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10-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #1
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Lenses That Don't Play Well With the K-01

I've owned my K-01 for a little over a week and I've finally decided to take the 40mm xs lens off. I was really curious about how the K-01 performed with other lenses. No complaints whatsoever with manual lenses. This was my main reason for getting a K-01 and it did not disappoint. There are times where the focus peaking doesn't seem to show as much as I'd like, but that might just be because I'm not used to using it.

I've noticed the camera works great with primes. It also seems to work well with short zooms. I tried the camera out with a Tamron 28-75 and had no issues with the auto-focus. Where I did start to notice some problems was when I used some tele-zooms. I didn't really have too many problems with DA 55-300 (I didn't try it out too much either), but I noticed that the camera just does not play well with my Tamron 70-200 2.8. The Tamron works very well with my Kr, but not with the K-01. I was trying to use them together indoors, so maybe that was the problem?

Either way, I was curious about other lenses that may not perform too well with the K-01 and was wondering if maybe there were some tips for using those lenses with the K-01. I have no plans for returning my K-01 (wife is already trying to claim it as her own) but I would like to maximize its use.

10-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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How about some pictures that show the problem or at least more details than "doesn't play well"? Are you having focus issues? Exposure issues? Sharpness issues?
10-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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My experience is similar. I tried my Tamron 18-250 "Jack of all Trades" on my K-01, and it took ages to focus (not that I was surprised - trying to focus that thing in LiveView on a K-x is like watching paint dry). I suspect tele-zooms have longer focus throws for better accuracy, but someone with more knowledge could probably address that better.
10-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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When I had that setup, the DA 50-200mm lens focused slow compared to others along with the 100mm macro lens.

DA 50-200mm (slow)
D-FA 100mm f2.8 WR (slow)
FA* 85mm (fast enough, used that combo a lot)
FA 31mm (fast enough, used quite often)
FA* 24mm (fast enough, used quite often)
10-17mm fisheye (fast enough, used occasionally)
14mm f2.8 (fast enough, used occasionally)

10-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
How about some pictures that show the problem or at least more details than "doesn't play well"? Are you having focus issues? Exposure issues? Sharpness issues?
No exposure or sharpness issues. They were mainly focusing issues. The camera just seems to hunt forever until it either eventually focuses or doesn't focus on anything at all.
10-07-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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How well does it focus on the K-r in live view?
10-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
How well does it focus on the K-r in live view?
Good question. I've never tried that.
10-07-2012, 04:54 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Good question. I've never tried that.
There are two focus systems in the K-r, PDAF with the optical viewfinder and CDAF when you're using live view. The K-01 only has CDAF. At least right now, PDAF is typically faster and more reliable, but CDAF has been improving.

CDAF= Contrast Detection Auto Focus
PDAF= Phase Detection Auto Focus

10-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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Any lens with long focus throw will do poorly on the K-01 as far as AF goes, unfortunately. Pentax has a ways to go before their CDAF can be considered good.

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10-07-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
There are two focus systems in the K-r, PDAF with the optical viewfinder and CDAF when you're using live view. The K-01 only has CDAF. At least right now, PDAF is typically faster and more reliable, but CDAF has been improving.

CDAF= Contrast Detection Auto Focus
PDAF= Phase Detection Auto Focus
Hopefully the K-01 gets some kind of firmware update that improves the auto focus. It's kind of a shame to not be able to use all lenses effectively on the camera. I know I could always manual focus but then what's the point of buying auto focus lenses if they don't work well with the camera. Either way, the K-01 does a great job in other areas and I'm happy with those things it does well.

When I bought the K-01 I knew that CDAF wasn't very fast, but there is a difference between slow auto focus and no auto focus. The camera seems to hunt a lot with the K-01 and the Tamron 70-200. It didn't focus at all most of the time. Hopefully I can play around with them some more and figure something out. I did notice that the lens (and especially the hood) seems to bock part of the AF assist light from the K-01. I removed the hood to see if that made a difference. Didn't really seem to. I wonder if maybe the lens is too big for the camera?
10-08-2012, 01:14 AM   #11
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I mainly use FA31mm, DA*55mm and FA*85mm on my K-01 since they all work great with good performance in AF that is even to called snappy when light is plenty available (on a bright day when you work with iso100). My sigma 70-200mm didn't work well on it and the AF was off a lot, so I stopped using it. The DA*300mm does work, good AF performance that is accurate, but painfully slow, so I try to avoid that.

I think the system is currently designed to use with lenses under 100mm so that all can work. The faster the lens, the more light for the sensor the better it performs.
10-09-2012, 07:10 AM   #12
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Most also seem to be forgetting how aperature plays a very major role in how the K-01 focuses.

Any lens that goes below (even for variable aperature zoom lens') f4.5-f5.0 will have issues with auto focusing. But it also depends upon the lighting of the subject as well.
10-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Most also seem to be forgetting how aperature plays a very major role in how the K-01 focuses.

Any lens that goes below (even for variable aperature zoom lens') f4.5-f5.0 will have issues with auto focusing. But it also depends upon the lighting of the subject as well.
A very good point. It's the same problem that the old screw-mount lenses had - needing enough light to focus, then stopping down for sharpness/depth of field/etc. That's why they came up with various mechanisms (preset, auto-pin) to keep the lens wide open until you shot. If the lens wasn't fast to begin with, it could be a pain to focus.
10-09-2012, 12:02 PM   #14
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My 21mm AF works very well with the K-01. It only hunts when I'm in low light situations. Focus Peaking made this be an non issue. Oh yeah, you said something about focus peaking now showing as much as you would like, have you trying using it together with the Screen Zoom? For thin DOF it's a wonderful thing. My 50mm f1.2 got a new life after I started using it with these options.
10-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Most also seem to be forgetting how aperature plays a very major role in how the K-01 focuses. Any lens that goes below (even for variable aperature zoom lens') f4.5-f5.0 will have issues with auto focusing. But it also depends upon the lighting of the subject as well.
Um, why? I think it just bumps up the iso to compensate, no?
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