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12-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #136
Fer
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
I'm sure I've lost this in the shuffle, but have they really? I see posts about dealers claiming that a firmware update is being worked on, and these are sometimes countered by posts saying the dealers are just doing damage control. I can't recall seeing any official, straight-from-the-horse's-mouth acknowledgment from Pentax. As I said, I've likely just overlooked it, but maybe someone will be kind enough to point it out for me?
QuoteOriginally posted by bjan Quote
Please guys stop doing tests with your K5`s . AF simply does not work under artificial light ! This applies also to your camera. Again the person who has a k5 without this fault can sell it to me for 200% of the new price !
Till today no official prove that PENTAX is working on the issue. I advise you not to shoot any Christmas dinner with your K5 as it will be quit a dissapointment for many shots.
There IS official acknowledgment from the Pentax Europe support team, as I posted earlier in this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/126234-who-cares-bad-aut...ml#post1312022

I guess that's as official an acknowledgment as we can expect from Pentax: "we are aware of the issue and a firmware update will be released".

12-23-2010, 10:14 AM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fer Quote
Agreed, but this is much more than a quirk. I can't shoot my K5 at, say, a dinner party because the AF simply does not work
This hasn't been my experience, which is why I am wondering if anyone has bothered to QUANTIFY the issue.
To say you can't shoot with your K5 at a dinner party is a useless statement unless you are blind, in which case why would you want to use a camera anyway?
If the AF fails, every lens has a focus ring.

We don't know what the EV is under the conditions you found the camera to fail, you haven't told us. You don't seem to know if you are asking the camera to work outside of it's operating range or not.
Before you find fault, you need to know where the fault lies.

I'm not saying it's with you, I'm not saying it's with the camera, I'm just saying you seemingly haven't bothered to quantify the conditions under which AF failure happens, and until you do, you can't say the AF is failing or if the AF is being asked to work outside of it's operating range.

QuoteOriginally posted by bjan Quote
Please guys stop doing tests with your K5`s . AF simply does not work under artificial light ! This applies also to your camera. Again the person who has a k5 without this fault can sell it to me for 200% of the new price !
Till today no official prove that PENTAX is working on the issue. I advise you not to shoot any Christmas dinner with your K5 as it will be quit a dissapointment for many shots.
The above post is completely fallacious, and 100% lacking in merit. I've had no problems with my K5 AF under any of the lighting conditions I've used it under, including tungsten.
You need to get your act together and quantify exactly what EV (and effective EV given spectrum loss under artificial light) your AF fails before you can make blanket statements such as the above.
You have some homework to do, perhaps you would like to start doing it, as at the moment, what you are posting is what we call a fail.
12-23-2010, 10:20 AM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This hasn't been my experience, which is why I am wondering if anyone has bothered to QUANTIFY the issue.
To say you can't shoot with your K5 at a dinner party is a useless statement unless you are legally blind, in which case why would you want to use a camera anyway.
If the AF fails, every lens has a focus ring.

We don't know what the EV is under the conditions you found the camera to fail, you haven't told us. You don't seem to know if you are asking the camera to work outside of it's operating range or not.
Before you find fault, you need to know where the fault lies.

I'm not saying it's with you, I'm not saying it's with the camera, I'm just saying you seemingly haven't bothered to quantify the conditions under which AF failure happens.



The above post is completely fallacious, and 100% lacking in merit. I've had no problems with my K5 AF under any of the lighting conditions I've used it under, including tungsten.
You need to get your act together and quantify exactly what EV (and effective EV given spectrum loss under artificial light) your AF fails before you can make blanket statements such as the above.
You have some homework to do, perhaps you would like to start doing it, as at the moment, what you are posting is what we call a fail.
Wheatfield, I don't doubt about your own experience, but I can only talk from my own: it does not work in fairly normal levels of tungsten light. Maybe it's only some kinds of tungsten light (as Pentaxeros thinks: yellowish/orange-ish light), which might explain that you have not encountered the issue.

In case you have not read the post I linked to in my previous comment, here's what the Pentax Europe support team has to say:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your enquiry.

Pentax is allready aware of this issue.
This issue has already been reported to our factory, and our engineers are investigating the case, in order to quickly fix it.

As soon as there is a new firmware-version that solves the issue, it will be published on our international website first:

Software Downloads : Support & Service : PENTAX

I hope that your question has been answered to your satisfaction.

Should you have further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us again. When replying, please make sure this email is included.

With kind regards,
Pentax Digital Camera Support Team

So there IS an issue, Pentax knows it and is working to fix it.
12-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fer Quote
There IS official acknowledgment from the Pentax Europe support team, as I posted earlier in this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/126234-who-cares-bad-aut...ml#post1312022

I guess that's as official an acknowledgment as we can expect from Pentax: "we are aware of the issue and a firmware update will be released".
Thanks. I went ahead and sent a message to Pentax USA Customer Care, so we'll see what they say. I also got on Live Chat with them, and here is my conversation, FWIW (not much lol):

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you...
You have been connected to Matthew P.
Matthew P: Thank you for contacting Pentax Chat Support. How may I help you?
Todd Adamson: Hello, I am wondering about an issue that's all over web forums right now, that the K-5 front-focuses in dim tungsten light. I'm wondering if there is official acknowledgment of this problem, and whether a firmware fix is impending?
Matthew P: We do not have this as an official issue yet and so no we do not have a firmware created for this. In the future, this may be taken care of. It takes the repair techs to find a certain number of problems and reports before its an issue.
Todd Adamson: OK, just wondering, since there are claims that Pentax Europe has acknowledged it. Didn't know how "separate" you guys were.
Matthew P: let me check and see if I have any recent updates.
Matthew P: Thank youfor your pateince.
Todd Adamson: sure. I appreciate it.
Matthew P: you're welcome.
Matthew P: I just checked and the only know issue would be the Stained sensor.
Matthew P: We do not have a known issue with the tugsten light.
Matthew P: Im sorry.
Todd Adamson: OK, thanks.


12-23-2010, 10:35 AM   #140
Fer
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Thanks. I went ahead and sent a message to Pentax USA Customer Care, so we'll see what they say. I also got on Live Chat with them, and here is my conversation, FWIW (not much lol):

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you...
You have been connected to Matthew P.
Matthew P: Thank you for contacting Pentax Chat Support. How may I help you?
Todd Adamson: Hello, I am wondering about an issue that's all over web forums right now, that the K-5 front-focuses in dim tungsten light. I'm wondering if there is official acknowledgment of this problem, and whether a firmware fix is impending?
Matthew P: We do not have this as an official issue yet and so no we do not have a firmware created for this. In the future, this may be taken care of. It takes the repair techs to find a certain number of problems and reports before its an issue.
Todd Adamson: OK, just wondering, since there are claims that Pentax Europe has acknowledged it. Didn't know how "separate" you guys were.
Matthew P: let me check and see if I have any recent updates.
Matthew P: Thank youfor your pateince.
Todd Adamson: sure. I appreciate it.
Matthew P: you're welcome.
Matthew P: I just checked and the only know issue would be the Stained sensor.
Matthew P: We do not have a known issue with the tugsten light.
Matthew P: Im sorry.
Todd Adamson: OK, thanks.
Somehow, I'm not surprised. The Customer Care people in Spain were very vague about it. I forgot to add, the email I got from the European team was signed by a specific person, I just didn't feel it was appropriate to make his/her name public
12-23-2010, 10:36 AM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fer Quote
Wheatfield, I don't doubt about your own experience, but I can only talk from my own: it does not work in fairly normal levels of tungsten light. Maybe it's only some kinds of tungsten light (as Pentaxeros thinks: yellowish/orange-ish light), which might explain that you have not encountered the issue.

I suspect that all Pentax will be able to do is write an AF bias into the firmware which ties AF to WB as well as turning on the AF assist sooner, so it will then be very important for people to know at what point they need to pay attention to WB.
There will be no silver bullet for this, what we are seeing is one aspect of the camera (the imaging ability) outstripping the ability of the AF sensor to keep up.
As an aside, do you wonder why the AF assist is green? It's because that is the colour spectrum that the AF sensor is most sensitive at, not because some engineer at Pentax liked the colour.
This should be a hint that the AF is perhaps not going to be at it's best under very warm lighting, and that the AF might require surprisingly bright light levels to work properly when the colour temp goes below a certain level.

All I'm asking is for the people making the complaint to quantify it.
12-23-2010, 10:51 AM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I suspect that all Pentax will be able to do is write an AF bias into the firmware which ties AF to WB as well as turning on the AF assist sooner, so it will then be very important for people to know at what point they need to pay attention to WB.
There will be no silver bullet for this, what we are seeing is one aspect of the camera (the imaging ability) outstripping the ability of the AF sensor to keep up.
As an aside, do you wonder why the AF assist is green? It's because that is the colour spectrum that the AF sensor is most sensitive at, not because some engineer at Pentax liked the colour.
This should be a hint that the AF is perhaps not going to be at it's best under very warm lighting, and that the AF might require surprisingly bright light levels to work properly when the colour temp goes below a certain level.

All I'm asking is for the people making the complaint to quantify it.
I never wondered why the assist light is green (I'm serious), but it makes a lot of sense in the context we're discussing.

In terms of EV values where this happens, I can give you the settings of the test samples I took in candle light. I have not kept any of the tungsten shots because it was pretty obvious from examining the shots in-camera that there was the same issue:

DA70
f2.4 1/160 ISO 1600
f5.6 1/40 ISO 1600

DA35
f2.4 1/50 ISO 800

DA18-55 @ 55mm
f5.6 1/40 ISO 1600


I know, maybe light from one candle is too extreme conditions, but the object I'm trying to focus on is right beside it. And if there's really not enough light, why doesn't the assist light come on to help the AF system acquire correct focus?

Also, JamieP and pcarfan posted some samples with EXIF intact earlier, in case you're curious to check out the EV values.

I'm pretty sure that if the assist light was on in the candle scene, that would fix the problem, since I know for a fact that my K5 (and even my Kx if I pull up the onboard flash to acquire focus) is able to focus on much darker and much further away objects than the cover of the user manual I was using in those test shots
12-23-2010, 11:40 AM   #143
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Wheatfield , what is the purpose of knowing the exact data about the appearance of non AF working with the K5 in artificial light. Do you have any doubt about the validity of the problems of all those posting in the internet (all over the globe in many forums) ?
Because of the fact that people try to "smooth" the problem it might take soo much longer before the pressure is on to PENTAX in Japan. And believe me it is JAPAN that has to come with a solution and not PENTAX EUROPE, USA or whatever. And believe me that there is a business culture in Japan that is not very gentle to the guy who did not adress the problem before release of the K5. Everything will be tried to let this issue pass as a storm in a glass of water. Wich indeed it is for a some of us if I may believe their postings. For those I wish them many nice shots under artificial light and I recommend them to put their fasest lenses at work wide open for very very nice close ups at the Christmas dinner table. Dear Wheatfield I don`t have to specify very detailed when my AF fails because it fails 100% of the time under tungsten light. I bet though this also counts for your camera ! Being visible ofcourse only when the DOF accomodates it to be visible in the pic.
Don`t make us believe you have the only one K5 in the world without the problem because that would be fallacious

12-23-2010, 11:43 AM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjan Quote
Please guys stop doing tests with your K5`s . AF simply does not work under artificial light ! This applies also to your camera. Again the person who has a k5 without this fault can sell it to me for 200% of the new price !
Till today no official prove that PENTAX is working on the issue. I advise you not to shoot any Christmas dinner with your K5 as it will be quit a dissapointment for many shots.
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The above post is completely fallacious, and 100% lacking in merit. I've had no problems with my K5 AF under any of the lighting conditions I've used it under, including tungsten.
You need to get your act together and quantify exactly what EV (and effective EV given spectrum loss under artificial light) your AF fails before you can make blanket statements such as the above.
You have some homework to do, perhaps you would like to start doing it, as at the moment, what you are posting is what we call a fail.
I have to agree with Wheatfield here. The statement "the K-5 does not work under artifical light" is a silly statement that is just not true. The majority of the pictures I've taken with the K-5 have been under dim, artifical light and I have hardly been disappointed. I'm not sugessting I've never seen FF with my K-5 - under certain conditions, and it's very possible that other are having more severe issues with their bodies. But overall to suggest that the K-5 can't take pictures in artificial light is just plain wrong.

FWIW, I've shot with my K-5 + FA*85/1.4 wide open (which allows very little margin for focusing error) in dim tungsten light and have had at least as much success (if not more) than I did with my K-x or K-7.
12-23-2010, 12:12 PM   #145
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The exposures you are listing are around EV5 or thereabouts. The K5 AF is rated to EV-1, but that would be, I expect, a full spectrum daylight rating. I've had good results myself as low as EV3 in artificial light, with colour temp in the 3000K range, and no problems at all in higher light levels (EV 8-10) with tungsten.
I'm thinking what we are seeing is a combination of colour failure of the sensor at low light levels combined with a loss of the double check that Pentax dropped to pick up the AF speed.
Hopefully they can do a firmware fix that will mask the deficiency in the sensor, or at least program the assist light to come on at higher EV values, perhaps 5 or 6 rather than the present level of 3 or 4.
Time will tell, but in the meantime, I would venture to say that in very low light levels, manual focus might be the best approach.
12-23-2010, 12:16 PM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjan Quote
Wheatfield , what is the purpose of knowing the exact data about the appearance of non AF working with the K5 in artificial light. Do you have any doubt about the validity of the problems of all those posting in the internet (all over the globe in many forums) ?
Because of the fact that people try to "smooth" the problem it might take soo much longer before the pressure is on to PENTAX in Japan. And believe me it is JAPAN that has to come with a solution and not PENTAX EUROPE, USA or whatever. And believe me that there is a business culture in Japan that is not very gentle to the guy who did not adress the problem before release of the K5. Everything will be tried to let this issue pass as a storm in a glass of water. Wich indeed it is for a some of us if I may believe their postings. For those I wish them many nice shots under artificial light and I recommend them to put their fasest lenses at work wide open for very very nice close ups at the Christmas dinner table. Dear Wheatfield I don`t have to specify very detailed when my AF fails because it fails 100% of the time under tungsten light. I bet though this also counts for your camera ! Being visible ofcourse only when the DOF accomodates it to be visible in the pic.
Don`t make us believe you have the only one K5 in the world without the problem because that would be fallacious
The purpose of knowing is because the AF appears to be failing at certain colour temperatures and light levels.
In the absence of a firmware revision from Pentax, I think it useful to know at what point people need to start interceding on behalf of their AF.
It does not fail 100% of the time under tungsten light, it does seem to fail under varying light conditions below a certain light level.
So no, I'm not doubting the validity of the problem, I am merely saying that this is not another sky is falling issue.
12-23-2010, 12:36 PM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
The statement "the K-5 does not work under artifical light" is a silly statement that is just not true.
You are absolutely right Dgaies ! That is why I would never say such silly thing indeed and never did.
What I have said is that the AF of the K-5 does not work under artificial light and this only being visible in the end result in case the DOF involved let you notice this. And believe me that is not very silly to say in this case. The fact that you have more succes in respect of frontfocussing in dim tungsten light with your K5 than with your Kx or K7 does not mean al lot to to anyone of us as we cannot judge your results from here from any of those camera`s you made those pictures with. I would say you seem to use the right compositions and setttings to avoid the issue come into effect more than I would without being aware of the issue all the time. Again I don`t understand that people try to defend a serious fault in the K5 rather than smashing the problem in PENTAX face.
12-23-2010, 12:40 PM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjan Quote
You are absolutely right Dgaies ! That is why I would never say such silly thing indeed and never did.
What I have said is that the AF of the K-5 does not work under artificial light and this only being visible in the end result in case the DOF involved let you notice this. And believe me that is not very silly to say in this case. The fact that you have more succes in respect of frontfocussing in dim tungsten light with your K5 than with your Kx or K7 does not mean al lot to to anyone of us as we cannot judge your results from here from any of those camera`s you made those pictures with. I would say you seem to use the right compositions and setttings to avoid the issue come into effect more than I would without being aware of the issue all the time. Again I don`t understand that people try to defend a serious fault in the K5 rather than smashing the problem in PENTAX face.
Perhaps because some of us see "smashing the problem in PENTAX face" as a rather childish over reaction.
12-23-2010, 12:43 PM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The purpose of knowing is because the AF appears to be failing at certain colour temperatures and light levels.
In the absence of a firmware revision from Pentax, I think it useful to know at what point people need to start interceding on behalf of their AF.
It does not fail 100% of the time under tungsten light, it does seem to fail under varying light conditions below a certain light level.
So no, I'm not doubting the validity of the problem, I am merely saying that this is not another sky is falling issue.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm sorry, it is very much a sky is falling issue, and if it's not resolved by firmware (fingers crossed) enough of a deal breaker for me to return my K5 as defective. I cannot for the life of me take a properly focused shot in my living room with my K5, whereas I have no problems at all in the same light with my Kx. I don't even have such AF problems with my LX3 wide open (I know, smaller sensor, but still)

Sounds pretty serious to me, and that's before even considering the price gap between the K5 and the other two. The thing cannot focus, it does not get much worse than that for a semi-pro DSLR, or does it?
12-23-2010, 12:47 PM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Perhaps because some of us see "smashing the problem in PENTAX face" as a rather childish over reaction.
I will choose my phrases a bit more carefull. you could be right .
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