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06-26-2013, 06:37 AM   #1
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K-5 II and manual focusing

Hi all,

I'm close to buying a K-5 IIs for my high quality yet deceptively compact camera needs. However, I do sometimes use manual focusing - whether to fine tune on a particular subject, macro or using old lenses (there's a healthy second hand market in Moscow). Does the K5 II have any help for manual focusing? i.e. any indicators that tell you the subject you are aiming at is in focus.

Otherwise I'm thinking of buying my Pentax from B&H in New York, ship it to KatzEye to install one of their focusing screens then have it shipped here to Moscow.


06-26-2013, 06:46 AM   #2
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My K5-II gives me the audible beep and the indication in the viewfinder when then lens is in focus in MF mode.
06-26-2013, 07:37 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greeneg Quote
My K5-II gives me the audible beep and the indication in the viewfinder when then lens is in focus in MF mode.
Thanks for the reply. Have you found it to be accurate?
06-26-2013, 08:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by auricle Quote
Thanks for the reply. Have you found it to be accurate?
Generally yes My own experience is that the accuracy is closely linked with the accuracy of the focus ring of your lenses. MF lenses tend to have a longer focus ring throw, thus are more accurate to use overall..

In addition the K-7, K-5, K-5ii series have a nice function CIF, for catch-in-focus. It uses the Focus indication, seen in the viewfinder. "Catch-in Focus" (CIF) is sometimes also called "Focus Trap" . A nice explanation is:

CIF allows you to use a broad range of MF lendes, incl. legacy lenses, very easily.

Hope that the comments will help.

06-26-2013, 08:38 AM   #5
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Wow, that's great! Thanks hcc! That's a very unique feature!
06-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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You have focus confirmation in the viewfinder, you have catch in focus, you have live view, if you pay attention you can make the focus just looking thru the viewfinder, you can use some magnifying loupe, or screen.
06-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
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Focus confirmation and CIF will only be accurate* if your auto focus system is accurate. And it's likely that won't be the case fresh out of the box (manufacturing tolerances). You'll have to "tune" it first.

*accurate -- there's always a range over which you'll get the focus confirm signal - it's not pin point accurate.

Live view will give you 100% pin point accuracy when manual focussing.
06-26-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Thanks all

How do you tune the autofocus system?

06-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by auricle Quote
How do you tune the autofocus system?
It's a menu option. Test the lens with some shots using perhaps something like the LensAlign or Spyder LensCal products, then adjust the camera AF accordingly.

But it is rarely needed, I've found - of my AF lenses, only one has needed some AF adjust. With manual focus lenses it's usually enough just to rely on your eyes. For critical exposure with fast manual focus lenses (eg my 50/1.7, 85/1.4 or 300/4), I use the Pentax O-ME53 Magnifying Eyecup, or sometimes Liveview using the rear LCD.
07-02-2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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Consider replacement screens for slow lenses

Hi Auricle,

I have adopted two strategies to help my old eyes deal with the challenges of manual focusing on an APS-C (hence, not very bright) camera's viewfinder.

One is to use Live View and a focusing loupe. I use the so-called GGS Perfect Loupe, which I reviewed on this site IIRC. Oh yeah, here it is. Shorter version: Great, if not bombproof robust (and in fact I've managed to knock mine loose from its hinge now).

The other is to replace the stock screen with one that has microprism and rangefinder focusing, a la the old film SLRs.

I do a fair bit of work with a 500mm f/8 mirror lens. It has no "depth" of field, only "shallow of field". So focusing has to be dead-nuts exactly on or the image is worthless. I rarely can accomplish it through the viewfinder, except using the focusing-aid screen (I have a KatzEye) in bright light, otherwise the finder image is just too dim. However using Live View and magnification, I can frequently get something usable, if not tack-sharp (e.g. here, if the link works). That was handheld, so magnified focusing was just a tad challenging!

For these demanding situations, I find the autofocus prompts all but useless. I frequently get an "in-focus" confirmation when in fact I'm focused on the leaves a few feet behind the bird, or some such, even when using the center spot. I notice no systematic problem with other manual lenses, so I don't think that the autofocus is off.

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