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12-24-2015, 02:33 PM   #1
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slow AF

Hi, what is your opinion about speed of pentax autofocus? I used K-x and now I use pentax k-500. I could compare AF speed with old Canon D450 and some old olympus DSLR - there is huge diference in speed. I guess this is reason why canon and nikon are more popular. Other disapointing thing is AF in video.

12-24-2015, 02:53 PM - 1 Like   #2
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It also depends on your lens. Some lenses are slower than others. Standard and wide-angle primes generally focus faster because of short throw and faster apertures, whereas consumer zooms such as the 55-300mm and 18-55mm generally focus more slowly because of longer throw and less light passing through.

Newer models including the K-3, K-S1, and K-S2 have faster screwdrive motors that can yield up to 50% faster focusing with screwdrive lenses. Along with the K-5 II/IIs, these bodies are also more sensitive in low light, which leads to faster focusing speeds and better accuracy.

Canon and Nikon in-lens motors are indeed generally much faster than those in Pentax SDM lenses, and their in-camera AF modules are more sophisticated, particularly for tracking. However, for casual users I'd say that Pentax's AF is going to be satisfactory most of the time. If you're not getting the results you expect, make sure you've got the technique down first (and then consider grabbing one of the more advanced models)!

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12-24-2015, 05:25 PM   #3
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K-5 IIs is a step above my old K-7 in especially using screw drive lenses. Not having experience other brands with their allegedly 'quick as greased lightning' response, I would say the performance is adequate.
12-24-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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I think that the AF speed is a function of the lens. The Pentax DA Limited lenses focus very fast on both my K-7 and K-3. But some long lenses or zoom lenses are slow with my K-7. As indicated by Adam, the K-3 has superior AF screw drive mechanism and I find the K-3 an excellent performer.

While I do not have Canon SLR experience, I believe that one needs to compare apples and apples. The lens selection is critical to the AF performances.

What lenses did you test one your K-x and K-500?

My 5 cents and Merry Xmas


Last edited by hcc; 12-24-2015 at 07:49 PM.
12-25-2015, 12:11 AM   #5
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Agreed on the DA Limited primes. 21, 40, 70, 15, and even the 35 macro all were plenty fast on my old K-3. Not the greatest for tracking AF, but definitely better than any of the zooms I used. The screwdrive motor in the K-3 is really strong, and that power translates well with stills AF on those primes. I shoot a D610 now, and the AF on my 50mm 1.8G, and my 24-120mm f/4 is really fast. I think the stills AF ability on any Pentax DSLR from the K-50 on up (what I've shot with) is plenty good for most uses, when combined with faster lenses. When I stop my Nikon/Tamron lenses down, they're not as fast either (less light hitting the AF).
12-25-2015, 12:54 AM   #6
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I have Pentax DA 35mm f/2.4 AL SMC, DAL 18-55mm and 50-200mm. I expected that 35mm lens will be faster - but there is also problem with time of begining focusing in dark place (around christmast tree). Often the camera must measure twice (with green led). I compared speed with my brotherīs Canon D450 with set 18-55 lens and Canon was much faster - I have to compare sharpness of the pictures today, Iīm really satisfied with mine. So pictures are great, but I canīt take pictures if people are moving.
12-25-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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I'm coming from a Nikon 5200 and so far I am pretty satisfied with my Pentax K50 in bright light, but I wasn't too happy indoors. My K-50 seemed to hunt too much, and the auto focus speed was not what I was used to. But I bought myself a good external flash. Now the camera doesn't hunt in low light, and for some reason, the auto focus seems way faster. Does this make sense to anyone?
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