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12-27-2007, 11:25 AM   #1
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No any rumors about NEW AF SYSTEM

No any rumors about NEW AF SYSTEM.
If Pentax stays with SAFOX VIII, it will be the big mistake. IMO.

12-27-2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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Really SAFOX is not that bad: it's slow, but usually it's also very precise, and has plenty of reading points for it's class range: would be better to go entirely SDM than begining development of SAFOX IX...
12-27-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by zntgrg Quote
Really SAFOX is not that bad: it's slow, but usually it's also very precise, and has plenty of reading points for it's class range: would be better to go entirely SDM than begining development of SAFOX IX...

It has been my assumption that SDM would percolate through the entire Pentax system. The N---n pattern was to start in on the high end ---as as Pentax, but cost bunnies don't like duplicate systems to do the same thing, so it is only a question of when the whirring drive shaft vanishes.
12-27-2007, 07:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
No any rumors about NEW AF SYSTEM.
If Pentax stays with SAFOX VIII, it will be the big mistake. IMO.
Try doing a patent search for Pentax. Look specifically for patent applications.

You will find many AF-related patent applications from Pentax, most very recent. It is hard to sort out exactly what might be coming by reading these, but it seems pretty clear that pentax has been working in this area, so I suspect that we will see a new AF system from Pentax with the new cameras.

Ray

12-28-2007, 07:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
No any rumors about NEW AF SYSTEM.
If Pentax stays with SAFOX VIII, it will be the big mistake. IMO.
There's nothing wrong with the SAFOX VIII sensor. In fact it's easily the best AF sensor in its pricerange. The only thing comparable is the 40D's.

That said, Pentax needs to work on the AF speed. (Contrary to what RiceHigh states, the Pentax AF system is more accurate than the competition at a similar price).

Perhaps Pentax needs an option like the Fast/Slow AF CF on the Minolta 7D and Sony A700. It's literally a Fast or Accurate, take your pick Custom Function (Slow is said to be for low-light and macro, where accuracy is prized, Fast for everything else). I'd actually quite like that, preferring slow but accurate AF for the most part. If I need speed, I'll usually switch to MF and prefocus (Works better than AF on every body I've owned except the EOS 3).
12-28-2007, 08:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mawz Quote
Perhaps Pentax needs an option like the Fast/Slow AF CF on the Minolta 7D and Sony A700. It's literally a Fast or Accurate, take your pick Custom Function (Slow is said to be for low-light and macro, where accuracy is prized, Fast for everything else).
I've suggested this for months as it can be done as a firmware update on the K10D. It is the double-checks that slow down the lock-on speed, but give better accuracy. The responses I get are to just to dismiss the idea saying "Just use Continuous Focus on the K10D where you can take the picture without waiting for lock-on". Obviously, that is not the same thing in the slightest.

A purely firmware update to enable a menu choice in the Custom menu for AF mode:

AF MODE>

1. Default
2. Sport

DEFAULT: As it is now, being the most accurate, but slower

SPORT: Focus lock is made faster by allowing the shutter to fire on initial acquisition or by just increasing the tolerance. - eliminating the double checks.

This, in combination with a more efficiently designed AF algorithm sourced from a year's worth of R&D would be a real worthwhile improvement within the limitation of not changing hardware.

I don't understand why this type of pro-active idealogy is ignored. There's just no cost based excuse for ignoring this in terms of the current K10D.
12-29-2007, 12:06 AM   #7
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Well, I don't know if it's Safox VIII or something else's fault but K10D focussing on moving objects really sucks. static objects — no problem, good, fast, accurate focussing.

Moving objects — another story. Try this: set K10D to continuous AF, continuous shooting mode, set some tele lens (50-135mm range) at fast aperture and take serie of pictures of a man, walking to you at quick pace. I bet that most (if not all) pictures will be back focussed. In AF-S mode K10D probably won't be able to lock and to take picture at all. Oh, and when you use AF-C + continuous shooting on moving object frame rate drops dramatically.

AF on moving objects is the area where Pentax lags far behind competition. While my daughter was small and was just crawling and walking, Pentax was wonderful cost-effective solution for my family pictures. Now she is running and the only focussing method I can rely on is to prefocus manually and to fire serie of shots when she is running through that spot. Of course it doesn't work with a flash

Check out this French test, page 22:
http://www.fnac.net/telecharg/dossiers_techniques_2007/numerique_ete2007.pdf
You'll see the truth about K10D AF-C...

Because of this hopeless AF on moving objects I stopped recommending Pentax for my friends and stopped buying Pentax equipment — started thinking about switching to Nikon. However still waiting for next month announcements...

Last edited by Edvinas; 12-29-2007 at 12:40 AM.
12-29-2007, 02:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Moving objects — another story. Try this: set K10D to continuous AF, continuous shooting mode, set some tele lens (50-135mm range) at fast aperture and take serie of pictures of a man, walking to you at quick pace. I bet that most (if not all) pictures will be back focussed.
It depends on how far away is your subject. If you are talking indoor situations at close distance, I am not sure if any AF system can cope with that. AF tracking is designed for more distant object, like runners in track and field; not your kids running around in the house.

Seriously, is there any AF system out there which can track kids running around you at close distance (e.g. in the same room)?

12-29-2007, 02:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Check out this French test, page 22:
http://www.fnac.net/telecharg/dossiers_techniques_2007/numerique_ete2007.pdf
You'll see the truth about K10D AF-C...

Because of this hopeless AF on moving objects I stopped recommending Pentax for my friends and stopped buying Pentax equipment — started thinking about switching to Nikon. However still waiting for next month announcements...
I wouldn't base anything on any testing made by the Fnac for all the tea in China. They dunno what they are talking about and never have.

Now, I suppose you friends do actualy need that AF-C other wise I see no point in recommanding another brand just for that reason.
12-29-2007, 03:41 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by zntgrg Quote
Really SAFOX is not that bad: it's slow, but usually it's also very precise, and has plenty of reading points for it's class range: would be better to go entirely SDM than begining development of SAFOX IX...
SDM is nice but it isn't the answer to slow AF critics (the 50-135 is my slowest AF lens...) nor low light or Af tracking problems.

Pentax could do with a SAFOX IX IMO
12-29-2007, 03:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
SDM is nice but it isn't the answer to slow AF critics (the 50-135 is my slowest AF lens...) nor low light or Af tracking problems.

Pentax could do with a SAFOX IX IMO
BTW did you test your 50-135 with K10D firmware <1.3 ?
The little time I played with one (not using SDM) I felt it was very quick and quite silent for a non-SDM lens (and I was in a poorly lit shop).

I'm curious.
12-29-2007, 04:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
BTW did you test your 50-135 with K10D firmware <1.3 ?
The little time I played with one (not using SDM) I felt it was very quick and quite silent for a non-SDM lens (and I was in a poorly lit shop).

I'm curious.
I have tried it fot two days before upgrading to v1.3, since then, I also tried the lens on my Ds and my Z1P.

I find the AF speed to be about the same with/without SDM so I don't think the relatively unimpressive AF speed is related to SDM.

It's more of a design/gearing issue IMO.

Don't get me wrong though, I am using it extensively now and the lens won't go anywhere as it is really an excellent lens, the AF speed "issue" doesn't really show up until you want to focus quicly from far to near. But if you have to do this, it take about 1s to go from 1m+ to 10m+ which is not very good, even by Pentax standards (which are pretty good IMHO).

My FA 135 take approximately half of that time to go from 0,7m to infinity on the K10 and more generally, all my lenses are faster to travel from their min focusing distance to infinity (DA 12-24, FA 50, DA 50-200, Sigma 170-500 & 17-35) so... it's a little bit unexpected for the new high-end Pentax f2.8 telephoto that is supposed to bring us equivalent technology/performances to 70-200s USM/AF-S offerings from the competition...
12-29-2007, 05:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
I wouldn't base anything on any testing made by the Fnac for all the tea in China. They dunno what they are talking about and never have.
This test just confirms my observations. I did find K10D AF-C not capable to track moving objects independently from this FNAC testing. However this FNAC test exactly illustrates my findings.
12-29-2007, 07:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
This test just confirms my observations. I did find K10D AF-C not capable to track moving objects independently from this FNAC testing. However this FNAC test exactly illustrates my findings.


I find that totally incomprehensible as my K10D is perfectly able to focus on birds in flight with a 600/4 lens.
12-29-2007, 07:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
This test just confirms my observations. I did find K10D AF-C not capable to track moving objects independently from this FNAC testing. However this FNAC test exactly illustrates my findings.
Sure, simply you knew it before reading that test didn't you?
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