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04-05-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
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Tilted Photos From K5

O.K. This is kinda freaking me out. I was looking at some photos that I took a few weeks ago and noticed
that several of them were tilted. I then dug through the manual and turned on the electronic level so it would be displayed
in the viewfinder. When I went to Santa Cruz to test out my new 40mm/ltd I tried using the level and it made things even worse.
Seems like it is off by 2 or 3 degrees. Has anybody else had trouble with crooked pictures or using the electronic level. If so is there
a fix for it without having to send it back for repairs?

p.s. I realize that I have to be much more careful with framing the background but the indicator is telling me it's level when I can clearly
tell the camera is actually tilted.

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04-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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Well the EL on my k-5 shows 2 bars to the left when the camera is level and i think this is somewhat common.You can send it in for warranty but for me i wont bother..
04-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Turn off automatic horizon correction. Sometimes it'll make stuff look crooked when you really shot it level (i.e. when a sign isn't perfectly level).

If the level itself is off, try updating your camera's firmware, and if that doesn't fix it, have it serviced- all it takes is a fairly quick (software-based) procedure.

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04-05-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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Adam, That is interesting I will look into that. I wonder if the Automatic Horizon Correction gets data from the electronic level. If it did it would mess up both measurements and give you an Automatically Incorrect Correction.

I don't care so much about the view finder level because it is a bit on the slow and clunky side but the level and height display on the back LCD panel actually looks like a useful feature. Looks like I will have to send it in to make sure all these things are working properly.

p.s. Firmware is at V1.13 with this problem.

04-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperK5 Quote
Adam, That is interesting I will look into that. I wonder if the Automatic Horizon Correction gets data from the electronic level. If it did it would mess up both measurements and give you an Automatically Incorrect Correction.

It does. Once I tried shooting a brick wall, and no matter what I did, it wasn't level. Turned out the building itself was tilted, lol, but that wasn't until like half an hour later. Doh!

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04-06-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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The horizon correction uses the electronic level to get its data.

My first K-5 came with the level about 3 bars off. Unfortunately there is no way for the end user to calibrate it. There are a number of threads on this on the forum, mostly complaining that Pentax should supply a way for the end user to calibrate it.

Since I discovered the error during my initial inspection, I sent it back as defective and promptly received a new one that works fine. You will have to send it in to service for calibration or live with it. But unless it is calibrated properly you should leave horizon correction off, as it will correct to the level determined by the electronic level which is wrong.
04-06-2012, 06:48 AM   #7
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I have an engineering back ground and I can usually pick when something is not straight or level by eye. So when i got my K7 the electronic level what switch on by default and I could see it was out by about 2-3 bars, even when sat on a mercuary spirit level....

Anyway, and the start of this year I sent it in for a service (most of which went through as warranty) I mentioned the level was out... and now it is just about perfect (for an electronic level)

Personal I find it useless because you can wast time trying to get it level in the viewfinder, it quick to just get the shoot right and straighter post-process.
04-06-2012, 10:16 PM - 1 Like   #8
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The free "level" app on my PlayBook can be reset to zero when the PB is on a level surface. It would have saved Pentax a fair bit of warranty work if you could set the levels in the camera manually.

04-15-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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I've had my K-5 for about a month and I noticed that the viewfinder is crooked yesterday. I haven't used the electronic level or any of that stuff although horizon correction was turned on. The issue that I'm having is that what I see in the viewfinder does not match the image. Yesterday I lined up on some stairs multiple times and it wasn't even close in the image. I've turned off horizon correction but could that have caused the problem? Or is the viewfinder actually crooked?


04-15-2012, 09:20 PM   #11
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Surprisingly, I've never experienced any issues with the electronic level. All three of the K-5's I've used had electronic levels that were within two or three tenths of a degree.

--DragonLord
04-15-2012, 10:20 PM   #12
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Those did not answer my question. I'm using the viewfinder to line up on a straight line and the image is not anywhere close. Is horizon correction the issue or is something else producing the crooked photos?
04-15-2012, 11:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
Those did not answer my question. I'm using the viewfinder to line up on a straight line and the image is not anywhere close. Is horizon correction the issue or is something else producing the crooked photos?
If the horizon correction on your camera is not calibrated properly, it will incorrectly level your pictures, after you have carefully lined it up optically. To troubleshoot this, you need to turn off the horizon correction and determine if you still have a problem with level.
04-16-2012, 01:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
I haven't used the electronic level or any of that stuff although horizon correction was turned on.
Horizon correction is using data from the electronic level. If the e-level is off in your camera then horizon correction makes all of your photos crooked.
04-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
I'm using the viewfinder to line up on a straight line and the image is not anywhere close. Is horizon correction the issue or is something else producing the crooked photos?
There are two possibilities: first as noted above the electronic level could be off AND if you have horizon correction ON the camera will correct the horizon based on inaccurate data provided by the electronic level. To test this turn off horizon correction and the electronic level.

If the electronic level and horizon correction are OFF and you still have an issue it could be that the focusing screen in the view finder is miss-aligned. This is quite rare but possible, especially if you have changed focusing screens or the camera was banged around at some point like during shipping. To test this you can use a hotshoe level and a tripod to level the camera and then shoot something you know is 100% horizontal and see if the view finder matches the test.
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