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02-12-2014, 05:04 AM   #1
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Help and advice for new *ist DL2 user

HI all, first post - be gentle

I'm a complete novice when it comes to photography, but I've just bought a second-hand *ist DL2. ( I've actually bought a couple of older Pentax film cameras as well, but invested in the DL2 to keep film and processing costs down while I learn my way around manual shooting.)

I have two questions related to the DL2 at the moment:
  1. My camera currently has the default v1 firmware installed. Is it worth upgrading? Just wondering if there are any horror stories I should be aware of before embarking...
  2. In aperture priority mode, using older A series lenses in manual focus and with the aperture ring set to 'A', the shutter sometimes seems reluctant to fire. I think it's only firing when focus is achieved - is there any way to force the shutter to fire whatever the focus?

Thanks in advance.

Tim

02-12-2014, 05:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveBonus Quote
My camera currently has the default v1 firmware installed. Is it worth upgrading? Just wondering if there are any horror stories I should be aware of before embarking...
The firmware update will allow you to use SDHC cards, so yes you should update. Here is the guide:
Pentax Firmware Update Guide - Pentax Tutorial Videos - PentaxForums.com

Standard SD cards are very hard to come by these days, but if your card is under 4Gb then it should fit the bill. Larger cards can't be used without updating the firmware.

QuoteOriginally posted by DaveBonus Quote
In aperture priority mode, using older A series lenses in manual focus and with the aperture ring set to 'A', the shutter sometimes seems reluctant to fire. I think it's only firing when focus is achieved - is there any way to force the shutter to fire whatever the focus?
Set the focus mode to AF.C in the menu and it will always fire.

Adam
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02-12-2014, 06:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply Adam, the firmware has now been successfully updated.

QuoteQuote:
Set the focus mode to AF.C in the menu and it will always fire.
My understanding was that the single vs continuous auto-focus mode only made a difference when the camera was, well, auto-focussing but I'll give this a go. Typically, as I want to test this, the shutter is firing at will at the moment but next time it refuses I'll do as you've suggested.

Thanks again for your help.

Tim
02-12-2014, 06:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveBonus Quote
Thanks for the quick reply Adam, the firmware has now been successfully updated.


My understanding was that the single vs continuous auto-focus mode only made a difference when the camera was, well, auto-focussing but I'll give this a go. Typically, as I want to test this, the shutter is firing at will at the moment but next time it refuses I'll do as you've suggested.

Thanks again for your help.

Tim
There should also be a menu setting to release without focus for the shutter in the custom settings. And agree with Adam regarding the firmware update, it is a must - standard SD cards are few and far between these days.

02-12-2014, 07:07 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
There should also be a menu setting to release without focus for the shutter in the custom settings
I thought I'd read this somewhere too, but I've looked through the custom settings a few times and can't see anything.

Either this option is not available on the DL2 or it is hidden away somewhere else I've yet to find.
02-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveBonus Quote
In aperture priority mode, using older A series lenses in manual focus and with the aperture ring set to 'A', the shutter sometimes seems reluctant to fire. I think it's only firing when focus is achieved - is there any way to force the shutter to fire whatever the focus?
Two suggestions:

1) In the Custom Menu Settings, you should set "Aperture Ring Permitted" - I would do so, even if you are only using your lenses in A-mode.
2) You should be able to release the trigger irrespective of proper focus provided that you have set the AF/MF swith on the camera body to MF.

If the trigger still acts at its own will after that, I would be mystified.
02-12-2014, 08:43 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. The AF/MF switch on the body is definitely in the MF position, but I've now also set "Using aperture ring" to "Permitted" in custom settings.

Still can't replicate the issue at the moment, despite taking a number of test shots, so my fingers are crossed that one or other of the suggestions so far has done the trick.
02-12-2014, 09:15 AM   #8
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I definitely would update the firmware. Just make sure you use freshly charged NiMh rechargables or new lithium batteries. The last thing you want is for the batteries to conk in the middle of the update and brick your camera. Also, follow the instructions for the firmware upgrade to the letter. I don't want to scare you off doing it, because it's very easy & quick. you just want to do it right.

That's a good camera you've got there. It may be past it's technological prime, but it's still quite capable of taking great photos. Congrats & have fun!

02-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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All Pentax cameras equipped with auto focus capability will allow you to use what has been renamed Catch-In-Focus from Snap-In-Focus sometime after the SF-1 film camera was produced. It works like this: set the camera to AF.S and attach a manual focus lens; press and hold the shutter release all the way down. Now the camera will only take a picture when the AF system detects focus.

In sports, pre-focus where the action is going to be, press and hold the shutter while following the action with the focus point in the centre of the screen on the player. The camera will fire when the athlete reaches the focus distance. In still life work, focus very slowly while holding the shutter all the way down and the camera will fire when focus is reached. The reason for the slow focus technique is that there is always a small delay before the shutter fires and you can overshoot during that delay when you move the focus ring too quickly.

My first try at CIF was with the SF-1, a tripod, a locking remote release cable and a hummingbird feeder. The camera was set to AF.S and continuous drive mode. I mounted my A 70-210 and focused carefully on one of the perches on the feeder, then raised the aim point to slightly above the perch, locked the release down and went to eat my supper. I had three usable shots when I retrieved the camera later. Great fun to play with the new toy.
02-12-2014, 11:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
2) You should be able to release the trigger irrespective of proper focus provided that you have set the AF/MF swith on the camera body to MF.
Exactly. I still reach for that switch on the front of the camera to disable AF, even with a newer model with more options. You can also disable AF by changing the "OK btn when shooting" to "Cancel AF". Then you could leave the AF switch in AF, and press and hold the OK button when the AF sensors can't lock on something and you want to shoot anyway. You can see MF in the viewfinder when the OK button is pressed.
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