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03-20-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
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K3 AF speed - the cake is a lie??

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.

03-20-2014, 04:32 PM   #2
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The screw drive system is faster on the K-3, not the SDM.
03-20-2014, 04:36 PM   #3
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I re-read the review.... I wonder if the DA* 16-50mm is just too slow to notice any difference?
It's my main lens for all my work, so I'd hate to think that I have to wait for Ricoh to come out with a better lens.


edit:
QuoteQuote:
The screw drive system is faster on the K-3, not the SDM.
Ah.... that probably explains it. :-(
03-20-2014, 04:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Ah.... that probably explains it. :-(
Yes SDM is in lens motor, not in body.

03-20-2014, 05:09 PM   #5
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Canon at least is well known for 'Beep when close.' And, lens.
03-20-2014, 05:12 PM   #6
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My 18-135mm WR is SDM and it focuses very fast on my K-3. No slower than any of my screw drive lenses.
03-20-2014, 05:16 PM   #7
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Yeah I do understand that, but I guess I didn't realize the SDM was such a limiting factor.
It seems to hunt, pause and re-hunt just as much. I figured the delay in that respect might at least have been reduced.
I do hope Ricoh has plans to improve their top-of-the-line lenses, but I don't see that happening in the near future.

It kills me to buy into a different brand.
Beyond the salary crushing dent in my wallet, I simply don't like any of the other options.
03-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #8
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The fastest focus lens is the DA 10-17 Blows everything else away.


I don't know if the K-3 is faster than the K-5, but it seems to be super accurate almost all the time.


I shut off the focus with shutter button, use AF.C and single point center. Fast enough for me, and I mostly shoot street skateboarding.


However - my experiments with multi point focusing have slowed down the focus, especially in a very urban setting, the camera decides to focus on random things.

03-20-2014, 05:40 PM   #9
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Screw drive AF is faster and more accurate but for me the K-3 is best for manual focus, old M42's, focus peaking is great.
03-20-2014, 05:45 PM   #10
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It depends on the lens; the shorter ones don't seem to be much different. With long lenses, it is quite a bit better. The DA*300 is almost like a different lens on the K3 compared to the K-5; it was an exercise in frustration on the K-5. I was shooting swallows flying in quite low light yesterday, I didn't even bother trying with the K5. The limiting factor was the low light and high iso rather than focus.
03-20-2014, 05:49 PM   #11
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Also, AF in Live View seems to hunt in anything other than daylight outside, but I always forget that since I almost never use live view, and when I do I focus manually - especially in video.


So, yeah, AF NOT in Live View does seem improved over the K-5.


And derekkite is spot on about the 300 working like a different lens. It even looks better through the viewfinder!
03-20-2014, 06:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
My 18-135mm WR is SDM and it focuses very fast on my K-3. No slower than any of my screw drive lenses.
Yes the 18 -135 is very quick focusing.
But it is not a SDM focus lens - it is a DC focus motor which is faster than SDM.
03-20-2014, 06:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ak_kiwi Quote
Yes the 18 -135 is very quick focusing.
But it is not a SDM focus lens - it is a DC focus motor which is faster than SDM.
I was under the impression that DC was more a marketing term and it is functionally SDM version 2.
03-20-2014, 06:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parry Quote
Screw drive AF is faster and more accurate but for me the K-3 is best for manual focus, old M42's, focus peaking is great.
I noticed the same thing, the K3 spins them power-drill like. M42s are interesting. The adapter is a bit of a pain though (genuine) made for
smaller fingers than mine.
03-20-2014, 06:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
I was under the impression that DC was more a marketing term and it is functionally SDM version 2.
That could be just so.
I suppose they had to call it something to differentiate it from "SomeDayMaybe"
Pity they couldn't just use "FQ" then
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