Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-17-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 141
My K-01 won't focus in low light

I usually designate my K01 for family event or party duty as its smaller and lighter than my K5 and if anything ever did happen to it I wouldn't be as upset. However, one thing that really bugs me about this camera for these types of events is that it simply cannot AF in really low light conditions. Not that the K5 is a performer in this area either, but the K01 is just lousy. I usually use it with a FA43 lens and it just doesn't seem to matter what I do but when I try to focus in low light the focus ring just racks back and forth. I usually operate it in AF select mode with the smallest square. Sometimes I have better luck with facial recognition if the light is right. Is there something I'm missing? Its just silly seeing iPhone's nail the focus and being able to take pictures when my mirrorless camera cant.

12-17-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,993
QuoteOriginally posted by TopherTheME Quote
I usually designate my K01 for family event or party duty as its smaller and lighter than my K5 and if anything ever did happen to it I wouldn't be as upset. However, one thing that really bugs me about this camera for these types of events is that it simply cannot AF in really low light conditions. Not that the K5 is a performer in this area either, but the K01 is just lousy. I usually use it with a FA43 lens and it just doesn't seem to matter what I do but when I try to focus in low light the focus ring just racks back and forth. I usually operate it in AF select mode with the smallest square. Sometimes I have better luck with facial recognition if the light is right. Is there something I'm missing? Its just silly seeing iPhone's nail the focus and being able to take pictures when my mirrorless camera cant.
Try making the square larger and focus in high-contrast areas. That's going to give you the best chances of locking focus in low light.

The smaller the square, the less area there is to analyze and the worse the camera will do.

Sounds like you might be in need of a K-5 II or a K-3

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

12-17-2013, 06:05 PM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 141
Original Poster
I can and it helps but it kind of defeats the purpose. I want to focus on the subject I want to take a picture of, not something right next to them/it.

I will get a K-3 eventually, but I'm thinking of first getting a RX100 or a Ricoh GR.

Last edited by TopherTheME; 12-17-2013 at 06:10 PM.
12-17-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 696
@TopherTheME -- have you updated the K-01 firmware to v.1.04? For me, it made all the difference. My K-01, with the 35mm f/2.4 lens, focuses fine in very low indoor light. But here's a question -- could poor autofocus also be related to differences between older and newer lenses? Does your FA43 act differently -- optically -- than the newer DA lenses? Apologies in advance if this is a stupid question... I don't really know about autofocus in any depth.

Beyond that, there's the sort of thing I'm prone to overlook... keeping the battery charged. When it's way down, less power, right? Slower motor actuation?

12-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 141
Original Poster
I'll have to check on that I'm not sure if I have the latest firmware but I didn't think any of the new firmware releases offered an improvment in AF. I've tried different lenses like the DA 18-135 and 50-135 and its the same result.

The state of charge of the battery is irrelavent to the AF speed. The internal voltage to the electronics including the AF motor is regulated.
12-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 696
@TopherTheME -- I can definitely speak for the firmware update making a real difference. Here's why. Recently, I bought a second K-01, a blue one from Japan. And was shocked at how poorly its version 1.00 firmware handled autofocus. Low light? Terrible. Updated it to v1.04, and... just like that... it was exactly the same as my black K-01.

At my end, the only reason to use our K-30 is getting an accurate instant focus lock on difficult subjects, like airplanes or birds against the sky, using a 55-300mm telephoto lens. Physically, I don't believe that the K-01 is designed to do that very well... the lens racks back and forth and most often just can't acquire a focus in time. But on the K-30, and I guess the other DSLRs, it works just fine. Must be a MILC vs DSLR focus-design kind of thing.
12-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Far North Qld
Posts: 3,250
QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Must be a MILC vs DSLR focus-design kind of thing.
The K-30 has Phase Detect AF - the K-01 is contrast detect AF only.
DSLMs don't use Phase Detect
12-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 696
@Steve.Ledger -- yes -- and, I think you explained it to me once, there is a different focusing mechanism on the MILC (DSLM). As I understood it, just because of its innate mechanical design, it can never be as good as a DSLR. At least for auto-focusing, anyway.

Which gets me back to my airplane-photo workaround idea... hiring young ladies in bikinis to lure those Marine VF-22 Osprey pilots closer. "Keep waving, girls!"

12-18-2013, 02:42 PM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 141
Original Poster
OK, stupid me, for some reason I thought I had v1.03 on the camera but I guess I still had v1.00. The updated firmware did make a huge difference. Not only does the AF motor spin the focus ring a lot faster but when it locks it doesn't a lot more accurately and in much lower light. When doing a quick test with the FA43 the K-01 now focuses accurately on an object where v1.00 would just rack back and forth. Still not as good as the K-5 but its not a DSLR so I guess it shouldn't be. Thanks for the help.


Cheers
12-20-2013, 08:52 AM   #10
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 126
Congratulations on successfully resolving a problem!

And thanks for posting a positive note, too.

Too often we see problems posted and never see when the solution is achieved.
12-26-2013, 01:24 AM   #11
Pentaxian
PiDicus Rex's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,014
Topher, one other hint, especially for low light and when you have the focus assist light acive, be very careful with how you grip the K-01.

I've noted it is exceptionally easy to cover the focus-assist light with the tip of a finger,... Just another Marc Newson Design failure.
12-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Durham, nc
Photos: Albums
Posts: 887
Yeah, make sure focus assist beam is on, it works wonders in low light. In low light, my 50mm f1.7 focuses almost as fast on the K-01 as it does on my K-x. So long as that beam is on, at least.

If you put a big honkin flash on there, which also has a focus assist beam, it focuses even better. Bigger, brighter beam makes a big difference with the focusing. (I have a sigma flash that works great like this). Although, you have to want to be using flash for that.

Charles.
12-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
Veteran Member
tclausen's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,399
QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Yeah, make sure focus assist beam is on, it works wonders in low light. In low light, my 50mm f1.7 focuses almost as fast on the K-01 as it does on my K-x. So long as that beam is on, at least.

If you put a big honkin flash on there, which also has a focus assist beam, it focuses even better. Bigger, brighter beam makes a big difference with the focusing. (I have a sigma flash that works great like this). Although, you have to want to be using flash for that.

Charles.

Hold your horses....with a Pentax flash, I believe that it was established (and my own test with two different Pentax flashes confirmed) that the focus assist beam wouldn't turn on with the K-01.....

Any new developments on that? The K-01 is the ideal camera otherwise, if only that bit would work (the manual says that it should, but it doesn't)...
12-26-2013, 07:09 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Far North Qld
Posts: 3,250
QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
Hold your horses....with a Pentax flash, I believe that it was established (and my own test with two different Pentax flashes confirmed) that the focus assist beam wouldn't turn on with the K-01.....

Any new developments on that? The K-01 is the ideal camera otherwise, if only that bit would work (the manual says that it should, but it doesn't)...
Working fine on my K-01 here using the Yongnuo 560II or GODOX CF-18.

Last edited by Steve.Ledger; 08-10-2014 at 10:12 PM.
12-27-2013, 03:48 AM   #15
Veteran Member
tclausen's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,399
My K-01 won't focus in low light

QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Working fine on my K-01 here using the Yongnuo 560II or GODOX CF-18.

Ah, but wait, that's just the in-camera AF assist beam....sure, that works.

I was interested in getting the in-flash AF assist beams to work, e.g., as in the 360 or 540 flashes....
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af, camera, focus, k-01, k-01 won't focus, k01, k5, light, mirrorless, pentax k-01
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My K-R won't focus amayers3 Pentax K-r 9 09-18-2013 04:41 PM
My K20D doesn't won't focus Slowpoke Rodriguez Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 01-06-2013 08:04 PM
New K-01 won't recognize my 50mm 1.4 M? Metalwizards Pentax K-01 2 11-27-2012 03:48 AM
K-5 and DA*50-135 won't focus in LIVE VIEW. bossa Pentax K-5 6 03-08-2012 04:02 AM
*ist DL - Won't take pix in low light stormdore Pentax DSLR Discussion 7 06-04-2008 10:49 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:18 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top