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12-22-2011, 09:40 AM   #1
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Making auto-focus work with Gigapan Epic Pro

I own a Gigapan Epic Pro to take panoramic picture sequences with my K-5 and K20D.

I found that one feature didn't work: Automatic Focusing.
While the Gigapan manual explains all the necessary settings on the Epic Pro's side, it leaves one at guessing how to set up the camera.

After a lot of trial and error I figured out that their hardware or firmware is indeed misconfigured for this to work.

See the image here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/17241-mak...your-k10d.html

It shows that the remote cable offers two switches: One to activate AF and one to release the shutter.

Gigapan's own shutter cable for the Pentax only controls the shutter release switch, though, wile leaving the AF switch open all the time. And this is causing the problem, because the K-5 and K20D to not engage auto focus automatically when just the shutter is pressed. However, discussions with Gigapan's support suggest that they believed that engaging the shutter switch would also engage AF.

Now, there's a solution to this: If we simply close both switches at the same time, then the camera will focus before exposing (provided the camera settings are accordingly set), just as the Gigapan manual suggests.

To achieve this, the simplest solution is to atach a mono extension cord to the 2.5mm connector. That will connect both switches, leading to the desired effect.
If such a cable can't be found, then some soldering is necessary. Get both a male and female 2.5mm TRS connector and solder one cable to the outmost (ground, black) ends, and one connecting both inner leads (red and blue) to the two on the other end. Use this extension cord between camera and the Gigapan shutter cable.

Oddly, the option "AF with Remote Control" (menu item C-18 on the K-5) doesn't make any difference.
Hence, to choose whether you want AF with each shutter release can be solely selected by either attaching the "mono cord" to the shutter cable or not.

Now, with all issues solved, I hope I can finally start taking some gigantic pictures!

12-22-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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I've used the Gigapan with a friend's Canon, but generally got the best results setting the camera on full manual. As good as the software that comes with it is, sometimes you'll get strange sharpness shifts if you use autofocus. The same can happen with exposure in Av or detail size in Sv.
10-08-2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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Wonderful, will try this out, doing the manual focus and then figuring just what f-stop to make this work is a pain especially when using a 300mm lens line this one, GigaPan: Tree close but even at f22 the DOF, and breeze killed me
10-09-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tempelorg Quote
Oddly, the option "AF with Remote Control" (menu item C-18 on the K-5) doesn't make any difference.
That is for when you use the IR remote.

10-09-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
That is for when you use the IR remote.
That post is from last December...
10-09-2012, 03:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
That post is from last December...
That`s what I get for not having my reading glasses on.
edit: the other guy made me do it

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 10-09-2012 at 03:14 PM.
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