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05-17-2016, 05:42 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
I was tracking this fly successfully before it got Swallowed


Hard to swallow
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr

(yep... another useless post by me.... what did you expect?)
Hi Noel - that is a terrific capture. Do you remember if you were able to get off a couple of shots in focus? Probably hard just keeping that guy in the viewfinder but I thought I would ask
How do you perceive the tracking ability of the K-1 versus the K-3? A little better? Significantly better? Thanks

05-17-2016, 05:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Hi Noel - that is a terrific capture. Do you remember if you were able to get off a couple of shots in focus? Probably hard just keeping that guy in the viewfinder but I thought I would ask
How do you perceive the tracking ability of the K-1 versus the K-3? A little better? Significantly better? Thanks
Hi Bob........ the Swallow picture was just with my F*300/4.5...... mostly use my DFA 150-450 now.

I find the K-1 with the DFA 150-450 more effective then the K3.....(using the same AFC settings as I had settled on with the K3). I've probally only had an hour or so play with it down the river...... but birds are easy to find here. Whilst the frame rate of the K-1 spec is lower..... I found the frame rate of the K3 with focus priority effectively slow anyway...... definately more keepers from the K-1 and a better visual understanding of what the camera is doing with the K-1 viewfinder ...... overall a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience. I doubt I'll use my K3 much from this point on.... the odd time a little bit more reach is needed..... I think is offset by the shooting in shadow benefit of the K-1 (cleaner high ISO), ......secondly..the higher shutter speed I can carry with the K-1.... via higher cleaner ISO again......and lastly the better AFC. I also believe the K-1 doesn't loose it's subject when tracking anywhere near as easily as the K3 did....... such as when a bird flies past a tree.

I certainly wouldn't comment on the K-1 and the F*300/4.5.... as it's not a modern combination ..... however.... within five minutes at the river I got lots of reasonable Swallow shots that I'd never got before.... like this Swallow flying at me..... so something was working better....I tend to use the F*300/4,5 as a travel lens now.


Turn tail swallow.jpg
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr

I like to do pretty well much a bit of everythings as far as photography goes (retired hobbiest).... I've found the K-1 is pretty well spot on for me.

Last edited by noelpolar; 05-17-2016 at 06:13 AM.
05-17-2016, 06:21 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
The number of Pentax k-1 focus points, 33, seems to be behind Nikon, which has boosted the number to 153 for its flagship D5/D500 cameras, and Canon, which uses 65 points. Pentax seems to lag significantly in this regard.
While I do not know how AF.C and tracking work I am guessing that it is a function of optics and microprocessor implementation. Both these technologies are well developed for many years and I find it inexcusable that Pentax is not on equal footing with its competitors, even with competitor cameras that are not their "pro" level flagship cameras. I sense it cannot be a significant effort engineering or large added cost to implement competitive AF.C and tracking but rather a refusal to to do so in the past. I hope the Pentax K-1 proves to offer competitive focusing and tracking.
Pentax are not stagnating. See the evolution in AF technology and capability in their flagships below, along with their announcement dates.

Other makers are also evolving. I don't know if Pentax is catching up or falling further behind or just trailing at a constant distance!

I suspect that the development cost, rather than the resultant product cost, is the main problem. And I suspect the effort involved is massive.

*istD, February 2003
2.7 fps
SAFOX 8, 11 focus points

K10D, September 2006
3.0 fps
SAFOX 8, 11 focus points

K20D, June 2008
3.0 fps
SAFOX 8, 11 focus points

K-7, May 2009
5.2 fps
SAFOX 8, 11 focus points

K-5, September 2010
7.0 fps
SAFOX 10, 11 focus points, tracking

K-5ii(s), September 2012
7.0 fps
SAFOX 10, 11 focus points, tracking

K-3, October 2013
8.3 fps
SAFOX 11, 27 focus points, tracking

K-3II, April 2015
8.3 fps
SAFOX 11, 27 focus points, tracking

K-1, February 2016
4.4 (crop - 6.5) fps
SAFOX 12, 33 focus points (25 cross), tracking
05-17-2016, 06:59 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
Pentax are not stagnating. See the evolution in AF technology and capability in their flagships below, along with their announcement dates.

Other makers are also evolving. I don't know if Pentax is catching up or falling further behind or just trailing at a constant distance!

I suspect that the development cost, rather than the resultant product cost, is the main problem. And I suspect the effort involved is massive.

*istD, February 2003
2.7 fps
SAFOX 8, 11 focus points


K-7, May 2009
5.2 fps
SAFOX 8, 11 focus points

K-5, September 2010
7.0 fps
SAFOX 10, 11 focus points, tracking




K-1, February 2016
4.4 (crop - 6.5) fps
SAFOX 12, 33 focus points (25 cross), tracking
Thanks Barry - the improvement in autofocus between my first Pentax, the K-5, and my current model, K-3, was very noticeable. It handles many of my needs except for fast action, for example birds in flight. Even eagles with my K-3 produce noticeably fewer keepers versus friends I shoot with, whose skills are about on a par with mine, get with their Nikon and Canon cameras that are not their pro level flagship models. When it comes to faster moving wildlife, for example Skimmers, the difference in keeper percentage is much larger. Granted some of the difference is due to faster focusing lenses.
My hope is that the follow-on to the K-3 results in tracking that catches up to Pentax's competition. I do not know how large an effort is needed to catch up but I would be surprised if it would significant since all the technologies are mature and SONY, Canon and Nikon all seem to have all implemented autofocus tracking capability that compete with one another.
With the K-1 full frame camera to handle all the "studio", landscape, portrait type photography, having a APS-C camera for wildlife, sports and action photography with state of the art autofocus tracking would seem to be a natural. I hope so.

05-17-2016, 07:11 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
I was tracking this fly successfully before it got Swallowed


Hard to swallow
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr

(yep... another useless post by me.... what did you expect?)
I think you got it all wrong .... the swallow is actually spitting that fly out
On a more serious note: great shot!!
05-17-2016, 07:48 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I think you got it all wrong .... the swallow is actually spitting that fly out
On a more serious note: great shot!!
Thanks..... at 4.5fps though, we'll never know!
05-17-2016, 07:53 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
My hope is that the follow-on to the K-3 results in tracking that catches up to Pentax's competition. I do not know how large an effort is needed to catch up but I would be surprised if it would significant since all the technologies are mature and SONY, Canon and Nikon all seem to have all implemented autofocus tracking capability that compete with one another.
With the K-1 full frame camera to handle all the "studio", landscape, portrait type photography, having a APS-C camera for wildlife, sports and action photography with state of the art autofocus tracking would seem to be a natural. I hope so.
This is my prediction for the next top APS-C camera:

Potential new APS-C flagship
Photokina September 2016 (3 years since K-3-series, 6 years since K-5-series)
10 fps (speculation by extrapolation)
SAFOX 12, 33 focus points (25 cross), (K-1's focus points fit with an APS-C frame), tracking
Dual cards
Probably no flash

I don't share your optimism about how easy it would be to catch up with the competition. Much of the AF capability of the K-1 isn't available "off the shelf". As far as I know, all makers are still evolving their AF capability, which suggests that it hasn't reached a mature plateau. I find it hard to believe that Pentax are going to announce a camera with (say) SAFOX 13 and lots more focus points this year. In fact, given the way the K-1's AF points fit within an APS-C area, I've suspected for some time that parts of the K-1 were developed with the intention of transferring technology to the next APS-C flagship.

And I've been using the K-1 for airplanes in flight, birds in flight, and motor sports, over the past two and a half weeks! (See my posts at the links below). Just as I previously used my APS-C cameras for "studio", landscape, and portrait type photography. Simple partitioning of Pentax SLRs by subject matter doesn't work. They overlap in capability.

Photos showing some of the K-1's AF capability

Photos of airplanes in flight taken with a K-1

More photos of birds in flight taken with a K-1

Barry Pearson's K-1
05-17-2016, 08:24 AM   #23
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Nice shots you posted - Like the Red Arrows

---------- Post added 05-17-16 at 11:33 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Hi Bob........ the Swallow picture was just with my F*300/4.5...... mostly use my DFA 150-450 now.

I find the K-1 with the DFA 150-450 more effective then the K3.....(using the same AFC settings as I had settled on with the K3). I've probally only had an hour or so play with it down the river...... but birds are easy to find here. Whilst the frame rate of the K-1 spec is lower..... I found the frame rate of the K3 with focus priority effectively slow anyway...... definately more keepers from the K-1 and a better visual understanding of what the camera is doing with the K-1 viewfinder ...... overall a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience. I doubt I'll use my K3 much from this point on.... the odd time a little bit more reach is needed..... I think is offset by the shooting in shadow benefit of the K-1 (cleaner high ISO), ......secondly..the higher shutter speed I can carry with the K-1.... via higher cleaner ISO again......and lastly the better AFC. I also believe the K-1 doesn't loose it's subject when tracking anywhere near as easily as the K3 did....... such as when a bird flies past a tree.

I certainly wouldn't comment on the K-1 and the F*300/4.5.... as it's not a modern combination ..... however.... within five minutes at the river I got lots of reasonable Swallow shots that I'd never got before.... like this Swallow flying at me..... so something was working better....I tend to use the F*300/4,5 as a travel lens now.


Turn tail swallow.jpg
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr

I like to do pretty well much a bit of everythings as far as photography goes (retired hobbiest).... I've found the K-1 is pretty well spot on for me.
Thank you for your insight Noel - sounds like good news - I know I would not have gotten a shot like your swallow shot with the K-3 - impressive and a very nice capture.

05-19-2016, 06:39 PM   #24
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That's impressive.
Thank you, guys.

Now I have no doubts I must get K-1.
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