Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Pentax LX - Focusing Screens

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A total of 12 interchangeable focusing screens is provided for the Pentax LX (Early stage, they were mentioned only 9 were available). From plain matte to split-image microprism to suit a wide variety of special applications. All screens are coated with Pentax's exclusive Clear-Bright-Matte surface for better light transmission. Yes, to some especially the non-Pentax Users, it may not be offering familiar degree of convenient of changing screen with the prism removed as with those offered by the Nikon F2/F3 or the Canon New F-1.

But since most cameras other than the professional models which does not have interchangeable prisms were using this way to change the focusing screen from the lens mount with the lens removed, so that is not too uncommon.

Of cause, you have to un-mount the lens before you can perform this task. Anyway, changing the screens are easy, it can be replaced through the LX body mount, and due to the IDM system, no exposure compensation is necessary when a non-standard screen is used. For added versatility, the 9 focusing screens designed for the earlier Pentax MX system can also be used in the LX. Cross reference: Canon New F-1 has the most in number, 32 of them; while F3 has around 22 while Olympus has a round 14 in total for their professional OM SLR models.

To change the LX screen, use the pincette (Will supplied with every new focusing screen). Insert it against the top plate of the mount so that the two ear-like tabs rest against the indentation in the plate.

Then, lift upward on the handle until the focusing screen drop down. Although I never use this pincette myself, I always use the finger nail, but for those who are not familiar of how it works, it should be the right way to change the screen. Only thing to note is, DON'T use excessive force if the screen doesn't fall down. Just be a little patience. After putting the screen in place, use your finger or use the pincette to push upward
until it locks in place.

Detailed below are the 12 options and outline briefly its main functions:

SC-21 Split-Microprism. A standard screen featuring a central split-image spot with a microprism collar on a matte field.

SC-26 Split-Microprism. A split-image/microprism screen on a matte field for use with telephotos 300mm and over. A 4 degree prism angle permits use up to f/8.

SA-21 Microprism/Matte. A highly versatile yet simple screen with a central microprism grid on a matte field.

SA-23 Microprism/Matte. Similar to the SA-21, but with sharper prism angles to aid focusing with high-speed (fl.2f/2.8) lenses.

SA-26 Microprism/Matte. A microprism screen with a matte field suited for telephotos longer than 300mm. A 4-degree prism angle permits use up to f/8.

SD-21 Matte with Central Cross Hairs. An all-matte focusing screen with central cross hairs for use in microphotography, astrophotography and macrophotography.

SD-11 Clear Surface with Central Cross Hairs. Similar to the SD21 but without matte surface for a clearer vision.
SD-21 All-Surface Matte. Especially suited for focusing small-aperture telephoto or macro photography.

Credit: Thanks - Greg Johnson for rectifying a mistake made at the description of this screen.

SE-25 All-Surface Matte. An all-matte screen suitable for telephoto lenses 300mm and above.

SG-20 Matte with Crosslines. Similar to the SE-20 but with etched cross lines in 6mm squares. Excellent for architectural subjects and multiple-exposure composition.

Sl-20 Matte with Vertical and Horizontal Scales. Similar to the SE-20 but with engraved scales for determining subject size with bellow and micro photography.


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