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03-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
Zafar Iqbal's Avatar

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K-30 AF motor

I was at a wedding last Friday and my camera stopped focusing twice.

Once using Sigma 17-50mm f2,8 and then again using Pentax 70mm Limited.

I checked all dials and knobs on both occasions - also whether the lenses were properly mounted. Nothing seemed off. Turning the camera on/off solved the problem immediately, also on both occasions.

It was the first time I experienced this - though generally speaking I've been experiencing many flukes. Some minor some larger.

I shot at a birthday few months back and back then I experienced severe shutter lag. Maybe half a second of delay before the shutter went off.

I also feel (and this is currently just a feeling, but a strong one), that my AF is less precise than it used to be. I mostly shoot with my 70mm Limited @ f8 at studio and the focus can be well enough off for the photo not to be useful at all - this goes for anything from closeups to full body shot. I've noticed this during events and using other lenses as well - though this cant be screwdrive related entirely since I've experienced it with my Sigma 17-50 which has HSM.

Can anyone recognize any of this?

Ps. I'm routined enough not to fiddle around like a confused person while I'm photographing.

03-26-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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Send your camera and Pentax lens in for calibration.
03-26-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
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It could be that the connection between your lenses and the camera is no longer good for some reason. I would also send it in for a check/calibration.

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03-26-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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I honestly don't feel like sending it in before I can reproduce the at least some of the behaviors. Otherwise I suspect I might just be sending the camera of for several weeks for nothing. The focus isn't always inaccurate, so I do not believe it to be a typical FF/BF issue.

03-26-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Just make sure that you do have it checked out while the camera is still within its warranty period.
03-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Yes, absolutely. Perhaps I should just go ahead and do it.
04-06-2013, 02:56 AM   #7
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I do not think something might be wrong with my K-30. There is the thing with AF stopped working which could be a fluke or worse, but regarding AF accuracy, I think its related to selective points.

I have 2 bodies. #2 only gets used when I'm out shooting events. It's a lot harder to notice such stuff at event photography vs. studio - I always use wider angle lenses on #2 body.

I have some group shots from last night being out of focus @ small apertures. I ronically I pushed my flash and cam setting to get best possible sharpness - just to be sure. I'm normally really bad at remembering things but I did have off center focus point on many of the group shots.

This also made me recall a previous event where I did a 2 people group shot - at a longer distance yet the focus was still off for most of the pics. This was using body #2 as well and also using off center focusing points.

I relied on single point when I first got the camera since thats what I was use to with K-x.

I'll stop doing that and see how it will affect my photos - the problem is, that using single point and continuous focusing (like when people are dancing) typically looks crap with center composition.

Edit: but, the AF accuracy is different in later firmware as stated earlier.

Last edited by Zafar Iqbal; 04-29-2013 at 07:05 AM.
04-30-2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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Are you using focus or release priority? I use release all the time, but I'm not sure I would in a noisy environment as the camera noises (not the beep) are a definite clue as to whether the shutter should be fired at that moment to get a spot on AF.

04-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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I'm on focus priority unless I do continuous shooting, and I only use continuous shooting mode when people are moving and dancing and the light level is low.

I haven't learned much since last time I wrote. I momentarily thought perhaps it could be a firmware thing but it doesn't seem to be so. I also haven't been good at staying in single point mode and I believe this is one thing I really must remember to do.

Ironically, the issue so far haven't revealed itself when I'm doing control tests, but does so when I'm shooting for real.
05-06-2013, 11:02 AM   #10
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Been doing some testing and following are my current findings and impressions:

Center point:
Tack sharp: often
Almost there: happens but nothing I worry about
Too much off focus: rare

Off center points:
Tack sharp: rare
Almost there: often, but less sharp than center point
Too much off focus: often and generally also more out of focus than with center point.

It also seemed quiet clear, the off center AF points are more sensitive to brightness of the subject. The brighter it is, the more the camera tend to focus bad, while the center just nails it.

I've earlier tried Sigma 17-50 2.8, Sigma 70-200 f2.8, Pentax 70mm Limited and Tamron 90mm. I now also tried using Pentax 35mm Macro and 21mm Limited.

The 35mm gave me the weirdest results. That might be lens related but it still puzzled me.

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