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02-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #121
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I just got a K-r (386****) with the 18-55 kit lens and I am still trying it out. I wanted a good low light camera and thought that the performance of todays entry level DSLR:s made it worth the price to upgrade from my Nikon D40.

I think my K-r has a FF problem but I'm not sure it's light dependant. I only have yellowish CFL:s at home so I can't rule out that it would FF even more under tungsten light. The LV autofocus works great. The PD autofocus works almost as well as LV, with only slight FF, in yellowish CFL light with the AF micro adjust at -10. Without the AF micro adjust FF is easily notable though. I haven't had the time to test it a lot in daylight but from what I've seen so far i don't think there is much difference compared to it's behaviour under CFL lighting.

I will try to do some more tests and maybe borrow another lens from my brother to se if that makes a difference. If my FF problem is not light dependant I guess I should just have it recalibrated and not wait and hope for a firmware upgrade. Even if performance is acceptable for me att -10 i worry that it migh be worse with other lenses.

02-08-2011, 03:08 PM   #122
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Robroy, I'm feeling your pain. 90% of all my photos are indoors under tungsten. I recently upgraded from the K100DS to the K-r. Previously, my DA 40mm outperformed the resolution of the K100DS. It was the only lens I had where the images would pixelate before it lost sharpness. The photos were always so life-like. When I got the K-r, I was disappointed to see my IQ diminish to the point of being unusable. Every photo I took was terribly, terribly soft. I was blaming the photographer and was driving myself crazy trying to pin down what I was doing wrong. Why was my K100DS was out-performing the K-r? After learning about the ff problem and how to test the focus, my heart sank as the test proved that indeed I am very front-focused. I adjusted to -10 and things have improved, but I still haven't reach an adequate level of sharpness. I know that the K-r has the ability to perform much better than what I'm experiencing...

I do not think I'm returning my K-r to the vendor. The K-r is the right camera for me. Furthermore, I think Pentax will make this right. IMHO, the problem is either a software issue or they got a "bad batch" or out-of-spec of sensors. If the latter is true, I sure as heck hope that they can code around the problem. Otherwise, I'll just send my camera in for a set of good sensors (or whatever mysterious thing they do to fix the problem).

Oh, and for those who think these sorts of comments hurt Pentax - PENTAX is hurting Pentax. Take a look at the K-5 sensor stains and now the K-r auto-focus issues. These are widespread, recurring QA problems. I'd even bet more people have the K-r FF problem than we have read about because many photographers don't have the standards or experience to recognize that their IQ is even an issue.

For the Pentax apologists, I refuse to lower my expectations. I am proud to say that I am indeed a pixel peeper - and for good reason. I'm archiving the childhood of my children. They grow so fast. I'll never again see my children as they were yesterday. I will someday return to these photos and when I do, I want to see every last eyelash. These photos could be viewed 100 years from now by future generations of my family. Who knows. I'm taking this very seriously and my $1000 DSLR/lens combo should be out-performing my K100DS and wife's cell phone (which is embarrassingly producing more keepers than my K-r). I didn't buy a cheap point-and-shoot camera, I bought a well designed photographic instrument from a quality company. I don't care that the problem may only exist on possibly a small percentage of K-r's. I invested just as much as the next guy, I will not lower my standards, and I fully expect my brand-new camera to be 100% fully functional without having to resort to work-arounds.
02-09-2011, 04:02 AM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by abcdave Quote
I am very front-focused. I adjusted to -10 and things have improved, but I still haven't reach an adequate level of sharpness. I know that the K-r has the ability to perform much better than what I'm experiencing ... The K-r is the right camera for me.
QuoteOriginally posted by abcdave Quote
I didn't buy a cheap point-and-shoot camera, I bought a well designed photographic instrument from a quality company ... I fully expect my brand-new camera to be 100% fully functional without having to resort to work-arounds.
My feelings exactly. I really want to love this camera because there is so much that is great about it. But I know I will use it under tungsten (for similar reasons - children at home) and none of the work-around's are good enough given the investment I've made (I appreciate the K-r is cheaper than a lot of other cameras, but 500 is still a lot of money at the moment).

I am generally forgiving of technical limitations (I have been using a Ricoh GX100 for the last 2.5 years, which produces some very sharp images, but is often quite frustrating in other respects), but the FF really bothers me given that it is below a standard which it is very reasonable to expect this camera to meet.

I have taken on trust what the Pentax tech rep told me on Monday, which is that this is an issue which only affects individual units (notwithstanding the fact that much of what I've read points to the contrary) and have asked my retailer for an exchange, which they were happy to do on the basis that the camera was bought 10 days ago.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do if the replacement has the same problem - I know it's under warranty and I can get it serviced, but I haven't seen much chatter about whether this will in fact resolve the issue. I could probably get a refund, but then I really wouldn't know what other camera to get (I won't bore you with a personal pro/con's of other Pentax and non-Pentax models in this thread).

Suffice to say, given the amount of time I spent researching the K-r in October/November, I'm slightly disappointed with myself for having missed all of the FF complaints in December/January (although in my starry-eyed state, I probably would have still bought it on the assumption that people were being overly picky). But more so, I'm disappointed that the fault has marred the start of what I had hoped would be - and still very much hope will be - a long relationship with this camera!
02-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #124
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Quick follow-up: my retailer kindly gave me a full exchange for another K-r today. Contrary to the Pentax Tech rep's assertions, I'm sorry to say that the FF issue is as bad on the one (which is a 385xxxx) as the previous one. I'll be calling him again tomorrow and setting the record straight that this isn't just an issue with just a few individual units...

Must keep the pressure on to get them to sort this out - I don't have the mental bandwidth to think about getting a different camera and, unfortunately, I've decided at this price level, this problem isn't acceptable given my intended use.

02-09-2011, 09:19 PM   #125
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Hey guys. I want to start by saying that I am a complete noob to Pentax and photography in general. I have the K-r and the 2 kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200). I did a test using Tim Jackson's chart and I am not sure if it shows front focusing or not. Please see below. Is this an accurate enough test? Is there another chart and instructions I should use? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

50-200mm, f/4.5, Av mode, ISO 200, shot at 100mm. Pretty dim tungsten light. Focused on old Ronnie's face/neck area.
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02-09-2011, 09:44 PM   #126
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My opinion is that all K-r's will show front-focus in tungsten lighting with a fast lens.

Since you don't own a fast lens, enjoy your camera and don't worry about focus tests.

QuoteOriginally posted by PastorOfMuppets Quote
Hey guys. I want to start by saying that I am a complete noob to Pentax and photography in general. I have the K-r and the 2 kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200). I did a test using Tim Jackson's chart and I am not sure if it shows front focusing or not. Please see below. Is this an accurate enough test? Is there another chart and instructions I should use? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

50-200mm, f/4.5, Av mode, ISO 200, shot at 100mm. Pretty dim tungsten light. Focused on old Ronnie's face/neck area.
Attachment 83188
02-09-2011, 09:55 PM   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by PastorOfMuppets Quote
50-200mm, f/4.5, Av mode, ISO 200, shot at 100mm. Pretty dim tungsten light. Focused on old Ronnie's face/neck area.
Did you use Tungsten WB?
Try to use a shorter focal (18mm, the other lens), not 100 mm, a large aperture and a really dim tungsten light.
02-09-2011, 11:02 PM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
My opinion is that all K-r's will show front-focus in tungsten lighting with a fast lens.

Since you don't own a fast lens, enjoy your camera and don't worry about focus tests.

I'm getting ready to buy a 28mm 1.8 and possibly a fast 100mm macro lens. I'd really like to know if my camera is going to have the issue or rather how bad it is going to be before i spend the money. Here's a shot with ronnie and the 18-55mm. Thanks again. Here goes:

45mm with 18-55mm lens, iso 200, tungsten light w/ tungsten wb, Av mode, f/5.6, 0.4" shutter speed.

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edit:// just noticed I wasn't at the 45 degree angle I should have been. Disregard. Will repost momentarily.

edit2:// ok reposted with better line-up.


Last edited by PastorOfMuppets; 02-09-2011 at 11:16 PM.
02-10-2011, 05:46 AM   #129
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As I can see, you have already about 10mm FF. And redimensioning the picture will cause, paradoxically, a better appearance of the OOF zones.
My friend, please try at 18 mm, f/3.5, why are you increasing the focal?

PS: don't deceive yourself as I did myself first.

Last edited by ursamajor; 02-10-2011 at 06:16 AM.
02-10-2011, 06:31 AM   #130
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I went from 100mm to 45mm. At 18mm on my current tripod I cannot get any closer to the chart. I will try to reposition later this evening to see what happens.
02-10-2011, 06:40 AM   #131
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Not needed to be close to the chart. That's the point.
Also, no needed to prove anything, because it's clear.

Last edited by ursamajor; 02-10-2011 at 06:59 AM.
02-10-2011, 07:18 AM   #132
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Just spoke to the UK Pentax tech rep about my 2nd K-r with FF and again, he was unhelpful, unsympathetic and unable to acknowledge that there is an FF issue with the K-r model in general. He said it was just bad luck that I've had two units with the same exact issue and said I was the only person who has so far complained in the UK. He knew nothing about any firmware update and basically just tried to fob me off on the repair centre (who were much friendlier). At this point, not only am I really disappointed with Pentax's QC, but I'm also rather unimpressed with their approach to customer service.

I'm going to stick it out to see whether this firmware update mentioned by ursamajor materialises in the next week, but otherwise, I'll either see if the repair centre can fix it or I may very well return the camera for good and repurchase it once the issue is resolved (or move on to something else if it isn't, although I don't want to do that as nothing else in the same price range ticks all the boxes in the same way as the K-r).
02-10-2011, 07:46 AM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by ursamajor Quote
Not needed to be close to the chart. That's the point.
Also, no needed to prove anything, because it's clear.
The instructions on that particular FF test say to fill the frame with the page. I wasn't trying to prove anything just wanted to share my personal tests for help interpreting them before I spend another 1k on lenses. Apparently my tests are somewhat offensive though so I will continue on my own. Thanks for the help so far though.
02-11-2011, 07:10 AM   #134
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matso Quote
Just spoke to the UK Pentax tech rep about my 2nd K-r with FF and again, he was unhelpful, unsympathetic and unable to acknowledge that there is an FF issue with the K-r model in general. He said it was just bad luck that I've had two units with the same exact issue and said I was the only person who has so far complained in the UK. He knew nothing about any firmware update and basically just tried to fob me off on the repair centre (who were much friendlier). At this point, not only am I really disappointed with Pentax's QC, but I'm also rather unimpressed with their approach to customer service.

I'm going to stick it out to see whether this firmware update mentioned by ursamajor materialises in the next week, but otherwise, I'll either see if the repair centre can fix it or I may very well return the camera for good and repurchase it once the issue is resolved (or move on to something else if it isn't, although I don't want to do that as nothing else in the same price range ticks all the boxes in the same way as the K-r).
I understand the frustration, I really do, but for the love of all that is good an holy, get outside, and shoot some beautiful photos with your cameras! We have it on good authority (several folks confirming) that pentax is aware of the issue, and working on a fix. In the mean time, shoot photos outdoors, or if you really need an answer yesterday, return the camera and get another one. There are lots of cameras in this price range that will take an acceptable photo in tungsten light, including the k-x.

When I compare all the benefits this camera gives me over the point and shoot I used to use (G9), I am exstatic! I can ignore the threads, but I just feel like all of you must be having NO FUN shooting focus charts, and belly-aching about an issue that will likely get resolved in the next month or so. There is a big beautiful world out there waiting for you to go shoot it!
Attachment 83297

Last edited by mp29k; 03-05-2011 at 03:12 PM.
02-11-2011, 07:32 AM   #135
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I'll have you know I had a blast making my photo chart box with my son's stick glue and round scissors! lol For me though, I was really only trying to decide whether I was going to blow a bunch of cash on lenses now or later. I'm a tech guy so getting to know my camera in a nerdy way is sort of fun. But, you are right. I'm taking a photo road trip this weekend.

Last edited by PastorOfMuppets; 02-11-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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