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02-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #1
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K20D AF test with DA* 200mm 2.8

Well, I'm no sports shooter, but I've shot with a few pro sports shooters in my area and understand the technique and have learned how to shoot different sports from actually playing them. Overcast day today, K20D in hand, I shot away at our lab tech running full steam from start to finish (within minimum focusing distance). Here are all the shots from this with nothing missing in between. All shot at ISO 320 and between 1/320 and 1/400 of a second handheld with SR on and continuous AF mode and center AF point selected.

I personally am confident in the AF speed/accuracy in the K20D and will shoot as many sporting events I can this spring and summer to see how well a photographer can shoot Pentax from the sidelines.

BTW, the 200 2.8 is an amazing lens folks

















02-29-2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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lol...can you get him to run diagonally next time you guys get bored? ;-)

First pic is FF (look at ground in front of him), the rest look good until the last one (probably FF since nothing behind him looks focused either, or it's below min focus distance).

Thanks for the test. And thanks to Ben for mentioning he's noticed the AF improvement too. Confirms what someone else posted on the DPR forums...
02-29-2008, 07:08 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
Well, I'm no sports shooter, but I've shot with a few pro sports shooters in my area and understand the technique and have learned how to shoot different sports from actually playing them. Overcast day today, K20D in hand, I shot away at our lab tech running full steam from start to finish (within minimum focusing distance). Here are all the shots from this with nothing missing in between. All shot at ISO 320 and between 1/320 and 1/400 of a second handheld with SR on and continuous AF mode and center AF point selected.
Interesting. The first shot looks a little out of focus (but I would say it is a keeper) and the last one is clearly not in focus, but the rest look pretty good. So we'll call it an 87% success rate. You definitely need at least 1/500 to keep the hands and legs from blurring, and I like to use at least 1/750 if conditions permit.

To test in conditions similar to what I encounter, try having about 4-6 people running in all directions towards, away and sideways in the frame. Set AF for the center sensor only and try to hold focus on one person running both towards and away from the camera as the others are crossing in front and behind the principal subject. Lens on f2.8 to blur the background, please.
02-29-2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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Last one looks like motion blur. The buttons at the bottom of his shirt look like they are in focus. Closer the moving object gets to the camera, the more motion will show. Next time shoot iso 800 and shoot 1/500 or 1/640. Thanks for the post.

02-29-2008, 07:53 PM   #5
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I'd be interested in somthing similar without using SDM, as i can't afford SDM lenses yet .
02-29-2008, 07:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for this post. I wasn't sure whether to jump for the K20D when I had the cash or wait for AF improvements. This has eliminated my qualms.
02-29-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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If you're taking requests I'd be interested to see how the exact same test fares with the K10D.
02-29-2008, 09:02 PM   #8
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Chris,

Very nice results! Thanks for posting the test.

Any updates from your Pentax rep on the DA*300?

Bud

02-29-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
Interesting. The first shot looks a little out of focus (but I would say it is a keeper) and the last one is clearly not in focus, but the rest look pretty good. So we'll call it an 87% success rate. You definitely need at least 1/500 to keep the hands and legs from blurring, and I like to use at least 1/750 if conditions permit.

To test in conditions similar to what I encounter, try having about 4-6 people running in all directions towards, away and sideways in the frame. Set AF for the center sensor only and try to hold focus on one person running both towards and away from the camera as the others are crossing in front and behind the principal subject. Lens on f2.8 to blur the background, please.
I bet in that situation the K20D (or the K10 or K100 or *ist or any other) will try to focus on the folks crossing in front of the subject and subsequently struggle to lock focus back on. The AF algorithm is set to focus on whatever is in fron of it, no questions asked. Maybe they should include a customizable lag/delay for AF, where it won't move faster than a certain threshold.
02-29-2008, 11:02 PM   #10
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the test. Glad to know that the K20D + SDM lenses is up to speed now. I've always faced problems while doing fashion show runway shots using K10D.
02-29-2008, 11:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
If you're taking requests I'd be interested to see how the exact same test fares with the K10D.
I'll see what I can do, but it prolly wont be till sunday if that. I'm going to snap my pup running full steam in the back yard and see what I can get.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bud Quote
Chris,

Very nice results! Thanks for posting the test.

Any updates from your Pentax rep on the DA*300?

Bud
It'll be here soon is all I ever get.

QuoteOriginally posted by ricardobeat Quote
I bet in that situation the K20D (or the K10 or K100 or *ist or any other) will try to focus on the folks crossing in front of the subject and subsequently struggle to lock focus back on. The AF algorithm is set to focus on whatever is in fron of it, no questions asked. Maybe they should include a customizable lag/delay for AF, where it won't move faster than a certain threshold.
It wasn't too bad, I'll have to post some of cars driving by and people walking cause it jumped as things crossed and went back. Have to dig through gigs of images

QuoteOriginally posted by wesleywong Quote
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the test. Glad to know that the K20D + SDM lenses is up to speed now. I've always faced problems while doing fashion show runway shots using K10D.
Wesley, love the flickr page!

Yes, I've personally noticed plenty of AF improvements and it'll help me out in the bar/nightclub shooting. Can't wait for St. Patricks day!
03-01-2008, 05:15 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing this, Chris. Always appreciate what you do for the community.
03-01-2008, 06:44 AM   #13
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that's a great test! Now you've got me wanting to get that lens ;-) The DA*200 is next on my list, but my CC has to recover from the K20D first.

One question:I assume you were in "Continuous Hi" (3fps), I really don't see the need for "Continuous Lo" (2.3fps) setting. Is there any other difference in those 2 modes?
03-01-2008, 10:07 AM   #14
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03-01-2008, 10:08 AM   #15
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