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10-31-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
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K-5 Live View AF tested; Contrast vs Phase

After posting my first impression of the K-5 and its Live View Contrast detect versus Phase AF I decided to do it right this time since my first casual impression was negative. JohnBee will be happy to find out that I tested with a long lens and some with a TC.

All pics taken on tripod, 2 second lockup, defaults for JPG Bright, no NR, no adjustments, no PP, just the crop.

I tried to represent real world outdoor conditions although my initial problems were indoor so I will run a real test at some point indoors with different lenses.

K-5 with DA*300/4 and Pentax 1.7x AF TC where indicated. "Close" means about 7m and "Distant" is about 55m. Crops are very tight, and noise shows as I needed to keep the shutter speed up in the breeze to avoid motion blur. The lens focus ring was moved after each shot to force refocusing. Each focus was only attempted once then shot. However it never missed the focus point so there are no blurry shots left out.

3 separate shots with Live View with Contrast AF, f5.6, Close and in the shade


3 separate shots with Live View with Phase AF, f5.6, Close and in the shade



1 comparison with Live View, Phase AF on the top crop, Contrast AF on the bottom crop, f8, Close and in the shade


Added the 1.7x AF TC and reshot close at f9.5 (includes stops from TC), iso6400

Contrast

Phase




Distant and bright Sun. All the shots looked very close so I just picked one from the middle of the pack. Very tight crops obviously.

Contrast at f9.5, iso200

Phase at f9.5, iso200



I had 50 shots to sort through and not one missed the focus so I am quite satisfied with the outdoor performance of the LV focus modes, especially Contrast, until I run into a lens/light/subject situation that changes my mind.

EDIT2- OK, NEW SHOTS INSERTED for distance test. I shot 5 of each and they were quite consistent. Although the Contrast looked better to me at close range in the shade, full sun at a distance the Phase AF looks sharper. As always though, YMMV.


Last edited by imtheguy; 10-31-2010 at 08:57 AM. Reason: Replaced Distant pics
10-31-2010, 11:29 AM   #2
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I also added some comments in the other thread; I managed to find an old quantaray 2x tc with af. Paired with my 55-300 shooting wide open indoors (camera exposure was 1/15 f5.6 iso6400 at 100mm). Phase detect wouldn't even bother trying, contrast detect was slow but hit it 8/10 times. The combo is probably about the worst lens/tc that I could put together for af testing...which bodes well for better combinations.
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