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02-23-2014, 09:07 PM   #1
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K-30 and low light AF

Hey does anyone know what ev the AF works to in low light? I'm in a situation where money could be of use and thinking of selling my K-5II for a K-30. Is the AF decent on K-30? Any trouble with low light or with the camera focusing slightly behind the subject? (I had a K-5 before that did that a lot)

02-24-2014, 01:48 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolen Quote
Hey does anyone know what ev the AF works to in low light? I'm in a situation where money could be of use and thinking of selling my K-5II for a K-30. Is the AF decent on K-30? Any trouble with low light or with the camera focusing slightly behind the subject? (I had a K-5 before that did that a lot)
Sorry, have a K-30 but use manual focus so not a clue. You could always shine a torch while autofocusing, that should do the trick.
02-24-2014, 10:45 AM   #3
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I would like to know as well, but my guess is the SAFOX for the K5II is better, just as the K3 is slightly better than the K5II
02-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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I have a K-30, and my biggest frustration with it is low-light autofocus. On the other hand, I love it for focus peaking, which is why I gave the ii a miss and got the k-30.

02-24-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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The K-30 AF just gets slower with failing light, and indoors the assist light helps when it struggles in the near dark. I can't say I've had problems with it failing to focus, it's more of a speed thing. It works OK with low wattage 7 watt energy saving bulbs in my house but not really for anything moving, it's not quick enough and might then focus on the stationary background. More light and it's OK. I tend to close the aperture down and use bounce flash indoors for people shots to make sure I get the shot.

I haven't noticed BF/FF issues with Pentax lenses, but do get a bit of FF at f2.8 in dim yellowish artificial light on both my f2.8 Sigmas, OK by f4. Could be a coincidence though, I haven't got a huge arsenal of lenses to judge better.

I think the AF was improved by 2EV in the K5II and K-3, but that's with f2.8 lenses, so they may be 4EV better than the K-30 with its f5.6 AF sensor.

Last edited by SteveB; 02-24-2014 at 11:57 AM.
02-24-2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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The one thing which really bothers me with the k-30 is the focus in low light. I shoot lot's of motorcycle gatherings which usually are held in low light areas and it can be pain in the ass until i manage to focus. Quite a few times the people get tired of posing before i manage to get the photo, so i try to do all kind of tricks to get the image. Pre-focus or use the brightest object as starting point, but anyway, compared to the nikons i was using before the k-30 it's not something you will be proud about.
02-24-2014, 05:25 PM   #7
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I recently attended a night run of the local Lancaster bomber, no lights were allowed and my K30 would not focus at all, luckily my K200 worked a charm.There has been a software update that is supposed to improve low light focus, but I haven't ventured out after dark lately.

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02-25-2014, 09:00 AM   #8
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oh ok. Does the K20D's AF do better than the K-30 in low light?

02-25-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolen Quote
oh ok. Does the K20D's AF do better than the K-30 in low light?
K-30 has to be much better.
02-25-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolen Quote
oh ok. Does the K20D's AF do better than the K-30 in low light?
I don't know about the K20, but the K200 does!

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02-26-2014, 09:29 AM   #11
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The K-30 with the firmware update does a lot better than the K20D. It is especially fast with lenses that pull f/4 or faster. It is rated 1 EV less than K5ii/s (PDAF). It will do live view equal or a bit better than the K5ii/s.

On the more positive side of it, the PDAF focus is reported to be more accurate than the K5 series with less need to do micro adjustments on individual lenses. Giving up a bit of speed for greater focus accuracy is a bargain in my book.
02-26-2014, 12:09 PM   #12
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Did your K-30 have the v1.05 firmware? Reportedly, that helps low light AF.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/236796-new-firmware.html#post2510770
03-02-2014, 08:58 AM   #13
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A trick I learned with my old Oly E-620, which were notoriously bad for low light focusing was to use Center weight metering and spot focusing. That seems to help with low light focusing on my K50 with the Assist light on.
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