KPS 1.3x magnifier eyepiece, great stuff

Started Aug 14, 2009 | Discussions thread
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godfrog
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KPS 1.3x magnifier eyepiece, great stuff
Aug 14, 2009

Recently received my KPS 1.3X magnifier eyepiece, costing me 50$ (including insured shipping). Im loving it, and at the price it paid, it is an absolute steal for something that greatly enhances one of the strongest advantages of a DSLR, the OVF.

If you want to see how it looks mounted, search for "KPS eyepiece" on eBay and you will find good images, with the eye-cup in both positions. You will also notice that it is not available for the K-7, but I dont know if this is just a matter of lagging compability lists, or if the K-7 indeed has a different eye-cup mount.

Installation is easy (on a GX-20), and it is easy to take off if you do not like it. I ordered the cheaper UMC version, there is another U13-C that has slightly higher 1.35x magnification and a second smaller rubber ring alternative to the big eye-cup. Actually the UMC version might also have 1.35X magnification, it has "MF 1.35" written on the actual magnifier piece.

Advantages:

  • The viewfinder is HUGE! The area of the viewfinder is 70-80% larger, so its bigger than most full frame DSLRs, but not quite as big as film SLRs like the Pentax MX

  • Manual focus is much easier, even using the stock screen

  • Image feels brighter, this might be due to the sheer size and the eye-cup

  • The eye-cup is very comfortable, both positions are usable

  • With the eye-cup extended, the viewfinder feels much better to use in strong sunlight, as there is no light entering from above/below/sides of viewfinder

Downsides:

  • There is a kind of vignetting, it is not possible to see the top corners and the viewfinder status bar at the same time, you need to move your head slightly

  • It is larger, extending out the back of the camera

  • Does not work well with glasses

  • Taking it off makes the original viewfinder feel tiny

Below you can see my unscientific comparison before/after installing the KPS eyepiece. Shot with my compact held as close to the viewfinder as possible, both shots with same exposure settings to get some indication of size brightness change. Pay no attention to sharpness and image quality, as the shots are at 1/3 second:

You can see the vignetting effect, moving my head slightly I can see the full frame but not the status bar, and when viewing the status bar the top corners are cut off. I dont feel that this gets in the way at all, but some might disagree.

I also know that Pentax makes an eyepiece accessory. I have not tried this, but the reviews and comparisons I found on pentaxforums.com and mflenses.com seemed to strongly favor the KPS due to quality and image size. If you have experience with both, please feel free to add a comment about these two compared.

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