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01-23-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Any Live View Focusing Aids for K-r?

I am the owner of a K-r and use it mainly for macro photography. The camera with a macro lens is mounted on a copy stand, I do my focusing manually have the dial set on AV and shoot most pictures with f/11 or f/16 and remote. Lately I have had a lot of trouble getting sharp pics, I blame it primarily on my deteriorating vision, and no loupe or pair of glasses will help. I am fairly sure that there is no Pentax DSLR software on the market yet that offers a tether to a PC with which one could focus the camera on LV, using the PC monitor to make adjustments. But there would be another way of doing it: Having a zoom function on LV would be immensely helpful. Now I know that my K-r does not have an LV zoom, but are there other Pentax models that offer this feature? Or does anyone have a suggestion what else I could do to get my focusing right?

01-23-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jolanthe Quote
I am the owner of a K-r and use it mainly for macro photography. The camera with a macro lens is mounted on a copy stand, I do my focusing manually have the dial set on AV and shoot most pictures with f/11 or f/16 and remote. Lately I have had a lot of trouble getting sharp pics, I blame it primarily on my deteriorating vision, and no loupe or pair of glasses will help. I am fairly sure that there is no Pentax DSLR software on the market yet that offers a tether to a PC with which one could focus the camera on LV, using the PC monitor to make adjustments. But there would be another way of doing it: Having a zoom function on LV would be immensely helpful. Now I know that my K-r does not have an LV zoom, but are there other Pentax models that offer this feature? Or does anyone have a suggestion what else I could do to get my focusing right?
QuoteOriginally posted by Jolanthe Quote
but are there other Pentax models that offer this feature
Every model that came after the K-r does, and it's immensely helpful. If you want basic zoom functionality and focus peaking, look at the K-50. The live view autofocus itself has also been greatly improved.

The current K-3 flagship and the K-S1 do support wireless tethering via an accessory:
Review: Pentax FluCard O-FC1 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Finally, a new camera is coming out this spring with built-in wi-fi, so you might want to wait for it. It will be the replacement or the K-50. If you're on a budget, though, you can't beat the current deals on the K-50 (it's just $396).

Anyway, check out our reviews of the latest models to learn more:
Review: Pentax K-3 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Review: Pentax K-50 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Review: Pentax K-S1 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

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01-23-2015, 02:04 PM   #3
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I use my K-r for macro as well. You can zoom the live view by pressing the "info" button. Not that all my pics are perfectly focused. Live view really eats up the batteries.
It looks like the replacement for the K-50 will have an articulated screen which would be a great asset for macro photography.
01-23-2015, 08:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Every model that came after the K-r does, and it's immensely helpful. If you want basic zoom functionality and focus peaking, look at the K-50. The live view autofocus itself has also been greatly improved.

The current K-3 flagship and the K-S1 do support wireless tethering via an accessory:
Review: Pentax FluCard O-FC1 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Finally, a new camera is coming out this spring with built-in wi-fi, so you might want to wait for it. It will be the replacement or the K-50. If you're on a budget, though, you can't beat the current deals on the K-50 (it's just $396).

Anyway, check out our reviews of the latest models to learn more:
Review: Pentax K-3 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Review: Pentax K-50 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Review: Pentax K-S1 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Thanks, Adam, for your detailed information. You managed to tempt me to look at the K-50 and the K-S1 though I had vowed never to even glance at the reviews of newer models and upgrades. I liked the K-r because of it's light weight and compact shape -both appreciated by people with small hands. Also, I did not want to have to buy a larger copy stand for a heavier camera, my Vivitar Series 1 105mm macro takes my present stand to its limits. But the K-S1 seems to be in the same weight class as the K-r. Just thinking out loud.
I am curious about the tethering. I know one can control shutter speed and f/stop and other settings, but I had always been told the it was impossible to focus remotely. Now that actually is not what I need. I want to continue focusing the lens manually but would like to see the live view image on my laptop screen, merely because of size.
You have given me motivation to look into the zoom and tethering possibilities more thoroughly. If I should get a new camera I would like it to serve my needs perfectly. There is nothing as frustrating as getting everything else (lighting, background, etc.) right and then wind up with an unsharp object.
Jolanthe

01-23-2015, 08:12 PM   #5
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Hi Jacamar,

I will certainly look into the 'info' button zoom before I sink money into a new camera. I had no idea that the K-r has this possibility and am grateful for your suggestion. Apparently I had not pressed all the buttons in my quest for sharpness. And YES, the live view just churns up batteries. By the time I am done with my focusing contortions, I am lucky to get 20 shots on one charge. And the remote shutter release most likely grabs a large share of the power, too. In any event, I will experiment a bit with the 'info' button - who knows, it may be all I need.

Thanks,
Jolanthe
02-25-2015, 09:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jolanthe Quote
Hi Jacamar,

I will certainly look into the 'info' button zoom before I sink money into a new camera. I had no idea that the K-r has this possibility and am grateful for your suggestion. Apparently I had not pressed all the buttons in my quest for sharpness. And YES, the live view just churns up batteries. By the time I am done with my focusing contortions, I am lucky to get 20 shots on one charge. And the remote shutter release most likely grabs a large share of the power, too. In any event, I will experiment a bit with the 'info' button - who knows, it may be all I need.

Thanks,
Jolanthe
If you're setting up macro shots at home then this AC adapter I reviewed (<-that's a link) may be of some use. A search on eBay should find it. For me it's working very well and if it helps your macro work then it will be worth the $30 or so that it will cost. If you go this route then keep switching out of live view all the time you're not using it. This is to prevent the camera overheating, because long periods of live view can cause this problem.
02-25-2015, 02:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fire Angel Quote
If you're setting up macro shots at home then this AC adapter I reviewed (<-that's a link) may be of some use. A search on eBay should find it. For me it's working very well and if it helps your macro work then it will be worth the $30 or so that it will cost. If you go this route then keep switching out of live view all the time you're not using it. This is to prevent the camera overheating, because long periods of live view can cause this problem.
Hi Fire Angel,

an AC adapter sounds like the perfect solution for the battery problem, and the cost of around $30 is certainly reasonable when one considers the added practical advantage of not having to detach the camera from the copy stand every 10 minutes to exchange batteries. The point about switching the live view off between objects to prevent overheating is well taken. I am glad I posted my trouble on this board. Both Jacamar and you have solved my problems, and I can stay with my K-r which I like because of its light weight.

Thanks,
Jolanthe
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