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06-12-2008, 09:19 AM   #1
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Do you have lenses with focusing problems in digital but not with film?

I have had a FA 50mm 1.4 for years. You may call me crazy (blame the LBA), but I recently bought a FA 50mm 1.7 used from an auction site because I have read in several places that this less expensive/discontinued less seems to perform better with digital than the 1.4 lens.

I noticed focusing problems with the 1.7 and took both lenses and camera to Pentax, complaining that the cheap lens didn't focus right and "could you please have a look". I thought, "Serves me right for buying a cheapo discon lens site unseen through an auction."

Well, the funny (not so funny ha ha really) is that my K10D had a back focus problem that needed to be repaired for $110 and the 50mm 1.4 had a front focus problem that would cost $85 to repair because it doesn't work with digital but focuses perfectly on film cameras. And the cheaper 1.7 focuses beautifully in both film and digital. What was happening was that the back focus on the K10D was cancelling out the front focus of the 1.4. so, that's why it seemed the 1.7 was no good. Neeedless to say, I did not spend the $85 on a lens I had intended to get rid of.

Anyway, I was wondering if you have experienced a similar problem with any of your lenses?

06-12-2008, 08:01 PM   #2
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I never had a digital slr - but I have heard many stories about lenses being more finicky with digital sensors. Somebody explained it to me by stating that the thickness of the film emulsion makes for a more forgiving imaging surface than digital (ie. the receptors on the digital sensor are aligned in one definate plane while film has silver scattered at different depths within the emulsion layer - hence more forgiving of mild front/back focus). Makes sense to me, but I'm not exactly a tech head (so take this post with a grain of salt/silver).
06-12-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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My answer to your question is no. No focusing problems with any lens neither on film (ZX-5N) nor digital (*istD, K10D) cameras. My lenses include the FA 50/1.4, FA20/2.8, the FA limiteds, the FA* lenses, the F 70-210, FA 24-90, FA 28-90, ..., ...
06-12-2008, 11:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentakun Quote
I have had a FA 50mm 1.4 for years. You may call me crazy (blame the LBA), but I recently bought a FA 50mm 1.7 used from an auction site because I have read in several places that this less expensive/discontinued less seems to perform better with digital than the 1.4 lens.

I noticed focusing problems with the 1.7 and took both lenses and camera to Pentax, complaining that the cheap lens didn't focus right and "could you please have a look". I thought, "Serves me right for buying a cheapo discon lens site unseen through an auction."

Well, the funny (not so funny ha ha really) is that my K10D had a back focus problem that needed to be repaired for $110 and the 50mm 1.4 had a front focus problem that would cost $85 to repair because it doesn't work with digital but focuses perfectly on film cameras. And the cheaper 1.7 focuses beautifully in both film and digital. What was happening was that the back focus on the K10D was cancelling out the front focus of the 1.4. so, that's why it seemed the 1.7 was no good. Neeedless to say, I did not spend the $85 on a lens I had intended to get rid of.

Anyway, I was wondering if you have experienced a similar problem with any of your lenses?
I think you will find that there possibly just as many issues with focus in film as with digital, it's just that now we pixel peep like never before whereas previously we would just rack it up as an incorrect focus by our own hand.

We now take a photo and then quickly go and check the result on the computer or on the rear LCD.

Previously, it would a few days before we got the results back from the film lab and by then we were never really sure of how accurate our attempt at putting the AF point in the correct position or some other error.

06-15-2008, 02:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback

It is interesting about this and what the world of digital has done to increase our concerns with focus issues, making them far, far more in-depth than they were with film.

Well, at least I am glad I got the 1.7 that still works fine. I can't see spending $85 on the 1.4. (I guess I could try to unload it cheap because of the focus issue. Or else I could see how much I could get with it as a "trade in" when buying something else. )

Thanks
06-15-2008, 05:21 AM   #6
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Yes, I have had similar problems. Twice.
Digital cameras seem to have a lot more focusing problems than film cameras.

The first time I sent the camera and the lens to Pentax, and got them back after a week or so. They got the problem fixed.
The second time this problem occured with a third-party lens. Instead of sending the equipment once again for adjustment I tried the software freely available from the net.
See https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/26961-k10d-gx10-1-30-f...ctivation.html

This software gives you access to a menu allowing you to store AF corrections for up to 5 lenses in K10D. In K20D I believe it is up to 25 lenses.

Worked fine. I also noticed it was the same procedure they had used for the first lens
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