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07-22-2015, 10:24 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Srhphoto Quote
IMHO, if you want a camera predominantly for AF-C work don't buy a K3. However, if you want the very best all round APS-C body and only need to use AF-C tracking occasionally, then you can't go wrong with the K3.
Totally agree and my advice to anyone considering the purchase.


Steve

07-22-2015, 10:26 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
If one owns a Canon, it is dead simple to find what settings experts recommend for action. With a K-3, there is no such wealth of experience, and only vague instructions from the manufacturer. I've seen many threads where people complain about K-3 tracking. When questioned about settings, the reason for the bad result becomes clear; the camera was improperly set up.

IME, for tracking with a K-3, you must use SEL Expandable point with AF Hold ON, you must turn off SR, and you must ensure initial focus is locked on the subject before releasing the burst.

My current defaults:

AF-C focus mode
Hi-Speed continuous burst
Center AF point, with 25 point expansion
SR OFF
Custom Menu Parameter Settings:
16. 1st frame action in AF-C - FOCUS PRIORITY (make sure focus is on the target before shooting, or you'll have a string of misses)
17. Action in AF-C Continuous - FOCUS PRIORITY
18. Hold AF status - HIGH

I don't claim these are the best for every situation, but this is where I start.
The most of this I know. The SR part is new to me. What does SR do that affects the ability to track focus?


Steve
07-22-2015, 10:27 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
If one owns a Canon, it is dead simple to find what settings experts recommend for action. With a K-3, there is no such wealth of experience, and only vague instructions from the manufacturer. I've seen many threads where people complain about K-3 tracking. When questioned about settings, the reason for the bad result becomes clear; the camera was improperly set up.

IME, for tracking with a K-3, you must use SEL Expandable point with AF Hold ON, you must turn off SR, and you must ensure initial focus is locked on the subject before releasing the burst.

My current defaults:

AF-C focus mode
Hi-Speed continuous burst
Center AF point, with 25 point expansion
SR OFF
Custom Menu Parameter Settings:
16. 1st frame action in AF-C - FOCUS PRIORITY (make sure focus is on the target before shooting, or you'll have a string of misses)
17. Action in AF-C Continuous - FOCUS PRIORITY
18. Hold AF status - HIGH

I don't claim these are the best for every situation, but this is where I start.
This is also more or less what I found to be best while at that motor race event (Dutch TT, Assen). Except I choose the bottom 10 or 15 AF points IIRC., because I wanted the motorcycles low in the frame with the audience behind it. AF hold status improved things a bit.
07-22-2015, 10:33 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The most of this I know. The SR part is new to me. What does SR do that affects the ability to track focus?


Steve
I don't know about the SR part. I only use tracking AF with the 150-500, and that has OS. My setup is almost identical, but I usually use the 9 point because I am trying to shoot small birds.

07-22-2015, 10:51 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The most of this I know. The SR part is new to me. What does SR do that affects the ability to track focus?


Steve
Panning confuses the SR. Also most tracking is done at faster shutter speeds where SR is not needed or gets in the way. I get more keepers with SR off at faster shutter speeds. I think this is the consensus among those who have tried it although, I am sure, some will disagree.
07-22-2015, 10:58 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
Panning confuses the SR. Also most tracking is done at faster shutter speeds where SR is not needed or gets in the way. I get more keepers with SR off at faster shutter speeds. I think this is the consensus among those who have tried it although, I am sure, some will disagree.
Shouldn't matter in non-panning situations, though. Right?
07-22-2015, 11:04 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Shouldn't matter in non-panning situations, though. Right?
Probably not.
07-22-2015, 11:50 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The most of this I know. The SR part is new to me. What does SR do that affects the ability to track focus?
Steve
It causes more blurry images. Moving the camera with SR active destabilizes the sensor. If your movement is erratic at all, SR will stop and start. When SR re-starts, it will spoil shots until it stabilizes. At 8fps, it matters. Besides, as Mikesul said, stabilization is not required at shutter speeds fast enough to freeze movement.

The K-3 turns off SR when it senses panning, which is a clear indication to me that Pentax believes panning and SR don't mix. They have supposedly changed this with the K-3 II, SR can be used when tracking. I don't know how the implementations differ. I arrived at the decision to disable SR on my K-3 and K20D through trial and error. I got a lot more keepers with SR Off for action.



---------- Post added 2015-07-22 at 14:57 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Shouldn't matter in non-panning situations, though. Right?
It can matter if you move the camera even a little bit to follow the action.

---------- Post added 2015-07-22 at 15:14 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I don't know about the SR part. I only use tracking AF with the 150-500, and that has OS. My setup is almost identical, but I usually use the 9 point because I am trying to shoot small birds.
You aren't supposed to use regular OS for tracking. The 150-500mm has a panning mode, which only tries to compensate in one direction.


Last edited by audiobomber; 07-22-2015 at 12:03 PM.
07-22-2015, 03:07 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Don't know where the post is, I couldn't find it, but Norm wrote me an excellent reply some time ago when I was complaining about Pentax AF. It somewhat covered the mechanics of AF and how it relates to the lens used etc, which was very informative and it also addressed the cost factor of lightning fast AF.
We buy Pentax for many reasons, for me ...I just like the way they operate, the controls and the ease of operation, among many other factors including excellent image quality...not that I shoot much that is excellent, but I could with a Pentax if I was as skilled as others that continually post superb images here.
We also buy for value. I am currently shooting with a K5IIs and consider it a superior machine, the best Pentax I have ever owned.....and for about $500 brand new, it was more than a bargain, it was outright thievery on my part! Cost less than my little Fuji X20 Toy Camera!

As Norm pointed out, that lightning fast AF is expensive. If it was dirt cheap then every camera would be quick as a squirrel on a fresh roasted peanut! Bottom line is that you can have super fast AF anytime....anytime you want to pay for it!

I'm pretty happy with the AF of my K5IIs and I assume the K3 is at least as good, maybe better? It is the best AF I have ever used on a Pentax so far. For my $500 you won't hear me squealing!

Best Regards!
I have both the K5iis and the K3 and can say that they are about equal in auto focus speed. What does make the K3 auto focus better is the K3 has more settings to improve tracking. If they both had the same tracking options, you would not see any difference.
Subjects coming toward you the auto focus is something to be desired....

Randy

---------- Post added 07-22-15 at 06:09 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
Panning confuses the SR. Also most tracking is done at faster shutter speeds where SR is not needed or gets in the way. I get more keepers with SR off at faster shutter speeds. I think this is the consensus among those who have tried it although, I am sure, some will disagree.
What shutter speed do you consider fast enough to shut off SR?

Thanks

Randy

---------- Post added 07-22-15 at 06:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Just an anecdote -- My AF-C is still pretty abysmal with my K-3. I shot a wedding over the weekend. At the end of the ceremony, the wedding party walked back down the aisle. I was using my 85mm f/1.4 at around f/2.8. K-3 had AF-C, expanded SEL2? (movable 9 points), hold off, and was in Av mode. The sun was still quite high and the light was very bright.

I shot off about 6 shots per couple as they walked down the aisle. Of those, only 1 was sharp.

However, my AF-S works absolutely great. In the darkness of the reception, dance floor with flashing lights -- my focus is almost always perfect. Exposure is great.
Thanks for the wedding advise as I have one coming up... will stay with AF-S

Randy
07-22-2015, 03:18 PM   #55
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Quote Originally posted by Mikesul Quote
Panning confuses the SR. Also most tracking is done at faster shutter speeds where SR is not needed or gets in the way. I get more keepers with SR off at faster shutter speeds. I think this is the consensus among those who have tried it although, I am sure, some will disagree.
What shutter speed do you consider fast enough to shut off SR?
Thanks
Randy End Quote


That depends on the Focal Length of the lens. Certainly anything above 1/1000, often 1/500. Test it on your lenses.
07-22-2015, 03:24 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
It causes more blurry images. Moving the camera with SR active destabilizes the sensor. If your movement is erratic at all, SR will stop and start. When SR re-starts, it will spoil shots until it stabilizes. At 8fps, it matters. Besides, as Mikesul said, stabilization is not required at shutter speeds fast enough to freeze movement.
OK, so it has nothing to do with AF tracking, but is a good idea for panning in general.


Steve
07-22-2015, 05:19 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
What does make the K3 auto focus better is the K3 has more settings to improve tracking. If they both had the same tracking options, you would not see any difference.
A denser AF point array will also help tracking, given sufficient cpu power, which the K-3 has.

Last edited by audiobomber; 07-22-2015 at 08:11 PM.
07-22-2015, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
Now that all you K3 users have had a while to shoot with this camera, are the auto focus issues as bad as I see in the forum? B&H has a great deal on the k3 body and my K5 still lets me down with action shots. I'd like to stay with Pentax ( after 40 years) but I've read a lot of good things about the Canon EOS 70D. But you can't believe everything you read on the Internet, right? Big deal to switch systems. I need a camera that helps me capture birds, dogs and grand kids.. Video would be nice, but my iPhone is pretty good at this. Please help me decide. Can the K3 help me get crisp action photos? My main go to lens is the Pentax DA 18-135 zoom. I've read that although the camera has great auto focus, the lenses can let it down.
Help!
Scott
K5 is not that good about AF.... K3 is a mayor step if you compare it with the original K5.. for still shoots, portraits, etc, the K3 is amazing .. great camera and very accurate.. AF-C compared to other system might be slower, but it all depends what is your shooting style.. For example many people says that NIkons AF is faster.. but not that accurate.. I prefer accuarte AF than faster.. but, my shooting style also allows me that. Button line. if you are lookin for something better than your K5... the K3 or K3ii will be good choises.
07-23-2015, 05:31 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
You are right, but then the 60-250 is a more modern lens. What I'm saying is, it may not be the cameras fault that a lens focuses slow, but if that lens is one of the few options that are available that actually fit on the camera, it's still a consequence of choosing that camera.

And I really want a zoom. Plus the 60-250 is excellent in terms of IQ. There's not a lot of options out there that provide a similar level of IQ in a telephoto zoom with that kind of range. If its AF was faster, it would be like the perfect telezoom for Pentax, for me at least.
I agree. Now there is ofcourse the DFA150-450 (don't own one), which is at least twice as fast focusing, as sharp or better and weighs & costs double

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I had a K-5 and now a K-3, but a night and day difference? Only if you used the K-5 at night and the K-3 during the day.
Well, comparing to K-5ii and K-5iis there's not much difference, but I find that with K-5 there is. One thing is the low light performance, second the fact that with K-3 is much easier focus where you want as the focus points seem to be smaller and the third is that tracking is much better - not Canon or Nikon, but big improvement to K-5.
And you're right; K-5 at night compared to K-3 during the day, there's huge difference
07-23-2015, 06:45 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
It causes more blurry images. Moving the camera with SR active destabilizes the sensor. If your movement is erratic at all, SR will stop and start. When SR re-starts, it will spoil shots until it stabilizes. At 8fps, it matters. Besides, as Mikesul said, stabilization is not required at shutter speeds fast enough to freeze movement.

Is this "behaviour" typical of the K3 or can it be true for the K5 as well ?
Are we talking AF-C only?
I am aksing because, on my K5, the SR is always ON (in AF-S), no matter what shutter speed I use for birding -- typically from 1/1000s to 1/2000s, and I would say that most of my shots are focused properly.


The K-3 turns off SR when it senses panning, which is a clear indication to me that Pentax believes panning and SR don't mix. They have supposedly changed this with the K-3 II, SR can be used when tracking. I don't know how the implementations differ. I arrived at the decision to disable SR on my K-3 and K20D through trial and error. I got a lot more keepers with SR Off for action.

I had no idea the K3 would perform that way: good thing I read this post because I will be using a K3 (my daughter's) for nearly one week starting tomorrow.
Again, is this in AF-C only ?

Thanks for the posts !
JP
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