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07-03-2011, 07:29 AM   #1
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K-5 focus issues

I just received my K-5 a couple days ago. I immediately checked for sensor stains, and thankfully none were there.

However, I have now spent the past two days in frustration with focusing issues.

When in manual focus there seems to be a disconnect between (a) focus confirmation and actual focus; and (b) visual focus and actual focus.

I spent the morning going back and forth between my K-7 and new K-5. The K-7 focuses with great accuracy; the K-5 is consistently rendering images out of focus.

I have carefully adjusted the diopter, and I have made sure that I have input the correct focal length on the lens being used. Still, the K-5 is not providing correct focus.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

07-03-2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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yes i do experiencing af inconsistency, below 5ev at wide angle lens - somewhere below 20mm the lens keep catching focus back or forth mostly however causing front focus. Firmware 1.10, body from february, at greater focal lenght everything seams to be fine... autofocusing with da*16-50 at 16mm and dimm light is just in vain - live view works fine accurately and comparatively fast - however taking the picture in a "zoombie style" isnt my favorite way...
07-03-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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You should read this: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths

My experience is the exact opposite of yours - when I got my K5, I was amazed at how well it focused compared to my old K7. The K7 was soft with all my lenses, while the K5 was tack sharp.

Both the K5 and K7 have the ability to adjust the focus - on the K5 it's in the Custom Menu 26 ("AF Fine Adjustment") More information can be found here: Jeffrey Friedl's Blog Jeffrey’s Autofocus Test Chart
07-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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Oh the K-5 focuses fine. As long as you don't reach a certain light level in artificial light (usually around EV 2-3) below which it becomes unreliable and front focuses. It's been documented by Falconeye among others, and I've personnaly experienced it on three different K-5s already. It has nothing to do with lenses, it's a hardware flaw.

07-03-2011, 09:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I have reviewed some of the other posts regarding ff in low light (which seems to be exactly the problem I am experiencing).

However, this is a concern since my principal reason for purchasing the K-5 was that, when doing theatrical and concert work, it would allow me to shoot at high ISOs (without the noise issues of the K-7).

I have to ask: What good is the high ISO capability of the K-5, if it can't reliably focus in low light?
07-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
When in manual focus there seems to be a disconnect between (a) focus confirmation and actual focus;
My K5 has the exact same problem in all light condition. I ended up giving up on my fast manual lenses (one voigtlander, one zeiss)... AF wise, my FA ltds and Sigma zooms lenses work fine most time except in low light condition.
07-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #7
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MF lenses

QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
Thanks for the responses. I have reviewed some of the other posts regarding ff in low light (which seems to be exactly the problem I am experiencing).

However, this is a concern since my principal reason for purchasing the K-5 was that, when doing theatrical and concert work, it would allow me to shoot at high ISOs (without the noise issues of the K-7).

I have to ask: What good is the high ISO capability of the K-5, if it can't reliably focus in low light?
Hi Byrd,

I am pretty much given up on using my MF lenses (f1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/3.5 & f/4) with Kr, K7 & K5 at any indoor performance! They all FF even when the red square & green hexagon in the viewfinder confirm the subject is in focus. Catch-In-Focus works little bit better and LV is the best with MF. The old *istD is better at MF for some reason. Even Katzeye with OptiBrite didn't help!
07-04-2011, 03:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
(a) focus confirmation and actual focus; and (b) visual focus and actual focus.
I'm having the exact same problems. Especially (b) bothers me. The only way to get a reliable focus seems to be to use the rear LCD, but I really hate to take pictures this way. I've noticed though that I now compensate the front focus visually by focusing a bit too back, but I shouldn't need to be doing this. I'm thinking of sending my K-5 to warranty repair, but I don't want to be without a camera for weeks just to hear "it's not a fault, it's a feature"..

07-04-2011, 07:21 PM   #9
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After reading Falk Lumo's report on the K-5 focus issues (and the many helpful comments on this forum), I've decided to pack it in.

(for summary see Falk Lumo: LumoLabs: Pentax K-5 low light focus; for full article see http://falklumo.com/lumolabs/articles/k5focus/index.html)

The K-5 goes back tomorrow (after only one week of ownership). I'm quite happy to stay with my K-7 until Pentax sorts out the K-5.

Last edited by Byrd-2020; 07-04-2011 at 07:40 PM.
07-04-2011, 08:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
After reading Falk Lumo's report on the K-5 focus issues (and the many helpful comments on this forum), I've decided to pack it in.

(for summary see Falk Lumo: LumoLabs: Pentax K-5 low light focus; for full article see LumoLabs)

The K-5 goes back tomorrow (after only one week of ownership). I'm quite happy to stay with my K-7 until Pentax sorts out the K-5.
Did you calibrate the AF for your lenses before deciding to send it back?
07-04-2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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You might be okay

QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
Thanks for the responses. I have reviewed some of the other posts regarding ff in low light (which seems to be exactly the problem I am experiencing).

However, this is a concern since my principal reason for purchasing the K-5 was that, when doing theatrical and concert work, it would allow me to shoot at high ISOs (without the noise issues of the K-7).

I have to ask: What good is the high ISO capability of the K-5, if it can't reliably focus in low light?
Shot from the back of a theater, Sigma 100-300/4, f4 at 1/320 sec, ISO 12,800. Two K-5s, 1 week of dress rehearsaks, 5 Performances, 13,000 exposures. Dance is tough, especially the Jazz companies, lots of dancing the dark. Worked out okay.

Last edited by Brooke Meyer; 08-31-2011 at 11:01 PM.
07-05-2011, 08:24 AM   #12
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New K5

My new K5 arrived yesterday. After reading this thread, I am wondering if I should upgrade my firmware or leave it as is. I am hoping that I won't have any focusing problems but from what I am reading, there appears to be a very good chance. Any suggestions? From my signature, you can see I will be using a number of different lenses. DA and otherwise. I am depressed now, I have been waiting a year for this body and now find it has focusing isssues. I am P***** Off.

Last edited by Mapleleaf-Mick; 07-05-2011 at 08:25 AM. Reason: spelling
07-05-2011, 10:27 AM   #13
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I guess if you dont use the GPS unit, just dont upgrade as I see so much bad stuff about it right now.
07-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
Did you calibrate the AF for your lenses before deciding to send it back?
AF calibration appears to have no effect on focus verification with manual focus lenses. I assume too (though I did not test for this) that any compensation made for low-light focusing error will apply to higher EVs as well.
07-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mapleleaf-Mick Quote
My new K5 arrived yesterday. After reading this thread, I am wondering if I should upgrade my firmware or leave it as is. I am hoping that I won't have any focusing problems but from what I am reading, there appears to be a very good chance. Any suggestions? From my signature, you can see I will be using a number of different lenses. DA and otherwise. I am depressed now, I have been waiting a year for this body and now find it has focusing isssues. I am P***** Off.
I have no focus problems and haven't from the start....I will skip the GPS Firmware, I don't need it....just in case it would cause some problem.

My biggest problem with the K5 is that because of its very rocky introduction, it makes you gun-shy....you look for problems that don't exist, and find some that don't exist either. Hoya did little to instill trust, and hopefully Ricoh will not go the same path of secrecy and failed communication with their base market.

My suggestion is to just get the K5 and use it as you anticipate, not looking for every problem that has been broadcast here. It may be hard to do, but as handsome as I am, if I look in the mirror long enough, I can find a flaw...or two. Fortunately, the vast majority of K5s perform flawlessly.

Don't look for flaws and you will be a happier person.....I could probably get all upset if I stared at this long enough to find some little fault, so I don't..... Well, the hat has a big crack in it....I see that, but that's about it....right?
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