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04-20-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
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AF and focus accuracy using older firmware vs. new (1.03) on K5 plus DA*300

This is relating to using the K5 with the DA*300/4 lens with infinity focusing under low contrast situations, with the camera loaded with an older (prior to 1.03) version of the firmware.

So, I am presently using this set up but I have yet to upgrade to version 1.03 of the firmware. I will certainly do that soon.

What I am finding is this:

Low contrast shots of small subjects taken from a fair distance (infinity focusing required) will often produce OOF results. I am expecting this because it is not a most suitable lighting situation.
The weird thing though is that I used to have a bit more "keepers" with the K20D with that very same lens, under the same conditions.
The AF is set to either AF-S or AF-C, focus priority.

Furthermore, I found that it does also happen ( but less frequently) with more contrasty subjects.



Since the new version of the firmware (1.03) supposedly improves some AF- low light situations, I was wondering if that could also help with the setup I have described earlier.

I suppose the answer to that is to just upgrade the firmware and test it, but it would be interesting to find out if someone else has encountered those findings, and has noticed a positive change in the way the AF will handle it.

Note again that I am talking about "far away" subjects under low contrast.

Any thought, suggestion, comment would be appreciated.

Cheers.

JP

04-20-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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I'm finding something just kind of "off" about my K-5 and the focus when shooting indoors. It just doesn't seem to have the crispness I had been hoping for. I haven't done any conclusive tests or anything. It just doesn't look really good to me.
04-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
I'm finding something just kind of "off" about my K-5 and the focus when shooting indoors. It just doesn't seem to have the crispness I had been hoping for. I haven't done any conclusive tests or anything. It just doesn't look really good to me.
Maybe it is related to this "AF in low light" thing we've been reading about for the past few months?

In my case, it is about outdoors, low contrast and far away subjects requiring focusing to infinity, or close to.

Maybe both situations have something in common ... who knows?

JP

Last edited by jpzk; 04-20-2011 at 12:01 PM. Reason: spelling
04-20-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Maybe it is related to this "AF in low light" thing we've been reading about for the past few months?

In my case, it is about outdoors, low contrast and far away subjects requiring focusing to infinity, or close to.

Maybe both situations have something in common ... who knows?

JP
I have a K-5 (1.03) and DA* 300mm, what type of subject and lighting are you talking about? Maybe some examples I can try out...

04-20-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
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I just went out and shot two quick shots K5/DA*300 in very poor light. Prior to sunrise, and rather cloudy.
No PP and shown directly out of camera, other than resizing. This is with Firmware update 1.03 completed.
Just for comparison. Maybe sharpness is about 95% acceptable IMHO.
How do the compare?
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 

Last edited by Bramela; 04-20-2011 at 02:38 PM.
04-21-2011, 07:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bramela Quote
I just went out and shot two quick shots K5/DA*300 in very poor light. Prior to sunrise, and rather cloudy.
No PP and shown directly out of camera, other than resizing. This is with Firmware update 1.03 completed.
Just for comparison. Maybe sharpness is about 95% acceptable IMHO.
How do the compare?
Your pics look right on.

The subjects are quite large and of course that would certainly help the AF for finding its target, right?

I still have some issues with the smaller subjects under low light/less contrasty situations, but again, this just might be my technique running wild!

Haven't got to install the v. 1.03 of the firmware yet ... which I will do. (procrastination is one of my ol' friends).

Thanks for the images!

Cheers.

JP
04-23-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
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Have you guys seen this? regarding AWB vs TUNGSTEN on the K-r....

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r-forum/127862-might-front-focus...e-problem.html
04-23-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, far away objects always present a problem with focus, resolution, sharpness, and in general overall IQ. The better the lens, the better the results, but it still never matches being up close. I have had this conversation many times with my Canon and Nikon friends, and the opinion appears universal that IQ degrades with distance.

Determining how much more or less the degradation is with any particular body would require some rigid testing procedures and an assortment of comparable lenses. I often find shots that I think would have been better with the K20D....or likewise assume they are now better with the K5, when in fact other factors may be at play instead of the camera. The light, the time of day, the settings, the steadiness of the shooter, the wind, the temperature etc, etc....

I'm not saying there is or isn't a difference, but I am saying it would be a real job to document it with any real value.

Best Regards!

04-23-2011, 10:21 AM   #9
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Werticus,
Thanks for spreading the tip. I'm going to try it out. I found out that the bulbs in the theatre where i work are primarily halogen gas/Tungsten element.


QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Have you guys seen this? regarding AWB vs TUNGSTEN on the K-r....

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r-forum/127862-might-front-focus...e-problem.html
04-24-2011, 08:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Have you guys seen this? regarding AWB vs TUNGSTEN on the K-r....

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r-forum/127862-might-front-focus...e-problem.html
Is this about the K5? Just wondering if that applies to it.

JP
04-24-2011, 05:50 PM   #11
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I think WerTicus means have you read the article re the KR and White Balance as the KR and K5 share the same sensor.
04-24-2011, 06:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nobbys Nuts Quote
I think WerTicus means have you read the article re the KR and White Balance as the KR and K5 share the same sensor.
No I haven't .... but will now!

Back after reading the article.

JP

Edit: Just read the thread ... interesting to say the least. Just how would this help with OUTDOORS shots? I mean, Tungsten setting for WB would be easily adjustable in PP, if RAW is used, but it would surely become a pain in the b&*! to do it for each and every shot, no?

Rupert, above post, mentions that "far away objects always present a problem with focus, resolution, sharpness, and in general overall IQ.", which I agree with in general. However, my issue here is that this is not consistent.

GUILTY ME though: I haven't yet updated the FW to v. 1.03. . Mind you, I haven't been out much this past weekend because of an extremely busy three days with family during the Easter break.

Back gain soon with the K5 updated to the most recent firmware.

Cheers.

JP

Last edited by jpzk; 04-24-2011 at 06:45 PM.
04-24-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
I have a K-5 (1.03) and DA* 300mm, what type of subject and lighting are you talking about? Maybe some examples I can try out...
Subjects: birds mostly, far away against a not-contrasty background.

I have to download some pics ... later, for samples.

Maybe my lens (a DA*) starts to show signs of wear??? that is also possible considering the type of lens here) but I have never had any problems with that lens ever since I bought it three years ago.
Anyway, after the FW update and further testing, I shall consider other such possibilities.

JP
04-24-2011, 07:18 PM   #14
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Shot this today at about 25-30 feet away with the Bigma 50-500. I find the Bigma faster to focus ( much faster) and more accurate on my K5 than it ever was on the K10D or K20D. I have been very impressed with it on the K5, but shooting at long distances of wildlife is always going to be a challenge, with any camera.

1/125 @500mm F7.1 ISO 2500
[IMG] [/IMG]

Best Regards!
04-25-2011, 03:32 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I shoot daily with the K-5 and I can say without a doubt. It is a big problem. The AF is definitely faulty. In the OP you nailed the problems I have with the camera. The K-20 and K-7 had more keepers for me. Rupert that shot is very good. But the K-5 will nail that shot very fast. In low contrast objects even with some light it misses more than it hits.

There are ways I try to deal with it. If the bird has any contrast lines or colors focus on them. If need be focus on an object it is sitting on and increase the DOF. It is really a problem for me with dark blue birds??? It will miss every time right in front of me. I was in a hide two days ago and shot a white tailed Robin and it missed every shot. Then I of course hit the white and dark blue contrast patch in the head and it hit.

The brown bird Rupert posted. Is the best color for AF on the K-5 I have found?

I don't want to make anyone mad but it really has problems and the 1.03 did nothing for my K-5.

I am really waiting for the next round of cameras from Pentax and expect to see this fixed then. But not holding my breath for a software fix.

I do not like to beat a dead horse but it is a problem that needs to be delt with in other ways other than Pentax fix.. It is not going to go away with the current K-5 in my opinion.

I shoot with other guys with high dollar cameras and they have similar problems.. But nowhere near what the K-5 has. I shoot with a guy that shoots a 7D and it will AF circles around the K-5 but if you know its limits you can usually get close to their keepers. For me anyway.

Others may have different views. This is with my current K-5 and lenses. I expect other copies may be better but really doubt it with all the hype about it already.

For me it is a hobby and all pro shooters shoot mostly canon in my neck of the woods. And would never own a camera with so many focus problems. But i kinda like it as a hobby camera. It is really a sweet camera most of the time.

Last edited by garyk; 04-25-2011 at 05:23 AM.
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