2 to close to square ones (1 to 1).

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