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12-26-2013, 05:45 AM   #1
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Pentax K-30 focus confirmation issue

Hi, i just got my new K-30 to use with the wide array of manual lenses i have.

The problem is i find it hard to get sharp focus where i want it by using focus confirmation hexagon in viewfinder.
I can get consistent sharp focus with live view and focus peaking, of course.

For example my S-M-C Takumar 50@1.4, Color Ultron 50@1.8, Flektogon 35@2.4, Chinon 55@1.4, Reflecta 55@1.4, 77M4 50@1.8, Pancolar 50mm@1.8 Porst 55@1.2 can't get sharp focus on centre point.

I previously had for testing a Nikon D3200, when it got focus confirmation in viewfinder i had been sure the centre point will be in focus, didn't have to check the actual view in viewfinder.
Of course Nikon is no good for M42 lenses.

I use the lenses wide open, bbut geting @f4 doesnt do much and beside, why would i have f1.2 if i cant use it?
I disabled everything the camera does auto, tried with shake reduction off/on.
Exposure time is more than enough.
Used Pk-tether to adjust focus... when i thought i just got it right, changing the distance would mess it again.
I focused from 0 to infinity in every test iteration, when i thought i just got it right, changing the distance would mess it again. (also if i focused from infinity to 0 after i adjusted it from 0 to infinity the sharp focus will be messed again, beside the previously mentioned changing distance).
Sometimes i can observe that when rotating the barrel and almost getting out of focus the focus confirmation hexagon in viewfinder still stays lit.
Daylight doent seem to do much difference either, the same behaviour can be observed.

I'm very frustrated by this, it's a very featured camera, but i throwed almost all my shots in one evening becuse i cant get a reliable confirmation in viewfinder (the trap focus i was exited about is good for nothing but wasting good moments, being relied on the focus confirmation hexagon).

I'm considering changing systems to Canon, if there is no way i can get reliable focus confirmation hexagon in viewfinder. (Nikon is not an option because of the different flange distance and i want a DSLR body).

Would realy like to keep the K-30 though, if anyone could help me improve the consistency of focus confirmation hexagon in viewfinder or has any tips, please do.

12-26-2013, 07:19 AM   #2
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You're better off getting a real focusing screen that is meant for manual focusing at large apertures. I consider mine to be reasonably accurate at f2.8 with a 50mm, but I really only trust it when I'm shooting beyond f4 with DOF to spare.

You can adjust the focus confirmation with manual lenses using the Apply All offset for the AF Fine Adjustment, but this will throw off your auto focus lenses if they were fine before. This is a tedious process that must be done on a tripod with a proper focus chart.
12-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I'm considering a tailored ee-s screen and magnifier but ... at least the metering its working like it should now.

Maybe its possible to disable/reduce some of the focus zone or sensors... i've read about vertical and horizontal sensors, i just want the eyes in focus, maybe disabling the vertical sensors will do some good.

With Nikon it was harder to get focus confirmation but when it was lit i was sure it will be in focus... the focus zone was smaller.
12-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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i did the correction with a tripod/ focusing chart, its inconsistent when i change distances.

12-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tpetris Quote
Maybe its possible to disable/reduce some of the focus zone or sensors...
You can set the camera to use only the centre focus point.
12-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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I believe it is always just using center point with manual lenses.
12-26-2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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for example the flektogon i aligned it at 2m with the dot method.

the hexagon stays lit in the following range:

coming from focus till it looses focus:
largest correction is -34
smallest correction is -10

coming from out of focus till focus:
largest correction is -29
smallest correction is -14

so i can conclude the hexagon is in a grey zone for 4-5 units of correction, which is consistent at both ends.
we can also observe that the "perfect focus" is for both cases 22 (21.5).
12-26-2013, 11:56 AM   #8
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Also, the zone "in focus" is around 15 units, which i guess is a lot, meaning an easy out of focus image if you dont nail near the middle (not counting the "grey" zone which is 24 in total).
I wonder if you could restrain this zone somehow...

12-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
You can set the camera to use only the centre focus point.
thanks for reply, ofc i set centre spoting
12-26-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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S-M-C Takumar 50@1.4:

coming from focus till it looses focus:
largest correction is -9
smallest correction is +2

coming from out of focus till focus:
largest correction is -15
smallest correction is -+7

seems that there is a "grey" focus area on my K-30 of 5 units + and - ... hope someone could figure a solution
12-28-2013, 04:31 AM   #11
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It's normal that there is a 'range' where the green hexagon confirms focus. I manage reasonable well on the K5 with M50/1.7 and M120/2.8, but I don't shoot wide open and usually not at close distances so DOF compensates for my errors

QuoteOriginally posted by tpetris Quote
hope someone could figure a solution
See earlier reply by elliott, quoted below in case you missed it
QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
You're better off getting a real focusing screen that is meant for manual focusing at large apertures.
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