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05-15-2011, 02:03 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToGo Quote
Sure you give up some expectations buying the middle range camera. Maybe FPS, Auto focus speed, a dimmer viewfinder, or water resistance. But I don't think that focus should be one of them. What good is a camera if it can't do it most basic function which is to take a FOCUSED picture.

Also the KR is a step up from the lower priced KX which doesn't have this problem.
The K-r is the K-x's replacement (not a step up), if you think you have purchased a 'middle range DSLR' camera in the K-r you are confused. Although very capable the K-r is an entry level DSLR.

Sacrificing perfect AF in favour of other atributes is YOUR take on what you want from a camera, not the rule which should be adhered to in the industry. You are supposed to research what is important to you and buy the appropriate camera, not purchase a camera and then complain it doesn't live up to your requirements.

Reading your post one would believe the K-r's AF system is the devil incarnate. The problem isn't the end of the world. And to be honest, your expectation that you can buy an entry level camera and expect it to be without fault (not to be confused with limitation), is naive.

I worked in the car industry for a while, and became sick of people that purchased a Honda Civic then abused us till red in the face because 'a bit of trim came away', they spent virtually no money but still expected quality in-line with a Merc. Unrealistic.


Last edited by crf529; 05-15-2011 at 03:48 AM.
05-15-2011, 06:57 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
The K-r is the K-x's replacement (not a step up), if you think you have purchased a 'middle range DSLR' camera in the K-r you are confused.
The K-R IS the current mid-range camera in the Pentax line up. The K-X was only recently discontinued but still available in many markets is the most basic, least expensive camera in the line up. Yet it is a very reliable camera, that some pros used as a back up to the K-7 in low light situations before the k-5. Maybe the K-R is considered entry level to some, but I think it is more about the photographers ability than the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
Reading your post one would believe the K-r's AF system is the devil incarnate. The problem isn't the end of the world. And to be honest, your expectation that you can buy an entry level camera and expect it to be without fault (not to be confused with limitation), is naive.
Actually yes I expect the KR to focus correctly. The focus problem has nothing to do with what price range the camera is in. My 5 year old Pentax DL focuses fine under tungsten lights, the lower priced KX has no focus problems and even my cheap point and shoot can focus indoors. Does everyone have to buy the K5 to get a camera that will reliably focus indoors? (Although the K5 supposedly had the same problem, which was corrected with a firmware update.)

QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
I worked in the car industry for a while, and became sick of people that purchased a Honda Civic then abused us till red in the face because 'a bit of trim came away', they spent virtually no money but still expected quality in-line with a Merc. Unrealistic.
I wouldn't call this problem akin to the trim on a car. More like the brakes intermittently not working. Is spending only $600 to $700 not enough to warrant a product working as advertised?

All this being said, yes I have voiced MY opinion and MY experiences with MY KR. Others may have different experiences. Some people won’t notice the problem (especially beginners who are new to DSLR’s) or even care if they use the camera outdoors only. It is totally possible that not all KR’s experience a FF issue or have it only to a small degrees. My camera seemed to be way off. I ultimately sent my camera to CRIS repair, and it was adjusted and the focus is much more acceptable now when I use the tungsten WB workaround. I’m still keeping my camera, but it would be awesome to see a absolute fix in the future.

Last edited by ToGo; 05-15-2011 at 07:02 PM.
05-15-2011, 09:08 PM   #48
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I think your spot on ToGo
05-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToGo Quote
Maybe the K-R is considered entry level to some, but I think it is more about the photographers ability than the camera.
It's not considered entry level by 'some', that's its class as designated by Pentax based on it's specifications/ technology/support. It may be more capable than other entry level DSLRs but that doesn't make it a mid-range camera.


QuoteOriginally posted by ToGo Quote
Actually yes I expect the KR to focus correctly.
Which it does fine. Just not accurately under all conditions indoors at this time.


QuoteOriginally posted by ToGo Quote
I wouldn't call this problem akin to the trim on a car. More like the brakes intermittently not working. Is spending only $600 to $700 not enough to warrant a product working as advertised?
That was more a reference to the sentiment that all products should be faultless, but an appropriate analogy would be like the GPS navigation failing intermittently. The brakes failing would be more akin to your shutter not working. This issue doesn't prevent you from taking photos, or even great photos, It just limits the use of AUTO focus indoors (hardly the end of the world).

For your $600 you have a great value camera the works exactly as advertised, but it has an issue under some circumstances. Many cameras struggle with various issues, but on the whole you have received exactly what you paid for, nothing less nothing more.


All this being said hopefully a fix will come soon, I love my K-r but it does have the FF issue. I purchased mine before there was much info out there about this issue and I'm not going to cry wolf, if I had looked hard enough into the camera I would've found info on it (and not purchased it if it was an issue for me), not to mention if my cameras going to have an issue (they ALL do of some sort) I'd want it to be something more trivial like this as opposed to something that will actually affect image quality.


Last edited by crf529; 05-15-2011 at 09:32 PM.
05-16-2011, 12:23 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
For your $600 you have a great value camera the works exactly as advertised, but it has an issue under some circumstances. Many cameras struggle with various issues, but on the whole you have received exactly what you paid for, nothing less nothing more.


All this being said hopefully a fix will come soon, I love my K-r but it does have the FF issue. I purchased mine before there was much info out there about this issue and I'm not going to cry wolf, if I had looked hard enough into the camera I would've found info on it (and not purchased it if it was an issue for me), not to mention if my cameras going to have an issue (they ALL do of some sort) I'd want it to be something more trivial like this as opposed to something that will actually affect image quality.
So, crf529, to summarize your comments we can say that especially a beginner

- should get prepared to use manual settings, manual white balance and manual focus under low light conditions.

- is likely to focus incorrect anyway, so she/he should not complain about a FF or BF anyway.

- spent only some $ 700, so cannot expect more from a Pentax.

That is an interesting statement, and it would be even better to hear this from Pentax marketing: "Hey, guys, what do you complain??? Get a cheap Canon or Nikon to avoid this and don't bother us with your entry level concerns!"

I see it a bit differently: A photographer should trust in the functions of the camera; and this is even more true for an entry level user, being an amateur or a beginner.

What you say about the "normal faults": Yes, I agree that no company can produce a completely fault free product. However, it always depends on where and what the fault is and how annoying it is. Let's put it this way: If we have to accept wrong focus under low light conditions with Pentax, Pentax will be the "no-go" company for the future.

Oh, and you say the buyer is responsible for what she/he purchases: Yes, great argumentation. But then I kindly ask you to prepare a list of possible malfunctions in photographic equipment for my future purchases, so that I can prepare better for my pre-purchase due diligence. That would be a good topic for a master thesis: "Pre-purchase due diligence and customer responsibility for commercial goods malfunctions and failures".

Oh, and we could of course as well just say:

FF is not a bug - it's a feature!

Cheers,

Eriol
05-16-2011, 01:06 AM - 1 Like   #51
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The K-r's problems is not a limitation of current technology or whatever some of you are trying to say. My Nikon d40 focuses just fine in tungsten lighting and so does the K-x. Sure the K-r is a great camera in many ways but that is not a reason to shut your eyes to it's faults.
05-16-2011, 01:54 AM   #52
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No I'm not saying that this is the way it should be. However this is the reality for all K-r owners at this stage, and you can continue to flail your arms wildly around on an internet forum screaming 'bloody murder' and not only achieve nothing but wallow in your own sorrow at what could've been for the K-r.

Alternatively, you can accept that things like this happen, decide it's too big a deal breaker and replace the camera, or relax, enjoy your camera for what it is and wait for a potential fix from Pentax.

Either way the FF issue has been out in the open as a concern for a while now. And the more people that buy one then use the internet to vent their disgust that a company like Pentax can cheat them out of their $600, validates that they are not researching their purchases thoroughly enough. A fantastic tool for this is the internet, a quick Google search for "Pentax K-r problems" should more than provide enough information on any future purchase. This is something that you should do before every big purchase (if your researching even half heartedly) as opposed to looking for reviews that only tell you how fantastic a product is, or after a 5 minute spiel by a staff member at CameraHouse. This problem has more than enough publicity now to make it well know enough to any serious purchasers, ignorance isn't always an excuse in today's world even though you'd like to think it is.

Bear in mind while this all may sound like its taking the onus away from Pentax, this is not what I'm advocating, this has been done to death and Pentax have formally acknowledged the issue, I don't need to continue playing that broken record. I am suggesting that people should take more care in selecting all products and thereby protecting themselves a bit more before they lay out big coin (again the FF issue is not exactly hard to link to the K-r and hasn't been for some time to potential buyers), not just in this situation but all walks of life. Big companies such as Pentax, Canon, Nikon and the like will only ever look out for their hip pocket, the consumer always has to look out for themselves. Unfortunately most people don't understand this fully until they learn through usually very bad experiences, and this issue may well be that for some.

Last edited by crf529; 05-16-2011 at 02:22 AM.
05-16-2011, 02:16 AM   #53
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So, how bad is this FF problem? Does it only effect Tungsten light or are there FF issues in other lighting conditions or low light in general?
I'm thinking of buying a k-r and see mixed opinions on just how bad this problem is. It's been ages since I used an SLR but want to get back into photography and maybe use some of my old manual lenses from my k1000.
Tungsten light - how prevalent is it anyway? AFAIK we can't even buy Tungsten globes for homes in Australia any more.
What sort of situations would I expect tungsten lighting to be used - Commercial building interiors, concert stage lighting, ..... ?

05-16-2011, 06:58 AM - 1 Like   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
No I'm not saying that this is the way it should be. However this is the reality for all K-r owners at this stage, and you can continue to flail your arms wildly around on an internet forum screaming 'bloody murder' and not only achieve nothing but wallow in your own sorrow at what could've been for the K-r.

Alternatively, you can accept that things like this happen, decide it's too big a deal breaker and replace the camera, or relax, enjoy your camera for what it is and wait for a potential fix...
We are going to flail our arms wildly to warn other potential kr buyers who were not made aware of this issue by any of the review sites. A google search of pentax kr now returns "front focus" and that is what pentax will have to accept... Things like this happen. I worked in QA before and I find it hard to believe that they missed this problem. I'm betting it came up and a business decision was made to release it as is.

Keep on with your double think as you wish, but most of us will see the problem as it truly is.
05-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #55
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That's part of my point, the issue is now well and truly publicized and acknowledged, so at this point 'flailing' seems more an excersize in self gratification (unless there's a purpose, such as answering Bill_R's question). I don't doubt Pentax had a meeting and discussed the cost to dissatisfaction implications of the issue, and again as I mentioned in my post the big companies are concerned only for their hip pocket, so obviously the cost outweighed any possible repercussions, or they believed they could fix it at a later date.

You can 'see' the problem as it truly is if you like, I never said that it didn't exist so I'm not sure how we see the actual FF issue differently. I am simply trying to look at the after effect of the issue from another direction, otherwise I believe this thread is fast becoming pointless as the discussion is once again 'this shouldn't happen' (the thread is supposed to be about the workaround). The issue is publicized through multiple threads on this forum in addition to Pentax's acknowledgement, and you either fall into the category of the issue being acceptable (waiting for a fix/content as is) or not (selling/sold the camera).

If it's bad enough to still 'flail' on here, your time is better spent doing so in an email to Pentax.

Last edited by crf529; 05-16-2011 at 08:27 AM.
05-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by BobDoLe Quote
We are going to flail our arms wildly to warn other potential kr buyers who were not made aware of this issue by any of the review sites.
Right on BobDoLe! Yes we are complaining about the KR's focus as we should, it is our one little way of getting pentax to listen as we don't get much of a response from their customer service.

Look at all the flailing the K5 users did, and they got a firmware update.
05-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToGo Quote
Right on BobDoLe! Yes we are complaining about the KR's focus as we should, it is our one little way of getting pentax to listen as we don't get much of a response from their customer service.

Look at all the flailing the K5 users did, and they got a firmware update.
I'm not aware of the particulars of how the K-5 fix came about, but I find it hard to believe a little forum thread that can simply be ignored ( providing they're even reading any of this) was more effective than emails to Pentax by all the affected customers.
05-16-2011, 04:15 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
If it's bad enough to still 'flail' on here, your time is better spent doing so in an email to Pentax.
I did this. I emailed a good ways up the chain. I got a response that they knew of the issue and had no plans to fix it. On another thread, Pentax Japan is said to have emailed back that they don't think the issue can be fixed with firmware.
They have been made aware of this thread in particular and a whole slew of other threads and blogs all over the internet - people flailing everywhere you look.

I love the Kr and I know how to work around the issue with great success. However, I would have chosen a Kx or a K5 had I known that the Kr would do this front focus thing... If only people had flailed more.

I hope I'm done flailing about for now. I just wanted to point out that others should not be discouraged.
05-16-2011, 07:00 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by BobDoLe Quote
I did this. I emailed a good ways up the chain. I got a response that they knew of the issue and had no plans to fix it. On another thread, Pentax Japan is said to have emailed back that they don't think the issue can be fixed with firmware.
They have been made aware of this thread in particular and a whole slew of other threads and blogs all over the internet - people flailing everywhere you look.

I love the Kr and I know how to work around the issue with great success. However, I would have chosen a Kx or a K5 had I known that the Kr would do this front focus thing... If only people had flailed more.

I hope I'm done flailing about for now. I just wanted to point out that others should not be discouraged.
Yes, Pentax Japan said in the e-mail it will not be easily fixed with firmware due to hardware limitations. However, they also said in the e-mail, which I may have omitted in the previous thread, they will seek any options that may give even for a little improvement in the future. They are just not feasible to give us a solution or timing for the improvement at this time. I will just wait and see what they will come up with until K-5 becomes a lot more affordable for me...
05-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by knishita Quote
Yes, Pentax Japan said in the e-mail it will not be easily fixed with firmware due to hardware limitations. However, [... we] will seek any options that may give even for a little improvement in the future. They are just not feasible to give us a solution or timing for the improvement at this time.
I interpret the above quote to really mean, "Sorry, but we can't fix the K-r because the hardware is bad in ways that software can't fix. We promise that future models won't have this issue. We'll make it up to you the next time around with the K-(?)." I my opinion, a sensor needs to be redesigned & manufactured. By the time they go through all that, it will be time for the next release cycle anyhow. If they have reached the end of the road with software, then that is exactly where we stand. At the end of the road - take it or leave it.

Read my post history. I have been trying to keep a positive outlook on this whole K-r deal. I have openly embraced and sincerely tried every work-around. I have learned a lot in the process, but I'm still not where I need to be with this camera. That email I read in the other thread was the stray that broke this camel's back. Then, to put the "cherry on top", my e-dial started giving me problems. It literally took me an entire song on the radio to roll the aperture back to the proper setting. I wanted to smash the camera...

Sure, parts of the camera work great, but lets face facts - this model is riddled with defects. More importantly, I own one of these defective cameras. My camera has the ff issue, the battery adapter issue (NiMh batteries have NEVER worked (yes, I have the menu option set correctly)), and now the e-dial issue. What a piece of crap. Why in the world am I struggling with a $600 camera when I can re-buy my K100DS, or maybe a K-x, for $350 and start getting keepers again!??!?!

So here is my plan:
1) Send my camera & AF lenses to CRIS (logic to follow): Done!
2) While the camera is away for two months, buy a used camera from a different manufacturer (Olympus E-PL1) + Pentax adapter so I can use all of my MF lenses. Hell, I'm stuck with manually focusing the K-r anyhow: Done!
3) Wait and explore M43 for a while. In progress
4) Wait and explore M43 for a while. Pending
5) Wait and explore M43 for a while. Pending
6) Get my camera back and... Pending
6a) ...have all my problems solved and become a happy Pentaxian again
6b) ...discover it is yet another PoS, defective K-r and sell it.
6c) ...not care because the E-PL1 has met my needs so well.

Each step defines an action I am now taking. Odds are that I'll wind up selling it. I'm not done with Pentax as a brand, but I'm pretty sure that I'm done with the K-r. If Pentax someday delivers a model as reliable and beloved as the K-x, then I will certainly return. I'm going to just sit this one out. Until then, check the marketplace for my 3 week old Katz-eye focusing screen, AF540FGZ flash gun, and whatever lens I feel like dumping when they come back. The K-r I may sell will either come back with a clean bill of health from CRIS or will be a new replacement, so I don't have too much guilt about passing on any K-r specific "features".

Notice that there is a lack of complaining in the plan. I never really did too much of it, but I'm done with complaining. It apparently doesn't deter new sales as we still get guys who come to this forum and ask if the reports are simply "overstated". After hundreds and hundreds of posts from forums all around the world, and you're still wondering?!?! I hang my head in exasperation when I see some poster agreeing that the problem is overstated, then you look at his profile & gallery and you see that he is an Australian (where domestic tungsten bulbs are outlawed) daytime garden & landscape shooter who prides himself in primarily using the manual focus glass that he so shrewdly purchased way back in 1977. Of course his K-r works perfectly fine. He really only ever shoots in "M", so he rarely never touches the e-dial (just meters and shoots), doesn't use auto-focus, and is too cheap to buy the battery adapter or NiMH batteries.

Ok, so my logic for sending the camera to CRIS: I'm sincerely not expecting it to come back "fixed", but it is my only option for hitting Pentax in the wallet. I am going to lose money in this deal when I sell it. We all lose money when we buy electronics, but I never received the value I was supposed to get in the first place. This troubles me greatly. My camera has three reproducible problems, so CRIS will spend time addressing them per the warranty. The staff at CRIS do not work for free, so Pentax will then need to pay CRIS for their time and maybe even pay to have the K-r reconditioned someday. I am indirectly taking money out of Pentax's pocket every time I send it back and I find that satisfying even if it is only a small amount of money in the big picture. How much do you think CRIS charges back to Pentax? $30/hr? $50/hr? More importantly, I will be ON RECORD as having a defective product. If everyone who has a QC issue with the camera (who is legitimately entitled to a warranty service) did this, the statistics and huge repair costs floating up to the corporate office would be staggering and undeniable. Hopefully that will "inspire" a revamp of the Pentax QC process in the future.

Side note: In the past two weeks with my Olympus, I'm getting significantly more keepers than I ever did in the six months that I've owned the K-r. The E-PL1 isn't perfect, but it cost half as much and EVERYTHING WORKS ON IT!!!! The PEN isn't known for low-light performance, but my fast primes (Pentax-Ms) are more than compensating. f1.4 pulls in a LOT of light, and the DoF isn't so shallow that focusing is a problem.
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