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07-03-2015, 12:37 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I guess the question to me is whether your first frame is in focus.
Setting AF-C to gate first frame in focus is available as a menu setting.
menu/c3/16/1st Frame Action in AF-C/Focus Priority
Set as part of a custom user mode would be the best option and might increase the percentage of keepers for the active dog/child session. I have neither dogs nor children to experiment with, so am just guessing this might work.


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07-03-2015, 01:42 PM   #17
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IMO, if you aren't using Expanded Area AF, you aren't tracking anything.
07-03-2015, 05:20 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
IMO, if you aren't using Expanded Area AF, you aren't tracking anything.
Is tracking only horizontal and vertical? AF points certainly are on any camera.
07-03-2015, 05:33 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Is tracking only horizontal and vertical? AF points certainly are on any camera.
Can you explain? I don't know what you mean.

07-03-2015, 06:02 PM   #20
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if they are all focussed behind the beast, maybe you need to focus fine tune the camera to the DA70
07-03-2015, 09:58 PM   #21
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Chasing a Kingfisher

Not a great set of images, but I am intrigued by the way the camera tracked and shifted focus.
I was walking down the ramp outside a trestle to the loading at the BI ferry terminal, Kingfisher was looking for his supper,
I took some shots of him perched on a cable that is part of the structure, I took the camera down for a second to adjust my position on the ramp, when he dove down and snatched a fish out of the water.
By the time I got the camera back up and shooting, he was out of the water and climbing, I got a pretty good fix on him, but the first frame was just his tail feathers disappearing behind the trestle. Next two frames are mainly trestle, but you can see him through an opening, and he is sharp. A couple frames of him headed away, then he's behind a different part of the structure and the camera does a dance between focusing on him and the structure.
About the time I quit as he was getting too small, he was in the clear and reasonably sharp again.

K3 on TAV, 1,250th @ 8, ISO ranged between 500 and 1250,
AFC, Continuous M, A-27
DA 55-300 HD @ 300
Once I had him in the center I mashed the shutter and followed him, no attempt to try and re-acquire focus.

So either I got lucky, or the system can work,
The 55-300 is not known to be a fast focuser, and I know I'm not the best in the world with this stuff.

All I can say s keep working with it, and try different settings, this guy was headed away from me, a dog coming toward me might be a different situation. I think one key is to get a good "fix" to start with.
Practice, with digital there is essentially no cost to shoot lots frames and try different settings and combinations.

See the attached PDF for an annotated contact sheet of the sequence, not sure why iPhoto likes right to left, but there you go.

Last edited by K-Three; 06-03-2016 at 07:08 PM.
07-04-2015, 08:13 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
Not a great set of images, but I am intrigued by the way the camera tracked and shifted focus.
I was walking down the ramp outside a trestle to the loading at the BI ferry terminal, Kingfisher was looking for his supper,
I took some shots of him perched on a cable that is part of the structure, I took the camera down for a second to adjust my position on the ramp, when he dove down and snatched a fish out of the water.
By the time I got the camera back up and shooting, he was out of the water and climbing, I got a pretty good fix on him, but the first frame was just his tail feathers disappearing behind the trestle. Next two frames are mainly trestle, but you can see him through an opening, and he is sharp. A couple frames of him headed away, then he's behind a different part of the structure and the camera does a dance between focusing on him and the structure.
About the time I quit as he was getting too small, he was in the clear and reasonably sharp again.

K3 on TAV, 1,250th @ 8, ISO ranged between 500 and 1250,
AFC, Continuous M, A-27
DA 55-300 HD @ 300
Once I had him in the center I mashed the shutter and followed him, no attempt to try and re-acquire focus.

So either I got lucky, or the system can work,
The 55-300 is not known to be a fast focuser, and I know I'm not the best in the world with this stuff.

All I can say s keep working with it, and try different settings, this guy was headed away from me, a dog coming toward me might be a different situation. I think one key is to get a good "fix" to start with.
Practice, with digital there is essentially no cost to shoot lots frames and try different settings and combinations.

See the attached PDF for an annotated contact sheet of the sequence, not sure why iPhoto likes right to left, but there you go.


Yes, in going through my new K3II I noticed that there's a bunch of settings for AFC focusing, different holds and release priorities. I have no idea where these were set on my K3 when I was photographing Chloe the wonder pup. So I'm going to try again and this time set some of that stuff to make focusing a priority and we'll see what happens.
07-04-2015, 08:15 AM   #23
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In my opinion, the Flores series says it all. A lot has to do with the lens used, your AF and aperture settings, and how you have tracking set. Looking at the Flores EXIF, he used the 50-135 at 135mm, f/6.3 (1/1000th). He might want to indicate what AF setting he used (possibly 9 point I'd guess), and the tracking (most likely highest). This zoom is working in bright conditions with a bit more light than the OP's 70mm. I have been impressed though, how the K-3 does quite well with tracking while using relatively slow lenses in good light.

I have no idea what the throw is like on the 70mm, but I am quite sure it is optimized for portrait - most certainly not for shooting action. We might be a bit overly consumed with what lens is slightly sharper or better at rendering, as compared to how it performs for a specific purpose. That 50-135 is quite a gem optically - and I suspect better than average for action.

Then again, we are likely to see significant improvements as new lenses are fitted with DC, and the SDM era mercifully comes to an end. Not all SDM were created equal, though, and I suspect that the 50-135 is close to the best of the lot.


Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 07-04-2015 at 08:30 AM.
07-04-2015, 02:42 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
.

I have no idea what the throw is like on the 70mm, but I am quite sure it is optimized for portrait - most certainly not for shooting action.
I have the DA70 and it doesn't have a long throw, Jim. A modern product, it has no aperture ring and isn't particularly suited to manual focus.

But I think you're spot on about a longer focal length and wider aperture combination for action.
07-04-2015, 10:07 PM   #25
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I see that the 70mm only has one-third of a turn from minimum to infinity - which might be too short for some kinds of shooting. So, as a screw certainly fast, but might be a bit more prone to missing for action shooting - I don't know, but a reasonable guess.

Difficult to speculate, but I also suspect optimum settings and a bit more practice by the OP would be in order before posting blanket disappointment based on a single episode.

Final best guess (I'm reasonably sure about this one), it seems ever more likely that some marketing hyperbole has raised K-3ii to AF expectations that aren't reasonable. I'll be very surprised if general AF precision and tracking has in any way improved over the comparable firmware implementation on the K-3. Ricoh should provide clarification - or the marketing team will take a serious credibility hit, I suspect.
07-04-2015, 11:02 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote

Difficult to speculate, but I also suspect optimum settings and a bit more practice by the OP would be in order before posting blanket disappointment based on a single episode.


Not sure I actually posted "blanket disappointment based on a single episode." If anything I think I stated quite clearly that I had no experience shooting this stuff and the error was probably mine...


Further down the line I acknowledged that there were 3 or 4 settings I was oblivious about. There's no disappointment at all, actually. Just a curiosity as to learning how the thing might actually work.
07-06-2015, 06:08 AM   #27
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I don't have a lot of problems with something as large as a dog, at least in the fairly near field. I do have a great deal of trouble tracking small moving birds with the DA*300 and even more with the 1.4x. It really is something like what Rondec noted--getting the first frame to lock is often the big issue with APS-C. I'm not sure using focus priority is the answer, because then the bird is gone before there is a lock. With a shallow DOF, the quick shift to MF is usually my best bet.

Once in a while, I get to shoot a big bird, and life is pretty good. It locked nicely on this night heron's head as he walked and turned around and even took off. (Unfortunately, I did not record which of these I shot at 9 point and which at 1pt AFC, but my best recall is 9) These were shot at about one stop from wide open for this lens.
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Last edited by GeneV; 07-06-2015 at 06:21 AM.
07-06-2015, 07:52 AM   #28
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You could try spot focus. I've found I've had better luck, and things seem to be a bit better with the latest firmware. I've found spot focus plus concentrating on keeping the subject in the spot results in way more keepers and less back focusing.
07-06-2015, 09:10 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
Not sure I actually posted "blanket disappointment based on a single episode.
I think the tone of the thread title sort of gave that impression

That aside, this thread has carried a very constructive tone and provided opportunity for people to share their insights on what works and what doesn't.


Steve
07-06-2015, 09:27 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I guess the question to me is whether your first frame is in focus. If it is, then I find the camera does track decently. If the camera doesn't lock accurate focus on the first frame, then all bets are off as to what will be in focus after that.
I'm not much of an action shooter, but I found this to be the most important thing with any of the Pentax DSLRs early on. If you get an initial lock on the subject, AF C will do a reasonable job of tracking. Each model from the K10 to the K-3 got better at this than the previous model. Also, as subject gets closer, AF will naturally have a more difficult time keeping up due to increasingly thinner DOF and longer focus throw per distance change. You might try stepping back with a longer lens and stop down for deeper DOF.

Scott
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