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08-12-2015, 12:21 PM - 2 Likes   #241
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glorfindelrb Quote
Or maybe after reading thousands of time that Pentax AF is bad, some are just thinking it's a fact. And as SDM lenses are quite slow (but accurate), they think they are experiencing it and blame the whole AF system. Maybe.
Pentax's AF system is decent. it's not "bad" but as a system compare the AF of say the K3 and the D7200 side by side and for speed the D7200 will win, for accuracy in low light low contrast situations the Pentax will do better, but take a bit longer to lock. But when it locks it will lock, the D7200 will hunt a while and may still not get it perfect.

Thats the problem. If you don't compare to apples to apples... and say go K3 DA*50-135 f2.8 vs D600 w 70-200 f4 like many probably do... the AF speed and accuracy in most well lit conditions is embarrassing. It is fact. The AF system has jumped leaps and bounds from the K20 to the K5 to the K3 and beyond.. but its still as a whole not as good as what most other brands offer. Once the new D-FA* 70-200 f2.8 comes out, and it's proven to be a lot quicker already in previews, and the new FF and new breed of cameras and lenses come out under the Ricoh design...then yes, I think it will be truly comparable.

That being said... is the SDM and current K mount models AF system good enough for 80% of shooters? Yes it is. Is it good enough for sports shooters? Yes it is, if they learn how to adapt to the short comings of the system.



Same goes for the flash system. I never understood the groaning of how Pentax don't have a decent flash system. They do have a system comparable to Nikon CLS. It's just a royal pain to setup. The low floor of flash sync speed, and the lack of third party HSS options (which is improving). Is it as terrible as people say? No, but its no Nikon CLS, and no Profoto HSS TTL thats for sure.


Last edited by Wired; 08-12-2015 at 02:00 PM.
08-12-2015, 02:56 PM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Pentax's AF system is decent. it's not "bad" but as a system compare the AF of say the K3 and the D7200 side by side and for speed the D7200 will win, for accuracy in low light low contrast situations the Pentax will do better, but take a bit longer to lock. But when it locks it will lock, the D7200 will hunt a while and may still not get it perfect.

Thats the problem. If you don't compare to apples to apples... and say go K3 DA*50-135 f2.8 vs D600 w 70-200 f4 like many probably do... the AF speed and accuracy in most well lit conditions is embarrassing. It is fact. The AF system has jumped leaps and bounds from the K20 to the K5 to the K3 and beyond.. but its still as a whole not as good as what most other brands offer. Once the new D-FA* 70-200 f2.8 comes out, and it's proven to be a lot quicker already in previews, and the new FF and new breed of cameras and lenses come out under the Ricoh design...then yes, I think it will be truly comparable.

That being said... is the SDM and current K mount models AF system good enough for 80% of shooters? Yes it is. Is it good enough for sports shooters? Yes it is, if they learn how to adapt to the short comings of the system.



Same goes for the flash system. I never understood the groaning of how Pentax don't have a decent flash system. They do have a system comparable to Nikon CLS. It's just a royal pain to setup. The low floor of flash sync speed, and the lack of third party HSS options (which is improving). Is it as terrible as people say? No, but its no Nikon CLS, and no Profoto HSS TTL thats for sure.
I also feel Pentax's single shot auto focus system is decent. Where I feel it lags is continuous focus. In continuous focus, for example trying to capture a bird in flight, my sense is that Nikon and Canon surpass Pentax. I do not have or have I used Nikon or Canon cameras but base my experience on being out shooting action shots with friends of comparable ability who own Canon and Nikon. My sense is that they capture the subject quicker, track better and have a higher percentage of keepers. The K3 is a big step forward in continuous focus from the K5. Since Pentax has stated they want to be a leader in auto-focus they must make another giant step forward with the next auto-focus system to achieve a position close to leadership..
08-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #243
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I call ╘╛ on the K-3 AF whinging.
08-12-2015, 05:18 PM - 1 Like   #244
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
My sense is that they capture the subject quicker, track better and have a higher percentage of keepers.
I've done some event shooting with Nikon FF, and I have not experienced any huge Nikon AF advantage over the K-3. Some things are better, some not. Yet Pentaxians continue to torture themselves about their 'inferior AF'. .

08-12-2015, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
as a system compare the AF of say the K3 and the D7200 side by side and for speed the D7200 will win, for accuracy in low light low contrast situations the Pentax will do better
Wouldn't it be great if there was a menu setting,
where you adjust between speed and accuracy
according to what you need at the given moment!
08-12-2015, 07:05 PM   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I've done some event shooting with Nikon FF, and I have not experienced any huge Nikon AF advantage over the K-3. Some things are better, some not. Yet Pentaxians continue to torture themselves about their 'inferior AF'. .
And some torture the camera by shooting continuous AF with inappropriate settings.
08-12-2015, 07:29 PM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Wouldn't it be great if there was a menu setting,
where you adjust between speed and accuracy
according to what you need at the given moment!
Always fast as possible.
08-13-2015, 12:14 AM - 2 Likes   #248
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I've done some event shooting with Nikon FF, and I have not experienced any huge Nikon AF advantage over the K-3. Some things are better, some not. Yet Pentaxians continue to torture themselves about their 'inferior AF'. .
Oh I don't think that many torture themselves. Many that cared switched brand long ago or never invested in the brand because of that and some other know that their brand is not perfect... And I mean nothing is perfect anyway. And because it is not important for them, they go on with their life.

That when asked they repeat that things are not perfect seems to quite upset somes fan but I guess this is unavoidable. The fan think he must protect his brand, he has the faith. Some other guys don't want to let that go pass totally unchallenged and try to counter the blindness fanboyism to give a more balenced view. They don't think that because they use some gear of some brand, even if they appreciate what it does and the quality of the product that they have to consider it perfect for all intents and purposes.

Last time I checked, kenspo said that the Pentax AF was far better than before and the K3-II even better than K3 but that it was still not as good as the others... Not by far, but still not as good. He is a pro and was using other brands before... Test regularly made on AF show that tracking is not as good neither. I don't see reason to push to say the contrary. We can stay comfort on still subjects shooting but even that until K3, the sensor were too big.

08-13-2015, 12:48 AM - 2 Likes   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
it was still not as good as the others... Not by far, but still not as good. He is a pro and was using other brands before... Test regularly made on AF show that tracking is not as good neither.
Don't forget that not all Canon's or Nikons or Sony's are equal. Neither are all Pentaxes. Canon 5D2 AF, and even 6D, are basically K-x level when it comes to AF tracking performance, for example, but AF on the Canon 1Dx and 7DII is certainly far better than K-3. Nikon D750 and D4 AF is better than K-3 but D610 AF is about the same as K-3.

And AF performance also depends on lenses, which vary a lot. Sigma 70-200 HSM AF motor on Pentax is just as fast as Nikon's 70-200 SWM motor, but Pentax 17-70 SDM is slower than Sigma's HSM on the equivalent FF 24-105. But AF using screw drive Nikon lenses on the D4 may be slower than screw drive Pentax lenses on a K-3. Etc. Best AF performance is a package deal.
08-13-2015, 06:30 AM   #250
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It may be good to sometimes be reminded that great photographs existed way before AF came along...
08-13-2015, 06:40 AM   #251
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
It may be good to sometimes be reminded that great photographs existed way before AF came along...
We had this discussion in the local facebook group. A wedding photographer hired a second shooter who lied about the gear they were using. They ended up showing up with a D3200 and a 50mm prime, thats it... for a wedding. Now they didn't take very good images apparently, so that is a moot point. But the point that was brought up was that not all that long ago people shot on film with primes, medium format with primes, and even wet plate. Granted back then quality over quantity as it seems to be today... Brides seem to want 500 images, when really... won't 40 stellar ones do? Why do we need 10 different frames of the best man's speak? So anyways, the point is, there are many people out there (here on this forum even) who are using "entry level kit" to create magical images. It's all about who's behind the camera.
08-13-2015, 06:59 AM   #252
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Don't forget that not all Canon's or Nikons or Sony's are equal. Neither are all Pentaxes. Canon 5D2 AF, and even 6D, are basically K-x level when it comes to AF tracking performance, for example, but AF on the Canon 1Dx and 7DII is certainly far better than K-3. Nikon D750 and D4 AF is better than K-3 but D610 AF is about the same as K-3.

And AF performance also depends on lenses, which vary a lot. Sigma 70-200 HSM AF motor on Pentax is just as fast as Nikon's 70-200 SWM motor, but Pentax 17-70 SDM is slower than Sigma's HSM on the equivalent FF 24-105. But AF using screw drive Nikon lenses on the D4 may be slower than screw drive Pentax lenses on a K-3. Etc. Best AF performance is a package deal.
Honestly for now if you plan to shoot action/sport, and you have to spend 5000 on the gear to have a complete line-up I'd think you'd be better off with D7200 + Nikon 70-200 + Nikon 80-400 than with K3-II + DFA 70-200 + DFA 150-450... And you may spend 1 thousand more for the Pentax because it is all new and shiny.

I'd say also for a lower budget that's with the same sigma lenses, you'll perform better with a D7200, even a D7000 brought used than with a K3-II.

D7xxx familly as well as D750 and D8xx all have already very good AF, better than whatever Pentax can provide. If Pentax continue to improve on AF we can expect that maybe the next body or the body after will be on par or better than what Nikon has.

As for lenses the only Pentax has that are really designed for fast AF are the new 150-450 and 70-200. We can hope the new 24-70 too will be great performers but that's not even available to buy now, even if we can hope it will be there very soon, there like a new and shiny tax to pay while you are not sure to get the same performance until the next body general. Maybe the FF, more likely even later.

And at that you have noticably less choice for tele lenses than there is for Nikon + third party if you want to make a bargain.

There area where Pentax is better. Small/Light primes are better for Pentax. Tropicalization at affordable price is real for Pentax. Bodies are better built and smaller too. That's good reason to invest into pentax for trips, for hiking or street photography.

I think Pentax is trying to gain back a reputation as a good brand for professionnal. We are on track but not fully here yet.
08-13-2015, 07:44 AM   #253
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Shooting sports is expensive. So is wildlife photography. And it isn't just the camera (although those aren't exactly cheap), but the glass that is involved. You need something fast that will focus really fast and is long enough for the purpose.

I think too many people base their analysis of Pentax focus capabilities on how it functions with the kit lens, or one of the various SDM lenses out there. On the other hand, newer lenses with DC motors or the 150-450/70-200 lenses do quite a bit better and can keep up with the logic that Pentax has put into the K3 and K3 II.

But it isn't like you buy a D5200 and get a 70-300 variable aperture zoom and go out shooting sport with Nikon. Neither the body nor the lens would be up to it.
08-13-2015, 10:56 AM   #254
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I did some decent amount of tests for Pentax K3 AF tracking. Especially where it lists out is AF algorithms/metering/hardware. Keeper rate was OK or of the ones which it could lock focus on. More advancement with Pentax cameras or any Sony sensor dependent camera's could be the on sensor PDAF what we are setting in the A7RII. Maybe Pentax may go mirror less finally!
08-13-2015, 11:01 AM   #255
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
It may be good to sometimes be reminded that great photographs existed way before AF came along...
That is true...but the bar is set much higher for photography nowadays.
Back in the day, a semi-sharp 8x10" was considered acceptable.
Now, the expectation is that the wedding photog will get super sharp action shots in a poorly lit reception hall.
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