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04-13-2022, 09:46 AM   #31
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Just to throw the cat among the pigeons -- it does not matter how good your AF-C is if your lens cannot react quickly enough to its instructions -- I just LOVE my FA* 70-200mm F2.8 - not cheap - but I keep getting amazing results with it all the time -- ONLY CON is it is dam heavy - even on the K3 iii without a battery grip !!! My monpod is never far away from me !

One other point - using a FF lens on an APS-C camera not only uses just the center and sweet spot of the lens glass -- the focus points are also more center and less edge ...?

04-13-2022, 10:31 AM   #32
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How fast is the DC focusing in that? My experience is SDM is no faster than screw-drive.
04-15-2022, 08:09 AM - 1 Like   #33
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At risk of covering previous threads (but I hope Uncle Vanya's agreement) - I think there is a huge difference with the initial (lets call them Version1) SDM which came with dual focus methods .. and the latest SDM - probably version3 by now.

I have older fantastic lenses -- and every one the SDM became a little suspect or failed -- and converting to screw was a fantastic idea and rescues a great lens. I did all of mine that I could convert, even the ones that seemed sort of OK on the SDM. The only one I could not was the DA★ 60-250mm F4 where the file extracted is too big for the firmware in the K-5 to extract and you loose the end of it.
The screw drive is a little noisy - but unless you are really pushing them on the new AF.C K3iii - then they work fine.

HOWEVER - I have to say with the new SDM lenses (without even the option for screw) they are FAST -- and we hope reliability has improved - otherwise there will be a lot of unhappy Pentaxians! Paired with the AF.C on the K3iii - they are remarkable SLRs and I have been getting great results.


These, with the new cameras, are a really complex setup -- which is why this forum is here :-)
04-23-2022, 09:36 PM   #34
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At the end of the day, if we're expecting high performance for things like birds in flight from the K3-3, we're just going to have to accept compromises.

The OM-1 is $200 more than the K33 and did extremely well as demonstrated in this YouTuber's video here:
(skip to just after 7:00 for the actual test photos).

04-24-2022, 07:49 AM - 5 Likes   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
At the end of the day, if we're expecting high performance for things like birds in flight from the K3-3, we're just going to have to accept compromises.

The OM-1 is $200 more than the K33 and did extremely well as demonstrated in this YouTuber's video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apT-GTlbeO4 (skip to just after 7:00 for the actual test photos).
I don't accept compromises without verification. FWIW, I get essentially the same BIF results and success rate as the OM-1 from the video with my 150-450 and K3III, especially so when the flight is lateral. Those are not difficult after some practice. The trick is getting initial focus confirmation, and anticipating movement and direction. In general (not always) my personal settings at the moment are Medium burst speed, Focus Hold Low, 2500-5000 shutter speed, F8-F11, but those are all open to change as I get more experience with it.

Trying to grab focus after the bird is already in flight is not as successful, so it may be two or three shots even under a clear sky before focus is achieved and locked for the remainder of the burst, and even then it's not unusual for some to be soft if there's some distance between me and the camera.

Erratic flight is a total tossup. I'll get some and miss others. If there's trees or other messiness in the background and the bird already flying in the distance before I've achieved focus it's a another cointoss. Closer in it's been fairly successful for me, distance playing a big part.

So a LOT better than it's ever been with any of my other Pentax cameras, and the more I've done it (a LOT over the past few weeks) and learned to anticipate, my keeper rate has shot up accordingly. I'm very happy with my K3III's performance. I fully expect similar results or better to those OM-1 test shots every time I go out, and seeing it more and more as I get acclimated to settings and personal technique.

To be good at BiF will take practice, practice and more practice. No camera is going to give you consistent, almost magical, results without it. I've seen some horrid examples from Sony's and Canon's that are nowhere near the quality I'm getting from the K3III. Photographer and camera are supposed to be a team, and the gear on its own won't cut it.

Last edited by gatorguy; 04-24-2022 at 08:39 AM.
04-25-2022, 08:49 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
So a LOT better than it's ever been with any of my other Pentax cameras, and the more I've done it (a LOT over the past few weeks) and learned to anticipate, my keeper rate has shot up accordingly. I'm very happy with my K3III's performance.
Your success seems to reflect the experience that others have had with the K-3 Mark III, for example:

New small birds in flight with Pentax K3 Mark III: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

K-3 Mark III Sequence of a snowy owl in flight: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Anyone use the K3 iii +150-450 for birding (especially flying birds)? - PentaxForums.com

Post your K3 iii pictures. - Page 113 - PentaxForums.com

AF-C of K-3III is impressive - Page 47 - PentaxForums.com

K3 III -- First day birding: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

As for the relative performance of the K-3 III compared to the digital OM-1, I guess we'd need to see tests done under similar conditions, ideally both cameras shooting at the same location and time against the same birds. In the video posted by @sebberry, the photographer mentions that the OM-1 lost focus a number of times in the sequences against a fairly high-contrast subject.


- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 04-25-2022 at 10:24 AM.
04-25-2022, 11:14 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
the photographer mentions that the OM-1 lost focus a number of times in the sequences against a fairly high-contrast subject.


- Craig
What the photog is calling "losing focus" is what I call soft. Same thing I suppose, just different terms. Yes, it is not unusual to have some small number of images captured "soft", but those are ones that are so close to perfectly in-focus that they're easy to rescue. Truly out of focus when locked before taking flight has become a rarity for me lately. Even those already flying birds can generally be photographed in focus within a couple of frames, given a large enough presence in the viewfinder. My experience has been if the bird is taking up a small percentage of the image area, and particularly with a quickly changing flight path and/or at distance, the success rate isn't great for me, 50/50 or even less. I'm not confident in my technique and settings for that.

But at the same time I see you've linked a thread over at DPR where a K3III user is doing pretty well with quick little birds in flight. Impressive stuff really. I'm not there yet.

04-25-2022, 01:43 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
But at the same time I see you've linked a thread over at DPR where a K3III user is doing pretty well with quick little birds in flight. Impressive stuff really. I'm not there yet.
Again it comes down to expectations, and what was his keeper rate. From the same user he posted something like out of 700 shots he had less than 100 photo keeper rate and really disappointed with the K3 III and 150-450

Last edited by Ian Stuart Forsyth; 04-25-2022 at 02:00 PM.
04-25-2022, 02:26 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Stuart Forsyth Quote
Again it comes down to expectations, and what was his keeper rate. From the same user he posted something like out of 700 shots he had less than 100 photo keeper rate and really disappointed with the K3 III and 150-450
On fast flitting little birds? Color me not shocked, except at his disappointment if he was.

So far mine has been primarily with larger birds flying like cranes and herons, and limpkins and ospreys at a reasonable distance. Fairly good success too some smaller waterbirds, ravens, grackles, and red-wing blackbirds closer in and of course none of those considered small and flitting....

But I'm working hard at it.

None of my other cameras has been nearly as effective for BiF as this K3III. I actually look forward to it now and expect success rather than luck.

Last edited by gatorguy; 04-25-2022 at 02:35 PM.
04-25-2022, 02:35 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
On fast flitting little birds? Color me not shocked, except at his disappointment if he was.
This was larger birds at the local pond. while he did get some very nice images he was disappointed with what his rate was so much that one of his threads was all about his disappointment
04-25-2022, 02:38 PM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Stuart Forsyth Quote
This was larger birds at the local pond. while he did get some very nice images he was disappointed with what his rate was so much that one of his threads was all about his disappointment
Then IMHO he needs to work more on understanding his camera and perhaps also modifying his technique somewhat. I'm FAR from disappointed. On the contrary I'm having fun! Instead of spray and pray I'm working with intent.

The best part? Pentax isn't done with updates. The model is still young, and things will improve even more.

EDIT: I should have mentioned I haven't been as happy with the K3III all along. Up until a a few months ago I too had been somewhat disappointed. The low-light performance has been phenomenal from the beginning, speed, options etc all great. but the AF was not impressing me. Even static subjects might miss focus more often than I had been expecting. But that changed beginning with the previous firmware update, and then significantly so with the latest. It has gone from meh to yeah in the space of 90 days, to the point I now look forward to stress testing it. The more I use it the more I love it.

Last edited by gatorguy; 04-25-2022 at 07:02 PM.
04-25-2022, 03:46 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Stuart Forsyth Quote
From the same user he posted something like out of 700 shots he had less than 100% keeper rate
Yeah its pretty hard to be positive with less than 100% keeper rate! I would think you meant 10% keeper rate, now that would be something to be disappointed about
04-25-2022, 05:51 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
Yeah its pretty hard to be positive with less than 100% keeper rate! I would think you meant 10% keeper rate, now that would be something to be disappointed about
There was a mistake on the post it was less than 100 photos in 700
04-25-2022, 07:06 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Stuart Forsyth Quote
There was a mistake on the post it was less than 100 photos in 700
At least in my case AF performance really started hitting its stride with the 1.41 update, tho 1.31 was an improvement. The first 6 months I owned the camera (one of the first to receive it) auto-focus was underwhelming. Not anymore.
04-25-2022, 10:50 PM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
it may be two or three shots even under a clear sky before focus is achieved and locked for the remainder of the burst,
One must wonder what overall AF reputation would be if the first 2-3 frames of burst mode were simply suppressed and discarded by software as necessary acquisition process.

Same for the widest aperture of a lens being intended solely for brighter low light view and marketing position.
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