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09-13-2013, 05:00 PM - 31 Likes   #1
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Perfect focus everytime

So you have calibrated your lenses for front and back focus, however your are still getting shots that appear out of focus. You go back and spend hours re-calibrating every one of your lenses, maybe even send them off to Pentax to calibrate, but you still end up with the shots that are front or back focused.

Well I'm here to help with a little trick on how to configure your K5/K7 to get more of your shots in focus more often.

The problem here is not that your lenses are not calibrated correctly. The problem here would not be fixed by going to a Canon 5D mkiii, D800, OMD EM1, or whatever else may be crossing your mind. The problem here is that from the time you lock focus to the time your press the shutter either you or your subject may have moved. Even when you fully depress that shutter you may have moved the camera just enough to loose focus. This is obviously more important for when precision focusing can make or break the shot. This also assumes that you are not experiencing camera shake, but true focus issues. There is a way to over come this!

First off, we are going to go into your cameras shooting menu and scroll over to page 5 where "Button Customization" lives




next, select AF Button and set it to "Enable AF" this is on by default.









Then go back to the button customization menu and go down to "shutter button half press", we are going to change this to off








almost done. go to the side of your camera and flick the switch over to "C".







Finally, we are going to set your "AF" mode switch to SEL.



So what does this accomplish?

First off by being in SEL mode for autofocus you can now choose which auto focus point you are using in the view finder. Your going to select this with the 4 way pad on the back to keep your AF point right over whatever you want to be in sharpest focus.

Second, by having the camera in constant AF mode, your camera will do whatever it can to keep whatever is under that AF point in focus. So the AF motor will constantly be hunting, you will notice you only need to move a fraction of an inch for the camera's AF to start working. But your target is still sharp as a button.

I guess a skipped a step, you need to also keep your thumb held down on that AF button on the back. the second you release that button, AF stops!

The other bonus of this method is that if your shooting on a tripod, you can set your focus, hit the AF button to lock, then you can adjust your exposure and do whatever without fear that by pressing the shutter your camera may freak out and change focus on you.

This is invaluable not only for moving targets but for stationary ones too, because even though that lime on your desk isn't moving, you are when your holding your camera. So let the camera do the work and keep that focus locked!



Quotes from other pages regarding this method:

"Doing so allows you to set the camera to continuous-servo AF (AF-C) mode permanently, while still being able to get the benefit of focus-lock like you do in single-servo (AF-S) mode. This means that at any time, you can switch between a focus/recompose/shoot style of photography (portraits and landscapes) and continuous subject tracking (sports & wildlife) without having to change camera switches or menu settings."

"To emulate single-servo mode (focus/recompose/shoot)

Place the active AF point on your subject
Press the AF-On button to acquire focus
Release the AF-On button to lock focus
Recompose and shoot
To focus continuously on a moving subject

Place the active AF point on the subject
Press the AF-On button
Keep the AF-On button pressed to track focus while simultaneously pressing the shutter release"


K3 Setup for AF button focusing!


you've asked for it! Now you got it. It's incredibly easy!

Go into your shooting menu, page 4.
Select Button Customization
AF Button - AF2

Then, hold down the "AF Mode" button on the side of your camera, use the front dial to select "AF.C, use the rear dial to select "SEL-1". Thats it your done!

For bonus points, use the different SEL settings to allow the focus to track across the frame. Very handy in sport situations. ie: SEL-3 will lock onto where your focus point is entered, then track it as it moves. Very useful.


Last edited by Wired; 05-18-2014 at 07:54 PM. Reason: K3 Update
09-13-2013, 06:00 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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Way too easy.

Much better for your character and personal growth to meditate like a monk control breathing, heart rate and autonomous muscle twitches, control the incipient motion of the earth moving under your feet and learn to shoot.
09-13-2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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Wow. I've been using the AF button completely differently: to cancel AF. This is much better. Thanks for some great advice.
09-13-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
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Pentax k-5 provides the best ergonomics to shoot with thumb on the AF lock button and index finger on the shutter. It does not equate to constant AF due to subject movement (as in so-called servo mode); also only lock the focus on the active AF point. It is pretty close enough but not quite for perfect focus (similar to catch-in-focus feature I use on manual lenses)..

09-13-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth.Ig Quote
Wow. I've been using the AF button completely differently: to cancel AF. This is much better. Thanks for some great advice.
If you have been using half-press of the shutter to lock focus, then you probably missed the mark more often than not.
09-13-2013, 06:18 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Way too easy.

Much better for your character and personal growth to meditate like a monk control breathing, heart rate and autonomous muscle twitches, control the incipient motion of the earth moving under your feet and learn to shoot.
Can't I just make my heart stop beating and stand on a hover board?

09-13-2013, 06:20 PM - 1 Like   #7
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One more thing... if you anticipate there will be subject movement, then change the shooting mode to "continuous high" you will get a high percentage of usable shots.
09-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
If you have been using half-press of the shutter to lock focus, then you probably missed the mark more often than not.
Not that bad, but I have definitely been missing focus.

09-13-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth.Ig Quote
Not that bad, but I have definitely been missing focus.
Just kidding.. but definitely as the OP suggested using the AF button helps a lot.
09-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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I had started to use the back AF button way back when I had my K20D ... then decided to switch to the "normal" half press AF on the shutter button.
Indeed, I have found that many more shots were OOF, especially with moving targets such as in BIF.

I will definitely try your method and see if this helps (I have a K5 and a DA*300/4 for most of my shooting for wildlife).

Of course, this also means to get used to yet another method and therefore expecting quite a few misses during the "learning curve".

Thanks for the great post.

JP
09-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #11
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Don't forget to turn on (C-14) "Superimpose AF Area", too.

Cheers...
09-13-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Don't forget to turn on (C-14) "Superimpose AF Area", too.

Cheers...
Just to prove a point that I haven't read all of the manual ... why would you turn this ON ?

JP
09-13-2013, 07:49 PM   #13
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Thanks for the tips!
09-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Just to prove a point that I haven't read all of the manual ... why would you turn this ON ?

JP
Actually, the real question is: why would you turn this one off? The default is ON, so one can see the focus confirmation red light and where it is. Is there any occasion when you don't want to see it?
09-13-2013, 08:42 PM   #15
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I shoot a lot of events... and many times, I use manual lens (prime), I still use the AF button so I can see the focus confirmation while I keep my index finger on the shutter. I have been quite happy with the results.
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