Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-28-2015, 08:27 AM   #76
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 111
QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
Please tell us about your AF experience with the K-3, and why it is not good for shooting people?
This is my conclusion from following:
- from my own K-5II experience
- ongoing reports in forums, that the K-3 AF can be worse than the K-5II(s) AF (obviously dependent on preferred motives and lenses used).

From my K-5ii, I learned (the hard way), that the Pentax AF sensor areas are surprisingly big, do overlapp each other a lot (more than 50%), and have inconvenient, awkward shapes (the outer ones have inconvenient T and L shapes, rather than cross). Which pushes the blur failure rate quite high, if shooting people at whole-body-distance (like in fashion or street photography).

Desiring a better AF (esp. AF-C) has always been on Pentax users' wish lists, which don't just shoot two-dimensional motives (2-dim = everything relevant is in infinity, like in landscapes or cityscapes). This desire didn't vanish with the K-3.

From other forum users, at least those with shoot three-dimensional motives, I hear about their disappointing K-3 AF experience. And this is not rare. Just this month (Feb 2015), I came across another such finding in pentaxians.de:
user Klabo said: "Ich hatte am Wochenende ein paar Aufnahmen im Nahbereich gemacht, und dort den selektiven Fokuspunkt außerhalb des Zentrums positioniert. Alles durch den Sucher, nicht mit LV. Auch hier hatte ich das Gefühl, dass der Fokus in diesen Fällen nicht saß."

user 'Hooky' responded: "wollte dazu noch sagen, dass dieses Problem bei mir und bei meiner K3 auch mit fast jedem anderen Objektiv auftritt. Bei der K30 habe ich das Problem nicht oder wesentlich geringer in der Anzahl. Vielleicht ein K3 Problem?" "Vielleicht liegt ja der Fehler mehr bei der K3?"
In English:

Klabo shot some close-ups and recognised, that all focus points except the central ones don't focus well.

Hooky responded, that this problem occurs with his K-3 also with almost every other lens he owns. With his K-30, he either didn't have this problem, or occurences where much less frequent. He therefore suspects, that this is a K3 problem.

To me (with my recent people shooting preferences, YMMV), the K-3 AF still appears too flawed to be considered as an upgrade target from my K-5II. That's why I'm interested in a K-3 successor, and let's pray, that it will least match the performance of a Nikon D7100 / D7200.


Last edited by Frater; 02-28-2015 at 08:53 AM.
02-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #77
Veteran Member
MJSfoto1956's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,287
I find the K-3 to delivers similar AF performance as my D7100.
In fact I'd give the overall nod to the K-3: the anecdotal evidence being the percentage of "keepers" with my K-3 bests my experience with the D7100.

YMMV

Michael
02-28-2015, 08:45 AM   #78
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,861
QuoteQuote:
I don't think we can claim that the K-3 would be the best APSC out there, as long as there's the Nikon D7100 (or in the near future the D7200) having an equivalent sensor, but a (far?) better autofocus system.
Independant testing by Pop Photo said in their tests, the K-3 had faster auto-focus than the D7100, and slightly worse AF tracking than the D7100, and called the two AF systems pretty much a saw off. So I'm just saying, it's possible for different photographers to come to different conclusions. Personally, I'm always more likely to go with a test facility than the word of a user who may be biased towards one system or another. But then, a user may achieve different results than the test facility because of shooting style.

As for edge focus points being not as accurate.... I've taken small birds through branches and foliage and nailed focus, so to me, this just sounds out to lunch. Or maybe you were talking about the K5IIs. It sure sounds like your commentators have never used a K-3.
02-28-2015, 09:30 AM   #79
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 111
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
But then, a user may achieve different results than the test facility because of shooting style.
True. Probably even Kenspoo and I couldn't agree on what's the best AF, even though we both like shooting people

I'd say to Ricoh, please make sensor areas smaller, and avoid awkward shapes, so that the background doesn't distract the AF too frequently.
Kenspoo may not bother, because the typical background on concerts is pretty black anyway.

I'd say, please give up on -3 EV sensitivity to allow for a sensor size reduction.
Kenspoo may say NOOOOO, because he may want to focus reliably if the concert goes into candle light mode for a ballad.

I'd say, please give up some speed in favour for reliability, because people don't move that fast really.
But dog lovers would say NOOOOO

I'd say, please lower the OOF threshold, which triggers a focussing adjustment in AF-C.
OK, everyone would appreciate that (this is also where the D7100 is said to be better, but this is hardly ever tested formally in AF comparisons) (but I think it's really important for low-DoF people photography)


Last edited by Frater; 02-28-2015 at 09:39 AM.
02-28-2015, 09:41 AM   #80
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,861
QuoteQuote:
I'd say, please give up some speed in favour of reliability, because people don't move that fast really.
But dog lovers would say NOOOOO
K-5 era Pentaxes were top of the charts for reliability, but not so good for speed. Now they are as fast as anyone else but have the same reliability issues. You can't please everyone.

QuoteQuote:
this is also where the D7100 is said to be better,
I have heard so much dumb stuff said about Pentax cameras.... you have to give sources so we can rate their reliability. I mean, I can tell you, there are a lot of users who prefer other cameras and make up all kinds of reasons why. That they like other cameras is indisputable, that what they say about Pentax is accurate is completely disputable. It would be nice if you could post something better than " I know a guy who knows a guy who said...." . Who are these guys, and what do they know that we don't?

Last edited by normhead; 02-28-2015 at 09:47 AM.
02-28-2015, 10:21 AM   #81
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,267
QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
True. Probably even Kenspoo and I couldn't agree on what's the best AF, even though we both like shooting people

I'd say to Ricoh, please make sensor areas smaller, and avoid awkward shapes, so that the background doesn't distract the AF too frequently.
Kenspoo may not bother, because the typical background on concerts is pretty black anyway.

I'd say, please give up on -3 EV sensitivity to allow for a sensor size reduction.
Kenspoo may say NOOOOO, because he may want to focus reliably if the concert goes into candle light mode for a ballad.

I'd say, please give up some speed in favour for reliability, because people don't move that fast really.
But dog lovers would say NOOOOO

I'd say, please lower the OOF threshold, which triggers a focussing adjustment in AF-C.
OK, everyone would appreciate that (this is also where the D7100 is said to be better, but this is hardly ever tested formally in AF comparisons) (but I think it's really important for low-DoF people photography)
So you haven't shot with the K3?

The biggest difference between the K3 and the K5 (I haven't used the k5II) is predictability. I found that I couldn't learn and control how the K5 reacted because it was inconsistent. The K3 is consistent, is misses or acquires reliably. From there it is technique.

Speed is mostly due to the lens. My Sigma 500 f4.5 focuses very quickly and if there is something contrasty in the focus area it is quick and accurate. Chasing moving dogs in my living room with a narrow dof results in lots of misses. Stopping down will fix that.

The K3 focus points are very well defined and small. There is a setting to delay oof transitions.

Tracking works OK, not excellent.

Can it be better? Of course. I suspect the lens has more to do with it than the body.
02-28-2015, 10:26 AM   #82
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 111
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Who are these guys, and what do they know that we don't?
It was a guy (here or on dpreview or in a local forum), who did a hands-on comparison between his D7100 and his Pentax, and recognised the difference of the AF-C sensitivity towards small changes in the object distance. His D7100 fared much better with finer grained and more frequent adjustment steps, according to what he said. Obviously he was a Pentaxian testing a D7100, and not just a Nikon fanboy testing Pentaxians

That was a long time ago, well over a year by now. Googeling that wouldn't be impossible, but tough. My first Google search term dumps 20000 records, and after this long period, the actual hit is probably buried after hundreds of other records

Among the first hits I just stumbled over another reading, where someone else expresses his AF disappointments:
More Pentax's K-3 Well Intentioned AF Failings: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review .

We just need to discipline ourselves a little that we don't drift away off-topic. This thread should not end up as a Pentax AF bashing thread. We all have different conclusions and opinions, and have either made or avoided corresponding purchases, and that's fine.

Now let's come back the interesting on-topic question: when will we see a K-3 successor?
(cannot be answered yet, I know)
In the linked thread I came across a new concern: what, if Ricoh "delay updating the flagship APS-C for 5 years in order to get people into the FF line-up where there would be higher margins?"

Hopefully there's no such hidden agenda at Ricoh.
They need to understand, that most pentaxians wouldn't remotely consider heavy, bulky und expensive gear (because that's why they ended up joining Pentax' compact and affordable APSC system in the first place).

Else, the economically most valuable APSC customer base (the ones who want to spend money on latest technology improvements while staying compact), may end up finding that in the successors of the D7100 and Fuji X-T1.

Just like during the transition period between K-5* and K-3 in 2013, where many "economically valuable" Pentaxians had left for the D7100.

Last edited by Frater; 02-28-2015 at 11:42 AM.
02-28-2015, 11:17 AM   #83
Pentaxian
philbaum's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Port Townsend, Washington State, USA
Posts: 3,659
QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
I find the K-3 to delivers similar AF performance as my D7100.
In fact I'd give the overall nod to the K-3: the anecdotal evidence being the percentage of "keepers" with my K-3 bests my experience with the D7100.

YMMV

Michael
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Independant testing by Pop Photo said in their tests, the K-3 had faster auto-focus than the D7100, and slightly worse AF tracking than the D7100, and called the two AF systems pretty much a saw off. So I'm just saying, it's possible for different photographers to come to different conclusions. Personally, I'm always more likely to go with a test facility than the word of a user who may be biased towards one system or another. But then, a user may achieve different results than the test facility because of shooting style.

As for edge focus points being not as accurate.... I've taken small birds through branches and foliage and nailed focus, so to me, this just sounds out to lunch. Or maybe you were talking about the K5IIs. It sure sounds like your commentators have never used a K-3.
I've read the same Popular Photo. article, and what i remember is that low light focusing was clearly better for the K3, but for AF speed, in some situations the K3 was better, and in other areas the 7100 was better. Don't remember the details now,

I like to shoot in moody situations such as fog at night or early morning, but to be able to focus when i need to focus - instead of hunting back and forth, is critical to me. Thats why i'm such a fan of K3. I can have the kitchen in lights out mode, with me in the adjacent family room. The k3 can focus on a shadow'd magnetic sign on the refrigerator, when shot and enlarged 8 times, its readable. To me - that is amazing.

I was on Mt, Rainier 2 days ago in really heavy fog and light snow, and the K3 failed to operate at one point. Put in a fresh battery and it was off to the races again. Cold conditions do appear to shorten operating times. Are 74 WR seals - or whatever the number is now, worth it? YES!!! Some companies make a token effort towards WR, like Sony, but don't have seals in all areas, in some cases, just tight fits. Dang, it either is WR or its isn't and this tokenism doesn't cut it, IMO. I have shot in heavy showers and/or snow with the K5 and K3, and they performed without problems.

02-28-2015, 11:23 AM - 1 Like   #84
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,872
QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
This is my conclusion from following:
- from my own K-5II experience
- ongoing reports in forums, that the K-3 AF can be worse than the K-5II(s) AF (obviously dependent on preferred motives and lenses used).
So basing conclusions on experience with a generation older AF system and Internet anecdotes.
02-28-2015, 02:48 PM   #85
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,861
QuoteQuote:
That was a long time ago, well over a year by now. Googeling that wouldn't be impossible, but tough. My first Google search term dumps 20000 records, and after this long period, the actual hit is probably buried after hundreds of other records
Well thanks for trying, so you googled "Bad Pentax K-3 AF" and you came you came up with something written by MIghyMike? To funny! Remind me to slap him upside the head. For that post he deserves it. But just a hint, he's not the source I'd go to for advice on AF. IN fact I' don't recall seeing a post like that here, where someone might have helped him out.


A few general comments.
The K-3 hit the stores in Nov. 2013, so if it was more than a year ago, I guess many of the firmware updates had yet to be released, and some of those updates had some effect on the AF system.

If you google AF problems on any camera I'm guessing you're going to get some google hits.... I'm not sure what this proves.

But you are right, everyone on the forum who has actually tried both says the Nikon AF is faster, but usually that's the only thing they think is better.

Last edited by normhead; 02-28-2015 at 03:06 PM.
02-28-2015, 03:49 PM   #86
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 111
QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Can it be better? Of course. I suspect the lens has more to do with it than the body.
Me to. Well, almost think of the K-3 user of pentaxians.de who recognised that actually almost all of his lenses perform pretty bad on the K-3 (AF wise), where the K-30 did well. And this was applicable to the focus points except the central one. This seems to indicate a general K-3 problem to me. If all AF points were not working well, one could have assumed a bad sample. The posting was a fresh one (this month), so still running old firmware is unlikely among informed and active forum users.

But most other K-3 users experiencing a step down from the K-5ii(s) actually do report, that it depends on the lens. Some lenses seem to suffer, whereas other benefit. Doesn't seem to depend on the brand, because among the benefitters there are also some 3rd party lenses (like the cheap Tamron 17-50), and among the sufferers also some Pentax lenses! So it doesn't seem that Pentax penalizes 3rd party lenses intentionally via firmware. I think that something went just slightly wrong with the new K-3 AF in general, maybe not been tested thoroughly enough.

And the AF is not the only "shadow and light" thing, I also saw the stabilizer being reported to be worse than K-5* bodys occasionally.

Maybe the K-3 was brought to the market just a bit too early, under alarming market pressure in 2013, facing that many 'most valuable' customers (those serious about spending money for 24 MP and suitable lenses) had already bailed out of Pentax in favour for the D7100, in painful numbers. These losses of future business opportunities probably needed to be stopped with highest priority. Spending another few weeks or months to end up with a fully mature product (like the K-5II(s) has been) in 2014, i.e. missing out Xmas 2013, wasn't an option probably.

But now, it's more relaxed, isn't it. The APSC megapixel race is over, and Ricoh should have had enough time to develop an AF decent enough for FF, and the next APSC (and also the next 645) will benefit from that, hopefully.

Last edited by Frater; 02-28-2015 at 05:29 PM.
02-28-2015, 05:49 PM   #87
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: So-central, MI / Central, IN
Posts: 172
Not on the topic of K3 successor: But rather for the benefit of others running across this thread regarding K5 generation focusing accuracy and repeatability… besides understanding the rather large center AF sensor size and adjusting the user technique accordingly- I found that a trip to the OEM service representative for my K5 body for AF calibration to a master lens followed by careful AF 'fine adjustment' of the lenses thereafter greatly improved the performance accuracy and repeatability for my gear such that I have had relatively few complaints and am convinced that this can have a significant influence on the performance of the K5 generation. I think the AF system has a difficult time pin-pointing accuracy with a camera / lens combination that is near the limits of the allowable manufacturing tolerances.
02-28-2015, 06:09 PM   #88
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,247
QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
Me to. Well, almost think of the K-3 user of pentaxians.de who recognised that actually almost all of his lenses perform pretty bad on the K-3 (AF wise), where the K-30 did well. And this was applicable to the focus points except the central one. This seems to indicate a general K-3 problem to me. If all AF points were not working well, one could have assumed a bad sample. The posting was a fresh one (this month), so still running old firmware is unlikely among informed and active forum users.

But most other K-3 users experiencing a step down from the K-5ii(s) actually do report, that it depends on the lens. Some lenses seem to suffer, whereas other benefit. Doesn't seem to depend on the brand, because among the benefitters there are also some 3rd party lenses (like the cheap Tamron 17-50), and among the sufferers also some Pentax lenses! So it doesn't seem that Pentax penalizes 3rd party lenses intentionally via firmware. I think that something went just slightly wrong with the new K-3 AF in general, maybe not been tested thoroughly enough.

And the AF is not the only "shadow and light" thing, I also saw the stabilizer being reported to be worse than K-5* bodys occasionally.

Maybe the K-3 was brought to the market just a bit too early, under alarming market pressure in 2013, facing that many 'most valuable' customers (those serious about spending money for 24 MP and suitable lenses) had already bailed out of Pentax in favour for the D7100, in painful numbers. These losses of future business opportunities probably needed to be stopped with highest priority. Spending another few weeks or months to end up with a fully mature product (like the K-5II(s) has been) in 2014, i.e. missing out Xmas 2013, wasn't an option probably.

But now, it's more relaxed, isn't it. The APSC megapixel race is over, and Ricoh should have had enough time to develop an AF decent enough for FF, and the next APSC (and also the next 645) will benefit from that, hopefully.
I shot with a K5 for a long time and own a K5 II and a K3 currently. The K3 is hands down better with regard to auto focus than the K5 II. Anyone who says otherwise has not calibrated their lenses are has some odd settings on their camera. It is entirely possible to have odd settings. Pentax significantly updated the auto focus module, introducing more (and smaller) auto focus points. There are also more modes available along with settings to let you decide if you need focus confirmation in AF-C mode or not.

All of that said means that I trust my K3 signifnificantly more in the auto focus department than the K5 II. The K5 II is fine for people, but as you say, it has large auto focus points and if you are trying to focus on an eye, you may focus on the chin or their shirt by accident. Doesn't happen with the K3.

If you really have struggled as much as you say, than a K3 may be in order. At this point, the camera is no longer the obstacle to focus, but often the lens. SDM lenses just can't seem to keep up with much movement. I'm quite interested to see how the newer lenses do in these settings.
02-28-2015, 11:58 PM   #89
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Prince George, BC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,342
Please do everybody a favour and get some experience with the K-3 then come back and give us your own impressions. Otherwise I will just ignore this thread as I wager many others will as well.
03-01-2015, 03:40 AM   #90
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 111
I find this comprehensive 1st hand end-user review Amazon.com: Amazon Customer's review of Pentax K-3 SLR Camera - Body Only very insightfull and plausible, because it seems diligent, knowledgeable and well balanced (he also hails the things he really likes about the K-3),

But the autofocus is the main thing he's unhappy with, see section "Reduced Auto Focus Performance (For Still Shooting)".


Because this review came out half a year after the K-3 had been launched, I think none of his experiences can be attributed to bad firmware.
He cross-references also Adams review as a backup to his findings, and I must admit I totally forgot, that already Adam's review had such AF issues on topic.

On a general note, neither such reviewers nor my mission is, to spoil any K-3 owners' joy they draw from using it in their type of photography. Demands placed on the AF vary extremely between photographers, their way-of-working, their lenses and shooting subjects. Also I couldn't care less about the AF when I was doing my landscapes and cityscapes at f/8.
Only my recent switch to people photo with 50mm/1.8 at f/1.8 changed that, so that I soak up AF reports from users with I believe have comparable high (but not unusually high) demands on the AF.

The reason this AF topic should be brought onto the table as often as possible are those:
1- to make plausible the need for a new APSC model
2- helping Ricoh to understand, why many users avoided / avoid the K-3
3- especially among the current K-5ii(s) customer base
I hope, that Ricoh also scans forums a little? If they only ever read fan statements like "for my photography with my K-3, everything is always hunky-dory", then nothing will improve in the future. Which in turn means, that further market share will be lost. Which is not in our interest in the long run.
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!
body, design, dont, dslr, experience, fanboys, ff, flaw, fuji, k-3, k3, mention, mention of k3, model, pentax k-3, pentax news, pentax rumors, price, successor, thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What features would you like to see in K-3's successor? (No FF!) mmichalak Pentax DSLR Discussion 82 04-06-2015 03:40 AM
Any rumors of pentax MX-1 successor? hsiehlk Pentax Compact Cameras 15 01-20-2015 09:24 PM
Little mention of Sigma 12-24? 6BQ5 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 01-04-2015 07:27 PM
Just thought I would mention the K3... Col Pentax K-3 4 10-09-2013 10:30 AM
Positive press mention of Pentax abmj Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 01-02-2013 06:17 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:41 AM. | 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