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10-12-2014, 09:59 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K3 AF Micro Adjustment Problems

Hi:

Hope everyone is well.

I was looking for some advice with a problem I seem to be having with my K3.

Just as a note, I have previously owned a k20d, k7, and currently own a K5, two K5ii bodies, and a K3. I have been shooting seriously for about 5 years. So, not a super long time, but not new, either.

All of my lenses, Pentax and Sigma, need adjustment on the K3.

With my other Pentax camera bodies all of the Pentax lenses are just fine, as is, in terms of autofocus. The Sigmas almost always have back focused and I have adjusted for that. The Sigmas, even with micro adjustment can be quirky, but I am used to that.

On my K3 the auto focus is all over the place, even with the micro adjustments.

For example, I can put on my 31 Lmtd, and at micro adjustment 0 pictures are out of focus. A slight bump to +1 can fix things fairly well (at least on a tripod, in my house, pointed at a static object). I also can adjust through the range from 0 to +10 and also from 0 to -10. At +1 things improve, then get slightly blurry through +4 then are fine again at +6 or +7. How is this possible?

When I used a +8 on the 31 Lmtd the other day taking pictures of our children in an indoor play place (because my previously tripod/micro adjustment testing showed +8 was the best, all of the pictures of my children (in florescent lighting about 20-30 feet away) were blurry.

My 43 Lmtd and 24 Sigma exhibit the same kind of variability with the K3 micro adjustments, though a little less drastic.

So, I guess my questions are:

1. Has anyone else had what appears to be erratic autofocus and micro adjustments issues on their K3 such that you can get different results under testing out the various micro adjustments on different days and under different lighting conditions?

2. Has anyone gotten results back where 0 looks out of focus and +1 and +7 (or similar) look about the same, but +2 through +6 are blurry? I ask this because one might suggest to just use either setting which works, but when I take real world pictures I am getting out of focus results--despite the micro adjustment looking fine at home under controlled conditions. It is as if taking non-test pictures (i.e., real world) does not reflect the results I am getting when testing in my home.

Please note that I am shooting RAW, opening in Photoshop CS6 and using a tripod (shake reduction off).

I use single point auto focus and the pictures I am referring to being out of focus were not action shots. Our children are "still," more or less. I shot at around 1/125. I did take a few shots where they were moving around a bit and upped the shutter speed to between 1/320 and 1/800. When I switched to my K5ii for a few shots all looked fine. I guess what I am saying is that I think my camera settings (i.e., shutter speed, aperture, ISO) are not the issue.

Also, when indoors I am shooting at wide apertures--so, I know that will exacerbate the problem, but I do not have these focus issues on my K5ii.

And, even taking picture around the house of our children and our dog, I am getting very inconsistent results from the K3, but not with the K5ii or K5.

I would note that the K3 and my Pentax 100 WR macro work great (with a +5 micro adjustment). I get consistent results from the macro.

I have the most up to date firmware.

Perhaps I am missing something in the menu settings?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

10-12-2014, 10:35 PM - 1 Like   #2
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What focus point are you using? The K-3 has more focus points than any of the other cameras so you might be getting something you do not want in focus.

Edit: nevermind, I realized you said single point.

With my K-3 I do not need any adjustments in lenses that needed adjustment in my K-5.
10-12-2014, 10:48 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Sometimes, it happens that a firmware update does not "take" until a camera reset is performed. Try this and see if it makes a difference. Most of the lenses on my K-3 do not need any adjustment.

Jack
10-12-2014, 11:12 PM   #4
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The only issue I can think of is perhaps you are experiencing an issue of focus consistency, rather than something to do with AF adjustment per se.

In some cases AF inconsistency may have a camera hardware cause. The PDAF module in the camera may have taken a knock and is now loose or out of alignment. It is a small but complex bit of gear and it happens. If the lenses focus fine in Live View, you may be able to narrow the issue down to lenses or camera.

But sometimes it is very much a lens related problem. With most of my lenses, if I point them at something static and shoot say 20 shots, 20 shots are in-focus and the lens just stays on-target. Focus performance is consistent, even if AF adjustment may have been required to begin with.

However one Sigma HSM lens of mine is different. For example, if I shoot 20 shots at the same static target, 5 might be out of focus with that lens. While shooting, even though nothing has changed on the camera or the focus target, the camera thinks it needs to order some small adjustment to focus for 20% of the shots. Some lenses are simply more 'fussy' and in-decisive than they need to be. As a result, the focus is inconsistent with this Sigma.


Last edited by rawr; 10-12-2014 at 11:18 PM.
10-13-2014, 12:52 AM   #5
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AF fine adjustment should be done in daylight (assuming that you are most likely to shoot in daylight).

The frequency of the light does affect AF, so when under artificial light conditions you will get some focus shift. If this is critical you'll need to carry out AF fine adjustment under each set of lighting you'll be shooting under, note the settings, then re-adjust as appropriate to match each scene.
10-13-2014, 04:57 AM   #6
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If you are having severe AF inconsistency, this is not something that is adjustable. Your camera is still on warranty. Ricoh support may be your best option.



Steve

---------- Post added 10-13-14 at 05:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by candgpics Quote
A slight bump to +1 can fix things fairly well (at least on a tripod, in my house, pointed at a static object).
This is how you do it if you are doing fine adjustment, preferably with a flat, high contrast target in daylight. Confirm focus accuracy using focus peaking in magnified live view. Use single point, center, particularly with your faster lenses. The three center points support f/2.8 and slower lenses. The other points support f/5.6 and slower.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-13-2014 at 05:03 AM.
10-13-2014, 09:41 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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I had this exact same behavior when I first got my K-3. Frustrating as all get out. FOR MY PARTICULAR CAMERA I "fixed" it my choosing +10 micro adjustment "for all lenses" (i.e. globally), then in addition to that I set micro adjustment for each lens individually. My theory: some K-3s are "right at the edge" with regards to AF adjustment and the AF algorithm exhibits random flaws under these conditions. By choosing a "global" adjustment I inadvertently put the adjustment back into the AF algorithm's "sweet spot" and things are now very well behaved.

YMMV

Michael
10-13-2014, 11:08 AM   #8
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Hi:

Thank you all for your suggestions and thoughts.

I will try all of your suggestions.

First, I will re-update the firmware.

Second, I will do additional micro focus adjustments indoors and outdoors--though, I shoot under all sorts of conditions, but I recognize that when shooting indoors at wide apertures small variances in focus will be more apparent given the limited depth of filed.

MJSfoto1956--that is an interesting fix. Did you choose +10 globally, then set per individual lens, after endless testing, i.e., how did you determine that the K3 needed a +10 globally? It seems as if that could have taken you a long time to figure out.

I may have some time this week to try these things (easy to update the firmware), but likely will have to wait until the coming weekend to work on the micro adjustments.

Thank you all again--any other thoughts are welcome, too!!!

What a great forum we have.

10-13-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by candgpics Quote
MJSfoto1956--that is an interesting fix. Did you choose +10 globally, then set per individual lens, after endless testing, i.e., how did you determine that the K3 needed a +10 globally? It seems as if that could have taken you a long time to figure out.
I my case I noticed that ALL of my lenses were +N (i.e. all were "positive") and even setting them to +10 was "not enough". So I tried +10 globally then set individual micro adjustments additionally for each lens and the randomness went away. This strongly suggests that the global and individual micro adjustments are CUMULATIVE. Note: Assuming that you have a similar problem as I did, in your case it might need -10 globally rather than +10.

YMMV

Michael
10-13-2014, 01:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
I my case I noticed that ALL of my lenses were +N (i.e. all were "positive") and even setting them to +10 was "not enough". So I tried +10 globally then set individual micro adjustments additionally for each lens and the randomness went away. This strongly suggests that the global and individual micro adjustments are CUMULATIVE. Note: Assuming that you have a similar problem as I did, in your case it might need -10 globally rather than +10.

YMMV

Michael
If it had been me, I would have asked Ricoh/Pentax/Precision or whoever to redo the physical calibration of the sensor under warranty.


Steve
10-13-2014, 01:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
If it had been me, I would have asked Ricoh/Pentax/Precision or whoever to redo the physical calibration of the sensor under warranty
If I had a spare K-3 I might have gone that route. In fact, I still might as it is still under (extended) warranty. As it is, it is my most used camera these days. So for the time being I'm fine with it as it is spot on (even though it is at the very edge of adjustment with nothing left to spare). The old saying: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" keeps going through my mind...

Michael
10-13-2014, 01:23 PM   #12
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Hi:

My K3 is still under warranty--only a few months old, but I am wary of warranty service, either the need for it, the replacement parts, or the time it takes for the fix to be completed.

My DA* 16-50 SDM failed twice (though, the second time stuck).

My DA* 60-250 SDM failed.

My K5ii had a "double shutter/sticky shutter." The CHRIS technician I spoke with really went the extra mile--so, I am very happy about the service, but the replacement (the camera could not be repaired) took months for me to receive.

My first K-5 could not come to focus with any of my lenses and my second K5 had the oil spots.

Anywho...I will try the suggestions given above.

Thanks all again for your help!!!
10-15-2014, 06:15 PM   #13
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Hi:

I did a bit more testing with my Sigma 24 f/1.8 (a really nice lens, BTW, sufficiently sharp at f/2.0 (and usable at f/1.8 (though EXIF reads f/1.7) and small bumps to f/2.2 and onward keeps improving; very sharp at f/4.0 and sharper at f/5.6; cooler images than Pentax lenses, but easily adjusted to preference by shooting RAW, which I always do).

Now with the Sigma 24 I am able to get consistently sharp images with a +5 indoors. I will now test outdoors this weekend.

Oddly, I am having the most trouble with my 31 Lmtd, which is my favorite lens.

I again will try my 43 Lmtd and DA* 55, too, this weekend.
10-27-2014, 12:14 PM   #14
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try this AF microadjustment for the 1Ds mark III, 1D Mk3, 5D Mk2, 7D, 1D X
10-28-2014, 09:42 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaximees Quote
I usually use manual lenses, but I was quite curious about my K-3's autofocus. It *seemed* ok to me with my Pentax-F 35-70, Pentax-F 50/1.7, Takumar-F 70-200 and the 18-55 kit lens. though. So I tried this test image from Northlight-images, manually focusing the lenses from 50 x focal length with magnified live view, then switching off live view, switching to AF, and pressing the AF button. None of the lenses moved when AF focusing after the manual focus and the image was the same, indicating that they did not need any adjustment. A little disappointing, because I was looking forward to using that feature of the K-3. But, I didn't need it.
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