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07-05-2016, 06:33 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Well, sure, Pentax has a somewhat weaker AF, but...
I'll accept "somewhat weaker", but not the DPR comment "... better bring your kindle along while you wait for auto focus lock..." - please!

I've used Pentax exclusively since the K20D (K7, K5, K3, now K1), and each model still seems to get the same knock - best Pentax autofocus yet, but still awful!

Is it really that bad? I find that hard to believe (though I've never shot with Nikon or Canon).

And which cameras are they comparing the K1 autofocus to? The D810 full frame? The D500 crop?

I personally find the K1 a real joy to use. Granted, when shooting birds in flight in full frame mode, it's frames/sec is low, and it's buffer runs out quickly; but, I suspect the same would be true with the D810. In crop mode, it's much faster - and I get my fair share of good frames. But, honestly, I'll use my K3 with the extra reach for most wildlife.

I find the K1 autofocus a noticeable improvement over the K3, and not at all AWFUL, as DPR and Tony Northrup ( but not Chris at The Camera Store) would have you believe.

But, it is apparently behind Nikon and Canon - would appreciate comments from Nikon and Canon users as to how much behind.

Let's remember, the K1 was not intended as an action/sports camera.

Hopefully, the update to the K3 in the next year or so, will address the autofocus achilles heel, and maybe even rival the Nikon d500 (?!)

07-05-2016, 07:08 PM   #47

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I've been using Nikon's a lot recently (D7200, D610) and I can say with confidence that the K-1 AF isn't as bad as DPR suggest. In many real situations with moving subjects, it gets the job done much better even than D610. The guys doing the review were clearly used to working with certain other cameras and couldn't adjust their habits to working with Pentax.

Also what's this '77 metering segments' DPR are writing about?
An 86,000-pixel RGB metering sensor acts to offer 77-segment metering
77 metering segments is K-5/K-5II, not K-3/K-3II/K-1. One can open up a K-1 image in EXIFTOOL to count and verify the metering segments used, and it ain't 77. Last time I checked, when using multi-segment metering, the 86k metering sensor was feeding into 4050 metering segments. Even the flash metering uses 1050 segments. Seems sloppy of DPR not to update themselves about this.

Last edited by rawr; 07-05-2016 at 07:16 PM.
07-05-2016, 08:25 PM - 1 Like   #48

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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote

They never took any time to learn the K-1 AF [ie RTFM] and use the proper settings for tracking. No one does tracking with centre-point only, even in Nikon (unless you are shooting an f8 telephoto, and all you have access to is the centre-AF point).

The AF result reminds me of DPreview's first pixel-shift result. Basically they don't seem be able to drive the camera properly.

---------- Post added 2016-07-06 at 07:32 AM ----------

It hasn't regressed at all. Quite the opposite.
I believe them. I sent my K1 and 15-30 back because of this. I had such poor results using centre point AF and that lens.

Trying to get it to AF on on near infinity was even worse, would get it right about 30-50% of the time, even with AF fine tune.

Now looking for a mirrorless solution to compliment my 645z
07-05-2016, 09:42 PM   #49
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I posted a question at dpr, wondering aloud if they activated Focus Hold and/or AF Expanded area items or just went default. I really don't care enough what they did so I haven't looked for answers, but I wanted the reading masses to see that question so "it's out there"

I also told them the DFA 150-400 is in fact 150-450. Credibility drops as 'typos' get seen by a large audience.

07-05-2016, 10:04 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Don't believe dpreview. They are incompetent
Sadly, yes.

Didn't one of them join here as a member after they did their silly preview, attempting to explain what he did?

I don't care.
07-05-2016, 10:31 PM   #51

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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I don't care.
As a user, you don't care if you know what you get out of the K1. However, this kind of review isn't good for the Pentax brand because DPrev have a lot of marketing reach for the camera market. DPreview are essentially living of online marketing (getting paid by the brands). I have a friend (former classmate) who is running a domain specific web hub company and they have a range offers including different exposure, amount of time and price for promoting brands via their web site. Regarding DPReview, maybe Ricoh did not want to pay the full amount to DPreview, so they just made a quick and dirty job for Pentax. It's highly likely and Canon, Nikon and Sony represent 80% of the income of DPreview, so, Pentax is never going to be on the front page all the time. When the K1 was released, I assumed Ricoh paid a full package to DPReview because the K1 was on the front page of DPR for one or two weeks, but soon after, Nikon came back on the front page etc.... It's all about money.

---------- Post added 06-07-16 at 07:39 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
n the test DPReview showed, it seems the K-1 just gives up right away, focusing to infinity rather than attempting to reacquire focus.
It's pretty simple, if you use single AF point and the bikers head is beside this AF point, the camera focuses on the background (as it should...), it's as simple as that.
07-05-2016, 10:52 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
However, this kind of review isn't good for the Pentax brand because DPrev have a lot of marketing reach for the camera market.... It's highly likely and Canon, Nikon and Sony represent 80% of the income of DPreview, so, Pentax is never going to be on the front page all the time.
Of course. The money comes from the advertisers, not from the readers, who are the real product DPR shops around to companies behind the scenes.

I understand how the world works, and how awards at trade associations are decided.

Pentax have concluded they won't advertise much outside of Japan, because the Canikon marketing budgets are big commensurate with their Number One and Number Two DSLR positions. It makes no sense for the distant third placed company to pour millions into overseas advertising and sponsorship to match them ... the only way you'd get it back was to jack up international product prices.

I still shake my head, though.

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
It's pretty simple, if you use single AF point and the bikers head is beside this AF point, the camera focuses on the background (as it should...), it's as simple as that.
Indeed. A competent photographer and reviewer would understand that.
07-05-2016, 11:53 PM - 2 Likes   #53
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I originally raised the thread here about the focus behaviour with focus release and shutter release priority in AFS mode - effectively in lower light the camera will snap quickly to in-focus, but does not confirm the red indicator without a delay and thus gives the impression of slow focus. Back button AF or shutter release priority looks to fix this.
I'm glad dpreview also commented on this behaviour as I feel it is a defect that could be easily rectified by a firmware update.

I feel that defects like this need to be squashed earlier in the development phase as Ricoh is already on the back foot relative to market share. Unfortunately despite SR, astrophotography, dynamic range , pixel shift and all that good stuff, at the end of the day consistent reliable AF with good glass is key for working photographers.

I did not buy into Pentax with the view of using it exclusively for landscape. I bought in knowing that it's AF was not quite as good as Nikon, Canon, but because I felt (having tried a prototype) that it should be good enough for wedding work, run and good portraiture etc... this has turned out to be mostly true depending on the lens attached.

I personally enjoy the camera stores reviews best, finding both Jordan and Chris to be honest, down to earth guys who just love cameras and give a truthful opinion.
Their comment and demonstration of the K1 AFS and AFC performance is to my mind, spot on with respect to similar behaviour I've experienced in the field with certain lenses.

Having said that I've also experienced unacceptably bad AFC and AFS performance with the FA limited primes and this is a problem for me as these are supposed to be the Pentax Top Gun of lenses. Right now I'm feeling a bit like Maverick after Goose dies, I'm reluctant to engage the FA Primes for wedding work.

Consider the attached graphs for the FA Limited...
Test setup:
- Camera locked down on a tripod. lens align mark iv on table mount locked down. Both in perfect alignment via the central dot alignment tool.
- Camera is using center spot focus in AFS and focus priority (with the exception of the FA77 where i tried release priority but confirmed actual focus before releasing the shutter).
- Focal distance used with each lens test was taken at X25 or X50 the recommended focal distance as prescribed by Michael Tapes depending on the lens used.
- camera was fired with remote IR receiver with 2 second delay
- between each AF adjustment, I put the camera in to manual focus and set the camera to infinity stop. Place it back into automatic mode and then back button focus confirm and finally manually trigger the shutter with the IR trigger. This is to force the camera to refocus after each adjustment in a some what real world scenario (going from infinity to the point of focus).

Results (attached PDF's and graphs):
- Not simply bad back focus with the FA Limited's that need correction but also erratic focus e.g. on a number of repeat tests intermediary adjustment values would spike. I've performed each test a number of times to confirm what I am seeing. For the most part I would expect the graphed results to tend linearly towards the actual correct focus plane as the adjustment values increase/decrease.
- In the field I've found that near focus after the recommended adjustment is much better - not dependably accurate, but better. However mid to infinity is a crap shoot at wider apertures (up to F4).
- Some of this glass focus more precise/accurate on backup K3ii.

I've attached graphs for viewing here in case there is something drastic that I have missed.

This is frustrating for me as when focus hits, the rendering is sublime from all 3. Really really gorgeous.
However I had intended these to back up zooms for lower light event work and I am nervous to trust them.
I have noticed that the DFA zooms perform a lot better or at least as well as I remember the D810 in AFS when using back button AF.
However in AFC, it's not in the same ballpark. I'm prepared to put the time in to get results akin to what Barry Pearson gets with his K1 (fantastic AFC) - I do think there is a significant learning investment warranted on my part but that it is possible that there is a faulty batch of K1's with respect to screw drive lenses.

I'd love to see somebody elses focus tune results with the same FA Limited lineup.

Attached Images
File Type: pdf FTA_Pen-K1_31mm_AFA_x25.pdf (38.1 KB, 312 views)
File Type: pdf FTA_Pen-K1_31mm_AFA_x50.pdf (37.4 KB, 82 views)
File Type: pdf FTA_Pen-K1_43mm_AFA_x25.pdf (37.8 KB, 82 views)
File Type: pdf FTA_Pen-K1_43mm_AFA_x50.pdf (37.8 KB, 72 views)
File Type: pdf FTA_Pen-K1_77mm_AFA_x25.pdf (38.4 KB, 315 views)
07-06-2016, 01:22 AM   #54
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I don't know whether it's a real plus or a minus that EVERYBODY focuses on the the same three things - AF, video and lens selection to criticize the camera - I think, perhaps that it's a plus - Ricoh knows exactly what it has to deal with (and it has been making strides in two of the three) to keep reviewers happy - but I do find it another of those reviews where the scoring is more negative than the comments, and since many people (or many non-Pentaxians) don't look beyond the scores, that is a shame.
07-06-2016, 01:25 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomO2013 Quote
I've attached graphs for viewing here in case there is something drastic that I have missed.
wow, just wow, you really take your time to fine tune these. Thanks a lot for sharing the results with us
07-06-2016, 01:59 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
To be fair/ kind to DPR, the K-1 AF settings are complex and perhaps a little poorly explained in the manual. Much the same as the K-3/K-3II AF settings.

Canon and Nikon give you 20 pages in the manual about their AF settings, have white papers about it etc. Even though it has just about the same level of features as Canikon AF, Pentax gives you just 2 pages in the manual about the K-1 AF, and one page on the camera web site about it.
I have K3 and I support rawr statement about poor AF documentation in Pentax user's manuals.

There are more details in the K3/K3-II marketing material of Ricoh-Pentax japanese website than in the user's manual. It is available in english, but cannot be accessed directly from other countries websites.

I got poor results until I read several user's feedback about how to use AF-C tracking, some of them pointing to this japanese website.
I now get much better results.

This poor documentation is one possible explanation of the poor AF performance stated by Dpreview testers.

I think Ricoh-Pentax should develop the AF section in the user's manuals of all their cameras, and/or post a tutorial on this topic.
At least they could paste the detailed data of the Japanese website in the user's manual and provide links in their marketing material in other countries.

IMO, Ricoh-Pentax make very good cameras, though they may still have to struggle to catch up with Canikon AF performance, but they also have a hard challenge to rise their world marketing and customer support outside Japan, which is really under average.

Another example of poor Ricoh-Pentax customer support is the lack of camera and lenses correction profiles in Lightroom, which is the most used PP software among demanding photographers: I have LR 5.7, which was the 2015 current version, and there are no lens correction profiles for the HD versions of the DA limited, DA 40 XS, DA 55-300, that have been released in 2013. There are profiles for the previous SMC version of these lenses, but Lightroom sees the HD versions as "unknown lenses" and it is a hassle to tag the pictures shot with these lenses and tell Lightroom to use the SMC profile. Also no camera profile to mimic the in-camera Pentax jpeg profiles, as is available with Olympus or Fuji cameras.
07-06-2016, 04:02 AM   #57
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I would appreciate the Pentax Forum doing a more detailed auto focus analysis of the K1. It would be good to compare it with the Nikon 7200, or similar vintage Nikon FF, using a Sigma lens model that works on both cameras to avoid comparing AF performance of DFA 150-400 with the Nikon 200-400 f4 lens. Nikon just uses faster motors.
Yes I believe all the Pentax users who have bought a K1 when they say the AF is much better that what they experienced in prior Pentax cameras, it would be a very sad case if that wasn't true.
Since the SAFOX 12 only added 2 additional focus points and some software to use more than one focus point it may make a big difference over prior Pentax cameras but not enough of a change to keep up with the advances Canon and Nikon have made with their AF systems, systems that started way ahead of Pentax in their last generation of products and have markedly improved with their recent announcements.
If Pentax just sits back and accepts this review without rebuttal then perhaps we need to accept that the review is fair, perhaps not 100% on target but close enough in comparison to other systems.
For some reason Pentax seems content being recognized as a camera with poor autofocus.
I am waiting to see what develops in terms of a rebuttal or a "fairer" comparison but my sense is that saying anyone critical of a Pentax capability is biased or out to sabotage a camera is off base. Indeed they probably do not know Pentax as well as another brand but they read the manuals. Here again many people point to the fact that Pentax manuals with regard to AF are poor - certainly not the reviewers fault. Pentax continues to put little emphasis on AF in their manuals - perhaps also into the camera design.
Come on Pentax - wake up - either show the review is wrong or accept it as true.
07-06-2016, 04:08 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomO2013 Quote
I've attached graphs for viewing here in case there is something drastic that I have missed.

Would you mind checking the pdf files for the FA 43? The data appear to be identical in both files, so I assume they are the same Focus Tune run (at either 25X or 50X). I'd be interested in comparing the results at the two different focus distances.


- Craig
07-06-2016, 04:43 AM   #59
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And the moral of the story:

Pentax, stop trailing behind the competition in AF, always catching up to where Nikon and Canon used to be 5 years ago. Take some money, throw it at R&D and give us good AF performance with reliable AF.C tracking NOW. It can't be that hard.
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I would say two things. Autofocus is very lens dependent and with the new 24-70 and 70-200, I have had no trouble tracking my kids and my wife has had no trouble tracking couples in dark churches when she shoots weddings. The second thing is that this isn't a sports camera. It is one designed for things like weddings, landscapes and portraiture. If you use it for sports, you will struggle with slow frame rate, limited buffer size and things like that.

There isn't another camera at this price range that offers this set of features.
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