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05-29-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Manual focusing with K-5 - is it good?

Hello folks!

I don't own a K-5 yet, but wondering what MF is like with it?

At the moment I am using a K20D with Katx-Eye split image focusing screen which I fin very good.

What do the folks with K-5 use to MF? Do you use Live View much?

05-29-2011, 11:34 PM   #2
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I suspect it's actually about the same. The matte screen certainly looks the same to me. I believe you may be able to just put your Katz in the K-5, but I have no direct experience with that.

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05-29-2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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It should be about the same. Magnification in live view can help you focus, but it doesn't really speed things up. The only big advantage over the K20D is the 100% viewfinder.

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05-30-2011, 06:11 PM   #4
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You will not be able to share Katz Eye screens between your K20 and K5 - different screens between the K10/K20 and K5/K7.

05-30-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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Why would you spend all of that money on a K-5 and then shoot MF? Doesn't make sense to me.

Just curious...
05-30-2011, 09:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanielT74 Quote
Hello folks!

I don't own a K-5 yet, but wondering what MF is like with it?

At the moment I am using a K20D with Katx-Eye split image focusing screen which I fin very good.

What do the folks with K-5 use to MF? Do you use Live View much?
MF with K-5 is superb. Best Pentax ever in fact.
And that's all because of the high res LV and features that go with it.

One of the most outstanding aspect of using the K-5 LV with MF is that it can show you bokeh exactly as it will end-up in the photo. Which I find most valuable. However, its the high res. screen and magnify feature that matters most as you can align your AF indicator, hit a button, focus nail focus and take the shot. Very fast, highly accurate, and best Pentax for this type of work yet.

Hope this helps.
05-30-2011, 09:11 PM   #7
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Manual focus is a key issue and a key skill with the K-5 and probably any dslr. I find that repeated practice pays off and I sometimes get better MF results than AF. The win for the K-5 is the ergonomics allowing comfortable shooting, adjustment of exposure with the right hand, and efficient focusing with the left hand on the lens focus ring. With practice it becomes a smooth flow.

I have a FSB focusing screen installed on my K-5, under $60 from focusingscreens.com, but it is only good for medium to well lit subjects - for dim light, it is harder. The challenge is use of a MF lens in dim room light when you intend to use a flash - in those cases, only careful practice will pay off, especially in using the focus-verify beep or icon to gauge your focus. Switching to single-focus point mode with focus verify gives pretty good results with MF and flash, and practice will tell you how to time your shutter release with the turning of your focus ring and the beep/flash of the focus verify, whether you need to anticipate it or add a delay, which of course depends on which direction you are turning your focus ring. As I said, practice. If you are available-light-only and intend to not use flash of course it is a different situation, since in dim light you have the option of using your own makeshift focus-bracketing by twisting the focus ring past the focus verify signal and then using the fast-continuous shooting mode to squeeze off three or more shots as you back up the focus ring over the indication point. This is a particularly powerful technique and the K-5's great handling makes it pretty easy. Below is an example of results from such "focus bracketing" in dim indoor light without flash. With the TAv mode pushing the ISO up to 3200 on this shot, it still looks clean and as if it were in a strongly lit room.

K-5 plus Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 lens at F/4, 1/40th sec, handheld.

Last edited by Skymist; 05-30-2011 at 09:17 PM.
05-30-2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote


Why would you spend all of that money on a K-5 and then shoot MF? Doesn't make sense to me.

Just curious...
I don't personally use manual focus much at all, but I don't see how the price of the K-5 would have an effect on whether someone wanted to use MF with it. The K-5 has a superior sensor to the pervious Pentax bodies, which IMO is the main reason to shoot with a K-5 regardless of how you like to focus.

05-31-2011, 01:38 AM   #9
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I tend to use MF for Macro shooting all the time and find it very good on the K-5


05-31-2011, 02:50 AM   #10
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Actually, last weekend I used a manual 800mm f8 vivitar mirror lens (handheld) to shoot some skidiving friends of mine jumping out the plane. You can imagine, you would have to be quick about that. And a tripod would only slow me down.

All of them were spot on, leaving the airplane door! The focus confirmation is excellent, and right on the spot.

I upgraded from k20d to K5 too, and the K5 keeps amazing me. Feels a bit like cheating sometimes, certain things are much easier now.

I only wish it had focusbracketing for macro work, but that's offtopic.
06-01-2011, 12:42 PM   #11
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I had nothing but MF lenses on my K-5 the first day I fired it up. lenses: 50mm f/1.7 and 300mm f/4.

Both worked quite well in low and regular light. I pretty much relied on the focus "beep" and it seemed accurate and crisp. I played with live view, but I didn't shoot while using it.
06-01-2011, 03:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote


Why would you spend all of that money on a K-5 and then shoot MF? Doesn't make sense to me.

Just curious...
Why not?


I have a mixture of AF and MF lenses. I love my Pentax A 50mm/f1.2. Not available in AF, but even if it was I doubt that phase AF ofthe K-5 would be accurate enough.
06-03-2011, 01:03 PM - 1 Like   #13
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"because"

QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote


Why would you spend all of that money on a K-5 and then shoot MF? Doesn't make sense to me.

Just curious...
because pentax doesn't make manual focus bodies anymore, so we have to make do with what's available on the market. for some people, the af is the last thing to justify the k-5 price. i shoot landscape and manual focus is the only way i shoot. i shoot motorsports too and manual focus is the only way i shoot. i love my obsoleted outdated manual focus lenses which are older than me in some cases, i love them even more on the k-5. there's a lot more to a camera than af, sometimes af is nothing to a camera (or a shooter)
06-03-2011, 05:14 PM   #14
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In response to the OP's post, I found the manual focusing on my K-5 improved vastly when I installed a Katzeye focusing screen. Not cheap but worth it for me.
06-05-2011, 11:30 AM   #15
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For the price of a katzeye, you can buy two or three Canon EE-S screens and cut them down to size... They really are good with fast lenses and stop-down metering...
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