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04-17-2016, 11:52 PM   #1
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K-3 II + HD-DFA 150-450 + HD-DA 1.4x AW intermittent focussing problems plus others

Hello All,
I have been using this combination the last 3 or 4 outings, trying to get used to it.
The last two or three outings I have had some intermittent issues where it refused to focus...nothing would happen,no focus motor action, no change in the focus setting. One time I switched the camera off, and back on and it was OK for a while.
Coupled with this behaviour, there were a couple of other instances where instead of the focusing making a low "shhhh" like sound, it made a sound like a slipping gears...sort of "ZZZZZ".
After the first outing when this happened, I cleaned all the contacts and it all seemed OK for about another 200-ish shots.
My last outing the non-focussing issue reappeared a couple of times, one instance of the "ZZZZZ", and a couple of new issues.
One shot came out very dark, as if the aperture wasn't opened. This shot was in middle of two perfectly good shots taken with unchanged settings. The second new thing to appear was occasionally instead of seeing "TAv" in top left corner of the LCD screen I see a flashing "MF", which was only brief and then would revert to "TAv". On this last outing I was using a freshly charged battery, can't say for sure what the battery condition was on other occasions.
Does this all sound like poor communication twixt camera and lens i.e. a contacts issue, or something else?
I am keen to hear from anyone with knowledge of similar behaviour.

Cheers,
Terry

04-17-2016, 11:58 PM   #2
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Hi Terry. Just a thought, perhaps there needs to be a firmware update for the K-3 II. If enough users have your issues, I'm sure it will be dealt with. Good luck in the meantime. @Adam may be able to clarify.
04-18-2016, 02:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tduell Quote
a flashing "MF"
Sounds like sometimes the camera thinks you have an old manual focus lens mounted
So it suggests a contact issue somewhere between body, lens and TC.

If you use the lens without the HD-DA 1.4x TC, does the same problem occur?
04-18-2016, 02:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Sounds like sometimes the camera thinks you have an old manual focus lens mounted
So it suggests a contact issue somewhere between body, lens and TC.

If you use the lens without the HD-DA 1.4x TC, does the same problem occur?
I haven't had the problem without the 1.4x TC.
The next few outings I will dispense with the 1.4x TC to see what happens.
I think most of the issues could be explained by contact problems, but the very low exposure shot doesn't seem to me to be of that ilk.
Maybe others can explain.

Cheers,
Terry

04-18-2016, 05:49 AM   #5
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Lens not responding to focus only happens to me when I have a brain fart with the focus limiter. Worth noting what switch status you have on the two lens switches when it happens.
04-18-2016, 03:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Lens not responding to focus only happens to me when I have a brain fart with the focus limiter. Worth noting what switch status you have on the two lens switches when it happens.
Yes, that can be a problem, but not in the cases reported above.
I should also add that I neglected to report that on one occasion when shooting a close subject with the lens zoomed out to 150, the camera was reporting the aperture as f/4.5, which suggests that the 1.4x TC wasn't properly communicating.
Thinking more about all this, I wonder if the odd sounds that I heard (the "ZZZZZ") was the camera screw drive.
I have no experience with this drive to know how it sounds, but is that a possibility? If yes, it would imply that the camera software was quite confused.

Cheers,
Terry
04-18-2016, 05:26 PM   #7
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The other possibility is that the TC is usually simply darkening the lens too much, so that the camera AF sensor isn't routinely getting enough light to work well.

What AF point mode are you usually shooting in? Note that only the three centre AF points can be expected to work reliably with TC mounted, since f4.5-5.6 lens + 1.4 TC = a pretty dark ~f6 - f9 lens even wide open.

So if in some shots you were relying on the outer AF points, and the AF apparently started buzzing and failing, maybe simply stick to Zone Select 9 AF or Expanded Area AF (S), and set that mode to work from the centre of the frame, in the hope that at least some of the centre AF points will be able to glom onto something.
04-18-2016, 09:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The other possibility is that the TC is usually simply darkening the lens too much, so that the camera AF sensor isn't routinely getting enough light to work well.

What AF point mode are you usually shooting in? Note that only the three centre AF points can be expected to work reliably with TC mounted, since f4.5-5.6 lens + 1.4 TC = a pretty dark ~f6 - f9 lens even wide open.

So if in some shots you were relying on the outer AF points, and the AF apparently started buzzing and failing, maybe simply stick to Zone Select 9 AF or Expanded Area AF (S), and set that mode to work from the centre of the frame, in the hope that at least some of the centre AF points will be able to glom onto something.
I don't think this is an issue. I shoot in spot mode and never had a focussing problem. It has always locked on even in quite low light.
It doesn't explain all the other issues I outlined.
The combination has been working flawlessly for the same shooting conditions for months, and never had a focussing issue, now suddenly getting a number of problems some of which seem unrelated.

Cheers,
Terry

04-19-2016, 03:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tduell Quote
I don't think this is an issue.
Aha. Makes it more puzzling then.

Hope you can figure out the bug soon.
04-19-2016, 03:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Aha. Makes it more puzzling then.

Hope you can figure out the bug soon.
Thanks.
I have contacted the local distributor with the story, and await their advice.
I went out on my normal shooting expedition yesterday without the 1.4x TC and everything worked flawlessly, as expected.
Later I went through the contact cleaning process again, rigorously, using an almost dry lens cleaning swab, and then sat in the backyard with the 15-450 + 1.4x TC, and spent a good half hour shifting focus from far to near, trying all the sort of scenarios that had thrown up some of the problems, and never saw a problem.
In the next day or so I'll take the lot out on my usual bird shooting mission and see if it behaves itself.
It would be nice if it is as simple as contacts, but some of the issues don't seem like that, but maybe when the signals aren't all correct the firmware is getting it's knickers in a bit of knot :-)

Cheers,
Terry
04-21-2016, 12:59 AM   #11
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I don't have a HD TC yet, but have wondered how the DFA 150-450 will hang from it on my shoulder strap. I hook to the tripod socket of my camera amd have the camera take the weight of itself and the lens when walking ..... not sure if the TC would be designed to take the weight of the lens (some flexing etc?)
04-21-2016, 02:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
I don't have a HD TC yet, but have wondered how the DFA 150-450 will hang from it on my shoulder strap. I hook to the tripod socket of my camera amd have the camera take the weight of itself and the lens when walking ..... not sure if the TC would be designed to take the weight of the lens (some flexing etc?)
I use a Black Rapid sling strap attached to the tripod mount of the 150-450.
I have a Fusion-plate on the camera tripod mount and this has a lift up ring to which I can attach my sling strap when I use a normal (small) lens.
I find this arrangement works well and always ensures that the load is carried from the best point.

Cheers,
Terry
04-21-2016, 03:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tduell Quote
I use a Black Rapid sling strap attached to the tripod mount of the 150-450.
I have a Fusion-plate on the camera tripod mount and this has a lift up ring to which I can attach my sling strap when I use a normal (small) lens.
I find this arrangement works well and always ensures that the load is carried from the best point.

Cheers,
Terry
Don't you find the camera/lens sort of twists and moves around when the sling is connected to the tripod foot?
04-21-2016, 03:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Don't you find the camera/lens sort of twists and moves around when the sling is connected to the tripod foot?
It can move around and twist if not restrained, but it is easy to just place one hand on it to prevent the movement. Sometimes I simply carry by the foot with the sling strap as safety.
Initially it took a little getting used to but now it all "just works". The Black Rapid has a swivel connector which helps a lot.

Cheers,
Terry
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