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03-17-2016, 10:34 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Auto Focus Points

HI All, I usually always have my K3 set to spot meter, spot focus. I never use the auto focus points because I really don't understand them. I know I'm missing something big here, but can never get the shots I want. Any advice?

03-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #2
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Me too. Tried the multi-point focus and it picks the wrong things sometimes. Not sure what to do about metering. Advice appreciated.
03-17-2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
...but can never get the shots I want. Any advice?
What aren't you able to "get"? Is it a focus issues or exposure issue? You aren't giving us a lot to go on.
03-17-2016, 10:57 AM   #4
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Does that mean you only ever use the central one, or do you actually move it around at times?

03-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #5
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I would also admit that I only use spot meter/focus (centre) when birding, for instance, and AF-C.
That is with both the K5 and K3.
What am I missing? Not much as far as I can tell for this type of photography.

On the other hand, I use a totally different approach with the K7 which I use for "other-than-birding" stuff such as indoors, landscapes and some portraiture.
03-17-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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Normally the AF point selected focuses on the object closest to the camera. When using multi-point AFC, the selected point is the first used to get the lens in focus (object closest to the camera), then if the object moves away from the pre-selected point, the adjacent enabled point are supposed to be used for the tracking of the subject. In AFC, the K-3 camera is able to track about correctly once the subject is sufficiently near to the in- focus state, otherwise the camera AF may not be able to "decide" which direction to go for focusing and tracking.
03-17-2016, 02:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
HI All, I usually always have my K3 set to spot meter, spot focus. I know I'm missing something big here, but can never get the shots I want.
Never? Or not as often as you'd like? Posting a couple examples would help a lot for us to give advice.

---------- Post added 03-17-16 at 02:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by k22 Quote
Me too. Tried the multi-point focus and it picks the wrong things sometimes. Not sure what to do about metering. Advice appreciated.
Also, post examples for both your focus issue and where you feel the metering was wrong or confusing.
03-17-2016, 05:46 PM   #8
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I guess this thread explains why many Pentaxians often complain that their Nikon and Canon friends get better keeper rates ...

If you are only ever using centre spot AF and spot metering, you are essentially turning off tracking AF, and the whole K-3 scene analysis system too. The advanced AF features and metering capability in the K-3 are being ignored.

03-17-2016, 10:07 PM   #9
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I think my problem is I don't understand how the multi point system works. It seems to me if I just point the camera at the subject I want in focus what's the advantage of having a ll the points, and possibly having it select the wrong subject?
03-17-2016, 11:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I think my problem is I don't understand how the multi point system works. It seems to me if I just point the camera at the subject I want in focus what's the advantage of having a ll the points, and possibly having it select the wrong subject?
Everyone develops their own favorite way of focusing. The AF system is AI; it's not psychic. So as the photographer, depending on what you're shooting, has to decide what option is best for what you're shooting.

With the AF multi-points, the camera is guessing based on how it was programmed. There are many situations that will confuse and fool it such as shooting through leaves, a fence, a screen, etc. With a quick shift lens, you can either manually tweak the lens to correct it, or you can use the four-way controller to select the correct AF point. Personally, I'd rather miss the shot because of my own lack of anticipation and skill, so I usually focus manually.

Using the center focus spot is fine if your focal point is always going to be in the dead center of your frame, or your prefer and have time to pre-focus with the center focus spot and then hold it in AF-S and recompose before shooting. The DSLR is designed to give you as many options, both manual, semi-automatic, and fully programmed as possible, and if you don't want or need those options, you may be better off with one that is designed to be used in auto mode.

A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.
03-18-2016, 05:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The AF system is AI; it's not psychic.
Now he tells me...
03-18-2016, 05:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I guess this thread explains why many Pentaxians often complain that their Nikon and Canon friends get better keeper rates ...

If you are only ever using centre spot AF and spot metering, you are essentially turning off tracking AF, and the whole K-3 scene analysis system too. The advanced AF features and metering capability in the K-3 are being ignored.
My D810 still owns my K-3 in focus performance and I am not one of the people you are referring to. Pentax trails here and with the K-1 not made any in roads into making up this deficiency.
03-18-2016, 05:57 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcBear78 Quote
My D810 still owns my K-3 in focus performance and I am not one of the people you are referring to. Pentax trails here and with the K-1 not made any in roads into making up this deficiency.
And you know this because?

Testers have said the AF on the K-1 is a dream, as far as I know no one has quantified that. But maybe you know something I don't.

I would expect a D810 owner to say something like that though.

I wonder what you'll say to make up for not having Pixel shift or Shake reduction.

I've watched D800 and D810 users trying to stabilize their cameras for landscape images and i wouldn't wish that on anyone. AF doesn't do much for you if you have no SR and you can't stop your camera from shaking.
03-18-2016, 06:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
If you are only ever using centre spot AF and spot metering, you are essentially turning off tracking AF, and the whole K-3 scene analysis system too. The advanced AF features and metering capability in the K-3 are being ignored.
Well, if I'm shooting a landscape, a portrait, or a macro, I don't need tracking--hardly need AF for that matter. But the answer to the OP's question (and mine) seems to be that the multiple focus-point functionality is intended for moving subjects--right?
03-18-2016, 06:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
the multiple focus-point functionality is intended for moving subjects--right?
Yes, and the 'Expanded Area AF' modes in the K-3 particularly so.
Single point AF is basically for stationary subjects.
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