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04-09-2016, 03:33 PM - 1 Like   #106
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I can't tell They are improving, so they are doing something.

04-09-2016, 03:36 PM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenspo Quote
I can't tell They are improving, so they are doing something.
Their future as a manufacturer depends on it, in my opinion.
04-09-2016, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
Their future as a manufacturer depends on it, in my opinion.
Only if you use/need tracking AF. Which not everyone does. I've never used it on any camera, no reason to for what I shoot. I wish we could come up with terminology that made this clear when discussing. Too often I think people get a very wrong impression of Pentax AF because of loosely framed comments. Auto-focus is just that, the camera focusing the lens. Tracking AF on the other hand requires both sophisticated software to allow the camera to track and even predict where a moving object is and fast focusing lens motors.

Pentax auto-focus (on the K-3 and K-3II) is close to perfect. As in: it doesn't miss. My keeper rate is simply ridiculous. With the K-5 I routinely shot 2 or 3 of the same shot re-focusing each time to be sure I had a keeper. On the K-3 that is just a waste of memory and a waste of time on the computer deleting the extras.

Pentax tracking auto-focus has a bad reputation and since I don't use it I'll defer to those who do, but I think it would make things a lot clearer if we specified what was being discussed rather than just lumping everything into "auto-focus".
04-09-2016, 03:52 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
What's holding Pentax back from producing a truly competitive AF system?

It's kind of critical, well for me at least.
What's holding them, is that it's not a trivial matter, far from it. Especially if the target - our expectations of "truly competitive" - is a speed monster costing many times more, and with dedicated AF processors, and with fast AF lenses

AF tracking was an issue largely neglected under Hoya - while others made significant strides (lack of funding, I presume). The K-3 is the first Pentax with advanced tracking functions (using the 86K segments RGB metering system). The K-3 II had improved algorithms. The K-1, we'll see but I suspect its AF system is further improved (kenspo calls it a BIG step up).

So there is progress, and progress is the only reasonable expectation we could have. But it's not like they're behind in every aspect, regarding AF - the low light sensitivity, for example, wasn't something you'd see in every camera.

04-09-2016, 03:56 PM - 1 Like   #110
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It is shipping in Australia too! Mine arrived on the 7th.

Yes, it's big.



From my early testing chasing two dogs around the yard, it seems to track pretty well on the K-3. AF-C is *much* quicker than the DA*50-135.

It's quite sharp wide open too

04-09-2016, 04:00 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Only if you use/need tracking AF. Which not everyone does. I've never used it on any camera, no reason to for what I shoot. I wish we could come up with terminology that made this clear when discussing. Too often I think people get a very wrong impression of Pentax AF because of loosely framed comments. Auto-focus is just that, the camera focusing the lens. Tracking AF on the other hand requires both sophisticated software to allow the camera to track and even predict where a moving object is and fast focusing lens motors.

Pentax auto-focus (on the K-3 and K-3II) is close to perfect. As in: it doesn't miss. My keeper rate is simply ridiculous. With the K-5 I routinely shot 2 or 3 of the same shot re-focusing each time to be sure I had a keeper. On the K-3 that is just a waste of memory and a waste of time on the computer deleting the extras.

Pentax tracking auto-focus has a bad reputation and since I don't use it I'll defer to those who do, but I think it would make things a lot clearer if we specified what was being discussed rather than just lumping everything into "auto-focus".
Only having had Pentax before I never bothered with it much. But having had the A6000 . . . oh it's a lot of fun. I find spray and pray a truly effective means of getting the shots I want. Rather than skill and effort, having fast tracking AF and a high fps it's like going postal only shooting with a thing that looks like a child's toy.
04-09-2016, 04:46 PM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
But having had the A6000 . . . oh it's a lot of fun. I find spray and pray a truly effective means of getting the shots I want. Rather than skill and effort, having fast tracking AF and a high fps it's like going postal only shooting with a thing that looks like a child's toy.
OK.............

But since I (and I assume others) do not shoot things that move I'm not sure how that helps. And spray & pray is cool I guess, but for me it just causes more work. Every image I have to look at and evaluate is time. And well, time is money. I prefer to spend more time moving and composing different shots than taking a quantity that are essentially the same view and then spending time evaluating and deleting.

I also have a Sony RX-100 which reportedly has good 'tracking'. First thing I did was turn it off, it kept trying to focus on people's faces, drove me nuts.

---------- Post added 04-09-16 at 04:48 PM ----------

Anyway, my only point was to say we are doing Pentax a disservice by complaining about "Auto-focus" when we should be complaining about "tracking". I don't need it, but there certainly are a lot of people who do based on all the complaints. So let's make that clear to Pentax so they spend some time improving "tracking" instead of improving the "auto-focus" which IMHO is darn near perfect.
04-09-2016, 04:55 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
OK.............

But since I (and I assume others) do not shoot things that move I'm not sure how that helps. And spray & pray is cool I guess, but for me it just causes more work. Every image I have to look at and evaluate is time. And well, time is money. I prefer to spend more time moving and composing different shots than taking a quantity that are essentially the same view and then spending time evaluating and deleting.

I also have a Sony RX-100 which reportedly has good 'tracking'. First thing I did was turn it off, it kept trying to focus on people's faces, drove me nuts.

---------- Post added 04-09-16 at 04:48 PM ----------

Anyway, my only point was to say we are doing Pentax a disservice by complaining about "Auto-focus" when we should be complaining about "tracking". I don't need it, but there certainly are a lot of people who do based on all the complaints. So let's make that clear to Pentax so they spend some time improving "tracking" instead of improving the "auto-focus" which IMHO is darn near perfect.
Shooting stuff that moves and the faster it moves the better, makes for really exciting photography and photos. I'm none too bothered about the AF performance of my FA Limited's on the K-1 but the 70-200/2.8 and longer glass will need to absolutely smoke it, AF acquisition, tracking and shutter lag. It's the main reason I want to go back to full frame DSLR rather than mirrorless (got A7r, man that's a hideous "camera", not tried the A7rII, don't want to keep going down that rabbit hole, it's been painful).

Pentax AF ain't bad, it's just not what it could be. We'll see with the K-1.

04-09-2016, 05:17 PM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
Shooting stuff that moves and the faster it moves the better, makes for really exciting photography and photos.
I'll take your word for it. At my age, slow is good.
QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
Pentax AF Tracking AF ain't bad, it's just not what it could be.
There, fixed it for you.
04-09-2016, 05:24 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I'll take your word for it. At my age, slow is good.

There, fixed it for you.
I found this interesting and it does provide some hope. It's got facial recognition tracking which is a big plus too.

04-09-2016, 05:46 PM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
Pentax AF ain't bad, it's just not what it could be.
As jatrax has highlighted, definition of 'good' depends on the AF feature you define as important for your shooting. Macro/landscape/astro/stock/street/travel/wedding/event photographers may have a different definition of 'good' than action/sports/wildlife photographers, for example. Some shooters may value good face detection AF over tracking, others good low-light sensitivity, others may never use anything more than their one centre-spot AF point, ever, even if thay have cameras with 50+ AF points, so fancy AF tracking - even if the camera supported it - would still be irrelevant to them.

However I admit that it would be nice if Pentax did more to simply take this 'AF issue' off the table once and for all, by applying more engineer brainpower to improving every AF related element of their system - lens, body, software. They have been doing so solidly and incrementally from model to model, but the perception that they can't match competitors like Canon/Nikon/Sony remains.

---------- Post added 2016-04-10 at 10:54 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
I found this interesting and it does provide some hope. It's got facial recognition tracking which is a big plus too.
Only in LiveView, not viewfinder AF. K-3 had that feature and it works well. Even the K-x did that.
04-09-2016, 06:06 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Only in LiveView, not viewfinder AF. K-3 had that feature and it works well. Even the K-x did that.
I saw that once, it scared me so I've never used LiveView again.
QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
However I admit that it would be nice if Pentax did more to simply take this 'AF issue' off the table once and for all, by applying more engineer brainpower to improving every AF related element of their system - lens, body, software.
+1. For me, personally, I could care less. K-3 is perfect (for me) as far as AF is concerned and I've no doubt the K-1 will be as good or better. But the perception of slow AF and poor tracking has been a black mark and needs to go away if Pentax wants to grow market share. At this point it is too easy for detractors to point to any number of internet 'experts' who will proclaim Pentax AF is still stuck in 1980.
04-10-2016, 12:08 AM   #118
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I am no expert, but concerning AF-S speed, the first lens that has imho reached (but not exceeded yet) the fastest "good old" screwdriven FA lenses, is HD DA16-85mm.
For example, it reaches FA24-90mm, FA*85mm or FA*300mm speedwise when autofocus is starting from infinity to a close distance subject.

Even DFA150-450mm's DC engine doesn't reach FA*600mm's screwdriven AF speed.

In my experience, DFA*70-200mm's DC engine is slower than DA16-85mm, but slightly qwicker than DFA150-450mm, probably due to the fact that it's course from infinity is a bit shorter. In pure speed, they look to have the same performance.

All this with K-3 of course.

Last edited by Zygonyx; 04-10-2016 at 02:56 AM.
04-10-2016, 05:58 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
As jatrax has highlighted, definition of 'good' depends on the AF feature you define as important for your shooting. Macro/landscape/astro/stock/street/travel/wedding/event photographers may have a different definition of 'good' than action/sports/wildlife photographers, for example. Some shooters may value good face detection AF over tracking, others good low-light sensitivity, others may never use anything more than their one centre-spot AF point, ever, even if thay have cameras with 50+ AF points, so fancy AF tracking - even if the camera supported it - would still be irrelevant to them.

However I admit that it would be nice if Pentax did more to simply take this 'AF issue' off the table once and for all, by applying more engineer brainpower to improving every AF related element of their system - lens, body, software. They have been doing so solidly and incrementally from model to model, but the perception that they can't match competitors like Canon/Nikon/Sony remains.

---------- Post added 2016-04-10 at 10:54 AM ----------


Only in LiveView, not viewfinder AF. K-3 had that feature and it works well. Even the K-x did that.
Had the K-5, K-5IIs and K-3 and . . . . didn't know that. Thanks.
04-10-2016, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
However I admit that it would be nice if Pentax did more to simply take this 'AF issue' off the table once and for all, by applying more engineer brainpower to improving every AF related element of their system - lens, body, software. They have been doing so solidly and incrementally from model to model, but the perception that they can't match competitors like Canon/Nikon/Sony remains.
Ricoh needs to make serious improvements. Mirrorless has surpassed Ricoh in terms of AF speed and accuracy. Some of them even track better at this point.
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