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05-10-2016, 03:32 PM   #1
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How is the K-1 with manual focus wider (< 50mm) lenses?

I'm interested to know how K-1 owners are getting along with focusing of manual wider-angle lenses - 35mm, 28mm etc. It's one of the problems I had (still have) with the viewfinder of the K-3 and K-3II, and that led me to fitting a split image microprism focusing screen in my K-3. After a while, though, I found the problems that introduced with spot metering too limiting, and swapped the focusing screen over to my old K-5. I now only use my wider-angle manual-focus lenses on that camera. I won't be investing in a K-1 for some time, but if and when I do decide to take the plunge, it would be good to know how people are managing with these lenses - especially considering the smaller viewfinder magnification.

Thanks in advance

05-10-2016, 03:47 PM   #2
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My experience: A20/2.8 and K28/2:

1. Right eye w/o eyeglasses, the viewfinder diopter adjustment returns a perfectly corrected optical view.
2. Visually achieving focus on near-field subjects is possible. Using optical DoF switch to verify is good.
3. Focus Confirmation is very accurate
4. Critical Focus in Live View using a neckstrap and LCD at 90 degrees is effective with magnification and Focus Peaking. Body and hand stability combined with IBIS is exceptional for an old guy with bad eyes. All about coping mechanisms.
05-10-2016, 03:50 PM   #3
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It definitely helps if your lenses are fast. MF with an F1.4 or F2 lens is a lot easier, in my opinion, compared to a F4 or even an F2.8 lens.

That said, it's not too bad overall, and AF confirmation works nicely to help ensure that you're in the ballpark. I still prefer using live view with magnification, especially since it can be used hand-held these days.

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05-10-2016, 04:06 PM   #4
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I'll tell no lies, I'm finding critical focus on the k-1 harder than on the k-3. It's not so bad for middle to far distance objects, but close focus is a little harder definitely. Aperture does make a difference too. At f4, I don't tend to hit problems. At f1.4 I do. I don't really want to bring up equivalence (it's always the Godwin's law of PF threads), but the narrower DOF on FF does make it a little harder. On the flip side though, aside from the lack of a split prism, focussing an actual 28mm on an actual FF is a joy I've not experienced since an ME super

05-10-2016, 04:49 PM   #5
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Rob & Adam - thanks for your early replies

I'm spoiled to some extent with my Hasselblad HV (Sony A99). It provides really good focus peaking through the electronic viewfinder, so I can use manual focus lenses very effectively. Admittedly, I don't have many manual lenses to use on that camera (most of my gear is Pentax!!), but my 37mm f/2.8 MIR-1 "Grand Prix Brussels" plus M42 adapter, for example, works so well on the Hassy. I found it difficult to use the lens effectively on my K-3 and K-3II focusing through the viewfinder - great results in live view, of course. I realise that the K-1's optical viewfinder won't be quite so friendly, but it would be nice to be able to leverage my older lenses fully without having to resort to live view...
05-10-2016, 06:06 PM   #6
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I've been fooling around with my 24-50 to good results, focus-wise, at the range of focal lengths.

It's a great viewfinder compared to my old K10. I haven't started messing with focus peaking in live view, as I'm not a fan on my K-01 (though it's better than nothing).

My Zenitar 16mm is a pain, but it was on film, so no surprise...
05-11-2016, 06:27 AM   #7
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I think the understanding is that the K-1 has an "f/2.8" focusing screen. That is, if your lens is faster than that, it won't show the true depth of field. It's a matter of the light acceptance angle of the screen. All part of the tradeoffs camera designers have been making to have kit zooms that are f/5.6 at their slow end not be unacceptably dark on the focusing screen.

So, while I haven't tried it yet, I'd expect the 15/3.5 and 20/2.8 to focus well, the 28/2.0 will be more frustrating. As I've noted before, the O-ME53 is your friend (if you don't wear glasses).
05-11-2016, 05:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Rob & Adam - thanks for your early replies

I'm spoiled to some extent with my Hasselblad HV (Sony A99). It provides really good focus peaking through the electronic viewfinder, so I can use manual focus lenses very effectively. Admittedly, I don't have many manual lenses to use on that camera (most of my gear is Pentax!!), but my 37mm f/2.8 MIR-1 "Grand Prix Brussels" plus M42 adapter, for example, works so well on the Hassy. I found it difficult to use the lens effectively on my K-3 and K-3II focusing through the viewfinder - great results in live view, of course. I realise that the K-1's optical viewfinder won't be quite so friendly, but it would be nice to be able to leverage my older lenses fully without having to resort to live view...
My MIR-1 is a bit tricky to focus on the K-1, not sure if it's the lens, however I haven't had trouble with my other wider lenses, you just need to concentrate.
I also noticed that the focus confirm is a lot more precise than on my k50 and didn't fail me once yet!

05-11-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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Does the AF focus fine adjust (still?) affect the focus confirmation when in MF mode? I'd think so. I've definitely had to do at least some calibration of the AF fine adjustment on all my pentaxes for the PDAF to line up with CDAF, especially on f1.8 and less.
05-11-2016, 11:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kain Quote
Does the AF focus fine adjust (still?) affect the focus confirmation when in MF mode? I'd think so. I've definitely had to do at least some calibration of the AF fine adjustment on all my pentaxes for the PDAF to line up with CDAF, especially on f1.8 and less.
It certainly does on the K-3 and K-3II... and this does help, though it doesn't really confirm critical focus, and certainly with no greater than f/2.8 accuracy.
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