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01-06-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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Yet another K-r AF test (with both 1.00 and 1.01)

After noticing severe FF issues with my K-r in tungsten light, I decided to test it properly both with the new and old firmware. Executive summary, the update does not seems to have /any/ effect on AF.

I tested using a FA 50mm lens at f1.4, on a tripod with 2 sec shutter delay. All photos are 100% crops.

Here are the results. First as reference, a photo taken with the K10D:

Next, the K-r with FW1.0, using Live View focusing and AWB. As you can see, this is very sharp, even sharper than with the K10D, which indicates that my K10D also has a slight autofocus problem.

Next, the K-r with normal focusing, AWB

As you can see, this is completely unusable, and in my opinion, not something you should expect from such a camera. Switching to Tungsten WB gives

Slightly better, but still unusable. So let's try using the AF adjust,

Again, slightly better, but far from usable.

Here are the last two images, but with updated firmware:




As far as I can see, no difference from before the update. Note that this issue is also easily noticable in real world photos, even with the slow kit lens. Live view focusing consistently gives far better results than phase detect AF in tungsten lighting (haven't tested other types of artificial lighting), but in normal daylight the AF is spot on.

Hope Pentax can fix this with another firmware update. I'm hesitant to send the camera in, since I'm not sure what they will fix.

01-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #2
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If mine focused like that I wouldn't be hesitant to send it in. It's unusable, and it should be fixed
01-06-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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+1 for your efforts eric...... however, pentax/hoya gets a BIG thumbs down for it's poor quality control.... and this can only hurt their prospective sales around the world....
i was aiming for a new k-r... but not a chance til they earn my trust..... funny, by the time many of us wait till non compromised bodies are available, the prices will have probably come down as well..... i don't care how wonderful the k-r is supposed to be, if in actuality it's plagued by mechanical and or software problems......it's as useful as a doorstop......
(at least i didn't get a k-5 and have to return that 3-5 times for sensor staining)...
dave m
01-06-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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Cutting edge performance, there. Maybe instead of making 3000 different colors and nonsense video features, they'd concentrate on basics like flash control and AF performance.

Total letdown. Autofocus and white balance aren't new technology, gents.

01-06-2011, 01:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dqniel Quote
If mine focused like that I wouldn't be hesitant to send it in. It's unusable, and it should be fixed
I agree, but the question is, are they able to fix it? And will they mess up the AF in daylight in the process? If another new firmware should pop up soon, that would be much more convenient. I guess that's wishful thinking, though I will contact the Pentax service center here, and see what they can do.
01-06-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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They HAVE to fix it. If they can't, then they need to replace it with one that does work. Maybe they need to be reminded that after calibration or whatever fix they perform they need to make sure it still focuses accurately in all types of lighting after the fact.

People shouldn't have to settle for a broken product for fear that if they ask the company to repair it under warranty that they'll mess it up worse than things started. Companies need to take pride in their product and take pride in their customer service to provide a working product when somebody gets a repair/replacement.

Good luck to you Eric!
01-06-2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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To my knowledge FIRMWARE is the only way to fix this. Sending your camera for calibration is just going to result in disappointment.
01-06-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
To my knowledge FIRMWARE is the only way to fix this. Sending your camera for calibration is just going to result in disappointment.
If they can change the microadjust on tungsten white balance to a higher value than what's possible with the menus, I would be happy with that. I have sent an e-mail to the service center, will let you know what the reply is.

01-06-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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It's important to realize that "Tungsten" is just a white balance preset. The problem presents itself among a range of color temperatures (at the low end of the specturm). It may also be related to low exposure values.

QuoteOriginally posted by EricT Quote
If they can change the microadjust on tungsten white balance to a higher value than what's possible with the menus, I would be happy with that. I have sent an e-mail to the service center, will let you know what the reply is.
01-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
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Hesitant to fix an apparent problem? then who's problem is it? If it is truly as bad as your reference pics, send it in. Also, one bad rig don't speak for the lot. This applies to all camera manufacturers, it ain't a perfect world since humans are involved.
01-10-2011, 12:33 AM   #11
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Didn't take a lot of notice of this thread before I picked up my new K-r just before coming overseas. I am certainly noticing the problem under artificial light, also in low light. It especially occurs with the 50mm FA 1.4 tested here, and also with the kit lens. Haven't noticed with the 55-300mm, and no prob in daylight. Manual focus is my only option, which is hard in low light. (Other than that the camera is wonderful to travel with and I'm still glad I bought it.)
01-10-2011, 04:17 AM   #12
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Hi All: first post here. Kind of sorry to be making it in this thread, but actually I'm pretty happy with my K-r.

Anyway I noticed something interesting when trying to test the focus issue. I do see this ff effect, pretty much same as EricT. Live view is very sharp, auto focus not under tungsten lighting. This was focusing on a printed page at about 800mm with the kit lens at 32.5mm f4 with both auto and tungsten WB. The interesting thing is that EXIF reports "Close View" for the subject distance range when focusing using live view, BUT "Macro" with auto focus (consistently over 8 shots with varying WB and focus mode settings). Does that mean the lens is using its macro setting? This seems a clear bug?

I haven't tried this exact setup in daylight but similar distance shots report "Close View". I'll repeat outside tomorrow and see.
01-10-2011, 05:41 AM   #13
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Welcome rfg!

QuoteOriginally posted by rfg Quote
The interesting thing is that EXIF reports "Close View" for the subject distance range when focusing using live view, BUT "Macro" with auto focus (consistently over 8 shots with varying WB and focus mode settings). Does that mean the lens is using its macro setting? This seems a clear bug?

I haven't tried this exact setup in daylight but similar distance shots report "Close View". I'll repeat outside tomorrow and see.
That sounds interesting but the samples by EricT have the exif info intact and both the blurry vf shots and the sharp lv shots report "Macro" as the distance range.
01-10-2011, 05:54 AM   #14
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@EricT: Just checking: AF works fine with in daylight with the same lens at the same distance, right? Whether it does or not you want a fix, of course, but I'd like to confirm whether this is really a tungsten/low light issue or a general BF/FF issue. If the former, a future firmware update could be the solution, if the latter then it seems like sending the body and lens in for calibration would be the thing to do.
01-10-2011, 07:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
@EricT: Just checking: AF works fine with in daylight with the same lens at the same distance, right? Whether it does or not you want a fix, of course, but I'd like to confirm whether this is really a tungsten/low light issue or a general BF/FF issue. If the former, a future firmware update could be the solution, if the latter then it seems like sending the body and lens in for calibration would be the thing to do.
Yes, I've checked the AF in both daylight and with other light sources (pitch black such that the AF assist light is the only light), and the focus is fine. I'm sending the body in tomorrow and will let you know how it went when I get it back.
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