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05-09-2021, 09:00 PM   #16
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I've found my 50-135 warmed up faster if I put my camera in Live View mode and tried focusing it that way first and then switching back to the viewfinder once it locked focus in live view. I have not tried mine on my K-3iii yet. Seems like I've had 2 straight weeks of rain and gray clouds since mine arrived.

05-09-2021, 09:13 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
IIRC, when the Japanese press reviewed the K-3 III weeks ago, they used the DA* 50-135 and found the AF performance to be quite decent - perhaps even surprisingly so.
well , I am more and more keen to get my K-3lll and test it with SDS's
05-10-2021, 06:42 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
IIRC, when the Japanese press reviewed the K-3 III weeks ago, they used the DA* 50-135 and found the AF performance to be quite decent - perhaps even surprisingly so.
Come think of it, the thing with the DA*50-135 is that it has a very long focus throw, which means it suffers much more than others when it starts moving up and down to find focus (esp when hunting). I suspect that when it would snap to correct focus immediately, the effect of the longer focus throw would be much less. Especially if the previous subject photographed is at more or less the same distance as the new shot.

I imagine in case of focus tracking the effect would be massive. On previous cameras once it lost the subject it focused on the background and simply never had the time to move back to the correct position because of way too long a turn to do so. If the new AF can help it keep up with small adjustments (I'm sure it's fast enough for that) without losing the subject, that would make a difference for this lens more than other lenses that might have been capable of getting the subject back on previous cameras.

Probably the gain will be both for SDM survivors and screw drive converted ones.
05-10-2021, 05:30 PM   #19
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Had a late day at work. I think I will let the lens set one more night on the K-3ii before trying it again. I'll report back tomorrow.

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
IIRC, when the Japanese press reviewed the K-3 III weeks ago, they used the DA* 50-135 and found the AF performance to be quite decent - perhaps even surprisingly so.
I did notice one of the videos had the 50-135 attached and they seemed to be getting along quite well.

05-11-2021, 03:56 PM   #20
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I must admit that I am following this thread with some interest, trying to determine what Ricoh may have done to make the improvement. I'm wondering if hey may have increased the voltage/current drive to the lens, or are using some other technique like Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to kick start lazy SDM lenses.
05-11-2021, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #21
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I used the 50-135 on Saturday for a couple hundred images. It did great at single shot, focuses faster with more authority IMO, but I had far less success with one fast sky dance segment shot high burst mode. Another couple of medium bursts at a joust did better, but I wasn't amazed. Still gotta work on technique.

I don't think I'd use the 50-135 for future events where I know I'll be using continuous burst, but the 55-300PLM I've never had much use for until now has done really well.
05-12-2021, 12:11 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
I used the 50-135 on Saturday for a couple hundred images. It did great at single shot, focuses faster with more authority IMO, but I had far less success with one fast sky dance segment shot high burst mode. Another couple of medium bursts at a joust did better, but I wasn't amazed. Still gotta work on technique.
Did you keep the subject within the central area covered with AF points? I can imagine that the DA*50-135's long focus trow would suffer like before if focus is lost, which risks to be the case with a subject leaving that zone. As you say, technique is important, and I would think even more so with the 50-135. Thanks for keeping my expectations realistic!

05-12-2021, 03:38 AM   #23
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After setting a couple days, I tried the 50-135 on the K-3ii this morning and the lens was immediately responsive. Whatever the K-3iii did it has lasted more than 2 days -- I guess?. May have to let it set for a longer period of time.

QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
but I wasn't amazed
Agree. It also would not say its autofocus is now amazing, but it is a noticeable difference and if it continues it will build my trust. When I did portraits a few weeks ago it was very frustrating to wait for it to acquire focus. I'm planning to use it practically for some portraits this week. We'll see how it goes. If this lens can build back autofocus trust, I'll be a happy camper.
05-12-2021, 05:14 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ishpuini Quote
Did you keep the subject within the central area covered with AF points? I can imagine that the DA*50-135's long focus trow would suffer like before if focus is lost, which risks to be the case with a subject leaving that zone. As you say, technique is important, and I would think even more so with the 50-135. Thanks for keeping my expectations realistic!
Because of the poor contrast on those focus points in the viewfinder I can't say for sure, but based on the photos I would assume I did not.

If there's just one thing Pentax does in the 1.1 firmware please let it be a bolder outline to the boxes even if another color isn't feasible. I love the focus results on the new camera, far FAR better than what was previously available, but it's by hope and prayer and not because of the visual confirmation of the focus point(s) being employed
05-12-2021, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlhawes Quote
As to the SDM thing, your experience would suggest that it's a software problem in the camera and not the solenoid.
My guess is the new camera has the ability to provide more voltage or current to the old SDM lenses to force a stuck piezo motor to move. It's probably whatever amplifier circuit that is in the camera is more robust. Pentax has had a lot of time to develop ways to understand this problem and ways to mitigate it.

As a curious experiment, it would be interesting to get a truly "dead" SDM lens and give it a whirl on the K3III and see if it wakes up.

Maybe @Uncle Vanya could do it next time he gets a dead lens to convert; assuming he's getting the K3III, that is.
05-12-2021, 01:07 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rtmarwitz Quote
I also have the DA*200 and DA*300 ... I still haven't tried them on the K-3iii, but I'm guessing/hoping based on 50-135 experience, there may be some improvement with the K-3iii and if there are also some low light focus improvements it will really shine ...
Looking forward to your trying the K3III with the DA*300/4.
Keep up posted with some pictures please!
05-12-2021, 01:30 PM   #27
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Managed to capture a Robin while I was busy focusing on bird feeder in trees and he popped out of plants... quickly swung around and snapped him... would not have happened with K3 that's for sure.
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05-12-2021, 06:18 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by snappyhoffy Quote
Managed to capture a Robin while I was busy focusing on bird feeder in trees and he popped out of plants... quickly swung around and snapped him... would not have happened with K3 that's for sure.
From the various promotional materials presented by Pentax leading up to the release I understood that besides AF specific improvements, they also specifically developed the K-3 III to be rapid from a 'draw' (think American western movie style). That is from initial On button start-up => OVF spotting => AF acquisition => Shutter release. And one could include in this potentially making quick operator adjustments prior to release. Looking forward to more experiences of early users to see how successful this is. Most certainly it will be improved over previous Pentax models.
05-13-2021, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlhawes Quote
Ok, maybe not a software problem, but the way the SDM lenses seem to fail over extended periods of time, whatever power amplifier circuitry is in the cameras (both K-1 and KP in my experience) must be what's actually failing over time. I've got a DA* 55mm SDM that I sent back under warranty and Precision purportedly fixed it, but now that same lens is getting cranky again, and it works the same way on both cameras. That's the first good reason I've come across that persuades me that it may be worth it to buy a K3-iii (when the KP dies or the prices come down dramatically).
You might try renting one, when or if that becomes an option, to verify your lens focus performance.
05-13-2021, 03:45 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlt Quote
You might try renting one, when or if that becomes an option, to verify your lens focus performance.
I used the *55 quite a bit on Sunday and noticed that the AF consistently worked, which has not always been the case. All three copies of it that I've owned have been prone to lagginess after going unused a few weeks. I know that lens hadn't been on a camera since back in January so perhaps the new K3 is better at pushing the SDM. Over the weekend I'll try it on both cameras.
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