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12-23-2010, 04:14 PM   #181
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QuoteOriginally posted by znieh Quote
not a good year for Pentax and the Japanese. Stains on sensors, FF, not functioning front/back wheels, flash issues, hot pixels, ... But I do think positive: I'm glad the K5 has no foot throttle ;-)


True. All of the issues will (hopefully) be resolved soon and in the meantime the K-5 body doesn't pose a potential danger to its users

12-23-2010, 04:20 PM   #182
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
On the contrary, I'd say it's a pretty great year. The K-5 is awesome. No new tech is without issues, and the issues get incredibly amplified on internet forums. If the bulk of their sales came from here, dpreview, etc., then yes, I'd say not a good year. But that isn't the case.
Agreed. The K-5 is an excellent camera and once the issues of stains, FF/BF, sticky wheels, etc are resolved everyone can go back to speculating on when Pentax will go Full Frame and what the K-3 body will or won't have

QuoteQuote:
At any rate, I've just gone and retested my K-5 for FF, since it was beginning to sound like a firmware issue, thus making it kind of unlikely that mine was error-free. I used lower light this time, and a different tungsten source, and the FF definitely showed up. So my earlier post, with the perfectly-focused image, must have been more light, or different light. I'll be eager to hear of a firmware update, just like most of the rest of you.

In the mean time, I'm going to keep shooting, and be aware of when the problem might crop up. For me, luckily, AF is nice but not essential. And it will still work in 95% of the situations in which I shoot.
Perhaps it's just a matter of finding the right (or in this case the "wrong") amount of artificial light that is too dim to allow proper AF function but too bright to kick on the AF assist lamp.
12-23-2010, 09:09 PM   #183
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fer Quote
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?
The LX3 isn't using the same focus technology. It's AF is more akin to LiveView AF than phase focus AF.
The K5 apparently has problems focusing under certain conditions. Do you live in a medieval cave under 24 hours of perpetual darkness? Where do you figure the K5 cannot focus?
Read what you are writing, please.
I recall some high end Canon from a little while back couldn't focus either. Was it the 1D MkIII that wouldn't focus? It was a camera way beyond semi pro though.

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Wheatfield,
thanks for the insight.

Could it be that Pentax chose a new autofocus sensor for the K5 to improve autofocus performance in general, but it came with this weakness at the tungsten temperature?

Even if they can turn on the green light for higher EV levels, it won't have significant range, is that correct? The good news with the K5, is that the camera's great iso performance can be used to mitigate the low lite autofocus weakness by using a smaller aperture/larger DOF. Even with the K20's lower iso performance, i use that same technique to cover up any AF weakness by a larger DOF that covers more of the theatre stage. works quite well.

This is a case where Pentax coming out with an official announcement about the situation would be more useful than a ton of explanation and rumours.

What some people don't realize is that most design decisions come with intrinsic advantages/disadvantages. thats the real world. Manufacturers don't want to talk about them because any announced weaknesses may be offputting to sales, but they are there in any product, e.g. better water resistance=higher cost, lens based vibration reduction=better viewfinder image=higher cost and more bulk, etc.
Don't look for more explanation than a firmware update. They are pretty tight lipped about this sort of stuff.
One of the things I've learned over a 40 year stint as a semi pro photographer is that I need to be more of a partner with my camera company than an adversary.
For me, this means that if I have a defect in a product, either design or manufacture, they get the thing back for repair. That's their end of the deal.
My end of the deal is to treat them as a partner in the problem, I have nothing to gain by shoving a problem down their throat with a stick.
I have yet to have a front line camera that didn't have some quirk. My Oly OM1 had a habit of it's meter needle jamming, hence making the meter useless. My Nikon F2 would sometimes pack up it's meter as well due to a poor contact between the prism and camera body. My Bronica ETRs would pop it's back open, exposing whatever was in it for no apparent reason.
My Nikon F3 had a habit of shedding lenses. All three of my LX bodies were very casual about shutter control in auto, and would sometimes just cycle the shutter at maximum speed no matter what exposure was called for.
Consequently, this is just a shrug moment for me.
I'll watch my focus a bit more carefully in situations where it may fail, figure out what the cutoff seems to be for focus accuracy and keep using my camera.

At some point, sooner rather than later I suspect, Pentax will do what it can to rectify the problem and all will be right in the world again. Birds will sing, flowers will grow and I'll spend my golden years dining on chicken and wine.
Until then, if I have to stop down a little in some situations, or manual focus occasionally, I now have lots of high ISO overhead to allow me to do it.

And were it really a deal ender for me, I would return it for a refund. And if it was such a big deal that I had to switch brands, I'd switch.
I'm not needing to make that decision though. The thing works in most of the light conditions I'm likely to put it in as it is, and still has enough redeeming characteristics to forgive it having a wonky AF near the lower end of it's range.
One thing I have noticed in my look at this is that the imaging sensor can continue to make pretty good pictures long after the AF has kakked. I wouldn't be surprised if the EV-1 rating on the AF is a bit optimistic as well.

You are correct that the AF assist coming on sooner would not help at range, it would help close up where AF inaccuracy is going to be a bigger issue. At distance, even wide open, DOF will help mask slight misfocus.

I was at my wife's offices' Christmas dinner the other night. I took my K5 with the 31 attached. Looking at the pictures with an eye to is it possible the mis-focused pictures are caused by this particular deficiency rather than just me running the AF out of range, I discovered that under the tungsten light illuminated room was in the EV 2 range, perhaps a little brighter in places. The AF hit mostly close enough that I would consider it OK for print, with some fails. It didn't do well with dark subjects at low light levels, unsurprisingly.
I think in tungsten illumination, I would want a couple more stops to get some reliability, probably EV 4 or so is the threshold between reliable and a mess. With candle light, I expect this would need to shift another stop or more up because of spectrum loss.
It will be interesting to see what Pentax can do with this. Hopefully, they just need to turn up the gain on the AF multiplier.
12-23-2010, 09:17 PM   #184
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weird pics from photo show

Undeleted them. Doubt this is the same problem, but it's interesting. Nothing is in focus, but shake reduction is locked and AF is locked according to PhotoME on the EXIF data.
DA15 lens at 1/15s...3 shots in sequence.

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
12-23-2010, 09:35 PM   #185
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mate..you sure them shots aint camera shake..1/15 is well slow even with a 15mm lens
12-23-2010, 10:27 PM   #186
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yes kenyee, too me too this looks like matter of shake. I do not say you don't have a front focus, it could be both, but in the pictures you posted the shake issue is prevalent.
I don't think we need more samples, I am sure a dozen of you guys could post tons of FF pics here, myself I got hundreds from all that experimenting and no-I-can't-believe-and-make-another-one shooting.
It's a comforting experience for me to see my problem is not only my problem, everything is said so far, the Pentax engineers are due now to deliver. I hope it does not take too long, all we can do is wait for some time, and welcome the fix if it does not take too long, and if it does, return the camera.
It's unlucky for us that here in northern hemisphere it's winter time and most shooting occurs under K5-adverse conditions. In summer it might have taken much more time to find out there is a bug.
Have a nice time and thanks for the comfort. Shared pain is half pain.
12-24-2010, 02:31 AM   #187
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
I wonder whether the AF problem might be related to fluorescent lights, especially those tungsten bulb replacements which seem to be more common than actual tungsten bulbs these days. I suppose the light coming from these is really a mix of a few distinct wavelengths converted from the two distinct uv wavelengths by the fluorescent coating (?), whereas the hot tungsten filament produces a continuous spectrum. While this mix is good enough for the eye as a tungsten light replacement the AF sensor(s) and/or the related color temperature sensor might not see it that way.
Hmm, now that you mention, in my living room I have an old "energy saver" fluorescent lamp which seem to have the same color temperature as tungsten bulbs, i.e. the naked eye sees the same yellow color cast and photos also have the same cast as under real tungsten bulbs. I'll try to do some test shots with real tungsten bulbs and compare them to shots taken in the living room. Maybe SAFOX IX+ handles this light differently than SAFOX VIII, because all of the previous Pentax models I tried in my living room worked fine without any focusing issues.

Anyways, the replacement cam I got yesterday does the same front focusing in my living room, the very first photos confirmed it I hope Pentax can address this issue with a firmware fix soon, because flash issues, af issues, getting defective cams as replacement and overall poor customer support is getting too much for me and I'm really considering switching to Nikon...
12-24-2010, 03:24 AM   #188
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The LX3 isn't using the same focus technology. It's AF is more akin to LiveView AF than phase focus AF.
The K5 apparently has problems focusing under certain conditions. Do you live in a medieval cave under 24 hours of perpetual darkness? Where do you figure the K5 cannot focus?
Read what you are writing, please.

I recall some high end Canon from a little while back couldn't focus either. Was it the 1D MkIII that wouldn't focus? It was a camera way beyond semi pro though.



....
Wheatfield, I really don't want to argue because this is getting rather silly. The issue is there for ayone who wants to see it, an online dealer in Spain (who also happens to be a pro Pentax shooter) says he's seen it with all of the 20+ K5 units he had in stock, and Pentax support in Europe has acknowledged it. I think you should follow your own advice and read what you are writing (and taking a moment to read carefully what I and others are writing in this thread wouldn't hurt either).

It has been shown repeatedly in this thread that the K5 does not focus in fairly normal intensity tungsten lighting, as well as candlelight. This is the kind of light many of us have in our living room, or may find in a bar, club, etc So no need to go to "a medieval cave under 24 hours of perpetual darkness" to find the issue, and that sort of snide remark is uncalled for.

It just so happens that we live half our lives under tungsten light, even more so in the winter when nights are much longer. So a DSLR that does not AF in this kind of light is pretty bad in my book. If you're happy to overcome this severe limitation by shooting at f8 (because the FF is so bad that it's visible even at f5.6 at the 0-5 m range) and loose all of your DOF control, go ahead but I don't. Or using, you say, LV/manual focus for an entire dinner/evening? If I wanted to LV shoot I'd stick to my LX3, thank you very much.

Bottom line is, we're all having Christmas dinner tonight and I know I won't dare using my K5, that I just payed €1100 for because I know for sure that the photos will be out of focus. So I'll have to fall back on my Kx instead, which I bought over a year ago for half the money.

So yes, no matter how you want to spin it, I think it's pretty bad and I definitely would have liked the company I payed €1100 to, to come out and officially say "there's this problem and we're trying to fix it in a firmware update soon" (btw, this is what Nikon did recently with the hotpixel issue in D7000).

I am ready to accept that nowadays most companies have dropped the ball in the QC side of things, and most new releases are laden with issues. What I am not ready to accept is that they remain silent while I basically have a DSLR that only works 70% of the time as it should (and I'm probably being generous). You say you prefer to be a partner to your camera company rather than an adversary, and don't want to shove whatever issue arises down their throats, and I'm all for that. What I want is for them to be more of a partner to me and speaking the truth rather than remain tight-lipped. Since they don't acknowledge the issue, we don't even know if they're aware of it, so our duty as partners is to make sure they are on top of things.


Last edited by Fer; 12-24-2010 at 03:45 AM.
12-24-2010, 03:33 AM   #189
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Ther is tungsten light and there is tungsten light

I can relate to Pentax tungsten light problems...
However not (yet) with K-5/
I tried K-5 at home in dim light and that was okay. From other cameras, very hard to get good AF for example in the kitchen at my work, sometimes hard sometimes not in another room, depending on which lightbulbs I turn on. problem with tungsten is that there are many variations in light temperature and even the painting of the walls has a major influence on the overall "tungsten" light so what may work in one room may not work in another.
12-24-2010, 04:55 AM   #190
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Janneman is the second person in the world that has a good working K5 in respect of AF under artificial light condition (with given DOF that shows the issue ) !
CONGRATULATIONS janneman !
But...... I bet with you that your camera is faulty too ! Just do the right test with the right lens and aperture / distance combo. Make shots of your mother in law under artificial light this evening . Head shoulder portrait from a 1 metre distance with a aperture of 2.8 or faster. Not wider than 35mm lens . You will see blurry eyes before the first glass of wine is taken by her. (asssumed you put AF on the eyes ) A sharp nose she might have in the end result but that she had anyway right ?
12-24-2010, 05:24 AM   #191
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bjan,

The issue is that different k-5 bodies behave differently. I compared my body /early production, stain-positive unfortunately/ with my friend's one /early production as well, stain-positive too/. Mine has severe AF inconsistencies under different amount/wavelengths of light, his body is NEAR PERFECT in terms of AF!

I am very happy that this thread was opened.

Despite this issue I love my K-5, it is a great camera for my style of photography.
I am using manual focusing nowadays /bought a catz eye and 1,66x viewfinder magnifier, it makes a HUGE difference, MF is a joy now/.
Of course I will replace my defective K5 and will check CAREFULLY the AF in new one.
And yes, I strongly agree with you - AF should work perfectly /within reasonable limits/ under all normal light conditions in a modern 1200+ EUR camera.
12-24-2010, 06:34 AM   #192
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fer Quote
Wheatfield, I really don't want to argue because this is getting rather silly. The issue is there for ayone who wants to see it, an online dealer in Spain (who also happens to be a pro Pentax shooter) says he's seen it with all of the 20+ K5 units he had in stock, and Pentax support in Europe has acknowledged it. I think you should follow your own advice and read what you are writing (and taking a moment to read carefully what I and others are writing in this thread wouldn't hurt either).

It has been shown repeatedly in this thread that the K5 does not focus in fairly normal intensity tungsten lighting, as well as candlelight. This is the kind of light many of us have in our living room, or may find in a bar, club, etc So no need to go to "a medieval cave under 24 hours of perpetual darkness" to find the issue, and that sort of snide remark is uncalled for.
Look, I've checked my camera pretty thoroughly, and yes, it misses focus under tungsten light, the same as yours.
However, I dug a little deeper into the problem and compared the operating range of the camera to where the problem happens WRT light levels and found that I needed to be down around EV3 or lower to make it start missing.
Now you can say, quite truthfully that this is normal room light, and you'd be correct (a little dim, but whatever).
However, the camera's published operating range for AF is EV-1, and this would be presuming full spectrum light, so in fact, the AF is operating pretty normally considering that when it fails it is failing very close to it's stated bottom end.
I've found in brighter conditions, the AF is fine, by EV 7 or 8 it doesn't seem prone to failing, or at least not so much that I'm seeing it.
I've had to work around problems far worse than this with cameras that cost far more money.
I'm used to Pentax being pretty quiet about this sort of stuff, but I've also noted over the years that they are a pretty responsive company, so while the timing of this may suck for a lot of people, at the end, it's still just a camera, it's not like this issue is going to cause anyone to freeze to death in the dark. In the grand scheme of things, it's little more than a minor inconvenience.
This is why I'm not choked about it.
12-24-2010, 08:36 AM   #193
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This forum by its nature is not to discuss about issues that causes anyone to freeze in the dark but about camera`s Wheatfield . BUT IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF THIS THREAD THE ISSUE IS NOT A MINOR INCONVENIENCE ! So please stop smoothing the issue in thread that is started to adress the issue as a major problem. Please start posting in a thread about how fantastic the K5 is as there is a lot positiv to say about this cam indeed as well. (We would not be so annoyed if the K5 was as it should be as this is the cam many in this forum have been waiting for)
12-24-2010, 08:48 AM   #194
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tommot1965 Quote
mate..you sure them shots aint camera shake..1/15 is well slow even with a 15mm lens
My thought as well...nothing in focus, but I've gotten 1/15s shots in focus before using 50mm lens though it's usually 1 in 3. Dehydrated after being at the show for an hour so I'm sure that didn't help
Thanks for confirming.
12-24-2010, 08:58 AM   #195
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjan Quote
Janneman is the second person in the world that has a good working K5 in respect of AF under artificial light condition (with given DOF that shows the issue ) !
CONGRATULATIONS janneman !
But...... I bet with you that your camera is faulty too ! Just do the right test with the right lens and aperture / distance combo. Make shots of your mother in law under artificial light this evening . Head shoulder portrait from a 1 metre distance with a aperture of 2.8 or faster. Not wider than 35mm lens . You will see blurry eyes before the first glass of wine is taken by her. (asssumed you put AF on the eyes ) A sharp nose she might have in the end result but that she had anyway right ?

yep i can confirm this with mine too. not the MIL images...but using my 17-50..at 50mm about 1 metre or so from the subject at 2.8 it fails to focus properly ..but using LV to focus it works perfectly.. why does LV work and not the VF...can someone explain that to me ??

my light source is Halogen 12 volt down lights...my K7 had no problem in this light..

stopping down will reduce the effect..but its still there..at 3.5 its still no way near as sharp as the LV at 2.8...and the Sigma 17-50 is a seriously sharp lens

need the frimware patch..sooner rather than later..or another K5 wil be returned


I cant test the EV.as I dont have a light meter ..but id consider my conditions bright

EDIT

i just redid the test and turned on every light in the room..I was a 3200ISO to get 1/60th...at 2.8...still cant focus..and that pretty bright lighting we are talking now....LV still is crystal clear and sharp

so work around at the MO would be to use LV for indoors shots until a firmware release fixes this..Ill give them to the end of Jan..if its not sorted by then Ill be returning my K5 along with the 17-50..and buying Nikon D7000...ill be talking to my camera shop as soon as they open up in the new year to inform them..if they say return straight away to get a full refund ..Ill be out of the Pentax user group :{..thats a bit sad really..I was enjoying the company here

Last edited by Tommot1965; 12-24-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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