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12-30-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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So... is the K30D actually going to have autofocus?

Thing is, I've gotten to the point where the K10D's focusing attempts seem absolutely feeble. With a 16-45 at wide angles, most of the time, it can't even resolve focus and keeps trying to push the lens past infinity, so I have to twist the focus way back the other way before it even manages to figure out how to get the horizon in focus.

I've tried a K20D with my Sigma 70-200, it's a little better at tracking but still slow and none too accurate.

Now... I've had a play with Sony's A700, and that does a stunningly good job WITHOUT the need for sonic-drive focusing in terms of both speed and accuracy.

So - will the K30D actually have any improvement in AF performance?

12-30-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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K20D has focus adjustment, does't it?

I've had similar issues with the DA*16-50 backfocusing on subjects on my K100D. As I don't have the money to splurge on a K20D, I've decided to go the way of manual focusing.

But the fact that the K20D has focus adjustment means that Pentax is probably listening to us I'm thinking AF will get better.
12-30-2008, 09:55 PM   #3
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I'm not going to tell you or anybody else that Pentax is the class leader in autofocus because I don't believe it either. However, if the K10D was really as bad as you are suggesting, Pentax's SLR business probably would have been dead in the water over a year ago--obviously there are many satisfied K10D users out there, myself included. I get that you're having a problem and that you're frustrated. It sounds like instead of wishing for a new camera though you should instead send the one you have to to Pentax for repairs and/or calibration. I don't own a K20D but my understanding is that it may have been slightly improved over K10D in AF performance.

Of course, this is 'News & Rumors' forum, so dare to dream, right?
12-30-2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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no, the K30d will be full manual only and you'll have to use a separate light meter.

How is your AF set? Single point, multi, or ? I always have mine single point in the center and I aim at as high a contrast object as I can find. It only hunts in very low light or little/no contrast situations.

12-30-2008, 10:41 PM   #5
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Definitely center point static focus point for me, and with the focus indicator turned off too so my brain doesn't think it's in focus when it's not.

You definitely need to aim at the contrast split. It's kind-of like with a split screen, how you look for that line so you can tell whether you're in focus or not. In this case, you're aiming for a contrast line . It's a pain, but after a while you just learn to do it without thinking.
12-31-2008, 12:14 AM   #6
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I've learned to overcome this problem through manual focus.
12-31-2008, 12:34 AM   #7
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Funny, I do all of those things (except manual focus - not practical for motorsports... actually most of that's not suitable for motorsport). It's still slow and inaccurate, and that's not going to change unless Pentax ditches the 5 year old SAVOX VIII system which has been carried through since the *ist D, which in the world of technology is positively ancient.

Yes I'm being arrogant and rude, but I'm sick of what should've been replaced years ago and wondered if there was any knowledge of any indication that this will be fixed for the K30D, otherwise I'll be getting something else for anything with a moving subject. And low light.
12-31-2008, 01:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogroast Quote
Definitely center point static focus point for me, and with the focus indicator turned off too so my brain doesn't think it's in focus when it's not.
Interesting! I am using the same approach with my *istDS: center point only, no beep, no red focus indicator dot. The result: better AF for two reasons: (1) I am not unconsciously using at the red dot as a reference for AF target since AF area is much bigger than indicator dot, and (2) same as in your comment, I use my eyes to actually confirm what AF did, instead of allowing sometimes incorrect audio-visual confirmation to full my brain.

And as we all know: "There is an old saying in Tennessee, I know it's in Texas probably in Tennessee, that says, full me once... (and the rest is history :-)))

12-31-2008, 01:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
Thing is, I've gotten to the point where the K10D's focusing attempts seem absolutely feeble. With a 16-45 at wide angles, most of the time, it can't even resolve focus and keeps trying to push the lens past infinity, so I have to twist the focus way back the other way before it even manages to figure out how to get the horizon in focus.

I've tried a K20D with my Sigma 70-200, it's a little better at tracking but still slow and none too accurate.

Now... I've had a play with Sony's A700, and that does a stunningly good job WITHOUT the need for sonic-drive focusing in terms of both speed and accuracy.

So - will the K30D actually have any improvement in AF performance?
Who knows??? Maybe it will, maybe it wont.

Why don't you just buy the Sony set up? - an Alpha 700 with a 16-80mm lens would only cost you about a $1,000 more than a Pentax K20D with a 16-45mm.

$1,000 is all that stands in the way of your happiness, not a bad deal if you ask me.
12-31-2008, 01:41 AM   #10
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Actually, an A700 with 16-105 is $520 more than the K20D with 16-45 at DCW and as well as the extra reach, there's a superior (if lower resolution) 12.2MP CMOS, 5fps, longer reach, VGA res 3" screen...
12-31-2008, 02:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
Actually, an A700 with 16-105 is $520 more than the K20D with 16-45 at DCW and as well as the extra reach, there's a superior (if lower resolution) 12.2MP CMOS, 5fps, longer reach, VGA res 3" screen...
Fair enough I was trying to compare it to the closest lens type, but if you want to compare the Pentax 16-45 F4 with a Sony Zoom F3.5-5.6 so be it. Perhaps we can split the difference and say for the same money as you would spend on the Sony lens you can have a Pentax 17-70mm F4

$500 more gets you a rather pedestrian quality Sony lens and the fast AF that you covet.

So what's holding you back?
Seriously you don't need my permission to buy a new camera and I think the Sony is a beaut, but I certainly wouldn't pay the extra for it and there is no way I can personally afford the bulk of their lenses (which are quite expensive).

But if it is what you need and it makes you happy buy the Sony.
12-31-2008, 03:47 AM   #12
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I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but when my K10D wants to hunt for focus I can activate the optical preview feature and 90% of the time it will stop hunting and get a quick solid focus. I have no idea why, but it works for me and my camera. Any ideas why?
12-31-2008, 04:50 AM   #13
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Even if the K30D does improve the AF you are looking at spending more than the A 700 will cost you now. Pick up an old Tamrom or Minolta 28-75 f 2.8 ( same lens, different badge) and the AF/low light will blow you away.

I'll sell my A 700 and go back to just using Pentax if the K30 can match the AF speed but in the meantime I've had a very good event body that doesn't frustrate me in low light situations. This is supposed to be a fun hobby so why make it difficult if you can afford not to.
12-31-2008, 06:20 AM   #14
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I think some of your are being a bit defensive. I totally agree with SupMoFo and am at this moment considering moving to the K20D or jumping ship all together, largely due to the poor AF. I also shoot motorsports and am doing more and more sporting events and am finding the AF really frustrating. Pentax better get on the ball on AF, not all of us shoot only static scenery.

On Edit: More outlay on cash may be acceptable if the system one is currently using does not provide similar function (AF).
12-31-2008, 06:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by user440 Quote
I think some of your are being a bit defensive. I totally agree with SupMoFo and am at this moment considering moving to the K20D or jumping ship all together, largely due to the poor AF. I also shoot motorsports and am doing more and more sporting events and am finding the AF really frustrating. Pentax better get on the ball on AF, not all of us shoot only static scenery.

On Edit: More outlay on cash may be acceptable if the system one is currently using does not provide similar function (AF).
Yeah but some of us do shoot static scenery and we like our affordable Pentax's - so why don't you outlay your extra cash on a Canon 1DsMK111? Sort of getting tired of being told I'm a fanboy or I'm defensive if I happen to like my camera the way it is - and I'm still on the *ist DS.

Geez it's like smoking (everyone knows it's bad for you by now) if you don't know by now that Pentax doesn't have the fastest AF you must have been living with your head in the sand - if you shoot sport for a living you need a faster & predictive AF system but here's the kicker - YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE FOR IT!!! Take a look at the price of the canon 1dsMK111 and work out how many K20d's you can buy for the same money.

They may develop a faster AF so you can find something else to moan about and they may not - but whatever they do I just hope they continue to make the best value for Dollar cameras & lenses around and let us common shooters of static scenery enjoy our cameras.
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