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04-16-2013, 04:40 AM   #1
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Focus peaking not accurate

I did a test the other day, K-01; DA*300, Kenko PZ 1.5X TC, on a tripod. I was pleased to see that AF was as fast and accurate with the TC as without, a big improvement over my DSLR's. I then shot with focus peaking, no magnification. The AF shots were in focus, the MF shots were out of focus. I'm not sure what happened but I suspect the FP highlight is too wide, causing me to miss critical focus. I should have used magnified view, but I don't want to have to rely on that.

I did a test later with an FA 35 and test chart, at f2. The FP highlighted area was very much wider than the target. I centered focus as best I could and took the shot. It was backfocussed. Anyone have any ideas on what I should do next? Can Focus Peaking be calibrated?


Last edited by audiobomber; 04-20-2013 at 10:52 PM.
04-16-2013, 05:07 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I did a test the other day, K-01; DA*300, Kenko PZ 1.5X TC, on a tripod. I was pleased to see that AF was as fast and accurate with the TC as without, a big improvement over my DSLR's. I then shot with focus peaking, no magnification. The AF shots were out of focus. I'm not sure what happened but I suspect the FP highlight is too wide, causing me to miss critical focus. I should have used magnified view, but I don't want to have to rely on that.

I did a test later with an FA 35 and test chart, at f2. The FP highlighted area was very much wider than the target. I centered focus as best I could and took the shot. It was backfocussed. Anyone have any ideas on what I should do next? Can Focus Peaking be calibrated?
Hmm...that's unfortunate. The focus peaking on both of my K-01s are quite accurate. Do you have the latest firmware updates?
04-16-2013, 05:22 AM   #3
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I find that peaking doesn't work great with ultra wide lenses and slow lenses. The 300mm with a TC, focusing far away.. too bad. I also wish that Pentax would allow some type of FP sensitivity slider, especialy for these cases.
One other problem is that during live view the camera might stop the lens down, which makes the DoF even wider compared to the photo you might take. I'm afraid the best you can do is to shoot using a high fnumber, so that the DoF of the actual photo is at least as wide as the peaking.
It would also be great if maybe the Pentax Forums would send an email to Pentax HQ to try to get them to improve peaking, give us more options regarding sensitivity and colour, since this is a common problem with certain lenses.
04-16-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
but I don't want to have to rely on that.
Why not? That's like saying you don't want to rely on a split-image center spot - just on the microprism collar.

04-16-2013, 06:11 AM   #5
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Can focus peaking actually "de-calibrate"!?
I thought is a direct result of what the camera sees as being in focus - a "real time" view!?

Have you tried a different lens? I think I've read somewhere that the sensitivity of the focus peaking is dependant on how "sharp" the lens is and the aperture used ...
04-16-2013, 06:23 AM   #6
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I'm rubbish with focus peaking, find it better with it off,

many times have got it looking white with peaking but when I check its wrong

perhaps I need to get used to it still
04-16-2013, 06:56 AM   #7
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The problem is not focus peaking, the problem is you not knowing when to use/not to use focus peaking, and how to use it for you yet. It really does need some practice to get used to it. So don't despair yet

One of the problems with focus peaking is to learn how to use it. It works fantastic, just getting used to. The focuspeaking shows the most contrast rich part of what the sensor detects. and that is not always a super thin part, it might be wide. Then it is up to you to see the most sharp part.

Also it really depends on lens, subject distance on how fine it works. Like what Ha Noruk said, with ultra wide lenses it is if very difficult, unless you are very close to the subject. Also with distant subject and long lenses it is not always that easy. I have many times with my M200/f4 lens that when I turned the focus peaking off, it was much easier to get the shot in focus.

Also when you ahve a white background, using focus peaking is pretty useless in my experience (I think if you would take a photo of the testshart with focus peaking of, you would get a sharp shot)

I find macro shots and portrets to work extremely well with focus peaking.
Also standard to medium short tele (135mm) works well, if the subject is not far away. Other than that, I have focus peaking off.
And the trick is to learn to see the sharpest part within the focus peaking area (it needs some practice, but when you get it it works well)
04-16-2013, 07:47 AM   #8
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I've taken portraits with the K-01 focus peaking, and it has worked well. It's different than the Sony implementation though. For Sony you can change the colors and the sensitivity. I find it to be pretty accurate, though I sometimes miss perfect focus on moving objects. My shots usually end up sharp enough for web viewing, and many times for pixel peeping. Macario is right. I find the focus is better if the subject is in the last 30-40% of the zone of focus as shown by the peaking. Other than that, you just have to play with it and get a feel. It's way better than magnifying for quick moving children. I've also used focus peaking for birding with my Sony and it's worked quite well for critical focus. I still havent gotten around to giving the Q a serious go. Contrasty lenses are the best to use with focus peaking.

04-16-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeRolls Quote
Hmm...that's unfortunate. The focus peaking on both of my K-01s are quite accurate. Do you have the latest firmware updates?
Firmware is 1.03

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I find that peaking doesn't work great with ultra wide lenses and slow lenses.
The FA 35mm is not ultra-wide or slow. I used the DA*300 with and without TC and focus was soft in either case.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Why not? That's like saying you don't want to rely on a split-image center spot - just on the microprism collar.
My intended use is wildlife and birding. An extra few seconds to check focus in magnified view matters to me.

QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Have you tried a different lens? I think I've read somewhere that the sensitivity of the focus peaking is dependant on how "sharp" the lens is and the aperture used ...
I tried it with the FA 35mm f2 and DA*300 f4. Very different lenses but both are as sharp as anything available in their class.
04-16-2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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Reading the other posts, it appears that the K-01 and focus peaking are not going to give me what I had hoped for with a 300mm lens and TC. I'll stick with a DSLR for supertele use.
04-16-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I tried it with the FA 35mm f2 and DA*300 f4. Very different lenses but both are as sharp as anything available in their class.
Then I am at a lost to be honest ... maybe more practice?

Like I have said, I think that the focus peaking is impossible to "de-calibrate" because in essence is using the same idea as your AF system (and you said is quite accurate). It highlights what is in focus based on the available contrast... but then again I could be wrong...
04-16-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
with a 300mm lens and TC
Probably not!
I think we all want to experiment with all these different paradigm cameras (Q, K-01, GRD) and I beleive we are finding that they aren't generalist cameras - they're specialty cameras. They're actually each intended for a specific subset of users. The dSLR is our generalist camera, especially when one takes into account the potential range of features on a projected 4-body line (K300, K30, K3, K(FF).

Pentax is actually doing a decent job of segmenting the market and penetrating niches with really interesting specialty cameras. The best service Pentax could do us is to explain (by proper marketing) what the intended uses of and user profile for each camera is.
04-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #13
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I'm find the same thing the focusing peaking band is to wide for accurate focus placement with my 50 @ f1.4 but with the screen zoomed 4x I can get it right on.
04-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Reading the other posts, it appears that the K-01 and focus peaking are not going to give me what I had hoped for with a 300mm lens and TC. I'll stick with a DSLR for supertele use.
I am not a developed bird/telephoto photographer, but these were taken with peaking. There are many excellent shots from the Q users on this forum too.




Not very good lighting



100% crop at 600mm

04-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #15
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Hmmm ... now I gotta try my 300 with the 2xTC on the K-01 and see what's what ...
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