Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-21-2014, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #31
Pentaxian
Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,726
QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Or the worst alternative of them all.... go to another brand.
Your plight is well understood.

I reached a similar fork in the road about 5 years ago when my Pentax gear couldn't effectively capture the new sports assignments from my employer. At that time I added a Canon 7D and a 100-400mm L lens. The difference in AF and action capturing performance was exponential, happily.

Overtime I added more EOS lenses, but liked the art quality of Pentax--I'm not religious about camera brands, it's about doing the job right--and decided last year to give the K-3 a try.

While the AF was a marked improvement over preceding Pentax efforts, its accuracy and speed was still about 60% of what I was getting with the 7D. I might have been able to live with that, but sadly the Pentax platform lacked the long, professional-quality zooms that would fulfill the AF advancements in the K-3. Sheesh, the 100-400L USM IS lens came out in 1998.

This frustration, combined with a change in my pure business needs, compelled me to sell the K-3. I've since picked up a 5DMK3 which may be the best camera I've used since the Konica Auto S3 in the 1970s. The AF is rather remarkable; but realize the camera is in a different class from the K-3 and priced accordingly.

Good luck on your discovery.

M

03-21-2014, 09:22 AM   #32
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Middle of Everywhere
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,169
QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Well you probably got the wrong impression.... I've been shooting with Pentax for 20+ years... that is a lot of muscle memory to undo. Oh well, I guess it will help keep the brain healthy.

Well... I stand corrected.


As indicated in my response, when not using the DA*300/4, I shoot screw-drive lenses. Paired to the K-3 (like the K-7, K-5 and K-5 IIs), all seem snappy to focus and fast enough to fit my needs. Again, while the K-3's body makes it appear to be part of the K+ family, I find it to be a very different animal. It offers vibes that are difficult to describe. People mention the 'pixie dust' somehow built into the FA 31/43/77... well, the K-3 seems to have a similar illusive quality. Teasing the K-3 to produce this is kinda tricky. It has a sweet spot. Yours is probably different than mine.


Anyway, I suggest you attempt to rent a K-3, fine tune it to fit your taste, then use it for a while. What ever you decide afterwards will be the right decision...


Cheers... M
03-21-2014, 09:49 AM   #33
Pentaxian
amoringello's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,429
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Anyway, I suggest you attempt to rent a K-3, fine tune it to fit your taste, then use it for a while. What ever you decide afterwards will be the right decision...
Not a bad idea.
I had initially planned to do that and compare it against some of the other options until I saw that the local store got in a few bodies to demo.
So far from what I've seen and read, I'm not sure it will change my mind. But with the huge cost required to switch brands, it might still be worth while to give a more in-depth test run.
03-22-2014, 02:32 AM   #34
Veteran Member
starbase218's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Planet Earth, Sol system, Milky Way galaxy, Universe
Posts: 1,110
QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
Sounds faulty my 16-50 is quick and positive K5 or K3.

The K5 with the 16-50 was slightly faster than the 18-105VR on a d7000 in a standard lit camera shop.

The k3 seems quicker to lock and appreciably quicker in AF-c but nothing different in AF visible speed
The thing is, the 18-105 is a cheap consumer zoom. The 16-50 is Pentax's pro-level top-of-the-range zoom. You should compare its AF performance to something like the Nikon 17-55, e.g.
.

I don't think the 16-50 is a particularly slow focusing lens. But the 17-55 is faster. The DA* line in general, though, hasn't been updated in years, and a lens like the 50-135 is slow to focus, especially when comparing to a Canon or Nikon 70-200/4 (the fullframe equivalent).

The K-3 should be faster than the K-5 in low light. But in ideal circumstances, I would not expect much of a difference between the two, if at all. The motor is in the lens, not the body. Yes you can hack the firmware and use the 16-50 as a screwdrive lens, but really? I mean, you wouldn't buy a microwave and hack it so that it's more powerful. You'd just buy a better microwave. Right? I think it's time for Pentax to build better microwaves, err, DA* lenses.


Last edited by starbase218; 03-22-2014 at 03:03 AM.
03-22-2014, 03:05 AM   #35
Veteran Member
awaldram's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hampshire
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 720
QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
The thing is, the 18-105 is a cheap consumer zoom. The 16-50 is Pentax's pro-level top-of-the-range zoom. You should compare its AF performance to something like the Nikon 17-55,
That wasn't my point I'm not trying to make out that the 16-50 is some kind of speed demon rather that the OP's noted performance was substandard for this lens and may indicate an issue with his lens.

I see very many reports of how slow SDM is but in my experience and a lot of You tube examples seem to focus quite fast, Take that with the dreaded SDM failure and I suspect many earlier lens speed is constrained by the seals binding the barrels.


QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
The K-3 should be faster than the K-5 in low light. But in ideal circumstances, I would not expect much of a difference between the two, if at all. The motor is in the lens, not the body. Yes you can hack the firmware and use the 16-50 as a screwdrive lens, but really? I mean, you wouldn't buy a microwave and hack it so that it's more powerful. You'd just buy a better microwave. Right?
Again not my point, My point was for any given lens converting to screw will give little to no imporvement in AF speed (as per my examples)

The only time this is untrue is if SDM has failed , but even there the lens willl tend to be slower than standard (as can be seen in many youtube examples) due to the failure being caused by barrel binding.

I would agree the 16-50 is nothing ressembling a 'sport' optic but then again I struggle to think of any lens from any mnafacturer in this focal range that is a speed demon

The fact is its neither top of the pack optically nor AF speed but then theres only space for one at the top and if your need is to have the 'best' you will be changing brands as often as your changing your socks.

It's a competent lens at a reasonable price comensurate with its performance level (IMO)
Nikon 17-55 1000 , da* 16-50 840

Given the screams of price hiking I cannot see Ricoh replacing it with a 1300 rrp lens however fast the AF.

So in summmary if you requirement is to have the 'best' then Pentax is probably not the brand to be shooting, But if your requirement is to have a competent photgraphic tool that can match or excell almost any other brand given the effort then maybe it is.

Complaining that a Ford Sierra Minker is not as refined as a Porsche GT3 is the same sort of argument.

Last edited by awaldram; 03-22-2014 at 03:12 AM.
03-22-2014, 03:32 AM   #36
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,216
I would just say that the issue with Pentax lenses is not just SDM, but that most of them are created with a longer focus throw, to give a better manual focus experience (I guess). That long focus throw is probably the biggest issue, particularly with lenses like the DA* 50-135 and the DA* 55. Many of the DA limited primes have a much shorter focus throw (certainly the 15, 40, and 70) and they do have really fast auto focus on either a K3 or K5 II.
03-22-2014, 04:19 AM   #37
Veteran Member
starbase218's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Planet Earth, Sol system, Milky Way galaxy, Universe
Posts: 1,110
QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
That wasn't my point I'm not trying to make out that the 16-50 is some kind of speed demon rather that the OP's noted performance was substandard for this lens and may indicate an issue with his lens.

I see very many reports of how slow SDM is but in my experience and a lot of You tube examples seem to focus quite fast, Take that with the dreaded SDM failure and I suspect many earlier lens speed is constrained by the seals binding the barrels.
Ah, ok, so you were benchmarking your copy against that 18-105 to give an indication of how fast it should be.

QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
Again not my point, My point was for any given lens converting to screw will give little to no imporvement in AF speed (as per my examples)

The only time this is untrue is if SDM has failed , but even there the lens willl tend to be slower than standard (as can be seen in many youtube examples) due to the failure being caused by barrel binding.
Ok, guess I wrote before I read.

QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
I would agree the 16-50 is nothing ressembling a 'sport' optic but then again I struggle to think of any lens from any mnafacturer in this focal range that is a speed demon

The fact is its neither top of the pack optically nor AF speed but then theres only space for one at the top and if your need is to have the 'best' you will be changing brands as often as your changing your socks.

It's a competent lens at a reasonable price comensurate with its performance level (IMO)
Nikon 17-55 1000 , da* 16-50 840
Yup, the Nikon is a bit more expensive. But the Canon 17-55 is cheaper, and still faster. I only mentioned the Nikon because you mentioned their 18-105.

But anyway, like I said before, I don't think the 16-50 is a particularly slow focusing lens. It's not particularly fast either, though.

QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
Given the screams of price hiking I cannot see Ricoh replacing it with a 1300 rrp lens however fast the AF.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. But if Pentax were to redesign the 16-50 optically and put in a faster autofocus motor, why couldn't they sell it for prices comparable to the Nikon.

QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
So in summmary if you requirement is to have the 'best' then Pentax is probably not the brand to be shooting, But if your requirement is to have a competent photgraphic tool that can match or excell almost any other brand given the effort then maybe it is.

Complaining that a Ford Sierra Minker is not as refined as a Porsche GT3 is the same sort of argument.
But how does this work? I mean, you say it can match or excel almost any other brand, yet you also admit that it is not as refined as another brand? This seems contradictory to me.
03-22-2014, 06:25 AM   #38
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,820
QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
I just stopped by the local camera store and did a test drive on the K3, hoping to take one home tonight...
I brought my K5 along to compare. I used the same Class 10 memory card and DA* 16-50mm lens.

Sadly, the K3 did not focus any faster or more accurately than the K5. For moving subjects or those standing still.
Should the K3 auto focus have been noticeably faster than the K5?
It makes me have to ask, when people say the K3's AF speed is so much faster than the K5, how much faster?
'cause I ain't see in' it!

The store was not brightly lit, but with the range where the K5 gives me fits for focusing. (Needed ISO 800-1600 at F4 to get 1/200s shutter speed)

On a side note, the Canon and Nikon bodies I also looked while there were able to lock on focus in about 1/4 to 1/2 the time it took the either of the Pentax cameras. I was shocked that the K3 didn't even come close.

In almost all other regards the Pentax camera meets or exceeds the capabilities of cameras three times its cost.
The AF speed was just so disappointing.

Anyone else see better performance form the K3 than the K5 and perhaps explain how it performed so horribly for me?

---------- Post added 03-20-14 at 07:28 PM ----------

FYI, both cameras were set to use center spot AF.
I tired the K3 in both AFS and AFA modes.
With a Tamron 90 2.8 on my K-3 the focus lock was instant. Less light coming into the lens means slower focus lock. Which reminded me of going to the camera store to test the D600 AF... and the store clerk handed me a D600 with an 85 1.4 on it. I said "very funny". But my K-5 with the Tarmon 90 on it was just as fast. Maybe they saw you coming. The DA* 16-50 is just not a fast focusing lens from what I've read. Using my Tamron 17-50 2.8 at F5.6 and using ISO 12800 to get my indoor shutter speed up to 1/30s, focus is instantaneous. If a Canon or Nikon was 4 times faster it wouldn't make much difference because it's already fast enough for whatever you might be doing.

03-22-2014, 09:29 AM   #39
Veteran Member
awaldram's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hampshire
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 720
QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
But how does this work? I mean, you say it can match or excel almost any other brand, yet you also admit that it is not as refined as another brand? This seems contradictory to me.
Most automation tools in photgrpahy don;t produce better images they just allows those with less skill to produce images to the same standard as those with more abiliity.

Take AF Vs MF

I can't for the life of me pan and focus an MF lens worth a dxmn.

But give me AF and sudenly I can pan and produce high quality results.

Now take slow AF vs fast AF

For this lets compare me shooting k10d vs k5

With the k10d I'd be in AF-s and pan partial focus pan shoot
With K5 i'd be in single point AF-c and track shoot

Now lets look rough AF Vs refined AF


For this lets compare me shooting 5dmkiii Vs k3 vs k5
With K5 i'd be in single point AF-c and track shoot
With K3 I'd be in 9point expansion AF-c hold AF average track and shoot
5dmkiii I'd be in Case 2 AF point expansion track and shoot

Now what woudl be the difference?
with the K5 providing I can hold that single point on the target then 100% keeper (reality around 70%)
with the k3 Providing I can hold the middle third on target 100% keeper (reality around 95%)
With thte 5dmkiii providing I can hold on target most of the time when firing shutter about 95%

This is for me so others may have differnet experience undoutedly I can hit a higher percentage hit rate for less effort with the Cannon but enjoy shooting the k3 and working at it more this in turn leads to me taking better creative image with the k3 than I ever would with the cannon.
03-23-2014, 12:17 AM   #40
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 436
I would just like to say I tried out a K3 with the DA50 F1.8 today. This was indoors instore and I can say that the AF speed is noticeably better than the K5 Classic. I can't compare against the K5II but it was good to feel the increase in speed in real life (as opposed to reading about it).

I can't justify buying a K3 right now as I'd rather purchase some missing lenses. But when the time is right and if no full frame Pentax appears I'll get a K3.
03-23-2014, 08:07 PM   #41
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 123
My personal experience; my K-3 autofocus is noticeably faster and more accurate than my K-5. I have not yet used the focus calibration on the K-3 for any of my lenses, where my K-5 definitely needed adjustment. I have not compared to Nikon, since all my Nikon lenses are manual focus.
03-25-2014, 04:13 PM   #42
Pentaxian
amoringello's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,429
Original Poster
Well, I went for another look and paid a little more attention to timing.
Although the K3 is no top dog for focusing compared to Canon & Nikon, it is a bit faster focusing than the K5. Not a lot faster in many cases but it seems to send the lens off and running earlier than the K5 does. The K5 seems to sit and wait quite often before ovine the focus barrel. The K3 just goes almost immediately.
The K3 also does not hunt as much in a lot of cases, so some benefit over the K5.
The low-light focusing is amazing. The K3 will focus where I can hardly see the subject through the viewfinder and where the K5 just gives up.

I took it to an indoor event this weekend and at least doubled the number of acceptable shots compared to what I usually got with the K5 over the past three years.
I'd would have liked better focusing of course, but it is a definite improvement.

The more I looked, the more I realized how unhappy I would be with any of the current models by Nikon or Canon.
There was always a list of features that I would be giving up or be settling for less-than-optimal by switching.

So the K3 will be my mid-point upgrade for now.

I really appreciate all of your input!!
03-25-2014, 10:19 PM   #43
Veteran Member
GordonZA's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Planet Earth
Photos: Albums
Posts: 337
If you have the money and want the fastest and most accurate AF get the Canon 1DX or Nikon D4s and pair them with their top line lenses in a focal length that suites your needs.

Compared to my old K10D the new K3 is very very nice, but it is no match for those Nikon and Canon beasts.

In terms of bird photography give me any Pentax and I'll happily shoot Ibises in flight, but give me a 1DX or D4s and suddenly I have a good chance of photographing swifts and other high speed flyers whereas with Pentax your chances are much lower.

Just my two cents...

PS I'm saving for a Nikon D4s... And more importantly for their super telephoto lenses!
03-25-2014, 10:31 PM   #44
Pentaxian
gmans's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hunter Valley,NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,469
QuoteOriginally posted by GordonZA Quote
In terms of bird photography give me any Pentax and I'll happily shoot Ibises in flight, but give me a 1DX or D4s and suddenly I have a good chance of photographing swifts and other high speed flyers whereas with Pentax your chances are much lower.
I would like to see that.
03-25-2014, 11:18 PM   #45
Veteran Member
GordonZA's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Planet Earth
Photos: Albums
Posts: 337
Tracking technique is important as well as a flexible neck....
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af, bodies, camera, cameras, dslr, focus, k-3, k3, k3 af, k5, keepers, moment, pentax, pentax k-3, store
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Suggestion Is it too early: A definite guide for the K3 AF "settings" ? jpzk Site Suggestions and Help 10 01-31-2014 07:36 PM
DA 300 AF speed K3 vs K5II Shanti Pentax K-3 7 01-05-2014 11:03 AM
DA* 55mm f1.4 with K5ii or K3 (AF speed) horc00 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 12-18-2013 11:52 AM
K3. AF working and continuous shooting speed ArsenAl Pentax K-3 2 11-13-2013 11:22 PM
So it is the disturbing childhood that causes him to lie. Jmoyer General Talk 79 07-19-2012 07:07 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:50 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top