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04-26-2011, 06:44 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Sorry to hear of folks with focus issues...

For those reading this post as research note that my K5 focuses extremely spot on from near dark barely tungsten lit to outdoor cloudy or glaringly bright. No lenses needed focus adjustment (haven't shot through big tele yet).

Sort of sad because I virtually never use auto focus and mine works splendidly.

For those of you shooting tele's, if you aren't on a tripod you are kidding yourselves, shake reduction or not, a high res. camera will show your imperfections at hand holding with 300mm and longer lenses, especially when magnifying to view the pixels...sure, you'll get some nice images hand held, but you'll also have some misses...
Yes, I use tele pretty much all of the time when doing outdoors photography ... but for me, carrying a tripod through steep and narrow trails and along the salt marsh where the shores are very slippery, is not too convenient.
Yes, I agree that there will be some missed shots with a handheld technique but my point if about acquiring focus at far distances, under low contrast situations.
Again, I may well be fooling myself thinking that this is a camera problem rather than the intrinsic capabilities of it.

Glad to see that your K5 is extremely spot on.

Cheers.

JP

04-26-2011, 07:19 AM   #32
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JP, I can appreciate both your frustrations and your successes.....I think we all have them, even my Canon and Nikon friends when they are with me and not on some Forum "posturing". These are not "perfect" tools or Old Granny would be outshooting all of us!

I can tell you that my experience finds the lens itself responsible for may problems concerning AF. My Bigma has always bee horrible to AF on my K10D and K20D but now works amazingly well on the K5....it thrills me!

On the other hand my *DA50-135, a simply terrific lens for IQ, is pathetic at AF on all my bodies, including the K5. My general experience is that the lens is always a part of the equation.

Still, we face the challenges and get what we can...if every shot was a masterpiece, how would we stay excited when we just got one more perfect shot? For me personally, I wouldn't trade my K5 for any other camera out there.....it fits my needs perfectly, as I had hoped it might.

You have a good attitude, are dedicated, and no doubt you will excel in your work.
Best Regards
Rupert
04-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Expecting too much?

I hear you guys, and don't question your disappointment, but I do wonder if we often just expect too much from our gear, no matter what that gear may be? I hear the same complaints from my Canon and Nikon friends, some with some very expensive merchandise.

After a little over a month with my K5 I find it less than perfect but better than anything else my friends use, and no I would not trade for an other camera in or near its class.

.... If I was a Pro, shooting with a D3X and the finest glass in the world, I expect I would have similar disappointments.....one of my friends has such gear and he complains as much as anyone else I know.
This is not math where numbers never lie.......there is always some luck involved, and factors we can't control. Bottom line for me is that with whatever flaws may be in the K5...or any camera....I continue to be thrilled with the results I get overall from my K5.
Best Regards!
I did a thorough search of the internet today, and found that only Pentax cameras had any complaints about AF.

In sympathy with jp, autofocusing at long distances with any camera is often problematic. A fellow photo club member has often had problems shooting his $10,000 600mm Nikon lens, bought 5 years ago or so. He's convinced that the air conditions, wind, convection, etc affect focusing properties for his Nikon D300. He showed me one fuzzy photo of the superstructure on a moving freighter on a nearby waterway. He's convinced that the winds around the superstructure caused the fuzzy picture. He also has preferences for the time of day and air temperture that helps his bird photography.

I take pictures of upcoming plays for a local live theatre organization. I'm their "photography coordinator" who gets to scramble to get rehearsal pictures for the local papers and for posting in the lobby before opening night. There's like 4 other photographers who i ask to help on various tasks for the theatre. one is a canon 50d shooter, one shoots Nikon d300s, 2 now have Nikon D7000, one has a K20d, and i've now moved to a Pentax k5 from my K20.

The K20 did fine for me on plays for 2 years, but when the lights were turned down low for certain scenes, fewer successful pictures would show up from my camera or others because the older generation sensors just couldn't deal with low light, hand held. For the current play, once i insisted with a newer shooter that she set higher iso's on her D7000 to enable faster shutter speeds (yes, i get to be a dictator, especially after her last play when too many of her pics were fuzzy), both her D7000 and my K5 did an excellent job of producing low light pictures that the opening night crowd loved on the lobby walls.

Real world results: i'm getting more acceptable (and focused) pictures from my K5 than I did with the K20. I'm keeping my K20 as backup, and its presently on loan to the other Pentax shooter while his is in the shop, but it can't deal as well with the low light.

1/180s, f5.6, 12,800iso



Last edited by philbaum; 04-26-2011 at 10:08 AM.
04-26-2011, 03:44 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Yes, I use tele pretty much all of the time when doing outdoors photography ... but for me, carrying a tripod through steep and narrow trails and along the salt marsh where the shores are very slippery, is not too convenient.
Yes, I agree that there will be some missed shots with a handheld technique but my point if about acquiring focus at far distances, under low contrast situations.
Again, I may well be fooling myself thinking that this is a camera problem rather than the intrinsic capabilities of it.

Glad to see that your K5 is extremely spot on.

Cheers.

JP
When you're shaking your camera you're in effect shaking to-and-fro the AF system in the bottom of the mirror box. With a tele lens, the effect is magnified. An in-lens stabilization system would improve the situation...

BTW, have you tried a monopod? It does help and could double as a walking stick.

05-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
JP, I can appreciate both your frustrations and your successes.....I think we all have them, even my Canon and Nikon friends when they are with me and not on some Forum "posturing". These are not "perfect" tools or Old Granny would be outshooting all of us!

I can tell you that my experience finds the lens itself responsible for may problems concerning AF. My Bigma has always bee horrible to AF on my K10D and K20D but now works amazingly well on the K5....it thrills me!

On the other hand my *DA50-135, a simply terrific lens for IQ, is pathetic at AF on all my bodies, including the K5. My general experience is that the lens is always a part of the equation.

Still, we face the challenges and get what we can...if every shot was a masterpiece, how would we stay excited when we just got one more perfect shot? For me personally, I wouldn't trade my K5 for any other camera out there.....it fits my needs perfectly, as I had hoped it might.

You have a good attitude, are dedicated, and no doubt you will excel in your work.
Best Regards
Rupert
Well, the problem seems to be when I aim at a subject that is probably too far away, under non-contrasty background.
I also find that it does happen when aiming at a BIF against a pure blue sky!! ???

But, I agree that I am probably asking way to much, hoping that all shots be tack sharp.
I shouldn't complain because I say that about 75-80% of the shots are in focus, but seemingly, the camera seems inconsistent with the AF (outdoors shots on moving busjects especially), which makes me think that my technique would be at fault "as well".

At the end of the day, I wouldn't trade my K5 either ...
By the way, I tested the DA*300/4 today with the K7, and it seemed a bit more acurate. But that is subjective.
Then, I took some good shots today, with the K5, and pretty much all were in focus ... go figure, hey?

Have a good week and thanks for the replies!

Cheers.

JP
05-01-2011, 09:03 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
When you're shaking your camera you're in effect shaking to-and-fro the AF system in the bottom of the mirror box. With a tele lens, the effect is magnified. An in-lens stabilization system would improve the situation...

BTW, have you tried a monopod? It does help and could double as a walking stick.
Guilty of not using that either, although I do own one!
Come to think of it, it is much easier to handle that the tripod and I should get it out of the closet.
Thanks for the reminder, I will certainly have a go at it!

Cheers.

JP
05-03-2011, 12:34 AM   #37
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OK, Gary's experience is similar to my own.
1.03 didn't make any noticeable difference for my K-5 either.
I struggled to get my lenses to front focus in bad lighting under close focusing conditions.
I didn't see how the K-5 would perform with near infinity focus distance subjects in low light until recently, and I've seen it lock focus erroneously at around 0.6-1m focusing distance relatively consistently through the viewfinder. Occasionally it would get it right if the subject was slightly altered for the AF point to lock on, but not all that reliably. Live view AF was significantly more accurate.

I do know that in such low lighting conditions previous cameras either didn't lock on, or they hunted for a while then nailed the focus right. The K-5 falsely calls focus lock in these situations, and I end up having to use quick shift to get focus right again. Yes, I could manually focus, but the conditions shouldn't be more challenging for the K-5 than it was for the K20D.

So I feel your pain, and will hopefully get a response from Pentax Support regarding this soon.
05-03-2011, 08:00 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
OK, Gary's experience is similar to my own.
1.03 didn't make any noticeable difference for my K-5 either.
I struggled to get my lenses to front focus in bad lighting under close focusing conditions.
I didn't see how the K-5 would perform with near infinity focus distance subjects in low light until recently, and I've seen it lock focus erroneously at around 0.6-1m focusing distance relatively consistently through the viewfinder. Occasionally it would get it right if the subject was slightly altered for the AF point to lock on, but not all that reliably. Live view AF was significantly more accurate.

I do know that in such low lighting conditions previous cameras either didn't lock on, or they hunted for a while then nailed the focus right. The K-5 falsely calls focus lock in these situations, and I end up having to use quick shift to get focus right again. Yes, I could manually focus, but the conditions shouldn't be more challenging for the K-5 than it was for the K20D.

So I feel your pain, and will hopefully get a response from Pentax Support regarding this soon.

Took some shots during very late afternoon/almost evening yesterday with the K7, instead of with the K5.
This was at the salt marsh area; very dimmed light too.
I was able to capture a flying Kingfisher "bang on", no hunting of the AF!
Noise? Of course, but certainly nothing to be concerned about. Easily taken care of in CS5 (ACR).
This was with the sort of shots that the K5 simply could not focus on properly.

I too had to resort to the QuickShift feature of the DA*300 with the K5, even under more appropriate lighting conditions. Even then, the focus was at least 50%of the time wrong.

To make a long story short: K5 is going away to Pentax.
I am just hoping they won't mess up with the other fine attributes of this wonderful camera ... except for the AF thing.

Cheers.

JP

05-03-2011, 08:24 AM   #39
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I just got a replacement k5 after experiencing low-light FF on my first body.

So far, my test shots seem to show much better AF indoors. I haven't checked if the new body is on firmware 1.02 or 1.03, but the upgrade to 1.03 did not help my first k5.

First body had a 393XXX serial #. New one is 402XXX.

I'd encourage anybody with AF issues to return their k5 for a new unit. It's such a fantastic camera, let down by early QA issues. I imagine Hoya rushed it out to make the holiday season. If the K5 were released in February, I doubt we would have nearly as many complaints.
05-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjcassara Quote
I just got a replacement k5 after experiencing low-light FF on my first body.

So far, my test shots seem to show much better AF indoors. I haven't checked if the new body is on firmware 1.02 or 1.03, but the upgrade to 1.03 did not help my first k5.

First body had a 393XXX serial #. New one is 402XXX.

I'd encourage anybody with AF issues to return their k5 for a new unit. It's such a fantastic camera, let down by early QA issues. I imagine Hoya rushed it out to make the holiday season. If the K5 were released in February, I doubt we would have nearly as many complaints.
Good point ... what would be the point of trying to fix it rather than just replace it and start from afresh?

I'll make sure that Pentax read my "notes" along with the camera.

Cheers.

JP
05-03-2011, 09:32 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjcassara Quote
I just got a replacement k5 after experiencing low-light FF on my first body.

So far, my test shots seem to show much better AF indoors. I haven't checked if the new body is on firmware 1.02 or 1.03, but the upgrade to 1.03 did not help my first k5.

First body had a 393XXX serial #. New one is 402XXX.


I'd encourage anybody with AF issues to return their k5 for a new unit. It's such a fantastic camera, let down by early QA issues. I imagine Hoya rushed it out to make the holiday season. If the K5 were released in February, I doubt we would have nearly as many complaints.
pretty much my findings. 1.03 didn't fix my first K-5. 1.03 fixed my replacement and 2nd ( 3rd ) K-5
05-05-2011, 02:09 AM   #42
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I just came back from a 7 day shoot in the jungle. A once in a lifetime shoot for sure. Let me tell you the sigma 300mm f2.8 prime is one of the best lenses i have ever seen. But that sorry K-5 AF all but ruined all of my shot's with that lens. I was stuck with the 500 all seven days.. got a few shots with it when there was good sun. By good sun I mean under the canopy but sunny day. But even then about 50-75% failure rate. faldjk g;ad asdf lsdjf Pentax????


I would much rather the AF not lock and keep hunting for a decent shot rather than hit and give bad shots..

Last edited by garyk; 05-05-2011 at 04:33 AM.
05-05-2011, 05:06 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by garyk Quote
I would much rather the AF not lock and keep hunting for a decent shot rather than hit and give bad shots..
Out of curiosity, what are your usual settings for AF? Centre spot or the 5/11 matrix? AFS-2? AFC? Your AF behaviour may be fine-tunable with some of the many K-5 AF options.
05-05-2011, 06:11 AM   #44
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I find this whole conversation perplexing? Maybe I am not looking for absolute perfection in AF, but if I was no camera would live up to that expectation.
I shoot Squirrels. Despite the seemingly easy chore of getting good crisp shots, Squirrel shooting is under all sorts of lighting conditions, and at all sorts of distances. My K5 nails a good 90% of my Squirrel shots and does it fast, using the Bigma that has always hunted like a old Coon Hound on my previous bodies. I can post consecutive shots showing in numerical order the superb abilities of my K5 to repeatedly capture in-focus AF images, should anyone doubt my findings.
So.....not questioning the results of a few here with no such success, it must be a variance in cameras.....a questions of specific lenses....a combination.....I have no real idea, but whatever it is it does not affect my K5 in the least?
Best Regards!

Last edited by Rupert; 05-05-2011 at 08:36 AM.
05-05-2011, 06:31 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by garyk Quote
I just came back from a 7 day shoot in the jungle. A once in a lifetime shoot for sure. Let me tell you the sigma 300mm f2.8 prime is one of the best lenses i have ever seen. But that sorry K-5 AF all but ruined all of my shot's with that lens. I was stuck with the 500 all seven days.. got a few shots with it when there was good sun. By good sun I mean under the canopy but sunny day. But even then about 50-75% failure rate. faldjk g;ad asdf lsdjf Pentax????


I would much rather the AF not lock and keep hunting for a decent shot rather than hit and give bad shots..
Sure looks very similar to what I have been experiencing.

And it doesn't matter if the AF is set at centre spot or 5/11 matrix ... just to step ahead to the next post by rawr.

JP
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