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12-16-2012, 03:24 AM   #1
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k5 doesn't fire when focussed.

On my second k5 now so I'm very used to their performance and nuances. Recently my 6 month old second body has started to show (albeit infrequently) and odd problem.
Irrespective of lens mounted I can get focus confirmation using AF-S from a half press but then full press doesn't fire. Half press again and it hunts a bit then might fire but it's very hit and miss.

This tends to be late on in a shoot but whether in the studio or outdoors there's clearly enough ambient light. This is always shots of people or models in AV and although not totally static their movement or mine surely can't stop it from firing.
I have been through all menus and all I have activated is focus fine adjust, everything else is factory spec. Latest firmware, everything in tip top condition.

Thoughts ?

12-16-2012, 05:45 AM   #2
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You can try changing to release-priority instead of focus-priority in AF-S settings.
12-16-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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check in the 300mm plus group...i posed the same question..ihave copied my question and the responses since there are so many discussions..amy

since many of you have the da300, have you experienced any issues with the focus not locking in periodically...i will have a picture in focus and try to take it and it won't so i have to totally change the focal point and then go back to what i want and it seems to work..another time it seems fine..this is the only lens i have experienced this issue and obviously when you got the right shot you want the thing to focus and take the picture...trying to figfure out if the lens needs some work or not..i usually shoot single point, but have also done 5 point...tried manual focus but i think my eyes don't like it...tried turning off shake reduction and only use high shutter speeds, catch in focus is off although what i shoot should be in focus...i'm not talking about even a moving subject..taking a picture of a tree does the same thing...any suggestions..amy

stormtechs response
I don't have the DA*300, but I think I have seen something similar with my other DA* lenses - maybe it is an SDM lens phenomenon.
I'm trying to understand what you are explaining - let me try my explanation to see if it matches your experience.
I will get a subject in my view, and half press the shutter button with locks focus and turns on the SR. But, I'm not ready to shoot yet, and let off the shutter button. Now while not moving myself or anything, and the subject has not moved, I once again half press the shutter button but get no focus confirmation, and since I have my
K-5 set to only shoot if it gets the confirmation, it will not fire. I have to move my view to a different subject, get the lens to re-focus, then back to the first subject, then it will focus with the confirmation.

I've had this happen on both my 60-250 and 16-50 on occasion - just kind of wrote it off as as idiosyncrasy of the SDM focusing system.


I really don't think there is anything wrong with our lenses here - just a quirk of sorts - but that's just my opinion. I get to thinking that the lens is in focus, but the camera is looking for the SDM to activate before it confirms focus thus allowing the shutter to fire. When you half-press the button the second time, the camera is saying like "OK - focus is good so I don't need to activate the focus motor". But, the focus confirmation is waiting for a focus lock signal which it isn't getting.

I might be getting way off here, but that is how I feel and I shoot mostly DA* lenses. All of them act the same and only seems to happen in certain circumstances like low contrast focusing point.

One work around is to set your camera to shoot without focus confirmation (turn off focus priority in the menu).
Another thing to try, which I haven't yet, and don't see why it would make a difference, is to try the AF button before half-pressing the shutter button the second time?



frogfish said this
Very much as Stan has said above.

I have had this happen occasionally, not only with the DA*300 on the
K5 but also the Sigma 500 (on a D800) etc. it is a contrast issue, point away and focus on a subject much nearer or further away then return to your subject. It may look like it's in focus but it's not so if you have the camera set up to only fire when in-focus then you're stuck. It's a PITA but not a lens issue per se. A lot depends on the environment you are shooting in.

This is one of the reasons I map AF to the rear button and the shutter only for firing. That is your workaround .
12-16-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies. I understand the focus priority point but what I don't get is this. I can (using focus-prority in AF.S options) lock on to something at say 2 feet away then turn around to point at infinity and still be allowed to shoot. It will be out of focus but it will do it. So I don't understand why it will without warning stop me doing so. Surely it should NEVER fire if focus has been lost. If I concede that my subject has moved slightly I've always still been able to shoot, it will just not be a keeper. It happens on my FA50, DA35 Limited and FA77, none of which are SDM. Though the problems discussed above do sound identical to mine.

To reiterate, I'm on single point AF, AF.S set to focus-priority, I shoot all day with no hitches then it just starts locking focus as normal but giving me no fire on full press till I focus away then return. Even then it still messes up. One thing that was true of yesterdays issue was that my memory card was 95% full. But it can't be that surely ?

12-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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rob one other thing that could affect you is the SR...i have always used it regardless of the shutter speed but have started to (based on feedback from others), turned it off at high shutter speeds and it does seem to be able to shoot the pictures without locking...i understand exactly what you are experiencing and i try not to focus unless i plan to shoot immediately and i try to change the focal distance whenever possible...it would be interesting if anyone else has any suggestions but i have turned off focus priority, catch in focus and the SR...i have also seen this issue with my 31 and 77 limiteds and for awhile thought the camera was the issue...amy
02-16-2013, 03:14 AM   #6
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Sorry to resurrect this thread but the problem is just getting silly now, I think it's time for a trip to the service centre. More of that in a bit.

Just to re-iterate I'm pretty confident I know my way around the body and this is now happening on the three lenses I use most so it's not an issue with them. And it's happening both on location in AV and in the studio on manual
. The only thing I think has been constant with this issue is fading light but I haven't kept a diary. My outside failures were late winter afternoon (but nowhere near dark) and indoors it's once natural light has started to fade in the studio. But I have modelling lights and of course the green light of focus assist for extreme moments.

Yesterday being a perfect example: In the studio using high end lights and triggers. Full manual, iso 100, F8, 1/125, AF.S, centre point focusing, S.R on.
Latest firmware and the only things turned on from the factory default are expanded sensitivity, permit aperture ring and micro focus adjust.

Using an FA 43 everything starts out fine but after about an hour or 2 the problem starts up. Locks focus with a half press, confirms with the hexagon, confirms S.R then nothing. I press and it's as if the memory card is full. It seems to me that if you REALLY press hard you can get a shutter release about a second later but that's no use when shooting moving subjects. Sometimes when it refuses to fire you will also get focus hunt AFTER focus confirmation, minimal whirring back and forth then it will fire. Fine if I was in continuous focus but I'm not !

I then had a break in my schedule of over 2 hours so left the camera off, 20 shots on a fresh card so hoped for perfect responses when I started up again. No such luck, straight away It stiffed up. And although I can't say 100% it only happens shooting people, but then that's pretty much all I shoot. I know they move and so do I but I'm on AF.S so it shouldn't matter.


Hands up I never saw the above reply so I will try no S.R but that's part of the reason I chose the Pentax system. Seems daft to have to turn off a important feature to make the thing work.

At that's the main issue, it working. I am currently getting a frequent amount of work and where as the K5 and the limiteds deliver totally fantastic images I simply can't have a camera not releasing it's shutter. Then to go to repair means I'll lose work and I don't just mean the odd job but ongoing arrangements. I have a back up body but (I won't bore you with the details) it only functions in manual. Great for the studio but then I'm operating for however long on one body and that is a definite risk knowing my back up body's history.

So I'm kinda stuck, I can muddle on but suspect the shutter release is gonna fail mid shoot somewhere. And this isn't a slight against Pentax and jumping system has never really seemed a big thing for me, I can wait for FF. But both Nikon and Canon have Pro service arrangements, I know I'd have a repair or a loan between shoots.

Anyway, I'm going on a bit here so my main reason for starting this thread again is to see if there is anyone else reading who knows if there's an in camera fix or a simple explanation I'm missing so I can avoid a trip to Pentax.

Rob.

Last edited by London Rob; 02-16-2013 at 03:20 AM.
02-16-2013, 04:18 AM   #7
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Hi Rob, I haven't got a K-5, but just been thinking a bit... Have you tried focusing with the AF AE-L button and then release with the shutter button, and if you have, with what results? I agree SR shouldn't be a problem. How many actuations do you have with that camera, and is there any possibility of some dirt underneath the shutter button? The shutter button on my K-x started acting up after about 35000 actuations, but I gave it a squirt of switch cleaner, and haven't had a problem since..
02-16-2013, 04:47 AM   #8
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I have tried the rear AF button yes but without any improvement. Main button might need a clean, I guess I'm up around 40,000 fires and it started about 5000 shots ago. I'm in the studio next week so I'm going to take both bodies, 43 om the current one, 77 on the old. Keep the old on standard set up but turn off sr and switch focus priority to shutter on the new one and see what gives.

Sad truth is though that with the rate of work I'm very fortunate enough to have in the diary although I LOVE my lenses I'm coming round to thinking the K5 body and more importantly the service support no longer match my rapidly evolving shooting.
Even if there is a work around for this issue it's opened my eyes that the system is coming up just a little short. No client, model, company or anyone I've shot for have ever asked me what camera I shoot with cause naturally they don't care. But they do care about image quality and getting the job done.

I can guarantee the first but I'm starting to get nervous about the second.

Oh Pentax ! Bring out an FF and decent Pro support just for little old me by next week, please !!!!

02-16-2013, 04:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by London Rob Quote
I can guarantee the first but I'm starting to get nervous about the second
I hear you. I'm in business myself, and the moment you let your customer service slip, you might be gone. I think a FF Pentax might eventually be released, but to up the service to the same standards as the competition, might take a lot longer; and only if Pentax can get a much larger slice of the DSLR cake...
02-16-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by London Rob Quote
Main button might need a clean
For shutter button troubleshooting purposes I would try a wired remote, or even maybe IR remote.
02-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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My experience with this sort of thing isn't lens-specific but does tend to happen in bad light and darker, lowish-contrast subjects. The most recent encounter was shooting my daughter's basketball team in their black 'away' uniforms in a fairly dim gym.
02-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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Right so a whole day in the studio, settings tweaked as suggested to give the K5 a chance to work properly and.......... no. No good.Less troublesome this time and mostly with the 77 but it's clearly nothing to do with light or contrast as has been said and as I suspected. I guess I got a faulty shutter button.Not the end of the world but I got to post it to the ONLY Pentax service centre in the Uk then wait.... Canon have a place in London I can walk in to and their turnaround sounds much quicker.

There ain't nothing worse than a tool you do not have confidence in.

I'm going to keep my k5's and lenses and always carry a set as my back up but I think I'm accepting what I've known for some time, These tools aren't right for the job I'm lucky enough to have. Pentax are alright, Canon are alright. I just need the better, easier to fix, best service supported and consistent performance version of alright. I don't think the k5 is that camera, not 2000 shots a day over a long period anyway.

I shall keep it as my Sunday best.
02-20-2013, 04:13 AM   #13
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Hey Rob,

I know exactly what you mean. It's one of those sad but inevitable things when you look at photography from a business point of view. At the end of the day you need the tools and the support network that allow you to keep doing your work and to keep your clients happy. There's no time for being sentimental in these cases. While I'm nowhere near the level you're at (only using the K-r at the moment), I am starting to get more and more work and starting to get more and more annoyed by the shortcomings of my camera. I'll most likely switch to a higher-end canon/nikon camera later in the year - not because the image quality is lacking, but just because the "other side" seem to be better from a "working photographer" point of view.
02-20-2013, 12:51 PM   #14
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Well I shot today and I don't need to tell you how tough it was. Got some FABULOUS images though but I only had an hour to do the whole lot in so probably missed as many. The lenses paired with that sensor are outstanding and I look forward to owning them for many years. But I got 9 full 8 hour day shoots in the diary and growing and I don't think I can risk it. Anyway, from very early this morning to show what stunning work it can do......

Fa43, f4, 1/80, iso 100. cheap Yongnuos shot through even cheaper umbrellas on even cheaper stands. Light costs very little.
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Last edited by London Rob; 02-20-2013 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Wrong image
02-20-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Wow, it's not that dark or green in real life !
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