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03-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Why can it be so darned difficult to focus my K-01?

I struggle to get my K-01 to focus. AF, manual, red button programmed for peaking on/off, it doesn't matter, it's a crap shoot at best to predict the results each time I press the button. So, I'd love some advice, tips, anything you care to throw my direction. I know this thing can make some incredible images, because I've done it, it just doesn't seem to do it consistently. Also, I have not ruled out user error, in fact I assume it's the cause, so don't be shy to tell me what I could be doing wrong. Thanks!

03-10-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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Perhaps you can mention what lenses you use. I've found that lenses that have a narrow field of focus wide open (larger aperture, normal or telephoto lens) work best. For example, the 40 xs kit lens works quite well. On the other hand, things like the sigma 8-16 don't work nearly as well for me. Even though focus peaking shows things in focus, they are not quite as clear as they can be.
03-10-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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#1. Make sure you have the latest firmware.

#2. Turn on center weighted focusing. The default will tell you stuff is in focus as long as 1 point in the multi-point metering is in focus.

#3. In MF, focus peeking works great. It just takes a little while to learn how to use it really well.
03-10-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses. I have been using a Pentax 1:2.8 20mm primarily. The autofocus method is set to "spot". I have been opening up the aperture in an effort to experiment with shallow depth of field images. 99% of these images are being taken outdoors in bright light conditions. Many of the images are not entirely out of focus, but soft at best.
Edit: firmware has been at 1.02 until a few minutes ago

03-10-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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I have a K-01 and the 2 previous posts summarise very well the key issues:
- get the latest firmware;
- some lenses wrok very well 9eg 40mm xs), other not well;
- use center weighted focusing;
- do not hesitate to go to MF and enable focus peaking; focus peaking is a great feature of the K-01 and its works very welll.

Hope that the comments will help.
03-10-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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Could it be camera motion rather than focus?
Just asking since without a viewfinder, the camera is held differently, harder to brace.
Maybe try taking some with a tripod to see if anything changes?
03-10-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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Is it only with your 20mm that you're having this problem? I had similar issues with my A24mm f2.8, it turned out it just needed adjustment. Now it works great, with reliable focus in all conditions using peaking.
03-11-2013, 04:58 AM   #8
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stop down

QuoteOriginally posted by rkymtnrider Quote
Thanks for the quick responses. I have been using a Pentax 1:2.8 20mm primarily. The autofocus method is set to "spot". I have been opening up the aperture in an effort to experiment with shallow depth of field images. 99% of these images are being taken outdoors in bright light conditions. Many of the images are not entirely out of focus, but soft at best.
Edit: firmware has been at 1.02 until a few minutes ago
Try the trick of focusing at f/2.8 and then stopping down to f/8 before taking the picture. Or did you try that already? And I would agree with the other person who said to try a different lens too.



03-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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novosel,

I thought there was no way to adjust or calibrate a lens for CDAF. I thought that was just for PDAF.

Can you help clarify what exactly was done for your lens?
03-11-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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Well take a test that can't fail to see if something wrong.

Your K-01 needs contrast to set AF properly. So put your camera on a table and put infront of it something with contrast in the spot where you want your camera to perform the AF. Black/white make for perfect contrast and that should work.

When that works you can look for usererror or when it doesn't look for a flaw in the camera.
03-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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Crust, I based what I did to my lens on this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/197807-repairi...ocus-ring.html .

My lens was a bit different to take apart but the instructions in the thread were close enough for me to work it out. After I lined up the infinity focus mark with the little arrow on the lens all my focus issues were gone. No idea if there is a similar way to adjust FA lenses though.
03-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #12
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A couple questions: is ANYTHING in the shot in focus? That might help determine if it is a case of the camera locking onto the wrong thing, or if everything is soft, or if there is motion blur, etc. Does the situation improve with the lens stopped down? At f/2.8, the DoF is going to be fairly thin, the focus area is fairly large, and the camera will go after the highest contrast, meaning that even if you are using spot focusing, it may not focus on the exact center. For example, I had a hard time auto-focusing on a bunch of daffodils, because I want to focus on the front of the flowers, but all those stems have great contrasting dark/light areas, so it locks a couple inches behind the flowers almost every time.

For manual focusing, are you using the OK button + thumbwheel to zoom in? That can give a greater level of control when using focus peaking.

Oh, and an aside: "Center-weighted" is a metering mode, not focusing. I think the previous posters meant "spot focusing".
03-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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I want to thank you all for taking the time to help me troubleshoot this. Thoog, your questions and suggestions seem to be the most applicable. Yes, areas of the image are in focus, and typically those areas are slightly in front of, or slightly in back of the intended subject. I have been shooting for very shallow DoF, so maybe this is a large part of the problem?

In manual focusing mode, I have not been using the OK/thumbwheel, in fact, in my "rookieness" I didn't know this was an option, and am unfamiliar with it.
03-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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It sounds like a thin DoF / lock on wrong thing issue. I remember when another member had issues with the K-01 not focusing properly on an object. There was a black picture frame on a white wall just behind it, and the camera couldn't resist such a juicy target.

I think I've heard that ultra-wide-angle lenses can be especially tricky with thin DoF. You might want to turn on the AF Autozoom (Menu 1, AF/MF Settings) to confirm that it has locked on the right thing. When you half-press the shutter release, it will focus, then zoom in, and stay zoomed in until you shoot or release the half-press. Some find It annoying to use all the time, because you have to compose, hold position, focus, confirm focus, then shoot.

For manual focusing, my process is: turn on focus peaking, compose, press OK, use the thumbwheel to zoom in/out (I usually keep it at 6x), focus, half-press the shutter to end zoom, recompose, then shoot.
03-11-2013, 06:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
For manual focusing, my process is: turn on focus peaking, compose, press OK, use the thumbwheel to zoom in/out (I usually keep it at 6x), focus, half-press the shutter to end zoom, recompose, then shoot.
Same here. (I wish I could assign the focus-zooming to the red button. Constantly going to the back to hit OK is one of the less enjoyable aspects of manual focusing...)
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