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12-11-2011, 05:58 PM   #16
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I've seen a lot of posts like yours that complain nothing works, and even worse I've seen a lot of these turn out to be user error. People that don't have any experience with their camera, and find this an easy thing to blame for it. I've even seen people say "I have the tungsten FF issue with both AF and manual lenses", more than once!

I'd love to see these emails where Pentax says manual white balance settings don't correct the issue. By all means post them up to cite your opinion, until then it is purely opinion. You've made it clear you have an axe to grind on this issue, I'm not inclined to take your opinions as objective. Also, why not post a couple of your problem shots, one with AWB and one using the tungsten preset. Do you want to figure out how to work around this or not?

Pentax doesn't care about what goes on with this forum. They may occasionally see some of it, but this is a fan site, not a Pentax owned site. It's here for Pentax users to support each other. So flooding this board with complaints isn't going to affect anything. Asking for help in working around it, that might get you somewhere.

And lastly, you do need to watch your mouth before you go accusing me of blind fanboyism and making excuses for Pentax. That was out of line. I'm no shill, but I will try to help people here on my own time with whatever comes up. Respect that, and at least contribute on the same level before you mouth off like that again.

12-11-2011, 06:25 PM   #17
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Calm down I can't "copy and paste" the Pentax email because I spoke to their sevice centre manager it was a verbal conversation where it was mentione that the tungsten preset is not a fix. I do however have the slightly boring standard K-r FF email reply which has been seen by many saying that the FF is a problem and the link to the download site.
There is no axe to grind though I remain in contact with Pentax on this. What I'm not going to do is tell a potential buyer that "everything is great" when this problem is still here.
I'm sorry but I think you fail to grasp how much of an issue for some users if you shoot a lot in this light phase detect AF is pretty much useless to you.

So in closing yes it is a potential problem for a new user

I do honestly believe that talking about this might help you may not but it's an embarrassment for Pentax to have this problem and it's showing up quite a lot on web searches too
12-11-2011, 06:43 PM   #18
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I'd just love to see your demonstration of how manual WB doesn't work for you. Seriously. You decided it doesn't work before you claimed you tried it, and you sound like you're looking for it not to work, and without seeing any of your shots, how do we know this is even your issue? In another thread you tried to blame a problem someone had with concert shooting on this issue, which shows you're not being very analytical about this at all.

By and by, this is really only an issue for Americans, as the U.S. is one of the last holdouts on switching to more efficient methods of lighting. Another way around this issue, if shooting primarily in places you control such as your home, is to get better light bulbs. You'll save on your bills too.

I can say that I cannot reproduce this issue with my copy of the K-r under other warm lighting. I shoot a lot in early morning and evening, and especially in summer, the colour temperatures are often so warm as to need some correction in post - but it hasn't affected my focus.
12-11-2011, 06:49 PM   #19
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In Europe we use energy saving bulbs these are usually below 3000k colour temp wise so you will encounter this problem frequently.
I'll post some shots for you if you want but others have done this and they clearly show the WB setting does not make any difference

The concert shooting was a disaster not a single phase detect AF shot in focus and before you brush me off as a newbie I've been doing photography since the late 80's so I'm fairly confident I know how to use a camera ;-)

12-11-2011, 07:07 PM   #20
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That post has nothing to do with changing WB settings... The only mention of it is a one line comment at the bottom of the page claiming it doesn't work. Excuse me if I don't give that the same credibility as if the test shots actually illustrated that. If it can be demonstrated and corroborated that these settings don't have an effect, I want to know as much as anyone, so I can stop suggesting it as a possible fix. It flies in the face of what several others have claimed was their own experience though.

Edit to add: Our discourse here led me to find this post on his blog: RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Pentax UK and Pentax Germany Admitted K-r Tungsten Front Focusing Issue (But there is No Solution, as Both Clearly Told) which is probably the most interesting tidbit I've seen to date. I wonder if a few of us on the forum here could test using an IR blocking filter to see what impact it has. This, if true, definitely ties in with my own experience of not having any trouble with yellow light, and offers what sounds like a very plausible alternative cause of the issue.

Last edited by Philoslothical; 12-12-2011 at 01:59 AM.
12-12-2011, 03:24 AM   #21
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He took a series of test shots using AWB and tungsten and noted it didn't address the FF problem.
I'm not really sure where the "FF solved with Tungsten" preset came from Pentax make no mention of it, the last firmware update makes no mentin of it either.
12-12-2011, 03:43 AM   #22
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Pentax did start that, with emails to several people who asked or who got their camera serviced for this. At least a couple of those emails are quoted on the board here.

I'm very interested in the possibility of an IR blocking filter having an impact on this. It kinda sucks (I must be insane) that I can't get this to happen with my copy. I don't have a lot of fast glass, and what I do have is manual. The kit lens is the fastest AF lens I have, and it hasn't given me any problems at all.

Of course the other possibility is to figure out how the heck to get into the K-r's debug mode. It surely exists, but no one has figured out the right way to trigger it, that I know of. With the K-x I'm pretty sure the debug mode allows for AF correction from -50 to +50, rather than -10 to +10 which is normally accessible.

As for your situation personally, why don't you return it and get a different model, if this bug is going to cramp your style to an unacceptable degree? Or did you wait too long for that to be possible?
12-12-2011, 04:56 AM   #23
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Like some others I am waiting for Pentax to get back to me on this. A poster on DPR has said they advised of a firmware fix coming up. Making a call myself I was told the same. The person did not indicate when this would be available so I'll have to wait a while and see what happens. If this problem isn't sorted out obviously I will be looking to get my money back.
As for buying another model I don't think that's a likely scenario for myself if I've already paid for a body that has problems.

It's also not that clear if the K-5 has issues with this type of lighting.

12-12-2011, 05:39 AM   #24
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The K-5 does, but much less so. There was a firmware fix for it that helped a lot, and apparently made it manageable when using the AF fine correction. If ricehigh is right, and it's a problem with infrared light and the focusing sensor, firmware can't truly fix that. Perhaps they just increased the AF correction for tungsten? I don't know, I only follow the K-5 topically, otherwise I drool too much wanting one.
12-18-2011, 08:06 AM   #25
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Hi Fancyshmancy
I was new to DSLRs when I got mine as well and I waited about a year researching because people say you are buying in to a system not just buying a camera. I noticed some of the same things you did; both the Canon and particularly the Nikon are not as well specified in the entry level. They are a little more stripped down than the Pentax was. Now if I were looking for a camera in the enthusiast/semi pro category, it may have been different, although now that I own a Pentax and have used one, there's little question I would buy a K5 if I were looking for an enthusiast or semi-pro camera-but the Canon 7D is very nice. Anyway, for me it came down to the K-r, T2i, or 5100. The T2i and 5100 were $250 to $300 more than the K-r and the K-r seemed better specified than both of them.
I really love it. I haven't had any problems shooting indoors, although I will say I might not understand the problem or I just don't have that issue with my copy. I have shot in low light indoors, I use energy saving bulbs I can't recreate the problem. However the widest aperture lens I have is a 2.8.
With regard to the camera being discontinued, I was going to get a K-x at first and when that one was discontinued I thought, oh good maybe I can pick one up for a really low price, but the price on them actually went up. So I got the K-r. It's a wonderful camera, I highly doubt you would be disappointed if you got one.

Last edited by Drom; 12-22-2011 at 08:15 PM.
12-18-2011, 09:40 AM   #26
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Custom white balance DOES NOT RESOLVE the front-focus problem. Please see my thread here:

QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I'm growing so tired of these posts. Set a manual white balance, don't use AWB under those conditions! It's such an easy workaround, and if you're shooting raw, you can very easily adjust the white balance again in post.

This doesn't need to be the "huge" issue that people make it out to be. There are several ways to work around it and get good results, but it's like people are too stubborn to use any of them.
  1. Manual focus doesn't suffer from this.
  2. Live View doesn't suffer from this.
  3. Slower lenses, like the kit lens, don't generally show this issue. It's mainly an issue with apertures larger than f/2, which a lot of people never use due to only having the kit lenses.
  4. Stopping down slightly works around this, where appropriate.
  5. Using the tungsten WB setting corrects this.
  6. Using a manual WB corrects this.
  7. Using any other WB preset WB (e.g. daylight, shade, etc) has been reported to correct this.

Obviously some of these points are more applicable than others, depending what and how you're shooting, but between the choices there's surely something that appeals to everyone.
12-18-2011, 09:50 AM   #27
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Nope Tungsten WB does not solve the problem not even close to it.
Yes the K-r is amazingly well featured, great spec huge bang per buck. I'm all up for a deal that's what I thought when I got the K-r great bargain what a buy slaps the Canon and Nikon models around at this price point.

Until I started shooting in low kelvin light..

Sigh..really cheap or not the K-r has unfortunately got a serious issue, and that problem has not been fixed by Pentax. I don't know what they are thinking if indeed they are. It just looks like they are trying to offload the camera at a cheapo price hoping people won't notice. I've returned my third K-r to the shop and I got a refund this time. I can't be bothered as all 3 showed the same problems
12-22-2011, 03:05 PM   #28
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I've had similar problems with fast primes on the K-r. And despite my fanboy appreciation, it does look like a bit of a cock up on the part of Pentax. Not going to throw in the towel yet on the little feller yet though. Has anyone had success with IR blocking outside of test conditions?

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