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01-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Every lens needs adjustment

Okay here I go. I bought the K5 , 15mm ltd, 31FA ltd, 43ltd, 77 ltd, and the 50-135 f2.8. Every lens needs focus adjustment except the 15mm. I am completely bummed out now. Having switched from Canon 5D MKII and 6 lenses which never needed adjustment I am very disappointed. I love everything about the K 5 except this focus crap. I am forced to shoot stopped down just to get some keepers. My 5D MKII accuracy was around 95% wide open, the K5 about 10% wide open if the subject is far enough away. Any suggestions before I start selling off my Pentax stuff?

01-25-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
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One suggest: adjust your lenses.
01-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for that! Another problem is the adjustment range is insufficient to get great focus.
01-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Thanks for that! Another problem is the adjustment range is insufficient to get great focus.
I know that you are upset - and justifiably so - at having spent thousands of $$ on your equipment, only to have it not function properly. But, is there the simple possibility that you have a broken K-5, and can simply send it in for service, or exchange for another?

01-25-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Okay here I go. I bought the K5 , 15mm ltd, 31FA ltd, 43ltd, 77 ltd, and the 50-135 f2.8. Every lens needs focus adjustment except the 15mm. I am completely bummed out now. Having switched from Canon 5D MKII and 6 lenses which never needed adjustment I am very disappointed. I love everything about the K 5 except this focus crap. I am forced to shoot stopped down just to get some keepers. My 5D MKII accuracy was around 95% wide open, the K5 about 10% wide open if the subject is far enough away. Any suggestions before I start selling off my Pentax stuff?
Get your K5 exchanged, but also get used to Pentax AF not being as robust as Canon's AF.
01-25-2012, 10:45 PM   #6
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I just adjusted my lenses last night. I bought the Spyder LensCal, after trying to use a printed test chart which didn't work out so well. My results were:

Pentax 18-55 f3.5-5.6 WR: -9
Pentax-F 50 f2.8 macro: -9
Tokina AT-X 280 Pro 28-80 f2.8: -10

The first two were no problem once I realized how far off they were. The Tokina was problematic, it seems to have a focal plane that changes with focal length. At 28mm it front focuses but at 50-80 it back focuses. For some odd reason I got the best results at -10.

I may try to re-run the tests with better (natural) light, I was shooting in a room lit only by compact fluorescents, and I've heard this can cause some focus deviation on the K-5.
01-25-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Thanks for that! Another problem is the adjustment range is insufficient to get great focus.
I had this problem with my K-7, which eventually required repair. Is the misfocusing in the same direction for each lens? That would be more indicative of the camera itself being the problem.
01-25-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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Practice a bit more with your new system and your lenses before getting into despair and jumping to conclusions about your gear.

Transitioning from one system to another takes some getting used to, whether it be from P&S to APS-C or FF to APS-C. I mean, I had some trouble just moving up from a K-x to the K-5.

Also be wary of jumping straight into heavy duty focus adjustment straight away. It may make your problems worse, not better, until you get a good feel for how everything is working, and how all of the settings of the K-5 work.

Personally, I haven't felt the need to do a single AF adjustment yet on any of my lenses with the K-5.

01-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Thanks for that! Another problem is the adjustment range is insufficient to get great focus.
Send in your camera AND all the lenses to have them 'calibrated' by an official Pentax repair shop, as your gear is brand new, they have to (and will) do this for free. That's what I did.

On the other hand, a Spider LensCal is a good tool for AF adjustment.
Don't forget that lenses/camera tend to evolve, particularly the screw driven lenses, not the SDM driven ones, yet. What is adjusted today might no more be that just tomorrow...That's why I have the Spider and check my gear every month, there is always a (screw driven) lens that needs to be readjusted!
What the service center did was something like a 'basic adjust to factory specs', I guess...

Anny focussing system is more or less sensitive to get 'unadjusted'. At the time, my Leica's RF focussing needed to be checked and adjusted each two years, as well as all my Pentax LX (the mirror, you know). Still, my Hasselblad's focussing (the mirror too) each five years, if not sooner... Not to mention the parallelism of my Linhof view camera, which is build like a tank.
BTW, imagine what can happen with a manual focussing lens on a digital body...

If gear is used a lot, it's prone to wear, checking the adjustments regularly is the way to go.

Good luck with you new Pentax stuff, once under control, it will be damn good and fun to work with!
01-26-2012, 12:21 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I bought K-5 June 2011 after I found the K-7 had problems with focus and unacceptable noise at ISO800. I sent the K-7 back under warranty twice as I just wasn't happy with the focusing. I even thought about jumping ship to Nikon D7000 but wanted the WR.

I love the K-5 (after 3mth photographic trip) and presently only have 2 lenses, DA*16-50mm and DA*60-250mm. I enjoy taking all genre of photography but in particular street, wildlife and action photos and found it frustrating when many images weren't sharp where I had focused. I trawled the internet and tried numerous suggestion put on forums and articles and found part was my fault and part the Pentax AF system. I haven't taken the plunge to buy a Spyder Lenscal but its next as I have found after numerous trials that my 60-250mm is back focusing to the left of my centre spot.

Interestingly after reading this article Pentax K5 Photography by Jim Radcliffe check out May 18 and May 22 about focus issue, I feel that Jim Radcliffe explanation is very feasable at least with my issue. Maybe this could be a reason for yourself? He also has an issue with lens adjustment but still enjoys the K5.
01-26-2012, 12:36 AM   #11
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Noone mentioned the firmware yet, have you updated the firmware?
01-26-2012, 01:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alibaba Quote
Interestingly after reading this article Pentax K5 Photography by Jim Radcliffe check out May 18 and May 22 about focus issue, I feel that Jim Radcliffe explanation is very feasable at least with my issue. Maybe this could be a reason for yourself? He also has an issue with lens adjustment but still enjoys the K5.
For clarity, this is the specific section Alibaba is referring to:

QuoteQuote:
May 22, 2011 Answer to the above issue. Turns out this is not a problem with the FA 77 but with the AF system of the K5. AF Focus boxes/areas are apparently larger than they appear in the K5 viewfinder. Focus lock was probably on something other than the frog. Live View focus uses a different focus method which resulted in much slower but more accurate focus. I don't like it but that's the way the camera works. I knew I would find something I didn't like about the K5. The size of a focus box should be fully evident in the viewfinder. It's easy to understand how this "feature" of the K5 could become a point of frustration as it did for me. Now that I am aware of this feature I can work around it.
01-26-2012, 12:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franky2step Quote
Okay here I go. I bought the K5 , 15mm ltd, 31FA ltd, 43ltd, 77 ltd, and the 50-135 f2.8.
Sorry for this being off topic....but I gotta put my vote in here for "big ones". You nailed the rainbow of a quiver in a single purchase. Somebody's got to use this as their signature.
01-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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One other thing you might try Franky2step is to switch the autofocus from the shutter button to the AF button on the back of the camera.

Or shoot using manual focus which is the only true way to focus on what you want in focus and not what the camera thinks you want in focus.
01-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
AF Focus boxes/areas are apparently larger than they appear in the K5 viewfinder.
This is something many folks may not be aware of. It applies to all Pentaxes and probably all brand DSLR's too. I'm sure many on these forums will have seen this noted many times. The AF dots that illuminate in the finder aren't laser-like points, but only indicators of a region where contrast information may be found by the AF system.

So those illuminated AF points aren't really good for much precision.

One of the many virtues of the K-x is that the focus points in the viewfinder aren't visible at all. Yet amazingly flickr (for example) overflows with sharp K-x photos...go figure.
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