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10-15-2016, 10:34 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K1 AF issues at a wedding...

So I was eager to try my new K1 at todays wedding and found much to my dismay that the AF was struggling. I switched from center zone to spot AF, and turned SR off too. Nothing I could do would make it perform at the same level as my K3II or even my K5IIs. After the initial realization that it was hesitating and missing shots, which I had not really expected, I started A:B'ing the cameras under the same conditions and settings to see which was doing what. The K3II and K5IIs were much faster at acquiring focus and taking the shot under the same conditions. The k1 hesitated enough to make it not preferable in those conditions for this kind of work. So far...


Not only does it seem to hesitate by waking up for a 1/2 second, it also seems to take 1/2 -2 seconds to acquire focus after that 3 seconds is a long time to wait for a camera to take a shot at a wedding. And this is of course made more painful when you have 2 other lesser and older cameras that have no lag in under the same conditions. I keep wondering if I have something not set right?


I was really surprised because in most all other ways the k1 AF seems to be smoother and more sophisticated than either the K3II or K5iis. I really never expected it to gag on lower light AF subjects.


It is also fully possible that I didn't have something set right, I know the k3II and K5IIs pretty intimately and have spent a few years really dialing those cameras in. But everything I did with the K1 should have worked.


The K1 had the Pentax 24-70 and the K3II had the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and the K5IIs had the Pentax 18-55 F3.5-5.6. (The K5IIs was MUCH faster at acquiring and taking the shot than the K1 was even with a MUCH slower lens attached as was the K3II with the Tammy 2.8.)


So as of now, the K1 is relegated to the formals only (until I figure this out) and the K3II and K5IIs gets the low light reception and candid's duty.




Also, and I have not looked in the manual yet , what's up with no flash in live view? What's the bloody point of having a tilt screen at a wedding if you can't use your flash for dancing shots with the camera held over your head?




So the formals were stunning in all their 36mp glory, but the rest of the shooting was not any better and in some ways worse than my K3II and K5IIs. But I am still researching these issues...


(For those who don't know me, I have been shooting weddings professionally for 30 years and this is about the 7500th wedding I've shot, so please factor that into understanding these comments. )

10-15-2016, 10:59 PM   #2
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What firmware are you on?
10-15-2016, 11:17 PM   #3
Ash
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The lenses you were using aren't comparable to the 24-70. The 18-55 in particular is a very quick focusing lens due to its short focusing throw. The K5II may have had its lens correction option set to "off" and that of the K1 being "on" (slowing processing time significantly). The K3 using a non-Pentax lens doesn't have that factor in the equation. The Tamron 17-50 is similarly a very quick focusing lens. I'm not sure why there would be a huge difference in focusing ability even with the Pentax FF lens on the K1 but that may be a part of the explanation. To investigate it more accurately, you would test low light focusing on the same subject under the same lighting conditions using the same lens on both het K1 and K5II (or K3II). I hope this is not sounding patronising if you are well aware of these aspects. If there is a big difference still, and you have the latest firmware, post your data here and let us know.
10-15-2016, 11:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
What firmware are you on?

Each camera has the latest FW. 1.3 for the k1, 1.1 for the K3II and whatever it was for the K5IIs...

---------- Post added 10-16-16 at 01:06 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The lenses you were using aren't comparable to the 24-70. The 18-55 in particular is a very quick focusing lens due to its short focusing throw. The K5II may have had its lens correction option set to "off" and that of the K1 being "on" (slowing processing time significantly). The K3 using a non-Pentax lens doesn't have that factor in the equation. The Tamron 17-50 is similarly a very quick focusing lens. I'm not sure why there would be a huge difference in focusing ability even with the Pentax FF lens on the K1 but that may be a part of the explanation. To investigate it more accurately, you would test low light focusing on the same subject under the same lighting conditions using the same lens on both het K1 and K5II (or K3II). I hope this is not sounding patronising if you are well aware of these aspects. If there is a big difference still, and you have the latest firmware, post your data here and let us know.


Good points. The K5II DEFINITELY has the lens correction and all other processing options OFF, I know this because the review image takes about 10 seconds to load if those things are on, and the processing does slow that camera down considerably. The K3II, as you say, has those things off when using a non pentax lens, but even when I use a Pentax lens, I have those things on because the k3II is fast enough to deal with it and I have never noticed a lag with that camera under any conditions.


The K1 has those things set to on. (Mainly because I expected the K1 to perform at least to the K3II's standard which I am used too.) But the AF lag was there on the first shot, not after a string of even 2 shots, and those processing options tend to slow things down after the shot, not before, right? So it's not even the K1 clearing the buffer from even 1 shot. There was just this hesitation to lock on from a cold start, i.e nothing being processed.


I did briefly switch lenses and put the 24-70 on the K5IIs and it was fast, no difference, and the 18-55 WR didn't speed the K1 up at all. But my priority was shooting the event, not troubleshooting the k1, so that's why I am not drawing any conclusions...yet.


What's really weird is sitting here in my very dimly lit room tonight the AF on the K1 is MUCH faster than that of either of the other 2 cameras in light that I can barely see by. It's locking on instantly and the other cameras are hunting... not at all what it was doing in much more light at the event.


I think the K1 is just a different beast than what we are used too and is going to require some dialing in.

10-16-2016, 12:32 AM   #5
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Just to confirm, this happen to me too with 24-70 during a wedding shot in the church. Not at all when I put the Tamron 70-200 on K1. With Tamron AF was fast and accurate. It might be something with setting, or particular this combo.

Still had no solution to it. I am waiting other fellows here to test and come with a solution, or maybe next firmware updates to solve it.
10-16-2016, 02:09 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Totally different then my experience...hmm! I use all 3 new zooms all the time on different K-1's and they all are faster then any of my K-3II's..with any combo camera/lenses.

Maybe there is something in the settings..will have a look and try different things later to see. Because, for me it is a new world with better and quicker AF then I'm used to from Pentax.
10-16-2016, 06:04 AM   #7
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A tip: make sure you set the metering to Multi-segment. It fully brings the 86k RGB metering sensor online to help with the AF.

FWIW, on Friday evening I shot 800 DNG's with the K-1 at a night-time rodeo (no flash) with the Sigma 70-200 HSM II. Of about 800 shots, probably only about 8 shots missed focus. I was impressed. So the K-1 AF can do the job if need be.
10-16-2016, 07:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
So I was eager to try my new K1 at todays wedding and found much to my dismay that the AF was struggling. I switched from center zone to spot AF, and turned SR off too. Nothing I could do would make it perform at the same level as my K3II or even my K5IIs. After the initial realization that it was hesitating and missing shots, which I had not really expected, I started A:B'ing the cameras under the same conditions and settings to see which was doing what. The K3II and K5IIs were much faster at acquiring focus and taking the shot under the same conditions. The k1 hesitated enough to make it not preferable in those conditions for this kind of work. So far...


Not only does it seem to hesitate by waking up for a 1/2 second, it also seems to take 1/2 -2 seconds to acquire focus after that 3 seconds is a long time to wait for a camera to take a shot at a wedding. And this is of course made more painful when you have 2 other lesser and older cameras that have no lag in under the same conditions. I keep wondering if I have something not set right?


I was really surprised because in most all other ways the k1 AF seems to be smoother and more sophisticated than either the K3II or K5iis. I really never expected it to gag on lower light AF subjects.


It is also fully possible that I didn't have something set right, I know the k3II and K5IIs pretty intimately and have spent a few years really dialing those cameras in. But everything I did with the K1 should have worked.


The K1 had the Pentax 24-70 and the K3II had the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and the K5IIs had the Pentax 18-55 F3.5-5.6. (The K5IIs was MUCH faster at acquiring and taking the shot than the K1 was even with a MUCH slower lens attached as was the K3II with the Tammy 2.8.)
I would try resetting the camera. I don't have any lag with my K-1. The AF consistency is not as good as I would like, but the camera is very responsive.

10-16-2016, 07:35 AM   #9
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I've been considering making a similar statement about my k-3 and K-1 with my bird images. I'm out every day, I use the same lenses on both camera, my overall impression is that the K-1 is a little slower than my K-3 for AF. The slower burst rate also makes it less useful.

Given the amount of time I spend waiting for the buffer to clear and the slow burst, maybe my impression of slowness is based on criteria other than actual AF speed, but,my guess is, for AF the K-3 is better, but that's open to discussion. What isn't open to discussion is that my K-3 provides me with more keepers in a finite period of time.

Last edited by normhead; 10-16-2016 at 08:38 AM.
10-16-2016, 08:29 AM   #10
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Strange..... My experience so far has found the K-1 to focus much faster and more confidently that the K-5 even on long-throw focus lenses such as the 100/2.8 macro. A few root causes (and related evidence) might be:

1. Some issue with the 24-70 (supported by gabriels comment but not your experience after swapping lenses).
2. Some issue with the settings of all the K-1 AF menu configurations (not hard to do given that the K-1's manual doesn't explain these options well).
3. A strange interaction with high-frequency flicker in the lighting at the wedding's venue (consistent with poor performance at the wedding and great performance at home).
10-16-2016, 08:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I've been considering making a similar statement about my k-3 and K-1 with my bird images. I'm out every day, I use the same lenses on both camera, my overall impression is that the K-1 is a little slower than my K-3 for AF. The slower burst rate also makes it less useful.

Given the amount of time I spend waiting for the buffer to clear and the slow burst, maybe my impression of slowness is based on criteria other than actual AF speed, but,my guess is, for AF the K-3 is better. It certainly provides more keepers in a finite period of time.
I concur.

AF: K-1 slower than K-3
AF: A7r slower (much, much slower) than A6000

Perhaps it's a full frame thing? Perhaps these FF's are using APS-C AF modules, whereas the sports FF's like the 1DX2 are using AF modules specifically designed for FF?

Dunno?
10-16-2016, 08:40 AM   #12
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The fact that it is fast in low light today is worrisome. It makes me think there may be some intermittent issue.

The bird shooting could be related to where the af sensors are located. The next time either of you get it acting slow try switching to crop mode - the af sensors are mostly in the crop zone and I'd be curious if that speed it up. I realize that's not acceptable as a solution - just want some data points. Very strange.
10-16-2016, 08:52 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
A tip: make sure you set the metering to Multi-segment. It fully brings the 86k RGB metering sensor online to help with the AF.
This is interesting. Is this true in AF-S mode or just AF-C?
10-16-2016, 09:21 AM   #14
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In Live View: If Electronic Shutter is ON then it is not possible to use flash.

---------- Post added 10-16-16 at 06:32 PM ----------

On the matter of AF I would say that my experience with shooting indoors in bad light the AF is better than on the K-3. Using AF-S and choosing the focusing point to use.
Shooting birds etc I find the K-1 to focus faster and track better and the keeper rate is much better than that with the K-3. The buffer on the K-1 is not something to bragg about...
10-16-2016, 09:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
In Live View: If Electronic Shutter is ON then it is not possible to use flash.

---------- Post added 10-16-16 at 06:32 PM ----------

On the matter of AF I would say that my experience with shooting indoors in bad light the AF is better than on the K-3. Using AF-S and choosing the focusing point to use.
Shooting birds etc I find the K-1 to focus faster and track better and the keeper rate is much better than that with the K-3. The buffer on the K-1 is not something to bragg about...
I wonder if there is a difference in what we are shooting. I'm shooting small fast moving birds close to the camera in AF-s. Tracking is useless to me because I can't track those birds in the viewfinder, they are too close and move too quickly....so my guess is both our experiences are true.
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