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K1 viewfinder compared to ME-Super

Posted 16/02/2021 - 21:52 Link
I have a query about the K1. I have had an ME-Super since 1983 and loved the big bright viewfinder, which I took for granted until I moved to digital with the K20D. I have always thought the viewfinder on the K20, K5 and K3ii is very poor compared to the old film days. Is the K1, being FF comparable to the ME-Super?
What do you reckon?
K3iii, K3ii, K-5, K-x, DA150-450mm, DA16-85WR, DA16-45, DA18-55WR, DA18-135WR, DA35 F2.4, M100mm F4 Macro, DA55-300mm, FA50mm 1.4, AF360 Flash, AF540 Flash
Posted 16/02/2021 - 22:34 Link
The first thing is to make sure the dioptre adjustment is made correctly. This should be adjusted until the etched lines in the viewfinder are sharpest and is best done looking at a plain surface or an out of focus subject. Then, the Pentax cameras that use a proper glass pentaprism will look much better than the penta-mirrors used by many other manufacturers (and some of the lower cost Pentax bodies too).

The K-1 viewfinder is much larger, being full frame (and the K-3 III looks set to be larger still, despite being APS-C) and gives a view similar to any other pentaprism model, such as the ME Super. However, many lenses are zooms that are not as bright as older lenses used to be, so the comparison is best mad with, say, a 50mm f/1.4 lens. A zoom that is f/4-5.6 would always look darker anyway.

I'm very happy with the K-1 viewfinder, one of the plus points of using full frame.
Best regards, John
Posted 17/02/2021 - 10:20 Link
johnriley wrote:
I'm very happy with the K-1 viewfinder, one of the plus points of using full frame.

+1 John.

Even though I no longer use a K-1, I was very happy with the viewfinder. It was especially good when coupled with the O-ME53 magnifier. It was definitely bright, comparable to some film cameras I've used.
It'll be worth noting what maximum aperture your lens on the ME Super had/has versus the K-3ii, too. If you're using an f/2.8 on the K3ii but used an f/1.4 on the ME Super, you'll have more light coming in through the viewfinder in the case of the latter.
Edited by Benz3ne: 17/02/2021 - 10:20

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