Split-Image Focusing Screen in Pentax ZX-5n, ZX-L, etc?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Greg Lovern, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Guest

    Has anyone found a way to get a split-image focusing screen into a
    Pentax ZX series (ZX-5n, ZX-L, etc.) AF body?

    What about using the ZX-M's focusing screen? Can a shop order the part
    and install it in a ZX-5n, ZX-L, etc.?

    If so, would it still meter correctly? Of course, I realize it
    wouldn't have the AF and spot meter aids.

    I recently switched from a Pentax Super Program to a ZX-L, but I may
    never replace all of my lenses with AF lenses. The ZX-L's focus assist
    is fine with a normal lens in good lighting, but is slow or
    inoperative in dim lighting, and in dim lighting it's hard to focus
    with the matte screen too. I've had more out-of-focus shots since
    switching than ever before.

    I realize the MZ-S has a split-image, but I don't have that kind of
    money. For now, I'm keeping my Super Program too.


    Greg Lovern, Jan 30, 2004
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  2. Greg Lovern

    Mark Roberts Guest

    Yep. It fits and I know it's been done. The guy did it himself IIRC and
    said it's easy.
    Worked OK.

    No it doesn't, actually.
    Mark Roberts, Jan 30, 2004
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  3. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Guest

    Okay, I got a ZX-M focusing screen, and it is a thing of beauty
    compared to the ZX-L focusing screen. Are there any faqs, etc. that
    might help me on opening up my camera (Pentax ZX-L), or any other
    information? I've never taken a camera apart.

    Should I start with the two screws on each side of the viewfinder, and
    look for a way to take the top off and get to the focusing screen from
    the top, or should I start with the 5 screws around the mount
    (counting the one in the flash housing), and try to get to the
    focusing screen that way?

    Any pointers would be much appreciated.


    Greg Lovern, Feb 7, 2004
  4. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Guest

    I haven't heard anything back on this. Does anyone have any idea
    whether I should go in from the top, or from the front? Anything I
    should be careful not to do?

    Any information out there on taking a ZX-series camera apart?


    Greg Lovern, Feb 12, 2004
  5. Greg Lovern

    Mark Roberts Guest

    See if this is of any help:
    Mark Roberts, Feb 12, 2004
  6. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Guest

    Disregard -- I asked on the Pentax mailing list and was pointed to
    this page:


    I didn't realize it would be that easy on a camera without
    interchangeable focusing screens.

    I tried it and it worked fine. I was pleased to find in several tests
    that the ZX-L's AF agrees with the ZX-M's focusing screen's

    Another person on the Pentax mailing list said that he'd tried it and
    tested metering, and found that spot metering was unpredictable but
    center-weighted and matrix metering was fine.

    Losing spot metering is unfortunate, but that loss along with the loss
    of AF marks and the spot metering mark is a small price to pay to have
    a split-image.

    BTW, the ZX-M's focusing screen was only (US) $3.36 + $5.00 shipping
    (call Pentax and ask for the "Repair Parts" department). Since
    swapping screens is fairly easy, I'd recommend it for just about
    anyone with an AF ZX/MX series camera who sometimes focuses manually.

    Greg Lovern, Feb 12, 2004
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