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01-24-2012, 01:17 AM   #16
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The thing is, Pentax has a rather small but loyal following. And all the big guns in Pentax needing a new body want the K-5. The K-r with all its supposed faults, real and imagined, can't compete with the camera with supposedly better dynamic range and more features. Nevermind that it is out of reach of many of us who want to build a lens collection or that it is more camera than we need. I have come to the sad conclusion that Pentax listens to its base and they want the K-5. So the rest of us will get stuck in the future with a mirrorless hybrid with no optical viewfinder if we need to upgrade from the K-r. No thanks. Not buying any more Pentax lenses till I see how they sort the bodies out because it looks like Pentax is catering to its very experienced users and to absolute newbies with their future cameras. Where does that leave the mid-range, more casual shooter with prior DSLR experience? Back to Nikon, I guess. That's unfortunate because I really do like Pentax and its lenses. I just don't see a replacement camera for me. I don't see a future. I hope I am wrong, but my mistake was in assuming there would always be a traditional K-x / K-r replacement. Not some cheap to build camera that doesn't even offer an optical viewfinder.

And, for the record, I have a K-r that is six months old and never given me a problem. Never experienced the tungsten light AF problem. But the powers that be, i.e., a few dominant users, have declared that this is a problem in all K-r bodies whereas others have exchanged theirs for different K-r's from different batches and not experienced the problem with the replacement. Pentax has agreed with them and the problem is moot since production has ceased. It could well be that lighting in Europe is different than here or certain other variables exist that don't affect everyone. But then I have to ask myself - would it matter? There doesn't seem to be a niche for this camera. It is more complicated than a newbie needs and not enough camera for the experienced user. And probably less profitable for Pentax.


Last edited by Darlene; 01-24-2012 at 01:29 AM. Reason: mistakes
01-24-2012, 12:39 PM   #17
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My daughters off on a Geography field trip to Iceland end of March and so would like a decent Camera by then.
What about the market for poor enthusiasts, I thought the main reason people go for a DSLR is because they want more control and not everyone can justify the cost of a K-5.
anyway...
01-24-2012, 06:56 PM   #18
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2 points the K-r isn't intending to compete with the K-5 it's a more affordable budget model which every maker needs. I don't actually think it is dated bar a few tweaks it stacks up fairly well in my view, we could debate about using the newer 16mp CMOS and fine, but for other areas? Well get's a bit harder if you try to "soup up the spec" it's already got a fairly good spec sheet I can't see many areas for improvement, buffer is fine decent size, VF one of the better ones in this price range, 6fps again well above the normal here (if you care some might not), features wise it's got most of the K-5 stuff bar a few bits really not a lot of room to add more stuff. Unless you make it a more "mid level" body with some sealing, penta prism VF, more on body controls etc etc.

I could see Pentax maybe filtering down the better K-5 metering to lower bodies more zones better accuracy and consistency, maybe overhaul the AF system (more likely quite a bit for the K-5 ie big increase in AF point numbers) bar that and some tweaking I don't expect a radical change.

As for the K-r's AF issues in Tungsten well who am I to argue with 3 seperate K-r's all displaying the same issue, Pentax support saying there is a problem, and service saying "we can't fix it" I'm all ears if someone wants to debate that buy my emails don't lie, neither do my shots that had FF either. I'm sure the lighting is different in the EU to the USA maybe Pentax should have had a sticker on the box saying "not for EU lighting" At this stage it's not very clear if there will be a K-r DSLR replacement I suspect there will be. Question is how many users got fed up and wandered off to other makers.
01-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #19
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As someone who had a K-r and had to return it to get another camera, the answer is quite simple. The k-r had a major flaw, but since it was a budget model Pentax didn't want to spend any resources fixing it.

01-25-2012, 04:12 AM   #20
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Yup that sums it up very nicely. You can fix anything if you want to, but clearly Pentax did not want to spend the money doing that. What should have happened is quite simple problem known for some time, Pentax changes the manufacturing to solve the problem and offers a free repair to K-r users. This all costs money and quite a lot of of it. On the other hand knowingly selling a flawed product isn't really a good thing to do.
Not the best way to build up brand loyalty is it.
01-25-2012, 11:03 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
As someone who had a K-r and had to return it to get another camera, the answer is quite simple. The k-r had a major flaw, but since it was a budget model Pentax didn't want to spend any resources fixing it.
One of the big-retailer reps was asked about returns. Wouldn't release numbers (trade secrets) but said that very few cams are returned, and that return rates are about the same for all the major brands+models. So claiming a systemic "major flaw" just doesn't fly. If you had a bad copy, I'm sorry, but the other ~99.8% of customers are happy.

Also, remember that Pentax was owned by Hoya. If you want to lay blame for "not spending resources for fixing things", lay it on Hoya's bean-counters. Y'know, the cost-cutters.
01-26-2012, 02:52 AM   #22
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I still wonder how some people can debate this if it's not good enough Pentax admit (at least via their support services) that there is a fault that's good enough for me. All 3 bodies not good enought either?
I'm sure USA buyers who don't shoot in tungsten light very often will never notice it nor have a problem. Same however cannot be said in Europe.
It does fly around here and with many other users too. But like I said if you're not shooting in this light you will not see it. But don't dismiss this as "a lemon body" or "user error" it is not that but a specific issue that only shows under certain lighting.

Does not matter who "owns" Pentax it's their baby and they have to look after their customers. Yes Hoya were pretty tight, but then nobody is stopping Ricoh from spending some cash and fixing the problem for Pentax users.
01-26-2012, 07:47 AM   #23
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Only an issue with tungsten lighting in Europe? That implies the root issue is with the 50Hz AC power. Perhaps the AF is doing its decisioning on some harmonic of this value (1/12.5, 1/25, 1/50, 1/150, 1/300, etc seconds) and the light flicker is throwing it off? AC power in North America and Southern Japan (Tokyo) is 60Hz.

The tungsten issue will growingly become moot. Most of the world, and especially Western Europe is eliminating tungsten based general lighting.

01-26-2012, 08:43 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It's discontinued because it's been out about a year and a half now and is about to be replaced by an improved intro-level model that has yet to be announced (strangely).
The news about it being out of production, why why would you produce more if you have enough in stock?

If you want Pentax try here Pentax Kr Digital SLR Cameras - Page 1
If you make an account at pentaxuser.co.uk you get free delivery in the UK.
01-26-2012, 08:50 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Only an issue with tungsten lighting in Europe? That implies the root issue is with the 50Hz AC power. Perhaps the AF is doing its decisioning on some harmonic of this value (1/12.5, 1/25, 1/50, 1/150, 1/300, etc seconds) and the light flicker is throwing it off? AC power in North America and Southern Japan (Tokyo) is 60Hz.

The tungsten issue will growingly become moot. Most of the world, and especially Western Europe is eliminating tungsten based general lighting.
Its the infrared light that is causing the problem, if you use a filter that cut the ir light it works perfectly.
You could maybe place a piece of such glass in front of the entrance of the af module.
So its a hardware problem if they need to fix it they will need to recall all cameras, they won't do that at this stage...
01-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #26
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IR may be part of the story, but if it is predominantly only affecting K-r users in Europe, that implies something other than just the spectrum, otherwise K-r users would be more afflected worldwide. About the only difference between a tungsten bulb in Europe versus North America (or southern Japan where this camera was likely designed) is the AC frequency powering those tungsten bulbs.

My guess is AF depends on IR to do its job in certain circumstances. If that guess is correct, adding an IR filter might further disable AF. If the internal timing circuit for AF is some multiple or divisor of 50 cycles per second (the rate at which a tungsten bulb would strobe in Europe), it is very possible the camera could be getting mixed signals. Replacing such a timing circuit by hand would be totally cost prohibitive.

As I previously said, European users are going to see fewer and fewer tungsten bulbs in use. Sales will be banned for general lighting use in much of the world over the next few years.

I just got my K-r last month. But I do get to Europe every other year or so (Germany in 2011). I'm not downplaying or dismissing this issue, but I will keep it in mind as I expect my K-r will make the next trip with me.
01-26-2012, 10:39 AM   #27
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I think it's related to the temp of the light and I only noticed problems in low kelvin light. It's common to run across energy saving bulbs (not the traditional bulbs) in the EU and many of those run around 2700-2900 kelvin. I'm not sure if you would run into those much in the USA. I have not noticed problems with fluorescent lighting. I did notice problems with halogen light too.

Here's the kelvin chart:
File:Kelvin Temperature Chart.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The K-5 has problems too this is the tech stuff that tries to explain things

LumoLabs

I think it's logical to assume the problems are related to the newer SAFOX IX AF module the K-r does not have the + element to that which is probably why it has more issues than the K-5
Either way I'd expect any new models to have a revised AF module or probably a completely different design.
02-13-2012, 02:54 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Its the infrared light that is causing the problem, if you use a filter that cut the ir light it works perfectly.
You could maybe place a piece of such glass in front of the entrance of the af module.
So its a hardware problem if they need to fix it they will need to recall all cameras, they won't do that at this stage...
Right you are. And I saw the same FF issue not only with tungsten light but also with focusing through open fire or throught the hot air just above it to the object behind it. Of course it is too expensive to recall all cameras. They decided to issue a new K-01 that costs the same and free of the issue due to contrast AF.
02-13-2012, 04:42 AM   #29
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I don't know who it was but someone did an test with and without an IR filter on the K5 on his blog and differnce was obvious.
02-13-2012, 04:46 AM   #30
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I'm a little disillusioned right now with DSLRs in general, the prices, the cost of lenses, the weight of equipment, the worry over what they will do in the future. That's when I realized I truly have enough equipment for the foreseeable future. I have the K-r and two primes and two zooms, and I have the D70 and D50 Nikons and one zoom and three primes, two of which are f/1.8, plus the kit lenses. So I will not be buying any more lenses or bodies from either company any time soon, if ever, till I need to replace a body. Instead I bought a Canon G12 and a small Canon ELPH taking advantage of the rebates that ended Saturday, for a total of $500. I have three zoomers and one larger pocket camera. I won't expect the low light performance out of my two Canons, but having them means I will have a camera with me at all times. And my DSLRs will get regular use. It is time for me to use what I have, let go of any worry about what Pentax or Nikon do with their DSLRs and lenses, quit funding them, and have fun with the cameras (and lenses) I own.
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