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01-11-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
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Defective focusing at infinity

I bought my first Pentax (MX) in 1983. I have had four Pentax cameras until I bought K-5 II a month ago. The ratings on the web were very high so I couldn't wait for the camera to arrive. Alas, when I began taking pictures I quickly noticed that the "infinity" focus did not work properly. The details of faraway objects were always fuzzy. Of course, I tried all possible settings (and the camera has an impressive array of these), I also installed the latest firmware update, which curiously seemed to have decreased the fuzziness a bit, but definitely did not resolve the problem. Amazon.com was nice about refunding me, but I am not sure if I want to try another Pentax, especially after the company ownership change. Are problems with long-distance auto-focus common? And how is it possible that a firmware upgrade helped a little but not completely? The problem must have been with software, right? Thank you, in advance, for any responses.

01-11-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by LPruski Quote
I bought my first Pentax (MX) in 1983. I have had four Pentax cameras until I bought K-5 II a month ago. The ratings on the web were very high so I couldn't wait for the camera to arrive. Alas, when I began taking pictures I quickly noticed that the "infinity" focus did not work properly. The details of faraway objects were always fuzzy. Of course, I tried all possible settings (and the camera has an impressive array of these), I also installed the latest firmware update, which curiously seemed to have decreased the fuzziness a bit, but definitely did not resolve the problem. Amazon.com was nice about refunding me, but I am not sure if I want to try another Pentax, especially after the company ownership change. Are problems with long-distance auto-focus common? And how is it possible that a firmware upgrade helped a little but not completely? The problem must have been with software, right? Thank you, in advance, for any responses.
This sounds like a front focus/back focus problem. If you were focusing manually, the infinity mark on the lens will usually not correspond to true infinity depending on the ambient temperature. There probably wasn't anything wrong with the camera if you returned it.

But, FWIW, here's how to adjust the AF system:
Fixing Front and Back Focus - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

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01-11-2014, 07:23 PM   #3
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The infinity marker on every lens I have owned and those I still own isn't the infinity you're looking for. You always have to back off a little and there's margin for temperature changes. Quite normal.
Better off setting a hyperfocal distance, closing down the aperture a bit more and up'ing the ISO.
01-11-2014, 07:52 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I'd highly recommend trying another K-5II. Its very unlikely that you'll run into the problem again. And if you did, I'm quite certain the issue can be solved under warranty.

I had a similar problem with my K-5 classic when it was new- it could focus great at close distances, but was unable to obtain proper focus near and at infinity. I attempted to perform an AF fine adjustment on it and found that I did not have enough available adjustment range in the camera body to accommodate the lens that I had. Either the camera body or the lens that I had were too far near the manufacturer's specification limits (or over them). Chances are high that it was a combination of both falling in opposite directions. Consequently- I sent the equipment to Pentax for service under warranty. They solved the problem by adjusting the camera to nominal using a master lens, and then adjusted the lens to achieve proper focus with the camera AF fine adjustment at 0. The end result- proper focus at infinity and very consistent performance in general.

01-11-2014, 09:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies

Adam, Steve.Ledger, and One3rdEV,
Thank you for the replies. The focusing defect was both with auto-focus and manual focus, and with three different Pentax lenses (I own 6 of them). I think it might have been what One3rdEV mentions. I did not expect a new camera needing factory readjustment. My bad. OK, this increases the chances that I will try one more K-5 II. K-3 is so much more expensive, is it that much better? Thanks again
LP
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