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04-17-2007, 06:08 PM   #1
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New owner of DA 50-200 lens

A novice with a new toy story...

I just received an early birthday present: a Pentax DA 50-200 lens. I'm new to this autofocus world and decided on this lens as a compliment to the kit lens. I can travel with only two lenses (one in a belt pouch) and cover 18-200 in automatic. It was a tough decision since I have a Sigma 70-210 manual lens but decided I should go automatic for wildlife shots.

Of course it was raining when FEDEX arrived. We have a window that has an overhang so I took some practice shots. I immediately found the bug that is reported elsewhere on the forum. When set to 200 mm this lens will "search" for focus, and sometimes stop far from what is needed. That doesn't worry me yet, I just flipped the MF switch and kept shooting. I'd expect searching with something like below with a foreground and background object. But I had to manually focus when aimed at a house with nothing in between. I have seen this with the kit 18-55 when shooting at a hawk high in the sky. Since it is not unique to me I will live with it.

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Last edited by LeoTaylor; 04-17-2007 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Fixed typo
04-17-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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I don't recall having a hunting issue that was not caused by the usual uniform/low contrast subject, etc.

I like the IQ a little better than the Sigma 70-300.
04-17-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
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Yep its very sharp and contrasty. But...I already have a 70-200, 70-205, 70-210 and an 80-200...plus a 200/3.5. My LBA's gone nuts haha.

Anyhow, its good that you like Manual focus. Its probably the branches. The camera didn't recognize that and just went straight for the background. I lost my trust in AF a long time ago and have been shooting manual ever since.
04-18-2007, 05:23 PM   #4
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Day 2 with DA 50-200 AF lens.

Rain stopped, they promise us Sun by Friday. I walked around the neighbohood looking for live moving subjects.

The lens worked perfectly today. It was nice to use auto everything, almost like a Point and Shoot. The only searching was when it had reason to do so (bird in tree with branches in the foreground). The camera couldn't make up its mind so I switched to MF since my mind was on the bird.

This one was a keeper at 200mm with subject jumping and barking:

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04-21-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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Hi Leo,

I think you will really enjoy this lens. I find it is the one I always tote along. The pic of the dog is great!

I have just joined the forum but I see that you are from CT. I am as well. We have just moved from the Hamden/No. Haven area to the sticks of Higganum. What area are you in? Finally nice weather!!!!
04-21-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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I think you'll enjoy this lens a lot. I like to use it as a walk-around lens on sunny days.

Regarding the bug where it refuses to auto-focus, I found that the problem goes away when I switch to AF-C mode. Give that a try and see if it helps.
04-21-2007, 06:09 PM   #7
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Ive had this lens for nearly 2 months now and have never experienced any of the auto focus problems mentioned. I have also found that it focuses better in low light than my canon 70-200 f4 L.

Just wish it wasnt so damn loud when focusing
04-22-2007, 09:08 PM   #8
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The sudden appearance of the Sun for the last few days have given me several days to walk around the neighborhood with my new lens. (rzarbo - We live in "Hamden Plains", 1/4 mile from the New Haven line). I'm very happy with the 50-200. The autofocus searching I've seen from Day 2 onward has only been when there are foreground and background objects, usually photos of birds in branches. The camera does not know which branch to choose so it goes all over. As I mentioned from the start, it is not a big issue, I just switch to manual for these shots, though bird photos are a reason I bought autofocus in the first place.

Well, there was one other time I discovered: I pointed at my wife who was looking out a storm door. The reflective surface confused the autofocus.

I have not recreated the time on Day 1 when I could not see a reason for the searching. It may have been a fluke (igowerf - I will try AF-C, thanks).

For over 95% of my neighborhood photos the autofocus works better than I can do manually and much faster!

04-22-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
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Lassie? What is it?

What's that boy? You say you like the lens? Good boy. ;-)

I do like mine as well. Enjoy.

Jeff


QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
Day 2 with DA 50-200 AF lens.

Rain stopped, they promise us Sun by Friday. I walked around the neighbohood looking for live moving subjects.

The lens worked perfectly today. It was nice to use auto everything, almost like a Point and Shoot. The only searching was when it had reason to do so (bird in tree with branches in the foreground). The camera couldn't make up its mind so I switched to MF since my mind was on the bird.

This one was a keeper at 200mm with subject jumping and barking:
04-25-2007, 07:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsundin Quote
What's that boy? You say you like the lens? Good boy. ;-)

I do like mine as well. Enjoy.

Jeff
LOL. My neighbor's Shetland Collie is a mini version of a full Collie like Lassie. I'm old enough to have watched Lassie on our family's Black and White television.

Each time out with the autofocus lens I become more of a believer. I lost too many shots as I fiddled with focus/aperture/expsoure using manual lenses for 10? years. I'll still use manual for tripod stuff, but for walking around the 50-200 (and 18-55) serve me well.
05-26-2007, 12:47 PM   #11
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Problem Solved.

I was reading “Shutterbug” magazine and stumbled on mention of setting Auto Focus to spot mode. I searched through the K100D manual and found something similar in the menu under the cryptic name of, “Swich dst msr pt.” I set it to a dot and returned to the scene of a chimney though some branches at the opening post of this thread. What a difference! I could focus on the branches or the chimney at will by centering the desired target and pressing the shutter button half way. If I jumped around enough I could confuse it, but rarely.

I set the option back to default and the lens again went out of control. It would randomly pick branch or chimney, or peg to one end and refuse to focus on anything.

The only mystery left? Why didn’t anyone suggest this to me?
05-27-2007, 01:32 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
Well, there was one other time I discovered: I pointed at my wife who was looking out a storm door. The reflective surface confused the autofocus.
You must have a very shiny wife.

QuoteQuote:
The only mystery left? Why didn’t anyone suggest this to me?
Because we all assumed you'd read the manual

The autofocus can still get confused, even when on spotfocus. In the trees with chimney scenario if there is a blustery wind the branches will at times whip across the focussing spot enough that the camera will re-adjust. Very annoying.

To counter this there is a custom setting to allow the OK button in the centre of the four way switch on the back to hold focus for as long as you keep holding it down. This saves you switching to manual mode as sometimes these situations are transitory and you may wish to be in Auto all the time.

Other situations are in crowded localities when people walk between you and the focus subject or when filming across a road and vehicles are moving across the shooting path.
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