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05-26-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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Focus Peaking Tips

What are your focus peaking tips on K-01. My in-focus shot ratio using focus peaking is low unless I zoom-in or object is too close.

When I zoom-in, focus peaking is reliable but many time it's not practical and shot is lost. Without zoom-in, often peaking outline is shown but shot is really not in focus.

I am sure I am doing something wrong. Any tips?

Thanks

05-26-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
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No, I don't think you're doing anything wrong.
I have exactly the same results with the Q, so I just don't use FP at all on the Q.
The K-01 is better, but I'm not convinced it's the most reliable.
The cynical side of me says that Pentax's FP is a 'me too' marketting claim which has a way to go before it really works well..
05-26-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sledger Quote
The cynical side of me says that Pentax's FP is a 'me too' marketting claim which has a way to go before it really works well..
Others do a better job of presenting the focus peaking data, that's for sure, though in itself I'd say it's a fairly trivial feature to implement (it just detects edges and highlights them). I hope Pentax looks into improving the way the FP is displayed on future cameras.

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05-26-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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I tend to cheat and use the FP with the blown highlights/shadow display turned on for the LCD. This tricks the camera into thinking the focus peak glimmer is a highlight, and it flares yellow as a result. Its not perfect - you'll still have issues with really narrow depths of field, but it works (at least for me) on my K-30. I'd imagine the Q and K-01 would behave similarly, though I could be wrong.

EDIT: I just realized, yellow is for shadows - not sure why it shows yellow for the peaking, but it does. Ah, well, it works!

05-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I tend to cheat and use the FP with the blown highlights/shadow display turned on for the LCD. This tricks the camera into thinking the focus peak glimmer is a highlight, and it flares yellow as a result. Its not perfect - you'll still have issues with really narrow depths of field, but it works (at least for me) on my K-30. I'd imagine the Q and K-01 would behave similarly, though I could be wrong.

EDIT: I just realized, yellow is for shadows - not sure why it shows yellow for the peaking, but it does. Ah, well, it works!
Nice tip!
05-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #6
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I think the problem lies with Pentax coding; lenses are stopped down, and therefore, affecting DOF. So, usually, shooting any faster than f/2.8 is pretty much a guesswork as what you are seeing on the FP feedback is actually NOT the accurate chosen wide aperture. Most of the time, i see that it is stopped down to ~f/3.5 and above, especially in good light (look at the front of the lens in light)... LoL!

Let's hope some firmware updates can resolve this but i seriously doubt so since it is, but a discontinued product lineage..
05-27-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sledger Quote
No, I don't think you're doing anything wrong.
I have exactly the same results with the Q, so I just don't use FP at all on the Q.
The K-01 is better, but I'm not convinced it's the most reliable.
The cynical side of me says that Pentax's FP is a 'me too' marketting claim which has a way to go before it really works well..
I am much in the same boat, I'm 'fraid, except that I find that FP suxx on both the Q and the K-01. The best I've been able to obtain is "kinda-sorta-almost in focus where I expect", which just isn't good enough.

So far, given that everybody and their pet squirrel raves about FP as the next best thing since the nutcracker, I've ascribed it to me lacking the right skills for FPing.
05-27-2013, 01:13 AM   #8
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I have not much trouble with the FP, but it did some pratcitice to getting used to. I find it very helpfull in the 50-135mm range and closer subjects. It is uselessl with wide lenses. It is very helpfull in macro shots. (and useless in white backgrounds)

The trick is to see the in focus part in the focus peaking. And that does take some practice.

05-27-2013, 05:26 AM   #9
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We had a thread on this before. Here is what it comes down to:
1) Doesn't work well with ultra wide angles
2) Doesn't work well with slow lenses
3) In bright light, live view automatically stops down aperture. This makes perfect focusing difficult, because the FP shows a wider DoF than you might end up with

To better use FP:
a) Use fast lenses, especially primes
b) Turn on FP, then use "zoom" - when the camera does this preview zoom, it also stops the lens to the set aperture, so the DoF will be more similar to the end result
c) Use it with manual lenses, where the camera cannot stop them down

What Pentax could do in the future to improve FP:
a) Change FP sensitivity depending on lens characteristics
b) Allow user to choose FP colour(I think Sony has the best FP right now)
c) FP schemes, like turning the whole screen black and white and peaking in red.
d) Put ND filter on live view cameras, like Q has, and use that instead of stopping down lens during live view. (not sure if Q already does this)

Is focus peaking perfect? No. Will it improve focus with your kit lens? Probably not. But it does allow more precise manual focusing than a tiny OVF and stock focus screen that DSLRs these days have. I usually have it set to red button, so that red button toggles FP.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-27-2013 at 05:33 AM.
05-27-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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If we're talking about manual lenses and you zoom in, half pressing the shutter should drop you out of zoom mode, no?

If it's using FP with AF lenses (quickshift), then I don't have much of a solution there.
05-27-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
If we're talking about manual lenses and you zoom in, half pressing the shutter should drop you out of zoom mode, no?
Correct (on both K-01 and Q).
05-27-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
b) Turn on FP, then use "zoom" - when the camera does this preview zoom, it also stops the lens to the set aperture, so the DoF will be more similar to the end result
This is not what I'm seeing with my A50/1.2 in low light.
If I'm in Av mode, and have set f/22,
the preview zoom leaves the lens open.
05-27-2013, 08:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
When I zoom-in, focus peaking is reliable but many time it's not practical and shot is lost.
I like dedicated MF lenses, with a proper distance scale.
Then for grab shots, I pre-focus using the scale,
and make sure I have enough depth of field
to account for any discrepancies.
05-27-2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
This is not what I'm seeing with my A50/1.2 in low light. If I'm in Av mode, and have set f/22, the preview zoom leaves the lens open.
Ah, maybe preview zoom always puts lens to wide open, then? I'm pretty sure it does something with the aperture
05-27-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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Original Poster
Thank you all for the tips. The key reason for FP failure seems to be Pentax implementation of stopping down which does not make sense. No wonder, so far I got more keepers with my k-x than k-01 but things are improving now - tried following based on some tips here:

1) Shooting in M mode since it does not stops down during focusing. However, you lose all the advantages of A mode but it works.

2) Even better way is to use red button for DoF preview and enable DoF preview while adjusting focus (for large apertures). This works like a charm. You can instantly see how misleading was the focus peaking without it. I practiced it today morning (it's morning here) and keeper ratio has dramatically increased, almost all the shots were in focus with 50/1.4 and 85/1.4

QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I tend to cheat and use the FP with the blown highlights/shadow display turned on for the LCD. This tricks the camera into thinking the focus peak glimmer is a highlight, and it flares yellow as a result.
Please help me here, can you point me to exact settings menu item. I enabled Highlight/dark in the playback settings menu and it doesn't seems to have any effect so I seem to be using a wrong settings.

Thanks
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