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12-19-2010, 06:48 AM   #1
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K5 and DA*16-50 ... How's the AF??

Hi, all.

I've been the proud owner of a DA* 16-50mm and its my favorite lens for general shooting. The big down side of owning this wide zoom has been the fact autofocus will often hunt badly in low light situations. I'm not talking shooting black cats in near darkness; just shooting candids in lower light at parties and such. I've missed so many magic moments because of AF hunting, I could cry.

It was really bad with my K20, and a bit better (but not fixed) with my K7. I've been reading about the improvements in the K5 AF system and I want to ask if any new owners can offer a real-world report on how the DA*16-50 behaves on the K5? Does the new body eliminate dim light AF hunting with this lens? How is the general speed of AF lock, and does the new body eliminate the hunting ... especially on wide, dim shots?

Thanks in advance for your reports!


12-19-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Hi Germar:

Having had K10, K20, Kx, K7 and now K5/Kr I would say that low light AF on DA 16-50 is very similar between the K7 and K5; the SDM is the limiting factor. I find that manual focus also works great and that we rely too much on AF these days.

12-19-2010, 11:16 AM   #3
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That is a great question. I have had the same experience with the DA* 16-50 and the K20D. I will do some experimenting and follow up here, as my K5 has arrived.

Grabbed the K20 & K5 and went into a dimly lit room. My impressions are that there is improvement. In fact, the K20 actually attempted to hunt. The K5 was aided perhaps by AF assist light.

I will try and give this a little more time later today.

Last edited by WRB; 12-19-2010 at 12:27 PM. Reason: non scientific test results...
12-19-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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I had K200D that wouldn't lock focus at all at the "end of it's life". Lots of hunting and very slow focus even in good light.

When the conditions are at the edge of af assist lamp kicking in or not the focus tends to front focus with K-5. I've lost a lot of shots because of that, some people say that there is a firmware fix coming, I really hope there will and fast.

The only real complaint I have, other than that it's so good camera I could get married with it. I also use 16-50 for a lot of my shooting in parties, clubs and gigs. Focus locks without a lot of hunting, compared to my copy (which is "dying", I suspect that the af sensor is dirty or something) of K200D I'd say 2/3 faster to lock.

The overall speed of focus is not improved, like said above, the sdm is the limiting factor. Screw focus lenses are faster.

12-19-2010, 03:08 PM   #5
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Well from what I've seen, the K5 still hunts but does not seem to be as bad.
Sadly, the 16-50 is a large lens and the AF assist lamp is often eclipsed by the lens.
Removing the lens hood helps. Still, without the AF assist, the K5 seems to do a better job in low light.

Oddly, the viewfinder indicators blink at much higher light level than the K7, as if indicating the camera is having trouble calculating the proper exposer. Still, the image is captured just fine.
12-20-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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Low-light AF is faster on my K-5 than it was on my K-7 and K20. Hood is always used. I'm satisfied with the combo.
12-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
Low-light AF is faster on my K-5 than it was on my K-7 and K20. Hood is always used. I'm satisfied with the combo.
Agreed. Not having any problems with the combo on the K-5.

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