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12-31-2010, 01:02 PM   #1
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A nagging thought on focus issues...

Do you think it's possible that missing focus occassionally, be it back focus/front focus whatever, is just a problem that can't be avoided with dSlrs? Yes some of it is user error but I know from my own experience there are times when it is not. It's worse on some lenses than others, but again I am starting to think it's just the nature of dslrs.

12-31-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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An occasional miss in field conditions is a fact of life IMO.
12-31-2010, 01:09 PM   #3
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Sure, occassional misses with AF are a fact of life; no AF system is perfect. The worse the light, the more often it will happen. It's when it gets to be common that you have to worry.
12-31-2010, 01:16 PM   #4
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Different cameras will give different results too. I owned a Nikon D700 & a 70-200 this summer. That was the quickest & most accurate AF combo I've ever used. Spot on every single time, even in near darkness. Just amazing. I switched to the K5 last month. It's nowhere close as accurate at AF compared to the D700. It's $1000 cheaper too though.

12-31-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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I think we can't judge the potential of DSLR based on what Pentax can do.
12-31-2010, 01:44 PM   #6
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Well I know on mine it does happen more than occasionally. So that's why I'm currently considering another brand. However as I do my googling I'm finding lots of posts on every system I'm considering complaining of focus issues.

QuoteOriginally posted by Matt Miller Quote
Different cameras will give different results too. I owned a Nikon D700 & a 70-200 this summer. That was the quickest & most accurate AF combo I've ever used. Spot on every single time, even in near darkness. Just amazing. I switched to the K5 last month. It's nowhere close as accurate at AF compared to the D700. It's $1000 cheaper too though.
Matt, I'm curious to know what made you switch to the k 5? The d700 is on my current maybe this is the one list, cost being the main thing holding me back. How does the k5 stack up to d700 in your opinion?
12-31-2010, 05:30 PM   #7
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Excuse my ignorance here but is such a major drama when, I admit not all, but the majority of people that are not happy with this, are taking shots of subjects that are not going to go any where in a hurry , like a Landscape. If it was sports or some other moving object then yes, it may be a problem. I often AF on a subject and then switch to manual for the final shot, especially with birds and animals in the bushes. Even for a landscape I will AF then manually adjust. Just comes from my film days when I never had luxuries like AF.
People complain that this or that lens doesn't focus fast enough when shooting sports like motor racing yet some of the greatest shots ever taken were taken manually.
Is it just a fact of people getting lazy and relying too much on the equipment to take the shot or does this front/back focus problem happen when manually focusing as well ?
I understand the cost factor as well but it is no different now to when we bought film cameras. They cost an arm and a leg on our wages then too !
12-31-2010, 05:42 PM - 1 Like   #8
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You missed one important fact that Pentax DSLRs have rather poor viewfinders for manual focus against what we had in the 70's and early 80's. Take the MX or ME Super for examples, their viewfinders were bright, sharp and large. Split image screen can be fitted with DSLR, but the viewfinder clarity is just not as good anymore. I was able to manual focus with ease with the MX even with a plain Z-1p screen, but rather impossible with the Pentax DSLR, and I am still using the same set of FA lenses. I am cool with manual focus, but please give me back the quality viewfinder first.

12-31-2010, 07:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I am cool with manual focus, but please give me back the quality viewfinder first.
Just as a matter of curiousity, how would you say Pentax dSLRs stack up against, say , the EOS 40D with regard to manual focus ?
12-31-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Pentax glass is terrific. Their camera bodies, on the other hand...

QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I think we can't judge the potential of DSLR based on what Pentax can do.
12-31-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Framed Quote
Do you think it's possible that missing focus occassionally, be it back focus/front focus whatever, is just a problem that can't be avoided with dSlrs? Yes some of it is user error but I know from my own experience there are times when it is not. It's worse on some lenses than others, but again I am starting to think it's just the nature of dslrs.
Framed - The focus issues being discussed (of the K-5) are not occasional focus misses, but repeatable front focussing issues in dim light. The users who have this issue can reproduce it. There is a very informative thread going on in dp_review, in which Roland has been doing some controlled experiments with graduated ND filters. The issue being discussed is why does K-5 front focus more than K20D in low light. Gordon B Good discusses a hypothesis there.
He says that the + part of the new SAFOX+ autofocus system is programmed to figure out the WB of given light, and make AF adjustments. This was done to improve the AF performance. The problem arises when light levels go down to a level where there is not enough color information available to make the correct WB estimate. Camera then makes the wrong compensation and front focuses by a big margin. And since K20D doesn't have the + system, it does not suffer from the same margin of error.

That discussion and test is still continuing on. I think they are trying to pin down whether the front focus error in k-5 varies with the color of light.

Hope it helps.
12-31-2010, 10:27 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
Just as a matter of curiousity, how would you say Pentax dSLRs stack up against, say , the EOS 40D with regard to manual focus ?
I have owned the DS & K-m. The VF of 40D has better clarity which is obvious when compared side by side. The standard 40D focusing screen however, is not that great for manual focus. Thank goodness the 10X LV is awesome for this purpose.

QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
Pentax glass is terrific. Their camera bodies, on the other hand...
Pretty much true for the last 3 decades.
01-01-2011, 07:15 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
Pentax glass is terrific. Their camera bodies, on the other hand...
The K-5 from all reports compares well to Canon and Nikon cameras in the same class. There are some outstanding problems that Pentax needs to address, but that is not uncommon with any new model. Do you really believe that Pentax camera bodies do not measure up to the competition?

Jeff
01-01-2011, 08:38 AM   #14
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The K-5, K-r and K-x certainly brought Pentax closer. Having said that, Canon and Nikon's bodies have and still do represent the cutting edge in DSLRs. This, of course, is my opinion and you may not agree. Sony and Olympus bodies do some things better as well.

I invested in the Pentax brand for the glass. The price point is affordable. The options are different and generally compact. And the quality is first rate.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
The K-5 from all reports compares well to Canon and Nikon cameras in the same class. There are some outstanding problems that Pentax needs to address, but that is not uncommon with any new model. Do you really believe that Pentax camera bodies do not measure up to the competition?

Jeff
01-01-2011, 10:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
Pentax glass is terrific. Their camera bodies, on the other hand...
Other manufacturers have problems with their bodies as well. We in the Pentax community become obsessed with those involving our cameras. The same is true of users of other brands, only few of us are aware of them.

Rob
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