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10-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
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Visible Focus Location?

The K30 focus point location is shown in the VF by a brief red flash - if that's turned on - when half-pressing the shutter button after the previous shot. Choose another target - half-press - and no red flash to show where the focus point is, so doesn't remind you to change the position if that now won't suit the new target. Fire a shot - and then, the half-press flashes the point to show where it is.

Can this be adjusted so that the position shows with every shutter half-press? Or for the red indicator to stay on, perhaps only if the point has been moved from centre?

As any of this works only with the selected Pentax digital-era lenses listed in the Manual, is there any way to "manually" indicate the selected focus point?

I'm thinking of the 'floating' focus point in my SX10 - which is shown in viewfinder and LCD with a tiny white box outline. This can be placed in 493 close-increment positions (29 across and 17 down = 493) - so is very easy to position - and shows fulltime just where the focus point is.

As the K30's auto-points don't work with the Pentax, Tak, etc, pre-digital lenses, or "foreign" Brand lenses - from the Manual it appears to indicate that with other than the listed digital-era Pentaxes - only Spot / Centre will function.

Can it be that the K30 has ONLY a non-movable Spot / Centre focus point with ALL other lenses...?

Quoting Page 102 of the K30 Manual:

The focus point selection mode is fixed to (Spot / Centre) regardless of this setting when
using lenses other than DA, DA L, D FA, FA J, FA or F lenses. End quote.

Is there not, say for Manual Mode - a box-outline or indicator that moves the focus point Across, Down, so on - and remains visible...?

Wondering, because one of my main reasons for getting the K30 is that the older lenses suit my budget, and I'll be using more as I obtain more. I was assuming that it would have a "move the box" or indicator, for shifted focus point.

Perhaps it's called something else - or is under some other function - but I can't yet find the above in the Manual.

What I'm seeing for K30's focus points and indications seems to be just the same as the 11-point system in the K200D.

Any enlightenment on this would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Regards, Dave.

10-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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Dave, I have k-5 not k-30 but I think they are the same in this regard.

First, understand that the red box is not actually the focus point. It is just an indicator that shows which focus sensor is in use, the actual sensor area is much larger than the red box.

Second, I believe you are correct on older lenses, K, M, A and M42 the only focus point available is the center one.

I do not remember if this is also true in liveview however. I will test that out later and see.

QuoteOriginally posted by exwintech Quote
Is there not, say for Manual Mode - a box-outline or indicator that moves the focus point Across, Down, so on - and remains visible...?
Not as far as I know, though there is something similar in Liveview.
10-23-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Jatrax - Thanks for that. Yes - I did realise that the flashing red device is just an indicator for the position, not a 'box' outline. That's why I described the box outline - as in the SX10 - differently.

The K30's 11 focus points seem to cover the same the same small area - about a quarter or so of the frame area - in the centre, as the K200D which I'd been borrowing to get some 'DSLR experience'. The K200 and this K30 are the only DSLRs I've held to use, so I'm not too sure what to expect from a current model DSLR.

The actual tiny white box - or rectangle - in the SX10 - moves via the 4-way Arrows from corner to corner, left-right and up-down - and is a positive indication of where you've shifted the focus point to. That's in both EVF and LCD - though I mostly use it in the EVF.

According to the Manual, the indicator flash should work fully with the kit 18-55 DA L we get here. That is - centred or shifted, the location should get a red flash 'every time' you press the shutter halfway to the focus-beep point. Mine seems to only once after each shot - if I then decide to recompose or shift target - and half-press again, it does beep - but no red flash. Is this how it's designed? It only flashes 1 time between shots?

I've already realised that the 11-point system doesn't work with off-brand lenses that do auto-focus - I have a couple of Sigmas I was given with an old MZ-50 SLR - 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 and 100-300m f/4.5-6.7 DL - that do auto-focus at centre only. The 28-80, if very plasticky, seems to be a usable walk-around lens with a bit more reach than the kit, and is quite sharp with AF - while the old 100-300 works fairly well to about 200mm - and after that the AF is 'off' - though it works 'adequately' on the short-throw MF. I'm watching the local auction-site for Taks - 135mm, 200mm, and-and-and...... Might I be getting a sort of "classic-LBA-disease...?"

As I'm going to be using my K30 mostly with earlier lenses - suits my disability pension income, which is why I waited and saved a bit more for the K30 instead of the K-R, to get pentaprism - I'll be very surprised if there's no "manual" way - even in Manual Mode with MF would be okay - to move the focus point manually as in both of my Bridge zooms....

In my 60s and with a left arm problem, I'm not able to hold the camera out in front of me, like a cheap viewfinder-less P&S, even if Live-View does have a way to move the focus-point / indicator.

Unfortunately, it's starting to look as if I'll only have centre, hold-button, recompose, with most of my lenses. I do that fairly often with the Bridge cameras for casual shots, but it makes it a bit awkward for tripod use.

Regards, Dave.
10-23-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by exwintech Quote
In my 60s and with a left arm problem, I'm not able to hold the camera out in front of me, like a cheap viewfinder-less P&S, even if Live-View does have a way to move the focus-point / indicator. Unfortunately, it's starting to look as if I'll only have centre, hold-button, recompose, with most of my lenses. I do that fairly often with the Bridge cameras for casual shots, but it makes it a bit awkward for tripod use.
But with a tripod you will be able to zoom around the image and focus on the spot you want to. In fact, I find live view works a lot better when you are using a tripod rather than holding the camera anywhere near your face. So you won't have to use the recompose technique. And given the large size of the focus points, sometimes live view is the better way to go.

10-24-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
But with a tripod you will be able to zoom around the image and focus on the spot you want to. In fact, I find live view works a lot better when you are using a tripod rather than holding the camera anywhere near your face. So you won't have to use the recompose technique. And given the large size of the focus points, sometimes live view is the better way to go.
+1 I agree 100% I never use live view handheld, but use it more than half the time on the tripod. Lets you zoom in and really see what is in focus.
10-25-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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MSL - I meant that with all 'other-brand' lenses, even current digital-era ones, and anything of any brand pre-digital, if they're stuck with centre-focus only, it makes it awkward to focus, hold shutter button half-down, then recompose, on a tripod. Or even using focus-lock. I was hoping that, as with my Bridge cameras, there was a "manual" way to shift the focus point. Even if not quite the 493 manual-select positions in the frame that the old - 2008 - SX10 has.

It seems to go with other useful functions the Bridge cameras have, that the K30 doesn't. I won't forget the totally incredulous expression on my teenaged godson's face when I told him that while my new $879.00 ($70.00 for 2-year Warranty extension) "real DSLR" does have Continuous, Timer, Bracketing, Remote and Shake Reduction functions - only ONE of those can be used at any one time. So - hand-held, you can't use the 2-second Timer to "settle" the aim on-target, with SR on, for single-shot - let alone do that to steady the camera for AEB. With my Bridge cameras - and the $300.00 Fuji I bought that kid last year - you can set AEB, have SR running - plus 2-second Timer to brace the camera - all at once - for the bracketed set. Or - on tripod - set up for AEB - then use the 2-second timer to avoid any movement from pressing the shutter then removing hand from the camera. And NO - the K30 can't use a Remote to fire the AEB sequence - selecting "Remote" then excludes both Timer and Bracketing.

Jatrax - Yes, agree - trying to use Live-View for anything hand-held is a no-no. However, as the design doesn't allow video via the Viewfinder, hand-held Video has to be via Live-View... Which is woeful - so it isn't surprising that for doing Video, Pentax says that the K30 should be put on a tripod and "not operated" while Video-ing.

Yes, again - if you're used to Bridge cameras that can do a focus-helping magnified centre-area in the EVF - discovering that DSLRs can't do that, was a surprise. Along with that - finding that the K30 can't do Focus-Bracketing, either - was another surprise. Perhaps in a later model Pentax might delete a few-dozen of the trendy automatic "Scenes" and "Filters" functions, and use the then released programming-space to add Focus-Bracketing, and the "advanced" ability to use Timer and SR with Bracketing, Timer with SR for single-shots, so on.... Pentax might note that such is not impossible in DSLRs - others do actually do it.

Regards, Dave.
10-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by exwintech Quote
MSL - I meant that with all 'other-brand' lenses, even current digital-era ones, and anything of any brand pre-digital, if they're stuck with centre-focus only, it makes it awkward to focus, hold shutter button half-down, then recompose, on a tripod. Or even using focus-lock. I was hoping that, as with my Bridge cameras, there was a "manual" way to shift the focus point. Even if not quite the 493 manual-select positions in the frame that the old - 2008 - SX10 has.
I accept your point, but I'll counter that once I'm using a tripod, I find Live View a much more accurate way to focus, even center point, because the Pentax focus spots are so large. Plus you can scroll around the image to find which part you want to focus in on, and easily zoom up to 10x.
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