A separate camera body dedicated to MF lenses?

Started Feb 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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A separate camera body dedicated to MF lenses?
Feb 24, 2014

The ol' yardcoyote has cabin fever (it's been a long winter here in the Midwest) and so I've been reading around and looking ahead to my spring/summer photography project, which is learning to use manual lenses on a digital Pentax body.  Between myself and the Other Old Pentaxian we have 11 K and M lenses in 10 focal lengths, a collection that is obviously a major optical resource if I can figure out how to use it.

I think I've got the basic idea of how to set my K-30 up for manual shooting (though I am sure I will have a million questions for you all to patiently answer when the time comes to actually do it), I admit trying to get focus sounds like an intimidating process.  I realize that I have focus confirmation (red dot and cheep! sound)  enabled on the camera already-- I use it when manually focusing my modern lenses. But it's slow and requires a fair amount of guesswork.  And focus peaking, which I have never used yet, seems to require the use of the rear LCD screen, which is not how I prefer to work.

Back in my film days, I focused some of these exact same lenses in the viewfinder with a split image focusing screen-- a fast (lightning fast with practice) and reliable process.  In my reading I've found some brief mentions of interchangeable focusing screens for modern Pentaxes, but nobody seems to talk much about the topic or use the screens.

Can I get a genuine split image focusing screen for a camera like a K-30, one that would work in the traditional way with manual lenses?  A prismatic screen would work too, but I really prefer a split.  Getting the screen would also involve finding somebody to install it, since I am not electronically minded.  The goal would be to install the screen on a second body, probably a used K-30, which I would leave permanently set up for use with my manual lenses.  Another option would be to upgrade to a K5 II and use my present K-30 for this project.

Sound good?  Sound crazy? Has anybody out there done something like this?

 yardcoyote's gear list:yardcoyote's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm X100T Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +5 more
Pentax K-30 Pentax K-5 II
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