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05-21-2016, 08:04 AM   #1
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K1 Autofocus

Well I purchased the K1 as a smaller walk around camera to my 645z.

I am currently on a trip in France using the K1 and 15-30 lens.

I can say that it is the most frustrating and angering experience ever with a camera. The K1 autofocus is in my view absolutely a joke for a 2016 camera.

It can not focus in the same spot either at infinity or 10m time after time, just ruining shots. I am having to AF and shoot multiple times to get a good result, even at 15mm.

The only safe bet has been to enter live view, use live view AF and then exit live view and shoot. The results then are satisfactory.

Even with AF fine tune, it is still inconsistent and when attempting infinity focus it will land in a different spot every time. I can focus using live view, then using the mirror and the results are so far away from each other, sometimes spot on, sometimes way off. It's like a lucky dip.

This is most likely going to cause a stir but I am so over the K1. My initial decision was between a Sony A7 series or the K1 and I feel I have made a huge mistake.

Before anybody decides to question my knowledge, I have been using a 645d and 646z with great success for years, along with a Leica M9 (manual focus) and Sony A6000, previously other Canon bodies as well with none of the issues I am seeing here, so I welcome only positive ideas on how to look for a fix for this, other than selling the camera and moving on.

Cheers, Scott

05-21-2016, 08:09 AM   #2
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Which lens(es) are you using? My experience is completely contrary to yours.
05-21-2016, 08:15 AM   #3
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Is this with the latest firmware installed?
05-21-2016, 08:15 AM   #4
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I would suspect a defective lens or camera. The autofocus in the k1 is a more advanced version of what is in you 645z and should perform at least as well

05-21-2016, 08:19 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Using the 15-30 lens.

I am at the Mont St Michele Abbey on the west coast of France now, tried to focus on a large stone tower at infinity and every time it lands somewhere different. I have tested it in manual focus and found the perfect point of sharpness, but then move over to AF and its clearly not going to the same spot, it will do it 1 in 5 maybe.

Also latest firmware 1.10
05-21-2016, 08:26 AM   #6
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Have you tried another lens?
05-21-2016, 08:30 AM   #7
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I agree autofocus remains Pentax' weak link in an otherwise extremely strong chain, but I haven't found the K-1 that bad to be honest, albeit only with screw-drive FA Limited's thus far. Before dumping it, take it back and exchange it and try another copy. Having had a few cameras now, this is the first one I genuinely enjoyed shooting since the K5IIs (also had K-5, K-3, A6000 and A7r).

If it is an issue in the lens/camera combination, hopefully this can be addressed in future firmware updates.
05-21-2016, 08:35 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Which focus mode you're using?
The single, center point, NOT continuos gives best results!
Don't use auto mode, if there's one in K-1, it chooses random focus point.

05-21-2016, 08:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Using the 15-30 lens.

I am at the Mont St Michele Abbey on the west coast of France now, tried to focus on a large stone tower at infinity and every time it lands somewhere different. I have tested it in manual focus and found the perfect point of sharpness, but then move over to AF and its clearly not going to the same spot, it will do it 1 in 5 maybe.

Also latest firmware 1.10
Not my experience with this combo. It is spot on all the time and fast to. Something has to be wrong with your gear.
Tack sharp from edge to edge at f/2.8 if shooting a flat surface.

I use Back button focus so AF-C and SEL4.
05-21-2016, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Before anybody decides to question my knowledge, I have been using a 645d and 646z with great success for years,
I think almost everyone else with the k-1 has been ecstatic over the great auto-focus, so your experience is clearly an exception. Whether that is due to a faulty camera, camera settings or your not being used to small DSLRs remains to be seen.

The obvious thing to check is what focus mode your are in. If you have it in AF.S and spot then your focus should be repeatable, mine certainly is. If however you are using Auto multi-point or Select multi-point then the camera has a number of focus points to use and will select the one it thinks best, which in many situations will not be the same one as the last time due to changing lighting, very slight movement of the camera and so on.

So to see if the camera is faulty, put it in AF.S and spot (single point) mode. Put it on a tripod and test the focus, it should always give the same result. If it is still giving inconsistent results I would suggest returning it as defective as this is not normal behavior.
05-21-2016, 08:53 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venom3300 Quote
The autofocus in the k1 is a more advanced version of what is in you 645z and should perform at least as well
What Venom said. Use the same settings as you use on the 645Z and you may have better luck. FWIW, I have had few, if any problems with AF on my K-3; though to be honest, I don't let the camera choose the focus point.

Note: As I was typing, It occurred to me that the biggest difference between your K-1 and the 645Z is how the focus points are distributed across the frame. The 645Z are clustered strongly to center. Try again with your K-1 center point fixed or center-9 only.


Steve
05-21-2016, 09:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Which lens(es) are you using? My experience is completely contrary to yours.
+1. I have quick and accurate focusing from all my AF lens.
05-21-2016, 09:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The obvious thing to check is what focus mode your are in.
Absolutely.

QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
tried to focus on a large stone tower at infinity and every time it lands somewhere different
If you are telling/allowing the camera to use all 33 AF points, but want to focus on a specific feature at infinity, you need to personally assume some control over the AF.

I prefer to use the A9 cluster in AF-S to tighten the AF coverage, and move the cluster around as needed. Easy and reliable.
05-21-2016, 09:50 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
+1. I have quick and accurate focusing from all my AF lens.
Same here..Not on level with D5, but still..it is so quick and accurate
05-21-2016, 09:56 AM - 1 Like   #15
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No, this is certainly not the norm for the K1. The new AF has amazed me with its speed and accuracy....and I am not alone.

You have something wrong....just what I don't know, but definitely something is not right.

I have mentioned in several threads how my 50-500 Bigma is, for the first time ever, fast and accurate in AF on the K1. For almost 10 years I have struggled to get decent AF with the Bigma on many Pentax bodies.....they were all "going to be better" in AF ..and some were, but none even close to the K1.

There is a remedy for you...find it! The K1 is too fantastic to to give anyone misery.

Regards!
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