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02-09-2014, 01:23 PM   #16
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Hey everyone and thanks for all your answers!

Please forgive my bluntness, but I am wondering if maybe one or another of you need to lose that Pentaxian view (blessing everything that has "Pentax" written on it) and get a reality check. Please don't feel insulted, I am just trying to get a little sense into this discussion.

Ok, Pentax isn't first choice for sports. We've covered that. But sitting on stairs and alternately focussing on a grating and a barn doesn't qualify as sports - not in my book anyway. What I don't get is that some of you don't think something is seriously wrong when a modern DSLR with pro ambitions takes up to one whole second to focus on something - especially considering that an entry-level DSLR (which is ten years old) requires only about 1/5 of that time. I did not take a knife to a gunfight. I took a DSLR to a dancing tournament which isn't too hard on the AF - otherwise I don't see how the old EOS 300D could have dealt with it.

Edit: A camera that requires a whole second to focus is pretty useless for most things. Even children on a playground would be too challenging for it - and the thought of that is just plane pathetic.

BTW. What I should have asked more clearly is if your K-3's are just as slow as mine is. Would be really cool if someone tried out something like I did on the stairs. If someone would like to meet with me so we could compare our cameras, that would be fine too.

To those who think that the camera has a fault...
Apart from sending it back, is there anything you can suggest how I could test this? A focus chart to me seems like the wrong tool because I am not having any back or front focus issues. My problem is one of speed. And this speed has nothing to do with the flash either. The test I did outside did not involve a flash - and I never took a shot, I just waited for the beep to signalize that focussing was done.

Kind regards (and still hoping for that decisive hint),
Pix

P.S. I like the way my K-3 feels and handles. I would really prefer to keep it!

---------- Post added 02-09-14 at 10:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
@stevebrot read the paragraph above your quote. And come on, even the K-5 can do CAF for what the OP needs. The Sigma making tons of corrections makes me think the camera might be at fault.

@OP First try updating the firmware, maybe your camera just got derped a bit during production. Second, see if you have proper AF settings dialed in. If that doesn't work, either send in for warranty or replace tge camera.
Actually, I used the single shot mode for both the test and the dancing.

Concerning the firmware, I updated to the 1.02 before the tournament, as mentioned in my OP. What proper AF settings are you referring to? I had reduced the AF-field to nine before both test and dancing.

Regards,
Pix


Last edited by PixelGeek; 02-09-2014 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Got an idea. :-)
02-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #17
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Just wondering if you get the same outcome with other lenses? I would compare just to see if it is an issue with the camera or the lens itself

good luck

randy
02-09-2014, 02:52 PM   #18
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Maybe the camera just doesn't like you? Try making kissy faces at it and see if it behaves better.
02-09-2014, 03:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Just wondering if you get the same outcome with other lenses? I would compare just to see if it is an issue with the camera or the lens itself
randy
I currently only have three lenses for the K-Mount:
  • DA 18-135 (kit lens)
  • Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG USM
  • Sigma 85mm 1.4 EX DG USM
The focus was basicly the same on all these lenses. I made some recordings (audio only) of the focus action, if you are interested.


Regards,
Pix

02-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #20
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Many (not all) of us have merely suggested we have not shared your experience. I have none of your lenses to contrast performance with yours, but I do believe something is amiss. K3 autofocus is much, much better than your experience.
02-09-2014, 03:58 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Many (not all) of us have merely suggested we have not shared your experience. I have none of your lenses to contrast performance with yours, but I do believe something is amiss. K3 autofocus is much, much better than your experience.
Thanks mono, that is actually a statement I can relate to - and work with (not kidding)! I will call my dealer tomorrow and see if I can get a new camera (replacement K-3). Just to be sure: We are both talking about focus lock time, not focus precision?

Sorry for the rant guys! The argument about me bringing a knife to a gunfight just wasn't helping. If I were complaining about the K-3 being slower than a D4, I would get all your objections. I won't repeat what I compared my K-3 to again. I can make the decision whether to send the K-3 back and get something else or not by myself - provided I have the information I needed for that decision. And my question whether the AF should be the way I described was being changed into whether the K-3 is a serious sports camera.

Input is still welcome on this subject! BTW. I have read that there were some issues with the battery grip. They didn't affect the AF, or did they?

Cheers!
Chris
02-09-2014, 05:11 PM   #22
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Maybe a good dealer would let you play with one and compare both cameras under the same conditions to see if the camera needs to be repaired or not.

Cheers

Randy
02-09-2014, 05:29 PM   #23
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I have Sigma 50/1.4 EX DG HSM. I just tested on my K-5, and the time to focus is somewhere about quarter of a second. I put the lens at infinite, and I made a photo to 2 feet distance. In a camera, with only the one 100W light bulb. AF-S, One focusing point.

So, in my opinion, your camera definitely has problems.


Last edited by JimmyDranox; 02-09-2014 at 05:43 PM.
02-09-2014, 06:07 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by PixelGeek Quote
Thanks mono, that is actually a statement I can relate to - and work with (not kidding)! I will call my dealer tomorrow and see if I can get a new camera (replacement K-3). Just to be sure: We are both talking about focus lock time, not focus precision?
Yes - time to lock.
QuoteOriginally posted by PixelGeek Quote
Sorry for the rant guys! The argument about me bringing a knife to a gunfight just wasn't helping. If I were complaining about the K-3 being slower than a D4, I would get all your objections. I won't repeat what I compared my K-3 to again. I can make the decision whether to send the K-3 back and get something else or not by myself - provided I have the information I needed for that decision. And my question whether the AF should be the way I described was being changed into whether the K-3 is a serious sports camera.

Input is still welcome on this subject! BTW. I have read that there were some issues with the battery grip. They didn't affect the AF, or did they?

Cheers!
Chris
By my reading here the battery grip issue(s) seem to be real, though one hopes FW ver. 1.02 might have addressed them. Those are related to battery charge indication issues under certain settings with grip attached and Auto battery selection enabled, and automatically switching batteries when the grip battery is (actually) depleted. Not related to AF. There seem to be one or two more - but only one or two. IMHO, for a camera with so many new components and true upgrades rather than evolutions the K3 seems remarkably 'finished'.

Good luck with your K3 - it really is a snappy, very competent camera.
02-09-2014, 09:07 PM   #25
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@Mareket - Check out this thread if you haven't already. It might help hitting fast-moving subjects:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/236970-perfect-...everytime.html

Jack
02-09-2014, 10:11 PM   #26
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I do not think you have the best lens for the job. At least an f2.8.
02-10-2014, 12:58 AM   #27
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Once the lens "focuses" on the subject, does it lock on immediately, even though it might be slow, or does it make micro adjustments and then locks? u said you tried focusing on an object at a close distance (60cm) and then switching to something 100-150m away and took a full second to do so. There is definitely something wrong here.my 18-135 and k-50 certainly dont take that long.sure the 18-135 is not the fastest focusing lens but still it seems that there might actually be something wrong with your camera. would it be easy to take a video for us by focusing on something close and then to something at infinity?
and by the sounds of it, it cant be a faulty lens either since you tried a few and all have the same problem. well whatever it is, i hope it gets solved as soon as possible.
02-10-2014, 02:55 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by schnitzer79 Quote
Once the lens "focuses" on the subject, does it lock on immediately, even though it might be slow, or does it make micro adjustments and then locks? u said you tried focusing on an object at a close distance (60cm) and then switching to something 100-150m away and took a full second to do so. There is definitely something wrong here.
When I press the shutter button to make the camera focus, the lens first moves most of the way (with the typical buzzing sound). Then it stops and after a short break, several (2-5, usually 3) micro adjustments are made before the focus locks. This is the ticking sound (tock in case of the Sigma 50mm) I mentioned in my post. I made some audio recordings of these sounds yesterday, which I will try to upload to the forum when I get home this evening. They also give a good indication of the speed we are talking about here. The movement of the focus isn't exactly blazingly fast, as it has a longer distance to cover than the Canon lens. But those micro adjustments are what really kills time during focus.

Note that the focus does not hunt (as in rushing past the correct focus point and having to move back again). Whether the focus stops short of the focus point or passes it a tiny bit, I can't tell for sure, although my impression is that it stops short. Then come these micro adjustments and there is a noticeable delay between them. As I said before, all of my lenses show this behaviour. I do not have any lens with screwdriver focus, however.
QuoteOriginally posted by schnitzer79 Quote
well whatever it is, i hope it gets solved as soon as possible.
Thanks for your kind words! I'll call my dealer today and see what he says. I'll post the results if they are interesting.

Supplementary...
I just had two phone calls, one with my dealer, one with the technical support (company that repairs cameras for Pentax here in Germany). The dealer's answers were rather vage, although she did offer to take my camera back and send it to Pentax for repair or exchange.
All the same, I did call the Pentax service afterwards. I just wanted to be sure that my camera was not behaving the way a K-3 should before sending it back. Should 1 to 1.5 seconds be a normal time for the AF of a K-3 I would definately think about sending the whole set back and about buying a Canon or a Nikon. IMHO my camera's AF is currently even to slow to be much fun for portraits. Even people tend to move.

Cheers!
Chris

Last edited by PixelGeek; 02-10-2014 at 04:11 AM. Reason: To add the addition. :)
02-10-2014, 03:48 AM   #29
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I have the Sigma 50 F1.4 and my K-3 behaves quite similarly with it now that I check, and probably also with other lenses. However the positive thing is that if I shoot before the micro adjustments are completed I still get good focus, in other words the first time it stops it is already in focus and then it seems it wants to be perfectionist and fine tunes it further. But those additional changes (that take much longer than the initial 'hit') make a really tiny change if at all.

I do see the improved focus if I allow the micro adjustments before shooting but I think the difference is only significant if you are going to crop the picture a lot. So for typical photos where you would keep the full picture I would say it is not really necessary to wait for the focus beep but if you are going to magnify the image a lot (by cropping) such as I usually do with birds then it is worth the wait for it to fine tune the focus.

I have often shot before getting the focus confirmation beep, to capture a fleeting moment but rarely get out of focus photos. I set the camera to release priority rather than focus priority - that lets me decide whether to wait for the perfect focus or just shoot when I think it is in focus. I had never given it much thought but now seeing this thread and experimenting a bit I think understand better what is happening.

Have you tried using release priority and not waiting for the confirmation? It might be that is all you need to fix the problem.

It looks like with the K-3 Pentax has made focus precision a high priority and seem to have got it right, even if that extra precision means a considerable delay.
02-10-2014, 06:02 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Have you tried using release priority and not waiting for the confirmation? It might be that is all you need to fix the problem.

It looks like with the K-3 Pentax has made focus precision a high priority and seem to have got it right, even if that extra precision means a considerable delay.
Admittedly I have not tried using release priority because I have never needed it for dancing shots in the past. My EOS 5 (no 'D') only allowed that when using AF-servo (AFC in Pentax terms, I believe) and that mode really blew. The one shot setting worked fine for what I did and I kept using it with the EOS 300D. I've only had the K-3 for a little over a week now and since I'm a working guy I haven't had the chance to try out too many things. I basicly thought, what had worked with the 300D should work with the K-3 aswell.

You wrote, your Sigma lens does the same things mine does. Does that also include the long focus times? As I wrote, I took audio recordings of the focus sounds from my camera. I loaded these into Audacity and with the visualisation I could determin the time it took for the camera to lock focus (by selecting the point of the first AF sound to the end of the beep). One and a half seconds were no exception. The 300D took well unter 0.2 seconds every time - and it was never meant to be a sports camera either.

Regards,
Chris
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