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01-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
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K-r prepurchase concerns and questions on production

Hello all,

Been researching used and new DSLR upgrading all the way from a K1000 35MM Pentax!

So, I plan to use the camera during travel world-wide, hence, the AA battery capability caught my attention along with low light pref of the K-r... However, as you all know, what keeps me from buying the Kx or Kr is the front focus issue... My question is a good one, although on a issue that has already been brought up, my question is unique.... so if anyone can answer it that would be great...

Has Pentax fixed the front focus issue on the K-r, say for someone who is about to purchase a new model this week online? Or has Pentax opted to keep selling even the new k-r models (retail boxes) with the flaw/front focus issue existing and hope that the customer as soon as he/she buys the camera turns around (instead of using it) and ships it back to a repair center for them to do the adjustment for front focus??? I had no luck emailing Pentax about this issue over and over so I figured I would ask here. I'm not asking about the front focus issue or whether it exists or not, but rather if it's been resolved on the new models that are selling as sealed retail boxes? I'd hate to throw down the money on it and have to immediately send it in =(

It caught my attention because I'm one of those people who also considers parts and added expense of buying grips just to use AA batteries! Having that built in is nice...

Thanks, by the way this is a huge step for me, I'm coming from a K1000 35mm... I've sold the 35mm and all 10 of my lenses and now looking to find the right DSLR with just enough manual controls and obviously no terrible front focus issue. I do plan on taking pictures indoors of items for a store as well.

01-29-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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I've had the Kr since June. I've never dealt with the front focus issue. I spent a long time wondering if my camera had it, so I did plenty of research on what the issue was and it seems like it might be a camera to camera issue and not a software/firmware issue.

Those that have complained about it seem to state that it only happens under tungsten light (someone can correct me if I'm wrong about this).

I love my Kr. I have not had any regrets about buying it. Takes great pictures and everyone I know (including canon and nikon users) always compliment the quality of the camera and its pictures. I've compared it to Canon T3i's and Nikon 3100's and pictures taken, under the same conditions, usually look a lot nicer from the Kr. Those times it doesn't are probably due to me and not the camera.

If you do get a Kr, I'm sure you won't regret it. If you get one that does have a front focus issue, just take it back and try again (assuming you're buying from an authorized dealer.)
01-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Hi

Have over 12,000 on my KX and would not change it . Just get Eneloop batteries though.
Great high Iso much much better than My A33 Sony and K10d. Set for 100-2500 auto Iso and don't
even think about noise problems. Autofocus is spot on all the time.
Have prints 12X18 that are fantastic.
You can probably find a new kit for less than $500.00 as I have seen them on sale here for $478.00

Good luck and enjoy
01-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluesky12 Quote
Hello all,

Been researching used and new DSLR upgrading all the way from a K1000 35MM Pentax!

So, I plan to use the camera during travel world-wide, hence, the AA battery capability caught my attention along with low light pref of the K-r... However, as you all know, what keeps me from buying the Kx or Kr is the front focus issue... My question is a good one, although on a issue that has already been brought up, my question is unique.... so if anyone can answer it that would be great...

Has Pentax fixed the front focus issue on the K-r, say for someone who is about to purchase a new model this week online? Or has Pentax opted to keep selling even the new k-r models (retail boxes) with the flaw/front focus issue existing and hope that the customer as soon as he/she buys the camera turns around (instead of using it) and ships it back to a repair center for them to do the adjustment for front focus??? I had no luck emailing Pentax about this issue over and over so I figured I would ask here. I'm not asking about the front focus issue or whether it exists or not, but rather if it's been resolved on the new models that are selling as sealed retail boxes? I'd hate to throw down the money on it and have to immediately send it in =(

It caught my attention because I'm one of those people who also considers parts and added expense of buying grips just to use AA batteries! Having that built in is nice...

Thanks, by the way this is a huge step for me, I'm coming from a K1000 35mm... I've sold the 35mm and all 10 of my lenses and now looking to find the right DSLR with just enough manual controls and obviously no terrible front focus issue. I do plan on taking pictures indoors of items for a store as well.
You know you could have kept and used all the lenses you had. Presumably most were of the old K mount style that did not have the "A" position on the aperature ring, which makes you need to follow a special sequence to get them to work, but lots of people do it. Likewise
all the auto focus cameras have a manual focus option so if you don't like where the auto focus puts you, you can change it.

Another thing that causes people confusion is that the AF cameras have a choice of a 'spot focus' or an 'average focus' If your scene has
some really close stuff and some really far stuff (beyond the depth of field) its going to have to guess which ones you really want
in focus. unless you have chosen the spot focus mode...

LIkewise on the K5 at least Pentax has put in the menus a calibration option and if you don't like where it focuses, you can set a bias on a lens by lens basis to make the AF behavior meet your expecations. I'm not sure this is in the KR or not. I"ve never owned a KR but I haven't seen
a lot of people having horrible problems either.

01-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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The question to ask yourself is this:

"Will I be shooting in low, tungsten light with a fast aperture lens wide open, in situations where I cannot use LV or MF, often enough to cause me problems?"

That's a pretty specific sub-set of conditions that have to be met to be bothered by this. People just like making mountains out of molehills whenever something they buy isn't perfect, yet no device of this complexity is perfect. It's also a very convenient scapegoat for just about every form of user error relating to focusing.
01-29-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluesky12 Quote
hence, the AA battery capability caught my attention along with low light pref of the K-r..
I assume you are buying the AA battery holder for the KR. The KX takes AA batteries, but the KR takes an adapter/holder for the AA 's. Either I believe would be a fine camera for you.
01-29-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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hi, yeah i knew it took an adapter to use the aa batteries, but the point was that it was able to take them which would be great for me since i might not be able to get to ac power for charging - for long periods.... i sold all my old pentax stuff including lenses for the k1000 because i was told the lenses were too old and the picture quality would suffer since the new dslrs need higher quality glass... i already sold it all basically to buy a entry level kit. this is a huge step up for me... most of my family owned pentax 35mm gear. one of my family members owns a kx and he says he has the front focus whenever trying to shoot anything say around 1 to three feet away especially detailed items, but he mostly shoots indoors for church. i will be shooting both indoors and outside, but plan to shoot a lot inside too, for purposes of shooting pictures up close of maybe items for ebay and stuff so this front focus may be a huge issue.

my concern was that if its not resolved then as soon as i buy the retail box (sealed new) k-r, i will immediately have to send it in. i finally broke down and registered with this forum, believe me, i've spent months researching this and one conclusion from all the research and having a relative with the kx is that the front focus issue does exist but the only thing i've read is people were waiting for a possible firmware update (Which didn't address front focus), or simply sent their camera in for repair. i'd hate to have to do that as soon as i buy it. so hopefully someone here can tell me for sure if the new retail/sealed k-r's have been fixed or adjusted for that front focus issue.

i'm sure many pentax people like myself want to stay with the brand. this will be a huge step for me since i won't have to deal with developing film anymore! and the stunning images i have seen are impressive for its class along with low light images. i'm stuck in a hard place because the camera is very appealing but that front focus issue especially after seeing examples really scares me!

btw - someone did tell me i could use those old lenses, but after hearing people say get the newer ones since the image quality would be better with glass made for a dslr?
01-29-2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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Yup, that's pretty much a non-issue in reality as it affects nearly all auto focus systems. It's just a fact that tungsten light is quite a narrow range of wavelengths which doesn't necessarily match the auto focus system which is normally designed for white light (or something close to it). You won't notice it on a point and shoot so much as they use shorter focal length lenses, which are often slow to boot.
However, I've only noticed the mis-focus with the K10d when using a 'fast tele' lens indoors and wide open. Which is a situation that doesn't happen much. If you're actually paying attention you can see through the viewfinder that you're not quite in focus.
There is a successful workaround too: if you preset white balance to Tungsten, which you should, then the auto-focus system adjusts to the tungsten wavelength and focuses correctly. This works on my K10d 100% of the time.

01-29-2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluesky12 Quote
i sold all my old pentax stuff including lenses for the k1000 because i was told the lenses were too old and the picture quality would suffer since the new dslrs need higher quality glass...
You either got duped, or the person telling you this was entirely ignorant of the reality of the situation. A lot of us purposefully select for old glass, just because a lot of it is so good. Lenses aren't built like they were anymore, a lot of m42, K, M and A lenses will outlive all of us due to their build quality, and their optics are no worse now than they were the year they were made.

It's really sad that you were told this. It's patently untrue.
01-30-2012, 06:52 AM   #10
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e-dial gunk?

I got my K-r as a Christmas gift, so it was purchased about 2 months ago and I've used it about a month. It looks like I've been hit with the 'e-dial gunk' issue. Some are claiming that an inappropriate lubrication was used during assembly of a large number of K-r units. Once it starts spreading (intended design) it lubes the e-dial. However the factory used an electrically insulating (dielectric) lube in error. As a result the e-dial starts to function erratically.

Suppposedly judicious use of an electric contact cleaner specifically designed for electronics will fix the problem. I am in a quandry as to whether I do this and possibly void my warranty, or give up my camera for a month plus pay shipping charges to let authorized repair take care of the issue. I understand there have been mixed results with warranty repair - but I have heard of no one who says self-cleaning has damaged the camera.

I have otherwise been pleased with my camera's operation.
01-30-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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I thought it was a case of too much of the non-conductive grease used, but it doesn't matter. So many people have successfully fixed this issue themselves, with no problems associated with doing so, that you should consider it safe and go ahead. Just be sure to get a contact cleaner that dries clean, leaving no residue. Use a small squirt in the slot where the top of the e-dial meets the housing, then rotate the wheel first one way, then the other, for a few minutes each. If that doesn't do it, try a little more, and working the wheel again. I haven't seen any posts where it took more than a couple attempts. There's really no "supposedly" about it, it's "tried and true". This issue, and its fix, isn't limited to the K-r, either. It's just particularly common with the K-r.
01-30-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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I took a leap of faith and didn't send my K-r in, nor disassemble before using CRC's QD Electronic Cleaner. It worked and I am delighted. Based on other's experience, I may need a repeat at some point.

But back on topic ... this is something a new purchaser should be prepared to do. I have otherwise been happy with the camera and used a variety of older KA lens in addition to the kit's auto-focus lens.
01-30-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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The CRC cleaner is safe for plastics. It worked for me for a while. About 2 wks ago it just did not work anymore and the e-dial was really erratic again. Respraying did not help. I am now waiting for the camera to come back from CRIS, they had to replace some parts. For some the spay has remained effective. Other than that, I love the K-r, but I mostly shoot outdoors. Good luck.
01-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
You either got duped, or the person telling you this was entirely ignorant of the reality of the situation. A lot of us purposefully select for old glass, just because a lot of it is so good. Lenses aren't built like they were anymore, a lot of m42, K, M and A lenses will outlive all of us due to their build quality, and their optics are no worse now than they were the year they were made. It's really sad that you were told this. It's patently untrue.
+1. Half my lenses are older m and A. I know at least 2 are over 30 years old. I bought them new. They work as well and are as sharp as the day I bought them. They are all used on all my bodies from digital to film.
01-31-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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My sharpest lens is an "M" lens. For some reason the "M" series are my favorites...

FF is not really a problem as long as you can distinguish what lights are around you when you're shooting (Also the K-r has lens adjustment mode). And I only encounter this problems when I'm using <2f. So I guess it doesn't really bother me that much unless I'm focusing on that single dot on the wall that I can barely see. but If I really do need to focus on that dot on the wall I would get my tripod and use live view.
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