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11-21-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
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Any tips for low light focus with K-5

I have just got the K-5 about a week ago. Really enjoying the camera so far. Paired up with the Pentax 50mm 1.4, I am finding low light focus a bit unpredictable when shooting at 1.4 or 1.8. Sometimes a front focus, sometimes a back focus.

Any suggestions on this? I would like to be able to get a little better accuracy. Even when metering say ISO 1600 with 1/60 sec.. It is still a bit off.

Just a bit of info.. I am selecting the focus point myself. I DO NOT focus and recompose.. ( at least I try not to.. old habits die hard )...

I try to keep the shutter speed around 1/60 second or faster.. ISO range anything from 1600+

I also make sure to stay away from MFD.. because the camera does lock focus when the lens is closer than MFD.

Thanks for any help.

11-21-2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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If there's less light than the AF sensor requires (-1 EV) or not enough contrast, then you'll have to switch to MF. Some situations require that no matter what camera you're using, and there's nothing you can do about it.

If you have a flashlight, however, definitely use that to light up your subject if it's far away.

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11-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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In very low light conditions, I often switch to MF. The manual focusing will allow you some nice shooting even in low light with your large aperture lens and the K-5. I have had some good results with all my lenses this way, and I am able to get good shots in darker conditions with MF than I can with AF.

On the other hand, there have some discussion on the pairing of K-5 with some older lenses, suggesting that the K-5 works best with newer lenses ( You might wish to check that thread and others.

Hope that the comment will help...
11-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #4
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Use a laser pointer to point at desired focus plane. Camera auto-focus will lock on the point of light very accurately. Of course, NEVER, EVER, SHINE A LASER INTO EYES!!!!!!!

11-21-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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In very low-light, you can switch to LiveView , with Contrast Detect AF setting. The minimum brightness shut-down point for LiveView AF is quite a bit lower than AF through the Viewfinder. Its just a one button press to turn it on, and LiveView AF is Fast on the K-5.

How this works is LV makes use of the image feed coming through the sensor to do AF. The K-5 can automatically switch to ISO boost (regardless of your exposure ISO setting) making use of its extremely High-ISO capability to do low-light AF. The whole scene suddenly brightens up on the LCD screen have AF-lock...

Try it....I've been able to get AF in dim-light where I almost can't see anything....

Last edited by kittykat46; 11-21-2010 at 08:43 PM.
11-21-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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Yep, Looks like it was a low contrast issue. The FEW focus issues I have had were low light and low contrast ( dark eyes... with very little light getting to them ) -

Once I repositioned the subject, it was spot on. Thanks for the suggestions.

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